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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62 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.16 Building a winner in wine country Las Positas Golf Course is framed by California's oldest wine region. It is also in a natural food plain and surrounded by an airport and freeway, all of which could make for challenges. The City of Livermore has a response, though. His name is Mark Condos. "To have people play the course and still feel they're in nature is what is so spe - cial about it," says Jeff Shafer, Livermore's maintenance division manager. "The abil - ity to do that is not just luck. It takes hard effort, having the commitment to every - thing you are doing, and always thinking of the environment. It takes a superintendent who constantly thinks about that. Mark has helped put all the pieces together. He is seri - ously walking the walk." Although he has only been on the scene for fve years of Las Positas' existence (it is celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2016), Condos has made quite an impact in his time at the 27-hole facility. One year after Condos arrived, Las Positas embarked on new construction and renovations, which encompassed 12 holes, a grow-in, and bunker renovations through - out the property. It also launched the pro- cess of Audubon certifcation, and in April 2014, Las Positas attained Cooperative Sanctuary status, an accomplishment that especially pleased Condos. "We created an environmentally sen - sitive buffer between us and the airport," Condos says. "We have a wide variety of wildlife — ducks, geese, hawks, golden eagles, owls, deer, raccoons, and even some less-welcomed skunks and gophers. They all are part of Las Positas — and of me." Condos quickly shares credit with his staff (18 strong, including himself ), the City of Livermore and CourseCo — the golf management company that oversees Las Positas — for supporting his initiatives. "The impetus to take environmental stewardship more seriously comes from working with CourseCo. They bring us together, really embrace what we do, cel - ebrate guys making strides in environmen- tal leadership," Condos says. "Their core values, community outreach and environ - mental stewardship all are fundamental to their mission." It sounds as though Condos fts in per - fectly. "He is unfappable, completely reli- able and highly skilled," says CourseCo president and CEO Tom Isaak. Initiatives aplenty Water conservation? Check. Energy conservation? Check. Integrated Pest Man - agement (IPM)? Check. Oh, there is more. These initiatives, though, are the cornerstones of Condos' goal to make — and keep — Las Positas an environmentally rich example and play - able haven for golfers. Ninety-four percent of their total water consumption is recycled. Condos has a state-of-the-art ET-based irri - gation central control with its own weather station at his disposal, along with three full- "Mark has helped put all the pieces together. He is seriously walking the walk." — Jeff Shafer Mark Condos (left) and assistant Roy Ruiz conduct a water test.

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