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19th Hole: Brian Daigneau

By |  May 20, 2021 0 Comments
Brian Dagineau (Photo by: Mike Cushin)

Brian Daigneau (Photo by: Mike Cushin)

Brian Daigneau

Superintendent // Shaker Hills CC, Harvard, Mass.

What are you drinking? A Julius, from Tree House Brewing Co. in Charlton, Mass. I’m an IPA guy, and that’s their flagship beer.

Congratulations on your new job — tell me about Shaker Hills. It’s 30 minutes west of Boston, an 18-hole high-end public golf course designed by Brian Silva. Tight course, lots of trees. It’s a great layout. My son Jonah, I call him my little assistant, he’s 7, said, ‘this is paradise.’

How did you find your way to the industry? Out of high school, I went to culinary school. My parents always say I got a $9,000 knife set. With my tail between my legs, after one semester, I went home. My mom knew somebody who worked at a country club in the next town. I went there to work on the grounds crew for two summers and decided to go to SUNY-Delhi for a turf management degree. That was 21 years ago. Thankfully, the culinary (school) didn’t work out because I found something I really love.

What’s your favorite tool to get the job done? My TDR moisture meter. It takes the guesswork out of watering at night, and the Toro 648 aerifer, a great tool to have in the shop. And a mechanic, which I’m looking forward to having.

What’s your favorite golf memory? My father’s only hole-in-one, it was just me and him. I was still in high school. He’s still trying to find his second; I’m still trying to find my first.

Do you have a claim to fame? Running in the Boston Marathon twice. I did two consecutive. Those days are over. I’m too busy with life. The year after the bombing, 2014, was my first. It was pretty emotional. Heartbreak Hill at mile 17 … all the fan support cheering you on … I’ve run a few other marathons, but that one is something different.

Fill in the blank: The best way to keep your cool when things are hectic and someone on the crew does something batty is to ______. Drive away. Go to the pump house and breathe. In July, you’re toast. You just have to drive and find some time for yourself, without getting mad at the golfers who are driving wherever they want!

We have a Bingo card with this issue. Which square do you think you’ll cover first? Digging to China? I also hear, ‘digging for gold?’ and ‘digging for oil?’ all the time. It’s July, and I’m fixing an irrigation break on a Saturday morning — that’s the last thing you want to hear.

What will you miss most about your old job? My crew at Dudley Hill are some of the best guys in the business. It was a pleasure to go to work there because of the crew and the members. I’ll miss the people.

As interviewed by Seth Jones, April 5, 2021.

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