Ask Tetherow’s Superintendant—Q&A with Chris Condon

Tetherow Golf Club’s Chris Condon is the vital “behind the scenes” guy to all things golf course and landscaping-related. He is the hard work behind ensuring the greens are properly maintained, invasive pests remain at bay, and golfers are happy with the speed and overall quality of the golf course. Essentially, without his hard work, Tetherow Golf Club in Central Oregon just may not have been nationally recognized and earned ranks in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Golf Courses.

Fresh from a pesticide conference which he attends annually, I asked Chris some questions about working at the best course in Bend, Oregon.

Q)     How long have you worked at Tetherow Golf Club?

A)      I have been the Superintendent at Tetherow since December 1, 2005.  I was involved in Tetherow from the very beginning, day one so to speak.  It was and has been a great experience to be involved in the project since the planning phases to today.  Not very many golf course superintendents get to be involved from day one.

 Q)     What were you doing before Tetherow Golf Club?

A)     Before coming to Tetherow, I was busy working for OB Sports.  Working for OB Sports has given me the opportunity to have worked in Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona and Wyoming.  Just before Tetherow, I had completed the opening season at the Three Crowns Golf Course in Casper, WY.  I was there during construction, grow-in and opening.

 Q)     How did you catch the Superintendant bug?

A)     I have worked in the golf course industry since I was 16 years old primarily to become an Evans Scholar (the movie Caddyshack is about the Evans Scholarship).  After earning the scholarship, I continued working at Broadmoor Golf Course in Portland, OR.  It was during college that I began working on the golf course maintenance staff and that was all it took.  One summer on the crew and I knew exactly what the future held for me.  I have been working on the golf course maintenance staff since.  Caddyshack is somewhat of a biography of my life only by coincidence.

Q)     When did you start golfing?

A)     I guess I was about 10 years old when I started golfing.  I did not actually become a decent golfer until late in high school.  I am still trying to become a better golfer.  If I did not work so much and play more I might actually surprise myself on how good I could be.

Q)     Who is your favorite golfer?

A)      My most favorite golfer was and still is Payne Stewart.  If I had to pick a current golfer, I would say Luke Donald.  His style of play closely resembles mine except that he is #1 in the world and I am #1 in my own mind. 

Q) What makes your tick at work?

A)  I was asked this during the interview process by David McLay Kidd.  My answer was and still is, I like to watch the grass grow and I love to watch a sprinkler run.  Those two things make me want to come to work on a daily basis. 

Q)     What makes you tick at home?

A)     Relaxing at home.  I enjoy a good meal, good drink, a funny movie or tv show and listening to music. 

 Q)     What is the most interesting part of your job?

A)     The interesting part of my job—and the most challenging–is figuring out how to get more done with fewer people and getting things done without anyone seeing us doing our job.

 Q)     What make working at Tetherow Golf Club unique?

A)     Working at Tetherow is definitely a unique experience. Because Tetherow is in Bend, Oregon, we are managing fine fescue in an arid environment which is the most unique.  I know of only one other course in a similar circumstance out of all the golf courses in the United States.  Definitely the look and style of Tetherow is very unique because I am/was in charge of how the golf course ultimately looks.  But I would say the most unique thing about Tetherow is those who are involved from Chris and William to the entire staff.  I have not been around a more passionate group of people who just want Tetherow to succeed.

 Check out Chris Condon’s article about his pesticide conference in January’s newsletter as well!

–Kelsi Shelton

Member’s in the News: Chris and Jeremy Cox of 10 Barrel!

10 Barrel has quickly become a beloved Bend trademark, and Tetherow is delighted to be the golf club home of its business partners, Chris and Jeremy Cox.

The brothers were recently featured in Cascade Business News to share about their revolutionary business practices. The thing that differentiates 10 Barrel and makes them so innovative stems from their motto, “cross the river and burn the boats”, which they explained is drawn from the George Washington story of “going to war and after crossing the river ordering the boats to be burned so there would be no option for retreat” (Cascade Business News, November 16, 2011, p. 13).

Since 10 Barrel opened in 2006 as a small brewery, it has grown into a full sized, ever so popular and always packed pub. Every time I pass 10 Barrel on Galveston, it reminds me of a fun, outdoor party at a friend’s house where everyone is welcome and everybody is on a temporary vacation. This is a key aspect about what makes their business so successful. Opening up the pub, they say, has given them exposure to the local community–both visually as the enticing pub that can’t be missed, and also from their local charity, “Locals Supporting Locals” (on the last Tuesday of every month). Just their first year of opening, they generated $28,000 from this weekly event. All profits are donated to a local charity.

10 Barrel also supports fun endeavors such as Blitz to the Barrel, of which Tetherow Golf Club was also a proud sponsor. In this event, World Class Championship mountain bikers all race for cash (including a course through Tetherow) and end at 10 Barrel to party.

The Cox brothers are planning much growth in the future, including moving into a 15,000 square foot building which will enable them to increase from a 10 barrel system to a 50 barrel system. This also means the pub will have 20 beer faucets on tap instead of 10! Also in the works is opening up a pub in Boise, Idaho come summer 2012.

Congratulations to 10 Barrel for being such an integral part of Bend’s local economy and for paving the way for other small businesses!

Kelsi Shelton

December Winner of Golf at Tetherow

Brodie Large, Tetherow's December Golf Winner.
Brodie Large, Tetherow's December winner of golf!

Congratulations to BRODIE LARGE of Augusta, GA! He is the December 2011 winner of a foursome of golf at Tetherow. He was chosen from the many who signed up on the Tetherow web site. As an avid golfer and Duck fan, we are thrilled for him to have the opportunity to golf with us again.

Here’s what Brodie has to say about himself.

“I work in the golf industry as a caddie and caddie manager for much of the year in Georgia, and return for the summers to Oregon. I was born and raised on the West Coast and visit every chance I get. I’ve been golfing for 8 years and am currently a 3.6 index. I have a 21-month-old son, Owen, who’s already excited about golf.”

Congrats Brodie! We’re glad to hear you’re already introducing your  son to the game. We hope to see you here this summer.

Q&A with Chef Mulligan: Secrets to Success

Executive Chef Rian Mulligan has been creating fresh, innovated dishes at Tetherow for over two years. But his story isunique in that although he is one of the most talented executive chefs in Bend, Oregon, he never went to culinary school and just five years ago he was washing dishes for a living. But what he lacks in formal education, he exceedingly makes up for it with his drive, hands-on experience, and a genuine passion for cuisine.

Rian Mulligan

Mulligan started out at the Blacksmith, and quickly moved from dishwasher to line cook and then to sous chef. He was then recruited to be a chef at Tetherow Golf Club’s grill. After just six months at Tetherow Grill cooking up some of the best food in Central Oregon, he was promoted to Executive Chef.

Now, with our ever so popular 5 for $50 monthly wine dinners (the last two have sold out!) and our new Sunday brunches (the best brunch in Bend!), he has even more room to let his creative juices flow and prepare unique items to complement regional wines and Kevin’s famous bottomless mimosas. A recent addition to the brunch menu at Tetherow is vanilla orange crepes and an extensive breakfast cocktail list.

With a growing list of holiday parties scheduled at Tetherow (our cozy fireside room is the perfect holiday party space), Rian has been staying busy in the kitchen preparing special menus and items for the holidays, fall weddings and business luncheons. I asked Rian some secrets to his success and what makes being an Executive Chef at an award-winning golf course in Bend, Oregon so fulfilling.

Q) What inspired you to be a chef?

A) It was just something I was born to do. I just didn’t realize it until I got a job at a fine dining restaurant in Bend.

Q) How did you get promoted to be a chef so quickly?

A) I have been able to work to be the best at what I do, each step of the way. I am good at leading and motivating others and this allows me to lead my team in the kitchen at Tetherow. I also think people can see the amount of heart and passion I put forth every day.

Q) What is the best part about your job?

A) Being a chef is not a job to me, it is a way to express myself and make others happy with the skills I have learned. I also love how food can transport you to a fantastic old memory.

Q) How would you describe the journey to becoming a chef?

A) It took me five years of completely immersing myself in everything culinary related. During my first year in a restaurant, I would go to work at nine in the morning (off the clock) just to help out and ask questions. In the evening I would start washing dishes, mopping floors and cleaning until one or two in the morning on the weekends. After work, I would go home and research anything I had seen that day that I did not understand. I would even bring a research book and listen to the cooks talk after work and look up the terms they were using.

Q) What is the best part about your job?

A) Waking up in the morning and being excited to go do what I love. I love making new dishes for people and turning food into art. I also love to learn and I love to teach. I get great joy from teaching a new cook who is passionate about learning how to cook in a restaurant.

Q) What is the most challenging part?

A) The sacrifices to do what I love are numerous. I work anywhere from 10-16 hours a day depending upon the season. Usually, I will get five to six hours of sleep a night. Sometimes I will not get a day away from work for a month. I think the hardest part is that while many are having fun or spending time with their families during holidays or special events, kitchen people all over the world are working so people can enjoy themselves on these days (such as the Super Bowl, New Years, Fourth of July, etc…). This year was the first year I got to spend Christmas with my family in four years. But I would not want to do anything else. For me, it is worth it.

Q) What is your favorite dish to prepare?

A) It is one of my mom and dad’s recipes. It is not too exciting, but it brings back good memories for me: Teriyaki marinated flank steak with brown rice, mushrooms, a big Caesar salad and some sautéed vegetables.

Don’t miss our delicious Sunday brunch at Tetherow from 10 am-2 pm! For reservations, call the grill at 541.388.2582 x120

Our upcoming 5 for $50 Wine Dinner is Tuesday, November 29th featuring Chateau St. Jean from Sonoma. Chef Mulligan will prepare a five-course meal to be specifically paired with five selected wines. These relaxed and intimate dinners have been selling out so be sure to RSVP to the grill at 541.388.2582 x 120!

Tetherow offers the best holiday and special event space in Bend! Schedule your holiday dinner party at Tetherow and Chef Mulligan will prepare a festive, delicious menu for you and your guests. Call Heather Arns at 541.388.2582 x 111 for more event space availability and information.

–Kelsi Shelton

Chris Condon on Maintaining a Beautiful Golf Course

Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and that you are looking forward to a new year full of exciting new adventures.  Enjoy the rest of the winter season because the golfing season is just a few months away.

The Tetherow golf course has been overwintering rather well thus far.  Our topdressing program has been progressing smoothly and we have taken some extra precautions on a few of the greens in order to prevent any turf loss during the winter.  You may have noticed that portions of the greens have been covered.  The covers came from my good friend and Superintendent, Scott Moffenbeier at Broken Top.  Thank you very much!

This time of the year is just as important as the golfing season.  It gives us an opportunity to reflect on the previous golf season and to prepare for the upcoming season.  It is a time for us to service the equipment and reorganize the maintenance facility.  Winter allows us at Tetherow the time to make adjustments to our golf course maintenance plan according to our approved budget.  And most importantly, it allows us to attend continuing educational opportunities provided by the local and national golf course superintendents associations.

Education generally starts in December with The Pest Management Seminar hosted by The Oregon Golf Course Superintendents Association in Portland, Oregon.  In past years, this seminar was intended to provide all certified pesticide applicators with continuing educational credits required to maintain certification.  This year was different.  The seminar was split into two parts and the individual could chose between two days of recertification credit approved seminars or one day of credits and one day that involved specific golf course topics minus the credits.

The pesticide accreditation option had many interesting topics such as; “Broadleaf weed control in Turf”, “Best way to control weeds and algae in ponds”, “Fungicides: How to choose a proper fungicide for least resistance/best control” and “Pesticides: Differences between perception and reality”.  Day two of the seminar included golf course specific topics presented by a few leaders in the academic world including Joe Vargas, Ph.D. from Michigan State University and Rob Golembiewski, Ph.D. from Oregon State University.  Both were very engaging speakers full of information and insight into the golf course management world.  Topics for the golf section included; “Physiology and culture of Annual Bluegrass” and “Thinking your way through problem solving in Turfgrass Management and more” along with updated research information.

Along with the subject matter introduced to us during the seminar, events such as this allow us the opportunity to learn about new products and regulations, network with other golf course superintendents, exchange ideas about integrated pest management with other professionals as well as enjoy the company of friends. A lot of what a golf course superintendent knows comes from the interactions we have with other golf course superintendents.  As with anything, we generally learn from our successes and failures.

Future educational opportunities will include the Wilbur Ellis University in January and the Golf Course Superintendents of America Conference and Trade Show in February.  As always, feel free to call or drop us an email if you have any concerns, comments or questions.

Thank you,

Chris Condon

Golf Course Superintendent

Boutique Tetherow—A cozy, local way to shop for the holidays

 December 8th, Tetherow Golf Club provided space for artisans to display an array of creative, handmade gifts—a perfect way to make holiday shopping in Bend fun, convenient and meaningful.

Among the treasures were Tetherow member Nancy Brunkal’s handmade, vibrant platters and plates, fun, creative jewelry by Rachel Dean with Navone Jewelry and vintage pillows by CJS. All local, Central Oregon artists.

beatiful CJS pillows


As soon as you walked in Tetherow’s clubhouse, you were greeted with an array of delicious, artisan teas by Metolius Tea, and F&B Manager Kevin Gilman was there to showcase his selection of wines that he had in mind to go perfectly with a holiday roast or ham dinner.

It was a cozy, festive atmosphere; complete with delicious finger foods such as bite sized crepes and cucumber hummus crotinis. Tetherow is looking forward to having the opportunity to do this again next year!

–Kelsi Shelton