Students Design New Golf Course Signs


The NMU Golf Course has upgraded all 18 tee box signs through a collaborative effort involving the construction management and computer numerical control (CNC) technology programs.  Students designed and constructed signs designating each hole number, the yardage distance from four tee locations and a general image of the hole layout with bunkers and water hazards. They relied on laser imaging, GPS coordinates, several software programs and other technology to complete the task.

Daryl Kobie (Technology and Occupational Sciences) was enlisted first for help with the project. He soon realized that Cale Polkinghorne’s (Engineering Technology) CNC program could round out the team.


“When that happened, the project really took off,” said Kobie. “They were able to use Google Earth to trace information into the computer numerical control router and make all of the signs precisely to scale. Each student on the team brought a different specialty to the table.”


The three students who took the reins on the project were Eric Kutches, a climate control technology and construction management double major, who led the hand work with the wood; Dan Sloat, a post-baccalaureate student working toward a CNC certificate, who controlled the cutting programs; and Mike Saunders, a mechanical engineering major, who was in charge of all software programming.


“My first thought was, ‘Wow!’” said Glen Rochester (NMU Golf Course). “They went above and beyond the call of duty with everything—the size, color, engraving detail and layout. I had no idea that’s what kind of technology and craftsmanship those guys had. This is beyond what I imagined.”


An additional sign credits the NMU students for their work and serves as a lasting showcase of this hands-on learning opportunity.


“This experience is something to go out in the real world with and has provided us initiative to put out a good product with our name on it that we can be proud of,” said Kutches. “We met with Glen and he told us to run with it. So it was all of our ideas and it was nice to show them a product at the end and have them say, ‘Hey, we love it; we don’t suggest any changes.’”



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Updated: July 12, 2012

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