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Russ Appel

Interview With Russ Appel Superintendent/General Manager Briggs Woods Golf Course

A Light Hearted Golf Q & A Interview

By Brian Weis

Below is an interview with Russ Appel, the Superintendent/General Manager at Briggs Woods Golf Course. The following are a few traditional and non traditional golf centric questions that I love to ask influential people in the golf industry.

Can you provide our readers a brief biography?
I started working at Rice Lake Golf Club in my hometown of Lake Mills, Iowa back in 1980. After graduation from Westmar College, I accepted the Superintendent/Pro Shop manager postion at Garner Golf & Country Club in Garner, Iowa. I was at Garner from 1985 through the 1989 season. In 1987 Garner Golf & C.C. was voted the 9 hole course of the year by the Iowa Golf Association. In the spring of 1990 I accepted my current position at Briggs Woods Golf Course. Accomplishments at Briggs Woods include completion of the back nine, construction of a new clubhouse, addition of several tees, and established a stay & play package that has become very popular.

When did you start golfing and who introduced you to the game?
I started playing golf when I was 12 years old. My father played, and would take me out with him. I spent most of my summers playing golf with friends. Back then we didn't have carts, so we got plenty of exercise. I once played 13 nine hole rounds in one day.

What is your current home course?
Briggs Woods Golf Course

To date, what is your proudest golf accomplishment?
I played 4 years of college golf, and was also Club Champion at Rice Lake Golf & C.C. I served on the board of the Iowa Golf Course Superintendents Association including being President in 2000.

What is your biggest golf pet peeve on or off the course?
Cart operation. I will never understand what is so hard about following cart signs, and parking carts on paths instead of on the grass.

What is your favorite club in your bag and why?
7 wood. I have never really hit the ball high, so long irons were never a strong part of my game.

What is your favorite golf destination?
I have played Torrey Pines in San Diego several times with my brother. Tough to beat the views from those courses.

What course is on your bucket list that you have not played yet?
Of course Augusta National, but doubt that will ever happen. Next on the list would be Pebble Beach.

If you woke up tomorrow and could play one course you played before, where would you play?
Rice Lake Golf & CC in Lake Mills. So many memories growing up there. Fantastic course for being in a town of 2,100 people. Great layout, and always in great condition.

If you could change one aspect, rule or thing about golf, what would it be and why?
Control the advancement of equipment, ball is flying too far. Many courses are becoming obsolete.

Dream foursome (living)?
Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino

Dream foursome (living or dead)?
My father, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer

18 Rapid Fire, Off The Cuff Questions

1) Hitting Long Drive OR Sinking Long Putt?

2) Having Round of Life OR Hole in One?
Round of life

3) Golfing at the crack of dawn OR twilight?

4) Hit a power fade OR power draw?
Power draw

5) Beverage cart OR halfway house?
Beverage cart

6) Bathroom OR bushes?

7) Hot dog OR wrap?
Hot dog

8) Around the green, being in sand OR thick rough?

9) Walking OR riding?
walking even though I never do.

10) Do you carry traditional 3 iron OR hybrid?
Neither, 7 wood

11) Do you prefer long par 3 OR long par 5?
Par 5

12) Pants OR Shorts?

13) Palmer OR Nicklaus?

14) Beatles OR Elvis?

15) Play for fun OR play for money?

16) Bump and run OR flop shot?
Bum and run

17) Lay up OR gamble?

18) 18 holes OR 36?

Revised: 01/26/2016 - Article Viewed 36,651 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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