Course Superintendent

Our Course Manager David Callanan has recently achieved the status of Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS). In doing so David becomes only the 3rd person in Ireland and the 12th in Europe to achieve this goal.

The CGCS program is offered by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). In order to become eligible to enter the gruelling certification program David had to meet the strict entry requirements based on education and experience.  The GCSAA have designed the certification program to test aCourse Managers ability in all aspects of course and facility management. 

David was required to pass 3 different testing methods, a 6 hour written exam, an onsite visit from 2 current CGCS and a comprehensive portfolio of work.

The written exam tested David’s knowledge in areas such as

  • Turfgrass Cultural Practices
  • Fertilisation
  • Irrigation
  • Primary turfgrass practices
  • Golf Course Landscapes
  • Construction and renovation
  • Other infrastructure
  • Pest management
  • Integrated pest management
  • Environmental Management and Stewardship
  • Regulator and Programmatic systems
  • Equipment Management
  • Rules of golf
  • Project management
  • Business Systems
  • Purchasing systems
  • Accounting duties and budgets
  • Utilizing technology
  • Human Resources
  • Natural ecosystems

The onsite visit was conducted by current CGCS’s Aidan O’Hara from Mt. Juliet and Andy Campbell from Textron. During their visits they looked at the following areas:

  • Course condition- this included greens, tees, fairways, rough, bunkers, ponds and waterways, cart paths and general grounds.
  • Maintenance facility- this section covered the office area, pesticide storage, equipment storage, wash-pad, safety equipment storage and employees areas.
  • Record keeping- chemical applications, financial records, staff training and wildlife inventory

The portfolio was divided into 3 sections

  • Case studies
  • Work samples
  • Skill statements

David was provided with 8 case studies- mediation, human resource problems, safety problems, first aid situations, time management, adjusting expenditure, problem solving and conflict resolution- which he then had to analyse,  put together an action plan and justify his course of action.The work samples required included:

  • Job performance reviews
  • Job descriptions
  • Employee training plan
  • Planning a meeting
  • Staff plan
  • Communication with the public on Environmental Issues
  • Communication within the golf course
  • Obtaining feedback from members and guests
  • Oral presentation
  • Fire safety

The skill statements included

  • Hiring policy
  • Staffing decisions
  • Staff leadership roles
  • Course soils
  • Effects on your courses turfgrass
  • Water runoff issues
  • Nutritional requirements
  • Pest control
  • Use of technology
  • Stock control
  • Teamwork
  • Management challenges
  • Market place