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Student learns lessons on Montana golf course
By Shoshana Brackett
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many college students sit in classrooms and dream of being on the golf course. One Mississippi State University student's dream became a reality in Montana last summer.
Senior Jordan Carlisle traveled nearly 30 hours and 2,000 miles from Starkville this summer to learn hands-on about turf in a different geographical region.
An agronomy major with an emphasis in golf and sports turf management, Carlisle interned this summer at The Club at Spanish Peaks Golf Course in Big Sky, Mont. Carlisle had already completed two three-month internships, but said he could not pass up the opportunity to work in Montana this summer. His housing was provided and all his expenses were covered while there.
The golf course is under construction, and Carlisle was involved in what he called the “grow-in” of the operation, which included sodding, heavy equipment operation, shaping of turf, mowing, and pesticide and herbicide application.
“We like to get a variety of students from different schools. I like to get a few kids from southern states to get them experience with the northern grasses,” said Mark Bradford, Carlisle's boss at The Club.
Raised on a farm, Carlisle said he chose his major and emphasis because he wanted to combine his love of the outdoors with his love of sports.
“Turf management seemed liked something that could keep me plugged in to both the agronomy and sports interests that I have,” Carlisle said.
He returned to MSU in the fall to finish two semesters of classes and then complete a final eight-month internship before graduation. Carlisle has worked at the MSU golf course part-time during school and said the work has been a helpful learning experience.
Carlisle said the MSU program helped him prepare for his internship through the three levels of training it provides. In the first level, he learned the basics such as mowing. The second level included knowledge of irrigation and pesticide and fertilizer application. The third level involved teaching the level 1 and 2 students.
“Jordan has a leader's personality, and his future is certainly bright in his profession,” said Gregg Munshaw, one of Carlisle's professors.
Munshaw, who works in MSU's Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, said the Golf and Sports Turf Management concentration trains students to work on golf courses, with sports turf, in lawn care and more. MSU's program requires a minimum 2.5 GPA and three co-ops and typically takes four and a half to five years to complete.
“Most students are training to be golf course superintendents or sports turf managers with aspirations of working for a professional sports team,” Munshaw said.
Those jobs are rare, so Munshaw encourages students to work on golf courses or sports fields to strengthen their knowledge, skills and experience.
Contact: Dr. Gregg Munshaw, (662) 325-8280