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“What I get from Tom Irwin is straight-up good agronomics, professionalism and a straightforward approach – and that’s why I like them.”
—Kevin Komer, Golf Course Superintendent, Stowe Mountain Golf Club, Stowe, Vermont
Kevin Komer has been in the golf business for more than 20 years, the last eight of them growing in and maintaining Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Golf Club, recently voted the“#1 Golf Resort in the Northern US” in the Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards. Under Kevin’s leadership as golf course superintendent, Stowe became the first Audubon International Signature Certified Golf Course in Vermont.
Hole #8, Stowe Mountain Club
When you're in charge of the golf course and surrounding grounds at a resort ranked #5 in the nation in 2010 by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler, you keep pretty busy.
It’s also one of the most beautiful golf courses in America. Designed by the legendary Bob Cupp, Stowe Mountain Golf Club is a wilderness course that wraps around Peregrine Lake (created specifically for course irrigation) with spectacular views of Mount Mansfield, Spruce Peak, and the valley below. It is surrounded by 2,000 acres of protected conservation land.
Golf Magazine named Stowe Mountain Golf Club one of the “Top 10 New Courses in the United States that you can play.” Keeping it on top is Kevin Komer’s job.
A big part of that job is maintaining Stowe’s commitment to environmental stewardship under the Audubon Signature Program, which provides environmental planning assistance and stresses sustainable resource management practices. For Kevin Komer, that includes managing, not only the golf course, but also the surrounding naturalized areas, wetlands, and out of play zones. Komer also recently spearheaded a program in cooperation with the Vermont Department of Conservation to promote public recognition of environmental excellence for golf courses.
For Kevin, Tom Irwin helps simplify a very complex job. “I buy my seed somewhere else but every other product I use on the golf course comes from Tom Irwin,” said Komer.
“It makes things easier for me and my people instead of having five, six, eight vendors to have one vendor – especially Tom Irwin – to present everything to me. It’s more streamlined – the paperwork and the planners and the pre buys things. It’s all right there in front of everybody, which makes the business end of things easier.”
The Tom Irwin planner is particularly useful to Komer, who consults it on a regular basis. “We use it as a budgeting tool to explain why and how we are spending the money,” said Komer. “I use the Tom Irwin planner every day.”
The Golf Cottage, Stowe Mountain Club
That sense of daily support from Tom Irwin extends to the science of turf management as well. As a degreed agronomist himself, Komer appreciates the extra value he gets from Tom Irwin’s agronomy experts. “Paul Skafas is a great agronomist,” said Komer. “So the agronomics made sense to me. And very persistent and good agronomics are what makes you a successful superintendent at the end of the day.”
To Kevin Komer, having a partner like Tom Irwin on your side takes the risk and complexity out of what can be a very demanding job. “I would say your chances of success are better with Tom Irwin than with someone else. That’s how I see it and so far it’s worked out.”
Kevin welcomes you to contact him if you have any questions about his experience with Tom Irwin: firstname.lastname@example.org