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Overwhelmingly excited: A trip dear to my heart!

Paul Van Buren


paul_sig.jpgWow. I can’t believe I’m sitting down to write my first blog post (ever by the way) about a trip that I have been planning in my mind for the last few years. I am embarking on a trip that will involve so many aspects of the important things I hold dear to my heart, it is utterly overwhelming how excited I am. Here are few snippets of what I’m looking forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks.

First off, I’m the golf course superintendent at perhaps one of the most unique golf facilities one could imagine. I oversaw the construction of the Kanawha Club (Manakin-Sabot, VA) back in 2004-2005. It was my first construction, my first superintendent’s gig, and a lot to tackle for a 26-year-old. Blah blah blah, enough of that. In December of 2018 I convinced the owner of Kanawha, who is one of the most admirable humans I’ve ever met, to help me out with an adventure. He loved hearing this story I’m getting ready to tell you guys about and after 15 years of employment at his course… he said, “And you want me to pay for this?” (This trip will cost near the same amount as I had budgeted for GIS) And the rest is history. Thanks Fred. You have been so much more than a boss. So much.

Fast forward a few months. After I proposed this trip to Fred and I get this email from Jon Kiger of our beloved TurfNet and it’s like: “We have reserved two volunteer spots on the Maintenance Staff for the 2019 President’s Cup to be held at the prestigious Royal Melbourne…”. My heart about exploded. Mind you, my wife and I had just begun a few weeks’ trip around New Zealand with some friends. Now this? Cloud 99! So this is how we got here. The planning and preparations were swiftly carried out with tremendous elation. After waiting for months for this thing to happen, it’s in the crosshairs.


This will be my second trip to Australia in two years. My wife and I toured Down Under and caught up with some wonderful friends that I met at Kanawha through a long-time industry vagabond. We saw enough to fall in love with Australia in our first five hours in Brisbane. And I would say that’s probably when this trip came into my brain… it’s been a mental struggle ever since. How can I fit it all in? What will Stephanie think? No way I can pull this off…

The time finally came around and I departed on Thanksgiving morning. I have a little side trip planned with those same friends from Brisbane that I met at my golf course about 6 random years ago. Something we have emailed about ad nauseum for years. My friend Ian and I are going to rendezvous in Sydney and under his valiant wing we will spend time playing golf with and spending time with Superintendents of the very courses we are playing. Ian is another one of those people one is so fortunate to ever meet. Follow along here and on Twitter.





It's funny how an idle thought can come into fruition if it never fully leaves your mind. I have a lot of people to thank for this opportunity and that doesn’t go unnoticed. I hope you follow along to see just how awesome this experience will be!


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