Tuesday, June 24, 2008

SFA GM Retiring After 33 Years

Billy Browne has been at the Stephen F. Austin Golf Course in San Felipe for 33 years, as the head golf professional and then the general manager. But no more. He's hanging up his spikes.

"It's been a good ride, but it's time for the young guys to take over," Browne said. "They'll do a good job."

Sons Bobby Browne and Doug Browne are the club pro and course superintendent, respectively. Matt Schroeder is the assistant club professional.

The Local Golf Notebook in the Houston Chronicle notes Browne's departure, and provides a good indicator of how tough the Brazos River made his job over the years. The course, which is adjacent to Stephen F. Austin State Park, suffered frequent flooding by the Brazos.

How frequent? They had scorecards printed that took into account which holes were under water:

"We've made it through the floods, making it work. Sometimes we only had 11 holes playable. We'd have them play some holes twice."

Browne, 65, and his staff have always been prepared for rising water from the Brazos River. There are four different scorecards at Stephen F. Austin, depending on which holes are flooded.

"If 2 and 7 are under water, we have a scorecard for that," Browne said. "If 10 and 18 are under water, we have a scorecard for that. It depends on which bridge is under water, which tee box is under water."

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