Some proud fathers in the golf course maintenance industry have been introducing their sons at Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association Conference and Show, and putting a bright light on the industry and the superintendent profession at the same time. “It’s a wonderful business to be in and, over the years, I guess my boys picked up on how I feel about it,” says Paul Rothwell, from Oyster Reef Golf Club in Hilton Head, SC.
Rothwell has two sons laying the groundwork for futures in the industry, and one of them, Harrison – in his last year of a turf degree at Horry-Georgetown Technical College – was with him on the trade show floor yesterday. Andy Ipock, from Crystal Coast Country Club in Pine Knoll Shores, NC will show his son, Andrew, around Conference and Trade Show today. Andrew, 16, is making the three-and-a-half-hour drive for the chance to get a better sense of the profession, beyond the job he has been doing for his dad at Crystal Coast on weekends and in summers.
Rothwell has long been a proponent of the superintendent profession. “We’re blessed to be stewards of the properties we get to work on,” he says. “Not everybody gets the opportunity to make their living in such a beautiful environment.”
That message, spoken or otherwise, clearly got through to Rothwell’s sons. Oldest son, Sam, will graduate with a turf degree from Rutgers in May, to go with the bachelor’s degree he has in sports and entertainment management. His resume will feature internships at celebrated facilities such as Bandon Dunes, Pasatiempo, Myopia Hunt Club and Sand Valley.
Rothwell says Harrison “cut his teeth” working for Nate Stevely at Chechessee Creek Club in Okatie, SC and has been working for Steve Hamilton, CGCS at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, SC while going to school.
The Carolinas GCSA provides its members the opportunity to excel professionally and enhance the game of golf through responsible turfgrass management.
The Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association was formed in 1954 to further the profession of the golf course superintendent in North and South Carolina. With around 1,800 members, the association is the largest affiliated chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.