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Rising Star of Turf: Nathan McKinniss


John Reitman

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To say Nate McKinniss is on the career fast track would be an understatement of almost immeasurable proportions.

nate_200.jpegMcKinniss, 27, is the golf course superintendent at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, where Job 1 is keeping the course what he called “Golden Bear ready.” That's a nod to Jack Nicklaus, who designed the course, has a home there and is the host of its biggest event, the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament. McKinniss has worked at the club in suburban Columbus since he graduated from The Ohio State University's four-year turfgrass management program in 2017.

He was promoted into the position of golf course superintendent by Muirfield director of grounds Chad Mark late in 2020.

McKinniss accepted a job offer from Mark in 2017 when the latter was superintendent at Inverness Club in Toledo. Between the time the offer was made and graduation day in Columbus, Mark moved on to his dream job, managing Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield.

With a well-publicized restoration by architect Andrew Green about to start and news that the club would be the host site of the 2021 Solheim Cup, McKinniss had two offers any college senior would welcome.

As a student at Ohio State, McKinniss once voiced a career goal of buying a popular daily fee course in his hometown of Findlay, Ohio. Since graduation, his focus has shifted to preparing for one of the PGA Tour’s premier events and making sure the course is ready every day for its most famous member.

“It’s all about being Golden Bear ready.”

 

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