VIENNA — A veteran in his own right at Parkersburg Country Club, Adam Chestnut has settled in as the new chief golf professional at the golf course.
Chesnut has spent the past 16 years as an assistant PGA golf professional under Scott Davidson, who resigned May 29 and accepted a position with the Texas Golf Association in charge of the Legends Junior Tour.
“I know Parkersburg Country Club is an extension of family for everyone here, but I want this place to feel like an extension of home,” said Chestnut. “So when the members are here, do they also feel like they’re at home?” Hopefully they already feel it. Otherwise, I want to feel that.
The recruitment process to fill the vacant position that Davidson held for 22 years was smooth. During a meeting with members of the CCP board, Chesnut answered several questions and soon after was offered the job.
“I know it took me a long time – it’s too good of a club not to stay,” said Chestnut. “I knew at some point Scott was going to be with his kids. He didn’t always want to be here thousands of miles away from each one of them. And that’s understandable.
“In Scott’s mind, and he even said it (to CCP Director General Angi Smith), it’s the choice – do it.” said Chestnut. “I guess you could say that was my interview. I sat down with (CCP Greens superintendent) Pat Maher, Angi Smith, our president, and another board member. They asked if they offered me that day, would I like it? There was no thought, nothing. There was no need to think about it.
“To be seen in a different light now and have everyone say that they knew for years that I was doing everything to help and was excited to be able to do so was a huge honor.”
Born in Galesburg, Illinois, Chesnut and his family in Toronto, Ohio when he was 5 years old. While in high school in Toronto, he spent four years on the golf team and progressed through the districts while being named All-OVAC his senior year.
As for his career, Chestnut turned to the profession of pediatrician. He applied for his dream school at Stanford. This route hit a roadblock when his application was denied. He eventually landed at West Virginia University in Parkersburg and enrolled in his share of foundation courses. In parallel, he worked at JC Penney.
“A gentleman we were living with at Woodside Golf and Country Club at the time owned the golf course and asked me where I continued to work,” said Chestnut.
“I told him JC Penney. He said he needed guys here at the golf course. If you work for me, you can play for free. I was like really?
“So that’s where I started. I was the cart guy and finally made my way inside. I did this for almost five years. When I walked in they started putting more and more on me. Organizing events was fun. I ran outdoor events as well as events for our own members. It led me to this, but PGA never crossed my mind.
In 2006, Chesnut recalls handing his resume to the general manager of PCC and just a minute later he was hired as the facility’s professional golf assistant. The wheels were then set in motion for Chestnut to become PGA certified. A local doctor helped Chestnut finance the acquisition of the necessary books.
“I would never say the doctor’s name because he would never want to see his name – I desperately needed some funding for my entry level books and he covered it all,” said Chestnut. “I took my (player aptitude test) in 2007 and passed my first try. The doctor was the first person I called after my death.
“I always had a different connection with him and almost like dad came to the rescue.”
Shifts at PCC are written as ‘B Shift’ as being there when we open, be there when we close. Summers, in particular, consist of extremely long shifts and a rare day off. Chestut understands the nature of business. His work ethic matches that of his father, Randy Chestnut, who worked in the automotive industry.
“I watched it for years – I just learned to be a worker”, said Chestnut. “We work 12 to 15 hours a day, which my father did. You consider all this as usual. Not married or no children and it’s easier. In fact, I would like to start a family one day, but work makes it difficult. I would have to change a lot of things for that to happen, but in the meantime I can make sure everything is better here.
“Scott left me a few notes and he said, ‘Don’t be me.’ – I knew what I wanted to say and it was not being there all the time”, said Chestnut. “I will be for the first year. I have to make sure everyone is ready for their new role. If you don’t prepare, you will fail. We have to prepare everyone. »
Between full-time and part-time help, Chestnut has between 16 and 18 workers on his team. Among his top assistants, Chesnut sees Tim ‘Wedgie’ Nicholas as his IT guru and pro shop manager and Brent Houser as his pro assistant.
Of course, a golf professional is only as good as the course superintendent, and Chesnut is delighted to work alongside Maher.
“I’ve worked with a lot of superintendents – basically I’ve learned more from Pat in 6 1/2 years than I’ve learned from this side of the industry in my 25 years in the field,” said Chestnut. “Talking to him gave me a whole new insight into that side of things. I’ve seen a lot of pros dread the moment the superintendent comes along. I don’t feel that way with Pat.
An official farewell celebration for Davidson is scheduled for Sunday, July 3 starting at 7 p.m. at PCC. According to the flyer, the evening is an opportunity to “send Scott with a bang.”
“Scott was amazing with the relationship with the members and able to always go the extra mile,” said Chestnut. “There was always something he did that everyone enjoyed, and that was pretty solid.
“It was difficult to talk to him because he doesn’t like attention. He’s very humble.”
At 36, Chestut hopes to maintain the continuity of the position. He becomes only the fourth golf professional in 75 years at the CCP.
“I never thought that a type of public establishment would one day be private establishment material”, said Chestnut. “It will be a culture that I want to change at some point and move away more and play more. Not to stray from here, but to open up more to members and enjoy this aspect again.
Contact Kerry Patrick at [email protected]