Nick Mott needed new tee markers for the 18 holes at Piper Glen Golf Club in Springfield.
His longtime friend and fellow 2007 Pekin Community High School graduate Brett McGinnis enlisted the help of Pekin students, who got the job done for Mott in time for the new golf season.
Now that golf courses across the state have been allowed to reopen in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Piper Glen can show off the latest additions to its revamped course.
“We’re extremely happy with the tee markers and they’ve gotten a great response from golfers, who usually don’t comment about tee markers,” said Mott, who is in his fourth year as Piper Glen’s course superintendent.
“Our old tee markers were outdated and the last connection on the course to the previous course ownership,” Mott said. “The new tee markers have a modern look and they’re unique to Piper Glen. They’re exactly what I was looking for.”
The new tee markers contain the letters “PG” for Piper Glen’s name.
They come in four colors -- four sets for each hole -- so there are 144 of them on the course. Counting extras, there are 180 total.
Blue tee markers are for the championship tees, white for amateur men, green for senior men and red for women.
Piper Glen provided the materials for the new tee markers and Pekin students in business, wood shop and metal shop classes did the work over a couple-week period just before schools across the state were shut down in mid-March because of the pandemic.
Mott said the $500 spent by Piper Glen for the new tee markers was well worth it.
“It would have cost about $300 to $400 to simply refinish the old tee markers or at least $8 apiece if we had paid a company to replace them,” Mott said.
“I mentioned needing new tee markers to Brett (McGinnis) when we were talking last winter, and he took it from there. I really appreciate it.”
Pekin wood shop teacher Matt Proehl said Piper Glen’s new tee markers were cut from exterior grade MDF (medium-density fibreboard) sheets.
About a dozen of Proehl’s students used a CNC (computer numerical control) machine, hand-held routers and router tables and did hand sanding with sandpaper to create the new tee markers.
“The project was a great real world experience for our students,” said McGinnis, who is a business teacher, assistant boys golf coach and girls basketball coach at Pekin.
Mott was a grounds crew member at Lick Creek Golf Course in Pekin from 2009-13, a position McGinnis helped him get.
He then served as assistant course superintendent at Pekin Country Club for two years and course superintendent at The Oaks Golf Course in Springfield for four years before going to Piper Glen.
After graduating from Pekin, Mott earned as associates degree in turfgrass management from Illinois Central College.
Piper Glen is a public golf course. It opened in 1996. It plays 7,005 yards and is par 72 from the championship tees.
The course is a short drive from downtown Springfield and next to the growing city of Chatham.
It’s been the site of U.S. Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur and Illinois Amateur qualifying tournaments.
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