Golf Course Management

JAN 2014

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

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Turf Bowl XX For the past 20 years, turfgrass students have come to the Golf Industry Show to test their knowledge and compete for the honor of their school. After three years of nearly reaching the top, the University of Massachusetts felded a winning team in the 2013 Turf Bowl competition. Photo by Roger Billings Turf Bowl The Annual GCSAA Collegiate Turf Bowl Competition, presented in partnership with John Deere Golf, marks its 20th year — and the 15th year of team competition — on Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Golf Industry Show in Orlando. Each year the Turf Bowl tests the turf knowledge of the best and the brightest from turf programs across the country. The competition requires students to identify turfgrass, weed and insect specimens; write an essay describing a solution to a real-life problem at a golf facility; and answer multiple-choice, fll-in-the-blank, short-answer and matching questions. In 2014, the Turf Bowl contestants (and other student attendees) will move beyond testing when they have the opportunity to learn the do's and don'ts of interviewing for an internship, summer job or that all-important post-graduation "real job." A new education session, "Interview Tips and Tricks," presented in partnership with The TPC Network, will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 5, immediately before the Turf Bowl kick-off reception. Both events will take place at the Rosen Plaza Hotel adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center. Three experienced superintendents from TPC courses will discuss a range of interviewrelated topics: Tom Vlach, CGCS, director, golf course maintenance operations at TPC Sawgrass (home of The Players); Tom Brodeur, director, golf course maintenance operations at TPC Boston (Home of the Deutsche Bank Championship); and Mike Crawford, CGCS, director, golf course maintenance operations at TPC Sugarloaf (home of the Greater Gwinnett Championship). Crawford, a 20-year member of GCSAA, says that the panel "is going to relay some work and professional experience that we have, and try to give them (the students) some insight into some of the challenges we have faced when entering the industry." According to Vlach, "Interviews are more about branding and selling yourself. College kids are weak in those areas — they want to know what you can do for them. They need to be humble but confdent and tell the interviewer what they can do for the golf course." "It's dog-eat-dog," says the 21-year GCSAA member, and job applicants need to spend hours practicing being interviewed; they need to be polished, competitive and tenacious, and they need to be able to sell themselves. His requirements may sound daunting, but Vlach says successful candidates are positive — they even say positive things about previous employers — and they show up at the interview prepared to display an electronic portfolio of their projects. Although he admits that he has never experienced a truly disastrous interview as a job applicant or as an interviewer, Crawford has advice for students and new graduates: "A lot of times people … have a tough time telling the interviewer that they really want the job. They should be confdent and convey that they really want the job and why they want the job." Joining the superintendents on the panel will be Robert Jeske of John Deere. Panel members will also address how personal appearance affects an applicant's chance of being hired. The generation gap between the people doing the hiring and the people applying for jobs often manifests itself in differences of opinion over the aesthetic value of piercings, tattoos and hairstyles. GCSAA feld staff Chase Rogan, Ralph Dain, John Miller and Ron Wright will model appropriate and inappropriate attire. — Teresa Carson GCM senior science editor 86 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.14

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