Golf Course Management

DEC 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 25 of 101

The down low on the Land Down Under Though much of North America is bracing for — or well into the grips of — winter, Dec. 1 marks the start of summer in Australia . And as it turns out, golf is big Down Under. The region of Oceania, which includes Australia and New Zealand, leads the world in golf courses per capita, according to the R&A and the National Golf Foundation. The region boasts just 1,287 people per hole. North America ranks second globally, with 1,802 people per hole. Africa has 99,376 people per hole. Australia also is home to Carbrook Golf Club, which boasts an especially hazardous water hazard: one filled with sharks. A flooding event swept juvenile bull sharks across the course and into its largest (brackish) lake, where they since have bred. Club rules prevent golfers from retrieving balls hit into the lake. Australia is home to "the World's Longest Golf Course," the 1,365-km (848-mile) Nullarbor Links. The "course" is situated along the Eyre Highway on Australia's southern coast. It incorporates seven holes from existing courses and 11 holes created at roadhouses and roadside stops, according to its website. Average distance between holes: 41 miles. Two holes are nearly 124 miles apart. Course record: 70 A round usually takes around five days. Australia was the site of the most recent recognized "condor," the ultra-rare feat of recording a 4-under-par on one hole. Then- 16-year-old Jack Bartlett is credited with hitting a hole-in-one on the 513-yard, par-5 17th hole at the Royal Wentworth Falls Country Club in New South Wales in 2007. 22 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 12.18 Heck yeah, it was worth it. "Oh, yeah, 110 percent," says Collins, the second as - sistant superintendent at Seymour Golf and Country Club in North Vancouver, British Columbia. "Great speakers, first-class treatment … it was a jam-packed 48 hours. I strongly encourage everybody to go through that program. I'm already spreading the word. I hope the Canadian con - tingent grows even more year after year." Collins was one of 56 assistant superintendents — and a program-high 12 Canadians — who attended the two-plus days of Green Start Academy in late October in the Raleigh, N.C., area. Sponsored by John Deere and Bayer, Green Start Academy is a professional develop - ment program designed to give assistant superintendents a crash course in making the jump to golf course super - intendent. The attendees rubbed elbows with some of the big - gest names in the industry, who presented on topics rang- ing from budgeting to relationship-building, networking to résumé writing. "I was hoping to get out of the program a lot of net - working, obviously," says Collins, whose father, Curtis, was a superintendent. "And we achieved that. I met so many people. And there were great speakers, not just about the agronomics side of it, but how to be a better manager and work with people." "I felt like the bonding was terrific," says Collins, who turns 26 this month and says he is realistically seven to 10 years from becoming a head superintendent, though he will make the leap to first assistant in January 2019. "There was a big group of us, so that kind of made things a lot of fun. "There was quite a Canadian presence. It makes us feel not so forgotten. Everybody except for one, I didn't know, so it's nice to have national networking across the country. It was advantageous to me to grow my network internationally through the U.S., as well as meeting some great assistants up north, too." The one Canadian Collins knew prior to Green Start Academy was Reuben Kopp, a 27-year-old assistant su - perintendent at Blackhawk Golf Club in Spruce Grove, Al- berta. Both attended Olds College in Olds, Alberta. "That was crazy," Kopp says. "The last time I bumped into him was at the airport. I was headed to Cuba, and he was headed to Scotland." The and recoiling," says Gagnon, who would advise any wan- nabe photographer that it is best to shoot images in raw format (which allows more flexibility when editing), also adding that capturing emotion is always good, and a good lens will get you further than a good camera. Just don't ask Gagnon what picture that he has taken is his favorite. "I'm very finicky about my photography," Gagnon says. "It's like my golf course. There's always something that can be improved. I don't think I have one (best picture) yet." Gagnon's images can be viewed at www.richimages , and his Twitter and Instagram handle is @richardtgagnon. — Howard Richman, GCM associate editor Canadians make their mark at Green Start Academy Jordan Collins spent a full day traveling to and from Green Start Academy, what with the 6 1 ⁄2-hour flights each way across three time zones (racking up close to 8,000 frequent-flyer kilometers), drives to and shuttles from air - ports, layovers and delays, all for a grand total of 44 official hours at GSA itself.

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