Golf Course Management

JUN 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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40 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 06.19 Let's cut to the chase: Being tournament- ready every day is expected at a club of Peb- ble Beach's stature. "You can't downplay the repetitiveness of it and understanding the infrastructure setup and how to recover. We've had that annually," says Dalhamer, who developed, launched and led the execu- tion of a five-year plan to prepare for this weighty stretch. "You're always trying to make it better each and every time. Know- ing that this was coming and you've had a plan in place and you've done the work here over so many years really assists in manag- ing it as good as you can." €e work schedule is not for the faint of heart. Tee times begin as early as 15 minutes after sunrise. Full tee sheets daily. "€ere's a sense of urgency to get out and do the bulk of our work in front of the guests. And, obviously, you've got to fit in your cultural practices, your projects and other challenges," Dalhamer says. "We try to get creative with that, like doing a lot of work after play and kind of adjusting our timing of those practices to not impact guests as much as possible, so we'll come back after play is over and do greens aerifi - cations. We're working early mornings and all through the day on the periphery, then coming back and working behind that last group." Knowing that Pebble Beach Co. has the crew's back is crucial to Dalhamer's task. "€ey've been nothing but supportive. €ey allocate the resources to make sure we have the tools, and we have to deliver," Dalhamer says. Travis Hogan says Dalhamer leaves nothing to chance, whether it's preparing for a U.S. Open or a Tuesday in March. "He always had a list of 130 things that needed to be done, including eliminating grass in the cracks in the walkways. My list would be 30. I'm looking at major things. He's looking at everything," says Hogan, who interned for Dalhamer at Spyglass Hill and currently is head groundskeeper for the Kansas City Chiefs. "He's a phenomenal teacher and takes the time not to just say what he's going to do. He takes the time to explain it. He's like a coach who finds out what drives each player and how to get the most out of them. €at's also building a relationship." Could Dalhamer have worked in the same field as somebody such as Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski? It wouldn't have shocked Todd Buller. Now the athletic director at Pacific Grove High School near Pebble Beach, Buller was the boys basketball coach when he had Dal - hamer on his staff as an assistant the season Pacific Grove finished second in the state in 1998. "He could've been a high school coach. Maybe even a college coach," Buller says. "He had a real knack for working with people, making sure they were in the right places." Coming down the stretch As Dalhamer and Co. approach the home stretch of this unique 11-month jour- ney, his admiration for his staff cannot be understated. "€ey're the nuts and bolts, the ones exe- cuting, day in and day out," says Dalhamer, who has a crew of 31 that he leans on, in part because he oversees all four courses on the property. "We arguably had one of the toughest AT&T's we've had from a weather perspective — more than 5 inches of rain, Dalhamer (right) and Rybicki (far left) monitor maintenance activities on the 10th green at Pebble Beach. Preparing for major events and the demands of everyday play at a property such as Pebble Beach requires extensive and rigorous planning. "You're always trying to make it better each and every time," says Dalhamer. d'Elegance car show on the 18th fairway. It continued with the PGA Tour Champions' Pure Insurance Championship in Septem- ber; the TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invita- tional presented by Dell Technologies in November, which includes players from the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions, Web. com Tour and LPGA; and the PGA Tour's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February. €e U.S. Open is now on deck. Whew. "Not only do we have more golf events in that span — you have a premier car show, plus nearly 65,000 rounds of golf on the smallest greens on tour. It's self-explanatory on how challenging that is, but it gives us something to strive for and to be proactive," Holt says. "With all the traffic, the end chal - lenge is to have the golf course pristine, be- cause we realize most people who play out here have this on their bucket list. €ere never is a point we're not aware that is our job. You embrace the challenge and move forward with it. It's the only attitude you can take." Assistant-in-training Shawn Houseknecht adds, "You don't really have time to think about when the next tournament is. But all of it gives you a purpose."

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