Billy Fuller, the former superintendent at Augusta National Golf Club and current owner of Billy Fuller Golf Design, is a mentor to many in the industry serving as an educational speaker across the country.
Born in Louisburg, North Carolina, Fuller grew up playing in local junior tournaments before competing on the golf team at Louisburg High School. He then enrolled at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where he studied civil engineering for three years before earning an associate degree in turfgrass management in 1972.
After graduating with an interest in agronomy and turfgrass research, Fuller spent the next 14 years as a superintendent. From 1972 to 1981, he held the superintendent or director of agronomy position at various courses in South Carolina, including Seabrook Island Resort, Wildewood Country Club, Palmetto Dunes Resort and Kiawah Island Resort. He moved to Georgia in 1981 for the opportunity to serve as superintendent at Augusta National Golf Club.
While at Augusta National (1981-86), Fuller would develop the cooling and heating unit for the 12th hole, which would keep the frost off during winter months and maintain soil temperatures during hot summer months. In 1981, he would lead the conversion from overseeded Bermudagrass to Bentgrass.
It was during his time at Augusta National that Fuller developed what would become known as ‘Billy Bunkers’, a specification for constructing golf course sand bunkers. After years of additional research, this method of bunker construction would be used all over the world and reduce bunker repair work by 80%.
After his stint in Augusta, Fuller turned to the design side of the industry and joined Cupp Design. He worked alongside Georgia Golf Hall of Fame member Bob Cupp for 20 years (1986-2006) as a design associate and senior agronomist, where he worked on more than 100 new courses. In 2006, Fuller founded his own firm, Billy Fuller Golf Design.
He has been a member of the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association (GGCSA) for more than 40 years. He was a past member of the board of governors for the American Society of Golf Course Architects. In 2016, he was inducted into the GGCSA Hall of Fame.
Fuller has given his time back to the industry by serving as guest speaker at educational seminars at many local, state, and national Superintendents and Club Managers gatherings. He formed a non-profit, Golf Gives, which raises funds for local charities while promoting golf through local media.