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John Reitman

By John Reitman

There has been much to be thankful for in 2021

With so many challenges and hurdles since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we thought everyone could use a dose of good news as the holiday season approaches. 

Thanksgiving is more than a day on which people stuff themselves with turkey and dressing, watch football and take a tryptophan-induced nap. It is day for giving thanks for our many blessings.

Since early 2020, people have been struggling with mental issues, separation anxiety, loneliness, stress related to job security and financial uncertainty as well as physical health stress related to the virus. Add to that supply issues and personnel shortages in the service industry that add the uncertainty of being able to secure necessary goods and services in a timely manner, and it adds up to a powder keg ready to blow. Still, several people we spoke with did not hesitate to say they still have much to be thankful for in 2021. We have some of their responses here.

Bryan Unruh

University of Florida, Pace, Florida

I’m thankful for friends and industry partners – some are both! This past year, we lost a few due to Covid, at it causes one to pause and reflect on what’s really important. At the end of the day, the importance of growing grass pales in comparison to growing people.

Carlos Arraya

Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis

I share with my family, friends and Team at Bellerive, I’m thankful for the Triple H.

Health (physical)- Several medical issues followed by a pandemic forced me to reflect and be truly thankful for the my life.

Happiness (mind) - Thankful I’m surrounded and supported by people that shine love in my life, no matter what I’m going through or stupid things I do.

Healing (spirit/emotions) - Thankful my faith has provided emotional healing following 2018, which has opened a doorway to a better life.

Lastly, thankful I’m aware and live my life knowing I have an unknown expiration date. I just pray to be a positive light for those around me while I’m here. 

Chris Reverie

Allentown Golf Course, Allentown, Pennsylvania

I would say the past two years have been a whirlwind to say the least. In 2021 I am most thankful for the culture that has been taught and grown in the turfgrass industry. Short staffs, long days, more play then ever but we adapted. The resurgence of golf has led to a boom in capital that many facilities have needed for years. Supply chain has become a battle but the strength in our relationships is strong. An example is a grow in I did for a local sod farmer. Now getting the product I need on time and local!

112321thankful2.jpgJustin Sims

Alotian Club, Roland, Arkansas

I am most thankful for my wife and three boys, Carter, Jackson and Hayden.

We have a very fast pace and chaotic schedule, but we always find time to spend together and show each other love and appreciation.

I am thankful every day to have such a wonderful family.

Tim Moraghan

Aspire Golf, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Thankful for friends.

Personal - I am thankful for the angel that is my wife and our health. 

Professional - It is our sport which has given me everything. 

Anthony Williams

TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, Irving, Texas

It has been a crazy year, but that makes us grateful in deeper and different ways. I am thankful for my family that supports all my aspirations. I am also thankful that my staff at Four Seasons is always committed to excellence no matter what weather, virus or budget issue shows up they always give the highest effort. I am grateful to still be a golf course superintendent in now my 36th season, and perhaps most of all I am thankful for all of my friends and mentors in the green industry that keep me rooted and reaching for the stars. 

Rob Golembiewski

Bayer Environmental Science, Columbus, Ohio

The health and safety of my family, walking my daughter down the aisle, a new son-in-law, watching in person all of my daughter's collegiate field hockey games and my son's high school cross country meets, opportunity to spend time with my parents who live in Arizona, summer cookout with siblings in Michigan, a weekend getaway with buddies in Asheville, my co-workers and the great turf industry that I am a part of.

Ross Miller

Country Club of Detroit, Detroit, Michigan

It sounds very cliché and boring, but I am beyond thankful for friends and family this year. Personally, it has been amplified by the tragic loss of one of my closest friend and his wife in a plane crash this past summer – leaving their 1-year-old son to grow up without his parents. Has definitely brought into focus work/life balance, and my time with friends and family that much more, and to appreciate the little things in life. 

Brandon Horvath

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

I'm thankful for how well golf has done this year, as I think it has excited folks in the industry. I'm thankful for my continued journey of health and weight loss personally. I'm thankful that my son has developed a great bit of self reliance this year and is growing up to be a fine young man. Rick Brandenburg said it best at the Carolinas this past week, "When we pass, are we going to want to be remembered for how many papers we published or grants that were received, or what kind of a father, husband or friend we were?” I'm thankful for all the friends I have in this industry and beyond.

Jake Mendoza

Detroit Golf Club, Detroit, Michigan

I have so many things to be thankful for this year! My top three are my family, a wonderful hardworking staff  and the support of our industry partners and club membership during an extremely difficult tournament this past summer!

Gordon Kaufmann III

Brandt Consolidated, State College, Pennsylvania

I'm thankful for the planet Earth and the wonder of nature.

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