• Last modified 282 days ago (Aug. 9, 2023)


Super in his element whether golfing or mowing

Staff writer

Tagging along with his golf course superintendent father, playing golf in high school and college, and loving lawn care and golf course maintenance all put Avery Unruh squarely in his element when he began duties three years ago at Hillsboro Golf Course.

Unruh, 22, actually has done golf course maintenance since age 14. First, he worked part time at Tabor’s golf course under the supervision of his father, Tim Unruh.

“My dad is head groundskeeper at Tabor College,” Unruh said. “I hung around and grew passionate about grounds-keeping and lawn care. I applied and was lucky enough to get the job.”

At 16, Tabor hired him full-time for summers — giving him nearly 40 hours a week. He remained at the Tabor golf course even while a student at the college until he went to work at Hillsboro Golf Course as assistant superintendent.

His first year at the public golf course, he worked under longtime golf course superintendent Gary Andrews.

When Andrews retired two years ago, Unruh was promoted to superintendent.

Most everything about the golf course falls under Unruh’s hand, he said.

He manages and maintains the clubhouse and sees to mowing the grounds.

Besides routine duties, Unruh’s job includes making preparation for tournaments such as last weekend’s club tournament and this weekend’s Marion / Hillsboro tournament.

The Marion / Hillsboro three-person scramble tournament, which will be attended by golfers from other towns in the area as well, is the course’s largest tournament, Unruh said.

The first day of the tournament is in Hillsboro, and the second day at Marion Country Club.

As of Friday, more than 150 golfers had signed up for the tournament, he said.

“We send out tournament flyers. and people respond,” Unruh said.

Golf and the golf course aren’t Unruh’s only loves, though.

The top of the list is his wife, Kara, with whom he is expecting a baby in October.

“My focus has been on my wife and getting the house ready,” he said.

He also helps his father and mother, Alissa Unruh, with their coffee shop, Rhubarb Market in downtown Hillsboro.

During the summer, it’s hard to get away and do something else, like play golf for his own recreation, he said.

Last modified Aug. 9, 2023