Curtis Tyrrell, CGCS, MG, Director of Agronomy at Desert Highlands Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., is crafting a new internship program at the property. The program will play to the strengths of the Arizona property, which has an arid climate. And while he typically recruited four interns at his last club every year, Tyrrell plans to have one or two a year at Desert Highlands.
Curtis Tyrrell, CGCS, MG, Director of Agronomy at Desert Highlands Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., has one intern, Jack Daley, from Penn State for this summer. Tyrrell, who has been at Desert Highlands since December 2019, is crafting a new internship program at the property, which includes an 18-hole, par-72 Jack Nicklaus Signature course and an 18-hole, par -41 putting course.
Tyrell wants to create an internship program at Desert Highlands similar to the one he had at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club, where he spent 10 years as Director of Golf Course Operations. The program at his new club will play to the strengths of the Arizona property, which has an arid climate. And while he typically recruited four interns to Medinah every year, Tyrrell plans to have one or two a year at Desert Highlands.
In his second season as Director of Golf Courses & Grounds at the 36-hole Wilmington (Del.) Country Club, Jon Urbanski, who also had an internship program at nearby Biderman Golf Club for about 10 of his 14 years there, has two Penn State interns this year.
“If we have more than two, then the experience gets watered down for the students,” says Urbanski. “When they leave, we want to make sure this prepared them for the next step in their career.”
With bentgrass on its South Course and bentgrass and poa annua on the North Course, interns get two experiences at once at Wilmington CC, as well as additional input from the two courses’ superintendents, Sean Whiston and Brett Snyder.
“The students have the opportunity to work for a full week with each superintendent on their respective courses and then move over to the other course the following week,” Urbanski says. “This gives them a nice rotation throughout their entire work experience, and provides an opportunity for our superintendents to mentor the student, giving them a different perspective on turf maintenance from me. Each superintendent can depend on the intern day-in and day-out, and the intern gains responsibility and ownership in the operation.”
At the 27-hole Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, Texas which currently has one post-graduate intern from the University of Minnesota, the coronavirus pandemic has affected the internship program, reports Director of Grounds Kasey Kauff. Another intern might join the staff later this summer, but international travel restrictions have kept a third intern from Canada from working at the club. The virus also upended plans that Kauff had this year to team up with Nicole Sherry, head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, and have a Trinity Forest intern work for the baseball team after concluding his or her work in Dallas.