When Programmed Turnpoint constructed the Champions Course at Sandhurst Club in 2006, Cory Budden was an up-and-coming greenkeeper who had been the grass grow-in superintendent on the construction of the original North Course. Little did Cory know, he would return to Sandhurst once again several years later, this time as the course superintendent of both courses following Programmed’s recent success in being awarded the maintenance contract.
Cory arrives at Sandhurst from St Andrews Beach Golf Club on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, where he was a key influence in helping that course achieve its ranking as the third best public access golf course in Australia.
He has come a long way since doing his apprenticeship at the local 9-hole course in the town of Wingham, on the mid North Coast region of NSW. Completing his apprenticeship, he worked at The Grand Golf Club in Queensland as 3IC, then jumped at the opportunity to travel to the US to work on preparing Pinehurst GC in North Carolina for the 1999 US Open, widely regarded as one of the best courses in the US.
Supervising an 18-hole course is the ultimate goal for any aspiring greenkeeper. Taking charge of 36-holes, however, is a privilege only a few get to experience during their career, especially two courses designed by legendary five-time British Open Champion, Peter Thomson.
Cory has been on board at Sandhurst overseeing a team of 17 greens staff and rates taking on the 36-holes at Sandhurst as one of the biggest challenges of his career to date. “Work has already commenced on bringing the greens back to a quality Sandhurst members can be proud of,” says Cory. “There’s plenty to do to get both courses to a standard of play we’re happy with.”
“The success of the Programmed model is we work to an industry best practice programme, where all course managers are fully hands-on with day-to-day course works,” he said. Cory states a key reason he is able to spend more time on the course is the fantastic support he receives from the administration team at Programmed Turnpoint’s head office.
Cory is already receiving positive feedback from Sandhurst management and members, so the signs are good that Programmed’s success at the forefront of the contract golf maintenance industry is set to continue.