Golf Course Management

FEB 2016

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

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50 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.16 When he arrived on the scene in Virginia, he quickly became involved with the Old Do - minion GCSA, one of fve superintendent chapters in the state (but the only one that was affliated with GCSAA at the time). Those chapters generally got along and worked well on issues of common concern, but McDonough recognized how much more could be accomplished by a united front representing the state's golf course man - agement industry. So McDonough spearheaded an effort to create a statewide chapter, an umbrella or - ganization better positioned to advocate for all Virginia superintendents. McDonough would serve as the frst president of the Vir - ginia GCSA in 1999 and 2000 (and again in 2001 and 2002), and would later receive the chapter's President's Lifetime Service Award for the role he played in getting the organiza - tion off the ground. "We had fve of everything — fve chap - ters, fve boards, fve groups of sponsors, fve newsletters," McDonough says. "There was so much more we could accomplish as one, to demonstrate what our industry really was and how we manage our golf courses." Solutions for the real world It didn't take long for that newfound unity to be put to the test. In 2002, Virginia suffered through a drought that is recog - nized as the most severe in the state's his- tory. Among the frst steps the state govern- ment took to combat that drought was to simply shut off the taps, to limit the amount of water available to commercial outfts such as golf courses. That didn't sit well with the state's su - perintendents, including McDonough. "My frst reaction was, 'Are you kidding me?' That just told me there were a lot of miscon - ceptions about golf 's role on many fronts. I knew shutting off the water to all the golf courses wasn't a solution." Working collaboratively with the state government, however, was a solution. Mc - Donough spent countless hours meeting with the governor's offce, Virginia's De - partment of Environmental Quality and a host of state legislators to convince them that abstinence wasn't the best policy in fac - ing the drought, and that there were other steps — rooted in science and common sense — that could be taken that would not only save water, but would also help keep golf courses in business. And when he did that work, he did so on behalf of more than just the state's su - perintendents. In a precursor to what would "(McDonough) has a vision for where he wants to go and where he wants the industry to go. He takes the long view, and he walks the talk." — Tim Hiers McDonough is particularly proud of one aspect of the redesign of the Full Cry Course at Keswick Hall: the repurposing of the course's old cart paths into Dye's signature retaining walls throughout the property.

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