26 • Mon
Wing Point Golf & Country Club
10–12 • Tue–Thu
Washington Turf and Landscape Show
Whidbey Golf Club
Oak Harbor, WA
Whidbey Golf Club
Oak Harbor, WA
Whidbey Golf Club
Oak Harbor, WA
Assistant in Training
Sahalee Country Club
First Assistant Golf Course Superintendent
Overlake Golf & Country Club
August 23, 2019
Everything has a beginning. . . . and you might say that the beginning of Wing Point was in 1902! Some may argue for 1903 and others for another year, but the Scott Fitzgerald types who summered on the Point around the turn of the century scooped a few holes in the apple orchard for their first "game" in the vicinity of our present 14th tee.
By 1916, the Wing Pointers of the time became more serious about golf and developed more of the orchard and meadow property into a six-hole course, most of it skirting the lower portion of the present course, south of the county road (Wing Point Way).
In 1920 they incorporated the original Wing Point Golf & Country Club with a capital of $10,000, which a few years later was enlarged to $15,000. They were now able to enlarge the course to a 9-holer and to build a clubhouse in 1925 (which was situated just east of our present 14th tee). The course had sand greens which some of our old-timers still mumble about. Apparently it wasn't St. Andrews. But the clubhouse? It became headquarters for some of the most convivial merrymaking the next 37 years ever knew!
The Wing Point Golf & Country Club, as we know it today, was conceived in the 50's and officially formed March 6, 1961, with Mr. Archie Taft, Jr. becoming the first president. (Archie was the chief dreamer and doer . . . author of the idea.) Incorporation papers were filed in Olympia on April 18, 1961.
Two years later, July 3rd and 4th, 1963, a gala dedication of the $300,000 course, clubhouse, and facilities was celebrated by 232 proprietary members and 12 social members and with what seemed like all of Bainbridge Island present to share in this important new asset to the island . . . but the pride of our club didn't stop then, we've been "fine-tuning" it ever since!
Wing Point expanded to 18 holes in 1991. Then, after the turn of the century, Mike Goldsberry became the Superintendent of the Golf Course and raised the expectations of how the course was to be maintained. Today, the course is in the middle of a Master Plan directed renovation. To delight of the members, despite significant changes to what is now the front nine, the renovation has been taking place without any financial impact to the members. Goldsberry has been able to accomplish this using his own crew plus his affinity for shaping. Next up will be renovating the bunkers on the second nine to match the new bunkers on the front nine. The result of the changes is that Wing Point has become one of the top private golf courses in the West Sound region of Washington State.
August 15, 2019
New to your website—on the home page under Sponsor Contacts—is a new section we call “On the Move.” This section will highlight some recent changes in the lives of the people who are part of our Association: Superintendents, Assistants, Equipment Managers, Vendors and the like. We don’t always learn about changes of scenery of our fellow members until well past when we’d like, “On the Move” is an attempt to change that. See what’s happening, learn some stories, reach out and say “Congrats!”. Many thanks to Ryan Rosevear of Foster Golf Links for being the first entry into our new section of the website. Just look to the right under our Sponsor recognitions to learn what Ryan’s up to.
And if you are on the move, or made a recent move, or promoted someone in your crew, tell us about it. People will want to reconnect with those in new roles, and letting us know at email@example.com will help us all stay connected. Don’t be shy, be like Ryan!
On the Move can be found under Sponsor Contacts. Click here.
May 15, 2019
When it comes to pillars of the NW golf industry, one name stands alone. Larry Gilhuly has served superintendents, green committees and state golf associations as the NW agronomist for the USGA over the last 35 years. A strong resume for certain, but for so much more, Larry
Gilhuly was deemed the 2019 recipient of the Paul Backman Distinguished Service Award, presented at Sahalee Country Club to close the Annual Fivesome festivities.
A native of Kelso Washington, Larry began his golf career in 1968 at the Longview Country Club. Larry earned the Chick Evans Scholarship for Caddies in 1970, then he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy and turf science from Washington State University. In 1973 he became an intern at Seattle’s Broadmoor Golf Club, then became Assistant Superintendent] at the Seattle Golf Club in 1975. Larry then joined the USGA Green Section in 1983 where he has remained since.
In his career, Larry has visited courses in fourteen states and eight countries including the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. He has easily tallied over two million miles by car and air and has seen over 1,100 unique golf courses.
David Phipps, the GCSAA’s Northwest Regional Representative, was asked to present the honor to Larry, and explained how it was the “so much more” than Gilhuly’s résumé which defined his contributions to the WWGCSA. “Larry’s warm personality and incredible sense of humor has endeared him to everyone whom he has met. His insight into golf course maintenance has been instrumental in assisting the superintendent, and has assured the success of those whom have had the privilege to work with him.”
Phipps continued, “Larry has been a proponent of junior golf in the State of Washington and helped ward off a tax that would have put a burden on all high school golf teams who received complementary access to local golf courses. He has also been a huge proponent of The First Green, assisting in field trips wherever and whenever he could. However, retirement will probably not keep Larry away from that. It is with great honor that on behalf of the Western Washington GCSA, this award is given to Larry for his extraordinary career in the golf industry.”
April 9, 2019
The WWGCSA Annual Fivesome Tournament will be played at Sahalee Country Club on May 9th. Sahalee has a rich, albeit not so long, history . . . especially for a course in the Northwest. It has hosted major championships for the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tour. It has also been a highly sought after venue for Northwest golf championships. Golf Digest routinely lists Sahalee as one of America’s Top 100 Courses, and ranked it #1 amongst Washington courses for 2017-2018.
The course was originally designed by Ted Robinson and has gone through multiple renovations by Rees Jones—in part to get the course ready for the many championships it hosts. As you may be aware, the name “Sahalee” comes from the native Chinook meaning “High Heavenly Ground”, which seems very appropriate given Sahalee’s geographic and topographic location. The Club opened in 1968, and its first golf course Superintendent was Louis Schmidt, who served in that capacity for ten years. Today, Tom Huesgen is the Director of Golf Course Operations, working with Superintendent Marcus Harness. The two of them work the other key members of the Sahalee management team: General Manager Jim Pike, Head Golf Pro Mike Montgomery and Clubhouse Manager Justin Keener.
Tom Huesgen looks forward to seeing you all, “As Turfgrass Managers, we pride ourselves in providing quality golfing conditions on a regular basis at our facilities. This pride and gratification is elevated with the honor of hosting fellow industry peers and operation managers to enjoy our club. We are excited to welcome everyone to Sahalee for this year's Fivesome event!" Don’t miss your chance. Sign up for the Fivesome, to be played on May 9th, by registering here.
April 8, 2019
WWGCSA’s second Coffee Break took place last month at Kitsap Golf and Country Club, thanks to the support of Planet Turf USA. Coffee Breaks have been created as smaller, “closer to your course” events to foster face to face networking for Superintendents. Corporate Partners of WWGCSA get involved to underwrite the gatherings, and get their own face to face time with multiple Superintendents at once. “I think these coffee breaks are a great idea,” says Jason Krogman, Superintendent of Kitsap Golf and Country Club. “The main thing I liked was just getting to meet others in the area. I’m still trying to get to know other Sup’s in our area. Learning some tricks from some of the older guys also helped. It got me thinking of a few things to do differently.” Ryan Hammer, Superintendent at Trophy Lake Golf and Casting, adds “I enjoyed the fact that it was close to me and not an all-day meeting that would keep me away from my own course for the day. It was great to meet some of the local Superintendents that I had not previously met and pass around some ideas.” Planet Turf USA was represented by Justin Ruiz, who enjoyed the chance to meet with multiple Superintendents in a roundtable setting. Planet Turf USA will present another Coffee Break sometime this year in the Olympia area. Also planned is a Coffee Break in the northern part of our region that will be presented by Wilbur Ellis. There’s room for a couple more before the end of this calendar year, so if you would like a Coffee Break to come to your club, let Bill Ackerley (WWGCSA Executive Director) know. Because, as John Hicks, Superintendent at Canterwood says, the benefit of the Coffee Breaks for Superintendents is “the ability to talk with fellow superintendents in my area on what they are experiencing and also learn about new products or services from vendors [without] tying up your whole day.” A Coffee Break can come to you simply for the asking. Let the WWGCSA know if you’re interested.
March 18, 2019
Nearly 65 volunteers, a collection of Golf Course Superintendents from the states of Oregon and Washington working together with Military Veterans, prepared the American Lake Veterans’ Golf Course for Spring in a large, collaborative effort on March 14th. This all- volunteer labor force provided time and equipment to aerate greens and tee boxes, while also cleaning the debris remaining on the ground from a harsher winter than normal. In less than 5 hours the course was ready for its spring rush of golfers.
The effort was a collaboration of the Oregon Golf Course Superintendents Association (OGCSA) and the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association (WWGCSA). Each is a regional chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). 40 members of the two chapters were joined by 25 volunteers, veterans of American Armed Forces, who regularly help maintain the course – and they do so for no compensation, other than seizing the opportunity to provide a refuge for both active and retired, abled and disabled, military personnel.
American Lake Veterans’ Golf Course, which was built after World War II in the mid-50s, is on the grounds of the VA Hospital in Lakewood, WA. Its mission is to “provide much-needed rehabilitation and recreational outlet for the growing population of veterans, many of whom are disabled…” It has served patients healing from all types of injuries for many years. In 1995, after the US government withdrew all funding for the course’s operation and maintenance, volunteers offered to take up the challenge of keeping the course going.
Gabe Hughes, president of the OGCSA, expressed it this way: “American Lake is not simply there as a leisure retreat, but a place for rehabilitation, therapy, and socialization, to assist our Veterans. Any way that we can give back to them, is an honor for me and my fellow Superintendents.” Hughes’ counterpart, Sean Reehoorn, the president of the WWGCSA said simply, “ . . . an amazing day at American Lake Veterans’ Golf Course, Oregon and Washington members working together, I’m so proud to be a part of this group.”
Randy Moen is the Superintendent at the American Lake Veterans’ Course, and he’s also a volunteer. His reaction to the special day? “The course is in great shape thanks to unselfish professional generosity of the Washington and Oregon Superintendent Associations. Our Veterans that we serve, are most grateful. [The Superintendents] have made me an instant Rock Star with all of the “Heroes” I get to serve, for this, I THANK YOU!!!”
Getting the course ready for Spring with the help of the Golf Course Superintendents, who greatly admire the veterans that the American Lake course serves, is symbolic of the thanks that all Americans have, and a chance to provide some extra hope in an environment as beautiful as a golf course.
Watch this video produced by Washington Rock Quarries to get a feel for the day: Veterans' Service Project Mission Accomplished.
March 7, 2019
It's always interesting to look back at how certain ideas come to fruition. When it came time in the Fall of 2018 to plan a retreat for this fiscal year’s WWGCSA Board, our President Sean Reehoorn suggested that we find a way to hold a joint meeting with the Board of the Oregon Golf Course Superintendents Association. The OGCSA was up for it, and so the WWGCSA Board drove to Corvallis in October and broke bread with their counterparts in Oregon. The goodwill from that gathering led to the desire to start more than a new tradition of getting together, but rather a new tradition of working together for the betterment of those associated with the golfing world in our region.
A joint service project was suggested, to be held in each state in alternating years. Helping the American Lake Veterans’ Course get ready for their Spring and Summer seasons was a natural first project. Gabe Hughes, the President of the OGCSA, puts it this way, “not only does this joint service project give Superintendents from Oregon and Washington a chance to interact and get to know one another, it affords us the opportunity to share our professional knowledge in a way that will help support and enhance the lives of those who were willing to give all in the defense of our great nation.”
As many as 40 or more Oregon and Washington Superintendents, crew members and industry suppliers will team up with 25-30 of the volunteers who maintain the American Lake Veterans’ Course on a regular basis. “We hope to be able to grow the bond between our two associations as well as help educate the many volunteers outside of our organizations who maintain the Veterans Course on a daily basis throughout the year,” said Scott Phelps, the Immediate Past President of the WWGCSA. “We have the skillset, tools, and people who appreciate the service all of the men and women of the armed forces who have secured our freedom and defended others around the world. It is a very small gesture on our part, to try and help provide the veterans and our active military with a beautiful place to recreate, rehabilitate, and play the game we all love.”
March 14 is the day when the seed of a fresh idea to simply renew old bonds sees the fruit of Superintendents getting together with a group of volunteers to make a season of golf more enjoyable for Military Veterans. “American Lake is not simply there as a leisure retreat, but a place for rehabilitation, therapy, and socialization, to assist our Veterans,” says Hughes “[so] any way that we can give back to them, is an honor for me and my fellow Superintendents.”
March 7, 2019
This may be hard to read, but it’s true: 22 a day. That’s the number released by the Department of Veterans Affairs in February. 22 veterans take their own lives every single day. The fear is, the actual number may be even higher. What’s a country to do? What are we, as individuals, to do?
Veterans, over the course of their career, take on a heavy toll. They deal with things on a daily basis that us regular folk insulate ourselves from. We read and hear on our local news about individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder related to horrific events that they are exposed to in their domestic lives. Now multiply that by an unknown number, and we begin to understand what is asked of our veterans of conflicts away from home, who are exposed to gruesome stuff time and again, with little or no refuge.
VA hospitals are set up to take care of veterans who suffer not only from physical injuries, but emotional and psychological wounds as well. Once such hospital is the VA Hospital in Lakewood, Washington. Thousands of U.S. service men and women have returned from active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, Viet Nam and Korea with severe physical and psychological wounds that will haunt them forever. Some are single or double amputees, trying desperately to learn to use prosthetics or to survive without limbs. Some have intact bodies, but their minds are shattered by the traumas they have experienced. Lakewood’s VA Hospital has served them all. Like the rest of us, the VA Hospital is always looking for ways to help their veterans find a comfortable transition back to domestic life. Too often, the injuries suffered during their service get in the way of that transition.
One asset that the Lakewood VA Hospital has at its disposal: a golf course on its own grounds. Built in the 1950s, and situated on 377 acres, it was originally viewed as simply a place of relief for those that could enjoy the game. But over the years, American Lake Veterans’ Golf Course has also become a source of healing, as it helps with the rehabilitation and needs of the disabled veterans as well. Nonetheless, in 1995, the US government withdrew its financial support for the operation and maintenance of the course. After a decade of decline, the course began to bounce back thanks to the efforts of a cadre of volunteers.
By 2003, a non-profit organization was formed to help raise funds for the course. Sometime in or near 2010, Ken Still, a former PGA Tour Pro, sought help from Jack Nicklaus to design a new nine holes, and renovate the original nine. Nicklaus Design did so, providing its design services at no charge. In 2015, the course ranked Number One on Golf Digest’s list of the “the 9 most cheerful courses to play in America.” In 2016, the new nine opened, serendipitously becoming Nicklaus Design’s 400th golf course worldwide. Today, according to Nicklaus Design, American Lake is the nation’s only golf course designed “specifically for facilitating the rehabilitation of wounded and disabled veterans.” The course is run by 200-plus volunteers without any federal funding or paid employees. By 2020, the improvements on the original nine should be completed to provide greater accessibility to disabled players. The course is open to all veterans, their families and guests.
The stated mission of the golf course is “ to provide much-needed rehabilitation and recreational outlet for the growing population of veterans, many of whom are disabled . . .”
This is where we try to answer “What are we, as individuals, to do?” It starts with a special collaboration of as many as 40 Golf Course Superintendents from the states of Oregon and Washington who will be gathering at the American Lake Veterans’ Golf Course on March 14, to provide volunteer labor and equipment to help get the course ready for the upcoming Spring and Summer Seasons. Don’t you want to be a part of it? You can, by simply registering here.
February 6, 2019
The Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) is hosting the Canadian Golf Course Management Conference within the Canadian Rockies in Banff, Alberta, known for its hospitality and adventure. The conference runs from March 4–7, 2019.
We are hoping you would share this information with your members as we feel The Canadian has lots to offer. Beside the top-notch education in an intimate setting; this year we are honouring Mark Kuhns, CGCS, Superintendent at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey and former GCSAA president, with the prestigious John B. Steel Award. The John B. Steel Award is the CGSA's Distinguished Service Award. Although an American, Mark has been a CGSA member for 12 years and has enjoyed attending the CGSA's events throughout those years. We hope that some of our colleagues from the US will be able to join the CGSA in celebrating Mark during the awards ceremony.
Registering for an All Access conference package includes over 15 hours of education sessions; including some familiar names from the US as well as numerous networking opportunities including food & beverage and the largest trade show of its kind in Canada. All this for only $559 Canadian, (approximately $418 USD).
Please visit the conference website at (https://golfsupers.com/en/banff2019) for conference details or contact Barb Manifold at 416-626-8873 ext. 25 (Ontario) with any questions.
Abel Anderson . . .
. . . is the new Golf Course Superintendent at Gold Mountain Golf Club as of March 2019. Previous to this, he spent 7 years as Golf Course Superintendent at Bear Mountain Golf Club in Chelan, Washington.
Marcus Harness . . .
. . . is the new Golf Course Superintendent at Sand Point Country Club. Starting at the end of August, he will be replacing Craig Sampson (CGCS) who is retiring after 30 years with the club. This off-season, Sand Point will be undergoing a full course renovation as part of its Master Plan developed by architect David McLay Kidd. Marcus has worked at multiple clubs in the area, but was most recently the Golf Course Superintendent at Sahalee Country Club under Tom Huesgen, Director of Golf Course Operations.
Ryan Rosevear . . .
. . . is the new Superintendent at Foster Golf Links. Ryan was promoted to that position on June 3 of this year after two years of grooming for the position. Curt Chandler retired after 15 years of service. Ryan previously worked for Sam Sprague at Rainier Golf & CC as an assistant superintendent.
Michael Anderson . . .
. . . is the new Equipment Manager at Foster Golf Links. Michael was formerly at Chambers Bay.