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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62 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.19 Texas, just outside of Houston, to lead an award-winning club and build relationships with each other and with members. During the foursome's time at Carlton Woods, the club was named the Best Over - all Country Club in Houston by AvidGolfer magazine five years running, from 2008 to 2012. e club's two layouts, the Jack Nick - laus Signature and Tom Fazio Championship courses, became Certified Audubon Cooper - ative Sanctuaries in 2009, and Bauer earned recognition for his agronomic work. Additionally, Carlton Woods hosted three USGA championships, including the boys U.S. Junior Amateur and the State Team Championships, along with other prestigious amateur and professional qualifying events. Steinbauer won nine awards from the local PGA section, including two Golf Professional of the Year awards during this time. "Bricks and mortar may be great, but the people make the club," Steinbauer says. "I would rather have one A-level staff mem - ber as opposed to two B-level staff members. You always have to value your strongest staff members." New challenges, similar results Today, all four are at different clubs. Bauer, a Class A superintendent and 25-year GCSAA member, has been at Bluejack National since the club opened in 2015 and is its director of agronomy. Steinbauer is the director of golf at Bentwater Yacht and Country Club, just Eric Bauer (pictured above), currently director of agronomy at Bluejack National GC, is a Class A GCSAA member and former director of golf course management at The Club at Carlton Woods. The clubhouse for Carlton Woods' Tom Fazio Championship Course is shown. Top photo by Ted Washington; above photo courtesy of Eric Bauer north of Houston. Langley just celebrated his fifth year as the general manager at Quail Ridge and is the midst of overseeing a build - ing project. Parker is the head chef at Floridian Na - tional Golf Club in Palm City, Fla., a private club owned by Houstonian Jim Crane, and he also works privately with several PGA Tour players. He is one of the hottest chefs in the business: Players he works with have won four major championships in the past six years. He travels with the tour players in the summers and prepares their meals. While Steinbauer, Bauer, Langley and Parker no longer work together at Carlton Woods, they agreed that the lessons they learned there about the value of teamwork can be used anywhere. "I have a very good job, but to be success - ful, we all have to work as a team," Parker says. "It can be hard work and a lot of hours, but if you are working together, great things can happen." Langley says club leaders looking to build a team can't rush the process at the risk of dam - aging a facility's chances of achieving lasting success. "When I came to Quail Ridge, I had to learn a whole new leadership team and figure out how it would all come together with all the new team members," he says. "You have to have the same plans and goals, reinforced by the board and led by the manager to all operate together. We were fortunate we were able to keep everybody together for so long at Carlton Woods. It was a special time." Bauer says good team members can't fall into the trap of believing their job is more im - portant or more demanding than other tasks at the facility. "You can say good playing con - ditions are the most important thing to a club, but good turf and bad service don't work," he says. "You must build trust, confidence, open lines of communication and be willing to lis - ten. Good teams recognize that. "I did my part at Carlton Woods, but the main thing is we all had to work together to truly achieve success." As this team proved during its time in South Texas, it takes a well-developed team - work road map to help navigate the compli- cated world of private clubs, but this fab four- some says what worked at Carlton Woods can be applied in any location. Art Stricklin is a freelance golf writer from Plano, Texas, and a frequent contributor to GCM.

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