Grass elected 2016 president of Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
Members elect new board, approve revisions to member standards at annual meeting
Lawrence, Kan. (Feb. 11, 2016) – Peter J. Grass, golf course superintendent at Hilands Golf Club in Billings, Mont., has been elected to a one-year term as president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) at the association’s annual meeting Feb. 11, held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show in San Diego.
Grass, a certified golf course superintendent (CGCS), served as vice president of the association in 2015 and has been a member of the association’s board of directors since 2009. A 31-year member of GCSAA, Grass also is a member and past president of the Peaks and Prairies Golf Course Superintendents Association, one of 98 GCSAA regional chapters.
A native of Mankato, Minn., the 56-year-old Grass earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Montana College in Billings. He succeeds John J. O’Keefe, CGCS and director of golf course management at Preakness Hills Country Club in Wayne, N.J., who served as president for 2015. O’Keefe will continue on the board as immediate past president.
“A lot of people have told me how cool they think it is that someone from a 9-hole facility can serve on the board of directors and become president of the association,” Grass said. “But if I can convince others that they too can benefit from being a GCSAA member, than I’ll consider my year in office to be a success.”
Other elected officers were Bill H. Maynard, CGCS and director of golf course maintenance operations at Country Club of St. Albans near St. Louis, as vice president, and Darren J. Davis, CGCS and superintendent at Olde Florida Golf Club in Naples, Fla., as secretary/treasurer.
Kevin P. Breen, CGCS and golf course superintendent at La Rinconada Country Club in Los Gatos, Calif., was elected to the board after serving in 2015 as an appointee. He was elected to a two-year position along with Rafael Barajas, CGCS and director of golf course operations at Boca Grove Plantation in Boca Raton, Fla. John Walker, director of golf course maintenance at Bentwater Yacht and Country Club in Montgomery, Texas, was appointed to complete the one-year remaining on Davis’ two-year term.
Others continuing service on the nine-member board are John R. Fulling Jr., CGCS and grounds and facilities manager at Kalamazoo (Mich.) Country Club; and Mark F. Jordan, CGCS and natural resources leader at Westfield Group Country Club in Westfield Center, Ohio.
In addition, delegates voted to approve revisions to the Class A member standards and passed 11 changes to the bylaws, which included a new definition of Class A and renaming the Superintendent Member class to Class B.
Sunshine and success at the 2016 Golf Industry Show
The beautiful California weather didn’t stop attendees of this year’s event from taking advantage of the wealth of education opportunities and expansive trade show offerings.
The 2016 Golf Industry Show saw a rise in all measures, including total attendance at 12,600 and qualified buyer attendance at 6,000. During the trade show, attendees were able to view the latest golf facility solutions and interact with over 550 exhibitors spanning 250,000 net square feet of exhibit space at the San Diego Convention Center.
“This is my first show in six years, and I am just walking around like a kid in a candy store,” said Austin Anderson, 34, general manager and golf course superintendent at Grand Elk Golf Club in Grandby, Colo., and vice president of the Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendents Association. “It has changed so much since my last show, and all for the better.”
“The Golf Industry Show has a bigger international presence than the PGA Show, and that is beneficial,” said Joey Panozzo, vice president of sales in North America for Garia Inc., a 10-year-old Denmark company and maker of luxury golf cars and utility vehicles. “This is a significant investment, but a worthwhile one for us. We will be back, I guarantee you. We are making sales and finding new dealers.”
“This is the first year for us, and we are very happy,” said Carmelo Grenier, district sales manager for Billy Goat Industries, a manufacturer of specialty turf equipment. “We’ve been considering it for a couple of years, but we finally got the go-ahead to exhibit and it’s been well worth it. The additional exposure has been phenomenal. With the new products we’ve introduced, it’s a great fit.”
The GCSAA Education Conference, held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show, welcomed 5,240 seminar participants, as well as hundreds who attended complimentary forums, sessions and panel discussions throughout the week. Subject matter included agronomics, business, environmental management, communications, leadership, technology, and personnel management.
The 2017 Golf Industry Show will head to Orlando, Fla., Feb. 4-9.
Westacott wins GCSAA National Championship
Shawn Westacott, superintendent at Maridoe GC in Carrollton, Texas, withstood a full field of competitors and the rigors of both Aviara GC and the South Course at Torrey Pines to win the GCSAA title after numerous runner-up finishes in previous events. Westacott’s two-day total of 5-over-par 149 was four shots better than another Texan, defending champion Matt Cowan from the Fazio Canyons Course at Barton Creek in Austin. More than 450 players competed in some aspect of the event, which was sponsored for the 22nd-consecutive year by The Toro Co.
Penn State wins 2016 Turf Bowl
Penn State University Team 20 took first place in GCSAA’s Collegiate Turf Bowl Competition, presented in partnership with John Deere Golf. The foursome of Kirk Bender, Jeff Reggio, Thomas Goyne and Rob Sicinski, along with advisor Ben McGraw, Ph.D., will return to State College, Pa., with the traveling trophy and a $4,000 prize. Second and third place teams were Team 34 from Cal Poly Pomona and Team 30 from the University of Maryland, respectively. Rounding out the top 10, in order, were: Team 35 from Auburn University, Team 31 from Iowa State University, Team 11 from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Team 28 from Michigan State University, Team 47 from Michigan State, Team 25 from Rutgers University, and Team 18 from Penn State.
About GCSAA and the EIFG
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 18,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org or find us on Facebook or Twitter.
The Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit EIFG at www.eifg.org or find us on Facebook or Twitter.
About the Golf Industry Show
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) presents the Golf Industry Show annually. It is an innovative trade show designed for the owners/operators of golf facilities, and the professional members of the golf course and club management industries. Featuring the GCSAA Golf Championships and the GCSAA Education Conference, as well as the largest exhibit floor in the industry, the event combines education, networking and solutions for golf course superintendents, owners/operators, general managers, chief operating officers, architects and builders.
The Golf Industry Show is presented jointly with the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), along with supporting organizations: the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA), the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), the National Golf Foundation (NGF) and the United States Golf Association (USGA). The 2016 event will be held Feb. 6-11 at the San Diego Convention Center. Visit www.golfindustryshow.com.