The inaugural class has "graduated" from GreenKeeper University.
The group included the CEO of a golf management firm and four golf course superintendents.
"The knowledge I gained from GKU has been invaluable to my growth here at my facility," said Scott Denil, superintendent at Pine Meadow Golf Club in Mundelein, Illinois. "The support from all the instructors at GKU exceeded all expectations. Relationships and assistance didn't end when the classes were over. The projects/assignments were geared so you could apply it to your location. That was a big help in grasping the concepts presented. I am a much-improved superintendent because of GKU."
GreenKeeper University is an online educational program that offers courses in the field of turfgrass science for those who want a more in-depth training than is traditionally offered by short courses or other non-degree options, but do not have the resources or need to achieve a university degree in turfgrass science.
Instructors have included Bill Kreuser, Ph.D., Doug Soldat, Ph.D., Aaron Patton, Ph.D., Jim Kerns, Ph.D., Paul Koch, Ph.D., Michael Carlson, Ph.D., and Alec Kowalewski, Ph.D.
Unlike one-hour conference sessions or brief webinars, GreenKeeper University courses dive deeper into the information over the course of three to twelve weeks. The professors will have time to explain advanced topics and students will be able to interact with other learners and the instructors.
Joseph St. Lawrence is superintendent at at Farmington Country Club in Milton, New Hampshire, and was looking for online learning opportunities.
"As a new golf course superintendent, I wanted an official degree. I have now obtained that," St. Lawrence said. "My goal is to continue broadening my knowledge of turf management."
Andrew Porubiansky has a four-year business degree and was eager for a career change.
"When I chose the turfgrass path, I needed formal turfgrass training," Porubiansky. "GKU is a great alternative for someone looking for turfgrass education, but does not want to pay for a four-year degree."
As the CEO of Renovita Wilen, a Swiss golf management company, Patrick Sauder lacks both the time and opportunity to attend courses at an American university campus, however, he wanted to learn from university faculty. "American turfgrass science is known for its reputation. My goal is to constantly develop my skills and knowledge and be a role model for my employees in this respect."