Wayne Kappelman, superintendent at Sharp Park Golf Course and winner of Golfdom magazine’s Herb Graffis Businessperson of the Year award, was recently featured in the February 2013 issue of the golf course management trade journal.
In the Golfdom article, Kappelman talks about life on the job, especially when it comes to dealing with the environmentalists who want to shut the course down because the endangered California garter snake and the threatened red-legged frog both live there. The court case to close it was dismissed in December 2012 but environmental groups since then have filed an appeal, all with Kappelman on the front line of this battle.
Still, in his four years on the job, Kappelman has added five acres of natural areas to the golf course and personally walks the areas near Laguna Salada on the course to make sure it’s safe to operate equipment.
"We’ll either not mow, or I’ll walk in front of the mower, I’ll check an entire area to make sure it’s safe to operate a mower or even have golfers in the area,” said Kappelman in the article. “If we see any frogs, we’ll stop play for an hour or two. The frogs usually move out by sunrise, but I want that cushion of 30 minutes, 45 minutes so they’re well on their way back to the lagoon and not in harm’s way.”
Kappleman also talks about his biggest challenges on the job, like being short staffed, and why he made the decision to use organic fertilizers and how all decisions at the Sharp Park Golf Course are based on the environment more than the golfing public.
"But we have a good balance between the two,” he said in the article. “We provide good playing conditions while still protecting the environment.”
The cover shot for the article was taken by Pacifica’s very own Tom Adams, a freelance photographer who’s lived in Pacifica for 30 years and owns Adams Video Services, a company that does events, promotion, transfers, and montages.
Adams says he first met Kappelman while doing a series of public service announcements for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Northern California. He’s done a fair amount of pro bono work for the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance who provided the referral for the job.
“The award from the Golfdom magazine was covered by their editor and chief, Seth Jones, who took lots of photos, but the one they wanted for the cover wasn’t the best quality so they asked Wayne if he knew anyone, and he pointed my way,” said Adams.
The cover shot was from the top of the stairs at the Mori Point GGNRA site, looking back toward the sea wall and golf course.
“It’s been very interesting working with Wayne,” said Adams. “He’s a down-to-earth guy with a big heart and a genuine interest in making Sharp Park the best course it can be. With his wife’s help, he dressed up the golf course superintendents area at Sharp Park with their gardening expertise.”
Read the full article about Kappelman in Golfdom magazine here.
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