East Mississippi Community College has hired Raines Rester as the new director of golf at the Lion Hills Center and Golf Course. Raines is a 2017 graduate of EMCC who earned a degree in Golf/Recreational Turf Management.

January 18, 2024

The Lion Hills Center and Golf Course in Columbus, an East Mississippi Community College facility, has hired Raines Rester as the director of golf.

Rester, who oversees seven golf course maintenance staff, assumed the position on Nov. 1. His responsibilities include ensuring the playability of the golf course and maintenance of the lawns, shrubbery and grounds for the full-service recreation center that offers an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, and banquet and dining facilities.

Rester is well acquainted with Lion Hills. He graduated from EMCC in 2017 with a degree in Golf/Recreational Turf Management, which is among programs of study offered at Lion Hills that includes Landscape Management, Hotel & Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts.

While his classmates in the Turf Management program were serving summer internships at other golf courses, Rester spent his summers employed as a golf maintenance worker at the Lion Hills Center.

“Coming back to work for Lion Hills was kind of full-circle for me,” said Rester, who will also teach occasional classes in the Golf/Recreational Turf Management and Landscape Management programs. “It’s an honor for me to be able to come back here and share what I’ve learned.”

The position Rester assumed was formerly held by Will Arnett, who is now the fulltime instructor for the Golf/Recreational Turf Management and Landscape Management programs. Arnett replaced longtime instructor Danny Smith, who retired last year.

“We are excited to have Raines return to work with us,” Lion Hills Center & Golf Course Director Cheryl Hubbard said. “He knows the facility well and was able to step right into the position.”

“We have some great employees at Lion Hills who were already on staff when I came in,” Rester said. “They have made it an easy transition.”

Rester, a native of Greenville, landed his first summer job at Greenville Golf and Country Club. A friend who was also working at the golf club enrolled in the Golf/Recreational Turf Management program at EMCC.

“He was telling me about the program and some of the things he learned in class,” Rester said. “I was interested and enjoyed the work, so I decided to come to EMCC and get a degree.”

After graduating from EMCC, Rester worked for about four years as a spray technician at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point before returning to Greenville Golf and Country Club, where he served as superintendent.

At EMCC, in addition to their class time, students in the Golf/Recreational Turf Management and Landscape Management programs spend time on the golf course learning to operate the different mowers used for greens, fairways and the rough, as well as sprayers, blowers and bunker rakes.

“We want our students to be familiar with all of the equipment we have so that when they are ready to enter the workforce they are familiar with pretty much anything that is thrown their way,” Rester said. “I am a hands-on learner and the fact that we are able to provide that opportunity here for our students is part of the attraction to me.”