Middlefield superintendent earns honors

November 2 - Roger Vandehey has been named the superintendent of the year by the Oregon Golf Association, which represents over 200 Oregon golf courses. Vandehey is the superintendent of Middlefield Golf Course in Cottage Grove, where he helps maintain the course’s environment, finances, and materials.

One of the men’s club members nominated Vandehey while a city worker wrote a letter further advocating for him to win the award. Cottage Grove Public Works Director Faye Stewart called to tell Vandehey he had won and congratulated him.

“It’s very nice to be recognized. I’m quite honored; there are a lot of very nice clubs. So, I’m really applicative of the men’s club and the city. I’m just really enjoying my job,” Vandehey said.

In 2006, the City of Cottage Grove purchased Middlefield Golf Course and began using it for irrigation purposes in order to solve a wastewater issue. At the time, the city was sending its wastewater into the Coast Fork of the Willamette River. With temperature issues occurring within the river, the city reclaimed the water to irrigate it on the golf course instead of sending it to the river, which is a big part of Vandehey’s job.

“During the summer months they can’t put it in the river. So, I’m in charge of disposing of it here,” Vandehey said.

During high-water usage in the summer months, about 75 percent of the effluent is sent to the golf course pond.

“It is a unique job. I’ve come from courses where I’ve had to watch how much water I’m using trying to keep it playable and now all of a sudden I’m at a job where I have to use water. I’ll get a call where they’ll say ‘You need to use 600,000 gallons’ and I’ll find a place for it,” Vandehey said. “Trying to use water and keep it playable is a good challenge.”

Vandehey has worked for Middlefield for about five years but grew up in the business. When he was five years old, his father built and opened a golf course in Forest Grove and later purchased a course in McMinnville.

“I love Cottage Grove, it’s a great little town. Everybody is friendly. This is a wonderful place to work,” Vandehey said.

For more information, visit www.middlefieldgolf.com/golf.