So who graduates from UMass in 1971 with a BS in Plant and Soil Science, takes an assistant job at a very private/secretive 500 acre facility on the NY/CT border, gets promoted to superintendent three months later, grows in a new back nine... and then stays for 51 years? We'll tell you who: Mike Maffei, CGCS, recently retired golf course superintendent at Morefar in Brewster, NY.
Google "Morefar" and you won't come up with much. "A lot of newcomers to Brewster don't even know it's there," q
Our latest All Star of Turf is Michael Morris, CGCS, 36-year Director of Buildings and Grounds at Crystal Downs Country Club in Frankfort, Michigan. A native of Frankfort, Mike is one of the few golf course property managers who has spent his entire career at one course, in his hometown. He is also a rarity in obtaining a BA and MS in English and film studies at Michigan State before realizing that life on the golf course spoke to him more than a future in academia.
He is known internation
In this first "It's not just about the grass" segment of TurfNet All Stars of Turf, we recognize Scott Dodson, CGCS, and John Taylor. Both career superintendents, they are perhaps better known as the founders of the Golf Course Hockey Challenge, an annual 2-day/4-game tournament that has attracted as many as 16 teams of hockey playing superintendents, assistants and suppliers over a 25+ year run.
Dodson has been at the Park Country Club in Williamsville (Buffalo) NY for 30 years. Taylor is
Jared Viarengo of Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, Pennsylvania, bucked a trend early in his career by also becoming general manager at the club in eastern Pennsylvania. Since then, Viarengo's role has expanded as the club's director of grounds and director of club operations.
In this broadcast, Viarengo discusses how his career started in the field of psychology and how he eventually returned his roots on the golf course, where he had worked during summers since high school.
Some career superintendents make their marks by hosting major tournaments or pushing the agronomic envelope. Others quietly go about their business of growing great grass while also navigating the potholes and pitfalls that invariably spring up in private clubs over time. John Carlone, CGCS, has done that over 37 years as a golf course superintendent at two clubs in one of the toughest markets in the industry: Long Island, NY.
Fresh out of the University of Rhode Island (where he had a nota
Sean Tully of the Meadow Club in Fairfax, California, has made a name for himself as a fan and ultimately an expert on classic-era golf course architecture, particularly Alister MacKenzie designs.
The Meadow Club, where Tully is director of grounds maintenance, is in fact the first course in North America designed by MacKenzie and one of several in Northern California. Tully's expertise in the field has resulted in many opportunities to speak at other golf courses in the region, often to e
For more than 30 years, David Fruchte has been superintendent at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina, the site of this year's U.S. Women's Open, which once was owned by LPGA legend Peggy Kirk Bell. A graduate of the turfgrass program at Purdue, Fruchte learned the trade from the legendary David Stone at the Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since 1990, Pine Needles has become the epitome of resort golf in the highly competitive North Carolina Sandhills regio
For parts of four decades, Ralph Kepple has been the caretaker for the historic home course of the late Bobby Jones. A graduate of Ohio State, Kepple was named superintendent at East Lake Golf Club in 1992 and since 2018 has been the club’s director of agronomy. During that time, East Lake has been synonymous with the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship for 21 years.
In this episode of All Stars of Turf, Kepple talks about the keys to career longevity and some of the changes that hav
For more than 15 years, Mark Hoban has built a career of promoting a sustainable and minimalist approach of managing golf course turf at Rivermont Golf Club in Johns Creek, Georgia. At age 67, he insists he is only getting started.
Hoban, who prepped under Palmer Maples at the nearby Standard Club, uses biologicals, homemade compost tea and other organic nutrients to promote healthy turf and soils that require very little fungicides and are naturally resistant to disease pressure.
Steve Cook has had a career laced with high profile tournaments, including two U.S. Amateurs, a Ryder Cup, and a PGA Championship while at Oakland Hills, and a BMW Championship in 2019 at Medinah Country Club. Yet to him, a career should be more about contribution than achievement.
He has mentored and graduated many assistants onto their own successful superintendent careers, and takes great pride and satisfaction in the ongoing relationships with them. His primary criterion for hiring an a
TurfNet is pleased to recognize Joe D. Wachter, CGCS, of Glen Echo Country Club, St. Louis, MO, as our first All Star of Turf.
Following a life-long passion for all things green, in 1990 Joe transitioned at age 32 from a ten year stint in school bus system management — supervising 150 drivers and a $3 million budget — to an assistant superintendent position at nearby Sunset Country Club under Lee Redman.
Joe consulted his younger brother Ed, superintendent at Franklin County Country C