Golf Course Management

NOV 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 21 of 99

20 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 11.18 I sort of self-taught myself. I'm enjoying every minute of it," says Leathers, 37. Here's how he did it: Leathers formed a mound and flattened the top of it. With borrowed equipment such as a skid steer, dump truck and loaders, he used a mini-excavator to shape the entire area and built it to USGA specs with up to 4 inches of gravel in the base and 12 inches of greens mix (85 percent sand/15 percent peat). The greens are Champion ultradwarf bermudagrass (collars and approaches are Zorro zoysia). He put down sprigs in Aug. 2011 and didn't mow it until the following spring. A walk-behind mower stays at Burr's home, and Leathers brings a zero-turn mower that is used for the rough, which is a bluegrass/fescue mix. "I was there this morning (one day in September) at 5:30. Rolled it before I went to work," Leathers says. "I have a lawn tractor to pull the roller and a 15-gallon sprayer on the back of my zero-turn. I use a pull-behind Turfco spreader to topdress it, and I aerify it yearly. I had it (green) that low (0.090 inch). I can roll it around 11 (on the Stimpmeter) on a daily basis." One time, the water inadvertently was shut off, which made the green much faster. "Bob called and said, 'You're doing great. Fastest it has ever been.' It was brown," Leathers says. Since Mason passed away, John and Courtney have had two girls, Macy and Marlee. To show how much Mason meant to them, a group of his young friends approached the couple once they heard that Courtney was pregnant six years ago. "They asked, 'How about naming her Macy?'" John recalls. Those friends thought it would be a wonderful tribute to Mason. John and Courtney ultimately agreed. "He'd be 17 now," John says. Meanwhile, Bob Burr has been inspired by Leath - ers — as a builder and, just as much, as a terrific person with a big heart. "John's just a special human being. I cannot say enough pluses about John," Burr says. "I saw him go through a traumatic experience of losing his son. He has more character in his little finger than most people have in their whole body." — Howard Richman, GCM associate editor Powell family to receive Old Tom Morris Award The Powell family of East Canton, Ohio — who were pioneers in breaking down racial barriers in golf — are the recipients of the 2019 Old Tom Morris Award. The family includes the late Bill and Marcella Powell and their children, Larry and Renee. (Pictured, from left: Renee, Marcella, Bill and Larry.) Bill Powell was an entre - preneur and pioneering golf course owner who opened Clearview Golf Club in 1948. The integrated course was the first and is the only to be designed, constructed and owned by an African-American. The Powells will officially receive the Old Tom Morris Award Feb. 6, 2019, during the Opening Session of the Golf Industry Show in San Diego. Read more about their story in the December issue of GCM. GCSAA launches podcast The GCSAA Podcast is now available for download on Apple Podcasts. Hosted by Scott Hollister, editor-in-chief of GCM mag - azine, the podcast features association and industry infor- mation, including educational content, updates on GCSAA programs and services, reports from industry events, hu - man-interest stories and interviews with some of the big- gest names in golf course management. The first episode debuted Sept. 25, featuring GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans. "We are very excited to have another way to communicate with our 18,000 members," Evans says. "However, the GCSAA Podcast also gives us the opportunity to share all the good Joe Wagner had a job that paid $6 an hour. He gave it up for another job that paid the same hourly wage. The payoff for that decision 30 years ago proved to be priceless. After he left the U.S. Navy, where he had served as a corpsman (enlisted medical specialist), Wagner noticed a newspaper adver - tisement for a crew-member job at Menifee Lakes Country Club in Menifee, Calif. "I'd played golf all my life," says Wagner, who at the time worked at a psychiatric clinic, "and saw there was a job at this golf course where I could work outside, and it really sparked my interest. Mike Swing (the superintendent) hired me, took me under his wing. We planted trees. I did irrigation. I had an epiphany on my first day in 1988 that this was pretty cool." Speaking of neat stuff, Wagner has something special coming to the golf course he now oversees. Wagner, a 23-year GCSAA Class A member, operates Victoria Club in Riverside, Calif. The California Girls High School Championship is scheduled there Nov. 14. "All of the best girls in the state will be here. We definitely want to put on a good show for them," says Wag - ner, 54, who was in the first graduating class of the turfgrass management certificate program at the University of California, Riverside. A native of Wisconsin, Wagner left Meni - fee Lakes CC for a position in sales and ser- vice for Toro Co. distributor Pacific Equip- ment & Irrigation, but something wasn't right. "I missed getting up in the morning and being on the golf course," he says. Wagner ad - dressed that issue by changing jobs to work at Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club in Moreno Valley, Calif., where he was irrigation techni - cian and assistant-in-training for superinten- dent Steve Bruton, who fueled Wagner's aspi- rations. "He took me to the next level by teaching me the nuances of being a superintendent," says Wagner, who eventually was promoted there to superintendent and oversaw five Nike Tour (now Tour) events. For 16 years, Wagner was superintendent at Oak Quarry Golf Club in Riverside until coming to Victoria Club two years ago. He was reunited there in multiple ways: General manager Hank Schiller was with him at Moreno Valley Ranch GC, and the clinic doctor he worked for is a member at Victoria Club. "I'm very proud to be caretaker of this great, old club," Wagner says. — H.R. ACT ON COURSE OF 20 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 11.18 The practice area Leathers built features 4,000 square feet of putting green and 4,000 square feet of collars and approaches. Photo courtesy of John Leathers

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