Internship Visit: Round #5

June 26, 2011 in 2-year, Alumni, Teaching

After an exhausting week at the U.S. Open, I had a couple of days back on campus to catch up on research activities and the daunting task of clearing out built up email (can’t we find another form of communication that is better than email?). The time at home quickly flew by and I was off again to the Philadelphia region to visit a couple of golf courses that were having some trouble on their greens and to visit my students at Bidermann and Merion.

Visit #8: Mark Swankowski @ Bidermann Golf Club

Having retired from his first career, Mark is what I would call a non-traditional student. I am truly amazed at his commitment and passion for the industry. Working at Bidermann under the direction of Jon Urbanski is a great experience for any intern because of the limited number of intern positions available and the structured internship program that he runs. At the club, Mark has been involved in everything from general maintenance to water management and will get the opportunity to run the crew during one of their tournaments towards the end of the year. Despite the fact that he doesn’t “need” to be there working, his commitment to the course is one out of true passion for being outdoors and working in an environment that he loves.

Visit #9: Samuel Hess @ Merion Golf Club

Merion seems to get one of our students every year. Although the internship is not right for everyone, the right person can excel in the well-structured internship program run by Matt Shaffer (2-Year Alum) and his crew. Many people think that working at a club like Merion means that you will be raking bunkers, string trimming, and doing other remedial jobs. To the contrary, Matt gets his interns involved in all aspects of the maintenance program and is fortunate to have 36 holes which allows them to do just about everything during the summer. The only downside of the program (which is only a negative if the wrong person decides to work there) is that they have up to 10 interns which means you have to work hard to stand out. I personally love the competition invoked in this system, but I also pre-screen my students to make sure it will be a right fit for them.

View photos from Round #5 of the internship visits below.