The 19th Hole: Brian Birney

By |  April 30, 2018 0 Comments

Brian Birney
Superintendent // The Club at Admirals Cove (East Course), Jupiter, Fla.

You want to stick with beer? Let’s stick with Chancellor (Ale, Tequesta Brewing Co., Tequesta, Fla.), it’s flowing good.

What time does Florida play tonight? 10 p.m. And you know it’s going to start way later than that. It makes me so mad. I’m going to have to record it and watch it at 5 in the morning.

You met (wife) Amanda while you were at Florida, right? Yes, our freshman year. It was my birthday, Oct. 10th, 2004. It was at a tailgate for the Florida/LSU game.

I hate to ask this, but how many championships did you see while at Florida? I was enrolled for three of them. Amanda was their good luck charm, she was there for all four. It was a good run, but then I got used to winning — I don’t know why we can’t get back to that. Maybe I need to go back for my master’s.

Tell me about Admirals Cove. It’s 45 holes of golf, but it doesn’t stop there. We’ve got a marina, a fitness center, a spa, restaurants… members never have to leave. It’s one of the top 10 residential clubs in the nation. And, it’s a great place to work — Mr. Herring (general manager/CEO) and Blair (Kirby, director of golf course maintenance) maintain a great culture with a lot of positive energy.

What’s (2-year-old) Colton up to these days? He’s the Energizer Bunny! And he’s growing like a weed. He doesn’t sleep much. He loves to be outside, loves to hit (golf) balls off the mat. And somehow, he’s a lefty.

How do you keep things light when the crew is just getting their butts kicked during a hard week? Our most difficult time is during aerification. I’ll go to Costco and buy a bunch of Gatorades. We’ll grab a spot with some shade and shoot (the breeze.) I just want to show them some compassion that I appreciate that they’re grinding.

What’s your favorite tool in the shop? I just love how the industry is utilizing technology. We use SPaRKS for chemical tracking. We use Advanced Scoreboard to track job assignments. We use the Pogo to track moisture and salinity. It makes it easier when we present to the greens committee — we’re not just pulling things out of our hat, we’re giving them hard data.

Fill in the blank: I knew this was the career for me the day I _______. It was after working the first week of an internship for Craig Currier at Bethpage State Park. At some point that week I sat down and said to myself, “Man, this is pretty cool.” I’ve loved it ever since.

So how far are you taking your Gators? I hate to say this… I’ve got your Jayhawks knocking them out.

As interviewed by Seth Jones, March 15, 2018.

Photo: Abby Hart

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