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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worked for General Dynamics before the family moved from Wyoming to Colorado. While Rol - lie attended college to study accounting, she was instrumental in supporting the family. Rollie, who worked part-time at Cheyenne Country Club, came home one day and announced he had been offered a job in Denver. The family moved, although she was skeptical. "I said, 'You're going to be a lawn boy?' It turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to him. He would've been a terrible accountant any - way," Carol says. It doesn't take an accountant to crunch the numbers when it comes to how many times the brothers see each other annually. Those opportunities are rare — maybe a handful of times a year — although they planned to see each other twice last month. Besides Christmas, the Cahalane broth - ers reunited Dec. 5-7 in Denver for the annual Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association Conference and Trade Show. "We are in contact daily via email, text and phone conversations. Sometimes it's golf-related. Sometimes just humor. Sometimes stupid stuff. And lots of stuff about the (Denver) Broncos," says Craig, who is currently on the executive board of the Rocky Mountain GCSA. Otherwise, their jobs are separated by hefty distances. Craig says he is two hours from Dave and more than six hours from Kevin. Their careers, though, have come a long way since the summer of 1993, when they actually worked together in Tel - luride, where Kevin has been stationed for 27 years. His driving range doubles as the beginner ski run, and it isn't unusual to re - ceive a half-foot of snow in June. "It can be a tough business, but I wouldn't trade it for anything," says Kevin, who attempts to be active in Rocky Mountain GCSA events despite his remote location. He learned from his father to be just as hands-on as the crew at every level — to show them you are in it with them equally. "It's fun. It's always been fun." There is one obvious common bond among the brothers, says Dave, who worked for four seasons for Kevin. "It's our work ethic. We all have it," says Dave, also a past president of the Rocky Mountain GCSA, whose facility is the home course for the Col - orado Section of the PGA of America. "Still, I never would've guessed that we'd all end up in the same business." Craig, who has spent nearly 11 years at Pole Creek, situated at 8,800 feet above sea level, once learned that the Cahalane name travels well. "I was at O'Hare (air - port) in Chicago, and somebody stopped me and said, 'Are you a Cahalane?' It was a friend of Kev - in's. He told me I looked just like him." There certainly is a striking resemblance when it comes to their livelihoods. "I think dad was really proud of what each one of us became," Craig says. — Howard Richman, GCM associate editor Patrick Allende (right), director of golf at Real Club de Golf Sotogrande in southwest Spain, with his assistant. Photo courtesy of Jorge Croda A European connection Editor's note: While on a summer trip to Spain and Italy with his wife, Jorge Croda, CGCS, superintendent at South - ern Oaks Golf Club in Burleson, Texas, visited a handful of GCSAA's international members. He shared the following story with GCM. The Costa del Sol region of southern Spain is rich in golf courses, and last July, I had the opportunity to visit a number of them. Being bilingual served me well during the trip, as the ability to communicate with the superintend - ents in their own language established an instant bond be- tween us, allowing us to share experiences in more depth than we could have had a language barrier existed. European superintendents are facing many of the same issues as those of us in the U.S., but their resources are often much more limited. They have some unique chal - lenges of their own, too, given the differences in rules and regulations within the European Union, but the regulations have also led to some innovations in course maintenance and environmental stewardship that could benefit golf courses around the world. At Real Club de Golf Sotogrande in the city of Cádiz, I met with director of golf and 17-year GCSAA member Patrick Allende, who showed me some of the recent work completed at the facility, including the reconstruction of the greens to USGA recommendations and the installation of an air-extraction system in the greens. Also in Cádiz, I spent time with two-year association member José María Menacho, greenkeeper at La Reserva de Sotogrande, and eight-year member Adolfo Ramos, head greenkeeper at Real Club Valderrama, one of the most prestigious courses in Europe, which has hosted the Ryder Cup, Volvo Masters, Andalucía Masters and other major tournaments. My next stop was Real Club de Golf Las Brisas in the city of Marbella, where a total overhaul of the 18 holes began five years ago. The first phase is finished, and su - perintendent and 12-year GCSAA member Rafael Gonza- lez Carrascosa presented some of the progress and shared details on what's still in the works. During my stay in Spain, I also toured Finca Cortesin — a private 18-hole course located in the town of Casares — with head greenkeeper and 16-year GCSAA member Ignacio Soto, and met with 26-year member Jose Gomez, head greenkeeper at Real Club de Golf El Prat near Bar - ACT ON COURSE OF 22 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.17 The name of the event that GCSAA Class A superintendent Alan Stuessy oversees elegantly sums up his journey in this industry. The CareerBuilder Challenge, a PGA Tour event scheduled Jan. 19-22 in La Quinta, Calif., has enhanced the names of major cham - pions. For example, at the height of David Duval's powers, he fired a 59 there. Lee Trevino once recorded a hole-in-one during the Skins Game. As for Stuessy, well, he has made a name for himself since being given the responsibilities at a golf course that was the site of the Bob Hope Classic all those years ago. "I'm thankful I've got him on my team," says Jon Mad - dern, CGCS, director of agronomy at PGA West and a 40- year association member. Stuessy, 37, is building quite a career on the West Coast. Originally from Texas, he arrived in California following a stint as an assistant superintendent at Chestnut Ridge Country Club in Lutherville, Md. He and his wife, Brooke (their 3-year-old daughter is Addison), moved in 2009 to the Los Angeles area, where Brooke was raised. That same year, Stuessy landed an assistant position at PGA West's Stadium Course. He was pro - moted to superintendent of the Arnold Palmer Private Course at PGA West in 2012 before being shifted to his current position in 2014, where he oversees both the Stadium Course and the Nicklaus Tournament Course (in addi - tion to the Stadium Course, the Nicklaus Tour- nament Course and La Quinta Country Club also are used for the CareerBuilder Challenge). "My progression in the business has played out better than I ever could have imagined," says Stuessy, a 10-year association member. Stuessy's parents served as the ideal ca - reer-builder model. His father, Tod, is a botanist. His mother, Carol, taught science for 25 years at Texas A&M. "I got his love and passion for plants. Both of them were super-achievers," says Stuessy, a graduate of Texas A&M. Look where Stuessy's achiever mentality has gotten him. "To do what I do, and to do it here, is such a blessing," he says. "Just look at all of the tradition surrounding this event, which takes place on a unique piece of land. There's not one flat piece here." Stuessy and his crew tackle it in the only way he knows how. "I just try to do my best wherever I've been needed," he says. — H.R.

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