Golf Course Management

AUG 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 19 of 97

16 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08.18 few years … er, decades … apart — and bleed Royal blue, so watching them actually win a game during a season that will likely see them lose north of 100 games was a rare treat (they also won the next night to take the series, an - other rare accomplishment in 2018). It was also an awesome opportunity to spend some time with these guys away from the golf course, to get to know them on a level not always available to us during a for - mal business trip. Although schedules don't always allow for that, I do believe the content we produce is better and the connections we make with GCSAA members are that much stronger when our team has the chance to grab some dinner, have a few beers or catch a ball - game with the people we're writing about. at was definitely the case in this in - stance. At one point during the game, Carlos turned to me and thanked me for setting up what was a rare break for him and his team in the run-up to the PGA. He noted it might be the last night off for any of them until after the PGA, and how beneficial he felt opportunities like that were to forging the kind of team he was striving to build at Bellerive. Turns out that wasn't just idle chitchat. As Howard Richman's story this month illus - trates, team-building and growing a culture that emphasizes inclusiveness, open commu - nication and trust are as important to Arraya as growing great turfgrass. at ethos is in - grained in everything that goes on in the golf course management department at Bellerive, something that was clear during my visit there in May and I know will be even more pro - nounced during the week of the PGA. I'll be spending much of PGA week em - bedded with the maintenance team at Bel- lerive, so look for our reports beginning Sun- day, Aug. 5, at and on all of our social media channels. After all, this is our "hometown" major, and we wouldn't miss it for the world. Scott Hollister is GCM 's editor-in-chief. Scott Hollister Twitter: @GCM_Magazine The benefits of a home game (inside gcm) Professional golf doesn't spend much time in the part of the Midwest that those of us at GCSAA call home. About the closest we get is the Tour's annual visit to nearby Kansas City, which takes place this month. at event — the KC Golf Classic at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate, where Gary Sailer, CGCS, oversees maintenance — will have a definite GCSAA feel, as several staff members are volunteering their time and talents to the event, including yours truly serving as the starter on the 10th tee for the first two rounds of the tournament. e Tour also stops in Wichita, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; and Springfield, Mo., and the PGA Tour Champions pay a visit to Top of the Rock near Branson, Mo. — all within a reasonable drive of Lawrence — but, really, that's about it. In this part of the world, we're in a bit of a professional golf dead zone. Maybe that's why those of us in the busi - ness who live here have adopted this month's 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Coun - try Club in St. Louis as our "hometown" major. You can make the trip from GCSAA headquarters to the front gates of Bellerive in just over four hours, and I know many staff members who are planning to do just that dur - ing the week of the tournament, Aug. 6-12. For our part at GCM, we've been taking full advantage of our proximity to the site of the final major of the year in our work to chronicle preparations for the event, from the profile of Bellerive superintendent Carlos Ar - raya, CGCS, and his maintenance team that appears in this month's issue ("Here we grow," Page 34) to planning for our real-time, on-site reporting during the week of the PGA. In mid-May, I took a quick trip over to St. Louis to get a lay of the land at Bellerive and spend some time with Arraya and his top lieu - tenants. e timing of my visit just happened to coincide with the Kansas City Royals' ar - rival in town for a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals, so I took advantage of the opportunity and offered to take Arraya and his assistants Jared Brewster, Nick White and Matthew Lennon to the game the night before getting down to business at the golf course. ey happily accepted. e night was a memorable one, especially for the two Royals fans in the group. Nick and I grew up in suburban Kansas City — albeit a I do believe the content we produce is better and the connections we make with GCSAA members are that much stronger when our team has the chance to grab some dinner … or catch a ballgame with the people we're writing about.

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