Golf Course Management

JUL 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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16 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 06.19 Welcome to a place with white sand beaches and the bluest water you may ever see. The lava flows there create a nice spe- cial effect. Flip-flops are essential. Scuba divers must be in heaven. Surfers? No doubt this is their utopia. For Luke Bennett, it's just another day in paradise. On average, 8 million people visit the Hawaiian Islands annu- ally. Bennett was part of that statistic in 2015. His five-day trip with friends produced more than simply fun in the sun. Besides bringing his swim trunks, Bennett packed his résumé. "I pretty much came back from vacation with a job," Bennett says. In a matter of weeks following that vacation, Bennett started his new job as golf course superintendent at Kohanaiki, a club loaded with amenities, including an oceanfront Rees Jones-designed 18- hole course, on Hawaii's Big Island. A Class A superintendent and 15-year GCSAA member, Bennett is a transplanted Coloradoan whose western migration featured a three-year run as superinten- dent at The Fountaingrove Club in Santa Rosa, Calif., where David Reese served as general manager. Reese left there to go work at Kohanaiki, where he told Bennett to stop by for a visit and bring that résumé along. "When I got there and saw the property, it was pretty amazing," Bennett says. Although he is allowed to wear shorts on the job, Bennett takes no shortcuts as caretaker of Kohanaiki. The facility is Audubon International Silver Certified, and the infrastructure is all about environmental sustainability. A re- verse-osmosis system provides 1 million gallons of water daily for use on the golf course, which lessens Kohanaiki's impact on Big Paradise found Photos by Mark Wineman

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