Tricounty News

David Deem is golf course superintendent

Supervising the 1991 U.S.G.A. Men’s Open at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska was the highlight of David Deem’s career, he says. All the same, he seems to be pretty happy here in Kimball.

David Deem started as supervisor of the Kimball Golf Club as of April 1. He is in charge of all the outdoor facilities at the course, all the maintenance of the holes and other property.

Deem has been a golfer most of his life, and a good golfer. He went to state four years in a row as a high school golfer, and he was club champion four years in Faribault. He and his older brother Bob Deem, the Kimball Golf Club pro and general manager, used to play their home course in Faribault: four holes of golf, then swimming the rest of the day.

 

Back then, the kids would hit range balls to a central spot to be picked up. He hit a lot of balls, and he learned to be accurate. “Kids don’t do that any more,” he laments. (Today courses use machines to sweep up range balls.) 

If not for severe arthritis and subsequent hand surgery, Deem would no doubt be playing a lot more golf these days. Now, he plays when he can.

Deem has spent his entire career working on golf courses here in Minnesota. He has built them, installed irrigation on them, and maintained them. 

Hosting the seven-day (that turned into eight days) Open at Hazeltine was the highlight of his 11-year tenure there, and indeed the highlight of his life’s work. He has been involved in hosting more than 20 national and regional golf tournaments.

“Even small tournaments have so many details, so much work,” Deem says. “The let-down is amazing. There’s a lot of preparation, and then it’s over.”

Kimball’s course designer, Goldstrand, was here two weeks ago making suggestions and recommendations. As a result, Deem will oversee some tree planting, and removing some bunkers that are time-consuming for golfers. They may add closer tees on some holes, to make par accessible to less skilled golfers.
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One idea he’s pondering is adding night golf, perhaps only on nine holes. It works in Florida, he says. Of course, he adds, they’d have to spray for mosquitoes.

Deem has other interests besides golf. He has attended the Indy 500 twice; that’s on his bucket list. (His son is a jack man for NASCAR.) He lives in Buffalo with his wife who is a hair designer. His daughter is expecting twins, their first grandchildren. He plows snow in the off season (usually November through March).

Deem likes the Kimball course for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with his brother being the course pro. There are no homes built around it, like so many courses these days. It’s an old-style, natural course with great aesthetics. “It reminds me of where I grew up: just golf, with no tennis courts or swimming pools.”

“Kimball is a lot stronger than many courses,” Deem explained, “especially city-owned ones. There’s a good board here, they care a lot, and they play a lot of golf.

w-DavidDeem-IMG 0767David Deem has spent most of his life on a golf course, as State high school golfer, club champion, tournament host, and now as superintendent of the Kimball Golf Club. Staff photo by Jean Doran Matua.

 

 

David Deem is a man outstanding in his field. Here he’s standing on the tee of Hole 1 at Kimball’s mature, natural golf course. He has been superintendent at the Kimball Golf Club since April 1 of this year. Staff photo by Jean Doran Matua.