By Kurt Kragthorpe
The recent renovation of Alpine Country Club gave Superintendent Jake Ebner and his staff renewed direction in their care of the golf course, but that’s really nothing new. Ebner’s crew outlines an area of emphasis every year.
“We always come up with something new,” Ebner said.
The strategy is working. Ebner is the Utah Section PGA’s Superintendent of the Year for private facilities in 2021, a year after receiving the same award from the Utah Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
Alpine was showcased this year as the host of the 123rd Utah State Amateur, giving contestants a glimpse of Ebner’s standards. He strives to create “tournament conditions every day,” so that an event such as the State Am doesn’t require extraordinary preparation.
Alpine is known for an avid golf membership that expects high-level conditioning. Ebner is no different. “I’m a fairly decent golfer,” he said, “and even when I go out to play, I want it to be the best possible conditions.”
Advances in technology and equipment have aided Ebner during his 15 years as Alpine’s director of agronomy. The challenge stems from wind that blows down American Fork Canyon and disrupts overnight watering patterns. “It takes a lot of hand watering to keep everything consistent,” he said.
The staff’s biggest innovation in 2021 was regulating the growth of the greens during the day, because afternoon players want the same, fresh-cut speed of the morning. One wrinkle for 2022 will be the use of wetting agents on the fairways.
Photo: Bradford Schaub, Alpine Country Club