Golf Course Management

SEP 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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52 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 09.18 to industry service and the value — both per- sonally and professionally — that comes from giving back. For many years, Young has had a regular lunch date with a group of fellow Atlanta-area superintendents that he affectionately calls "e Lunch Bunch." e group trades stories and tips on what has worked and what hasn't on their golf courses and basically serves to support and encourage each other through good and bad times. Early in Manning's second tour at Ans - ley, Young suggested that Manning follow the same blueprint with other local equip - ment managers. "I told him that I got a lot of value out of those lunches, and that I thought he would too if he did something like that," Young says. "Well, the deal with Trent is, if you put something out there like that, he's going to run with it. And that's what he did." Soon, the equipment manager version of e Lunch Bunch was a fixture on the cal - endar for many of the area's golf equipment managers. "We normally have them at someone's shop, but it's just a chance for us to trade some shop talk, share some stories, learn about how other people are doing certain things, tour other people's shops," Manning says. at experience turned out to be a gate - way to more industry service for Manning. He became more deeply involved with the Geor - gia GCSA, helping to spearhead the chapter's annual equipment manager seminar, which routinely attracts more than 100 participants from all corners of the state. And he began to volunteer regularly with the national associa - tion, serving on the Equipment Managers Task Group as it crafted GCSAA's Turf Equipment Technician Certificate Program (www.gcsaa. org/education/certifications-exams). "I guess it's in my personality, but I've al - ways been interested in giving back to the in- dustry and trying to help other people out," Manning says. "I've found a lot of equipment managers are that way. We'll help anybody out when we can, for the most part." And Manning hasn't limited that desire to help out to just his colleagues in golf. He has been a volunteer member of the Cherokee County Search-and-Rescue Team since 2009, a unit that is called into action about once a month. "It's mostly to help find young kids who've wandered off or elderly people who might have gotten lost in the area," Manning says. "We're fortunate that in most cases there are good resolutions to those situations, but I'm just happy that I can help out the com - munity in that way." Young remains in awe of all that Manning accomplishes, both on the job and in his per - sonal time. "He does a fantastic job here," he says. "He does his volunteer stuff for the chap - ter, the volunteer stuff for GCSAA, his search- and-rescue duties, everything he does with his kids and his family. It really is a big deal that he manages that all, but he just sort of shrugs it off and will say that he just likes doing that, keeping busy." Humbled, but honored When conversation turns to the MVT Award and to his status as the program's only two-time finalist — he was a runner-up last year when Barona Creek's Blas Huezo won the award — Manning's humble nature comes to the surface. "I don't really have any interest in the spotlight. It's like the search-and-rescue team: We're not out there to get ourselves in front of the camera. We like helping out oth - ers, but we're more comfortable behind the scenes," he says. But if Manning is reluctant to toot his own horn, Young will gladly do that for him, which was the primary reason he nominated Manning for the award in back-to-back years in the first place. "I feel like it's important to recognize peo - ple, and in this instance, I'm glad that there is a venue to do just that," Young says. "Trent absolutely deserves it, and I'm just pleased that others in the industry obviously saw a lot of the same things in him that I do." Scott Hollister ( is GCM 's editor-in- chief. Only at Read more about the other two finalists for the 2018 Most Valuable Technician Award — Patrick Drinkard from the Clubs of Cordillera Ranch in Boerne, Texas, and Hector Velasquez from Riverside CC in Provo, Utah. Ansley GC has a pair of Atlanta-area locations — the 18-hole Settindown Course in Roswell (pictured above), where Manning and Young spend most of their time, and a nine- hole course near downtown Atlanta. Photo courtesy of Ansley GC

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