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Steven Neuliep's Educational Journey in the UK with Bernhard Academy

Steven Neuliep’s Educational Journey in the UK with Bernhard Academy

Steven Neuliep’s Educational Journey in the UK with Bernhard Academy 1080 1350 Natalia Pinto

Steven Neuliep’s Educational Journey in the UK with Bernhard Academy

We take immense pride in offering opportunities for golf course professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills. One particular example is Steven Neuliep, the Director of Golf Operations at Etowah Valley Golf & Resort in North Carolina, and a certified golf course superintendent

Through an exciting auction, he won the chance to visit our factory in the UK, take part in educational workshops at the Bernhard Academy, and experience the world of golf course maintenance in the UK. This educational journey was initially delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has now come to fruition. Let’s dive into Steven’s insights and experiences during his time with us.

We began our conversation with Steven by asking him about his motivation to bid in the auction that led him to this experience. Steven’s commitment to personal and professional development, especially in terms of upskilling and networking, drove him to seize this opportunity. His involvement with organisations like the GCSAA and his advocacy for the importance of soft skills were instrumental in pursuing this auction win. The chance to explore the Bernhard Academy, coupled with his desire to contribute to the GCSAA Foundation, made this journey even more appealing.

One of Steven’s primary goals for this educational trip was to gain a better understanding of turf maintenance practices in a new international environment. Networking with greenkeepers and deepening his understanding of Bernhard and the Bernhard Academy were also high on his list. His time in the UK provided him with insights into the nuances of maintaining golf courses in different parts of the world, which in turn, he believed, could lead to a greater understanding of agronomics.

His interactions with golf course managers in the UK during his course visits were likewise invaluable. Playing golf with them provided an excellent opportunity to discuss how they manage golf courses on both sides of the Atlantic. Steven was particularly intrigued by the extensive effort put into maintaining heather on UK courses, which is a unique and beautiful aspect of their landscapes. The use of open ditches as supplemental drainage at Sunningdale Golf Club also caught his attention.

In his interactions and observations, Steven noted that cultural practices in the UK emphasize environmentally friendly solutions due to more stringent restrictions on chemical control. While the US also focuses on responsible chemical use, Steven highlighted the importance of addressing the root causes of problems rather than masking them with chemicals.

Steven had the opportunity to have a factory tour at Bernhard and Company, which reinforced the importance of sharp cutting reels and bedknives in reducing stress on turf. The experience encouraged Steven to prioritise keeping their grinders updated and maintained to ensure quality and sustainability. He recognised that maximizing the effectiveness of their current equipment is essential. Among the various experiences, Steven also highlighted his discussions and interactions with Simon Game, the Engineering Design Manager at Bernhard and company. He was impressed by the percentage of engineers involved in our product development, reflecting on the combination of old and modern technologies. This integrated approach to grinder technology was both intriguing and reassuring to him.

Steven still aspires to achieve the Master Greenkeeper designation. Furthermore, he plans to stay involved with educational institutions and superintendent associations, like BIGGA and GCSAA, which will allow him to continue contributing to the growth and development of the golf course maintenance community and keep fostering a greater sense of collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Steven Neuliep’s educational journey in the UK has been enlightening, enriching, and transformative. We are proud to have been a part of his learning experience, and we look forward to more opportunities to support the sports turf maintenance community in the future.

Posted on: Dec 13, 2023