Internship Visit #3

July 29, 2010 in 2-year, Teaching

In my third round of internship visits, I made it to four golf courses in the Philadelphia region. The trip occurred between 14 and 17 June and included official internship visits to students working at Pine Valley, Bidermann, Aronomink, and Philadelphia Cricket Club.  The trip also included a visit to alumnus Matt Shaffer at Merion Golf Club.

Charlie Kerr @ Pine Valley (Stop #6)
I have to admit I was very excited to have the opportunity to finally get to see the famed Pine Valley golf course. Consistently ranked the #1 golf course in America, the course didn’t disappoint.  I arrived on Monday afternoon and was greeted by my student Charlie Kerr near the entrance gate.  Charlie is our youngest student in terms of age, but has a vast number of years of experience.  Charlie’s father (David Kerr) is a golf course superintendent in Connecticut and Charlie grew up on the course working for his Dad.  His passion for the profession is clear once you sit down and speak with him. Charlie showed me around the course and gave me the grand tour of everything from the world-class practice facility to some of the unique bunkers on the course. I was happy to hear that Charlie was being included in all aspects of the maintenance program and will leave with a new perspective in turf management and a few new tricks up his sleeve.

Patrick Forrest @ Bidermann (Stop #7)
Early on Tuesday, I met with Patrick and golf course superintendent Jonathan Urbanski to discuss the progress of the internship. After a brief discussion, we headed out on the golf course to get a look at things. The course was dry in an effort to produce firm and fast conditions, but the greens had a tremendous amount of roots and were looking great.  We spent some time talking about the bird programs at Biderman and all of the activities that Pat was getting involved with. Jon’s internship program is well-known and well developed and gets students involved in all aspects.  If you think that you’ll rake bunkers all year at Bidermann…think again.  I did walk in a bunker just so Pat would have to get in and rake it, which gave me the perfect opportunity for the token bunker raking shot!

James Seisun @ Aronimink (Stop #8)
In the afternoon, I headed over to Aronimink to meet with turfgrass student James Seisun.  James is an international student from England and brings with him over 10 years of experience in the area of greenkeeping.  Just prior to starting at Penn State, James was working with Bruce Williams at LACC.  Now a student at Penn State, James decided to try turf management on the East Coast where he helped to prepare for the AT&T National. James quickly assumed a leadership role at Aronimink due to his previous experience and golf course superintendent John Gosselin (Penn State 2-Year Alumnus) gave his work ethic and ability to think high praise.  The AT&T was a huge success, but now James is getting some first hand knowledge of what growing grass in the hot and humid transition zone is all about.

Ty Jumper @ Philadelphia Cricket Club (Stop #9)
After a quick stop for a disease tour with the interns at Merion Golf Club, I headed over to Philadelphia Cricket Club for my final internship visit on this trip. Ty (pictured right during his on course video interview), a former school teacher, is now following his passion for golf course maintenance under the direction of Dan Meersman.  Immediately upon starting in March, Ty was thrown feet first into a major bunker restoration project. This project taught Ty a lot about project management, but also about a new bunker construction method that utilizes asphalt as the base.  I was fortunate to have Mr. Meersman show me some videos demonstrating the new method.  It is an impressive technique and the bunkers looked, played and drained very well.  Upon completion of his internship this year, Ty has already been offered a full time position at the Cricket Club next year.

Next up for the internship summary is Denver Country Club, Pinehurst #2, and Eagle Point Country Club.

Click Play for more photos from this round of internships.