Developing Professionals

By Chris Hartwiger and Patrick O'Brien, agronomists, Southeast region
June 20, 2012

(From left to right) Turfgrass students Matt Elmore and Bob Cross had the opportunity to spend time with a variety of industry professionals including superintendent  Joel White and Ryan Brickley at Rocky River Golf Club in the Charlotte, N.C. area.

Each year, Pat O’Brien and I have the opportunity to select two student interns studying turfgrass management to travel with us for a week. Our interns this year were Bob Cross, a Masters candidate at Clemson University and Matt Elmore, a PhD candidate at the University of Tennessee. One of the goals of the internship is to expose aspiring turfgrass professionals to areas of the industry they may not have seen during their academic training.  

This year, Bob and Matt spent a week with us traveling to courses in the Charlotte, N.C. area. We visited daily fee, resort, and private clubs during and discussed a host of agronomic topics. As these students learned, there is an agronomic, economic, and political component to almost every decision made on a golf course. These young men were surprised to learn of some of the challenges facing superintendents. One example is the difficulty keeping golfers content with bunker conditions. The view that bunkers can play the same every day is still alive and that better bunkers are as close as locating a better sand. In the end, clear communication and education about the role bunkers play in the game of golf is never complete. 

On another note, several superintendents took advantage of our offer to provide professional development training for agronomy staff members. We would tour the course in the morning discussing key issues with course officials and the superintendent. In the afternoon, we spent time on the golf course with key personnel other than the superintendent and assistant superintendent. We reviewed many topics including course marking, basics of The Rules of Golf, irrigation practices, and new maintenance techniques and trends in the region. This program was enjoyed by all and we made sure to end the afternoon with plenty of time for answering questions. 

As we wrapped up the week, our interns had seen another side of the industry. We were also pleased to see how a half day of professional development training infused knowledge and enthusiasm into the turf teams at several golf courses. In a busy world, it is easy to forget that all of us can benefit from spending time with others who can help us learn and develop as turfgrass professionals. The USGA Green Section Turfgrass Advisory service is an ideal way to invest in your employees. We are happy to assist you in setting up a half day of training with your staff. Please call or email either one of us.  

Chris Hartwiger (chartwiger@usga.org , 678-591-7410) and Patrick O’Brien (patobrien@usga.org, 678-591-7340)

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image