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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46 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 06.19 ere was healing and solace in the fresh air and open sky, and even in the weeds. Out working on the 150 acres of Hillsview Golf Course in Pierre, S.D., a weed eater in her hands, Kari's grief would lift for a little while. "My mom loved everything about being outside. She loved to mow, loved to trim trees — and she hated weeds," says Kari, whose mom died in 2017 during Kari's 23-month in- carceration at the South Dakota Women's Prison in Pierre. "Being on the golf course was therapeutic for me. I felt like I was really close to her." Kari's opportunity to work in golf course maintenance was the product of a partner- ship between Hillsview Golf Course and the South Dakota Department of Corrections. At the helm is Hillsview superintendent Bryan Tipton, CGCS, who, in looking for help with a sudden staffing shortage, found a source of consistent, hardworking crew members who've equipped his department to accomplish more and also reduced the golf course's labor expenses. Since 2017, two to three inmates from the women's prison — located about half a mile from Hillsview's entrance — have worked for Tipton full time. e women's job duties at the 18-hole municipal course include everything from mowing tees and raking bunkers to shoveling snow and deep-cleaning the maintenance building. "It would be easier to de- scribe the things they don't do," says Tipton, a 23-year GCSAA member. Tipton has been able to eliminate seasonal positions and fill the voids with year-round DOC workers, a swap that saved the golf course about $17,000 in 2018. e additional hands on deck have also enabled Tipton to check more items off his to-do list. "e first winter the inmates worked, we did a lot of tree work and removed over 40 tons of deadwood and trees," Tipton says. "We wouldn't have been able to do that without the DOC workers." e collaboration has fostered savings, productivity and, for Kari, a life-changing ex- perience. "Bryan was a huge morale booster for me in how he treated us and how he The city of Pierre, S.D., operates Hillsview Golf Course, which sits just east of the Missouri River in central South Dakota. The course was built in 1965 and has bentgrass greens, bluegrass tees and fairways, and bluegrass/fescue roughs. An average of 29,000 rounds are played annually at Hillsview. Photos by Studio 212 Photography (left) and Bryan Tipton (right)

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