Mike O'Neill achieves National Superintendent Certification, GCSAA's highest level of recognition
Torrential rain, snow, frost, wind shears – nothing seems to stop our Greens Superintendent Mike O'Neill from keeping our gem of a golf course in remarkable condition. Now the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America (GCSAA) knows what everyone who has traveled our 18 holes knows, Mike is a top-tier professional.
In February, the GCSAA accorded him its Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS) recognition, the highest honor a superintendent can earn. It took Mike two years to prepare and not only included a review of his education and experience, but also a self-assessment, an exhaustive certification portfolio submission, a six-hour exam and an onsite assessment of Bellevue by the GCSAA.
The CGCS designation is the most widely recognized designation in the golf industry and the highest level of recognition that can be achieved for golf course superintendents. Only about 25% of GCSAA Class A members are certified golf course superintendents.
You may be surprised to know that certification considers a lot more than just keeping the course in tiptop shape. It evaluates Mike as a manager of people and procedures, equipment and inventory, emergencies and environments, not to mention buying and budgets. Mike excels in all aspects of his position, and the GCSAA has seen and attested to it.
Donald Ross would be proud, as are we.
Enjoy 18 holes of championship golf
The tree-lined, wooded fairways, unique water hazards, and fast gently contoured greens have gained Bellevue Country Club high rankings among area golfers.
Designed by the world renowned golf course architect, Donald J. Ross, Bellevue Country Club majestically sits atop the hills of Syracuse as a long-standing gem that has hosted years of great golf - from the pros who have challenged its tight fairways and sloping greens to the amateurs who enjoy a stern test of their ability. Opened in 1916 with nine holes designed by Ross, the club needed expansion room and purchased adjacent land four years later to develop another nine holes. As they say, the rest is history.
Bellevue quickly established itself as the premier golf facility in the Syracuse area, a distinction it proudly holds today. Over the years much has been done to improve and modernize the course, bringing it current with today's standards while still maintaining its design integrity established by Ross. Measuring nearly 6,600 yards from the tips, the Board of Directors recently commissioned nationally known architect Ron Forse to review the course for any necessary tweaking that would maintain its Donald Ross heritage while making its play enjoyable for all ages. That design work has been completed and a master long range plan has been determined and a part of Bellevue's by-laws for future implementation.
The golf course is the heart of Bellevue Country Club and, in recent years, much has been done with the membership to solidify its long-term viability. Maintaining a meticulous golf course has always been the priority of Bellevue's greens superintendents. After 16 years of overseeing Bellevue's golf course, Green Superintendent Dave Southard retired, ushering in a new era as Michael O'Neill has taken over those responsibilities. As a graduate of Penn State and with three years as assistant superintendent at Pinehurst on his resume, Mike understands the expectations and has the background of providing the best possible playing conditions for the membership. Bellevue has under the roof of its newly constructed maintenance facility, the latest in mowing equipment, assuring the best cut possible on the course. Additionally, several new pieces are expected to be received as the season gets underway, assuring that Mike has the necessary tools to keep Bellevue groomed at its finest.
From the daunting challenge of the first hole, a long par four, to what has been called the finest finishing hole in our area, Bellevue will provide all golfers with a worthy challenge while providing breathtaking views of the surrounding hills of Central New York. Lush fairways, undulating greens, acres of trees, well-positioned bunkers and thoughtful shot-making are all part of the Bellevue history that makes this golf course a pleasure to enjoy. The unique four-tee placements per hole make the course enjoyable and challenging for play at all levels.