A Superintendent is a person who’s tasked with managing the people, resources and plans to care for the quality and playability of a golf course’s turf. At Lake Presidential, that person is Shawn Gill, an industry veteran who’s spent over two decades working on managing course conditions at golf clubs across the East Coast.
We recently caught up with Shawn to chat about his experiences and his thoughts heading into the offseason at Lake Presidential Golf Club. Here’s what he had to say about our home course, course restoration progress and what to expect going forward.
Can you share a few details about your background and how you came to be Lake Presidential’s Superintendent?
SG: I was in pursuit of an Administration of Justice degree from Penn State because I had originally intended to go to law school. But after taking a year off from school to pay bills, I discovered that golf course maintenance is where I wanted to be.
After graduating, I went back to the golf course where I started, Richter Park Golf Club in Connecticut, and was soon offered the Assistant Superintendent position. Five years later, I moved to Northern Virginia and became Superintendent of General’s Ridge Golf Club — a golf course very similar to that of Lake Presidential!
When management was looking to hire a new Superintendent in 2016, I jumped at the opportunity because I was struck by the intense design and wanted to be a part of restoring its course to a level that lived up to its world-class reputation.
Favorite golfer of all time, or anyone, in particular, you wish you could play a round with?
SG: Hands down, Bobby Jones. He personified everything good about the game of golf as a sport where personal ethics and responsibility for oneself are at the center of how it’s played. What other sport puts the onus on the player to call a penalty on themselves, even if no one is around to see it?
In the spirit of the season, what are you most thankful for at Lake Presidential?
SG: I’m very thankful for the support I’ve received from the Lake Presidential staff and ownership. Without them, we would not have been able to get the course conditions back to where they need to be for this revered course.
How is the turf restoration going? Any details you can share about the progress that’s been made on revitalizing the course?
SG: Although the start of our recovery was slowed by poor soil conditions and other factors, we were able to achieve a very aggressive rate of recovery throughout the late spring and summer. I’m very pleased with where the course conditions are at this point.
We’re continuing to work on a few small areas that didn’t grow back as quickly, and we’re also making a few modifications to ensure the course is accessible to everybody. Beyond that, however, our offseason projects are aimed at elevating the already superior course conditions that have made Lake Presidential a must-play course in the DC area.
There are some great courses in the Mid-Atlantic region. But what, in your opinion, makes Lake Presidential such a special place to play golf?
SG: First and foremost, Lake Presidential is visually stunning. But it’s also unique because it provides a high degree of challenge for low-handicap golfers who play on the back tees while also giving more casual, less competitive golfers a great experience, too.
The varying terrain creates a different experience on every hole, making every play interesting and rewarding, even for the best golfers out there. There’s a reason this place has hosted two U.S. Open qualifiers previously!
Stay tuned to our blog for future profiles and Q&As from other team members at Lake Presidential Golf Club. And visit our website to learn more about this world-class golf club, located right here at BeechTree in Upper Marlboro, MD.