July 2, 2004
Ever since he took over the reins at Old Landing Golf Course, Robert Marshall has had big plans for improvements at the Cape Region’s oldest 18-hole public layout.
This spring Marshall took a big step toward meeting those goals, with the hiring of Scot Anderson, the first golf course superintendent at Old Landing.
Anderson began working there in March, after over six years at Sussex Pines Country Club near Georgetown.
The 1989 Cape Henlopen High graduate earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in 1994, and completed his coursework in turf management at the University of Maryland in 1996.
His new job at Old Landing is actually a homecoming of sorts. “I started working here when I was 15 and 16 in the summers,” Anderson said. “I did general maintenance, cut the greens, and did the traps. I also worked here for a full year beginning in the fall of 1994, after I graduated from Delaware. That was when we put in the irrigation systems around the greens and tees. That took all fall.”
“Robert and I have always been good friends. When I was the superintendent at Sussex Pines, we’d borrow each other’s equipment that we didn’t have ourselves, and so forth. The main reason I left Old Landing for Sussex Pines in the first place was for financial reasons, when I had the chance to become the assistant course superintendent. The eight years went by quick. I’m glad we got back together,” Anderson said.
Marshall is also pleased with the new arrangement. “It’s been a big help already. It’s allowed me to focus on other parts of the job, such as the inside/office stuff. The job [of operating a public golf course] is just too much for one person.”
While at Sussex Pines, Anderson also ran a small lawn-care business on the side. Marshall had also been doing some occasional landscaping work. Each owned some of the necessary equipment for an expanded landscaping business, and quickly decided to join together for that opportunity.
They’ve incorporated as Bay Creek Landscaping, Inc., and work on that business during the hours that they aren’t devoting to the care and upkeep of Old Landing. “The equipment is all paid for already,” Marshall explained, “so we just didn’t have the same start-up problems that a lot of others can have. We’re doing work such as irrigation, sod, stone walls, and drainage stuff, but mostly it’s just more of what we do here.”
Anderson’s mornings at Old Landing start with meeting the two full-time course maintenance employees, John Shiner and Rick Kidd, to go over their work assignments. Marshall estimated that just having Anderson take over that one function saved him about 8 hours per week.
Anderson was matter-of-fact in assessing the course condition as he began his new work. “The greens are in really good shape now. The soil texture in the first six inches is a major improvement. The tee boxes are also much better. Right now we’re concentrating on the fairways. Robert put in some Bermuda grass, and we’re using urea to help it jump up as it gets hotter. When the Bermuda thrives, it’ll crowd out the other grasses, which is what we want.”
Marshall also said that along the right side of the seventeenth fairway they have established a “test plot” for Tifsport Bermuda. They are trying to raise the grass from seed, and plan to sprig the transplanted seedlings into promising spots throughout the fairways. They are also refurbishing a drainage field in the 13th fairway.
It’s nice to see this course improve as a valuable Cape Region recreational resource.
Happy Birthday to Walt Jones
Cape Region golfers should stop by Midway Par 3 and Driving Range and wish owner Walt Jones a Happy Birthday. He turns 80 years old July 3.
The longtime golf instructor remains a handy man with his short irons, shooting a 51 on the par 54 course earlier this year.