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Viewfinder: Duncan Park maintenance foreman knows the course

Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Joe Green, foreman of the Duncan Park Golf Course maintenance department, sprays for weeds around a green, which is a daily duty, Monday morning.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Joe Green, foreman of the Duncan Park Golf Course maintenance department, sprays for weeds around a green, which is a daily duty, Monday morning.

NATCHEZ — Joe Green is the reason you love Duncan Park Golf Course; and he loves it too.

Green, 44, has been working behind the scenes at the course for 20 years. Starting as a cart washer, he has worked his way up to maintenance department foreman.

Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Green checks a tank holding weed-killer Monday morning. Spraying the course is one of the many daily duties Green is responsible for.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Green checks a tank holding weed-killer Monday morning. Spraying the course is one of the many daily duties Green is responsible for.

He and his staff of three employees, to which he credits much of his success, routinely begin work at 6 a.m. to mow greens, spray fairways and fix equipment.

But that doesn’t mean his job is predictable.

“There’s really not a typical day,” Green said.

His duties range from spraying for weeds, to repairing machinery, to repairing irrigation systems.

“Its never boring,” Green said. “It’s always something different, that’s what I love about this job.”

While the day-to-day of maintaining a golf course is plenty of work for Green and his staff, preparing for a tournament is where he finds the true challenge.

“Everybody’s got to bring their A-game,” Green said.

For a tournament that begins at 8 a.m., his crew has to mow greens, rake sand traps, put out ice chests, along with various other odd jobs in about a two-hour window.

“Tournament time is when you find out what you know,” Green said.

Duncan Park Golf Course Superintendent Greg Brooking says he would be hard-pressed if he didn’t have Green.

Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Green cleans the vehicle he uses to spray the course for weeds.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Green cleans the vehicle he uses to spray the course for weeds.

“He’s done an exceptional job,” Brooking said. “I’ve never found a finer person than Joe Green.”

After 20 years of taking care of the city’s only public golf course, Green feels a personal responsibility for the appearance of the course.

“If everything is mowed good and looks good, that feels good,” Green said. “It reflects on me.”

He plans on staying with the course until he retires one day, but for now, he’s just enjoying his work.

“If you do something for 20 years, you’ve got to love it,” Green said.