What should golf course superintendents know about your company that they don’t already know?
I’d like to think they know a lot about us already. We have been around for a long time – we began building mower spin grinders in the late 1800s, before the United States Golf Association had even been formed! Now, I suppose they should know that the majority of the U.S.’s top-100 golf courses use us, and we have almost 50 percent global market share. I’d also like to think that we’ve made superintendents aware of the emphasis we place on training and support for both existing and up-and-coming turf professionals around the world.
What do you do all day in your job?
I start early and finish late. I’m passionate about my job and I love the industry. I get to travel a huge amount, and I’m away probably half the year – and I still get a kick out of it, even though it is sometimes exhausting.
When you’re gone from the golf industry, how do you want to be remembered?
Hmmm … that’s tough. Perhaps for my passion in the industry, maybe for being one of those people who never sat still. Better yet, maybe for being the guy with unquenchable enthusiasm for our product. And let’s not forget being the person who made our team’s legendary striped jackets a staple at trade shows and other industry gatherings worldwide.
Stephen Bernhard, Bernhard and Company
Title: Executive Chairman
Hometown: Rugby, Warwickshire, UK, which is home of the famous Rugby School, where the game of Rugby began in the early 1800s.
Who is your hero?
My old mentor and dear friend, Cecil Baber, who guided me for more than 20 years in business and marketing. He was such a brilliant, clever, intuitive man who I miss every day. A creative expert in his field, he taught me so much about making the complex seem simple and the importance of clear communication.
What’s the best thing about the golf industry?
It’s comprised of a bunch of delightful people who generally want to help one another succeed. That’s unusual.
What’s the worst thing about the golf industry?
Having so many friends, but not enough time to see them all regularly.
What golf course can’t you wait to get on and why?
Crazy as it is, I try not to play golf. I really don’t have the time.But one day …
Describe golf course superintendents in one word?
That’s not a fair question at all! But I’d say “knowledgeable.”
Who would you rather play golf with – – Arnie or Jack?
It would be an honor to play with either gentleman; both have done so much to make golf the global pastime it is today. Now it’s my turn to do something a bit unfair – how about Arnie for the front nine and Jack for the back?
Would you like the beef, chicken or fish? Why?
All three. I’m a big food lover.
If you have four hours to watch TV, what do you watch?
As I travel approximately six months every year, I really don’t have the time to watch much TV. When I’m on a plane, I try to catch up on my sleep. If I ever have any time to watch, it’s typically the BBC News.
What do you like to do away from your job?
When I do take time out, I like to be with my family. I’ve also been an avid paraglider for many years.
What’s your favorite movie and why?
I’d say “Reach for the Sky,” which is about Douglas Bader who lost his legs and still became one of the finest fighter pilots in World War II.
Speaking of movies, who’s your favorite character from “Caddyshack” and why?
Can you believe I’ve never actually seen it!? I think I’m going to have to download it to my laptop and forego a few hours of sleep on my next international flight.