A proud family man with a love for exploring, skiing and golf. He won’t let anything get in his way, not even a skunk.
What does your job entail?
As a one-man operation (no employees and no boss) I service golf courses in Northern and Central California, and Northern Nevada representing Golf Safety.
What is a typical day like?
I’m a morning guy. Get up by 4:00 AM, seven days a week, whether the alarm goes off or not. Coffee, catch up on emails, finish a few projects. Try to take my two dogs for a walk when time permits, then head out the door.
Favorite memory from work?
At Tilden Park GC in Berkeley, CA, getting chased out of the maintenance shop at 5:00 AM one Sunday morning in 1979 by a skunk. It chased me back into the lunchroom and followed me in before I could close the door behind me. I got sprayed but had greens to mow and a job to get done. I stopped in the restaurant after mowing the front 9 greens for a cup of coffee and promptly got kicked out by a beautiful then 17-year old young lady running the restaurant at the time due to the odor around me. That young lady running the restaurant at the time just a couple years later became my wife of the last 40 years.
Well, and then that one time with her on the driving range tee….but I’ll save that story for later.
What’s a common question you get from customers?
Any Superintendent jobs out there, Pete?
What do you like most about your job?
No more commute to work. It could be as little as a 20-mile drive day or as much as a 500-mile drive day, but at least I’m in different areas and on different roads, seeing different golf courses every day. Calling on golf courses at sea level to golf courses at over 7000’ in the Sierra Nevada mountains, just about every fine turfgrass known to man can be found on one golf course or another in my territory. Seeing how different Superintendents get the same job done in different ways.
What are your hobbies and other interests outside of work?
RV camping with my wife, spending time with my three grandkids, snow skiing, golf. I live on a street with four wineries, so that’s nice.
Where are you from?
People’s Republic of Berkeley, CA
Where did you go to school?
A couple junior colleges, then UC Berkeley, finishing up at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a wife, 4-year old son, and 2-year old daughter.
How did you end up in the Golf business?
An older brother was already working at Tilden Park GC in Berkeley. They needed a long-haired kid who was tired of riding a bike around the Berkeley hills throwing newspapers at garages for about 200 bucks a month to pick the driving range while dodging flying golf balls for about 400 bucks a month. I met the requirements.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
Golf, kayaking with my wife, RV camping. Drinking the wine that my wife tastes. I hate wine tasting…I’d rather just drink it. And since I don’t do wine tasting, by default I end up being the designated driver.
Who are your favorite sports teams?
Oakland As, San Francisco 49ers.
What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know?
I have been in the golf business, in one capacity or another, for the last 44 years.
When I was a Golf Course Superintendent I got to work with Jack Nicklaus while building a new golf course in Patterson, CA. At the same property I got to meet and sit down with golf legends Gene Sarazen and Kathy Whitworth, and Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame football coach. Also, at the same property, I worked for the late Don Panoz, developer of the nicotine patch.