If any group understands why carts and saturated turf don’t mesh, it’s golf course superintendents and their partners.

Following an early morning Detroit deluge last month, carts remained in storage as participants in the Wee One Foundation Michigan outing received an opportunity to lug their bags around Meadowbrook Country Club. A soggy morning turned into a sunny afternoon, making the event a memorable walk in a renovated park.

Meadowbrook, the site of the 1955 PGA Championship, underwent a bold transformation that resulted in new grasses, reshaped greens, rebuilt bunkers, fewer trees, more tee boxes and improved infrastructure. The 15 miles of drainage proved invaluable last month, allowing the club to host the Wee One Foundation outing despite receiving more than 4 inches of rain in a 2 ½-day stretch.

Superintendent Jared Milner and his team worked furiously before and after the storm to prepare the course for industry colleagues. Meadowbrook reopened May 19, 2017 and the Wee One Foundation outing represented only the second outside event on the renovated course.

Architect Andy Staples returned to Meadowbrook for the outing. He enthusiastically explained his work, including the Willie Park Jr.-inspired green complexes, with participants and collaborated with Milner on ways to further enhance the course.

Founded in 2004 and named in honor Wayne Otto, the Wee One Foundation assists golf course management professionals or their dependents who incur overwhelming expenses due to medical hardship without comprehensive insurance or adequate financial resources. Otto, CGCS, died in 2004 following a battle with cancer. The foundation has gifted more than $1 million since its inception in 2004.

Tartan Talks No. 23

Hail to the new chief!

Jeff Blume became ASGCA President earlier this year at the annual meeting in his hometown of Houston – and he brought a finance-driven message to the podium. Blume explained his major objective for his tenure in a “Tartan Talks” episode.

“One of the things I mentioned in my presidential address is that there are economic models in golf that work and work very well,” he says. “We need to start publicizing those projects that are economic successes.”

Blume, the son of an Air Force fighter pilot, learned the business side of golf working for Jeff Brauer and Robert von Hagge before establishing his own Texas-based architecture firm in 1997. The business acumen has allowed Blume to pursue diverse projects, including partnerships involving golf courses and municipalities to improve stormwater storage and retention.

Enter https://goo.gl/HJkvgQ into your web browser to learn more about Blume and his recent work.