We are thrilled to recognize Luke Kringler, assistant superintendent at Laurel Creek Country Club in Moorestown, NJ, as our first Rising Star of Turf.
"Nominated" (unbeknownst to him at the time) by John Slade, superintendent at Laurel Creek and a Charter TurfNet Member, the email exchange with Peter McCormick back in November went like this:
John: I'm looking to get one of my techey young guys to work on some job postings. Over the years, I've had five employees become Supers -- but all in the challenging public golf domain. The young man working for me now (Luke Kringler) is one of the very few that I feel comfortable encouraging to pursue this career path. Luke was the last of three brothers who started working at Laurel Creek as a seasonal employee. However, unlike his siblings, he was an Environmental Science major at Rutgers.
After graduation, Luke got a "real job" working in a soils lab--which he did not enjoy at all. So he returned to the course to pursue a career in golf course management. My advice at the time was:
- Get a turf certificate,
- learn to play golf well enough to avoid total embarrassment,
- consider an MBA, and
- do an internship at a top club (for resume purposes).
Fortunately for me, he has done everything except leave LCCC. Luke now has a Bachelor's and Turf Certificate from Rutgers, and will complete his Rutgers MBA in a year plus. If I actually am able to work until I choose to retire, he is the only person I would endorse to take over.
As an aside, Luke's two brothers still work for me seasonally. His older brother is now a tenured teacher in Moorestown, and his younger brother is getting his Master's in Engineering. Not sure if we can establish a cause and effect relationship or not, but both the boys' mother and father are retired military, so I'm guessing that following the rules, timeliness, communication, presentation and respect may have been discussed during their upbringing. With all of the knocking about today's youth, I see these guys as some hope for the future.
As I enter my 40th year in this business, it isn't too often that I see someone with all of the tools to succeed in this challenging world."
Peter, replying: "John - Good story, unusual to hear these days. We haven’t broadcasted it but we are launching a Rising Stars of Turf program to recognize guys like Luke, and an All Stars of Turf for established superintendents, career assistants, mechanics, etc. Sounds like Luke would be a great one to kick off the program."
The rest of the story: