Sad news from my friend Chris Sorrell, who recently took the superintendent job at Boiling Springs Golf Course in Woodward, Okla.
Last week a fire destroyed his maintenance facility, and most important to him, killed his two dogs, "Shooter," a 12-year-old schnauzer, and "Boswell," a 2-year-old Border Collie. Sorrell discovered the fire at about 6 p.m., after it was already out of control.
"It's totally awful. I couldn't get anywhere near the door... there was black smoke everywhere. (The dogs) were maybe eight or 10 feet away from me," Sorrell told me today, sadness in his voice. "You know, the whole bloody thing could have burned down if my dogs were just out on the course with me, instead of being trapped inside the shop."
Nearby courses and the local John Deere distributor, PK Equipment, have already lent a hand, donating mowers and a cup cutter. Truth be told, there just aren't many courses in this part of Oklahoma, and Sorrell, being so new to the region, doesn't know many of his fellow superintendents in the region.
"One of the real disadvantages is I've not been involved in the local chapter much, since I've only been out here for two-and-a-half months," Sorrell said. "The timing is terrible. I haven't had time to make many contacts."
If anyone would like to reach out to Chris to lend a hand, he can be reached at 580-216-5408.
Sorrell was waiting for the insurance adjuster to arrive as I was talking to him. The fire department has told him the cause of the fire is unknown, calling it an accidental fire with an indeterminate origin. Among other difficulties, his irrigation system is down since his central computer was located inside the maintenance shop.
Regardless of all the bad news, my friend Chris seemed like he understood that this was something he could overcome.
"Nobody was hurt, no one was in the building. The members are all being very supportive," Sorrell told me. "We'll make it through one way or another."