Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club, celebrated long-serving employee, Donald “Gene” Childs for his 32 years of service in the club’s golf maintenance department as the club foreman and celebrated his retirement from the club.

Gene is well respected by his co-workers and the members at Santa Rosa. “Gene is first and foremost one of the most dedicated employees the club has ever had,” said Kelly Barker, golf course superintendent for Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club. “He was a staple not only for our team but also the members. Gene was a valuable resource that we looked to almost on a day-to-day basis and he will be missed greatly.”

Joining Santa Rosa in 1990, Childs was fortunate to see the club transform from a simple nine-hole golf course to an award winning 18-hole golf course that beautifully carves through the natural surrounding area of 30A. Childs also helped create the club’s very first fairway, a modern irrigation system as well helping clear hundreds of trees to assist with air flow. Prior to his retirement, Mr. Childs played part in the club’s 2021 multi-million-dollar course renovation – setting the course up for future generations to enjoy for years to come.

Throughout these changes, Gene is grateful for the support of his co-workers and the members. “The members are always nice to me and have always made me feel appreciated at the club,” said Gene.

Gene’s advice for those who strive for a long career is simple. “Be interested and have a passion for the job you do. You will always be able to do a great job if you have interest.”

Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club members and staff gathered Mr. Childs and his long-time friends, co-works and members on his last day before retirement to exchanged fun stories over the year’s. Mr. Child’s also received gifts from members and the club at the celebration.

When asked what his plans are for retirement, Mr. Childs shared, “I plan on enjoying my new home and property I just purchased in DeFuniak Spring with my family and I also plan to fish a lot more often”.