The job of a golf course superintendent often is like playing against the house in Las Vegas.
Every year it’s something new, hurricanes, tornadoes or intense storms that pack tree-toppling winds and are capable of sprinting nearly 1,000 miles in a single afternoon – as was the case this summer when millions across the eastern half of the country were introduced to the term derecho. Then there is drought, flooding, searing heat and stress caused from insects and disease.
Indeed, many of the challenges facing golf course superintendents come in the way of extremes, but even when weather conditions are relatively benign the job also requires one to be a self-disciplined, multi-tasking agronomist in charge of managing the club’s most valuable asset. In fact, a golf course superintendent also must be a multi-lingual manager, babysitter, accountant, electrician, hydraulics expert, ditch digger, arborist, environmentalist, integrated pest management specialist, turfgrass pathologist, entomologist, irrigation expert and mechanic.
Face it, when it comes to producing the best possible playing conditions on a daily basis, the golf course superintendent often must overcome a stacked deck.
If you know a superintendent who has taken Mother Nature’s best shot – and come out on top – or who has excelled beyond all expectations at producing superior golf conditions then recognize those accomplishments by nominating him or her for the 2012 TurfNet Superintendent of the Year Award presented by Syngenta, a manufacturer of fungicides and pesticides for the golf market.
In its 13th year, the award is presented annually to a superintendent who excels at one or more of the following: labor-management, maximizing budget limitations, educating and advancing the careers of colleagues and assistants, negotiating with government agencies, preparing for tournaments under unusual circumstances, service to golf clientele, upgrading or renovating the course, dealing with extreme or emergency conditions.
Take last year’s winner, Paul Carter, CGCS of The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay, as an example.
Turf death on the bentgrass greens at the course near Chattanooga occurred with regularity every year since the Jack Nicklaus designed opened in 1999. The state-owned property went through three superintendents in three years, and playing conditions suffered severely. The revolving door closed in 2002 when Carter came aboard and essentially rebuilt the golf course, replacing the bentgrass greens with a heat-tolerant Bermudagrass.
Since then, Carter has implemented countless other improvement projects all designed to enhance the course’s place within the park while improving the experience for golfers as well.
To nominate a deserving superintendent for this year’s award, visit this website, or e-mail John Reitman (email@example.com), or download the printable PDF nomination form and mail to Superintendent of the Year, c/o John Reitman, 400 Baldwin Ave., Findlay, Ohio 45840.
Nominations can be submitted by golf course owners, operators, general managers, club members, golf professionals, vendors, distributors and colleagues. Deadline for submitting nominations is Nov. 30.
A panel of judges will select a list of finalists and a winner, who will be named at next year’s Golf Industry Show in San Diego.
Previous winners include
• Paul Carter, The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay, Harrison, Tenn., (2011)
• Thomas Bastis, The California Golf Club of San Francisco (2010)
• Anthony Williams, Stone Mountain (Ga.) Golf Club (2009)
• Sam MacKenzie, Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club (2008)
• John Zimmers, Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club (2007)
• Scott Ramsay, Golf Course at Yale University, New Haven, Conn., (2006)
• Mark Burchfield, Victoria Club, Riverside, Calif., (2005)
• Stuart Leventhal, Interlachen Country Club, Winter Park, Fla., (2004)
• Paul Voykin, Briarwood Country Club, Deerfield, Ill., (2003)
• Jeff Burgess, Seven Lakes Golf Course, Windsor, Ontario, (2002)
• Kip Tyler, Salem Country Club, Peabody, Mass., (2001)
• Kent McCutcheon, Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort (2000)
For more information, call 561-315-4119.