First Turf Customer Spotlight: Mohawk’s Andy Eick
January 11, 2021
First Turf recently had the opportunity to chat with Andy Eick, Director of Facilities and Agronomy at Mohawk Golf Club. A longtime friend and customer, we thought Andy and Mohawk to be a great starting point for our Customer Spotlight.
Mohawk Golf Club first graced the New York State Capital Region in 1898. Originally located on 40 acres of leased property, the Club’s rapidly growing popularity and success quickly inspired the need for expansion. In 1901, Mohawk purchased a nearby 200-acre farm, and shortly thereafter secured Devereaux Emmett, an architect perhaps better known for the work that he did in designing Congressional Country Club and Garden City Golf Club. Emmett and the Club’s design team aspired to open the new course by the end of 1903, and officially did so on November 30th of that year.
A native of Medina, NY, and the son of a dairy farmer, Andy Eick is no stranger to the New York landscape. Though also working on the family farm, Andy began his turf career at Medina’s Shelridge Country Club while still attending high school. Encouraged by his father to avoid becoming a farmer, Andy explored different career options, including the possibility of becoming a high school math teacher. After working at Shelridge, however, Andy quickly realized that he belonged in the turf industry. Though perhaps not the farthest cry from farming, Andy ultimately decided to attend Purdue University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Agronomy with an emphasis on Turf Science.
In the years between high school and becoming Mohawk’s director, Andy worked hard to gain experience. During his time at Purdue, Andy interned at both New York’s Bridgehampton Club and at Vermont’s Queechee Club. Upon graduation, Andy was hired as the second assistant at Massachusetts’ Walpole Country Club. From there, he moved on to becoming first assistant at The Kittansett Club, located near Cape Cod, and then first assistant at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, NY. These experiences prepared him well for the transition to his present role as Director of Facilities and Agronomy at Mohawk Golf Club.
For the past six years, Andy has worked hard to preserve the more than 100 years of Mohawk beauty. With the help of his team, including Superintendent Eric Westervelt, First Assistant Joseph Perry, and Second Assistant Andrew Stilwell, Andy ensures that Members of the private club have the opportunity to enjoy 6691 yards of pristine Bent/Poa/Bluegrass fairways and Bent/Poa greens and tees. The crew also works hard to maintain the Club’s signature hole, number 15, aka the “Punch Bowl.” What Andy describes as a “unique and beautiful Par 3,” the “Punch Bowl” is surrounded by more than ten individual bunkers, making it quite the challenge for even the most skilled golfer.
With good help being hard to find, Andy considers himself fortunate to have such an excellent crew. One individual in particular, Gary May, has been an asset for the past seven seasons. Like many others, Gary came to the Club with no prior golf course experience. As explained by Andy, however, “Gary’s positive attitude, innate ability to relate to multiple age groups, and willingness to learn have allowed him to become a key staff member.”
Andy’s two dogs also work hard to keep the course in tiptop shape. Four-year-old Shelby, a Charcoal Lab, and Sixteen-month-old Louie, a White/Red Lab mix, can be seen patrolling the grounds, often in the comfort of Andy’s golf cart. Despite spending a lot of time on the course, the pair of lucky pups also get to hang out with Andy at home, where they root for the Buffalo Bills, jam out to the Grateful Dead, and enjoy Andy’s excellent cooking.
When we asked Andy why he chooses to continue to work with First Turf, he replied, “First Turf is always in my corner. I know that they will be there in a pinch, and they are always working to be a part of the solution to what I need.” We want Andy to know how much we appreciate these kind words, and thank him and Mohawk Golf Club for humbly accepting this spotlight. After all, we are nothing without the support of our friends and customers—the spotlight shines on you.