Mike O’Neill has been the director of golf at Chicopee Country Club for two years, but he had played the course at least annually for years prior to taking the job. “I saw unbelievable changes in the first year, year and a half of IGM’s original maintenance contract. When I came on board, the IGM superintendent Mike Bach and I walked the course. I liked the way Mike was looking out for the health of the course for years to come, not just a quick fix.”

When the maintenance contract came up for renewal, IGM was awarded the contract based on the cost savings they offer, as well as the improvements made over the first three years. “They got this golf course to be one of the best-maintained municipal courses in the area. We have seen the numbers of rounds increase each year,” said O’Neill. He added, “Players come in and praise how nice the greens are, how great the course looks. The commissioners and City Council have heard that.”

Superintendent Bach said IGM’s first focus was improving the course’s agronomics and maintenance practices to achieve healthy turf. He also pointed to a five-year capital plan as a key to IGM’s partnership with the Golf Commission and City Council. The plan included a new irrigation system to ensure better water efficiency and improvements to the maintenance facilities. “The mowers are being replaced now, because there has been so much more technology in golf over the past 10 years. The new mowers will increase the quality of cut and improve the playing surface, but they’re also more fuel efficient and require less repair work,” said Bach. “We want to work smarter, and our goal is to protect the City’s assets and investment.”

O’Neill spoke highly of that investment. “We have new events and leagues coming here; that’s our bread and butter, but it requires a well-maintained course. It takes a huge load off my back to have a great superintendent, and everyone on the IGM ladder — from the guy running the mower to the top – is great to work with.”