Formal Intro

In an attempt to introduce our department’s staff better, we’ll try to do some short intro posts in the future. A big portion of our department’s goal is to complete our work out of sight. This creates a better experience for the player, but creates a challenge, specifically for our young, full-time, turf professional staff to gain experience with developing relationships with the membership. This is an invaluable interface, as dealing with multiple personalities, agendas, interests, and answering questions, is a skill that needs practice to make perfect (!) It is an extremely valuable experience, and a defined skill that is necessary to successfully, and confidently, navigate being a golf course professional. It’s also very important to feel like your part of a large family, not just hired help that is supposed to be camouflaged in the rough.

So after reading Tina Rosenow’s post, please make an effort to stop her on the course, make that valuable introduction, thank her for all of her hard work, and give her some much deserved props! Her character, personality, and dedication is an undeniable reason for our department’s success.


 

I know many of you have seen me out and about on the course so I figured it was about time I formally introduced myself. I’m Tina, one of the Assistant Golf Course Superintendents. I recently got the opportunity to speak at the Women’s Annual Meeting lunch, which was wonderful, however, my nervousness got the best of me, and I may have spoken too quietly!

I started at Midland in June of 2015 on the grounds crew. I remember when I had showed up to my interview, the first thing Mike told me was, “no jeans on the golf course!” My mistake for wearing jeans to an interview…After being hired, I did the typical jobs like water and trash, string trimming, flymowing bunkers (every week… thanks Mark), trimming sprinkler heads, and a little bit of mowing. At the end of the summer when Mike had asked if I planned on returning the next summer, I told him no, because I simply enjoyed my sleep too much and wanted to sleep in like any regular teenager! The next summer I nanny’d in my neighborhood, which quickly made me realize how much I missed the golf course. I ended up going back to Midland the summer of 2017, and absolutely loved it. I mentioned to Mike how much I was enjoying it, and he told me that that I was really good at it, and if this was something I was interested in, I should consider going to school for it. I had originally planned on going to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities for engineering, but that plan quickly failed as I dropped out of physics the first day… So that summer I made the decision to transfer to the Agriculture School to start my Bachelors in Plant Science. I’m not going to lie, it was tough! Yet, I managed to graduate a semester early, thanks to college classes in high school.

The following summer of 2018, I returned to Midland and worked an “unofficial” internship. I learned the basics of the industry such as applying plant protectants and fertilizers, mowing, hand watering, and other maintenance practices. The summer of 2019, I completed my official school internship at Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata, MN, which was quite the internship. I finished school in the fall of 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Plant Science with an emphasis on Turfgrass Science. After graduating in December, I planned on returning to Midland in July of 2020 to take part in the restoration project. I had a 6 month stretch where I decided to do a postgrad internship at Trinity Forest, in Dallas TX, to gain more experience with warm-season grasses at a PGA Tour stop. That was quite the exhilarating experience, especially during COVID. I really grew as a person in that stretch of time, and learned a lot about myself. It was also a neat experience being in a different climate with completely different grasses. After that, I came back to Midland for the restoration project as a project manager. I had a blast working the project. It was so surreal to see all the changes come to life, and get to work side by side with the shapers, Jim Urbina, and Hartman Construction. I’m not sure I would do another project like that as it takes a toll on you physically, mentally, and emotionally. We worked long hours to get the course in best of shape for winter as we could. I don’t regret working the project for one second though, as I gained so much experience from it. I really learned to like my coworkers with the long hours…!

After the project wrapped up in November, our former 2nd Assistant, Tait, relocated to Florida with his family. After talking with Mike, we decided that it was the best option for me to step into that position. I was at a point in my life where I was ready to make that career jump into a full-time position, and Mike knew that hiring me would be a smooth transition, as I was familiar with the staff, course, and operations of the maintenance department. I still have a lot to learn, and I’m thankful to be under the watchful eye of Mike and Mark. I couldn’t thank Mike enough for being there every step of my career, guiding me and making sure I will succeed in this industry.

I was lined up to go to New Zealand, to work at Tara Iti Golf Club in November 2020, but that fell through due to COVID. I am hoping to be able to travel there some day, but I’m quite happy and content where I am right now at Midland. I plan on being an Assistant until I am comfortable stepping into a Lead Assistant role. Ideally, my goal is to be a Golf Course Superintendent in the next 10 years. I am very grateful to be able to work for a membership like Midland, and I hope that I am able to make many meaningful relationships around the course. It is in my best interest to produce a product that our membership loves. Thanks for all the support, comments, and kind words about the restored course, and I hope to see you out there!

Tina

 

19 Replies to “Formal Intro”

  1. Michael Bilski says:

    Great Idea! Thanks Tina for your hard work!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you Bilski! See you out there.

  2. Tina-
    Thank you for sharing your story! There is little doubt that we are lucky to have you on the team. Hope the 2021 season will be a success from your standpoint.

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you Tucker! Hope to meet you and I appreciate your kind words.

  3. Timothy Walsh says:

    Tina – thanks for the contributions you have made toward our success and allowing us get to know your background and goals!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you! A lot of hard work by our entire department to create a beautiful golf course for the membership to love.

  4. Paul Kirkegaard says:

    I love seeing you out on the course showing the guys what to do! 😉 Thank-you for all you have done for our membership and for what you continue to do for all of us at Midland Hills.

    1. Tina says:

      Paul, a little elbow grease can go a long way with these guys. They’re all hard workers and I’m proud of their work ethic throughout the project and regular seasons. Thanks for the kind words.

  5. Tom McDaniel says:

    Hi Tina –
    Thanks for sharing your story and the dedication to excellence at MH !
    Tara Iti also on my bucket list. Maybe you already know this, but the Gen Mgr at Tara Iti is from MN and long, long ago caddied at MH.

    1. Tina says:

      Tom, Tara Iti would be an unbelievable experience. That is some neat info, I know a lot of people who have Tara Iti on their bucket list. If only the borders would open …

  6. Jerry Pitzl says:

    Thanks for the great update. Welcome as a “permanent“.addition to the crew. All your hard work is greatly appreciated

    1. Tina says:

      Jerry, we are happy to put in some hard work to produce a wonderful product that our membership can enjoy.

  7. Dr Jo-Ida Hansen says:

    Wonderful career story, Tina. So glad you enjoy being a MHCC.

    Can you comment on (what seems like a large number) the mature trees that are dying? I assume they will need to be removed? Does this leave our course with too few trees after so many already were removed for the course renovation ? Are the dying and dead trees infected with a virus? An insect? Do you expect even more to die? Is there a treatment? Thanks. JCH

    1. Tina says:

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed my story. I think I might have to let Mike take over on this comment. I am knowledgeable on this subject, but he’s more acquainted in pertaining to our course. Hope to see you out there!

    2. Mike Manthey says:

      Great observation Jo-Ida.
      You are correct, there’s a good number of mature trees that are in rapid decline. The majority of them being Green Ash, that are infected by the Emerald Ash Borer. We only treat 2 Ash on the entire property, and at one time, had over 2000 Ash. We only treat 2 because Ash aren’t great golf course trees since they’re extremely dirty, and have poor structure. There are only 5 Ash remaining on the interior of the course, but several hundred remain along the perimeters. We are ground zero of EAB, and the dead rate from the Borer is at the highest level, which has taken over a decade to occur. Below is a post about EAB that I did several years ago, that gives better background info.
      There are a few other trees that are in decline, one’s that are very unfortunate. An Oak right of 8 approach, and an American Elm between 11 and 17 fairway. These two trees are victims of the irrigation main line pipe installation in 2005. The excavator dug within the drip line of the trees, installing pipe. The trees then stopped taking in exterior inputs – nutrients specifically. The trees are now running out of internal nutrients. We’ve been making injections with our arborist to slow the decline but unfortunately there’s nothing to stop it.
      Your also seeing a few Silver Maples that look ill, but are just loaded with seeds, known as “whirly birds.” This year, the trees are producing a bumper crop, so much so that they haven’t developed full leaf buds. This happens about twice per decade because of previous growing season conditions. They will eventually bounce back and fully leaf out.

      http://www.mhccturf.com/?p=827

      Regarding how many trees is appropriate is a part of the Master Plan. Midland Hills will be a unique, and different golf course, locally, because we’re restoring not only the golf course, but the amount of trees that was originally on the course in 1921. This is a true restoration, something that no other club in town has done. Trees were never really part of the strategy of Midland, nor most Seth Raynor golf courses. The topography was a major part of the challenge to the course, combined with healthy turf, wind, properly placed deep bunkering, and large greens, where 3 putts were commonplace. Below is another link that I posted 5 years ago regarding our Tree Management Plan.

      http://www.mhccturf.com/?p=487

      Please ask questions after reading through some additional information, or any other aspect of the property.
      Thank you!
      Mike

  8. Brad Melchior says:

    Thank you for the introduction and all you do for Midland Hills. Very grateful you are part of the team with all the experience you have gained already in your young career!

    1. Tina says:

      Brad, good thing I’m young and have a lot more experience to gain. Midland is just the starting point! I’m very grateful to be a part of this big family!

  9. Mark Hronski says:

    Thanks for all your hard work! Course looks amazing and your work is greatly appreciate.

    1. Tina says:

      Mark, thanks for the kind words! The course is shaping up nicely after this icky spring we had.

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