Brandon Haynes, IGM’s Superintendent of Bear Valley Springs Golf Course in California took an unusual route to the golf industry.

However, he quickly discovered a love for the work and the game. Haynes has been employed with IGM for 10 years, all at Bear Valley Springs.

After several years in the Army and several more as a certified master mechanic, Haynes was visiting his dad in Tehachapi, California when he realized he wanted to live in that area. In a random encounter, he learned the local golf course was hiring a mechanic, so he dropped off his resume. That led to an interview and a job offer, and so began his golf course maintenance career. “I had no background in golf and no idea how much work goes into maintaining a golf course. They had machines I’d never seen before,” said Haynes.

Since those first four years as a golf course mechanic, Haynes has learned the full scope of golf course maintenance and been promoted to assistant superintendent, then superintendent. While mechanic skills are critical for a golf course operation, IGM is supporting Haynes in obtaining certification in turfgrass management to further his career knowledge.

I literally love my job. There’s always something different to work on, or problems to solve,” Haynes said. “The people here are really nice, and we deal with quite a diversity of issues, such as big swings in weather and temperature.”

In addition to typical golf course issues, he points out that Bear Valley Springs is a mountainous region, frequently visited by all types of wildlife. “My first week on the job I saw an elk. I didn’t know how big they are. We also have deer, wild boars, bobcats on a regular basis, and they can do a lot of damage to the turf. We’re used to them, but sometimes visitors are surprised.”

Another rewarding aspect of the Bear Valley Springs job is the chance to support the community through various service projects. In 2018, the IGM maintenance crew worked with a local home owners association to preserve some Native American grinding holes, which were once used to grind acorns and seeds into meal. Haynes and his team installed six stone benches near the grinding holes, as well as a large informational kiosk.

Earlier this year, the golf course maintenance crew undertook the complete renovation of a Little League baseball field, including installation of irrigation, turfgrass, and clay. They are now working on a community soccer field.

Haynes has also learned to play golf. While he admits he hasn’t become a great golfer, he appreciates the game and interacting with the players on his course. In his spare time, he’s more likely to be found hiking, mountain climbing, or motorbike riding. He and his wife have a blended family of six children that also keep him busy.

IGM is a leading contractor for comprehensive golf course maintenance and management, known for environmental stewardship and agronomic expertise. For more information on IGM and the professional golf course services offered, please contact Greg Plotner, Executive Vice President, 407-589-7200. Additional information may be obtained here.