Golf Course Management

NOV 2013

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

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Top: Disney's Magnolia Course, with its signature Mickey Mouse bunker on the par-3 sixth hole, and the Palm were home to a PGA Tour event for more than 40 years, a tradition that continued until 2012. Bottom: Mike Bruno, superintendent of both the Magnolia and Palm courses. Like a chef's personal recommendations from a menu that he crafted himself, the best advice and most pertinent information on a golf course — how it plays, where its challenges and opportunities lie and how conditioning and maintenance factor into both — comes from its golf course superintendent. Want to know if a putt on a particular green really does break toward the water? Ask a superintendent. Need to know if a new naturalized area impacts the playability of a certain hole? Check with the guy who probably created it. Curious how a recent renovation or switch to a new stand of turfgrass has changed the way a course is cared for? Defnitely talk to your friendly neighborhood turfgrass manager. That's why when GCM began considering ways it could showcase the six Orlandoarea golf courses that will be playing host to the 2014 GCSAA Golf Championships Feb. 1-3, we decided to go straight to the source and let some of Central Florida's most respected golf course management professionals talk about these courses and what makes them unique, in their own words and from their own perspectives. And although this crew brings a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences to the table, they also share one common trait — a deep insight into their own golf courses and a willingness to share some of those secrets with the more than 400 competitors that are expected to take part in the event in February. A platinum celebration In 2014, the GCSAA Golf Championships will be celebrating more than just a return to one of the tournament's most popular locales (Orlando has hosted play six times, more than any other city in the event's history). It will also be celebrating its long-running relationship with The Toro Co., which will be marking its 20th consecutive year as the tournament's supporting partner. Hosting the celebration of that long-running partnership and the tournament's return to Orlando will be one of the area's most revered locations, Walt Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. That's ftting, since three of the six courses hosting tournament play — the Magnolia, Palm and Lake Buena Vista courses — are all affliated with Disney and managed by Arnold Palmer Golf Management. Two Marriott properties — Hawk's Landing and Grande Pines — along with Celebration Golf Club round out this year's rotation. For complete information on the tournament, visit www2.gcsaa.org/conference/ tournament/default.aspx. Mike Bruno Disney's Magnolia and Palm Golf Courses If there is one superintendent you wouldn't blame for not looking ahead to February and the GCSAA Golf Championships — at least not yet — it would be Bruno, the GCSAA Class A superintendent overseeing maintenance at both Disney's Magnolia and Palm layouts. That's because the 12-year GCSAA member has spent the last several months knee-deep in an extensive renovation of the Palm Course, an effort that's included new greens and greens complexes, new tee surfaces and signifcant bunker improvements. It was a necessary project on the more-than 40-yearold facility — and a similar project is on tap for Magnolia later next year — but it's one that's kept Bruno and his team hopping during the second half of 2013. A New York native who moved to Florida when he was a young child, Bruno worked in Texas for nearly a decade, including six years as the head superintendent at Frisco Lake Golf Club, before returning to the Sunshine State November 2013 GCM 63

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