From left: Trent, Dwayne, Jared and Scott Dillinger together at Circling Raven Golf Club. Photos courtesy of the Dillinger family
Children following their parents into careers in golf course management isn’t rare. However, not many fathers and sons end up working for the same golf course management company.
Meet Scott and Jared Dillinger. Scott, the father, is the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Greeley (Colo.) Country Club. Jared is the superintendent at Three Crowns Golf Club in Casper, Wyo. Both facilities fall under the auspice of Landscapes Golf Management.
But the Team Dillinger golf pipeline doesn’t stop there.
It all started in Moorcroft, Wyo., where Scott, now 61, grew up on a family ranch raising cattle, sheep and horses. His dad doubled as a landscaping foreman for the University of Wyoming in Laramie, where Scott rode a Cushman at night helping plug sprinklers.
It’s no surprise the outdoors agreed with Scott and working with nature would be the career path. He majored in plant science at University of Wyoming “with no idea about golf courses.”
That’s when Scott’s cousin, Dwayne Dillinger, then a crew member at Southridge Golf Course in Fort Collins, Colo., helped Scott land a job there because he could run a tractor to pristinely maintain the course. A year later, in 1986, Scott
and Dwayne were hired — as irrigation foreman and assistant superintendent, respectively — at the then-under-construction Jack Nicklaus-designed Ptarmigan Country Club in Fort Collins.
While Dwayne became a 35-year career superintendent and legend at Bell Nob Golf Course in Gillette, Wyo., Scott played golf daily and was utterly hooked by the game.
In 1987, Greeley Country Club, one hour and change north of Denver, put out an SOS for dogged turf management leadership. Scott won the job and hung his superintendent hat there for over three decades. Of course, Dwayne was on speed dial for questions,
creative ideas and other collaboration.
Scott wanted more, though. He possessed an insatiable thirst for knowledge about the golf industry and courses, from private clubs to municipals and everything in between. So, off it was to John Deere where for 12 years, Scott headed golf equipment sales
in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska.
“My know-how expanded a lot at John Deere, but I dearly missed the superintendent world and returned to Greeley an even better person and professional,” says Scott, a 21-year GCSAA member. “That would be my last and only job, and, to
this day, I love it and then some.”
Scott went on to renovate the 100-year-old course in 2018, working with Phelps-Atkinson design to rebuild tees and bunkers.
Scott and Jared Dillinger say they've enjoyed making their careers into a family business.
Scott’s only child, Jared, now 28, was a curious kid who would hang out with his dad at Greeley Country Club. Jared didn’t only relish hitting golf balls from tee to green. “That’s when and where I started to really love the outdoors.
It was my happy place,” he says.
At 16, Jared’s first job was performing routine physical plant sprucing services for the city of Cheyenne, Wyo., parks and recreation department. A career interest was further sparked, and he proceeded to intern at the famous Broadmoor Resort in
Colorado Springs during his senior year at the University of Wyoming, where he majored in agroecology. But he hadn’t yet figured out what came next.
“All along, there was an understanding I wasn’t going to work with my dad,” says Jared, a six-year GCSAA member. “It would’ve been difficult to put each other in that situation. Dad’s advice was to get as much experience
as possible from different points of view.”
Colorado National in Erie offered Jared his first full-time job out of college as the second assistant superintendent. His next step was the private Hiwan Golf Club in Evergreen, just west of Denver, where he was tabbed as first assistant.
“With every move, my education became even more diverse, acquiring different strategies and techniques for my craft of being a superintendent and the business side of the industry,” Jared says.
In 2018, a desire to return to Wyoming led Jared to Uncle Dwayne’s old stomping grounds as the assistant superintendent at Bell Nob. “For four years, that’s where I learned how to maintain and present the best greens on the planet,”
he says. “Bell Nob was an early adaptor to the USGA resource management program and that helped me gain even more best management practices.”
With varied experience beyond his years, Jared was ready to lead his own show. The head superintendent position at Three Crowns Golf Club opened in April 2022 and Jared was hired.
There are plans to enhance the links-ish style course’s playability and integrity harkening back to the layout’s original intent. Jared is steadfast about Three Crowns’ multi-departmental “town hall” meetings contributing
to the team’s universal understanding of golfers’ needs and the business at large.
Jared Dillinger and his two-year-old son Wyatt tap a hose into a sprinkler at Three Crowns Golf Club.
All together now
The common family thread is Landscapes Golf Management. The company operates Greeley Country Club and Three Crowns Golf Club among its portfolio of 50-plus golf courses, country clubs and resorts coast to coast.
“Dad and I speak almost every day,” says Jared. “We talk about our days on-site and I lean on him a lot with this being my first year as superintendent. Melding his wisdom with my assertiveness staying ahead of today’s technology
curve will make our team smarter.”
Father and son both greatly admire and appreciate their time with Landscapes Golf Management.
“The company assumed management of Greeley on March 1, 2019,” says Scott. “It was baptism by fire given the start of Covid. Despite that, Landscapes leadership was forever upbeat and ready to help and progress our agenda. Everyone listens
and ups each other’s game. The mutual support, respect and trust is second to none. It became family from the outset.”
“The benefits of Landscapes start with its 24-hour hotline, so to speak,” says Jared. “The culture is one of employee-first. While I lean on Brice Griebler (the superintendent at the Golf Club at Devil’s Tower in Hulett, Wyo.,
which is also managed by Landscapes), there’s a network of 50 superintendents who I can call for counsel on moment’s notice.”
The next Landscapes Golf Management hire may be Dwayne’s son, Trent Dillinger, who is an assistant superintendent at The Powder Horn in Sheridan, Wyo. Further out, there’s Wyatt Dillinger, Jared’s two-year-old son who frolics in sand
bunkers and plays with sprinkler heads. The family tree of current and future GCSAA members is seemingly never ending.
“I have zero complaints and the discovery never stops,” says Jared. “Me, too,” retorts dad, noting “being a superintendent with a family in the business is a beautiful life and we look forward to every tomorrow.”
John Merchant is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C.