Golf Course Management

JAN 2017

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

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158 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.17 Northwest David Phipps 2016 marked the 40th anniversary of the Peaks & Prairies GCSA, and from what I've seen during my five years on the job with GCSAA, Peaks & Prairies is a proud association, and one of the best in education and networking that I've had the pleasure of working with. Much of the credit for this ties back to the group's founding fathers, and one of those — still working today after 44 years in the business — is Don Tolson, superintendent at Stock Farm Club in Hamilton, Mont., and a 44-year member of GCSAA. At its fall meeting and trade show in October, the group recognized Don for his 40 years of service, and superintendents Dane Gamble and Don's son, Dan Tolson, CGCS, put together a touching tribute. Being able to celebrate your father's career in front of all of your own peers would be quite an honor, and Dan hit it out of the park. I filmed Dan's presentation, and you can read his comments below. (I was sitting in the front row, but I know there wasn't a dry eye in the house.) "I am honored to present this award today to a special man whose vi - sion and leadership are largely to thank for us being here today. "Don Tolson began his career at Lake Hills Country Club as the night waterer in 1970. Six years later, as the superintendent at Hilands Golf Club, he stepped out courageously along with a few of his peers to launch the Peaks & Prairies GCSA. Serving as the first president of the then Wy-Mont GCSA, he charted a course and set the tone for what has become something that our guest speakers regularly claim to be the best association in the country. "For 40 years since, he has been an industry leader, setting benchmarks seemingly on everything he touched. After 13 years of renovations at Yellowstone Country Club, he relocated to Denver in 1990 to build the award-winning 27-hole public gem Fox Hollow. While there, he garnered the first-ever GCSAA ELGA award for environmental excellence in golf course construction practices, and served on the first Rain Bird advisory council. "Back in Montana and at Stock Farm for the last 18 years, he has set the standard many others hope to achieve for premium playing conditions and Poa-free playing surfaces. Over a dozen trendsetting superintendents across the country have been the result of Don's caring mentoring. Wherever you go, people will say, 'I wish I could be more like Don.' His members all want to be like him. His crew wants to be more like him. His friends want to be more like him. And I've always wanted to be just like him. His consistency of character and high level of respect for all people are as rare as they are magnetic. "Recently, I asked my 10-year-old son what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said he wants to be a golf course superin - tendent. I was pretty excited — my son wants to be like me. Sensing my pride, he said, 'No, dad. Not like you. Like gramps.' "So, dad, thank you for setting a great example for us to follow. Thank you for your courage to step out and start Peaks & Prai - ries. Thank you for modeling an attitude of service. Thank you for giving of yourself time and again to develop new leaders. And thank you for 40 years of committed service to our Peaks & Prairies. "As a representative of the next generation of turf professionals, my hope is that we can continue to walk in your shoes and serve with excellence like you have. Whenever you decide to retire, you will be missed. Here's to a career well-played." For the latest updates from all of GCSAA's field staff representatives, go to www.gcsaa.org/ community/regions. (in the field) Ryan Nicholson, formerly (B) at Colorado Golf Club, is now (B) at Silverado Resort & Country Club in Napa. Daniel M. Pollack, formerly (C) at Noyac Golf Club, is now (C) at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles. Joseph R. Wagner, formerly (A) at Oak Quarry Golf Club, is now (A) at Victoria Club in Riverside. Robert J. Williams, formerly (A) at Stockton Golf & Country Club, is now (A) at Schaffer's Mill Golf & Lake Club in Truckee. COLORADO Mathew H. Fellows, formerly (C) at Cedar Ridges Golf Course, is now (B) at Cedar Ridges Golf Course in Rangely. Kollin Vandersluis, formerly (C) at Boulder Country Club, is now (B) at The Country Club at Woodmoor in Monument. CONNECTICUT Michael McKeel, formerly (C) at Sebo - nack Golf Club, is now (C) at Innis Arden Golf Club in Old Greenwich. FLORIDA Johnathan Anderson, formerly (C) at Wyndemere Country Club, is now (C) at Collier's Reserve Country Club in Naples. Tyler Brown, formerly (C) at Houston Oaks Golf & Country Club, is now (C) at Talis Park Golf Club in Naples. Jeffrey S. Cathey, formerly (A) at Colo - nial Country Club, is now (A) at Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples. Jeffrey R. Clymer, formerly (EM) at Richland Country Club, is now (EM) at Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando. Scott T. Corwin, formerly (A) at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, is now (A) at Timber Pines Golf Course in Spring Hill. Robert Duling, formerly (SW) at Ohio State University, is now (C) at The Bear's Club in Jupiter. David J. Forrey, formerly (C) at Copper - leaf Golf Course, is now (A) at Copperleaf Golf Course in Bonita Springs. Gabriel E. Gallo, formerly (C) at Wilder - ness Country Club, is now (B) at Wilder- ness Country Club in Naples. Mitchell R. Leininger, formerly (C) at Shingle Creek Golf Club, is now (B) at Shingle Creek Golf Club in Orlando. Brigido B. Miguel, formerly (S) at Penn State University World Campus, is now (C) at Olde Hickory Golf & Country Club in Fort Myers. Benjamin Y. Williams, formerly (B) at Don Tolson (second from left) was honored last fall for 40 years of service to the Peaks & Prairies GCSA. With Tolson, from left, are GCSAA President Pete Grass and superintendents Dan Tolson and Dane Gamble. Photo by David Phipps

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