By: Paul Hickman
It’s 3:30 in the morning and once again the ole war horse golf course superintendent is up as if he is preparing himself to be the first one at the gate. He opens the office, takes a quick trip to the pump house and then comes back to the office to greet the assistants and plan the day’s activities. But this day is not the same as he has done for 46 years. Instead he is getting up to write about handing over the reins of responsibilities to a new committed professional, Daniel Parks. The time has come to let another lead the maintenance activities of the prestigious Mission Inn Resort golf courses.
With thanks to the Beucher Family, I have had an unbelievable lifetime experience as I have been allowed to start my career at Mission Inn Resort (Assistant 1970) and end my golf course management career at Mission Inn Resort (Superintendent 2016.) In between were stops in Pompano Beach, St. Petersburg, Grenelefe in Haines City (23 years) as well as serving as Vice President of golf for 8 years with a golf maintenance management company. I am very appreciative to Bob Beucher for keeping me in touch with Mission Inn Resort during the 37 year interlude between 1970 and when I was hired back as Superintendent in 2004, and most importantly appreciative to Bud Beucher for the staying the course with me through some trying years of horticulture revolution.
Now, Daniel Parks, who had worked for me in the Villages early in his career and of course now at Mission Inn Resort will be taking over my golf course responsibilities. Daniel has had an integral role in helping bring Mission Inn to a very high status with Golf Advisor as #1 in Florida and #2 in the United States. He has been chosen to be the new leader and he is more than capable to reach new heights of achievement. I will continue to direct all other horticulture activities at Mission Inn including the vegetable garden and the landscape maintenance of the common areas. I will do this as a consulting contractor and will occasionally be ready to advise the golf course of any changes necessary. As of January 1, 2017, the wonderful experience will continue at Mission Inn Resort but in a different form and as God continues to bless me.