Mike Bellino Golf Course Superintendent at Heathrow Country Club talks with Golf Course Trades

1. How did you get your start in the golf industry? Where did you go to school for turfgrass management?

My first job was a cart boy at 15 years old. After graduating high school I got my degree in Golf Course Management from Lake City Community College. 

2. Tell us about your course and a little of it’s history. 

I am the Golf Course Superintendent at Heathrow Country Club in beautiful Heathrow Florida. We are the first property purchased by Concert Golf Partners. Heathrow is a Ron Garl design that plays to a par 71 with water coming into play on 16 of 18 holes. We are very excited to be doing a greens renovation and a major irrigation upgrade in early 2023. 

Heathrow Country Club
Heathrow Country Club

3. Describe the Most difficult hole? The unique one? Your favorite? 

Number twelve is a 160 yard island green. Great signature hole. 

4. Who was your earliest mentor in the industry and how did he inspire you?

Kayo Bowman was the owner of Wekiva Golf Club in Longwood Florida. He was a Class A PGA professional and the Golf Course Superintendent. He was respected, fair, kind, giving, funny, hard working and very knowledgeable about all facets of the golf industry. He taught me “Quality over quantity” and “Two boys working together isn’t worth a half a boy”. He told me I could be replaced at any time, looking back he could have but never did. Thanks Mr. Bowman

Related: Robert Wallace Golf Course Superintendent Indian River Club

5. Plans for Renovations? 

YES we have a Greens renovation planned for the spring. And a spin off spin on hydraulic to electric conversion. Yes we still have the original almost 40 year old hydraulic tubes in the ground. We could not be more excited for the awesome upgrades. 

Heathrow Country Club
Heathrow Country Club

6. Favorite piece of equipment? Why?

It changes with the seasons but right now it is the Toro Pro Force debris blower. A big time saver for cleaning up the course and making it look it’s best. 

7. What is your favorite part of the job, least favorite?

Obviously being outside in Florida is great, my favorite part of the job is when the course is in great shape riding around and talking the members.

Least favorite is that third greens Aerification, seems like the greens just got almost perfect and we have to tear them up again.

Related: Joe Hubbard Superintendent of Boca Delray Golf & Country Club

Mike Bellino Golf Course Superintendent Heathrow Country Club
Mike Bellino Golf Course Superintendent Heathrow Country Club

8. Next tournament scheduled. 

Member member is November 10,11 & 12

9. Can you tell us a little about your family, how you met your wife, kids’ names? What do you like to do away from work? If you have time to yourself what do you like to do?

My wife of 24 years Debbie is in insurance, her office over looks the second hole at Heathrow. Our Daughter Sophia is in graduate school at UCF and our son Nicholas goes to Seminole State full time and works part time in insurance also. I ride my mountain bike to work everyday and enjoy riding motorcycles on the weekends. We all enjoying traveling and spending time with family.

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