My career in turf management began at the age of 16 when I started an apprenticeship at Narooma Golf Club in my native country of Australia. After five years at the south coast club and having completed my turf qualifications through the Canberra Institute of Technology, I had a chance conversation with Royal Canberra Golf Club superintendent Michael Waring about the Ohio State Program (OSP) which a number of Australian greenkeepers were involved with in the United States.
In 1999 I had visited family in New York where I was able to play some great courses in and around the state. Since that trip I had harboured a desire to head back to the US to work and after completing my studies and talking it through with my family I decided to sign up with Ohio. I thought when I left Australia I would be gone for only 18 months and had every intention on coming back home to pursue my career in Australia. That was over seven years ago.
After leaving Australia in April 2002 the first port of call on my internship was Chicago and having left Australia during a warm autumn I happened to arrive during one of the worst spring seasons on record. I quickly adjusted to the new climate and spent the next 10 months working at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club which for the last 20 years has hosted the Western Open, now called the BMW Championship of the PGA Tour.
In autumn 2002 I moved south to Naples, Florida and went to work at Twin Eagles where I finished up my Ohio internship. At the end of my time I asked my superintendent about sponsorship opportunities and as luck would have it when I made the switch over to my new visa I was offered an assistant superintendent position. I spent four-and-a-half-years at Twin Eagles during which I was the assistant for four Champions Tour events and was involved in the construction and grow-in of a new Seadwarf paspalum course.
Having earned my stripes at Twin Eagles, in the summer of 2007 I took over as course superintendent of the Champion Course at PGA National Resort and Spa. The PGA National in south Florida is home of the PGA and along with the Champion Course includes four other 18-hole courses – the Haig, Squire, Palmer and Estate courses.
Since coming to the US I have been to some incredible places and tested my abilities as a turf manager, which was my aim when I first jetted across. I have become an experienced superintendent that can manage a variety of grasses and facilities with superb results. I truly feel that I’m in a fortunate situation and look forward to the ongoing opportunities that the golf industry continues to provide to me in the US.
EDUCATION & LICENSES
THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY - Columbus, Ohio
INTERNATIONAL AGRICULTURE PROGRAM 2003
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION - United States
AWARDED BACHELOR OF SCIENCE EQUIVALENT 2002
ILLAWARRA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY - N.S.W., Australia
INTERNATIONAL AGRICULTURE PROGRAM 1997
CANBERRA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY - A.C.T., Australia
CERTIFICATE III IN HORTICULTURE (TURF) 1996
GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENTS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
Class A Certified Superintendent, Member since 2002
FLORIDA GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENTS ASSOCIATION
Member since 2004
PALM BEACH GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENTS ASSOCIATION
UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION