Ken Crider was 22-years-old and a foreman at White Tails Golf Resort in Mercersburg, PA when he decided that he wanted a career as a Golf Course Superintendent. Knowing that he would need to further his education in order to achieve that goal, Crider enrolled in the Rutgers Professional Golf Turf Management School's Three Week Preparatory Short Course. "The timetable at Rutgers worked great with my schedule," said Crider. "I was able to attend the Three-Week course during my winter off season."
Ken Crider describes some common reasons why people attend the 3 Week Short Course:
Preparation for Two-Year Program
Crider said, "The Three-Week Course was good. It was a good little introduction, short and concise. It covered a lot of ground. I think that it really piqued the interest of guys who may have been considering going on to take the Two-Year Certificate Program."
Improve Skills and Resume
"I know our class had a lot of guys in it who were there just trying to improve their resumes a little bit while they were already working in places. They didn't really have the interest to be a Superintendent or an Assistant. They just wanted to improve their standing at their club and maybe get a little pay jump out of it."
Golf Course Owners
"At least two guys in our class were owners of golf courses that just wanted to get a little bit more background in the maintenance end and what the employees were really looking into. Which I thought was great…I'd love to be able to work for a guy who took an interest like that."
Even Crider himself couldn't have predicted that his ideal career position would come so quickly. "After I graduated from the Three-Week Course I left the golf course that I was at and moved about 20 miles away from it to take a superintendent position that I heard of two weeks before I started the Two-Year Program on the basis that I would complete the Two-Year Program," said Crider.
About completing the Two-Year Program, Crider said, "I loved it! It was a great time. Other than the education, I really got a couple good friends out of it - a few guys who I still talk to on a weekly basis. But the education itself was unbelievable. It’s tough; it's not easy, they cram a lot of information into twenty weeks."
Now a successful Superintendent at Great Cove Golf and Recreation Club in McConnellsburg, PA, Crider sees himself staying in the golf business in the future because it's "what he loves."