WALLACE — In the early morning, William “Brady” Roberts, puts in a lot of hard work on the River Landing turf to make sure the environment is right for golfers to enjoy.
“They don’t realize how much dedication goes into golf course maintenance,” Roberts said. “A lot of people think it’s not that much, but there is a lot.”
Roberts, a recent graduate of Union High School, is currently interning through the River Landing Golf Course through Turfgrass Management Internship Program. During the workweek, he arrives at 6 a.m. to begin a busy day. He enjoys contributing to the course’s beauty.
“People love to come and play on a golf course that you get to beautify everyday,” he said.
Chris Humphrey, golf course superintendent at River Landing, enjoys working with Roberts in the facility.
“He’s doing a good job and he’s learning really fast,” Humphrey said. “He has an interest in learning more about the business.”
More than 30 people work in the maintenance department and received a few interns to help during the summer. Roberts plans to continue his work throughout the year during weekend hours or when he’s not attending classes. River Landing marks his second time working with a golf course – the first was at Rockfish County Club in Wallace.
He will attend Sampson Community College in the fall and plans to attend North Carolina State University for Turfgrass Science. According to the university, North Carolina’s turfgrass industry is more than 2 million acres. Besides golf courses, some of the other maintenance areas and opportunities include family dwellings, parks, roadsides, schools and cemeteries. After earning his degree, Roberts would like to be a golf course superintendent.
Recently, Roberts became the first recipient of the John Robert Rosario Memorial Scholarship at Union High School Senior Awards night. During his high school years, he participated with FFA, Beta Club and played varsity golf. He also volunteers with Harrells Fire Department.
River Landing is one of several businesses operated by Murphy Family Ventures, a management company located in Wallace. The company recently partnered with local school systems for the Turfgrass Management Internship Program. Normally, students from colleges and universities are recruited, but they decided to use high school students. Blue said the purpose was to build better relationship with Sampson, Duplin and Pender counties through the program. Tomeka Blue, Bilingual Training Specialist and Instructional Designer for Murphy Family Ventures, assisted with recruitment efforts.
“We are giving them the opportunity to come in and learn about River Landing, learn about their crafts, with hopes of them being able to come and either work for us full time or to have this as a full-time career,” Blue previously said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.