Golf Course Management

JUN 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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18 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 06.18 Grass master Mel Anderson won't call himself a zoysiagrass pioneer. Others will. "He was very much a pioneer. He was innovative and liked to try new things. He brought country club conditions to the public golf course in our area," says Dick Stuntz, CGCS, president of the National Golf Course Own - ers Association. "He took course conditions to another level, different than what anyone had seen." A story published in Crop Science supported the idea that Anderson achieved pioneer status. It read, "Several golf course su - perintendents were pi- oneers in zoysiagrass management and re - search, and provided key insights through trial and error." The first name that was mentioned? Ander - son. The story credits him with being the first superin - tendent to establish successful zoysiagrass in his region, accomplish - ing the feat at Alvamar Golf Club in Lawrence, Kan. It went on to say that Alvamar "is thought to be the first 18-hole U.S. course with zoysiagrass fairways." Soon, Anderson will be honored for his innovation. He is among a group that will be inducted later this summer into the Kansas Golf Hall of Fame by the Kansas Golf Foundation. Anderson isn't convinced he belongs. "Others deserve it more than me," says the 57-year retired GCSAA mem - ber. A native of Missouri, Anderson, now 85, was raised on a farm in an area between the towns of St. Joseph and Savannah, where zoysiagrass was abundant. "That is when I got attached to it," says Anderson, who, as a caddie at St. Joseph Country Club, once carried a bag for a group that in - cluded legends Ben Hogan, Jug McSpaden and Byron Nelson, who stopped by for a round of golf after having played in the Kansas City area. Anderson served in the U.S. Marines in the Korean War and opted to Photo by Roger Billings

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