Back in 2014-15 I wrote for TurfNet’s Greenkeeping: The Next Generation as an intern at Mount Juliet in Ireland and The Hills in New Zealand. I admit I was nervous at first to write a blog that anyone could see and read, but by the end I was having a blast sharing my experiences and thoughts. When Jon Kiger asked me to blog at The Presidents Cup, along with Paul Van Buren, I jumped on board.
Prior to 2014 I had completed internships at Westchester Country Club and Vineyard Golf Club. After my wonderful year abroad at Mount Juliet Golf Club in Ireland, host of the 2020 Irish Open, and The Hills Golf Club in New Zealand I landed a job at Hazeltine National Golf Club. Coming in the year before the Ryder Cup gave me and a few other guys a chance to really learn the course so the 2016 Ryder Cup would run even more smoothly.
In between seasons at Hazeltine I headed to Los Angeles Country Club to work there in the winter. With two courses and one undergoing a complete redesign by Gil Hanse, LACC was very busy during the six months I was there. Up to this point all of my jobs had been shorter stints 3-6 months at a time so I knew I needed a full time job after 2016. Around this time an assistant’s position opened up at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis. For almost three years I worked under Jeff Johnson learning and improving my knowledge of turf and crew management. Minikahda was a fun place to work and we accomplished many things in three years; host of the 2017 U.S. Senior Amateur, re-grassing the golf course ’18-19 to pure bentgrass and working with Kyle Franz on a master plan.
Just over a year ago Ryan Moy, assistant at Hazeltine, became the Head Groundskeeper for the Minnesota United at their new stadium and I helped on the field a little that fall. This got my mind thinking about professional sports turf again, as my associate’s degree is in sports turf. A month ago I came on as an assistant groundskeeper following the season where I helped during matches and when I could. I’m excited to work in professional sports turf and new challenge.
Last February when Jon contacted me about volunteering at this year’s Presidents Cup I was very excited. Finding out it was at Royal Melbourne made it so easy to say yes. My time in NZ was amazing and I’ve wanted to go back since. While not NZ, Australia is a place that I never made it to on my other trip so I can’t wait to experience the culture and sights. I know there won’t be much time to explore since I only have a day before and one after but anything will be great.
Most of all I’m excited to see how Richard Forsyth and his crew set up the course on a daily basis. I’m interested in the similarities and differences between the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup as a golf tournament as well as turf conditions. I’m eager to meet many new people and possibly a few friends.