Don’t forget the golf courses
VAIL – Steve Sarro thought about writing a check for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Then he realized he has skills that could go further to help the region recover.Sarro, who was recently named superintendent for the Vail Golf Course, has organized a trip to help New Orleans-area golf courses recover from damage done by Hurricane Katrina.”We’ll do whatever the superintendents need us to do,” he said.Sarro traveled to New Orleans on Saturday along with about 30 other people. The group includes agronomy students from Colorado State University, the University of Wyoming and Oklahoma State, as well as about a dozen golf course superintendents from the Rocky Mountains. “Everyone’s just asked, ‘How can I help?'” he said.
The group will be probably be cutting down some trees, cutting stumps, and helping get the turf and sand traps in better shape, Sarro said.They’ll spend five days working at the golf courses. One of the courses, English Turn, will host a PGA event in April.The golf courses are short-staffed following the devastation of the hurricane, Sarro said. Also, the Tournament Players Club course has lost some more staff who are preparing English Turn for the professional event, Sarro said.”There aren’t people around to help out,” Sarro said.Some other courses haven’t reopened since the August hurricane, Sarro said.”Some will be shut down forever,” he said. “Some have trailer homes on the course.”The group has raised about $30,000 for the efforts so far, with money coming from the state superintendents association and turf and irrigation companies, Sarro said. The workers will donate their time, as well.
Sarro started as golf course superintendent Feb. 1. He came to Vail from one of the courses at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. He said he still doesn’t know for sure what he’ll encounter in Louisiana.”I don’t know what to expect, really,” he said.Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado