Golf Course Management

FEB 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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20 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.19 persistent and never give up. Sometimes the only thing that comes from those situations is per - sonal growth and the chance to lead someone by example," White says. White married his wife, Kirsti, four months after his return from his mission (they now have three children: Skye, Jaxon and Chip) and restarted his time at Logan River. Skye was born in 2014, the same year White continued pursu - ing his industry goals by traveling east to study turfgrass management at Rutgers University. "I was willing to chase my dream," he says. "I went to school com - pletely across the country, away from my family." Buoyed by a $2,000 scholarship through the annual GCSAA Scholars Com - petitions — applicants are judged on multi- ple criteria, including the potential to become leading professionals — White graduated in 2015, finishing at the top of his class with a 3.9 grade-point-average. White's first year-round assistant job at Bell Nob Golf Course in Gillette, Wyo., under the guid - ance of Dwayne Dillinger, CGCS, laid the groundwork for something more. "He knew his stuff. I learned a ton," White, who was second assistant, says of Dillinger. "I learned how a golf course should be run." Dillinger is confident that White is more than qualified to handle Copper Rock. "When he came to us, even in the interview process, he certainly was one of the more inquis - itive ones (applicants) we've had. He fit the mold of the type of people we are looking for to eventually move on to a higher level," says Dillinger, a 32-year association member. "He has the ability to pick up things fast and follow through. I think he's going to be fine." To say the past year has been a whirlwind for White might be an understatement. He moved three times in seven months — March to September 2018 — from Bell Nob to Conestoga Golf Club in Mes - quite, Nev., to Copper Rock, which was the culmination of years of effort. "Ever since I was a little boy, the thought of living in Southern Utah was my dream," says White, who drew closer to that dream at Conestoga before fulfilling the goal by being hired at Copper Rock. "It (multiple moves) got me to where I want to be and in the position I've wanted my entire working career. I only got here by being intentional. I set goals but left room for God to do what he knows is best for me. My pathway to my career is not anything I could have dreamed up in a million years, but I know that is exactly what I needed." When he arrived at Copper Rock, White absorbed Stottern's every word. "I learned so much from him, like how to take care of your crew. Be kind to your crew but stern when needed. If you take care of them, the crew will take care of you," White says. "He had a good eye for the golf course, and he had a life outside of the industry as well. This industry can teach you so much about everything. About life. For him, it was about trying to be a blessing for everybody that you are around, and that's what he stood for." Stottern died just before the crew completed a water - fall project at No. 17. White is driven to complete the public resort golf course — which is expected to be done later this year — in a manner that would make Stottern proud. Barbara Stottern says her husband believed in White. "Riley thought he was well-qualified," she says. White, thrust into the superintendent role at a time of sadness and need, is determined to prove it. "When we heard the news (of Stottern's death), we got the staff together. I said, 'Riley would want this to keep going. Let's dedicate this to him.' I was humbled when they named me superintendent. A little frightened. I've got big shoes to fill. I will never fill them. But I will do my best for him," White says. — Howard Richman, GCM associate editor Superintendents broaden skill set at Syngenta event Robert Alonzi Jr. essentially grew up on a golf course. The son of one Certified Golf Course Superintendent and nephew of another, Alonzi is a GCSAA Class A super - intendent and 26-year member of the association. He has been superintendent at storied Fenway Golf Club in Scars - dale, N.Y., for 10 years. It would be logical to assume that, when it comes to serving as a superintendent, Alonzi has it all figured out. Yet there he was for three-plus days in early Decem - ber, seated in a conference room inside the stately Graylyn Estate in Winston-Salem, N.C., scribbling notes, asking questions and role-playing his way through the Syngenta Business Institute. For each of the event's 10 years, Syn - genta and the Wake Forest University School of Business have teamed to produce an in-depth business develop - ment program tailored specifically to the golf course su- perintendent profession. From Dec. 3 to 6, SBI provided 24 select superin - tendents lessons in financial management, negotiation, managing employees, and bridging gaps both generational and cultural. "I liked all of the topics they were offering," Alonzi says. "All of that interested me. I was hoping to be able to build on my skill set — and improve on my skill set. Based on that, they certainly met my expectations and far exceeded my expectations. They definitely do a great job with the program they've put in place." Legendary coach Bob Knight didn't produce the only undefeated basketball team in hoops hotbed Indiana. His Indiana Hoosiers, based in Bloomington, went 32-0 in the 1975-76 season and won the national championship. That's the last time a men's team at that level went unbeaten. Speaking of a perfect season, Florida's Lakewood National GCSAA Class A superinten - dent Jamie McCrosky played on a junior varsity high school team in Bloomington that finished 20-0. "I started basketball at age 4," says McCrosky, 46, "and, in that state, it's so competitive." A graduate of the University of Rhode Island's turfgrass and horticulture program, McCrosky is set to host a competitive professional golf event. The Tour's Suncoast Clas - sic is scheduled Feb. 14-17 at Lakewood National, which opened in 2017. "A by-chance visit from the (PGA) Tour when we were under construction got things going. They had been doing research on coming back into this area (near Sarasota and Bradenton) for a tournament," says McCrosky, a 20-year association member. Professional golf is part of McCrosky's his - tory. As a former assistant superintendent at Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla., he participated in the PGA Tour's then-Tampa Bay Classic (now the Valspar Champion - ship) from 2000 to 2005. McCrosky wasn't a newcomer to grow-ins when he arrived at Lakewood National in 2016. Previously, he was part of the grow-in at Panther Run Golf Club in Ave Maria, Fla. The initial grow-in at Lakewood National proved to be a challenge. The area was doused with 60 to 70 inches of rain from April to October. "We did a lot of retro work because of it. Hats off to the con - struction company and our staff for their work," McCrosky says. Lakewood National — an Arnold Palmer de - sign — features large, undulating greens and wide, rolling fairways. McCrosky notes that 1.7 million yards of dirt were moved during the building process. The building is far from over. Another 18-hole course is being constructed. The hope, he says, is to have it open by the end of 2019 or early 2020. And, yes, McCrosky did encounter Knight. He attended Knight's basketball camp in his youth, an opportunity that taught him about winning and competing, even in this industry. "I learned how to be detail-oriented and organized," McCrosky says. "Board members at golf clubs compare you to the guys down the street, so there is some competition there." — H.R. ACT ON COURSE OF 20 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.19

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