Golf Course Management

MAY 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 23 of 141

20 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.19 in his footsteps," says Dean Baye, an assistant at Woodway Country Club in Darien, Conn., who was an intern at Rumson CC. "He was patient with me and thorough. He also worked his tail off." Born and raised in Cape Cod, Mass., Cwynar entered the industry as a teenager working on the ground crew at Hyannis - port (Mass.) Club before taking a detour to the University of Limerick in Ireland to study abroad before returning to Amer - ica and earning first an associate degree in turfgrass management at the Stock - bridge School of Agriculture at the Uni- versity of Massachusetts and following up with a bachelor's degree in plant, soil and insect sciences at the University of Massa - chusetts-Amherst. "I was a general grunt at Hyannisport, did a lot of the dirty work, and I had great role models who had a do-whatev - er-it-takes attitude," Cwynar says. "They'd just put their heads down and grind." His path could be used by others who want to take the never-know-till-you-try approach. Cwy - nar, who is 31 and who married his wife, Meghan, in 2016, landed at Pine Valley by pursuing it on his own. "I went to the Golf Digest list of top 100 courses (Pine Valley is No. 1) and took a shot," he says, which set an example for others such as Baye, who dreamed big and became an intern at Augusta National Golf Club. Cwy nar's initiative is no surprise to GCSAA Class A superintendent Ryan Walsh, who was second assistant when Cwynar worked at Hyannisport Club. "He has the ability take challenges head-on and to succeed," says Walsh, who oversees Woods Hole (Mass.) Golf Club. "It's time for him to take something to call his own." Nowadays, that's Seabright, which, founded in 1877, is consid - ered the oldest grass tennis club in the U.S. and was used by tennis great William Larned, who won seven U.S. Open tennis champion - ships in the early 1900s. Although he has not yet experienced the busy time of the year at Seabright, Cwynar is prepared. "Firmness and moisture manage - ment will be huge," he says. "We focus on a uniform (tennis) ball bounce rather than (golf) ball roll. On golf greens, you look for a true roll. Here, we look for a true bounce." The irrigation is underground for the mostly bentgrass greens courts. He will use a Toro triplex mower and various rollers for firmness and uniformity. Cwynar will mow at 0.300. "It's a lot like mowing a short-cut tee or approach," says Cwynar, adding that he will aerify. "The moisture management will be so important. You don't want slippage, and you can't play them wet." Although Seabright is drenched in history, Cwy - nar finally is being introduced to a place that in- trigued him the entire time he was stationed only 3 miles away at Rumson CC. "I probably drove right by it a million times and didn't know what was behind the fence here," Cwynar says. — Howard Richman, GCM associate editor Teaching skills Question: "What does grass need in order to grow?" Student answer: "Love." That was just one response from a group of high school sophomores when staff from East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta visited that city's Drew Charter School earlier this spring. Other student answers included the basic elements such as air, water, sunlight and favorable temperatures. DCS' map to a successful academic experience revolves around STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics). The school uses project-based learning for students to solve real-world problems in the STEAM envi - ronment. "We want the students to understand there is a direct connection between what they are learning in the classroom and how they will use that knowledge in the real world," said Courtney Bryant, STEAM project coordinator for DCS. "Occasionally we open our school doors to guest presenters for STEAM workshop day." Students were first asked to do teamwork exercises, such as lining up by birthdate or by height without using verbal communication. Afterward, the students were asked to identify the purpose of the exercise. Then they viewed a short video of the entire East Lake staff working together in preparation for the PGA Tour's Tour Championship. Finally, there was an open discussion of the importance of team - work to achieve success on a golf course. "We wanted to include the teamwork element in our presentation because it is so essential, both in working on the golf course and life in general," East Lake GC agronomist Brant Mackey says. "The students responded well to the exercises and the discussion." Since there was not enough time to bring the stu - dents to East Lake, East Lake brought the golf course to the students. Students were broken into groups and were provided turf samples from the nursery green. The groups were asked to examine the samples and provide their ob - servations. East Lake staff used the comments to open discussion on topics such as plant growth, photosynthesis, chlorophyll, soil properties and more. Students engaged by sharing what they had learned in their science classes and how it directly related to what they observed when they inspected the turf samples. Students were given a diagram of the 18th green at East Lake GC and asked to determine the area by square Golf great Bernhard Langer validates what John Temme strives to achieve. Temme is the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa, which hosts the PGA Tour Champions' Principal Charity Classic slated May 31-June 2. Langer, who won the Mas - ters twice, told Temme what he thought of the 24-year association member's product. "He said the greens are as good as they putt all year," Temme says. Langer's sentiments fuel Temme's objectives. The Principal Charity Classic — which raised an event-record $4.3 million for Iowa children's charities in 2018 — drives Temme to offer a golf course that makes the Langers of the world want to play. "We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make it (golf course) the best we can to attract the best in the world and play for a great cause," says Temme, an Iowa native. "We want to get them here in the Midwest, in Iowa, and let them find out we're golf-crazy." Temme had a front-row seat for GCSAA ex - pansion. As a student at the University of Kansas, Temme worked for then-superintendent Dick Stuntz, CGCS, at Alvamar Golf Club's private course in Lawrence, Kan., and Alvamar also housed the old GCSAA offices. When the new GCSAA headquarters opened in 1991, Temme was still in Lawrence. Stuntz coaxed Temme, a history major, into considering making this industry his future. Temme lis - tened. He earned a horticulture degree at Iowa State University in 1996 and worked at Loch Lloyd Country Club in Belton, Mo., before landing a job on the crew at Wakonda Club in 1998. In 2000, Temme became superintendent there. Life was, well, hectic upon being pro - moted. "We were renovating five holes, and my oldest son (Jack) was born," says Temme, who with his wife, Megan, has another son, Charlie. Wakonda Club has hosted the pro tournament since 2013 and held the U.S. Amateur in 1963. In 2008, it was regrassed from Poa to Penn A-1/Penn A-4 bentgrass greens. Numer - ous staff members who were on the scene 11 years ago re- main. "Our full-time staff has been with me a long time, including one who has been here 32 years and another 25 years. Turnover has been very low. We've put a good team together, and we're proud of that," Temme says. — H.R. ACT ON COURSE OF 20 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.19

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