Golf Course Management

FEB 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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48 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.18 That gentle ribbing has always been accompanied by equal measures of admiration and respect, not only for what Williams and his teams have achieved, but, more importantly, for the dedication and commitment to the industry that those honors represent. As Williams will tell you, filling his office with awards was never the goal; instead, they were just the happy byproduct of doing the right things, and of getting involved and of giving back to the industry. "Over the years, I've tried to learn the difference between good seeds and bad seeds, and just tried to sow as many good seeds as I can," Williams says. "When you keep sowing the good seeds, you're going to get a better harvest." It's a philosophy that continues to bear fruit for Williams at the latest stop on his ca - reer journey, the TPC Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Dallas at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas. A little more than a year ago, he and his trophy case headed west to take over as the director of golf operations and landscapes at the venerable 36-hole facility, a post he assumed with two top goals in mind: successfully hosting the PGA Tour's AT&T Byron Nelson, and implementing his particular brand of "environomics" at a facility that had al - ready accomplished much in the environmental space. Mission accomplished. In May, the facility hosted its 35th and final Byron Nelson (the tournament is moving across town to Trinity Forest this year) with few visible hitches. And as 2017 wound to a close, Williams received confirmation that his sustainability practices had gained full traction in the Lone Star State when he and TPC Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club were selected as the Overall and National Private winners of the 2017 Environ - mental Leaders in Golf Awards (ELGA), presented by GCSAA and Golf Digest in partner- ship with Syngenta. In addition to adding one more plaque to his already-crowded wall of fame, this year's ELGA recognition also makes Williams the contest's first "triple crown" winner — a na - tional winner in the program's private, public and resort categories. He previously won the National Resort award in 2005 when he was at Renaissance Pine Isle Resort and Golf Club in Sugar Hill, Ga., and the Overall and National Public honor in 2006 at Stone Mountain (Ga.) Golf Club. "Coming here after basically a year off and knowing the reputation of this property and of golf in North Texas, I was really excited to see how we were going to measure up," says Williams, who won GCSAA's President's Award for Environmental Stewardship in 2010. "The good news is that we measured up really well, and that's a credit to the staff here and how they bought into what we were trying to do." A terrific trio The ELGA celebrations for 2017 aren't limited to Williams and his team at TPC Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club. Two other superintendents are sharing the na - tional spotlight with Williams, while 15 chapter and four merit winners also earned recognition in the competition. Taking home the National Public honor was Jay Neunsinger, the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Boundary Oak Golf Course in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a 16-year member of the association. The National Resort award went to 24-year GCSAA member Scott Main, CGCS, the director of agronomy at Mauna Kea Resort in Kohala Coast, Hawaii. The ELGAs recognize golf course su - perintendents and their courses for overall course management excellence and best management practices in the areas of water conservation, water quality management, energy conservation, pollution prevention, waste management, wildlife and habitat conservation, communication and out - reach, and leadership. This year's winners will be formally recognized Tuesday, Feb. 6, during the GCSAA Opening Night Cel - ebration at the 2018 Golf Industry Show in San Antonio. Been there, done that That Williams was able to push TPC Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club into the national environmental spotlight just one year into his tenure is a remarkable feat, no Left: With his selection as the Overall and National Private winner this year, Williams becomes the first superintendent to achieve the ELGA "triple crown," earning national wins in the program's private, public and resort categories. Photos by Jason Kindig Top: The maintenance team at TPC Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club in Irving, Texas, gathered in front of a statue of Byron Nelson, the namesake of the PGA Tour's AT&T Byron Nelson, which the club hosted for 35 years.

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