Friday, March 25, 2011

Going Back to School

By Brad Batchelor
IGM Golf Course Superintendent

Completion of a college curriculum can be very challenging on its own much less doing it while working full-time as an IGM Golf Course Superintendent. Much time is required to fulfill the requirements of each class and of the job. This makes scheduling and planning very important because a Superintendent’s work is potentially sun up to sun down seven days a week and can even run well into the night if you have an irrigation problem. If the day is not planned carefully to be as efficient as possible, one runs the risk of one of the areas suffering. In addition to the physical work load, you also face the mental side. During a busy growing season or tournament prep, stress levels have a tendency to run high. Combining this with an in depth report or an up coming exam, can easily push you over the top if careful preparations and planning aren’t accomplished.

While college adds another challenge, it is very rewarding and important. Benefits from my studies are already showing up in my day-to-day responsibilities and routines. I’m currently half done with the turf curriculum and plan to be finished after the spring semester of 2012. IGM has supported my desire to further my education every step of the way. I expect my education to provide great benefits to my career and to me personally. In the end, all of the hard work is well worth it.

Brad is the Golf Course Superintendent for IGM at Bear Valley Springs where he manages Oak Tree Country Club in this upscale private community in Tehachapi, California. Growing up in the area, Brad came to the property as a seasonal employee while attending high school. Working his way up to Assistant Superintendent, a position that he held at the time IGM was awarded the maintenance contract for the property. He is currently working on an Advanced Turf Certificate from Penn State after which he plans to continue his career with IGM and gain further knowledge and experience. He still lives in Tehachapi with his fiancée Kara.