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Evergreen Golf Course crew makes daily rounds to keep surroundings immaculate

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

Neither elk nor bear nor flocks of geese deter the grounds crew at Evergreen Golf Course from its appointed rounds.

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The crew of nine — most of whom are retired — mow the lawns, fairways and greens in addition to other duties at the course on Upper Bear Creek Road starting at 5 a.m. nearly every day from April to October, and for them, seeing the wildlife first thing in the morning is part of the job’s allure.

“It’s beautiful here. There are different animals, mountain air and no traffic,” said Phil Petrone, golf course supervisor, quipping, “We want to keep this place a secret.”

Big flood lights are attached to the equipment, so the crew can precisely groom the 91-acre course, starting before dawn and finishing mid-morning.

For Terry Profitt, 65, of Evergreen, this is his retirement job, and he does it for two reasons: the wildlife and so he can immediately see the fruits of his labor.

“I love doing it,” said Profitt as he sat on a huge mower one day last week. “I do it to see the wildlife. People think I get bored, but I don’t. Before, I worked in a management role, and I never saw the results of my work.”

Now he sees immediate results — a well-manicured lawn.

He called the golf course scenic, and the wildlife makes for some picture-perfect moments. He’s an avid outdoorsman, and seeing the wildlife on the golf course gives him his wildlife fix every day.

While they routinely see marmots and deer, foxes and coyotes, raccoons and skunks, they have never seen a mountain lion or a moose.

Lately a herd of elk moseyed through the course, wandering between the golfers and the grounds crew. Two months ago, a bobcat was lounging on a bridge.

Profitt reminisced about the time he was unaware that he and his mower were being chased by a huge bull elk. Several golfers and other staff members watched the sight, and eventually the elk veered off.

Bob Horne, who has been part of the grounds crew for 13 years, said he enjoys the solitude.

“I tell people this is my office,” said Horne, who has lived in Evergreen since 1982. “I haven’t wanted to leave this place.”

After up to eight hours on mowers most days, is it time to go home and mow their own lawns?

Absolutely not. Both Profitt and Horne hire someone to do that work.

Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1041.