John Nowakowski

All in the family

SC4 is an important part of golf club superintendent’s family story

John Nowakowski
John Nowakowski

SC4 has been in many local families for decades. That is especially true for John Nowakowski, grounds superintendent at Port Huron Golf Club.

His father, Aloysius, taught math and pre-engineering at SC4. John and his nine siblings all began their higher education on SC4’s campus. John met his wife, Martha (Curti), whose father also taught at SC4, in the SC4 library. The tradition didn’t stop there. John and Martha’s four children all attended or plan to attend SC4.

Nowakowski knew from Day 1 he was going to be a Skipper.

“It was a given that all of us would be going to SC4,” said Nowakowski, 55, of Fort Gratiot. “My parents were wonderful and always stressed education. To be able to get such a great education in your backyard was wonderful for us and has been wonderful for our kids. It is a great stepping stone coming right from high school and a great way for kids to develop themselves.

“I had a great time going to school there. While I was taking classes, I got into officiating and worked hockey, high school softball and hardball games.”

Nowakowski said he planned to go the route of his father by studying engineering and math at Western Michigan University. After one year in Kalamazoo, however, he transferred to Michigan State University and got into the turf program.

“Once I got started in the program at MSU, I knew this was something I wanted to do the rest of my life,” said Nowakowski, who got his first taste in the golf industry working at Belle River Golf Course as a senior at Memphis High School.

“We were in Florida for a number of years and I was working at different courses,” Nowakowski said. “I had a chance to come back home and be the greens superintendent at Port Huron Golf Club. We wanted to get back closer to our families and this was a great opportunity.

“This is my 15th year at the club and I love it. It’s a wonderful place to work. Port Huron is just a nice place to raise a family.”

Nowakowski said his golf highlight was spending time on the PGA (Professional Golf Association) Tour.

John and Martha, a registered nurse at Port Huron Hospital, have four children – Lorena, Carson, Lewis and Rudy. Read a profile on Lorena, a teacher for Marysville schools.