Gypsum Creek Golf honors Pete Nolan’s 20-year tenure with lifetime golf pass | VailDaily.com

Gypsum Creek Golf honors Pete Nolan’s 20-year tenure with lifetime golf pass

Pete Nolan, bottom right, received a special thank your from the staff at Gypsum Creek Golf Club recognizing his 20 years of service with the course maintenance crew. While Nolan is retiring from his job, he won't be a stranger to the course because he was awarded a lifetime pass to the facility.

GYPSUM — The Gypsum Creek Golf Course had a lot to celebrate as it closed out its 2017 season, and course officials opted to mark the occasion by honoring one of its most loyal workers.

Pete Nolan is a bona fide downvalley legend. For decades, he served as the athletic director at Eagle Valley High School. The Eagle Valley baseball field bears his name, and he was the first Eagle Valley High School Hall of Fame inductee. When he retired from the school in late 1997, Nolan took a job working on the then-Cotton Ranch golf course maintenance crew. He has now worked at the course for 20 years, weathering financial hardships and even an ownership change that resulted in the course being purchased by the town of Gypsum.

While 2017 marked his final year working at the course, Nolan won't be a stranger to the facility. As a parting gift, Gypsum Creek Golf Course issued him a lifetime pass during the season-concluding employee reception this week.

"Pete has worked hundreds of hours more than anyone else at this place," said Gypsum Creek Golf Course pro Blake Scott.

His colleagues concurred. As Gypsum Creek Golf Course manager Tom Buzbee noted, the facility simply needed to thank Nolan "for always being there."

Mowing 18 and other adventures

Recommended Stories For You

"I should have kept a diary," said Nolan as he accepted his lifetime pass and the plaque that came with it.

"I worked here on the ranch when I was a young guy," Nolan said.

He recalled the days when kids were excused from school so they could work the fields where the golf course now sits.

Nolan said he had a lot to learn when he went to work with the course maintenance crew.

"If you haven't worked on a golf course, you don't understand all the work that goes into it," Nolan said. "I never could mow No. 18 right."

Nolan promised his coworkers that they would see him around, using that lifetime benefit.

"I'll even get rid of your gophers for you," he said, joking.

A year to remember

As they celebrated Nolan's contributions, Buzbee also noted that the entire Gypsum Creek Golf Course crew should be proud of the 2017 season. The year was marked by construction of a new $2.2 million irrigation system, but even with the disruption at the course, Gypsum Creek has its largest revenue year ever.

There were in excess of 18,000 rounds played during 2017. Buzbee compared that to the 4,400 rounds played the year the town first took over the operation.

"This is a success story, and every one here is a part of it," Buzbee said.