Remembering Michael Hindahl

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Michael Hindahl was a driving force behind the Oregon Golf Course Superintendents environmental initiatives. We lost Michael on July 12th, 2005 and still miss him today.

Transcript of Remembering Michael Hindahl

DR. MICHAEL HINDAHL, LINKS ANALYTICALTom Cook Associate Professor, Oregon State University: My first contact with Mike Hindahl was phone call out of the blue. He introduced himself and mentioned that he was looking at developing a sand testing business to serve the turf industry primarily in the PNW. After talking for a while we made arrangements to meet and discuss his idea. Thus began one of the most enjoyable collaborations I have ever had. Here was a guy with a PhD in microbiology, a research career in the Pharmaceutical industry working with important diseases like AIDS, and an obvious passion for golf and he wanted to combine his golf interests with a business that could serve the turf industry in a meaningful way. This is not your usual career switch story. Once we started talking, I mentioned that while testing sand was certainly a good way to start, there were other things he might want to incorporate into his business. We started talking about environmental issues and the need for monitoring services at golf courses. At that point he started to get excited about the prospects. Combining his interest in golf with his training a scientist and his naturally analytical personality seemed like a perfect match. And it was. Mike jumped in with both feet setting up monitoring sites at numerous golf courses, analyzing the research data, developing cooperative research projects with universities, studying laws and regulations, and serving as a spokesman at meetings where environmental issues were on the agenda. He single handedly crafted the OGCSA IPM manual and has become the acknowledged leader in environmental issues affecting golf courses. All of this has happened in the span of a few years.24

I always enjoyed my time with Mike. I remember when we both spoke at a Land Planners meeting in Eugene he let me ramble on with all my moralistic messages and then quietly bailed me out of trouble when people asked me about the details as in rules and regulations. We decided that with my BS and his brains we could be a powerful force. Mike was always been quick to come to

If you asked a hundred different people to write something about Mike, they would all say the same thing. He was a good friend and someone who always comes through with his end of the bargain. He was generous to a fault and altruistic. His universal good will affected everyone he has came in contact with. We are all very lucky to have known Mike Hindahl.

Rod Nelson Superintendent, Camas Meadows Golf Course: Mike has almost single handedly put the pacific northwest on the national map for our environmental accomplishments. There is no way we could pay for the tireless work he has done on our behalf.

Steve Mona CEO, GCSAA: Dr. Hindahl was a powerful catalyst for environmental progress within the golf industry for the northwest US. His technical background, practical approach and commitment to environmental stewardship changed the culture of golf course superintendents and inspired many to implement progressive management techniques. His insight, vision and tireless efforts were key elements in the development of the Environmental Stewardship Guidelines. The four sections of this manual, and in particular, the water quality monitoring materials, provided a pathway for golf course superintendents to advance the environmental stewardship of their golf properties. Through his work, Mike became a trusted advisor for the golf industry, the environmental community and regulators throughout the northwest. The GCSAA is proud of its affiliation with Mike and commends him on his environmental leadership.Turfgrass Management in the PNW - Summer 05

Corvallis and speak to my students or join us on field trips at golf courses. Even though he tried hard he was never really very nice to me on the golf course. In spite of always losing to him and his old fashioned clubs, I have rarely had as much fun playing golf as I have with Mike. Most of all I enjoyed talking to Mike and marveling at his dry wit and mellow disposition.

David Phipps Superintendent, Stone Creek Golf Club: Those of you that have had the privilege to build a golf course, knows the trials of putting the whole thing together. One of my biggest hurtles at Stone Creek Golf Club was the permitting of the wetland mitigation areas throughout the property.

each. It soon turned into an issue and a communication barrier began between the biologist and both, the Corp of Engineers and the Division of State Lands. Realizing that we were running out of time to be able to work within our weather window, we had to make a change. That is when I asked Mike if he could put together the data that was already collected and assimilate it in a form that could be read and understood by the governmental agencies. Mike took the project on as a challenge and after a few meetings and some heavy "noodling" as Mike would say, the permits were issued and the project was back on schedule. Mike continued to monitor the wetlands and send in status reports to the State and

the Corp for the next year and a half. We have now hired a new biologist, and they were able to pick up from where Mike left off without a problem. Mike remained a close friend and was my sounding board for ideas while I served on the OGCSA Board. Mike truly had an analytical mind; he could not have picked a more appropriate name of a business, Links Analytical. There are so many stories out there in which Mike did the same thing for other superintendents. He took a simple concept of testing sand for golf courses and evolved into an all encompassing environmental golf business which has obtained national recognition. What a treasure we have had in the service of Dr. Michael Hindahl. Thanks Mike.

If it wasn't for the technical writing skills of Dr. Michael Hindahl, the project could have easily been postponed a year. I had just become acquainted with Mike earlier while working as Russ Vandehey's assistant at The Oregon Golf Club. Mike had been doing some of his earlier work on the water quality testing, but mostly he was testing sand as a USGA approved lab. Larsen Golf Construction had used Mike for testing the sand for the greens at Stone Creek Golf Club so he was around quite a bit. The wetland issues at the property were quite complex, since there were previous violations that had occurred from the previous developer. The Corp of Engineers and The Oregon Division of State Lands were each requiring their own set of plans and the biologist that our engineers were using was having a difficult time meeting the requirements ofTurfgrass Management in the PNW - Summer 05

Part of Mike's Legacy was the creation of the Environmental Stewardship Guidelines for the OGCSA