Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hazel Brown, Appreciated, and Overwhelmed!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is Saturday, September 20th and a very special day at Carolina Golf Club.  Today marks the first day of our new event, The Hazel (named in honor of the late Hazel Brown).  The event consists of seven flights of six two-man teams (comprised of either two members or a member and guest) competing in our popular Member-Guest match-around format.  Hazel loved match play and was a fixture at this club for decades.  I consider myself lucky to have become a part of the Carolina "family" before his passing.  I always looked forward to my conversations with Hazel and I miss him.  HERE is a short story Ron Green Sr. wrote in 2011 about Hazel Brown and his relationship to Carolina Golf Club!

It is a beautiful late September day (cloudless blue skies) here at Carolina Golf Club.  My staff and I have been preparing the golf course since way before sunrise and I am called to the clubhouse just prior to the start of today's event (9:00 am shotgun).  I am met by Roger Wolfe, General Manager and members Chris Hughes and Ed Oden.  They present me with a letter signed by 63 members.  

The letter states, "You have been here 10 years... and it is obvious you still don't know what you are doing.  A few of us kicked in and hopefully, this collection of literature will help you in the future.  Seriously though, thanks for a decade of wonderful work at Carolina Golf Club and we hope you will be here for another 10 years." 

Under a table cloth in the dining room is revealed a collection of 14 books.  I was informed the collection had been started some time back and recently several more were acquired at auction.  

Words cannot begin to describe how I feel about this most thoughtful gesture!  To have those very people you work so hard for tell you they appreciate you and your craft means the world.  After all, isn't that what we all strive for?  We have entered this career for one reason or another (a love for nature, the outdoors, the game of golf, etc.) but at the end of the day, you just want to know they appreciate and respect the work you did!

Chris Hughes (L) and Ed Oden (R)
After the event starts, I retire to my office and take the opportunity to examine this collection more closely.  I am completely overwhelmed with what I now have in my possession.  These books comprise a history of turfgrass science and management.  The oldest dates back to 1914 and others were published in the 1920's and 30's. 
By Leonard Barron

O.M. Scott & Sons

Piper and Oakley
"The Turf Holy Grail"

Turf for Golf Courses by Dr. Charles V. Piper and Dr. Russell A. Oakley is considered by many to be the "Holy Grail" for turfgrass managers.  They were the original pioneers of turfgrass science.  Dr. Piper served as the very first chairman of the USGA Green Section and Dr. Oakley followed in that role after Piper's death in 1926. PIPER OAKLEY.  In 1998 the USGA Green Section named an award in their honor, periodically recognizing others who have so generously contributed to the programs and activities of the USGA Green Section and the game of golf as a volunteer.

Other books were previously owned by a legendary golf course superintendent, Mr. Charles Tadge, CGCS Retired.  Mr. Tadge served as president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) in 1979 and is a highly recognizable fixture at the annual Golf Industry Show.
Daniel and Freeborg, 1979
Autographed by Authors!

Dr. Beard
Edited by Horace Hutchinson

I am speechless, humbled, honored, and thankful.  I do not feel worthy of having these treasures in my possession.  To think this club thinks this highly of me moves me to tears.  I have immensely enjoyed the past ten seasons, and I sincerely hope I am lucky enough to be here for many more.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to each and every member who helped make this possible!  Thank you Carolina Golf Club!

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS 

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