#ThankASuperintendent; Troon Superintendents On Why They Love Their Jobs
Posted on September 11, 2023
In celebration of International Thank a Superintendent Day, we asked some of our agronomy leaders around the world to share their journeys in agronomy; how they got into the profession and why they love their job.
Golf Course Superintendent, The Track Meydan Golf, UAE
How did I get into Agronomy: From a young age I lived and breathed golf, spending every chance I could being on the course ! I knew I never wanted a desk job and was at my happiest being outdoors and being able to see the sunrise every morning was an added bonus ! I first got into agronomy when I was 14 on work experience through High School at a local club called Letham Grange and from there, I pursued down the agronomy path and never looked back.
Why do I love my job: It is a very unique job that requires absolute dedication and passion from within yourself to drive the golf course and associates to create the best experience for all who visit your facility. The job itself creates many different challenges that challenge your own strengths and abilities which makes you diverse and proud when looking back on a day / week’s work knowing you have produced the best you can. To some extent I think we are all artists creating an experience and golf course that will never be forgotten but at the same time striving to be the finest Superintendents that are illustrious of what we do which is where the complete job satisfaction comes from.
Rashika Galagoda (pictured right)
Golf Course Superintendent, Victoria Golf Resort, Sri Lanka
How did I get into Agronomy: The path that led me into the field of Agronomy was shaped by both my educational background in agriculture and my hands-on experience working within the agriculture sector.
Through this combination of education and practical involvement, I discovered that Agronomy perfectly aligns with my interests and aspirations. The blend of scientific knowledge, practical problem-solving, and the chance to make a tangible difference in the world of golf deeply resonated with me. As I continue this journey, I am excited to further explore the advancements in Agronomy and contribute to the sustainable and efficient growth of our golf course.
Why do I love my job: Having the privilege to commence each morning by immersing oneself in the tranquil embrace of nature’s greenery and engaging in the meticulous care of turf is an experience that holds immense value. This daily routine becomes even more fulfilling when you witness the profound appreciation emanating from golfers and visitors who frequent the golf course.
Horticulturalist, Pacific Harbour Golf & Country Club, Australia
How did you get into agronomy: I got into agronomy because of my deep love for plants and nature. This passion led me to explore career options that would allow me to work closely with the natural world. I have been involved in agronomy at the club for 15 years now.
Why do you love your job: I love my job primarily because it allows me to be outdoors and immerse myself in nature. Working on the field, I get to see the native animals and wildlife, which is another aspect of the job that I thoroughly enjoy. Moreover, I am fortunate to work with a fantastic team, which makes the experience even more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Superintendent, Ocean Course Hokuala, Kauai Hawaii
How did you get into agronomy: I started as a Ground Section Tender. I took the initiative to learn all the basics daily tasks and responsibilities in preparing and maintaining all areas of the golf course and overall functions of the operation. I then went on to attain my license as a Chemical Applicator and learned how chemicals affect turf growth and health to create a near perfect playing conditions. I continued my education in Turf Grass Management home study from Penn State University but did not finish. The rest is history.
Why do you love your job: I love being outdoors and working with the team.
Dindy Macatlang(pictured right)
Superintendent, Al Hamra Golf Club, UAE
How did I get into Agronomy:
My relatives suggested that I continue my internship in Dubai after graduation so I could learn how to maintain a golf course. After completing my B.S. in agriculture, a relative recommended me to avoid pursuing a career as a farmer and instead concentrate on learning how to manage a golf course maintenance to have a better job. And my relatives were right; I like it, paid great attention to it, and eventually worked my way up to superintendent status. I am grateful to Troon for giving me the chance to work at some fantastic golf courses and develop professionally.
Why do I love my job:
The natural beauty of the area, which includes trees, grass, birds, fish, and other species, makes it enjoyable to work on the golf course. Working on a golf course is not monotonous or harmful; rather, it is therapeutic.
Manuel Angel Gonzalez Loma
Head Greenkeeper, Aloha Golf Club, Spain
How did I get into Agronomy: Nature in general is something that since my childhood I have always liked. Everything related to it I have always loved and called my attention. On the other hand, golf has always been one of my favourite sports since I learned to play at the age of 10. From that age, my two brothers and I played almost all the children’s tournaments that were held at the golf club of which we were members. Thus, when the time came to decide which university degree I wanted to study, I undoubtedly chose one related to agronomy. In this case it was easy because in my city, Seville, there is a Faculty of Agricultural Technical Engineering.
Why do I love my job: As in any profession, in ours there are also good and bad moments. Certainly ours, in addition to being a complicated profession, requires a lot of professional and personal sacrifice, and that is why if you want to be a good professional, you must have a vocation. But while it is a complex and sacrificed profession, it is also always gratifying when you see that everything on the golf course looks great and the membership recognize your work.
I started working in a company that was working alongside Vattanac Golf Resort during the pre-opening, and I was really interested in the golf course. I was lucky enough to move across to Vattanac Golf Resort shortly after, and have loved it ever since!
Why do you love your job:
I loved growing and caring for plants when I came to work on the golf course because of my love of the expansive green landscape and providing the best course conditions!
Superintendent at Pearl Country Club on Oahu, Hawaii
How did I get into Agronomy: In 2006 I was working as an electrician apprentice when the economy took a dive, and I was laid off. I have always noticed how passionate my dad and uncle (Superintendents) were about their work. I took a job at a golf course while waiting to get a call back from the layoff and I fell in love with it. The next semester I enrolled in turf school and never looked back.
Why do I love my job: I love working around the scenic views and the sound of laughter. Nothing is better than putting in hard work and hearing a group on the green over having a blast.
Superintendent Whittle Springs Golf Course, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
How did I get into Agronomy: I stumbled into my career; I was playing minor league hockey for the Knoxville Cherokees (1989-90 season) and I got a job at the golf course for the summer. I was supposed to be going back to play the following season, but I loved the immediate gratification of working on the golf course. My hockey career was about over anyway so I decided to go to school and I got my Production Horticulture degree with an emphasis on Turf Management. It was then I realized my passion for turf management and took a Superintendents role at a local public golf course in Knoxville right out of college.
Why do I love my job: It’s something I am really passionate about; I love the immediate gratification of the job and managing people, working with such a mix of skilled individuals to reach a common goal is super satisfying.
Golf Course Manager, Dubai Hills Golf Club, UAE
How did I get into Agronomy: It started when I was 16, looking for a job at my local club, Sonning Golf Club. This led to a passion in working outside on golf courses and combining my hobby of playing golf. Once I had established a career in Agronomy and completed greenkeeping courses through college I went onto volunteer at European Tour events in the UK. Meeting different people from around the world at these events made me strive for more. I have now worked in four different countries pursuing my career.
Why do I love my job: Combining the environment with the love for the game of golf. Each day is never the same with different challenges and agronomic improvements. Producing a product you can look back at and feel proud of the achievements you have made. Staying focused everyday as the conditions never stop changing and feel happy and free to grow.
Golf Course Superintendent, Brookwater Golf & Country Club, Australia
How did I get into Agronomy: My Dad would take me to our local golf club for a social round. When I was 16 I wanted to get a job. A position came up at my local (Evans Head Golf Club) and I’ve been in the industry ever since.
Why do I love my job: I get to work with a great team each day. I enjoy the problem solving nature of the job and the challenge of improving year on year.
Superintendent, Salgados Golf Course, Spain
How did I get into Agronomy: In the 90’s I started my academic degree in Agricultural Engineering and during that period I was invited to work on a golf course during my summer vacations. That is when I discovered my passion for working in a golf course environment. Following that, with further education, dedication and hard work I became a Head Greenkeeper.
Why do I love my job: Having the possibility to work outdoors and deal with all the different challenges that we have in order to improve the condition of the course, it’s absolutely what I love to do.
Superintendent, Knoxville Municipal Golf Course, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
How did I get into Agronomy: When I was younger I always liked helping my dad in the yard. I just enjoyed being outside and in many cases being able to see the product of your work when you finished. So being a golfer it just seemed like it would be a great career to follow.
Why do I love my job: I love the part of being outside and being able to provide a course that people can play and enjoy themselves.