To recruit interns, superintendents rely on job boards and relationships with turfgrass programs and professors nationwide. Many start by reaching out to about a dozen programs in the late summer every year, but are finding it harder to recruit interns because turf-school enrollments are declining.
To recruit interns, superintendents rely on job boards and relationships with turfgrass programs and professors nationwide. Curtis Tyrrell, Director of Agronomy at Desert Highlands Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. starts by reaching out to about a dozen programs in the late summer every year. But he is finding it harder to recruit interns because turf-school enrollments are declining.
In introductory interviews, he tries to find out what the students hope to gain from their internships. “There’s always something they want to learn,” he says. “We’ve always brought our interns immediately into our management circle. We give them insight into what it takes to manage a golf course.”
When recruiting interns, Tyrrell tells them about upcoming activities at the course, which could range from bunker projects to a tournament.
“I definitely want somebody that’s got all the basics already, because we want to bring them into the management side of things,” he says. “We focus on giving them next-level experience.”
Jon Urbanski, Director of Golf Courses & Grounds at the 36-hole Wilmington (Del.) Country Club, who also calls recruiting the biggest challenge of internship programs because of the lack of available students, looks for well-rounded, inquisitive interns who show interest in the position.
“Recruiting to me is an everyday thing,” he says. “You have to fill the position with purpose. There’s a reason we have that person here.”
Kasey Kauff, Director of Grounds at the 27-hole Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, Texas, has hired interns for the last four years from a variety of universities, including Kansas State, Purdue and North Carolina State, as well as Minnesota. The N.C. State grad frequently speaks to students at his alma mater, which also opens up the pipeline for him.
An intern’s skill level doesn’t matter to Kauff; last year, he had a female intern who had never worked on a golf course before. “We are open to anything because we can teach them,” he says. “We can train them on the operation of equipment.”