By Rich Katz
A foundation to every business is perfecting the product. If it looks and performs in ways that provide enjoyment, function and overall value, the Vegas odds of meaningful profitability are favorable.
Golf courses are no exception. We sometimes hear players denounce playing conditions and go visit other layouts down the street. Yet the competition is stiff among those courses that live up to gold-star standards. Notwithstanding and impressively, we most often hear about stiff competition for the almighty.
That brings us to September 13 and Thank a Golf Course Superintendent Day. Indeed, let’s celebrate the often-overlooked heroes who awake in the wee morning hours to passionately present tracks golfers love.
Golf Course Industry talked with a cadre of golf course superintendents from Landscapes Golf Management, which operates more than 50 golf courses, country clubs and resorts, to gather their insights as #ThankASuper day nears. Here’s Part 2 — the “back nine” — of our story:
Twin Lakes Country Club, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin
What it means to be a golf course superintendent: I have the best job I could have ever dreamed of. I get to share my day with an amazing maintenance staff, and sharing the breadth of their experiences, talents and passions for the game is inspiring. Being a superintendent truly means one thing — I haven’t worked a day in my life.
What golf means to me: After growing up on a golf course, I got hooked on the game at an early age. Before long, it wasn’t a game — it was my passion. Friendships were made that will last a lifetime, lessons were learned and challenges were presented. Golf truly is the game of a lifetime.
Renditions Golf Club, Davidsonville, Maryland
What it means to be a golf course superintendent: It means feeding my passion to work with nature, keeping my hands dirty and using my mind to create. It means knowing this career is of great responsibility that, in turn, allows me to thrive on the pressure of being the man who everyone knows and depends on to get the job done.
What golf means to me: It’s a great way to connect with members, guests and colleagues who share the same interests of playing a sport and growing high-performance turfgrass.
Pacific Springs Golf Club, Omaha, Nebraska
What it means to be a golf course superintendent: It enables me to have a career that allows me to use my talents to not only do something I enjoy but to spend time outdoors and work with an amazing crew.
What golf means to me: Golf is what allowed me to have this profession. I got into this profession at the height of golf — Tiger Woods, the golf course construction boom and more. There have been ups and down, but 25 years later I wouldn't change a thing.
Pinecrest Golf Course, Huntley, Illinois
What it means to be a golf course superintendent: It means I am fortunate to do something I like and provide a green place for many people to come and have fun. Besides, you are outside enjoying nature where every day is different, watching the sunrise and birds, and enjoying an office 140 acres in size. I wouldn't see myself doing something different because I don’t see it as a job … I see it as a hobby.
What golf means to me: It means a lot because, thanks to golf, it’s given me the opportunity to provide my family with a different lifestyle.
Tony Miranda out on the course.
Dodge Riverside Golf Course, Council Bluffs, Iowa
What it means to be a golf course superintendent: It means someone out there recognizes the work we put into making the course a little better every day. It feels like I have been doing this most of my life and, after counting all the years, it has been about half of it so far. It also means a lot to me personally since I have three uncles who are former/retired supers.
What golf means to me: Playing golf was the last thing my dad and I did together before he passed away suddenly over 16 years ago. So, I feel a little closer to family when I’m there at the golf course.
Winchester Country Club, Winchester, Virginia
What it means to be a golf course superintendent: There’s a communion with oneself and nature on the golf course at sunrise. Serving as a steward of nature and the game is a beautiful thing!
What golf means to me: It’s the reason I chose this profession — the love for the game and the love for the outdoors.
Jeremy Ranch Golf & Country Club, Park City, Utah
What it means to be a golf course superintendent: Being a superintendent gives me the opportunity to build a team that produces conditions where members and guests can have a place that brings them joy.
What golf means to me: Golf is the conduit that brings friends, family and competitors together. Regardless of skill level, golf is a game that can be played and enjoyed by anyone.
River Run Country Club, Davidson, North Carolina
What it means to be a golf course superintendent: Being blessed enough to wake up and do what I love every day. It means being a leader of people to provide our members with the best conditions and experiences possible.
What golf means to me: Golf is the greatest game ever played. It can frustrate you to no end but always leaves you wanting more. Full of tradition, every round is a masterpiece that I, as a course superintendent, get to help each player create every day.
Manhattan Country Club, Manhattan, Kansas
What it means to be a golf course superintendent: It’s being a person of many talents. We must be knowledgeable in the science behind growing turf, people skills to run a crew and interact with staff and membership, and the financial tools to operate within budget. Every day is an adventure in any or all of these aspects, and I love every minute of it!
What golf means to me: Golf to me is more than a game. It is a true test of a person — honesty, self-drive and skill. It is a true mental test with every shot played. I owe this game because it has not only given me a hobby but a career I love.