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Ballard named Director of Golf Operations at ULGC

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John Ballard, former Golf Course Superintendent promoted after two years with ULGC

By Les Abbott

 There is a new Director of Golf Operations at the University of Louisville Golf Club. John Ballard, former Golf Course Superintendent was recently promoted to the position to oversee the entire facility.

“Golf Course Superintendent is what I stated at here, so really just maintenance and overall care of the golf course. ULGC is a golf club, and the golf course is our bread and butter,” he said. “The new role will be to oversee the entire facility. That’ll include the clubhouse, food and beverage, our service for our members and guests, so it’ll cover a little bit of everything.”

Ballard is an East Tennessee native and graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1997.

He moved to Louisville in 1998 to serve as the Assistant Superintendent at Audubon Country Club.

After 18 years with Audubon, he moved to ULGC in 2016.

As to be expected, Ballard has been around golf for much of his life.

“I got into golf really because I enjoyed playing it,” he said. “I played competitive golf as a kid, both as a junior and growing up. When I got to Tennessee they told me they had a turf program and I thought, ‘That’s kind of cool, let’s check that out.’ So I went and did that and started working on golf courses and fell in love with it.”

Ballard first heard about the position back in December, and went through the process to make sure the position was right for him.

“We went through the process working with the University of Louisville, making sure it is the right fit,” he said. “I’m really big about the right fit, particularly with my staff. I’ll have guys that I interview and it’s got to work both ways. It’s not always just about pay or what have it, it’s got to work for their location, their schedule, it’s got to fit. When you can do that, you have the opportunity to have a lot of success.”

As for contributions Ballard looks to bring to the ULGC, it’s all about establishing a great working environment to make the course enjoyable for the clients and staff.

“A couple things I think I’ve had success with in my career, which has primarily been on a golf course but number one, surround yourself with good people,” he said. “The staff that we have, those guys are second to none. We build those guys up, we get them engaged and involved with what we’re doing and we’re going to the same thing here. We’ve got a lot of really talented people on staff, but you get those folks together and everyone moving in the same direction, and they buy in. People know that they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

“Also communication. I want to be known as an effective communicator so that our members and guests know what’s happening at ULGC. I always thought that was big for our staff, I don’t want them showing up everyday and think ‘I wonder what we’re doing today?’ They know in advance. We plan that out and show them what’s going on.”