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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Page 58 of 121

"It has gone through some transforma- tions. What we've primarily done is create situations where we invite classes to the golf course to experience what golf courses have to offer. We have developed environmental and agronomic programs that will help them through their learning experience at school. The hands-on experiments they get to do is all hands-on stuff they can remember. Then we walk around the golf course, and they get to experience some of the maintenance practices we perform. After lunch and golf instruction, they go back to the school and talk about all they have learned and expe - rienced." That's only part — albeit a huge piece — of the course's outreach. The course also facilitates a high school intern program that provides a stipend during the summers and an after-school mentoring program. In - gram also participates in First Green and First Tee events and high school career days. The Metro team provides speakers for countless community organizations. In - gram serves on high school advisory com- mittees, and the course hosts Audubon's an- nual bird counts. The more Ingram and his staff do and the more recognition they receive and awards they win — and Ingram stresses that all Metropolitan Golf Links initiatives are team efforts and a reflection of the course's culture — the more they learn they can do. "The only reason we like getting the awards is because it gives us an avenue to ex - press ourselves," he says. "If you don't walk in the door, you'll never be able to say any - thing. It gives you an audience. When peo- ple come up to you on the golf course, you can talk about environmental stewardship instead of talking about if the greens are fast or the bunkers are raked. It's like our bee - hives and why we sell the honey we produce here. We don't sell honey to make money. We want to emphasize that bees are good for the golf course and to remind students about our nonprofit organization." And outreach, especially among Oak - land's youth, has been good for Ingram. "Working with high school students is great," he says, "because you learn so much from them." Jay Neunsinger, Class A superintendent at Boundary Oak Golf Course in Walnut Creek, Calif., was first runner-up. He's a 17- year GCSAA member. Jason Haines, Pender Harbour Golf Club in Madeira Park, British Columbia, and a three-year GCSAA member, was sec - ond runner-up. Top: Community outreach programs at Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland, Calif., have reached "a couple of thousand" Oakland youths through the years. Bottom: Gary Ingram, CGCS, is the winner of the 2018 ELGA for Communications and Outreach. Ingram also won the 2014 overall and national public ELGA. 2018 elga

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