Golf Course Management

MAR 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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far," says Tescher, an 18-year association member. "For everything she is involved with, she's got to be doing something right." Last year, Sjostrom participated in a Rocky Mountain GCSA trade show to meet members and introduce her products. Al - though she has only dabbled in golf ("I have clubs, but I'm a horrible golfer," she says), Sjostrom feels welcomed by the in - dustry. "They're very understanding, just good people," says Sjostrom, who was raised in Montana. Sjostrom graduated from the Univer - sity of Montana with a degree in political science and international relations and is currently pursuing a master's degree in business administration from the Univer - sity of Denver. Obviously, her plate is full, but Sjostrom wouldn't have it any other way. "I'm doing things I love," she says. — Howard Richman, GCM associate editor Mississippi Valley GCSA offers internship to honor Null The Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association (MAGA), in cooperation with the Mississippi Valley GCSA (MVGCSA), has announced a unique internship opportunity between both organizations. The Roger Null Internship will be offered this year to a student pursuing a career in the golf industry. Working under the direction of MAGA and MVGCSA pub - lic and private courses, the intern will be exposed to several disciplines in the golf industry. The intern will be directly involved in conducting MAGA championships and USGA qualifying rounds, including course setup and course marking pursuant to the Rules of Golf. From the MVGCSA perspective, the intern will participate in specific facets of golf course management and maintenance at select public and private St. Louis-area courses. The intern will also have the opportunity to spend time with Null. Born in Le Mars, Iowa, into a golfing family, Null attended Iowa State University, after which he completed stints as superintendent at The Arsenal Club in Rock Island, Ill.; Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Country Club; Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis; and Norwood Hills Country Club in St. Louis. Null has performed consulting work for many golf courses in St. Louis and the Midwest, including Boone Valley Golf Club near St. Louis, where he also served as general manager. Null is an accomplished player as well, competing in local and national amateur events throughout his career. He has captured the GCSAA National Championship three times, and qualified for several USGA cham - pionships, including four U.S. Amateurs. He con- tinues to be active and in touch with all facets of the industry. Null has been instrumental in bringing some of St. Louis' finest super - intendents to this area and placing many assistants and superintendents in jobs throughout the country. "MAGA is beyond ecstatic to partner with the Mis - sissippi Valley GCSA in providing this one-of-a-kind op- portunity for a college student," says Curt Rohe, MAGA executive director. A sacrifice for a fellow super Scott Dodson, CGCS, and Brian Conn, CGCS, work just 10 minutes apart, but they are now closer than ever. Dodson received a new kidney on Jan. 9. The donor was his fellow superintendent, Conn. Their admiration for one another after their journey is palpable. "Brian is an incredible human being," Dodson says. Conn pretty much returns the sentiment. "This all is reinforcement that he is a wonderful person," Conn says. Dodson, a 32-year member of GCSAA who oversees Park Country Club in Williamsville, N.Y., and Conn, who is at Transit Valley Country Club in East Amherst, have known each other for a while, mainly through Western New York GCSA events. Knowing that Dodson was in need of a kidney transplant, last August Conn paid Dodson a visit at his club, which was nearing the completion of a major renovation. "I think he thought I was going to borrow a piece of equipment. I told him I'd been through the testing process and had been preapproved. He got emotional. He couldn't believe it," says Conn, a 22-year GCSAA member. Dodson, 60, was born with scarred kidneys, but he didn't learn about that until much later in his life. The Can - ada native was able to live with it, although he had been seeing a nephrologist (someone who specializes in the care and treatment of kidneys) for more than a decade and had been on an organ donation list since 2016. But during the renovation, he encountered a symptom of more serious kidney troubles. "I was absolutely exhausted," he says. His doctor informed him that his kidney function was almost nonexistent, a frightening 7 percent of what it should be. When Conn, 48, entered the picture, Dodson was taken aback. "I didn't know what to say. I said, 'Why? Why me?' His answer was so simple and nonchalant. He said, 'It is the Christian thing to do,'" Dodson says. Conn, who had learned about Dodson's situation via an email sent by then-Western New York GCSA presi - dent Thad Thompson, told his wife, Jennifer, in May that he wanted to be a donor. She supported him, and Conn went through a battery of tests to determine whether he would be a match. He has Type O-negative blood, which means he's among the most suitable donor candidates. 20 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.18 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.18 20 Bobby Stringer, CGCS, has a reputation to uphold. It has everything to do with protecting the name of the legendary figure who put his stamp on the golf course where Stringer is em - ployed. The late Harvey Penick spent much of his life at Austin (Texas) Country Club, including time as a caddie and later as its club profes - sional, where he instructed golf standouts such as Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite and Mickey Wright. In 1992, "Harvey Penick's Little Red Book," a collection of golf tips and life lessons, made The New York Times' best-seller list and sold more than a million copies. No wonder, then, that Stringer feels an obligation to preserve the property in which Penick is revered. "You want to do a good job and not tarnish that legacy in any way," says Stringer, a 22-year member of GCSAA. Stringer's efforts will be in the spotlight this month when the World Golf Championships' Dell Technologies Match Play event comes to town. Scheduled for March 21-25, the tournament features the top 64 players from the Official World Golf Ranking and is being played at Austin CC for the third time in a row. Past winners include Dustin Johnson and Jason Day. This type of high-profile event wasn't on String - er's radar when he was hired 10 years ago — and it certainly wasn't in the picture upon grad - uation from Mississippi State University. "I was a business major," says Stringer, 46, who spent nine months working for a con - sulting firm before growing tired of it. He had done golf course work as a youth at the Coun - try Club of Jackson (Miss.), and chose to revive that experience. Stringer enrolled at Texas A&M University and earned an agronomy degree while working at Lochinvar Golf Club in Houston, then landed an assistant job at Germantown (Tenn.) Country Club. He earned a promotion to superin - tendent there, and spent 12 years at the club before moving on with his wife, Lisa, and daughters, Lily and identical twins Mollie and Chloe, to Austin CC. His dependable staff is crucial to the cause there, Stringer says. That includes senior assistant Colton Fees, fore - man Osmel Perales, horticulturist Adriane Horne, and equipment manager Don Rutherford. They, and many others, plan to make the match play event something special at a special place for Stringer. "At the end of the day, it'll all be good," Stringer says. "We'll put our hearts into it and do everything we can." — H.R. ACT ON COURSE OF Scott Dodson (left) and Brian Conn share more than just being superintendents — their lives are forever intertwined after Conn donated a kidney to Dodson. Photo courtesy of Brian Conn

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