DAKOTA DUNES, S.D. (KCAU) — There’s something very few people can lay claim to. Golf course superintendent Doug Hausman arrived at the Dakota Dunes course before the first tee shot was ever hit.
“It was built in the hay day of golf course construction,” said Dakota Dunes Country Club Course Superintendent Doug Hausman.
And that makes Hausman a unique homesteader of sorts.
“People assume I live out here, but what they don’t understand is that when we moved here there was nothing to live in,” he adds. “There were no houses just golf course and continuous cart path all the way around,” Doug adds.
After spending 31 years crisscrossing the 225 acres that are Dakota Dunes Country Club, you could still say that Doug lives, works, and plays here just like the slogan for this planned community reads.
“The bad news is it’s seven days a week. I was blessed with a great wife who understood that and puts up with it. Yeah, I have been blessed,” Doug said.
Doug and Riley, his 2-year-old German Shorthair, along with a staff of around two dozen, spend hundreds of hours a week maintaining the property for members and just as importantly, Mother Nature.
Remember, the Par-72 Arnold Palmer designed course came along at a time when the industry was building 300 courses a year.
“Comparatively speaking, we moved very little dirt. It was like 300,000 yards and typically on a golf course construction it would be a million to 3 million yards because they are creating what you play on and here a lot of it was already created. God did it,” said Hausman.
“It was actually one of the sites that have live dunes west of the Mississippi. In other words, the wind blows and the earth shifts. Wouldn’t have it any other way,” Doug said.
“Couldn’t do it without a bunch of dedicated folks who enjoy it just as much,” he said.
Whether it is changing cups, mowing fairways, or making the greens countertop smooth, Hausman said his staff of high school college and retired workers is the best.
“Kind of like the Maytag repairman. Whatever starting time is they are here and it’s easy to forget them because they are so good at what they do,” Doug says.
Machine and muscle do much of the work, but Hausman and his team have a treasure chest of technology to turn to.
“Everything is computerized,” he said. “Every one of those dots, if a sprinkler was running, it’s essentially a live stream.”
“I wouldn’t say it’s any easier, but for the golfers it’s providing better conditions,” Doug said. “It’s a great thing but you still have to start on the ground.”
And it’s the ground that makes Doug Hausman happiest.
” I’m blessed, blessed is pretty darn good,” Doug says.