Juan Gutierrez, born in Cali, Colombia, fell in love with the game of golf at the age of eight when his dad took him to his first lesson. While playing in a junior golf tournament, he met an agronomist from the US who told him he majored in Golf Course Operations. After college, the consultant worked his way up from up from assistant to superintendent and became the head agronomist at a multi course facility in South Florida. Juan was immediately hooked by the idea of such a major.
In 1995 he moved to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University. Juan worked at the school’s golf course for 2 years to gain knowledge in golf course maintenance, as it was one of the requirements that Lake City Community College had in order to be accepted into their Golf Course Operations program. Before graduating from Lake City Community College Juan did a summer internship at Kirtland Country Club in Willoughby, Ohio and another at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Duluth, Georgia. The Atlanta Athletic Club offered him an Assistant Superintendent’s position to help them prepare their Highlands Course for the 2001 PGA Championship. After three cold winters in Atlanta, Juan was ready to move back to Florida where he was offered an Assistant’s job at Fiddlesticks Country Club located in Fort Myers. Following his time in Fort Myers, Ocean Reef Club hired him as the Dolphin Course Superintendent. He truly enjoyed his time as superintendent of the Dolphin Course, but knew that if one day he wanted to be the head agronomist he needed to gain more knowledge.
From 2005 to 2007 Juan worked as superintendent of the Blue Monster at Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami, Florida where he oversaw the renovation of the golf course and prepared it for three PGA Tour televised golf events. His time at Doral helped him develop a lasting friendship with the PGA Tour, whom in 2007 asked him to move to Maui and head the agronomy department at Kapalua Resort where the Tournament of Champions is played every year at the Plantation Course. After the 2010 Tournament the PGA Tour moved Juan to Playa del Carmen, Mexico to assume the position of Head Agronomist at another golf course. As Juan was boarding the 12 hour flight from Maui to Mexico he learned that Ocean Reef Club was looking for a Director of Agronomy. Juan told the Tour of his intentions to pursue this great opportunity at Ocean Reef and they fully supported him. And as they say the rest is history.