It was just a little fewer than 18 months ago that Cole Wasinger resigned his position at head golf professional at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course to assume the general manager and head golf professional duties at The Golf Club at Southwind.
On Wednesday, Wasinger submitted his resignation to Southwind owner Craig Boomhower and to Jim Bennington, Senior Vice-President of Operations for Troon, the management company that assumed day-to-day operational oversight in early December of 2017.
Wasinger, whose resignation officially takes effect on Oct. 2, will begin his new duties as the assistant general manager at Oakwood Country Club in Enid, Okla., beginning Oct. 23. The golf course there was designed by noted Oklahoma architect Perry Maxwell, whose claim to fame is from designing Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson and Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.
“It’s a little bittersweet to leave Garden City, my hometown,” Wasinger said Thursday in a telephone interview. “But this is a good opportunity, and we’ve got family that lives in that area, so it’s just a good time for this.”
Wasinger, a Garden City native and GCHS graduate, captured the 1995 Class 6A state golf championship and, until 2017, was the only boys state golf champion, joined in that club by Sion Audrain.
“A lot of my duties there will be similar to what I’m doing here,” Wasinger said of his new job.
Wasinger said his wife, Neely, who is now a registered nurse, will have her choice of a couple of area hospitals in which to choose to work.
In his nearly year-and-a-half work at Southwind, Wasinger said he and the Troon management group had been able to stabilize the club’s operations, and had hired a solid staff in all areas of the club.
“I think we’ve built a good staff to get Southwind and the golf course back into good condition,” Wasinger said. “We invested in a lot of new equipment which has helped us, and I believe we have one of the better restaurants in town to give the membership great food and service.”
Bellington, who was reached by telephone on Thursday, said Troon was disappointed to be losing Wasinger, but also realistically understood the reasons for the move.
“I really liked Cole a lot, and he’s very professional and knowledgeable about the golf industry,” Bennington said. “He was very welcoming to Troon when we came in with the management agreement, and he did an excellent job in which there was a lot of progress made through the year.”
Bennington said his group, along with consulting with Boomhower, will put a plan into action to prepare for the interim time frame as well as planning for hiring a permanent general manager further down the line.
“We’ll start right away as we just became aware of this yesterday (Wednesday),” Bennington said. “From now until Cole leaves, we’ll be working on certain things he can hand off to the rest of the staff. But with the fall weather, we expect the club to stay busy and we will continue to take good care of our members.”
Wasinger had previously held his position at Buffalo Dunes for just more than eight years after working as the head professional at Dodge City Country Club. He also had worked as the golf professional at the Rio Grande Golf Club in South Fork, Colo.