Golf Course Management

JAN 2018

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

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84 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.18 The first new golf course to be built on Martha's Vineyard in 30 years when it opened in 2002, Vineyard GC was designed, built and is maintained in an all-organic manner to satisfy the com - munity's strict environmental standards. Photo by Larry Lambrecht When Kevin Banks was a turfgrass management student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, it wasn't uncommon for decorated or otherwise experienced golf course superintendents to drop in for guest lectures. When Jeff Carlson, CGCS, came by in 2005, Banks says he remembers thinking, "Wow, this guy is crazy!" Frankly, that is how most students in the midst of a traditional turf management education might have appraised Carlson's work at The Vineyard Golf Club. When permits were being sought for building this golf course on environmentally sensitive Martha's Vineyard in Edgartown, Mass., in 1998, developers were obliged to promise the local conservation commission that the prospective golf course would be managed in an entirely organic manner. The Vineyard Club opened for play in 2002, and Banks graduated in 2008. He would then apprentice at several traditional clubs before this story came full circle — Banks took over for Carlson as head golf course superintendent at The Vineyard Club on April 1, 2015. "I guess I'm the crazy one now," the nine-year GCSAA member says. Two-plus years into his tenure, Banks has more than warmed to the nonconforming aspects of his job, one of the few in golf course management that takes the organic approach from mere trend or direction to guiding principle. "It's definitely been a challenge, but I've also definitely become addicted to it," Banks admits.

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