Brian Miller has seen his fair share of birdies and bogies through the years and watched green grass grow at golf courses of all varieties.
Miller is now the new general manager at the River Bend Golf Course and Recreation Area this year and said ultimately he just hopes to keep the family experience alive at River Bend.
“We’re just trying to put together a really good product for the citizens and everyone in the Red Deer area,” he said. “I think we have other opportunities, being a family orientated golf club, we’ve got a beautiful little chip and putt, par 3 mini-links, that the kids can play.”
Previously Miller was the general manager at the Brooks Golf Club, Director of Golf at Trestle Creek Golf Resort and General Manager at Pine Hills Golf Club in Rocky Mountain House.
“We’ve lived in Red Deer for two years, I was in Calgary for 20 years … this opportunity came back to me, I applied two years ago. I was living in Red Deer so it seemed like a good fit,” he added.
Miller has served as GM and head pro for different courses around Calgary, including private, semi-private and public courses which he hopes will help him shape the experience at River Bend.
“Uniquely I’ve seen how it’s been done at different places and I hope to bring that here so people enjoy their experience. The business of golf is tough, but our prices stay very reasonable. We have no real price increases to speak of,” Miller explained.
“We have a lot of free activities for the young kids that are new golfers. We have a junior program that’s second to none… we have some good packages for beginner golfers too. We try to do it all. We try to be accessible to everyone who wants to come here and play.”
He said beyond a new chipping area at the driving range, the course hasn’t undergone must change since last summer but still expects it to be one of the top golf course destinations in the region.
“We’ve got a tremendous practice facility and we’re always expanding on that,” Miller said.
“This year in October we’re going to do push-up greens so it’ll probably be in Alberta, one of the top driving ranges. Along with the chipping and teaching facility, along with what we’ve done with artificial turf and grass, it’s a rounded facility, in a city park.”
At the end of the day, Miller like everyone else in the golf world hopes a little warmth can bring the course to life.
“It was built on a gravel pit, we have some spots that are wet and they dry quick, but overall we’re in great shape,” he said.
“If we get some warm weather and warm nights everybody would love that.”