Golf Course Management

FEB 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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taxi to play in tournaments. It became a challenge to get better and better." Ondo ended up studying turfgrass at Lake City (Fla.) Community College (now Florida Gateway College), where he excelled. "I don't think I ever got a B," he says. Ondo was an assistant superintendent at Lost Tree Club in North Palm Beach, Fla., before heading to Winter Pines, where heavy traffic is the norm. The public course drew about 90,000 rounds in 1992, and today sees approximately 65,000 rounds — still a hefty load for a superintendent to oversee. Ondo always welcomed the task. "It's like when you're playing — you figure out a way," he says. Ondo had the talent to figure it out, says Joel Jackson, CGCS Retired. "He's a loyal supporter of his fellow superintendents and of his employer, and he is a staunch sup - porter of our industry," says Jackson, a 33-year association member. "He volunteered. He partic - ipated. He's a hands-on superintendent who did a lot of maintenance on equipment himself." It certainly didn't take long for Ondo to make an impact in that fashion when he first moved to Florida, back before he embarked on his career at Winter Pines. During that time, Ondo oversaw maintenance of the golf equipment that was used at the home of Jack Nicklaus. "Edgers, weed eaters, hand mowers — I kept them ready for the guys who'd need them the next day," Ondo says. "It was quite an amazing experience to be part of that. No ques - tion, this game has been good to me in many ways." — Howard Richman, GCM associate editor New York association members recognized Four members of GCSAA and an instructor of a best manage- ment practices (BMP) workshop at this month's Golf Industry Show in Orlando were honored for their environmental stewardship in New York. The New York State Turfgrass Association presented its Friend of the Green Award to Ken Benoit, CGCS, of GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, N.Y., a 22-year association member; Blake Hal - derman, CGCS, of Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase, N.Y., a 26-year member; Bob Nielsen, CGCS, of Bedford (N.Y.) Golf & Tennis Club, a 26-year member; Frank Rossi, Ph.D., of Cor - nell University, a 26-year member; and Stacey Kingsbury, who will be teaching the BMP workshop. They were recognized for developing a compre - hensive BMP program for golf courses throughout New York state in 2014. The program provides a blueprint for superintendents on work - ing to protect the environment on their golf courses, and offers guidelines for working with lawmakers and regulators. For more information, go to www.nysgolfbmp. . Remembering Charlie Tadge Mention the name Charlie Tadge, CGCS, to his indus- try peers, and you quickly learn a fact about Charlie that was quite the conversation piece. "He didn't have any hair. We'd razz the heck out of him," says Jim Wyllie, past president of GCSAA and a 57- year retired association member. John Spodnik, also a past GCSAA president, adds, "Everybody kidded him that he'd never have to get a haircut." Tadge, who passed away Dec. 22 at age 85, is re - membered for his dedicated service to GCSAA and the golf industry. Tadge served as president of the association in 1979. "We will miss him a lot," says Spodnik, GCSAA pres - ident in 1969 and a 58-year retired member. "He was a good superintendent and great for our organization. He always thought a lot about GCSAA, and he was always available. Regardless of what it was, Charlie wanted to be active. He was well-liked." Tadge helped found the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation, was president of the Miami Valley GCSA, Northern Ohio GCSA, Midwest Regional Turf Foundation and Ohio Turf Foundation, rated golf courses for Golf magazine, volun - teered on the grounds crew at the Masters from 2003 to 2008, and designed and implemented an extensive drain - age program at Mayfield Country Club (now called May- field Sand Ridge Club) in South Euclid, Ohio. "Charlie had the insight and the demeanor to be a good leader," says Mark F. Jordan, CGCS, who oversees Westfield Country Club in Westfield Center, Ohio, and serves on the GCSAA Board of Directors. "Knowing that such an icon in the industry fully supported me, would be there for me, meant so much to me." Born in Dayton, Ohio, Tadge did his postgraduate studies in turfgrass management at Purdue University. He also served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War, and was a first lieutenant and commander. He worked for 44 years in golf, concluding that run in 2002 at The Vineyard in Cincinnati. Tadge is survived by sons Erik R. (Lori) Tadge and Ste - phen D. (Judy) Tadge, and five grandchildren. ACT ON COURSE OF 20 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.17 Asked to select one spot at Riviera Country Club that he enjoys most, superintendent Matt Morton picks the 10th green. Good choice. Jack Nicklaus says it's his favorite short par-4 in the world (315 yards). Five years ago, Bill Haas beat Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley there with a playoff birdie. The temptation is to drive the shallow green, guarded by bunkers. Legend Bobby Jones tried and failed to do that in 1930, which was otherwise quite a year for him (Jones won a grand slam: British Open, British Amateur, U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur). Miss the green to the right, and it cre - ates a difficult approach shot. "The strategy of the hole is still a mystery after almost 90 years," says Morton, a 17-year association member. "It's a great place to watch players think about different strategies." Anybody who watches golf will have multiple opportu - nities to view Morton's work in 2017. Riviera, situated in Pacific Palisades, Calif., will be a hot spot. First, it will host the Genesis Open, a PGA Tour event, Feb. 16- 19. Come summer, the USGA's U.S. Amateur will be contested there Aug. 14-20. "It's definitely challenging. We're focusing on the first event, then on the backside we will start working with the USGA," says Morton, 41, who was raised in Frederick, Md. "With two events, getting things repaired follow - ing the first tournament will be a little more critical. Our owner gives us the resources. We think we're in tournament condition all the time." Riviera, where Hollywood stars Humphrey Bogart, Gregory Peck and James Garner were members, is famous for its kikuyugrass fair - ways and rough. The grass features aggressive growth, is drought-tolerant, and is susceptible to gray leaf spot and large patch. "It can give you fits sometimes," Morton says. "We tend not to feed it too much. Our philosophy is that people enjoy seeing the ball roll around." Riviera will remain on the radar in September, when the club will learn then whether Los Angeles has been chosen as the site of the 2024 Summer Olympics. If the city is selected, Riv - iera has already been designated as the host of the golf competition. "Our club is really excited. It would be a once-in-a-lifetime event," says Morton, who, with his wife, Sherri, has three children, Madison, Claire and Elijah. "It would be a great way for us to help promote the game around the world." — H.R.

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