Golf Industry Profile

EDITOR’S NOTE: With “Who Are These People?” Superintendent magazine aims to personify the people in the golf course maintenance industry who are behind the products and equipment that enable golf course superintendents to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. The feature, which will run monthly in Superintendent, allows readers to get to know these people better, from what they do every day to their favorite movies.

What should golf course superintendents know about your company that they don’t already know?

Phoenix is named for the mythical bird that rises from the ashes and lives another 1,000 years. Our products are named for things with wings, such as birds, butterflies, planes, etc.

What do you do all day in your job?

I’m probably like a lot of people in the green industry – what you have scheduled and what you actually do may not be identical. But generally my work involves working with our distribution partners; answering calls from end users; and working with Phoenix supply chain and marketing professionals.

When you’re gone from the golf industry, how do you want to be remembered?

I’d like to be remembered as someone who worked his adult life facilitating the introduction of new and better products for control of weeds, pests and diseases in the green industry. And as someone who loved his work. I can honestly say I’ve “worked” very few days. I really enjoy what I do.

Title: Manager of Phoenix/UPI

Hometown: Montpelier, Vt.

Who is your hero?

Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was a true American hero on many levels.

What’s the best thing about the golf industry?

This one’s easy – the people. I enjoy interacting with everyone in the industry, even my competitors. At least most of my competitors.

What’s the worst thing about the golf industry?

The stress caused by unrealistic expectations. Whether its members that want an “Augusta” golf course on an unrealistic budget; distributors that want product they didn’t forecast and said they wouldn’t need; suppliers that can’t deliver what they promised; or anyone that expects something for nothing.

What golf course can’t you wait to get on and why?

I’ve played Merion Golf Club many times and each time is always a genuine thrill. I enjoy the old courses that have a rich tradition. I have a good friend that’s a member at Merion and the opportunity to reminisce while walking a great course is something I look forward to.

Describe golf course superintendents in one word?

Resilient.

Who would you rather play golf with – – Arnie or Jack?

Another easy one – Arnie. Arnold Palmer was one of the pioneers who was able to transition golf to the television market, and consequently laid the groundwork for the expansion of golf during the latter part of the 1900s. Arnie’s Army went from a few thousand tournament attendees to a national following.

Would you like the beef, chicken or fish? Why?

I know it’s politically incorrect, but who doesn’t really enjoy a nice cut of beef? Probably what I like about beef the most is the fact that people tell me I shouldn’t eat it. Maybe it’s my subtle way of rebelling.

If you have four hours to watch TV, what do you watch?

I love the old shows, particularly Westerns – “Gunsmoke,” “Have Gun Will Travel,” “Rawhide,” etc. I also enjoy the old “Newhart” shows. It’s a real talent to get people to laugh without having to be vulgar. It’s probably a lost art.

What do you like to do away from your job?

My son has picked up golf, so that’s my choice right now. If he’s not available to play I like to bike, read and play chess.

What’s your favorite movie and why?

“Lincoln.” It showcased Lincoln’s singlehanded determination to hold the nation together despite opposition from both the North and South. He demonstrated that doing what’s right may not be popular in the short term, but leads to long-term success.

Who’s your favorite character from “Caddyshack” and why?

The gopher. Every movie needs a protagonist to the hero, and without the gopher, it’s not much of a movie.

Owen Towne gave us his opinion on herbicides.  Check it out!