Steen (left in photo) is the superintendent at Spanish Bay, one of Pebble Beach Resort's four golf offerings, a Canadian raised on the shores of Vancouver Island who now calls California's Monterey Peninsula home. I first met the 10-year GCSAA member in 2000 when we were paired together as volunteers on the maintenance team at that year's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. We raked bunkers and filled divots that week and have kept in touch ever since, catching up when we can, trading e-mails or chatting when our paths cross at various conference and shows.
It's a relationship that was almost over before it began. In 2000, Steen was back in Canada, fresh off a stint as an assistant superintendent at a club in the Bay Area. During his time in California, he met Mark Michaud, then the superintendent at Pebble Beach, and secured a spot on the volunteer list for the Open. Even after Michaud left Pebble shortly before the event to take the job at Shinnecock, Steen figured they wouldn't undo the work that Michaud had done prior to his departure and made his plans to travel south for the tournament.