Doug Oubre is The Grove’s Director of Golf and he joined The Grove team in February 2014.
How did you get started playing golf, what got you interested?
Golf began for me at the early age of 4 years old. My dad has always had the golf bug and the only way for him to get out to play was to take my brother and me with him to the course. I wasn’t sure if I liked it much at first because I was always getting scolded for not knowing the proper etiquette and how to behave on a golf course. After learning etiquette the hard way, I decided it was a pretty fun sport and something that my brother and I could play together, even though he was almost two years older than me. Once we got “the bug”, we spent every waking moment outside of school at the golf course. I even began working at the course at the age of 12 and worked my way into managing the small Pro Shop at the age of 18, until I went on to college. I have the record there of being the youngest player to shoot a score in the 60’s, with a score of 69, at the age of 13. It’s always been pretty fun for me because even though I was small in stature, I could compete with the big guys, which is not the case in most sports.
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
The friendships that I get to form with people that I probably would not have ever met without the opportunities in the game of golf and employment at The Grove. We are still in the early stages of development, but I believe we already have a great group of caring people who have chosen to make The Grove, their home.
“I really enjoy my work at The Grove. Every day is new and interesting. I am always focused on the member experience. If someone is displeased about any aspect of The Grove, I find out why and do everything within reason, to improve their time with us. I enjoy playing golf with the members and building those relationships with them and their families”- Doug Oubre, The Grove’s Head Golf Professional
Any advice for someone who is too intimidated by the game and never played?
Just understand that everyone has been where you are as a beginner. Golf is a process and it does not come easily for most. It takes work. If you don’t take yourself too seriously, it could be a game or hobby for a lifetime.
What are your goals and aspirations for golf at The Grove?
I want to provide the best possible golf and club experience in the Southeast to our members and their guests. Golf courses can be memorable for their layouts and design and conditioning–which are all important. Unfortunately, these days, clubs disregard the service aspect. I want to impress our golfers with our service and I want them to remember how they are treated by our team. I stress to my staff the importance of building relationships. This is a key ingredient to achieving this goal. We don’t want to be a stuffy club, where people don’t feel welcome. That’s a recipe for disaster.
What do you find most unique about the course and club at The Grove?
The Grove course in Middle Tennessee is spectacular and is in the best condition of any club in the state. I can’t think of any other club in the state of Tennessee that has the total package that we offer; spectacular golf, food, and service. We have a set of amenities that is second to none, from the spa, swimming, tennis, fishing, fitness center, equestrian center, The General Store, kids’ camps and more. What a great place to be a part of!
Are you working on any new programming, improvements or golf events for 2017?
Golf for men is pretty consistent at this point. In 2017, we remain focused on growing the ladies and junior participation in the game of golf. We are excited about the ladies clinics and junior clinics that are scheduled, as well as growing the participation on our PGA Junior League team. We are all about growing participation in the game for all segments and skill levels.