golf course superintendent michael golden, and crew, ready sterling for a busy 2021 golf season.
Sterling Farms Golf Course is a busy place. Numerically, and I cannot say for sure anything about numbers, this 18 hole venue gets upwards of some 50,000 rounds a year of pounding, thumping, stomping, whacking, digging, sweeping, rolling, and plugging.
Many golfers can be seen driving those stealthy speedster electric EZ-GO carts where no man, woman, child, or golfer ought to be parked, on a cart. Areas near to the putting greens, the tees, wherever there is a sign or an arrow, are demarcated with great thought by Mike about protecting our golf course from ourselves!
But, and we’ve all seen this many times, there’s always a yahoo out there who refuses to care! We look the other way, prefer not to engage, leave ‘it’ to someone else. “That’s not my job!”
I’m as guilty of cowering as the next person, so what can we do? Try? I don’t know who is reading this, or if it will help, but whenever we can politely help preserve the beauty of our golf course we all win. Even the person on the cart might just not know. We can help!
This golf course requires an army of people, and a lot of your green fees, to maintain. Country clubs, like the fancy one in Greenwich where Mike Golden worked before taking over the reins at Sterling Farms, just shut down the golf course, and seriously limit play in order to achieve perfection on the greens, tees, fairways, and roughs. MOst get less than 1/5th the play we have at the Farm!
Mike doesn’t have that option. Quite the opposite: if there is a way to fit in just one more player, Sterling Farms will figure out how. This poses a serious problem for a man who is bent on using all of his considerable wit, might, and life force to make Sterling Farms Golf Course the best it can be, for every golfer, everyday. A tall order, some might even say ‘an impossibility’, but don’t say that to Mr. Golden!
This man is the very definition of stickwithittoitiveness! The stray cat golf cart, the abuse we all dole out to the course, is only a fraction of the battle. Much of the challenge faced by the agronomists, mechanics, irrigation experts, plumbers, landscapers, and heavy equipment operators employed to make our ribbons of verdant green velvet fairways so pure, are as invisible as they are right before our very eyes!
Imagine being in competition with rabbits, and ground hogs, and chipmunks, and other tunneling creatures! There is a network of electronics, plumbing fixtures, and computers running under foot on every golf hole, and the vermin are digging against our crew’s best efforts. Yup: Bugs Bunny is a royal PITA for our golf course’s maintenance crew!
We don our Maui Jim sunglasses, our fancy belts, brand new shoes, and pummel the ball miles in style, as the sun pours vitamin E all over us. We use SPF, and bask in it all. ‘Ahhh, fresh air and sunshine… love it!’, we think.
The sun is likely a double-edged sword for the likes of Michael Golden. He needs it, he hates it, he prays for it, and he begs it to go away. Imagine having that on your mind!
Whatever the sun is doing, or not doing, affects the health of the grass, and we all want nice, green, smooth, grass, right?
Last year, we had a bit of a drought, the course was packed, and it must’ve hurt Mike and his team. “All of the best golf course superintendents aerate, top dress, and have a lot of drainage”, Mike once told me.
There’s so much more to maintaining our stellar golf course than what I’ve written above, like the full-time, seven-days-a-week efforts of the unsung heroes who make our golf course so beautiful.
From the desk of Paul grillo, executive director, Stamford Golf Authority
Welcome to Sterling Farms Golfer. Over the past five decades, Sterling Farms has evolved into one of the premiere golf destinations anywhere in the region. We continually strive to maintain, if not exceed, that distinction, and know we owe it all to our Stamford families, friends and neighbors, as well as our patrons like you. Now is the best time of the year to play our spectacular 18 hole championship golf course. Our Golf Course Superintendent, Mike Golden, and his whole team, are leaders in the world of greenkeeping, and we are very proud of the quality of their hard work. I think you'll find our putting greens, fairways, tees, roughs—and every landscape feature here—reflects their devotion and hard work. It is spectacular. Sterling Farms is home to the area's top driving range facility. You won't find a better value, or level of quality, anywhere! We take great pride and joy serving you, and our local community. On behalf of all of us here at Sterling Farms, welcome and thank you!