THE GARDEN CITY TELEGRAM
TUESDAY, August 6, 2013
TO THE TH ANNUAL SOUTHWEST KANSAS PRO AM!
203 E. LAUREL • 1-620-275-0284
Vicki Bulkley............ 272-4032
Laya Martial ............ 260-6994
Marian Mason......... 521-3833
Chad Robinson....... 290-0926
Our homes are...
1810 E. Kansas Ave. (620) 805-6990
Stop in and try our
pizza and add a side of our
crazy bread or wings!
to all golfers!
O-2 Probe Monitor
ph monitor, syringe pumps
2 Pulse Oximeters
2 Fetal Monitors
Cardiac, Fetal monitoring systems
Neo-natal transport system
2 Radiant Warmers, 1 Neonatal Monitor
2 Carometric Monitors
Cardiac Monitors, Hearing Monitor
Syringe Pumps, Fetal Heart Monitors
donations to NBICU
By BRETT MARSHALL
It’s been quite a few years since Randy Hunt
found his way back to Garden City and visit the
place where he had his first head golf professional
But one thing is for certain, the first head pro
at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course hasn’t forgotten
about his initial experience of visiting Garden City
and seeing a golf course that was just in the early
stages of growing in.
That would have been January of 1976 and
before the course opened on April 1 of that year
when Garden City City Commissioner Tony Jewell
hit the ceremonial first golf shot.
Thirty-eight years have come and gone, and
Hunt, now the general manager at Milburn Golf
and Country Club in Overland Park, hasn’t forgot-
ten his first trip to western Kansas.
“I was just a young assistant at Lakewood
Country Club (west side of Denver) and I was
itching to get my first head pro job,” Hunt said in
an interview earlier this year. “Ross Thornbrugh
(founder of RT Sporting Goods) called me and
asked me to come for an interview.”
Hunt said he had been doing some volunteer
work at the time in Denver when the NBA All-Star
Game came to town that winter and wasn’t sure he
would be able to make the drive to Garden City for
an interview with the selection committee.
“He said if you can make it, good. If not, just let
it go and don’t worry,” Hunt recalled of that phone
conversation. “We (he and wife Mary) drove out
on a Friday afternoon and the interview was to be
Saturday morning. It was like 70 degrees and the
winds were howling like crazy. It was a big dust
Hunt said they drove through the entry gate to
the golf course, located approximately seven miles
south of Garden City, and it looked like the gate
had never been opened.
“We saw the fourth tee (closest to the highway
and entry gate) and there was little grass in the
fairways,” Hunt said. “The native growth was very
high and there was the maintenance facility in the
Hunt said he met Darrell Newsome, who was on
the grounds crew, for a brief tour of the course.
“We followed the construction trails and No. 1
had a pretty good stand, but so much of the rest of
the course was a blowout,” Hunt said. “Sand was
Hunt said that his wife gave him a look of
amazement when they were on the site.
“The look on Mary’s face was interesting to say
the least,” Hunt said with a laugh. “As we drove
out the gate, I was considering not doing the inter-
view on Saturday morning. I was resigned to the
fact that it was not going to work. Honestly, we had
no interest in seeing the place again.”
But overnight, after being convinced by
Thornbrugh to complete the Saturday morning
interview, things changed.
“A miracle happened,” Hunt said. “With what I
was making at Lakewood, the offer they made me
at Buffalo Dunes just made it impossible to say no.
I was able to own the golf shop, the range and the
majority of cart revenue. I had the snack bar and
got my lesson fees. I only had to pay the city a small
percentage and that made it such a good offer I
couldn’t say no.”
Hunt said the drive back to Denver with Mary
provided the two with trying to find a reason to
say no, but in the end there wasn’t a strong enough
case to refuse the offer made by the city.
“The interview ran longer than I thought and
the more I listened, the more it became possible
that I would end up there,” Hunt said.
His nine-year run at the Dunes
started with the pro shop being in a
single-wide mobile home near what
is today the fourth tee area.
“Arguably, among the best nine
years of my career,” Hunt said. “We
absolutely loved Garden City. We
started a little rocky there. No club-
house, but it was one of the best
decisions of my life. Our children
were born there. I still use the same
accounting firm (Lewis, Hooper
and Dick, LLC) as my accountants.
The people there are so profession-
Dunes’ first pro Hunt recalls early days
See Hunt, Page 24