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#ThankASuper Spotlight Series: Heather Schapals

In honor of international “Thank A Golf Course Superintendent Day,” we’re highlighting some of the outstanding superintendents within the KemperSports family.

Heather Schapals

Senior Assistant Superintendent

Chambers Bay (University Place, Wash.)

While Heather Schapals is a newcomer to the Chambers Bay course maintenance team, she brings 21 years of industry experience to her position.

With a love for the outdoors and playing sports, Heather first got into the golf field when someone suggested she take a summer job at a local country club. After her first summer where she only cared for flower beds and raked bunkers, Heather was hooked on the game of golf. The combination of the science behind the work and the history of the game became her new obsession, and a great mentor indulged her curiosity to help successfully launch her career.

Heather Schapals watering a green during a morning at Chambers Bay.

Fast forward to today in her current position at Chambers Bay, Heather recently played an integral role in preparing for and hosting the 122nd U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. She was able to successfully recruit other women in the industry to come volunteer on the grounds crew for the event. Ultimately, she helped create an outstanding experience for the entire staff who worked well with the volunteers.

According to Heather, this purposeful staffing of female volunteers “disproved worn-out ideas of who is best suited for golf course maintenance work and showcased how a high-level course and tournament can benefit from women on staff.”

Heather and the other women volunteers who worked on the grounds crew during the 122nd U.S. Women's Amateur at Chambers Bay.

Through her daily work, Heather is constantly analyzing ways the course can best manage resources. She actively learns more about gathering and organizing information to find the most efficient use of time and resources as well as how the course is responding to different inputs to make adjustments when necessary, helping give way to less waste while benefitting the ecosystems on and around the property.

When asked what advice she would give to younger individuals just starting in the field, Heather said, “As you progress in the industry, always keep your mind open to new and different ideas. It can be easy to blindly go about things in the ‘way it has always been done.’ New ideas can come from anywhere and many times from people with a fresh perspective. No one way is right and there is always room for improvement.”

See below for the full series of #ThankASuper spotlights:

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