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Behind the Greens: Zach Bishop

Kananaskis is truly a picturesque destination and we’re extremely proud of our two 18-hole course layouts [and we don’t shy away from owning the bragging rights]! 

Although the majestic Mt. Lorette and Mt. Kidd both shine their glory down onto the course giving golfers the perfect backdrop for their Insta-worthy swing, the course itself doesn’t stay this beautiful on its own - it’s due to the daily dedication of our incredible turf-care team, led by Superintendent, Calvin McNeely.  

Thanks to Calvin and his team, you will find the course in pristine condition at all times – these guys never miss even the slightest wilted flower. 

On his team you’ll find Zachary Bishop, Second Assistant Superintendent, who joined the KCGC family in May. 

“Even though my time at KCGC has been short, I’ve already seen the significant impact that it has on everyone that comes to visit,” says Bishop. “Alberta’s Golf Course is back and it’s truly so rewarding to be a part of the well-oiled machine that makes this place a world-class facility.” 

For us, it’s important for you to get to know the expert team behind KCGC 2.0.  So, we caught up with Zach in-between Greens to ask him a few questions and learn more about him, both on and off the course.

KCGC: What does a day in the life of a Second Assistant Superintendent entail? 

Zach: Essentially, I help direct the grounds team and participate in the maintenance and conditioning of the golf course - to ensure it always meets its world-class standard. My day typically begins at 4:30 am and I meet the team at 5:30 am to begin preparing the course for play, while assisting Calvin to ensure that all of our daily goals are accomplished. I then spend the rest of the day planning out schedules and assessing the course for areas that require specific attention.

KCGC: What was your role in the launch of KCGC 2.0? 

Zach: I joined KCGC back in May of this year, when most of the course construction was complete. I did get to see the construction process as they finished up the last five holes, which was a super unique experience for me. It was my job to learn how to manage the crew and further grow in my role – since Mt. Lorette was already complete it provided the perfect training platform. I was also very involved in the preparation and completion of the Mt. Kidd course which opened on June 1(Front 9) and August 1 (Back 9).

KCGC: What’s the difference between maintaining a course in the mountains vs a course in the city? 

Zach:The number one thing would be the wildlife presence! Having everything from elk, deer, and moose, to bears, we have to ensure that golfers are respectful of these animals and that in turn, the wildlife doesn’t prevent any interference with play. There is never a dull moment at KCGC – I can guarantee you that!

KCGC: What’s your background – what lead you to working here at a course in the midst of the Rockies? 

Zach:I have grown up in the golf industry my whole life with my father being a Golf Course Superintendent. After working on golf courses in Calgary over the years, I enrolled myself in the Turf Grass Management program at Olds College in 2016. Two years later, I was lucky enough to get connected to KCGC right away. The primary goal I was looking for after graduation was finding a golf course where I could learn, grow and most importantly, be mentored. Working under Calvin McNeely has been an incredible opportunity and then some. His dedication to his craft is contagious and makes the work we do here incredibly rewarding!

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