February 22, 2011
The following is part of an internship by undergraduate student Jared Olsen, who spent the summer at Interlachen CC in Edina, MN.
Interlachen Country Club is located near downtown Edina in the Twin Cities. Interlachen was founded in 1909 when a few members of the BrynMawr Golf Club met to discuss the possibility of founding a new golf club. They took an option on three farms for a total of 146 acres. The terrain had rolling meadows, good wooded areas, and adequate water development. With the final purchase, work was begun on the grounds in March of 1910, and on the Clubhouse in November of 1910. The Club had nine holes and the course was formally opened on July 29, 1911. The course was designed and laid out by William Watson, the noted golf architect of that time, and with the exception of a few minor changes, remained as originally designed and built until 1919. During those earlier years it was rated, as it is now, one of the best courses in the country. In 1919 a new school of designers, brought about by the ever-improving conditions of play, caused the Board of Governors and the membership to call in Donald Ross, one of the best golf architects of this time. Mr. Ross was asked to submit a completely redesigned layout. Work started in 1919 and was completed in 1921. The course, with minor exceptions, remains his design today and is a Golf Digest top 50 private course.
I took this summer job at Interlachen to gain some valuable experience from another midwestern golf course. I have worked at three Iowa golf courses over the past four years, but I really wanted to broaden my horizons and see how things are done at high dollar private courses. I also saw this as an opportunity to broaden my horizons in the turf industry and to meet some new people. I started my internship on Monday May 17th. Overall, it was a great experience. The people and the staff are great and the membership is very laid back. The internship was a great learning experience and also came with some other great benefits. They provided free housing, free meals, uniforms, golf privileges, and had very good pay including a bonus program. As an intern, I was introduced to almost everything that a superintendent might encounter. I mowed, sprayed, did irrigation work, and helped with many other projects.
I would highly recommend this internship to any student who is eager and willing to learn hands on at a great facility. I am very pleased that I had the opportunity to work at the Interlachen. The experience helped me realize that I am on the right career path and I enjoyed seeing how a course of this stature operates behind the scenes. I felt that my past work experiences assisted me in many ways at Interlachen, but I also learned many new thing by being in a different region. of the country. I had a very positive performance review at the end of experience which helped boost my confidence. I lived, worked and breathed the course while I was there. Staying in the on-site living quarters with six other interns who worked in the clubhouse was also a very good learning experience. The entire summer internship was a very valuable experience for me.