March 22, 2015 – Saratoga Lake Golf Club has found its new superintendent – Joe Lash.
After losing Nate Jordan earlier this year to Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, the golf club has found his replacement. Lash had previously been the senior assistant superintendent at Hopewell Valley Golf Club in Hopewell, N.J. He is coming to Saratoga Lake after spending the last 10 years at Hopewell Valley.
“I’m really excited to have him on staff here,” Saratoga Lake Golf Club general manager Cailean Mackay said. “He has a lot of experience in really (has) things that need to get done on the golf course. Myself and him, along with the equipment manager, we’re going to be working very closely with each other over this year and throughout the next winter on a master plan for the golf course.”
When the search began, Mackay was receiving resumes from all over the country. While the majority of the candidates were from the east coast, the general manager did received some from the Midwest and one from Ohio and Oklahoma. Roughly 20 candidates applied for the opening.
As Mackay began to narrow his search for a new superintendent, it soon became clear what type of person he was looking for. He wanted someone who would bring some energy to the club and had a passion for the sport.
“A working superintendent, someone that is out there working with the crew instead of telling them what to do and just sitting at his desk all day.”
With big things planned for the Saratoga Lake Golf Club, Mackay wanted someone familiar with a master plan and course renovation. Mackay is planning for a 10-15-year master plan for the course.
“It’s going to start the process of renovating all of the bunkers on the golf course along with a new irrigation system and also some redesigns of some of the greens that need to get done,” Mackay said. “That will all increase the playability of the golf course.”
At the beginning of March, Mackay had narrowed his search down to two individuals, with Lash being one of them. He was ready to bring both candidates back for second interviews.
“It was a really tough decision between Joe and this other gentleman from Oklahoma. So I decided to do second interviews with both of them,” Mackay said. “I called up the gentleman from Oklahoma and he had accepted a job at another golf course, so it actually made my job easier. I was tearing my hair out trying to figure out what was going to work best for us and both of them had their pros and both of them had their cons.”
Mackay is excited to start working with his new superintendent.
“I think Joe just stood out a little more. I think we’ll be able to get along with him,” Mackay said. “We’ll be able to work well with him and I don’t see any issues. I have full confidence in him that the golf course conditions and the playability of the course remain the same and continue to elevate for the next several years.”
For Lash, the decision to join Saratoga Lake was easy. He was ready to take the next step.
“With Saratoga and Cailean it’s going to be me and him, it’s exciting,” Lash said, about working on the golf club’s master plan. “It’s going to be nice to (know that if) 15 years from now I bring my kids there I know I have my fingerprint on this golf course forever.”
Monday will be Lash’s first day with the golf club.
“Atmosphere is important in anything you do really, not just where you work, and right off the bat I could tell just from meeting Cailean and a couple of the other guys there and talking to the previous superintendent that they’re really interested in making this thing work,” said the 30-year-old. “That’s something you want to be apart of.”