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 39 of 97

36 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08.18 H is introduction to this industry shed no light on what was ahead for Carlos Arraya, CGCS. After all, it's hard to know what's in front of you when you have issues seeing where you're going. Arraya launched his career in 1996 at MetroWest Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. "I had to get up at 4:15 in the morning to drive there. My first day was on a Saturday, and there were seven people in the break room. No one said hello," Arraya says. "I was taken out to the first hole on a Sand Pro, given no training, and there was a heavy fog. I couldn't see because there was no headlamp on the unit." A co-worker offered advice on how to operate the Sand Pro and informed Arraya that they had more than 90 bunkers to rake. "e only way I could find her was by following the dew tracks," he says. By day's end, Arraya was intrigued but not convinced. "I remember smelling fresh-cut grass, my shoes being wet. at was cool," he says. "I also remember saying that I wasn't sure if I was cut out for this job." Let's cut to the chase: Arraya — a Latin-American born in Puerto Rico who came to Amer - ica as a toddler — has proved he belongs. When you earn the title of director of grounds and agronomy and have the chance to oversee the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, which takes place Aug. 9-12, it is a strong signal you have arrived. It was by no means easy or painless. Arraya was a teenager facing grown-up decisions. He wanted to leave Orange City, Fla., and be an engineer or a chief operating officer. All of those hopes and dreams were shelved, however, when life intervened. "I was dating a girl. She got pregnant. I learned when I was 18 that I was

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