Golf Course Management

DEC 2012

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

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Hurdzan has done work at Scioto CC in Colum- bus. Here, he is with Bob Becker, CGCS, Scioto's superintendent. in Highland Park, Ill., on multiple occasions for renovations. "He's able to step out- side of his world and balance that with talking to regular golfers. He communicated with our members; he didn't talk to them." The Country Club of Darrien in Darrien, Conn., only has bestowed honorary membership four times since it opened in 1957. After he finished renovations there in 2010, Hurdzan completed that foursome of honorary members. "For two weeks I would go see what was going on," says CC of Darrien club "He just has a passion for designing golf courses for the masses. He probably has more integrity than anybody on that side of the business." — Bill Kubly president Robert Stelben, "and he'd kiddingly say, 'Bob, you must be looking for a degree in golf course design.' He had to deal with about 43 Bobs. But he became one of us. He listened, which was a key aspect. If you were here 15 years ago, you wouldn't even recognize the place now. We had a U.S. Open qualifier here this year, and heard nothing but superlatives." If Stelben hears again from Hurdzan, well … "If he calls us, there is not anything we wouldn't do for him," Stelben says. Showing them how it's done Hurdzan didn't need a helping hand to give him a pat on the back after complet- ing his very first projects. He handled that himself. "I thought I knew everything," Hurdzan says, punctuating his statement with laughter. The year: 1969. Hurdzan oversaw two nine-hole renovations in Vermont, includ- ing St. Johnsbury Country Club. Upon returning to those sites years later, Hurdzan reached a conclusion. "I would do a lot better now," he says. His parade of golf courses and projects, which numbers in the 400 range, include Hurdzan's first solo 18-hole project, Blue Ash Golf Course in the Cincinnati area, which landed on Golf Digest's top 75 listing of the best municipal courses in the country. His reputation as an environmentally fueled, minimalism-is-best architect was buoyed by Widow's Walk Golf Club in Scituate, Mass. The piece of land previ- ously had been a garbage dump, but Hurdzan transformed it into a layout in which 50 percent less water and fertilizer were needed in comparison to other courses. Widow's Walk became America's first environmental demonstration golf course (Jeff Carlson, CGCS, was its superintendent at the time it opened). "He (Hurdzan) just has a passion for designing golf courses for the masses," says Bill Kubly, owner of Landscapes Unlimited. "He probably has more integrity than 52 GCM December 2012

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