Florida Gateway College dedicated a monument Nov. 4 in recognition for 48 years of the golf and landscape programs on campus.
The Golf Course Operations program developed a national and international reputation, and many alumni are still in states throughout the country and worldwide. Due to student demand, the program has changed to an all-online format for employees working in these industries.
Formerly known as Lake City (Fla.) Community College, it has churned out numerous superintendents, including Ken Mangum, CGCS; Tim Hiers, CGCS; and Mike Crawford, CGCS.
John Piersol, executive director of the program, has been at the college since 1974.
The first few weeks on a new job can be tough on anyone, regardless of industry. But it's a pretty safe bet to say that few have experienced as eventful a start to a new job as Scott Hamm, CGCS, has since taking the reins at Haig Point GC less than three months ago.
"It's been something, that's for sure," the 31-year GCSAA member says with a laugh, in what might be the understatement of the year.
First, there's the job itself. Haig Point is as well-regarded a golf course as there is, but it's location on Daufuskie Island — just off Hilton Head Island in South Carolina and accessible only by boat — makes for a pretty significant lifestyle change for those who choose to live and work there full time.
Then, the first challenge that Hamm encountered when he started the job was a whopper by superintendent's standards — a bone-dry irrigation lake. "We were tapped out," Hamm says. "We spent nearly a month hand-watering greens, but had nothing for anything else. And Mother Nature wasn't helping any."
She wasn't done with Hamm, Haig Point and Daufauskie Island. In a twist that made the other challenges he was facing seem minor by comparison, a pair of tropical storm systems — Tropical Storm Hermine, then a week later, Hurricane Matthew — took aim at the area before Hamm had finished his second month on the job.
The significance of Veterans Day is highly visible where GCSAA Class A superintendent Steve Whipple works.
At West Point (N.Y.) Golf Course, the granite tee markers on each hole feature a battle or conflict. For example, No. 1 depicts the Revolutionary War (pictured), and the marker includes a brief description of it. Those tee markers are permanent fixtures. Today, on Veterans Day, though, they are accompanied by small American flags next to them.
"Veterans come out to see them. When you see those folks out here, it means something special," Whipple says.
Whipple, in his 14th season at West Point GC, actually is a government employee in the Department of Defense. Four of his dozen employees are veterans, including one from the Iraq War. When he interviews for job openings there, Whipple looks first at veterans that apply. Past experiences with many of them show why he is fond of them.
"We've had some rock stars who have been here through the generations," he says.
West Point GC, one of 57 Army courses worldwide, was formed in the 1940s, in part using German POW's in World War II to clear rock and trees before the course was built by Robert Trent Jones. In 1997, it transformed from a military-only course to being open to the public. Whipple says they average 23,000 rounds annually.
A graduate of SUNY-Delhi and Penn State, Whipple is in the process of making West Point GC an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary partner.
In case you missed it, here is a link below to Whipple's appearance Wednesday on "Katrek and Maginnes On Tap" on XM and Sirius.
Pinehurst Resort & Country Club today announced that Hanse Golf Design will redesign Pinehurst No. 4 and develop a short course as part of a master plan to further restore the original character and spirit to the Pinehurst golf experience.
Beginning this winter and unfolding in several stages over the next few years, the plan also includes restoring Donald Ross’ original characteristics to Pinehurst No. 1 and No. 3 while also enhancing Maniac Hill and Thistle Dhu.
“There’s a unique character at Pinehurst because of the landscape Donald Ross found when he arrived in 1900,” said Bob Dedman, Pinehurst Owner and CEO. “Back then, he may have been a minimalist by necessity, but we’re making a choice to present our historic golf courses in a natural state similar to that era.”
Pinehurst’s migration toward more natural settings began with the highly-acclaimed 2011 restoration of Pinehurst No. 2, which took the course back to Ross’ vision. The success of that project, shown in the enthusiasm of guests and members, was influential in the decision to revive more original characteristics, while creating new elements reflective of Pinehurst’s origins.
“The overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from the work on No. 2 encouraged us to explore options that are a continuation of that effort,” Dedman said. “We think this is a thoughtful approach to the evolution of golf at Pinehurst, and we think Gil Hanse, with his timeless and natural design philosophy, is the right person for the project.”
Kathy Hauff is in her seventh year as the golf course superintendent at Eastermoreland Golf Course in Portland, Ore. She was named 2015 Superintendent of the Year by the Oregon Golf Association, but in February she will attend her first Golf Industry Show (GIS) in 12 years.
Hauff, along with 18 other superintendents, received this opportunity as part of the Melrose Leadership Academy program, which supports the professional development of GCSAA member superintendents. It is administered through the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. The program was established in 2012 by Ken Melrose, retired CEO and chairman of the board of The Toro Co., and is supported by a $1 million gift to the EIFG from the Kendrick B. Melrose Family Foundation.
“The last time I went I was still an assistant,” said Hauff. “I have always wanted to go, but being at a public golf course has made it more difficult to attend because of budgets and staffing. I was surprised when I was chosen and notified, and I am really looking forward to it. I can’t believe the last show I attended was in 2005.”
Academy members are chosen through an application process based on financial need, volunteerism and a drive to advance their careers. The new class will participate in networking and leadership activities, as well as attend a variety of education seminars.
“We are so fortunate to have a friend of the industry like Ken Melrose. The Melrose Leadership Academy gives GCSAA members the chance to continue to learn and grow in their careers, which benefits the whole industry,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “Academy members have shown that they are dedicated to enhancing their knowledge base and serving their profession. I congratulate each of them for this recognition of their hard work.”
The Toro Co. has entered into an agreement to acquire Regnerbau Calw GmbH, a privately held manufacturer of professional irrigation equipment. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and currently is expected to close during Toro’s fiscal 2017 first quarter. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Althengstett, Germany, and founded in 1925, Regnerbau Calw GmbH manufactures a variety of irrigation products under the Perrot brand including retractable sprinklers for sports fields, impact sprinklers and coupling systems for agricultural fields, and rain guns for industrial applications. The long-distance casting range and fast rotation of Perrot’s sports field sprinklers make them an ideal choice for maintaining both natural and synthetic turf on soccer, tennis, rugby, cricket, golf and equine venues across the globe. To learn more, visit www.perrot.de.
“The addition of the Perrot portfolio helps expand Toro’s presence in the sports field and agricultural industries, while also growing our position in adjacencies to our core businesses,” said Rick Olson, Toro’s president and chief executive officer. “This acquisition is consistent with our strategy to grow in the professional, water and global markets, and provides an expanded offering of professional irrigation solutions to better serve our customers.”
“With over 90 years of experience in the irrigation industry, the Perrot team will be a great fit with Toro as both companies share similar cultures and a commitment to manufacturing high-quality, professional irrigation products and providing exceptional service to customers,” said Alexander Fleig, general manager of Regnerbau Calw GmbH. “We believe that the acquisition by Toro will help expand our global footprint and take our business to the next level.”
Karl Weiss was born and raised in the small town of Sleepy Eye, Minn., where he is the golf course superintendent at the only nine-hole course in town. He may also be a newly-elected city councilman on Nov. 8.
“I want this town to continue to be a good place to live for my three children,” said Weiss, who is one of three candidates running for an open position on the five-person city council in the town of 3,600 people that stretches just 2.5 square miles. “I’ve always said, you can’t complain about something unless you’re going to stand up and do something about it.
“I think my chances are pretty good. I don’t have a personal agenda, but I am invested in this town. I have three kids in school here and my wife (Jill) is from here too.”
Weiss, 44 and a three-year member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), has been at Sleepy Eye Golf Club for seven years, working in a consulting arrangement that also allows him to be the superintendent at Madelia Golf Course in Madelia, Minn., a city-owned nine-hole course 30 miles away. He’s been serving both places for the past seven years after running his own landscaping business for 13 years.
The November elections also include two GCSAA member superintendents running for seats on area Water District boards in the Southwest: Rory Van Poucke at Apache Sun Golf Course in San Tan Valley, Ariz., and Jim Schmid at The Lakes Country Club in Palm Desert, Calif. Both are members of the GCSAA Grassroots Ambassador program.
Five of Orlando's most-respected golf venues will play host to the GCSAA Golf Championships Feb. 4-6, 2017, as a part of the Golf Industry Show.
The championships, presented in partnership with The Toro Co. and benefiting the Environmental Institute for Golf, will offer four different events over three days and will draw members of all playing abilities. The competitions will take place at five high-end courses in the Orlando area, including courses that will host the Father-Son PGA Tour Challenge event and Web.com final stage qualifying rounds.
In addition to the GCSAA National Championship Feb. 5-6, a four-ball competition will be held Feb. 4, followed by a shamble event on Feb. 5. The two-day Golf Classic is scheduled for Feb. 5-6, and will offer both a gross and net flighted competition that will use a point-quota scoring system. Flights in the Golf Classic will rotate between courses.
More than 450 GCSAA members participated in the 2016 combined championships in San Diego, raising $50,000 for the EIFG. Sean Westacott, superintendent at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas, won the 36-hole, stroke play National Championship at Aviara Golf Club and the South Course at Torrey Pines by four strokes with a 5-over-par 149.
Deane Beman, a renowned playing professional who wnet on to serve as the longtime commissioner of the PGA tour, has been selected to receive the Don A. Rossi Award from the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA).
A two-time All-American on the varsity golf team at the University of Maryland, Beman logged a number of amateur victories, including the British Amateur in 1959, the U.S. Amateur in 1960 and 1963, the Trans-Mississippi Amateur in 1960, Porter Cup in 1964, and four-time Eastern Amateur champion. Beman continued his playing career on the PGA Tour, winning four times between 1969 and 1973 (Texas Open Invitational, Greater Milwaukee Open, Quad Cities Open, and Shrine-Robinson Open Golf Classic).
While a renowned playing professional, Beman sought to contribute more to the sport and served as the second commissioner of the PGA Tour from 1974 to 1994. Under his watch, The Players Championship concept was formed along with the Senior PGA Tour, now known as the PGA Tour Champions. During his time as commissioner, Beman advocated that Tour tournaments support a charitable initiative, and saw contributions grow from less than $1 million a year in 1974 to more than $30 million in 1994.
“While Deane’s list of accomplishments with the Tour and his playing career are impressive, what speaks most about him is his passion to grow the game,” said Justin Apel, GCBAA executive director. “We are humbled to honor Deane, someone who has given so much to golf, with our Rossi award.”
Christine Kane has been selected as Audubon International's new executive director by that organization's board of directors.
Kane comes to the organization with extensive management experience as a leader at several educational and charitable not-for-profits in New York State. She served as director of the Office of Institutional Advancement at Dutchess Community College, as executive director of the DCC Foundation, and as vice president at Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. Kane also brings to the organization unique experience with protecting natural resources and working landscapes through her work with conservation organizations. She served for five years as the executive director of the Winnakee Land Trust and served on the board of the Land Trust Alliance of NY.
“I’m proud to serve as Audubon International’s new executive director,” Kane says. “The organization has a strong environmental mission and tremendous potential to promote environmental stewardship to a wide network of members and constituents. “
Clarence Bassett, chair of Audubon International’s board of directors, looks forward to the leadership experience which Kane brings to the organization. “Christine is going be excellent as our executive director. She has a deep understanding of our organization and she is exactly the person we need at this time to lead Audubon International into the future.”