Thursday, April 30, 2015

Groundskeepers - Praises for Golf's Unsung Heroes

April 2015

     This year's Earth Day on April 22 and Arbor Day on April 24 were flanked by weekends of predictably unpredictable spring storms across the US that tested the grounds crews of several tournaments - The Champion's Tour Greater Gwinnett Championship at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Georgia and the PGA Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana.  Deluges of rain caused delays and even shortened the Greater Gwinnett to a 36 hole format.  That play could resume at all each day was testimony to the diligence of extraordinary individuals who work as many miracles as is humanly possible to make outstanding environments not just for golfers, but for the future.

     It was an excellent opportunity for several announcers to highlight the importance of golf course grounds crews everywhere and if you missed Matt Ginella's interview April 22, 2015 on Golf Channel of Rhett Evans, CEO of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, you can catch it at
GCSAA CEO talks course conservation efforts

     These guys really are golf's unsung heroes.  If you have a few minutes to check out their website, GCSAA has a fantastic wealth of information including From the desk of GCM, the official blog of GCSAA's Golf Course Management magazine.  There is a sidebar that lists links to their "Super Bloggers" (Super - Superintendent - Get it?!) and, as we have a lot of family in Iowa, the blog from Des Moines Golf and Country Club caught our eye.  Not only are they an Audubon-certified golf course, but they also will be hosting the 2017 Solheim Cup and have been renovating their NE 9 in what to Floridians seems an impossibly short maintenance season.  On his blog, Rick Tegtmeier, Director of Grounds, highlights bluebird boxes, honey bee hives, winter houses for their swans and professional video fly-overs of work in progress and it shows there's always a whole lot going on behind the mowers and sand rakes of a golf course.

     Today we enjoyed a round at one of our favorite home courses in Central Florida - Victoria Hills Golf Club in Deland.  Yesterday was a rainout - the tail end of the marching storms that tormented Georgia and Louisiana last week.  But today was beautiful.  And no standing water anywhere on the course.  Bunkers were clean.  Greens were fresh.  The grounds crew was hard at it but politely waited for us to go by.   Last week's spotlight on the tasks these guys sometimes have in front of them made this week's round all the more appreciated. 
     Next round, remember to thank your groundskeepers!