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.

Issue link: http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/1053992

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54 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 12.18 preserve in our country, big animals, the Badlands, sheer rock cliffs, vast prairies, fast water, migratory waterfowl, petrified trees, oil derricks, ranches, sunrises, sunsets, good food and great company, as I would be traveling with a solid individual prepared for the elements. Gear allocation was easy, as, between two experienced individuals, we had ample equip - ment. e logistical challenge began when I researched potential shuttle services. e Little Missouri is a fantastic river to canoe; unfortunately, the window of opportunity to paddle the section we chose is only about three weeks long due to the rapid loss of spring melt runoff. With such a short explo - ration interval — and thus very limited op- portunities — there are literally no services available to insert or extract adventurers on the long-distance route. In vain, I reached out to city adminis - trators and local chambers of commerce in the very few towns found in western North Dakota, as well as county sheriff depart - ments, the U.S. Forest Service and rangers in eodore Roosevelt National Park. Nobody — and I mean nobody — shared real interest in the trip, other than surprise, nor had any clues as to who could help in our shuttle di - lemma. Superintendents step up en it occurred to me that I had a very special resource at my fingertips — the golf in - dustry. I immediately reached out to the clos- est courses on the route and received almost instantaneous and similar replies. "Pretty crazy idea. And, absolutely, I want to be a part of your adventure. What can I do to help out?" Terry Simon, the GCSAA Class A super - intendent at Medicine Hole Golf Course in Killdeer, N.D., and his assistant, Brian Klatt, agreed to help shuttle our vehicle, gear, one little dog, potable water and two canoeists to the insertion point in Marmarth, just north of the South Dakota border and seven miles east of the Montana state line. Simon (a 15- year GCSAA member) and Klatt were most accommodating and wore the proper rubber footgear and parkas for delivery to the rapidly flowing river's edge. Without prompting, they pitched in and helped "Sherpa" our gear to the river bank and waved goodbye, with promises of a pickup almost two weeks away just north of the northern portion of eodore Roosevelt National Park. eir support was critical to the success of the adventure. Another key logistical person in the ex - pedition was Kyle Fick, the GCSAA Class A superintendent at e Bully Pulpit Golf Course, located roughly midway along on our trek in Medora, N.D. Not only did Fick, a 14-year member of the association, present us with our mail-ahead dehydrated food, a fresh supply of water, perishables purchased in Dickenson, N.D., a ring of frozen spicy Italian venison sausage and a dozen, laid-that- day, range-fed chicken eggs; he also opened the door to his shop showers for a well-earned cleanse. Holy cats!!! Camping or glamping? Not only did we paddle away clean, but we actually put on weight during the overnight stay! What began as a potential expedition "bust" due to the lack of connections ended up being a simple expansion of industry rela - tionships. With just a pair of phone calls, my paddle partner and I had amazing support to last the whole trip. Simon and Fick were even in our satellite text messaging queues in case we needed immediate assistance, both ready, willing and more than able to help a friend in the industry. Friendly faces In your neighborhood, is there an oppor- tunity for peer support? Are you able to share equipment, experiences or even a shoulder during times of frustration? Here is an off-the- wall idea: how about a shout of congratula - tions for a job well done? You might be sur- prised (but, then again, probably not) at the payback potential there is in our amazing in - dustry of professionals. Next time, reach out. I know I sure will. Maybe not on an Arctic expedition north of 66.5 degrees, but there is plenty of water to be explored in the lower continental states. I just need to find the ones with golf courses in close proximity. Jack MacKenzie, CGCS, has served as the executive direc- tor of the Minnesota GCSA since 2012. Prior to that, he had been a superintendent for nearly 30 years, including 26 years at North Oaks (Minn.) Golf Club. Sadie and her two human companions recently completed a 13-day, 230-mile canoe trek down the Little Missouri River in North Dakota.

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