Visiting Superintendents in Dallas

December 29, 2009 in 2-year

As part of the Certificate Program’s initiative to expand and formalize its internship program, I try to get out and visit as many golf course superintendents as possible around the country and world for that matter.  These visits allow me to discuss the goals and expectations of our internship program with potential employers and also learn about unique internship programs that many turfgrass managers have developed at their own course.  While on a trip to Dallas to catch up with some friends, I took a couple of days to visit with two golf course superintendents in the region.

Scott Ebers, Colonial Country Club
My first trip took me to Colonial Country Club, home of the Crowne Plaza Invitational, and a visit with golf course superintendent Scott Ebers. Founded in 1936, I found Colonial Country Club to be rich in tradition.  From an agronomic aspect, the course is unique in that it is one of a select few in the area that manages bentgrass putting greens. At this time of year, the bermudagrass fairways had finally gone dormant in the last few weeks and the greens were looking great.  Scott took me around the course and showed me some of the latest renovations that were just completed.  Most impressive to me were the bunkers! Also impressive inside the clubhouse was the Ben Hogan room, full of memorabilia from Hogans time at the course.  They even had a Merion Golf Club wicker basket in the room.

Brannon Goodrich, Dallas National Golf Club
My second trip took me to a relatively new golf club in Dallas National.  Constructed on some of the most undulating land in the region, Dallas National was impressive in every respect.  A true golf club, the course opened about 8 years ago and is another one of the courses in the Dallas area maintaining bentgrass putting greens.  In this case, they have a mixture of Cato/Crenshaw which holds up extremely well during the intense summer heat.  Another unique aspect are the pure zoysiagrass fairways.  Although dormant, you could see the uniformity of the stand.  Most impressive at Dallas National…the practice facility.  You could definitely get lost in all the different areas available for practicing and the interns have free reign to experiment with different management practices on the numerous putting greens throughout.

Overall, these two courses offer a unique and challenging experience for future interns.  With both warm and cool-season turfgrasses, tournament preparation, and/or various construction projects, Dallas National and Colonial Country Club may serve as future internship sites for our students.  A big thanks to Scott and Brannon for taking time out of their days to show me around the course and discuss potential internship opportunities for the Penn State students.