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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42 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.17 osh Heptig knows a thing or two about blazing trails. Entering his freshman year of high school in the small south-central Kansas town of Winfield, Heptig says he could lose weight simply by sitting in the classroom. Who could argue with him? He was rail-thin, a skinny 85 pounds on his 5-foot-7 frame. "I ate all the time — breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can remember get - ting up from the table in the evening and heading for the pantry, to my mom's disbelief," Heptig says. "I just had an extremely high metabolism." Heptig burned calories running high school cross-country and track. His freshman seven-minute mile times didn't produce accolades, but that would change, fueled by a surge during the final stretch of his secondary education. As a senior, Heptig paced the team to a tie for first in the state cross-country meet (Winfield lost the tiebreaker), and personally, he placed in the top 10. Heptig's rise was no stunner to his coach, David Juhlin. "We had a mantra: Hard work, if given time, beats talent. He wasn't a real big kid, but he certainly was willing to do the hard work," Juhlin says. Others will tell you now that Heptig — who is receiving a prestigious GCSAA honor — has hit his professional stride. And it has much to do with being lean and trim. Heptig, a proponent of zero-waste management, has attracted attention throughout the industry during his time as the GCSAA Class A superintendent and director of golf course operations with San Luis Obispo (Calif.) County Parks & Recreation. He oversees three golf courses: Morro Bay, Chalk Mountain and Dairy Creek. Heptig's "Zero Waste Park" initiative at Dairy Creek GC, located within the El Chorro Regional Park, opened in 2011. His objective: Reduce consumption, minimize waste, maximize recycling. "He sees the public good in golf, and that's cool," says Nick Franco, the parks director for San Luis Obispo County Parks & Recreation. "For us, the influence he has on the golf course is significant. Golf 's often seen as wasteful, a luxury, and it isn't. What he is doing can demonstrate golf is as environmentally sensitive as any activity. He has driven that home to a lot of people."

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