"Utah Golf Course Superintendents Association"

Mission Statement

The Utah GCSA is dedicated to improving the superintendents' position in the golf industry through education, networking, advocacy and to grow the game of golf.

 

Vision Statement

The Utah GCSA is a community of golf course management professionals and a go-to information source to enhance and grow the profession.

 

Utah Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

When the Utah Golf Hall of Fame committee convened in mid-2019 to begin the process of selecting the 2020 class to the Utah Golf Hall of Fame, they had no idea it wouldn’t be until fall of 2021 before a ceremony could be held.  The group that includes representation from the Utah Golf Association, Utah Section PGA, Utah Golf Course Superintendents Association, Fairways Media and other prominent members of the local sports media worked diligently to select a class and had their sights set on a 2020 induction.  However, hosting an induction ceremony with 200+ people was not going to be an option with a raging global pandemic.  The decision to postpone the ceremony came as no shock anyone but we are excited today to announce the 2021 induction ceremony registration is open!

When: October 28th, 2021

Where: Salt Lake City Marriott University Park – 480 Wakara Way Salt Lake City, Utah 84108

Time: 5:30pm cocktail hour, 6:30pm dinner & induction

Registration Link: https://www.greenvelope.com/event/UtahGolfHOF

 

Review of the 2021 Class of the Utah Golf Hall of Fame

Election to the Utah Golf Hall of Fame is restricted to individuals who were either born and raised in Utah or gained their golf prominence while living in Utah. There is no particular length of residency required.

The primary category for the Utah Golf Hall of Fame and the category given highest consideration, is “player”.  Consideration is given for an exceptional playing record and achievements on local, state and/or national level. A nominee can either be an amateur or professional, and a professional does not have to be a PGA member.  For the 2021 class, the “players” are world class!  Sue Nyhus and Steve Schneiter are foundational golfers in Utah and have not only dominated on the local level but have been movers and shakers on a national stage.  Additional HOF categories include Club Professional, Superintendent, Volunteer, Media and Administrator.  The inductees within these categories is a who’s who of Utah Golf.  Leading the pack are two former Executive Directors, Joe Watts was the UGA Executive Director for 18-years and Scott Whittaker led the Utah Section PGA for over a decade.  Doug Vilven’ s Utah Golf story includes numerous chapters, but he may be most well-known his involvement in the creation of the Utah Section of the PGA and for his brilliance with the Rules of Golf.  Riley Stottern is the first superintendent selected to the Utah Golf Hall of Fame strictly for his work in the profession despite his other accomplishments.

 

Historic Category

New to the Utah Golf Hall of Fame in 2021 are the inductees in the Historic classification.  The historic distinction is designed to recognize individuals who are no longer living.  Given the addition of new names each cycle, the committee felt some of the game’s most influential players and people could be lost to the pages of history as like the new additions, the committee continues to get younger.  The Historic category has allowed the committee the opportunity to recognize and induct important figures in Utah golf that may otherwise continue to get passed over by the continuous flow of quality nominees eligible for consideration.  The first members of the Utah Golf Hall of Fame under the historical category are Florence Holloran, Lou North, Marion Dunn and Jeanne Goddard.

RSVP Required By Thursday, October 21, 2021

 

2021 Annual Awards

Salesperson of the Year - Phill Miller, Stotz Equipment


Phill started his career in sales in 2007 and has been with Stotz Equipment for almost six years. He has been in the golf industry his entire professional life and feels he has a lot in common with his customers. Some of his favorite calls are the ones where equipment barely comes up in the conversation. He believes long term relationships are the backbone of the industry and loyalty means everything to him. He strives to be available and responsive to his customers, organized, and to grow in his sales, relationships, and knowledge. 

 

Assistant Superintendent of the Year - Colby Petrilla, Glenwild Golf Club & Spa

Colby has been an assistant for four season – three years as a second assistant and this year as a senior assistant. He’s been at Glenwild for five seasons, starting fresh out of college.  He worked hard this year getting the crew cross-trained on all equipment which led to interchangeable positions, efficiency and less redundancy and burnout with the crew.  He believes in strong leadership and their willingness and ability to grind alongside his crew. He strives for a clear and concise layout of the day and like to have everything organized and thought out beforehand to give the crew a straightforward approach with little guess work. Colby’s goal is to be a superintendent here in Utah before he turns 30 years old and then transcend to a general manager role. He hopes to one day bridge the gap between greens committees and superintendents.

 

Superintendent of the Year (Public) - Jampe Martinsson, Mountain Dell Golf Course

Jampe was born and raised in Osby, Sweden. Hockey was his main passion leading me to pursue a professional career in Division 1 Hockey.  His future wife was the figure skating coach at thier local ice rink and after getting married, they decided to move to her hometown of Salt Lake City, UT.  They moved to Utah in April 1990. The neighbor of his wife’s family happened to be the then Superintendent of Bonneville Golf Course and he offered him his first job as a greenskeeper.  In 2004, he was promoted to Assistant Superintendent.  In 2016, he was given the chance to become the interim Superintendent and soon after was officially named Superintendent of Bonneville GC.  In 2019, he was asked to be the Superintendent at Mountain Dell.  He has now called Utah home for more years than Sweden.  Golfing, skating, family and loads of sunshine have kept us here.  He loves working at a course where my neighbors are deer, elk, moose and an occasional prickly porcupine.

 

Superintendent of the Year (Private) - Brian Renschler, Talisker Club @ Tuhaye

Brian has been a superintendent for six years. Nine years at Tuhaye and one year at Promontory.  He spent ten years in the Rocky Mountains at The Club at Cordillera where he was an intern, irrigation tech and assistant superintendent. He has a strong commitment to sustainability, safety, crew morale, and working toward less inputs.  He aims to be a good steward of the industry by conserving water and working smarter, not harder. On a daily basis, he strives to keep his sanity and dealing with the non-golf course/agronomy aspects of the job.  His yearly goal is to make the course better and improve things within his control.  In the near future, he plans to complete his certification and survive building a short course at his facility.

 

Equipment Manager of the Year - Brack Crouch, Talisker Club @ Tuhaye

Brack has been an equipment manager on and off for the last 20 years and has been at Talisker Club at Tuhaye for eight. He has a high commitment to safety in the shop and on the course and he prides himself with precision, efficiency, and organization.  He is always striving to better himself  whether it be education, enlisting new techniques or working to grow the industry as it pertains to equipment managers.  Brack is a member of GCSAA’s Equipment Manager Task Group working on relevant education tracts for the national conference and show, online webinars, narrowing down award nominations and scholarships, and finalizing the attesting guidelines for the Certified Turf Equipment Manager (CTEM) certification.  He hopes to achieve GCSAA’s CTEM certification and grow interest in golf course equipment management as a viable career choice for future generations.

 

Distinguished Service Award - Gary Grigg, CGCS

Gary Grigg holds a B.S. in Agriculture and Entomology from Utah State University, 1964, and an M.S. in Agronomy from Michigan State University, 1966.

Gary's 53-year journey through the Golf Course industry has taken him from the potato fields of Idaho to dozens of golf construction sites worldwide, to the boardroom of one of the turfgrass industries most successful superintendent-driven companies as a co-founder and chief agronomist of Grigg Brothers – now owned by Brandt Consolidated, Inc. and simply known as GRIGG™.

He has built or helped build dozens of courses, maintained a bunch more, earned Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS) status for 9 consecutive 5-yr terms from the GCSAA, honored by BIGGA with a Master Greenkeeper (MG) certification, served as president of GCSAA, spoken at a gazillion turf conferences, received numerous awards, served on countless association boards, and generally leads an interesting life. Gary is a respected Husband, father, grandfather, mentor, speaker, author, and friend.  Further, Gary has played an instrumental role in the golf industry and continues to promote the profession and industry.

 

Response to Utah's Drought Situation

For many generations golf has been a part of the patchwork of society.  It has long since been a place where young and old, expert or beginner, could come together over the love of a game. Ask any of the nearly 24.8 million golfers in the United States what golf means to them, and you’ll find a passionate answer.  Ask any of the 6.2 million new golfers in 2020 and you’ll probably rouse up the same passion.  In 2020 golf’s value was proven.  A year where more places were shutting down than staying open, golf courses still proved what they have always been, an escape. Many flocked to golf courses as a safe place they could recreate during the pandemic. It is uniting across all races, age, and abilities.  What has golf meant to a society?  Ask anyone who has ever picked up a club. 

2021 has now brought about new challenges, namely the drought here in Utah.  Though the state is annually in some form of drought, this year has been exceptional.  Golf Course Superintendents have stepped up and are using what tools we have to do our part to protect one of our most precious resources, water.  The demands of providing a playable golf course that is firm throughout, have superintendents constantly adjusting their practices. Though a reduction of water usage is the ultimate goal, superintendents are using their ingenuity to go about it in a variety of ways depending on what is available to them.  Here are some of the many practices going on at your local golf course to save water.

  • Secondary water for irrigation – Many golf courses in the state use secondary water sources (non-potable) for irrigation.  Secondary water is untreated, unfiltered water, mainly gathered through runoff.
  • Monitoring weather/Turf water loss – Through a variety of weather programs both  real time and predictive, superintendents are adjusting watering schedules based on turf water loss and upcoming weather potential. Advanced weather stations that record temperature, humidity, UV index, Precipitation, and wind speed are used to adjust the amount of water applied daily.
  • Fertility Programs – Not all grass is green simply due to water.  Superintendents are using an extremely precise, balance fertility program based on their individual site. Creating a dense stand of turf that is vigorous and healthy helps grass maintain its color and withstand the stresses of reduced watering.
  • Wetting agents – Wetting agents are products used to make watering more effective.  They reduce natural tensions in the soil and allow water to penetrate more efficiently from the surface.  This allows for less water to be applied to achieve the same soil moisture.
  • Establishing higher mowing heights – Longer grass = deeper roots.  Superintendents are selecting new areas around the course for higher mowing heights.  These areas require less maintenance, less inputs, and less water.
  • Selection of grass varieties – Grass varieties are constantly being evaluated and put into use that possess greater drought tolerance.  Yearly overseeding with grass species that have proven themselves in the intermountain west is an ongoing practice.
  • Irrigation audits/upgrades – Golf Superintendents are constantly evaluating / reevaluating their irrigation system.  Routine audits make sure each irrigation head is applying water appropriately.  Additionally, there have been many advancements made in the golf industry to ensure the entire system is functioning at its optimal level.
  • Sand topdressing – Sand topdressing is utilized to encourage deeper rooting leading to a reduction of water. 

In summary, though the state of the drought has increased in severity, western drought is an annual problem.  Superintendents have been dealing with water issues since day one. They have been working tirelessly to be as efficient as possible, even in years where water is seemingly plentiful.  Water conservation, especially in the west, is a top priority.  These educated men and women are stewards of their environment, ensuring the sustainability of golf courses for future generations.  Though golf courses only make up a small piece of the whole of water usage, the UGCSA and its members are dedicated to do as much as possible to ensure the future of the state of Utah and the game of golf are bright.

 

COVID-19 Message

We know the situation with the COVID-19 outbreak has temporarily turned our lives upside down and we wanted to let you know that the Utah GCSA Board of Directors are closely monitoring the updates and recommendations from local entities. Although, for the time being our region is mildly affected, we want to make sure we are following all safety guidelines and precautions. UGCSA events will still be planned accordingly but will be re-evaluated as they get closer. GCSAA has put together some resources to help during this challenging time (linked below). Our chapter will be getting something together quickly as well.
 
Further, a letter was sent to Governor Gary Herbert on Monday, March 23, recommending that golf course maintenance be allowed to continue working should there be a shelter in place order.
 
Please know that the superintendent community is here and we care about the wellbeing of you and your family.
 
Stay healthy & safe!
 

Riley Stottern, CGCS - Utah Golf Hall of Fame

The Utah GCSA along with the governing bodies of Utah Golf are elated to announce Riley Stottern, CGCS, being inducted into the Utah Golf Hall of Fame.  Riley’s lasting influence on the members of this association and GCSAA will be felt for many years to come.  His passion for the profession and willingness to serve are the focus to why he was chosen for this prestigious award.  Mr. Stottern will be inducted on October 22, as part of the 2020 class.  He joins UGCSA member and Fore Lakes Golf Course owner Todd Barker as one of two superintendents in the Utah Hall of Fame.  In honor of the induction, we thought we’d throw it back to 1986 when Riley was elected president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).   Originally published by Golf Course Management, March 1986.

 

We have a new NAME!

 

 

On October 10 & 11 in Wendover, NV, the Intermountain Golf Course Superintendents Association held its annual education conference and trade show.  One of the agenda items on the ballot at this years’ conference was the name change from IGCSA (Intermountain) to the UGCSA (Utah).  The initiative was brought forth for two main reasons.  The first being the membership is almost completely comprised of individuals from Utah.  The “Intermountain” region spans well outside of the borders of Utah.  Secondly, the UGCSA would be more identifiable on a national level.  Most people outside of the region are not familiar with the term “Intermountain” and the area it is entailing.  The ballot initiative passed and is in the final stages of officially changing on a national level.  Marching forward, the Utah Golf Course Superintendent Association should be more identifiable for the members of other associations, and we are proud to have the name of our great state attached to our professional organization.

 

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"Utah Golf Course Superintendents Association"

Membership Inquiry

Membership in the Utah GCSA is open to any individual directly involved in the turf industry. Golf course superintendents, assistants, employees of members, manufacturers, distributors, educators, turf maintenance professionals, turfgrass students and specialists are all welcome. Membership classifications are assigned according to the Utah GCSA Bylaws.