West Hills Country Club Golf Course Staff
Christopher D. Smith
Director of Golf Course Maintenance
Chris grew up in Kingston NY and at early age, Chris found an interest in golf. While playing junior golf, Chris’ interest aimed to another part of the golf business, that being golf course maintenance. Having an older brother and uncle already established as Golf Course Superintendents, conveying Chris in this direction wasn’t a problem.
However, it wasn’t until Chris began working on his home course, Wiltwyck Golf Club, that his energy and focus to become a Golf Course Superintendent was evolved. After countless hours of work on his home course during summer vacations, Chris enrolled in the Turfgrass Management Program at SUNY Cobleskill. Chris received his Associates Degree in Turf Management in 1991 and continued his education at SUNY Cobleskill by receiving his Bachelors Degree in Plant Science in 1993. During college, Chris fulfilled his turf internship duties at Rockrimmon Country Club in Stamford CT.
At this point, Chris’ career path began to accelerate. Chris’ boss at the time had accepted the Grow-In Superintendents position at Hudson National Golf Club and asked him to hop on board as his Assistant Superintendent. During this time, Chris worked very closely with Fazio Designers and the bunker construction at Hudson National. Chris often said, this was an experience of a lifetime. Not long after Hudson National opened for play, the developers of the golf course offered Chris a tremendous opportunity to become the Grow-In Superintendent at a new property. So in 1997, Chris relocated to Avondale, PA, and became the Golf Course Superintendent at Inniscrone Golf Club. It was here that Chris made his connection with the world-renowned golf course architect, Gil Hanse. Chris and Gil worked very closely during the construction and grow-in at Inniscrone ensuring that the course not only exceeded all design expectations, but was manageable from a maintenance standpoint. Inniscrone surpassed all expectations.
Following Inniscrone, the developers once again presented an opportunity for Chris, another Grow-in Superintendent’s position in Bedminster, NJ. Lamington Farm, designed by Tom Fazio was the original name. However, a collapse in the economy in 2001 caused a delay in the construction eventually putting an end to the project. Fortunately, Donald Trump entered the picture and purchased the property in 2002. Once again, Chris was back doing what he loves, growing in another golf course. Chris played a big part in the grow-in of the Old Course at Trump National, Bedminster before receiving a call that there was an opening at Hudson National. Chris returned to Hudson National in 2004 and remained the Golf Course Superintendent for 8 seasons. During this period, Chris played an integral part in the beginning stages of the adopted 10 Year Long Range Plan. Completed in this plan was an extensive bunker renovation.
In 2005, Chris received his GCSAA Certification that distinguishes him among the best in his profession. In 2007, Hudson National was awarded to Golf Digest Top 100 Greatest Courses. In 2012, Chris and his wife Jenny found a new home in Pomona New York at Minisceongo Golf Club. Chris continues to transform Minisceongo into a championship level golf experience.
During the period of 2012-2015, Chris transformed Minisceongo Golf Club in Pomona, NY into a championship level golf experience. However, in 2016, an opportunity surfaced that Chris and his wife Jenny were thrilled to accept and call it their new home. West Hills Country Club is a very special place. Following Chris’s track record of determination and attention to golf detail, West Hills will continue to climb the ranks for golf recognition across the region.