Internship Visits: Round #6

June 29, 2011 in 2-year, Alumni, Extension, Teaching

It’s hard to believe that we are at Round #6 of internship visits for the students. One thing that I have learned from past visits is that it’s best to group the student by geographic region so that visits are easier in terms of travel. While I did my best to do this in 2011, I feel that I am going to end up with about 3 more trips on average than what I would consider manageable¬† typical. In any case, with what looks to be a much larger starting class this fall, I am definitely going to have to make a few adjustments in our placements. Either way, all of the internships thus far have been extremely successful which I feel is a testament to the students’ hard work and preparation during the selection process.

Visit #10: Shane Lee @ Baltusrol Golf Club

Shane is one of our international students and has been around golf course maintenance for many years as his father is a superintendent in Singapore. In deciding on a location, Shane chose Baltusrol because he felt he would learn a great deal of information about the management of cool season turfgrass (he interned as part of the Ohio Program for a year at TPC Sawgrass prior to coming to Penn State) and he knew that the internship program had a reputation for working the students hard. Shane toured me around the Lower Course and showed me many of the projects that they worked on this year to clean up around the major bunker renovation that occurred last year. Visiting Baltusrol is always a great experience for me personally as Mark Kuhns usually gives me the opportunity to give a seminar to all of the interns (more below).

Visit #11: Joe Leverson @ Liberty National

The day started with a 6AM visit to Liberty National where I toured the course with Joe. Joe is relatively new to the turfgrass industry, but already has a strong background of hands-on experience having first worked for Jeff Corcoran at Oak Hill and now for Greg James (2-Year class of ’86) at Liberty. Although the course is only 6 years old, several of the greens and a few fairways were rebuilt in a tweaking to prepare for future hosting of the FedEx Cup series. I was amazed at how quickly they have established the greens this spring in preparation for a mid-season opening of the few holes that were rebuilt. Joe was one of three interns and doing a great job learning everything from the basics to getting a chance to participate in the renovation and grow-in of several new holes. Only being my second time to the course, I can say that I love the scenic nature of the course, but I am not sure that I want to put my sloppy golf game out there. It looks TOUGH!

View photos from Round #6 of the internship visits below.

Internship Seminar at Baltusrol 
As I mentioned above, one of the great things that Mark Kuhns does for his interns is brings in outside speakers to meet with the students. We often get caught up with our own students and the competition between Penn State and all of the other schools can be fun, but getting to meet the diverse group of students from all over the country is even better. For today’s presentation, we talked about managing dollar spot, PGR use on golf courses and the importance of professionalism for young people in the industry. The students (from Guelph, Purdue, UMASS, URI, Miss State, Penn State, and Rutgers…I hope I didn’t leave anyone out) asked a lot of great questions and I genuinely enjoyed meeting all of them.