Victory Ranch’s much-anticipated golf course opening is just days away and we had the opportunity to sit down and chat with the most sought-after person on the green: Kyle Squires. Our newest golf course superintendent, Kyle offered coveted insight as to what makes our Rees Jones-designed course so special and how maintaining this ever-desirable amenity is one of the most important tasks at Victory Ranch.
We understand Victory Ranch is the 10th golf course you’ve managed in your career. What separates Victory Ranch’s Rees Jones-designed course from the rest?
I’ve been privileged to work at some exquisite golf courses alongside different architects during the design process. I got my first taste of Rees Jones architecture when I worked at Kohanaiki in Hawaii. He incorporates a lot of slopes and mounding to enhance ball roll out, and of course capitalizes on the natural topography and view corridors for the surrounding scenery. He has done a masterful job at Victory Ranch in creating epic vistas for 360 degree viewing.
Can you walk us through the process of maintaining a golf course?
Like many industries, golf course agronomy is ever changing; each day, month and year can present a unique challenge. My philosophy has always been to approach it as such, understanding the different variables we may face, yet not letting them dictate my plan of action.
What’s the most important aspect of managing the turf in the off season?
Taking the necessary procedures heading into the off-season is key. Mother Nature will decide the weather over the winter, and I understand that we have no control over what that may be. But by preparing appropriately before winter, and monitoring things during the winter, usually it’ll turn out okay. A little prayer and luck never hurt either.
And what about during the season?
The same as my answer above, but increase the prayer part!
What secrets can you share about golf course maintenance that many people might not know about?
There are no secrets, just a willingness to learn from failures and successes and adapt as needed. Grass is like my child—what makes it happy one day might not the next.
What are you most excited about for this upcoming season?
Coming to a new property is always exciting. There are so many things to learn about the golf course, and I enjoy implementing new ideas that may provide a different approach to what has been done before. My goal is to always leave the course better than when I arrived.
We understand you lived in Hawaii prior to Utah – that’s a big culture shock. What’s been the easiest transition for you?
Hawaii was an incredible place and the culture is different in many ways. Prior to Hawaii I lived in areas similar to Victory Ranch so the transition has been fairly smooth.
What do you enjoy doing when not on the golf course?
I am a water junkie. If I can be on a lake, river or ocean I am content. But time with my girls is my biggest priority. Fortunately they love being outdoors so we take advantage of any opportunity we can get to head out and explore.
What aspect of Victory Ranch are you excited to share with your 3 little daughters?
I have always tried to involve them with my career in whatever ways I can. I believe it’s very important for them to know what I am doing all day when I’m away from them. I get them out on the golf course periodically so they can appreciate what I do instead of resent it. They love the outdoors so Victory Ranch is the perfect place for them to visit.