It’s always great to showcase some of the up-and-coming talents in our industry. Northern California has some of the richest histories in golf, with great courses and hardworking crews that keep them in exceptional condition. For this issue, we interviewed Patrick Tuttle, Assistant Superintendent at Palo Alto Hills Golf and Country Club in Palo Alto, CA.
EG: What made you decide to get into golf maintenance?
PT: I have many reasons why I decided to get into golf maintenance. To begin, I grew up on a two-acre property in Morgan Hill. The property included nearly an acre of turf that my father, brothers and I maintained. At the age of 14, my family moved to a house right across the street from San Jose Country Club. With my parents being members, I was able to take up the game and my competitive spirit took over. I began to play every day. From then on, my dad always encouraged me to get into the industry. After I graduated from UCSB, I started working in golf course maintenance and fell in love.
EG: What is your proudest accomplishment in the industry?
PT: My proudest accomplishments include getting accepted into the Masters Program at Penn State. I am also very proud to have won over and gained the respect of the crew at Palo Alto Hills.
EG: Who would you consider your most influential mentor in the industry?
PT: Andrew Morgan and John Smurthwaite have been my most influential mentors in the industry so far. They have taught me all there is to know about turf grass management and keeping the membership happy with an outstanding daily product.
EG: Where did you grow up?
PT: I grew up in San Jose, California and spent much of my early childhood in Morgan Hill.
EG: Your best Nicknames?
PT: Ptutti, Patricio, and my current nickname from Andrew Morgan, P Funk.
EG: If you could drive any vehicle, what would it be?
PT: 1965 ford mustang convertible.
EG: Curly fries or regular, and why?
PT: Probably curly fries, but you can’t go wrong either way.
EG: What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a golf course?
PT: I always get a good laugh when the members ask something funny or do something silly on the golf cart (as long as it isn’t harmful to the turf.)
EG: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
PT: I am the eighth oldest out of twelve children in my family. Before I began working in golf maintenance I had the privilege of working for the Golden State Warriors. We won two NBA Finals in consecutive years while I was working with them.
EG: What was your lowest score playing golf, and where?
PT: I shot a 69 at both Silver Creek Country Club and Spring Valley Golf Course.
EG: What is your favorite manual labor job on the golf course, and why?
PT: There is nothing like changing the course up on a day-to-day basis, giving it some variety. It makes it necessary to hit a variety of different golf shots and tests all levels of golfers.
EG: Greatest piece of advice anyone has given you?
PT: Everyone makes mistakes and you will too. Learn from your mistakes, take responsibility, and do your best not to feel too bad about them. Make sure the people around you know that you care. Golf course maintenance requires teamwork, and if one person is falling behind, help them out or we all fall behind. Teamwork is what makes the dream work.
EG: If you had to survive on a deserted island for 1 year, aside from food and water, what 5 items would you bring with you to occupy your time?
PT: My seven iron, a golf ball, my wife, my daughter, and sour patch kids.
EG: Favorite Beer?
PT: I eat Mexican food on a fair occasion; you can never go wrong with a cold Modelo.
EG: If you had your choice, what would you do in retirement?
PT: Travel the world and play amazing golf courses.
EG: Favorite sports teams?
PT: Giants, Warriors, Niners, Sharks, and once in a while the A’s and Raiders. I’m pretty lucky to be from the Bay Area and to have the ability to watch and root for these awesome sports teams.
EG: What’s your favorite type of grass to manage as a putting surface and why?
PT: Bentgrass putting greens are my preference because, when right, they consistently provide lightning-fast putting surfaces.
EG: If you could have lunch with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
PT: It would be fun to have lunch with Bobby Jones. He seemed like quite the competitor, with an abundance of love for the game of golf.
EG: What is your favorite golf maintenance related quote?
PT: “Never be in a rush to mess things up” and “We are all human; the grass will grow back.”
Reprint from Northen California Chapter GCSAA – https:// gcsanc.com/members/