My summer at Lahinch Golf Club could not have been better, both personally and professionally. It showed me that the world is far bigger than what I can see out my back door. That concept would have scared me before this summer, but it now excites me. My experiences put into context how many different people and point of views there are in the world, and that my 'normal' is strange to the vast majority of people on planet Earth.
Professionally, I was able to see how a world class golf course was managed, while staying true to golf's roots. 'Firm and fast' is a way of life in Lahinch and you'll get nothing but a chuckle if you let it be known that you think 20 mph wind is unplayable. I was also exposed to a management style that is not common in the states, but is becoming more prevalent. Water was used sparingly, only to establish new turf and keep greens and tees out of dormancy in drought conditions. Nutrient inputs were low, and promoting healthy soil microbe activity was of highest importance.
Personally, there are many things I will miss about Ireland. The hospitality that was shown to me was unbelievable. I was truly treated like family there, from the grounds crew to the office managers. I have mixed feelings on the weather, as it was mostly cold, rainy and windy. A good day in Lahinch, however, is second to none and made the bad days worth it.
I am glad to be back home in a familiar place, and am eternally grateful to everyone who allowed me to intern and Lahinch, and those who enriched my experience as the summer went on. These people include everyone at TurfNet for giving me a platform to share my experiences with anyone who will listen, and helping me along the way. I would also like to thank Jacobsen for sponsoring my blog and encouraging young people to get out and experience what a profession in turf has to offer. Also a big thanks to Mike O'Keeffe for taking me through the necessary steps to make this summer real.
A big thank you to Thomas McInerny and his family for hosting me at their hotel for the summer. Finally I'd like to thank everyone at Lahinch GC: Paddy Keane, Anne Scales, Brian McDonagh and everyone on the crew and in management for giving me a once in a lifetime opportunity. And thank you for reading and following along!