Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.
Issue link: http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/766215
80 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.17 To borrow from the hometown Orlando Magic, it should be a magical night Tuesday, Feb. 7 in Orlando. GCSAA's Opening Night Celebration, pre - sented in partnership with Syngenta, will be highlighted by the presentation of the organiza - tion's highest honor to one of its own, legendary superintendent Paul R. Latshaw. He is the recipi - ent of the 2017 Old Tom Morris Award, which is presented annually to an individual who, through a continuing lifetime commitment to the game of golf, has helped to mold the welfare of the game. Latshaw, who turned 76 last month, is the only superintendent to have hosted the Masters, U.S. Open and PGA Championship. In all, he hosted nine majors, worked at places such as Augusta National Golf Club, Oakmont Coun - try Club, Congressional Country Club, Riviera Country Club and Winged Foot Golf Club, and, just as important, saw more than 100 of his assistants go on to become head superintendents. "I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time," says Latshaw, whose career as either an assistant or head superintendent spans nearly four decades. "I must've buffaloed somebody to receive this (Old Tom Morris Award). I am very thankful." Besides Latshaw's marquee moment, the Opening Night Celebration — which begins at 5:15 p.m. in the Valencia Ballroom at the Or - ange County Convention Center — will spot- light numerous other achievements throughout the profession. A trio will be honored with the Col. John Morley Distinguished Service Award: Nick Christians, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University; Patricia Vittum, Ph.D., professor and associate director in the Extension Turf Program at the Univer - sity of Massachusetts-Amherst; and golf course builder Brent Wadsworth. Christians, a former golf course superinten - dent, has taught at Iowa State for more than three decades. He is a past recipient of the pres - tigious Fred V. Grau Turfgrass Science Award. Magic moments For openers, the Golf Industry Show will acknowledge and honor the very best in the industry, and its final act will be laced with humor. "I would like to thank my former students who nominated me for this award. Working with students has been a joy," Christians says. Vittum, who has been at UMass since 1980, is known for the extensive work she has done on the identification and control of annual blue - grass weevil. She is a past recipient of the USGA Green Section Award. "I wasn't expecting this," says Vittum, who is the first woman to receive the DSA award. "This one really snuck up on me. When I look at the list of winners, it reads like a who's who of golf course management. I am humbled to have my name added to the list." Wadsworth, whose company has con - structed and renovated golf courses for more than 50 years, remodeled 10 holes in 1981 at Au - gusta National. "I am deeply honored and very appreciative of this award. I have been a great supporter of GCSAA for as long as I can remem - ber," Wadsworth says. Josh Heptig will be recognized with the Pres - ident's Award for Environmental Stewardship. Heptig is the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Dairy Creek Golf Course in San Luis Obispo, Calif., where he has proved to be an industry leader in zero-waste management and environ - mentally sustainable practices. "This is a huge honor, and I am shocked to even be in the con - versation for this award," Heptig says. "If we can help our communities, we are helping ourselves and our profession. Solving problems is what golf superintendents do." Gerald Flaherty, CGCS, a 23-year associa - tion member from The Valley Club in Hailey, Idaho, will be presented with the Leo Feser Award, given to the author of the best superin - tendent-written story published in GCM. His article "Smarter, smoother labor tracking" from the October 2015 issue focused on a program Flaherty helped design to make managing daily duties more efficient and allow for labor data to be stored and usefully displayed. Also handed out during the Opening Night Celebration will be the GCSAA/Golf Digest Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards, which are presented in partnership with Syngenta and Rain Bird; GCSAA's Excellence in Government Affairs Award; and the Edwin Budding Award, which goes to an individual who has made a significant impact on the turf equipment indus - try. In addition, the 2016 class of Certified Golf Course Superintendents will be recognized dur - ing the event. The week in Orlando will end with enter - tainment — times two — at the Closing Cel- ebration, presented in partnership with John Deere Golf, on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m. "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" stars Colin Mo - chrie and Brad Sherwood plan to showcase an improvisational style that features audience par - ticipation, so be ready, folks. "We like to describe ourselves as two smart people acting stupidly," says Sherwood, part of the show that can be seen on The CW television network. "We'll invite superintendents on stage to be part of the fun, and in the end, they all will have wished they had the chance to be on stage. There will be plenty of laughs." The results of the 2017 GCSAA Collegiate Turf Bowl will also be announced during the Closing Celebration, and the 2017 GCSAA Board of Directors will be introduced. — Howard Richman, GCM associate editor The comedic duo of Colin Mochrie (left) and Brad Sherwood will take the stage during the Closing Celebration. Photo courtesy of SME Entertainment Group MAIN EVENTS