Pat Jones has been a passionate advocate for superintendents and the golf industry for 30 years. He is the head of Flagstick LLC, where he helps companies and organizations in the industry communicate with customers and drive sales more effectively and efficiently. Pat spoke to the turf club about an industry overview, the pandemic and correlating big trends, networking 101, and the importance of communications and social media.
Penn State Turf Club
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Jay Woodring is a recruiting director/ agronomist at Teed & Brown, Inc – a high end lawn care company based out of Connecticut and New York. Jay spoke to the turf club about growing a business and the current and future career opportunities available at Teed & Brown.
Below we have a message from our Turf Club President Will Reece!
Over the past two years, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work at five PGA Tour events. These weeks have been some of the most influential of my professional career. The events themselves, and the weeks leading up to them taught me first-hand the expectations for championship-level golf. Because these events have had such a positive impact on me, I want to assist Penn State turf club members in having similar experiences.
“The PGA Tour Tournament Volunteer Initiative”
Who: I am open to assisting all Penn State turfgrass students. This includes 2-year, 4-year, and world campus students.
What: The goal is simple, I want to provide students the opportunity to create industry connections while participating in PGA Tour events this season. This includes the PGA Tour, Korn Ferry Tour, and Champions Tour.
Why: Motivation will vary depending on the individual. I believe participating in these events is important for professional development. Volunteering at golf tournaments offers a networking opportunity unique to the turfgrass industry. Depending on the event, students will have the opportunity to work with 15-100 other turfgrass professionals from around the country. Traveling to a tournament can offer you the opportunity to see a different geographical region in the United States without working a full summer there. Even if you do not see tournament golf being a part of your future, I believe it is always beneficial to be exposed to championship-level agronomic conditions.
When: There is no start or end date. During the traditional summer internship, there will be over 100 events on the three tours. The students who do not have traditional summer internships (2-year and World Campus students) will have more opportunities to participate in events.
Where: Anywhere. Students can volunteer around their internship but are not limited to any geographical region. I challenge students to get out of their comfort zone and experience something different for a week.
How: There are the three steps to this process;
- Contact the individual in charge of your internship, see if volunteering at an event is an option for you this summer. It never hurts to ask. I think you will be surprised with how positively superintendents will view their future interns pursuing positive opportunities for their professional development.
- Research the PGA Tour, Champions Tour, and Korn Ferry Tour schedules. Select dates and locations that interest you.
- Contact me and I will work with my connections to figure out what events need assistance and how we can get you to events you wish to attend. You will need to find specific events. If you are interested but don’t have anything specific in mind, reach out as well. There are events throughout the season that need assistance and will always take volunteers. Email is the best way to reach me.
While summer internships may seem far away, it is better to be the first person on a tournament volunteer list than the last. Agronomy departments are already building teams for their tournaments this summer. I encourage everyone to be proactive if they are interested in participating in an event.
-Will Reece (President of the Penn State Turf Club)
Thomas Goyne is a Penn State Turfgrass Alumni and is the Sports Turf Manager for the Pittsburg Steelers. Thomas spoke to the turf club about his career path to become a sports turf manager at the NFL level, as well as some challenges and processes that come with managing a high level sports turf facility.
Nathan Crace is a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects.
Nathan spoke to the turf club about various topics regarding golf course architecture as well as the importance of communication during renovations.
Kyle Callahan director of golf course and grounds at Thornblade Club in Greer, SC.
Kyle spoke to the Turf Club about the differences between working for specific types of clubs including; private vs. semi-private, management vs. owner, and public vs. government.