19th Hole: Steve Shand

By |  May 10, 2022 0 Comments
Photo: Steve Shand

Photo: Steve Shand

Steve Shand

Superintendent // The Cliffs at Walnut Cove, Asheville, N.C.

What are you having? A cold IPA, the hoppier, the better. We’ve got a new brewery in town, New Origin. They’ve got some great ones.

How did you and Trish meet? We met in 2001 in Hawaii while in school. We went to Elon College, now University. They do a 4/1/4 (month) schedule and in January, they do a one-month concentrated class that we were both in. My sophomore year, I could either do ac- counting in Burlington, N.C. or spend a month in Hawaii. So, I went to Hawaii and studied the culture and history.

Tell me about your golf course. It’s a Nicklaus Signature design; 18 holes, built in ’04-’05. All cool-season grass. We’re centered right below the Blue Ridge Parkway. The course sits in a valley, and we have a horseshoe of mountains around the property. We’re one of seven courses in the Cliffs family and the only one in North Carolina.

How do you like living in Asheville? We’re spoiled to live here. We’ve lived here now almost 10 years. The hiking, the breweries, the food. Right out of our back- yard, we tie into miles of trail systems.

What was the highlight of your 2022 Masters experience? It’s always great to get back. I was fortunate to intern there in 2004. It’s great to go back and see all the familiar faces. It’s crazy how many folks from back then still work there.

Steve's dog, Wailua. (Photo: Steve Shand)

Steve’s dog, Wailua. (Photo: Steve Shand)

How did you get into the business? I grew up in Maine, on a small island off the coast. My father was the GM of the club on the island, The Tarratine Club of Dark Harbor. At the age of 10, I was cleaning clubs and picking the range. When I was 13, I started working on the grounds crew. I didn’t know if I wanted to go the superintendent route or the club pro route. In the morning, I would mow greens and do course set-up, then I’d change and teach junior clinics. I’ve been doing it forever. When I got to Elon, I told myself I was going to get out of the business. That lasted about a week.

Who is your golf course best friend, and what is your enemy? Wailua, my yellow lab, is my best friend. Annual bluegrass weevil is my enemy. They keep swinging; they’re out in droves right now. In Western North Carolina, this pest reacts differently. I emailed Ben (McGraw, Ph.D.) about it yesterday. I’m fortunate to get to stay in touch with him and let him know what we are seeing down here, and pick his brain. The students love our property. N.C. State was here, and one student said he loved coming here because he could get his counts real quick. I told him, ‘I’m so happy for you.’

As interviewed by Seth Jones, April 14, 2022.

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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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