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Superintendents to Assist in Recovery Efforts of New Orleans Courses


A group of 30 golf course superintendents, primarily from the Rocky Mountain region, will head to New Orleans, March 12-19 to help four golf courses recover from the damages caused by Hurricane Katrina last fall.

Under the direction of Vail (Colo.) Golf Club superintendent Steve Sarro, the group will meet in Colorado Springs and caravan to the Mississippi Delta on March 11. The TPC of Louisiana, English Turn Golf Country Club and two municipal facilities (Audubon Golf Course and Brechtel Golf Course) have been targeted for clean up. English Turn will host the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans, April 27-30.

”What is nice about this industry is we are used to helping each other out. We are all friends and want to help,” Sarro said. “Our peers have faced significant challenges. Labor is in short supply, so we saw this as a means to provide expertise in helping golf courses get back open.”

In addition to removing debris, the volunteers will rebuild bunkers and engage in the various cultural programs to prepare the turf for spring play.

The trip is being funded by a variety of businesses and organizations, including the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and its affiliated chapter, the Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendents Association; Syngenta Professional Products, Ewing Irrigation, Colorado Golf, Turf and Ellen Equipment, L.L. Johnson and Golf Enviro Systems.

Sarro will be joined by fellow GCSAA member golf course superintendents, including: Andres Arrietta, Mad Russian Golf Club, Milliken, Colo.; Tom Harston, South Suburban, Littleton, Colo.; Rick Wisotzkey, Indian Peaks, Lafayette, Colo.; John Hoofnagle, RMGCSA, Englewood, Colo.; Greg Blew, Wellshire Country Club, Denver, Colo.; Joe McCleary, Saddlerock Golf Course, Aurora, Colo.; Mike Osley, Aurora Hills Golf Course, Aurora, Colo.; GCSAA assistant golf course superintendents making the trip include: Scott Ellis, South Suburban Golf Course, Littleton, Colo.; Joe McBurney, Fox Hollow Golf Course, Littleton, Colo.; Doug Schroeder, Fox Hollow Golf Club, Lakewood, Colo., and Jason Fisher, Gleneagle Golf Course, Lakewood, Colo.; Kevin Sjursen, Homestead Golf Course, Lakewood, Calif.

College students pursuing a degree in agronomy making the trip include Zach Evans, Justin Luthy, Jared Stanek, Bart Goodrich, Andrew Zuback, Charlie Hansen and Thomas Coe, all from Wyoming University; Jed Davis, Tim Schunk, Scott Redder, Mitch McClary, Chad Strahlo, Ryan Hasten, J.D. Wise and Blake Scott, all from Colorado State University; Benjamin Needham from Oklahoma State.

Two golf trade media professionals will also participate, Seth Jones, associate editor of GCSAA’s monthly publication, Golf Course Management magazine and Larry Aylward, editor of Golfdom. Jones will be compiling a blog during the trip, available at www.gcsaa.org.