19th Hole: Sam Samuelson

By |  December 14, 2021 0 Comments
Sam Samuelson (Photo by Barry Schwartz)

Sam Samuelson (Photo by Barry Schwartz)

Sam Samuelson

Superintendent // WildHawk GC, Sacramento, Calif.

After 18 holes, what can I get you? I usually go with a blanco tequila on the rocks, por favor. Casa Noble is my favorite.

Tell me about your family. I have a wonderful wife, Katherine, from the great state of Maine. She’s a special education teacher. She’s great at it, and the kids love her. I’ve got two sons: Jack, 22, just graduated last spring from Willamette University in Oregon, and Will, 20, is a junior at Sonoma State University.

Thanks for letting us take a photo of your dog for the calendar cover! How old is she? Molly is a 7-year-old yellow lab. She goes to work with me almost every day. The only time she doesn’t come to work is when Grandma (Katherine’s mom) is in town from Maine. She loves to sit on the couch and watch Netflix with “Nanny.” It’s kind of fitting (she’s on the calendar cover). Our golf course is unique in that we allow golfers to bring their dogs on the golf course.

What’s your favorite tool in the shop? My trusty coffee cup. I get up at 3:30 in the morning every day.

What’s the hardest part about being a superintendent in California? Water is the issue. We’re right in the middle of a severe drought. We’re lucky we have groundwater, so we pump our own. We’re really efficient with it, we have a nice Rain Bird system, a Nimbus II.

What would be your dream concert? I don’t want to age myself, but I’ve been to my dream concert. I saw the Beatles in ’64 at Cincinnati Gardens. It was unbelievable. On came the Beatles and the women screaming. It was an hour of music, and we heard maybe half of it. It’s something I’ll never forget. My father was really cool, and that was something he took us to.

Any holiday traditions at your house? My wife is big on having a live Christmas tree. It’s a day’s adventure to get the right Christmas tree. It’s not a Clark Griswold adventure, but we put up a nice tree. It’s nice with the whole family around. Usually, Grandma comes from Maine, and it’s my two boys, my wife and me. It’s nice just sitting around and enjoying the holiday.

What’s your outlook for golf in 2022? It looks good to me. Who would have thought it’d take a pandemic to revitalize golf? We’ve had the busiest year in the history of our course. We’re pushing more than 300 players a day. I think the momentum will continue. Golf is something people can do together outside, without the danger of COVID. A lot of people said, ‘Wow, this is fun, this is something I should have been doing all along.’

This is posted in 19th Hole, From the Magazine

About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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