This course, Golf della Montecchia, is located in the mountains of northeast Italy, east of Verona and close to Padua. The course has twenty-seven holes with A4 bentgrass putting surfaces, and a world renowned restaurant. The superintendent is Brian O'g O'Flaherty.
Exciting renovations have been taking place at Real Club De Golf Las Brisas in Marbella, Málaga, Spain. The Director of Golf, Rafael Gonzalez-Carrascosa, shared details with me on what has been done and what is still in the works.
- New greens (design, soil, grass)
- New tees complex (design, soil, grass)
- New bunkers
- Sewer system
The first few days of my trip were spent in Madrid, Spain, and were full of relaxing and enjoying the culture of Madrid with my wife, Linda.
We then boarded the AVE, a train with speeds up to 260 km/h, bound for Granada. I look forward to our next stops and my golf course visits!
So why am I doing this? For more reasons than one would probably expect.
My family is originally from Colderu' in the North of Italy. My grandfather immigrated to Mexico in 1883 to help bring Italian knowledge of agricultural practices to that country. Having the opportunity to explore the roots of my ancestors is a great privilege. Italy and Spain have some of the richest history and culture in the world and I am looking forward to exploring and learning more. I am also excited to soak up the sun and sea!
My wife has been in Europe this summer working on her masters degree in education. I planned my visit to coincide with the end of her studies so that we can enjoy some time in Europe together. I will be in Europe for a little over two weeks.
I am interested in building relationships internationally to increase my knowledge about golf from all possible aspects and use that knowledge to grow the game of golf. In Italy I will be visiting Northern Italy, Milano, and Florence in the Tuscan region. In Spain I will be visiting Barcelona and Costa del Sol (Club de Golf Valderrama, Finca Cortesin, Real de Sotogrande, Real Club de Golf Las Brisas, and a few others) I have connected with superintendents from courses in these areas and have plans to visit with them and tour their courses.
I have a strong belief that learning about other cultures is a key to building stronger relationships, both personally and professionally, which leads to stronger business. During my visits I hope to learn about how the culture of different people and regions influences the superintendent profession, and on a larger scale, the golf industry. Water conservation, sustainable development and renewable energy are integral to the future of the golf industry. These countries face unique challenges in these areas and have a depth of knowledge that I can learn from.
Roberto Cruz with me after I received my CGCS certificate.
My assistant, Roberto, and the phenomenal maintenance crew at Southern Oaks will be taking care of the course while I am away.
Welcome to the next chapter of TurfNet on Tour! This blog series was originally established to showcase TurfNet's contributions to the maintenance team for the Irish Open at the K Club in May.
"At the end of this month I am traveling to Europe and am excited to have the opportunity to meet others in the golf industry in Spain and Italy. I will be visiting courses in Costa del Sol and Barcelona in Spain and also in Italy will be visiting courses in Toscana and Northern Italy.
I am looking forward to forging new relationships with superintendents that experience golf everyday from the viewpoint of a different culture. Being able to talk with them and learn about what accomplishments and challenges they face will help me to grow within my superintendent role.
I look forward to sharing these experiences with you, stay tuned!"
Jorge Croda, CGCS, to report on golf and golf maintenance in EuropeEddy Branch - Jul 24 2016