Golf Course Management

JAN 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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96 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.19 You can work all you want, we'll pay you… and you can play the course all you want.' "Believe it or not, what was rolling through my mind: 'Would we be able to golf for free?' We didn't wind up playing golf so much, but I used that money to buy my first car, a two- door hardtop Chevy Impala. Dean sold it to me for $700, and I paid it off in two years. To this day, I have never had so much fun work - ing on a golf course in my entire life. at's where I decided I wanted this to be my career." Climbing the ladder e rest, as they say, is history. Goettsch went to Iowa State University and studied turf management, interning all four years at Des Moines Golf & Country Club under the legendary Bill Byers (though he also took as many metalworking classes as he could). After graduating in 1978 and serving time as an as - sistant at several courses, he left the golf busi- ness altogether to pursue a welding career in the oil fields of West Texas. "I made a lot more money there than I ever made in the golf busi - ness," he recalls. But golf work is steady; the oil business is not. In fact, when it collapsed in 1983, Goettsch went back to growing grass, his welding equipment in tow. He landed his first head superintendent's job at Squaw Creek Golf Course near Fort Worth, Texas. Eventually, he would come to specialize in the construction and grow-in of new courses, something he did all over North Texas before landing his first high-profile job as the superintendent at Arnold Palmer Golf Club at Fossil Creek. He moved from there to a regional director's position with the man - agement company RSL (now Arcis Golf ) be- fore going overseas to ailand and Indonesia in the early '90s for two more construction/ grow-ins. He returned home to do the same at e Bandit in New Braunfels, Texas; Black - Horse Golf Club down the road in Cypress; and then Redstone Golf Club (now the Golf Club of Houston) in nearby Humble. He was director of agronomy at Barton Creek's 72 holes when he was lured back to Asia in 2014, first to India, then to China. But that thumbnail sketch, diverse though it is, leaves out nearly all of his creative, metal - working history. "Bill Byers had so much faith in my ability, he bought an entire pump station, and I did all the fabrication and helped (pump engineer) John Tucker install it at Des Moines Golf & Country Club," Goettsch recalls. "At some point, after I'd become a superintendent, I went out and bought all my own welding and One of Goettsch's most ambitious projects was the renovation of a floating fountain that faced the 18th green of Houston's former Redstone Golf Club (now the Golf Club of Houston), which hosted the Shell Houston Open. To restore the fountain, Goettsch had to build new internal pumping and piping, new holders for the Shell Oil Co. signs and aluminum frameworks.

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