Golf Course Management

MAY 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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20 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.18 therapy clinics, etc. Winfrey is one of those who found work. He certainly finds his job ap - pealing. "I like mowing and using all the equip- ment to make the course look nice," he says. This month marks Winfrey's one-year anni - versary at The Links at The Rock. Until his arrival, finding good employees sometimes proved to be a frustrating, revolving-door type of challenge at the course. "I've been here three years and probably have been through nine people who have come and gone. The labor market hasn't been great," Storie says. "I think this story is worthy of telling, in part due to the vast labor shortage. And I'm telling you what — he shows up every day, ready to go. If he's going to be five minutes late, he calls. That's kind of refreshing in this day and time." At 1-year-old, Winfrey was diagnosed with a hearing impair - ment. He initially started with hearing aids, but when his hearing loss became progressive, Winfrey became profoundly deaf. When he was 2, he had surgery for his first implant. He received his sec - ond implant four years later. "Because of my language problems, I spent a lot of time in speech therapy every week," Winfrey says, "but mostly my childhood was like other kids. I played T-ball, took karate and was on the swim team." Today, he still has language and processing delays. That means when people speak to him, it sometimes takes longer for him to process what the person is saying, and often he needs things reworded to fully understand. "It can be frustrating for him at times. He's been really fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful teachers, therapists, friends, family, and coworkers that have been patient with him and helped him along the way," says his mother, Kelly Winfrey. Hailee Bradley is an employment coach supported by Project Search Arkansas: Access Initiative, and she has been on-site at The Links at The Rock to check in with Winfrey once a month. She says that he has overcome obstacles to ad - just to the job. "He's had issues; I'm not going to lie," says Bradley. "Sometimes he has trouble focusing, but what we have gone over is that if you forget a task, you either need to ask Junior or a co - worker. He's very good at communicating. And he does love this job." Storie has been patient with Winfrey. Fair, too. "Hailee said, 'Don't treat him differently than any other employee.' He can get sidetracked working by himself. He works bet - ter in a group. He's very good at repetitive tasks. Most people are not. I'm not. It can get boring," Storie says. Winfrey has been dedicated to his job, which thrills Storie. "He's someone eager to work, eager to prove him - self," says Storie, noting that Winfrey adores the Arkan- sas Razorbacks and the Dallas Cowboys, and brings his lunch and sits in his black pickup truck while listening to music during his break. "He fits in. He's just like one of the other guys." When he was younger, Winfrey considered being a wildlife game warden someday — and it may happen yet. Nowadays, Winfrey is in his element. And flourishing. "I've learned that I like working outside and working on a team," he says. For more information on Project Search, visit www. . — Howard Richman, GCM associate editor Kid stuff The children of Kenny Cloud were pretty much raised on golf courses. For more than 50 years, Formost Construction Co. of Temecula, Calif., has done work from the U.S. to South Africa, providing its expertise and services in construction and management of golf projects. K.P. and Chuck Cloud were two of those children who learned about the game Sam Bailey may be unlike any other GCSAA superintendent mem- ber. How many people in his shoes have their pump house located between the hippos and chimpanzees? "We have to call zoo security to get into the pump house," says Bailey, a nine-year GCSAA Class A member who oversees Swope Memorial Golf Course in Kansas City. Besides the skyline view of downtown, Swope Memorial has so much more to offer. Those who work and play at the course can hear the roar of lions and the calls of other animals that inhabit the adjacent Kansas City Zoo. On occasion, bobcats that don't belong to the zoo find their way onto Swope Memorial, which will be invaded by nu - merous golfers this month. The course is hosting the Kan- sas City Golf Association's (KCGA) Women's Match Play Championship May 4-6; the Missouri Class 4A high school boys state championship May 14-15; and the KCGA Men's Match Play Championship May 18-20. Swope Memorial has quite a history. It was designed in 1934 by legendary architect A.W. Tillinghast, whose work includes major cham - pionship venues Baltusrol Golf Club in Spring- field, N.J., and Winged Foot Golf Club in Ma- maroneck, N.Y. It also hosted the city's first PGA Tour event, the Kansas City Open Invi - tational, in 1949. Bailey arrived more than a year ago, but he already had put his stamp on golf in the region. A native of Schuyler, Neb., Bailey spent his early career in Arizona, including time as assistant superintendent at Phoenix Country Club, but his first superintendent job was closer to home at nine-hole Evergreen Hill in Battle Creek, Neb. His next move was to Kansas City, to become superintendent at Heart of America Golf Course, and it was there in 2016 that he earned Superintendent of the Year from the Heart of America GCSA. Bailey — who with his wife Heidi have children Hannah, Eva and Jonah — credits mentors Scott Anderson, Charlie Costello, Tony Bertels and Nate Pehrson for his profes - sional growth. May is a good time for events at Swope Memorial because the undulating Poa annua greens are at their healthiest, Bailey says. That's good, because they will be getting quite a workout. "When you get the best of the high school golfers and the best of the Kansas City- area players at your course, you want it to play well," says Bailey, 37. — H.R. ACT ON COURSE OF 20 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.18 GCSAA Class A superintendent Junior Storie (standing) instructs employee Seth Winfrey. In 2017, Winfrey came to the Links at The Rock via Project Search Arkansas: Access Initiative, in partnership with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, which is an innovative job training program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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