Golf Course Management

AUG 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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18 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08.19 "Right out of college, Ben stayed with me to save money for a (engagement) ring. He wanted to hit (golf) balls in the yard. I said, 'Do whatever you want,'" says Brough, a designer for a solar company. "Not long after that, we cut down a 60-foot black wal - nut (tree) to create a longer shot." That swath has enlarged in a big way. Brough Creek launched a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $16,000, all of which has been earmarked for needs such as soil, grass seed, sod, hole cutters, cups, flagsticks, etc. The course now has a fairway mower, and a greens mower is on the wish list. The friends have contributed financially to make their dream come true, and now they sell swag, such as caps, driver covers and a golf towel with the Brough Creek name and logo, on their website ( www.someguysbackyard.com ). Area flooding hampered progress, including the ability to lay sod, which was delayed until mid-July. But the rain hasn't dampened their goal: They're targeting Sept. 1 to open. "It's handmade. The minimalist approach. We're trying to marry the concept of a short course built on The Golden Age of Architecture principles featuring a global membership. I'm not sure if there's any - thing else like it out there," says Hotaling, who works as an IT re- cruiter. "Yes, it's a pitch-and-putt but, hopefully, a little more stiff of a test than that." Hotaling has reached out to superintendents for advice on maintenance, according to Brough. "The biggest thing we've gotten out of that is it's all about balance with water and essentially just paying attention to the grass," Brough says. Hole No. 1 calls for a shot over the creek to a shared green. No. 2 is fashioned like the iconic Road Hole at famed St. Andrews in Scotland, ex - cept that where The Old Course has a hotel ad- jacent to the hole, Brough Creek has a barn. The largest green is No. 6, which is 3,500 square feet. Brough Creek part - ner Mark Robinson — a salesman who attended the same high school in the Topeka area (Shawnee Heights) as 2019 U.S. Open champion and KU alum Gary Woodland — helps Bissell film and produce multimedia content. He hasn't played much golf but seems to be getting the hang of it. "I'm not good at all, but I'm budding," Robinson says with a smile. "I hit a nice shot at No. 7. Almost went in the hole." Brough Creek has Meyer zoysiagrass greens and tee boxes and fescue fairways. The four men spend time after work and on weekends whipping Brough Creek into shape. "We all make decisions, but Zach is the superintendent. He has the final say," Bissell says. Earlier this summer, three GCSAA members who'd traveled to headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., for an as - sistant's task force meeting stopped at Brough Creek to check it out. "It's a really good idea. The design is really cool, and they've made good use of the property. I've never seen anything like that," says Carol Turner, assistant at Ladies' Golf Club of Toronto and a one-year GCSAA member. "They're Googling and learning. We all wished we lived closer to help out using our knowledge. I'd love to go play a place like that and have fun." Anyone who wants can play the course for free. Closer to the opening date, the website will display information about play opportunities (golfers will be asked to sign up online). They'll also host special events annually. Judging by the support, Hotaling imagines traffic will be promising. "We have the opportunity here to do some - thing that actually matters, that has an impact on the game. It's not a place for us to make a million bucks. It is a place to build golf and do it in a fun way," he says. Bissell, now in business intelligence development, sees Brough Creek as a continuation of his time at GCSAA. In a way, he's still living GCSAA's mission statement, which includes enhancing the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. "GCSAA is all about improving golf as a whole," Bissell says, "but I never thought I'd get this in - volved after I left." — Howard Richman, GCM associate editor Dennis Bowsher, CGCS, can't recall whether it was his first or sec- ond day on the job at The Ohio State University Golf Club restaurant in Columbus when he settled into a booth for lunch. He does, though, vividly remember what happened even before placing his order. "I turn, and Archie Griffin is at the table right beside me," Bow - sher says. Talk about living a dream. A native of Lima, Ohio, Bowsher was raised on Ohio State, had graduated from OSU 23 years earlier, and was just starting his dream job, when he found himself sitting next to his gridiron idol, Griffin, an Ohio State legend and the only man to win the Heisman Trophy twice (1974 and 1975). Seeing Griffin took the dream up a notch. "Later, I got to know him. I thought I was in heaven meeting the man," Bowsher says. Since that encounter, Bowsher has shaped his own legacy at Ohio State. He and assistants Dan Trubisky and John Demianenko oversee the university's Scarlet and Gray courses. The Scarlet Course has been the site for the Korn Ferry Tour (previously known as the Web.com Tour) Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship since 2007. The next edition is scheduled Aug. 15-18. The event has served as a proving ground for golfers such as Justin Thomas, the tournament champion in 2014, and Rickie Fowler, who finished as runner-up as an amateur in 2009. The Scarlet Course was developed in the 1930s and is the last course designed by the famed Alister MacKenzie. Bowsher's main challenge is overcoming a golf course that has its original drainage. "That poses problems to manage greens," says Bowsher, a 37-year GCSAA member who noted newer drain tile has been implemented on some of the greens to reduce issues. Still, the event is a success. More than $11 million has been raised for the hospital since the tournament's inception. "I love the fact that I'm here. I still feel God has blessed me to be on the property with these people," says Bowsher, 58, who with his wife, Jenny, has a son, Chris, plus four granddaughters. "With the championship, and I talk to my staff about this, it's mind-boggling the impact this event has on our community. We're not just doing this for ourselves. We've got the university behind us, and our staff doesn't want to tarnish anything for the university, so we have to be really good." — H.R. ACT ON COURSE OF 18 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08 .19 A look at the No. 2 hole at Brough Creek National, which is designed to mimic the iconic Road Hole at St. Andrews in Scotland.

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