Golf Course Management

APR 2018

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

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62 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.18 cloudy day played out on a course that he once worked at as an assistant superintendent — he can cross that goal off his list. "Nobody ever said anything to me or gave me trouble about only having to play 18 holes to win my first tournament," the seven-year GCSAA member says. "It was more of just a personal goal of mine, to go back and win it again and kind of prove to myself that I could do it for 36 holes and execute shots when I needed to. "That's why this one was so rewarding and why I posted that on Facebook. I just feel like this one legitimizes what I accom - plished in 2015 and shows that I'm going to be a contender every time I tee it up in this tournament." San Antonio standouts Whether competitors are aiming to win a National Championship or just looking for a fun day on the golf course, the GCSAA Golf Championships continues to deliver three days of fun, networking and competition to association members from around the globe. Presented in partnership with The Toro Co. for the 24th consecutive year, the 2018 edition of the event totaled 469 players who took part in at least some portion of the tour - nament. That number included 204 players in the Golf Classic and 79 in the National Championship field, while the Four-Ball competition that opened festivities in San Antonio featured 344 players. The one-day Scramble tournament sold out (and then some) with 159 taking part. This year's GCSAA Golf Championships utilized a total of five courses and four facil - ities in and around San Antonio. TPC San Antonio's other 18-hole layout, the Canyons Course, joined the Oaks Course in the ro - tation, along with Cordillera Ranch Golf Club, The Quarry Golf Club and the Resort Course at La Cantera Golf Club. In addition to Toro's continuing role as the event's presenting partner, a host of oth - ers stepped up as hole sponsors for the event — AgStone, Nufarm, Precision Laboratories, PBI-Gordon, Sandtrapper, TCF Equipment Finance, GCM and GCSAA TV. Making it count San Antonio didn't represent Cowan's first opportunity to validate the champion - ship he won in 2015. In fact, he'd been in prime position to do just that in both 2016 in San Diego and 2017 in Orlando. Matt Cowan (right) and Mike Stieler, CGCS, were among three past champions battling it out down the stretch on the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio in the 2018 GCSAA National Championship. The kids call it "vaguebooking" — the practice of leaving intentionally ambiguous postings on Facebook to elicit a response from one's friends and followers — but to Matt Cowan, there was nothing vague about the short post he left on the social media site early on the evening of Feb. 5. "#validated" was all his post said that day, and if you don't know the superintendent at the Hills Course at The Hills of Lakeway in Austin, Texas, your confusion is understand - able. But to Cowan and those who know him well, that one-word post was as clear as a bell and said plenty about his one-shot victory in the 2018 GCSAA National Championship, a feat he had polished off earlier that day after an up-and-down final round on the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio. This wasn't Cowan's first rodeo when it came to the GCSAA tournament — he ac - tually won it three years earlier, the last time the event was contested in San Antonio. But that year's tournament was shortened to just 18 holes by an unwelcomed blast of winter weather in south Texas, meaning Cowan never had to face the trials and tribulations that naturally come with the final round of a golf tournament before hoisting the 2015 trophy. That left a void in Cowan's personal tour - nament history book, at least in his eyes. Since then, he has been eager to prove that 2015 was no fluke, and that he had both the game and the gumption to come through when the pressure was at its most intense. After his performance this year — on a cool, Three of a kind A trio of GCSAA members will remember the 2018 GCSAA Golf Championships for more than just great golf and world-class networking and camaraderie. For them, their trip to San Antonio will be all about the aces. Luc Ladouceur, Jim Torba, CGCS, and John Schneider all recorded holes-in-one during Golf Classic and National Championship play in San Antonio, with each of them earning some serious schwag for their efforts. On Sunday, Feb. 4 during play in the Classic II division of the Golf Classic, Ladouceur aced the 159-yard, par-3 third hole on the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio. The GCSAA Class A superintendent at Le Club Laval-Sur-le-Lac in Quebec, Canada, received a $500 Travis Mathew shopping spree for his efforts. There were two holes-in-one during play Monday, Feb. 5. First, in the National Championship on the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio, Torba secured his ace on the 163-yard, par-3 seventh hole, winning a golf vacation to French Lick (Ind.) Resort. Torba heads maintenance at the Club at Pelican Reserve in Naples, Fla. Then in Classic II play at Cordillera Ranch, John Schneider, the GCSAA Class A superintendent at the Golf Club of Indiana in Indianapolis, recorded a hole-in-one on the 161-yard, par-3 seventh hole. Like Torba, he received a golf vacation to French Lick (Ind.) Resort for his achievement. — S.H.

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