College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

IAA Internship Stories: Tyler Barnhart

Author: 
Eric Spalt
Tyler Barnhart at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club.
Tyler Barnhart on a Toro 3500 mowing an intermediate cut around a fairway at the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club.

The Green Spring Valley Hunt Club of Owings Mills, Md., became a home for Turfgrass Management student Tyler Barnhart as he spent 3 months interning there this summer. “[Turf is] what I want to do for a career, and I really have a passion for it,” said Barnhart, who performed regular golf course maintenance tasks as well as some unusual chores.

One of his more unusual tasks included pulling weeds out of a brick wall while wearing waders and floating in water. However, Barnhart, a second-year student at the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA), has spent most of his days at the golf club mowing greens, changing cups, mowing collars and approaches, mowing tees, fixing irrigation leaks and problems, and raking bunkers. Even after all the early mornings starting at 6 a.m., Barnhart admits he still loves the field and loves being in that kind of atmosphere.

Barnhart’s decision to work at Green Spring this summer came from his previous experience on the course and the relationships he had established there. He believed he would gain the most knowledge by advancing at the same golf course where he previously worked. Barnhart gained additional experience with irrigation breaks that were not expected, but that happened often during his internship. In addition, he learned the course’s complex maintenance schedule, which he said, “is easy to get lost in if you’re not careful.”

Experience guided Barnhart in the right direction and he is now completing his last year in the IAA. He hopes that with this experience, he can become a golf course superintendent in the future.

“It was really nice getting to see Tyler grow up in the turf industry, and I think he will do very well someday,” added Gordon Caldwell, golf course superintendent of the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club.

Being able to work closely with management was beneficial to Barnhart’s experience during his internship. Some things he learned included identifying weeds and preparing a budget. Classes from the IAA really helped Barnhart develop the groundwork for success on the maintenance side of a golf course, and he is looking forward to starting his career. 

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