Golf Course Management

SEP 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 55 of 117

Stephen and Carla Ehrbar Date night For a young lady named Carla, romance under the stars was a common theme. Carla, you see, was dating Stephen Ehrbar, whose duties included being night waterman at The Country Club in Pepper Pike, Ohio. In order to advance the relationship, it sometimes called for meeting at the golf course in the evening. "Really, it was the only way if I wanted to see him," Carla says. Ehrbar's boss, superintendent Alfred Muhle, actually encouraged their golf course rendezvous. "They (women) might as well fnd out what our jobs entailed," Muhle, a 49-year GCSAA member, says. On those golf course dates, Carla would bring a book, snacks and, most importantly, a fashlight. "If she was going to be in it for the long run, she had to know about my hours, what the business is all about," says Ehrbar, a 31year association member. Carla obviously was OK with the whole night waterman thing. Her last name now is Ehrbar. Today, her husband is the certifed golf course superintendent at Jupiter Hills Club & Village Course in Jupiter, Fla. "We have been married since summer 1985," says Carla. "I have fond memories of those nights. It was peaceful. Defnitely romantic. I'd steal a kiss every once in a while." Nocturnal encounters He could see the foxes in the distance, says G. Wayne Zoppo, CGCS Retired, because their eyes would shine in the dark. One late night, as he went to change out a 52 GCM September 2013 Wood, whose hands are often wet, takes care of business. Photo by Jason McKibben sprinkler at Mt. Pleasant Country Club in Boylston, Mass., Zoppo got the feeling that something was eyeballing him. "A possum was hanging from a tree, staring me in the face," says Zoppo, a 48year GCSAA member. Even past GCSAA presidents had their moments. A couple times, I found a nocturnal predator. Skunks. I bathed myself in the sprinkler. Fully clothed. What were you going to do? Nobody wants you at home with that smell. — Melvin B. Lucas Jr., CGCS Way before he served as GCSAA president in 1980, Lucas was a young superintendent at Garden City Golf Club in Garden City, N.Y., where every now and then teenagers liked to stage beer parties late nights on his golf course, a practice that wasn't about to fy on his watch unless they obeyed his rules. Lucas didn't want to play the ultimate heavy, but he also didn't want his golf course ruined. "I told them, 'If you don't do any damage to my greens, I won't do anything to you.' At that time I'd just gotten out of the Army. I was 23, 24, felt like I could've taken them all on," says Lucas, a 51-year GCSAA member. "Word got out you don't mess with the guy on the golf course." Lucas trained them well. "In the morning I'd fnd bags with empties, no damage to greens," he says. At Green Meadow Golf Club in Hudson, N.H., 56-year-old Bobby Jackson is night waterman for 22-year GCSAA Class A superintendent Andy McHugh. Jackson still vividly remembers a late-night meeting with a coyote. "The thing was 10 feet from me," Jackson says. "He wasn't afraid, but I sure was a little. Nothing happened. Some nights it gets a little bit spooky out there." For Wood, who moved to New York when his brother became ill, there is no time to be concerned with what may lurk in the shadows as he takes care of Pole Valley, trying to ensure golfers enjoy their days because of what he accomplishes at night. "I like the peace and quiet, nobody bothering you, and I really like having the golf course look nice," Wood says. "That's why I am here." GCM Howard Richman ( is GCM's associate editor.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Golf Course Management - SEP 2013