Golf Course Management

APR 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 65 of 165

64 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.14 GIS highlights 64 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.14 Finishing touches for GIS When GCSAA put a bow on this year's Golf Industry Show, comedian/actor Bill Engvall put on quite a fnal act. Engvall, who gained fame as a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, which included Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy, was the marquee feature for the GIS Closing Celebration, presented in partnership with John Deere Golf, inside a packed Valencia Ballroom. Engvall did not waste any time in coaxing laughter when he congratulated the University of Maryland for its triumph in the annual Turf Bowl competition. "Congratulations to the University of Maryland. Who would've thought col - lege kids could grow grass?" quipped Engvall, whose TV show, "The Bill Engvall Show" helped introduce to the world a young lady by the name of Jennifer Law - rence, who blossomed into an Academy Award-winning actress. Engvall plays golf. He even got to play Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. The caddie that was furnished for Engvall when he played there certainly wasn't shy to assess his effort. "I hit the best drive of my life," Engvall said, "and as I'm getting ready to hit the next shot, he says, 'It's everything you've got and then some.'" In 2013, Engvall participated on "Dancing with the Stars," and although he didn't prevail, he lasted long enough to surprise many, he believes. "You watched those frst two weeks like you were watching a NASCAR race. You were looking for a crash," Engvall said. One of his best stories centered on Engvall's colonoscopy, which he may have exaggerated a tad, in regard to what resulted from the prep that is needed before the actual procedure. "You wouldn't believe what came out," Engvall said. "A Louisiana license plate, a Super Ball I lost when I was 7 and a 1-iron." By that time, those in the audience were kicking back, enjoying a beverage, maybe even a snack, and relaxing following a week loaded with activities. Earlier, GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans announced that more than 14,000 people attended the GIS. It also was an opportunity for Evans to welcome newly elected GCSAA President Keith A. Ihms, CGCS, and the board of directors. Later, when the celebration concluded, the room emptied, old friends and those who made new connections headed their separate ways, perhaps not meeting again until 12 months down the road in San Antonio, Texas, where GIS 2015 convenes. Terps take Turf Bowl XX The diamondback terrapin, mascot of the University of Maryland, is not known for its speed, but the university's Turf Bowl team has certainly outpaced its competitors in 2014. Maryland took the top prize in GCSAA's 20th Annual Collegiate Turf Bowl competition, presented in partner - ship with John Deere Golf, just two weeks after earning top honors at the Sports Turf Managers Association turf bowl for the second year in a row. In the 15 years of Maryland's participation in GCSAA Turf Bowl, it has never before earned frst place, although the team did take both third and fourth place in 2013. Kevin Mathias, Ph.D., who has been teaching in the turfgrass program at the university's In - stitute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) since 1979, says "I really thought we had a chance to win it last year, and when we didn't, I thought maybe I'd never get there." Get there they did, however, competing in a feld of 71 teams and 264 students from 36 schools. In recognition of Mathias' role in their success, the members of the winning team (now called the "Fab Four") presented their advisor with a vegetative crown and dubbed him Turf King at an IAA reception honoring their successes. The praise for the Turf Bowl team's success has not been confned to the university campus. An article about their win has appeared in T e Was ington Post, and Mathias and team member Brent Waite were interviewed by Baltimore television station WBFF FoxNews 45. The "Turf King," Dr. Kevin Mathias (center), with members of the winning Turf Bowl team (from left): Brent Waite, Brian Hogan, Matt Park and Ryan Higgins. Photo by Glori Hyman Photos © Montana Pritchard 056-067_GIS_Recap_14.indd 64 3/18/14 2:49 PM

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