Brian Davis brings experience and enthusiasm to Grays Harbor Country Club job

A golf professional for 33 years, Brian Davis leaves little doubt about his top priority at Grays Harbor Country Club.

“The goal is to get Grays Harbor Country Club back to its glory years,” he emphasized.

The 59-year-old Davis is in his first full year as the head pro at the country club, the nine-hole private course in Central Park. He was hired last August after the country club and former pro Jay Gurrad parted company.

Although a native of Oregon, Davis is a familiar face to Olympic Peninsula golfers. He was the pro at Shelton’s now-defunct Bayshore Golf Course for 26 years, doubling as its part-owner for the last several years.

Bayshore closed in 2013 and is now a wildlife preserve.

Although he taught at Tumwater’s Airport Golf Center and worked part-time at the Salish Cliffs resort near Shelton following Bayshore’s closure, Davis was anxious to return to a full-time club professional gig.

“I tried the retirement thing,” he said. “That didn’t work too well. Money has a way of going out faster than it comes in.”

An annual participant (and frequent contender) in the Grays Harbor Pro-Am tournament, Davis saw the opening at the country club as a good fit. So did GHCC members, several of whom privately expressed pleasant surprise that the job attracted someone of Davis’ experience and reputation.

“I like the people down here and I love the golf course,” Davis said. “It’s just a fun bunch of people. People want to come down here and have fun.”

He’s hoping to use that relaxed atmosphere to recruit new members— an effort he admits has been stalled to a certain degree by the unusually soggy spring. After several years of decline, Davis said club membership has stabilized at about 100 and even enjoyed a slight uptick in recent months.

“I want people to understand that it’s not a high-falutin’ country club,” he said. “We’re down-to-earth people who just want to have a good time.”

Member relations don’t figure to be a problem for the stocky, affable Davis.

“He’s such a positive person,” said club member Gretchen Klein, the recent Senior Women’s Division winner in the Washington State Golf Association Champion of Champions tournament. “The morale (at the club) has improved so much. He’s a good people person. He wants to be involved with whatever’s going on…and he’s a very good teacher.”

Davis said the opportunity to expand his teaching schedule was one of the perks of the GHCC job. While the country club has a spacious range for lessons, Bayshore lacked a practice facility.

“I think I’m a pretty good teacher,” Davis acknowledged. “I like to teach and I think I can relate to people.”

He’s also a good player, although he only recently returned to the course after undergoing carpal tunnel surgery on both wrists last winter. His resume includes titles in the Western Washington PGA Chapter tournament in 2006 and the chapter’s Senior Match Play Championship in 2013.

His busy schedule has prevented him from playing more than once a week this year. He said he currently plays to a “2 or 3” handicap.

By his own admission, Davis wore many hats at Bayshore, including operating the restaurant and supervising course maintenance.

At the country club, Davis describes his role in other areas as a consultant — at least until he learns all facets of the operation.

“I’m no agronomist and I know it, but I have seen a few things over the years,” he said. “I can get in my two cents worth and hopefully it will work to the benefit of the club.”

Course maintenance at GHCC, he said, has improved greatly during the past couple of years.

“The conditions are 180 (degrees) from what it was,” Davis maintained. “If you remember the course from what it was two-three years ago, you’ve got to come out and see it for yourself.”

Davis has also adopted a wait-and-see attitude regarding club programs. He plans to conduct two junior clinics this summer, but likely will wait a year or two before increasing the number of club tournaments.

Nearly a year into his current job, Davis admits that the head pro’s duties differ at private and public courses.

“At a public course, it’s how do I get people around the course,” he said. “When you’re at a private course, your No. 1 job is to take care of your members.”

Davis believes there is a natural trade-off in the latter capacity.

“If you can take care of your members, your members will take care of you,” he concluded.

Rick Anderson: (360) 537-3924;