Golf Industry Profile

Michael Cavanaugh

Executive Vice President, Floratine Products Group

Hometown: Newtown, Pa.

What should superintendents know about your company? We are proud to employ 35 U.S.-based employees near Memphis, Tenn., where we design and manufacture all of our products in our own facility. This is the way things used to get done in the United States: Make great stuff with great people.

What’s a day in the life for you in your job? When not traveling to see our distributors and customers around the world, it is the blocking and tackling of running a business. I spend A LOT of time talking to my brother Kevin.

When you’re gone from the golf industry, how do you want to be remembered? As someone who sincerely cared about the customer and our Floratine team of employees and distributors.

If you were born 100 years ago, what would you do for a living? A P-51 Mustang pilot flying over Europe.

Who is your hero? My daughter Kelly. She went through two excruciating spinal surgeries when she was younger and never missed a beat and never complained. I’m very proud of her as she’s starting her career in medical devices and now sells products that help other people going through similar surgeries.

What’s the best thing about the golf industry? The people. The 90 percent that are positive, continue to learn, are open to new ideas and are fun to be around.

What’s the worst thing about the golf industry? The people. The 10 percent that bad-mouth their counterparts, complain about everything, and don’t challenge themselves to get better.

What golf course can’t you wait to get on and why? It would be a course to get back on, and it would be two courses: West Point (N.Y.) Golf Course at the U.S. Military Academy and Trails West at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. My dad was a military officer and was stationed at each place. I played hundreds of rounds on both courses while growing up.

Describe golf course superintendents in one word? Focused.

Who would you rather play golf with – Arnie or Jack? With Mr. Nicklaus and at the American Lakes Veterans Golf Course and Rehabilitation Center in Tacoma Wash. He is designing a new nine for the course, and Floratine is donating products and agronomic consulting on the existing nine. It would be fun to play at a course with my golf idol, at a place where people are simply using golf to heal themselves mentally and physically, and where both Mr. Nicklaus and my company are helping in a small way to make that happen.

What do you like to do away from your job? Competitive golf and CrossFit.

Kevin Cavanaugh

President and CEO, Floratine Products Group

Hometown: Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

What should superintendents know about your company? It is superintendent owned and operated. We have walked in their shoes.

What’s a day in the life for you in your job? We manufacture all of our products. We have 35 great employees, 70 distributors and about 200 sales consultants that we like to stay in direct contact with at all times. I speak to superintendents and work closely with customer service to meet the needs of our customers. We provide agronomic support and technical product support. We export products to more than 35 countries. We also take care of our employees and have fun along the way.

When you’re gone from the golf industry, how do you want to be remembered? As a guy who had been there, understood and cared about the superintendent and the challenges he faced. It’s not easy out there and the demands are high. I want to be remembered as the one who gave all he had to the industry he loved so much.

If you were born 100 years ago, what you do for a living? Self-proclaimed leader of the Anti-prohibition Movement.

Who is your hero? General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, because he was a man of his word and principles. My two favorite quotes from him are: “You may be whatever you resolve to be,” and “Duty is ours; consequences are God’s.”

What’s the best thing about the golf industry? Superintendents are real people. It’s “yes or no” and fairly consistently black or white. There is not a lot of gray area when dealing with a superintendent. I like that.

What’s the worst thing about the golf industry? “P.I.Ps,” also known as “Previously Important People,” who think they are now agronomists because they retired from some other vocation.

What golf course can’t you wait to get on and why? Lake Ridge Park Par 3 Course in Lake Ridge, Va., because it would mean I’d be playing with my mom. She taught me the game, and she continues to play every week.

Describe golf course superintendents in one word? Intrepid.

Who would you rather play golf with – Arnie or Jack? Mr. Palmer. Because he comes from a superintendent background and he reminds me of my grandfather.

What do you like to do away from your job? Coach soccer, fish, family movie night, date night with my wife Melanie, make homebrew beers, and drive anything that goes fast.