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Chattahoochee Golf Course lures pro back to Gainesville
Rodger Hogan, the new head professional at the Chattahoochee Golf Course, walks across the practice putting green. - photo by Tom Reed

Chattahoochee Golf Course is what brought Rodger Hogan to Gainesville in the 1980s, and it is what kept him here 20 years later.

Hogan, the new director at the city-owned course, first came to Gainesville in 1986 from Princeton, Ky., to work as a teaching professional at Chattahoochee.

"Actually, Chattahoochee is what brought me here," Hogan said.

Hogan became the Director of Golf at Royal Lakes Country Club in South Hall in 1990. He stayed there until November 2008, when he was offered a job at Westcott Plantation, a municipal course in Charleston, S.C.

"I took that position, then found out that this position was open and I was happy to come back," Hogan said.

Hogan has been Chattahoochee’s head professional for only 10 days, but he said he is already busy trying to monitor the golf course’s expenses "to make sure there’s no money being wasted."

Course revenues have been a troublesome issue for the past couple of years.

"The golf course does well, but it’s lost some customers that we need to get back so we can increase our rounds," Gainesville City Manager Kip Padgett said. "When the renovation occurred and the golf course was shut down for a while ... it caused some people to go away and they just never came back."

The course hasn’t turned a profit since its major renovation in 2006 when the city spent nearly $3 million updating the 50-year-old course.

The intent was to make the course more competitive and profitable, but the city still is waiting for that reward.

Hogan said he has ideas to help bring the course back up to par financially.

"We’re going to have to increase our revenue and that will be through getting more outings, servicing the customers where they want to come back and play at Chattahoochee versus our competition," Hogan said. "... The idea is to make Chattahoochee feel like that’s their home.

"There’s a lot of competition out there, there’s a lot of places they can play. We want to be the best and we want them to know that they’re going to be treated the best when they come to Chattahoochee and play golf."

Hogan and his wife spent his first weekend on the job painting the golf course’s pro shop. Hogan said he is just beginning to stock the shop with merchandise and likely will have it ready in a few weeks.

"I’ve been here 10 days and I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I need to do," Hogan said.

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