Behind the Greens: Kora Sauter
We're a close-knit team here at the Kananaskis Country Golf Course and although we continue to grow as we move through our comeback season, two things stay the same. We treat each other like family and we all share the same tenacious passion for the club - and more so now than ever before, since the course has reopened!
One of the familiar faces that you'll recognize around the course if you used to come regularly pre-flood is Kora Sauter, our Operations Manager. On paper, she's in charge of the Valet, Carts and Driving Range, but in reality, she's what holds the team together and make sure we're a well-oiled and working machine!
"I feel my role as manager is much more about the passion I have for people and enhancing their experiences," says Kora. "When I see the guests return with smiles on their faces that makes me so happy inside and it's the main reason I truly love my job so much!"
For us, it's important for you to know us as well as we know you! We caught up with Kora in-between the valet and the carts to ask her a few questions and learn more about her on and off the course.
How long have you been working at KCGC?
"I started working with KCGC in 2012 and remained in Kananaskis Country post flood for re-opening. I managed to stay busy during the 5 years of the course being closed and I returned in January to prepare for the inaugural season."
What did you do during the five years that the course was closed?
"When the flood came it was an incredibly emotional time for all of us - this was our second home. I knew without a doubt that I wanted to stay in Kananaskis and see the course through this tough time. However, I don't think anyone could have anticipated it being a 5-year wait. In the meantime, I worked at a variety of other spots in the area, such as the retail store at Naskisa and I managed the Kananaskis Outfitters. In 2016 I decided to finally take some time off and do a six-month hike from Mexico to Canada through the Pacific Crest Trail. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done and it was challenging to both my mind and body. I learned a lot about myself out there and living in the bush sure changes your outlook on life fast - it definitely makes you appreciate the small things."
What is your background - what lead you to work here at a course in the midst of the Rockies?
"I am originally from southern Saskatchewan. I left the prairies about 15 years ago and headed for the mountains. I found Kananaskis randomly on a drive from Canmore down the Spray Lakes Road more than a decade ago and I fell in love with the atmosphere I decided to stay! I consider myself a local with a great love for this area and its people. I am an avid hiker and explorer of all things in nature."
Can you give us a snapshot of your typical day?
Typically, no day is ever the same for me. I get up with a smile and excitement to organize the day! I usually will take some time in the cart barn to play some tunes and organize carts first thing in the morning. There is something very satisfying to me about the process. I prepare the team for the events of the day and cart staging details. As a group, we pull carts to energize for the day ahead. I respond to help during busy times for the Valet, Carts, Groups, and the Range duties. I respond to guests' needs/requests throughout the day. I could be found running cars at the valet, finding a bucket of lost balls for a guest, changing a tire, staging a group, stacking the range, cleaning clubs, washing carts or working in the office in any given moment. I enjoy doing something different all the time and multi-tasking through the day.
What do you love most about K-Country?
"I enjoy the seclusion of Kananaskis. It is peaceful; yet close enough to hop into the city for an afternoon. I love having the ability to easily hike some of my favourite trails in the area and I enjoy seeing how they change season to season. I always enjoy helping people figure out what hike they should do and advise them on the various trails and local pathways in the area."
What's your favourite hiking trail right now?
"Currently it's Mount Black Prince Trail. I love that it has a cirque, but if you take a local trail it leads you to a stunning waterfall and the eventually back down the other side."
What are you most excited for in the launch of KCGC 2.0?
"My excitement with the launch is every day seeing the bright smiles to our guests and team members. This place is so very special in unique ways, and I truly feel lucky to have the best job in Kananaskis! I just love the feeling at the course. It's always buzzing in the summertime and it's just got that special feeling to it. I believe that it's the people that make it a magical place to be! "