Golf Course Management

APR 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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38 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 4.19 Top: Getting his hands dirty and being involved never has been an issue for Dipman, who led the revival at Manhattan CC. "If a leak needed to be fixed, he was down on his hands and knees in the mud leading the way," says longtime club member Paul Van Nostran. Photo courtesy of Mingying Xiang, Ph.D. Bottom : Dipman holds the plaque he received Jan. 21, following his induction into the Kansas Golf Course Superinten - dents Association Hall of Fame. He is with Class A superinten - dent Kevin Fateley of Wildcat Fitness & Fun, who worked for Dipman 38 years ago. Photo courtesy of Christy Dipman Right : Based on the green turfhead look, mixing work and fun never was an issue with Dipman. Here he is having a lighthearted moment with Jack Fry, Ph.D., professor of turfgrass science at Kansas State Univer - sity's Olathe (Kan.) Horticulture Research and Extension Center. Photo courtesy of Jack Fry, Ph.D. that he wasn't the type of guy who would sit in his office all day and give directions, and he didn't," Van Nostran says. "He was a working superintendent. If a leak needed to be fixed, he was down on his hands and knees in the mud leading the way." Ryan Blew of Kansas Golf and Turf worked for Dipman in college and later as his assistant. at was enough time for him to make judgment. "Best boss I ever had," Blew says. "He's not a micromanager. He said, 'Get out there. If you mess up, we'll fix it.' You can't go anywhere at the club with - out seeing his handprints all over it, from the putting green that was installed to a new water feature we put in behind 18." Sounds like the stuff of legends. Speak - ing of legends, Snyder — who retired after last season and has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame — crossed paths with Dipman. Certainly, their efforts lifted a country club and a football program in a town that faced crossroads on both fronts before their arrival. "I've known him (Dipman) to be a highly respected superin - tendent who did a fantastic job at MCC and won numerous awards," Snyder says. "His care of the greens and fairways at the club was exceptional. He also is a pleasant and gracious person." As Snyder did, Dipman accepted a monumental task and prevailed. at in - cludes rebuilding every green in-house. "I loved Manhattan Country Club the first time I saw it, but it was a goat ranch when I was hired in 1981," says Dipman, a 42- year retired GCSAA member who corre - sponded with GCM via email. "I was told you couldn't grow grass on the rock hill. e greens were small, half the size they are now, and lacked proper maintenance. e fair - ways were akin to a pasture, and equipment was limited and old. I didn't even have a golf cart to survey the course when I first got there, so I walked the course's 175 acres." Even when he initially was told he had cancer, Dipman rarely was absent. "I only missed work on treatment days," he says. "Having the golf course to take care of and being with the people I worked with gave me the determination to persevere." Story time Who doesn't have a Cliff Dipman story? "We'd been looking for a valve box," says Cole ompson, Ph.D., a K-State stu - dent who worked for Dipman and now is assistant director for USGA Green Section Research, "and he drove up, knew exactly where it was at, kicked off some silt or dirt that was on top of it, found the shutoff valve, and said, 'You can't do it without me,' and drove off laughing. He always thought I stayed too clean when I fixed irrigation

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