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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40 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08.18 of the assistants would earn the superinten- dent job. "He said to me, 'You've got two paths here. You're either going to be a great leader in business and focus on you and your development, or you're going to worry about everybody else and what they say about you, so pick a path.' at was the fork in the road for me," Arraya says. "I told him, 'I'm ready to compete against myself, be better and lead.' He said, 'Great. at's what I thought you were going to say.'" Arraya earned the job. Now general manager at Aronimink Golf Club in New - town Square, Pa., Cunningham says, "With Carlos, every goal I put in front of him, he chewed it up and spit it out. He always set the example. He embraces it, continues to want to get better at it." Ultimately, Ar - raya returned to Hawk's Nest as director of golf course operations in 2005 and, in time, served as its general manager. Arraya was in - strumental in a $6 million renovation project in 2007, work that was recognized by Golf Digest as the seventh-best remodel in the U.S. Jesse Alexander, food and beverage di - rector there then, says Arraya worked mira- cles. "We had limited, dwindling funds and membership. He saw something in me, and I was able to make it happen. He was able to know and appreciate hard work, saw that in others, selected the right people for the right positions to excel," Alexander says. "He al - ways evoked a team attitude, and he jumped right in. He'd pass out hors d'oeuvres at events. He wore an Elvis costume for a theme party. at's the level he went to." After revitalizing Hawk's Nest, Arraya departed to be superintendent at Venice (Fla.) Golf and Country Club, once again to complete a major renovation. Not being a general manager allowed Arraya an increase in family time he desired. Chuck Morabito, his first hire there, was buoyed by Arraya. "He has little sit-downs with you, builds confidence in you, and you leave saying to yourself, 'I can go out and do this.' He reminds me of a coach. He moti - vates you, gets you thinking. While you're out doing your job, you're thinking, 'How can I do this better?' He was more than just a superintendent keeping the course in shape," Morabito says. During his 19 months there, Arraya remarried before Cunningham — at that time the director of agronomy and assis - tant general manager at Bellerive — came knocking at his door and hired Arraya. His assistant at Hawk's Nest, Christian Milli - can, wasn't surprised. "He was always the guy who was going to outwork you," says Millican, an 18-year GCSAA member who is superintendent at Pointe West Country Club in Vero Beach. "The Bellerive Way" Cunningham departed for Aronimink 15 months after hiring Arraya. His exit opened the door for Arraya to carve a new path: Arraya was chosen by Bellerive's lead - ers to guide the historic club, which had al- ready hosted a U.S. Open, PGA Champion- ship and other large events, into a new era. Arraya was determined to elevate people, improve the course and change the industry. A meeting last November was a turning point for Arraya and his staff. What Arraya calls "e Bellerive Way" was formulated. "You hear lots of people discuss their oper - ation's culture, but when you ask them to define it, no one can. I was determined to define our culture," Arraya says. "One day, I had my three assistants (Jared Brewster, Matthew Lennon and Nick White) come in, and I wrote the word 'culture' on the board and asked them what it means to them, and Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., Bellerive has undergone several renovations, most recently by Rees Jones and Bryce Swanson. This is the club's 11th hole. Photo courtesy of the PGA of America

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