Travelogue: Charlotte/Future Turf Managers

By |  May 26, 2015 0 Comments
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Attendees of the 2015 Future Turf Managers event check out the new Jacobsen Trucksters. Photo by Seth Jones

Last week I was on the road again, this time to a familiar location: Charlotte, N.C.

I was invited to speak at Jacobsen’s annual Future Turf Managers event. Every year Jacobsen brings in 20+ of the top turf students from around the country (and this year, one Aussie) to give them an opportunity to learn, network, and of course, ride and drive some orange equipment. A tour of both Jacobsen facilities in Charlotte is also included.

The event was great, and I was impressed with the line-up of speakers (minus myself.) Of note to Golfdom‘s readers would be presentations from Jared Nemitz, the Peninsula Club, Cornelius, N.C., and Steve Loughran, Rock Ridge CC, Newtown, Conn.


The group gets a discussion and a demo on the Peninsula Club’s practice green. Photo by Seth Jones

Nemitz gave an interesting presentation where he, in his own words, presented “turf nerd” data — examples of the measurements and charts he keeps every day in order to be a successful superintendent. (Example: Nemitz and his crew weigh the clipping yields daily from all 18 greens in order to monitor growth habits.) Of special interest to me was when Nemitz flashed a slide up on his PowerPoint that had Golfdom‘s April cover (“To Core or Not to Core?“). His point with that slide was to talk to the attendees about making important decisions that interfere with play, and how it costs the club revenue.


Check out these greens at Carolina Golf Club! Photo by Seth Jones

Loughran, a past attendee (graduate, if you will) of the Future Turf Managers event, spoke about his career path, some lessons he’d learned along the way, and the rewards of becoming a superintendent. In Loughran’s case, he was recently tasked with rebuilding a handful of greens at Rock Ridge. “I’d never rebuilt a green before,” Loughran told the group. “If you earn the trust of your members, you get to do cool projects like this and call it work.”

I stuck around long enough to get some good photos of the ride and drive, then I exited stage left. I then took up Matthew Wharton, CGCS at Carolina Golf Club, on his invitation to play his course located on the west side of Charlotte, not far from the airport. The course looked great, and those greens! Perfect. Sadly, I didn’t play as well as I did at Whistling Straits, but I still had a great time, including

(L to R) Adam Slick of Jacobsen; Steve Loughrin, Rock Ridge CC; Jared Nemitz, The Peninsula Club. Photo by Seth Jones

(L to R) Adam Slick of Jacobsen; Steve Loughran, Rock Ridge CC; Jared Nemitz, The Peninsula Club. Photo by Seth Jones

rolling in a 30-foot birdie putt from off the green on the par-three No. 16.

All in all, a great trip to Charlotte. Thanks to our friends at Jacobsen for the opportunity to speak to the goup; the Steve and Jared for their time; and to Matthew for the hospitality!

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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

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