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From the TurfNet NewsDesk


  • John Reitman
    As a human resources professional with nearly a quarter-of-a-century of experience, Jodie Cunningham knows a thing or two about managing workforces through a disaster.
    Now the owner of Optimus Talent Partners, Cunningham recently was part of a four-person roundtable of industry professionals addressing stressors caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and the ensuing lockdown that has the entire world living on pins and needles.
    As restrictions begin to ease on playing golf in many parts of the country, Cunningham wants to remind golf course superintendents previously working under self-isolation orders that limited labor resources that there is much to consider while filling out your team, and she created a video and a checklist to help superintendents while they rebuild their teams. Click here to watch the video, and click on the link below or on the thumbnail at right to download the checklist. COVID-19 Back to Work Checklist.pdf
    "There is a tangled web of guidance between CDC, FMLA, emergency paid sick leave, unemployment, ADA, confidentiality with HIPPA, OSHA," Cunningham said in a recent video. There is so much guidance and requirements and responsibilities on your part as the employer, you gotta make sure you get it right."
    Indeed, there are many things to consider: What if an employee exhibits symptoms of the virus, or if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive? What if someone is afraid to return to work? What do you do? What is the right thing to do?
    The checklist can help answer some of those questions.
    "Use the checklist as a guide for things to consider, and it's really important that you're creating some policies and some procedures," Cunningham said.
    "Employees want to feel safe coming back to work. They want to know what you're doing to make sure that the workplace is a safe place for them to be."
  • STEC Equipment sent a team of 10 employees and 10 volunteers to Seneca, South Carolina to help with clean-up efforts after the area was ravaged by tornadoes on April 13. Photos courtesy of David Taylor With much of the country still mired in the coronavirus blues, STEC Equipment will cease to operate as a business and will assume the more important role of being a good neighbor. For a couple of days anyway.
    Today, and maybe again tomorrow, 10 employees from the Anderson, South Carolina company and as many volunteers will take five truckloads of heavy equipment to provide much-need tornado relief to the town of Seneca. When 20 or so tornadoes swept across South Carolina on April 13, Seneca was hit as hard as anyplace. An EF-3 event with 160 mph winds killed one person and damaged or destroyed more than 200 homes, which is a lot in this neck of the woods. 
    With people still under shelter-in-place orders, one-fourth of the town's 8,000 residents still don't have power 10 days after the storm.
    The STEC team is bringing trackhoes, skidsteers, dump trucks, chainsaws, anything they can use to cut up and haul away trees and debris so people there can begin the log road of picking up their lives under unbelievably trying circumstances. 
    "Communities are just devastated," said David Taylor, president of STEC Equipment. "People have to stay home because of Covid. They have no power, their homes are shredded. Nobody has heavy equipment except DOT, and they're busy. Nobody is helping these people. I can't imagine going through this and not being able to find anyone to help you. It's a desperate situation."

    The team from STEC Equipment brought five truckloads of equipment to help clear debris from the recent tornadoes that affected much of South Carolina. From April 11-13, 137 tornadoes touched down from Texas to Maryland, according to the National Weather Service, and killed 32 people. 
    The tornadoes that tore through parts of the Southeast, including much of South Carolina, have left about 300,000 people without electricity. Local utility companies in Seneca and Oconee County estimate some areas will start to come online early next week.
    Taylor hopes the efforts of the STEC crew will help expedite that. Local charities have been busy helping people, but lack the heavy equipment that STEC has.
    "You have people with chainsaws, but they can't remove trees laying across houses and across roads," he said. "They can't get vehicles in and out. We're going to go in, cut them up and move them out so people can start to fix their lives.
    "We're going to go there Friday and go as long as we can or until we run out of gas, and if we have to go back Saturday, we'll do that."
    A couple of people will stay behind to operate the switchboard in Anderson, so STEC customers will still be able to reach the company's offices by phone. Otherwise, everyone will be in Seneca helping people in desperate need of assistance. The financial cost to the company is significant, though Taylor, who also is bringing enough food to feed about 100 locals in Seneca, was quick to deflect any talk about money.
    "I'm a businessman, so I know what that number is, but this isn't about money," Taylor said. "To me that number is irrelevant. We have been fortunate at STEC to be open and working. These people need help. We can help them, and we want to help them. There is no number we can place on being able to help others."
  • To help keep superintendents and others up to date with what the COVID-19 threat means as it relates to some of your partners, we will compile a list of updates from some of your partners. We will update as we receive more information.
    If you find anything to add to this ongoing list, please email jreitman@turfnet.com.
    Jerry Pate Turf and Irrigation
    IVI-Golf
    National Golf Foundation
    Seed Research of Oregon
    Florida Gateway College
    Delta Q Technologies
    Toro
    Global Turf Equipment
    Nufarm
    Par Aide
    Buffalo Turbine
    Club Car
    Corteva
    EarthWorks
    Lasco Fittings
    Otterbine Barebo
    Arborjet
    R&R Products
    Pursell Agri-Tech
    Seago International
    Toro
    ADS
    Hunter Industries
    Bernhard
    Cub Cadet
    FMC
    Site One
    John Deere
    Brandt
    USGA
    BASF
    Barenbrug
    Standard Golf
    DLF Pickseed
    Kubota
    Syngenta
    Occupational Safety and Health Administration
    New York State Turfgrass Association
    Ohio Turfgrass Foundation
    Tennessee Turfgrass Association
    Pure Seed
    Bayer
    Foley United
  • Change scares people. But change that closes one door often results in opportunity when another opens. Just ask the people closest to Tim Glorioso.
    A year ago no one would have accused Glorioso of wearing his emotions on his sleeve. Friendly and polite, but quiet and reserved, Glorioso could be, at times, a tough nut to crack.
    That was, in Glorioso's own terms, the "Old Tim." The one who has been superintendent at Toledo Country Club in Ohio for the past 20 years. The "New Tim", the one we ran into at TurfNet's Beer & Pretzels event in Orlando during the Golf Industry Show, is more outgoing and more emotional. As is often the case, the difference was a life-changing event that affected his health.
    What initially was diagnosed by doctors as a brain tumor turned out to be life-threatening encephalitis that caused severe swelling in his brain.
    "When the neurologist looked at my MRI he told me he thought I'd have two or three days to live," the New Tim said. "He told me 'Tim, you shouldn't be standing here today.' "
    That was last June.
    Thanks to his doctors at St. Luke Hospital in Toledo as well as the Cleveland Clinic, Glorioso is standing today - and still managing the turf at TCC. His rehabilitation is a story of support from his wife, family, club members and colleagues from around northwestern Ohio.
    "This really is an unbelievable story," said Lynette Glorioso, Tim's wife and sweetheart from their days long ago at nearby Willard High School. "Don't get me wrong. It's been a very tough road. 
    "We were told it would be a very tough road, and he still has some trouble remembering some things."
    One of the first red flags that something was wrong occurred one Monday morning last June when Glorioso got lost on the 15-minute drive from his home in Perrysburg to the golf course.
    "It's the exact same drive I've been making every day for the last 18 years," he said. 'I missed the turn and went past the golf course."
    He ended up in a construction zone where he ran over a cone before bringing his car to a stop. A construction worker at the site rapped on the driver's door window and asked him if he had been drinking.
    "I'm not drunk," Glorioso replied. "I'm disoriented. I think I'm sick."
    He had to use his phone's GPS system to find his way to work that morning and again in the afternoon just to get home.
    Just the day before, Lynette had cut short a trip with 30-year-old daughter Carestin when Tim became similarly disoriented during a trip to the pharmacy.
    "I think they were at Walloon Lake in Michigan," Tim said.
    "We were in New York on a wine-tasting trip," Lynette said, illustrating her husband's still-lingering difficulty in remembering small details because of the pressure against his brain caused by encephalitis, which literally translates to inflammation of the brain.
    After becoming lost twice in two days, it was time to see a doctor. The physician at the nearby urgent care clinic took one look at Tim and told the couple he needed to go to a hospital - and soon.
    Tests revealed what Tim and Lynette feared most.
    "The ER doctor told us they had found something in his brain," Lynette said. 'An hour later, they came back and told us it was a tumor.
    "We've been together for 35 years since high school. I went to the bathroom in the ER and just crumbled on the floor."
    Life-saving surgery would be mandatory in a matter of days if Glorioso would ever mow another green.
    "I was thinking I'm done; I'm out," Glorioso said. "You don't hear a lot of positive stories from someone who has a brain tumor. There are some, but they are few and far between."
    The following day, as Glorioso contemplated his fate and his wife solicited prayers from family members and friends, his nurse said the neurosurgeon ordered another test, a spinal tap.
    When he received the results, Dr. Lawrence Spetka, Glorioso's neurosurgeon, entered the room and said "I don't always love my job, but today I love my job," before telling the couple that the diagnosis of a tumor was a mistake.
    Spetka went on to tell them that a diagnosis that shifts from a tumor requiring surgery to a virus that can be treated with medication is indeed quite rare. A second opinion conducted across the state at the Cleveland Clinic confirmed Spetka's findings.
    "This just doesn't happen," Glorioso said. "You don't go from a brain tumor to a virus they can medicate your way out of."
    Not often, anyway.

    Doctors weren't the only ones who rallied to help Glorioso.
    His treatment included three weeks of intravenous treatments three times a day. Each resulted in incredible bouts of fatigue and nausea that left him weak and sick.
    Throughout the ordeal, Glorioso's friends from throughout the industry, including Don Lawrence of Advanced Turf Solutions, Mike Rupp of Harrell's, Greg Pattinson, superintendent at Highland Meadows Golf Club in nearby Sylvania, and Shawn Golz of Baker Equipment, mowed his lawn when he couldn't.
    Eventually, he was able to go back to work, but his struggles were not over.
    Under financial straits in 2018, Toledo Country Club was forced to cut back on benefits last year, including eliminating employee health insurance. Although they were over 50, the Gloriosos didn't give much thought to that. Both are active and fit and bought their own plan on the open market.
    "I'm in the best shape of my life," he said. "I bought a cheap plan. It wasn't very good and it had a high deductible, because it was cheap."
    The plan failed to cover most of the bills associated with his care and ongoing visits to his neurologist.
    When the Northwest Ohio GCSA chapter scheduled its October fundraiser golf tournament, the proceeds were to go to the Wee One Foundation. They ended up splitting the proceeds, donating half to Wee One and half to New Tim. Even club members stopped in the shop to donate money to help with his medical expenses.
    The entire ordeal, including the support he received from so many, finally washed over him when, of all things, he was exercising in a hotel fitness center during last year's Ohio Turfgrass Foundation conference and show.
    "It's overwhelming, this is such a caring industry," Glorioso said. "I have a hard time focusing now, but it really gets my blood flowing. As I was on the elliptical I got worked up. Thank God no one else was in the room, because I started crying.
    "I really am blessed to be part of such a caring industry."
    Although he appreciates what so many have done for him, the New Tim would prefer to have is Old Tim demeanor back.
    "I'm more emotional now. I was never very emotional before," he said. "I don't want to be emotional. I want to be the Old Tim."
    Like Old Tim, Lynette never considered herself to be overly emotional. But she knows some of the things she has seen in New Tim never would have happened before his life-changing experience.
    "Before all this, I'd seen him cry only two times: when his mother died and when his father had open-heart surgery," she said. "I've been with him 35 years, and this is now the new normal. He's told family and friends he loves them, not just an 'I love ya, man,' but sincere. If he had not been through this those words never would have been said. This has taken him places emotionally and he has built deeper relationships because of it. He doesn't like the tears, but it's made a difference in his relationships."
  • I was standing in the lunch buffet line at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, MD (great crab cakes as I recall), during a USGA seminar back in 1995. In only the second year of TurfNet's existence and knowing very few people in the room, I was surprised when a tall, distinguished-looking fellow about my age approached me and stuck out his hand. "Hello, Peter, I'm Walter Montross," he said in his characteristic deep voice. "I just wanted to tell you that I  enjoy TurfNet very much."
    So began a professional relationship and personal friendship that lasted 25 years until yesterday — Easter Sunday and in any normal year, Masters Sunday — when Walter passed away after an almost four-year battle with a rare form of melanoma. He leaves his wife of 38 years, Linda (a retired high school Latin teacher), daughter Tracy (an executive with American Airlines in Charlotte, NC), son Geoff (head golf professional at TPC Potomac at Avenel), and two grandchildren.
    Walter and Geoff attended the TurfNet trip to Bandon Dunes in 2012, as Walter noted in a subsequent email,  "Very much enjoyed our trip. The hospitality was special, the golf was magnificent and time spent with my son was priceless."
    A Maryland native who graduated from the University of Maryland in 1975, Walter was a golf course superintendent in the Mid-Atlantic area for 40+ years. He started under Lee Dieter, CGCS. at Washington Golf & Country Club (Arlington, VA), then went to Springfield (VA) G&CC for eleven years, and in 1990 moved to Westwood Country Club in Vienna, VA until he retired in 2011.

    Linda and Walter Montross Lee Dieter recalled, "Walter supervised the building a state of the art maintenance building at Westwood, and was put in charge of supervising the construction of a new clubhouse. While doing all this supervision he still maintained a spotless and well maintained course. He was a true credit to our profession."
    Also during his tenure at Westwood Country Club, Walter hired an innovative equipment technician with a large personality and a penchant for videography. He subsequently introduced us to Hector Velazquez and the rest, as they say, is history. Hector went on to film almost 100 video segments for TurfNetTV under the Hector's Shop banner.

    Walter filmed an introductory segment for the first tips & tricks videos with Hector Velazquez. Active in industry associations, Walter earned his CGCS status in 1984, was one of the first Americans to earn Master Greenkeeper (MG) status from BIGGA in 2000, and was also a member of the Canadian GSA. He served on the Mid-Atlantic chapter board for 12 years (including president in 1989 and 1999), and received the Virginia chapter's President's Lifetime Service Award in 2006.
    Only six months older than I am, Walter and I compared notes over the years via email or an annual phone call on subjects ranging from retirement strategies to mental health to building a home. We also made sure to connect at Beer & Pretzels every year. Walter always made a point to ask about my family.

    Tracy, Linda, Walter and Geoff Montross, 2012. In the years leading up to his retirement, Walter and Linda built their dream to-be-retirement home in Heathsville, VA, on the Chesapeake Bay, where Walter could pursue his love of fishing, boating, crabbing and an occasional Silver Bullet. He joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary and rose to the rank of Flotilla Commander.
    Shortly after moving to the Northern Neck, Walter sent me the following email and photo:
    "I recently had a bunch of 'old' superintendents down to visit and spend a day on a charter fishing trip. The back story is that around 50 years ago these gentlemen were the first college graduates from turf schools to move into the Washington, DC area. There was even an old Washington Post article announcing them as the 'Young Lions' of the industry. In the mid 1960s they would get together every Tuesday and go charter fishing out of Chesapeake Beach, MD. This continued until the late 1980s when some moved away and others retired. I worked for Mike and Lee and joined the group in 1979 when I became a superintendent. I polled each one about the length of their careers and you are looking at 357 years of service to the golf industry."

    Left to right, pictured are Jack McClenahan, Walter Montross,  Sam Kessel, Dave Fairbank, Mike McKenzie, Tom Haske, George Thompson & Lee Dieter. Early in 2019 Walter shared with me some of the details of his cancer affliction, and retirement.
    "I developed acral melanoma cancer in my left foot  2-1/2 years ago. Surgeries and treatments had been holding things at bay until this past November when additional tumors occurred. I am now in a clinical trial at Duke University Cancer Center. The good news is the new advancements of immunotherapy, especially with regards to melanoma. The other positive is my health has been excellent, except for the cancer.   "Acral melanoma is not usually caused by sun/skin exposure. More often it is genetic or environmental in nature. No family history of this and the genetic markers do not support this. This leaves environmental causes as a possibility. Working on golf courses in the 1960s, the stuff we handled without adequate protection was nasty. There is no way to determine what if anything is the cause but it does make me wonder. By the way Bob Marley died from the same disease, at the age of 38.   "Retirement has been great. We still enjoy our life on the Chesapeake Bay, and fortunately my wife and I did a lot of traveling — including two weeks of cruising the Mediterranean followed by two weeks of driving through Italy and France — and completed a lot of bucket list items right after I retired. Lucky for us we did this prior to the diagnoses and treatments which have kept us fairly close to doctors and hospitals the past two years. Lastly, outside of the first month when I found out about the cancer my outlook has been great. I am determined to win the battle." The Easter morning sunrise over Chesapeake Bay (from Linda's Facebook page).
  • Photo by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat For too many people, sports is a way of life. 
    Happiness hinges on things outside our control - the success, or lack thereof, of our favorite football, hockey, baseball or basketball team, or for others our favorite golfer. We have forgotten that sports are supposed to be fun. When we are children, sports teach values that we can control, like sportsmanship and the value of working together as a team to achieve a common goal. As we get older, they become too much about winning. For others, sports are all about money.
    Need an example? Go to just about any major college campus on a fall Saturday. Go to an Eagles-Cowboys game, Yankees-Red Sox or Blackhawks-Red Wings. Or, follow Tiger around Augusta National on a Sunday afternoon. For that matter, go to a Little League baseball game, or high school football game and listen to the adults and how they chastise umpires, officials and other people's children.
    As we tune in every day to listen as our respective governors and state public health officials provide updates on the COVID-19 threat, they discuss real-world problems such as overrun hospitals, temporary morgues and that many among us won't be here tomorrow. All serve as a reminder that sports are supposed to be a diversion and a source of entertainment, not life-and-death.
    Before coronavirus became part of the current vernacular, who could have imagined a spring without March Madness? Since then, the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball seasons have been suspended until further notice. College football lost its spring practice season, all spring college sports have been canceled and the start of football - both college and the NFL - are up in the air. Golf tournaments are postponed or canceled almost daily leaving us looking longingly at the pro tour schedules like John Kaminski and Bruce Williams monitoring flight delays at the airport as they fall off the board.
    There are other things that are much more important than sports - especially now - like keeping a roof over your head, putting food on the table and worrying about who is going to be around to share the meal.
    Indeed, we are navigating through uncharted territory. We know the destination, but we have no idea how or when we will arrive, or what it will look like when we get there.
    When putting into perspective the threat of a global pandemic that has most of the world on lockdown, it helps to look at the history of championship golf.
    In the 160-year history of the Open Championship, only three things have stood in its way - the Kaiser, Hitler and now COVID-19. Earlier this week, the Royal & Ancient officially canceled this year's Open Championship, marking the first time the tournament has not been contested since World War II (there was no tournament from 1940-45) and only the third time since 1860. 
    The only other time the tournament was stopped was from 1915 to 1919 for another real life-or-death situation - World War I.
    Canceling this year's Open had to be a difficult decision for the R&A, but it was the right one, according to chief executive officer Martin Slumbers when considering everything involved in staging a major championship.
    "Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open," Slumbers said in a news release. "We care deeply about this historic Championship and have made this decision with a heavy heart. We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but this pandemic is severely affecting the UK and we have to act responsibly. It is the right thing to do.
    "I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible."
    With every day that passes, the COVID-19 pandemic is teaching us a lot about people, what they believe is important and what is not.

    Mike Gundy, the mullet-wearing football coach at Oklahoma State, says college football players should be able to "fight off" the coronavirus in the name of running money through the state of Oklahoma. Photo via Twitter Professional golf tournaments here and abroad are being postponed or canceled with regularity. The Open Championship will resume (hopefully) in 2021, the U.S. Open at Winged Foot has been moved to September, the PGA Championship has been postponed until August and just this week Augusta National announced that The Masters has been rescheduled for November.
    When Golf Digest recently reported that The Memorial would go on in June at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, without spectators, the tournament director quickly refuted that story. When the tournament will be played and in front of whom has not yet been decided.
    While golf (at least it appears) is taking the high road in coming back from COVID-19, the same cannot be said in some other sports.
    As some of the world's leading scientists and medical experts tell us it is prudent to stay home to stop the spread of this invisible killer, there are voices in other sports that are saying "play ball".
    Details were released this week of a plan by Major League Baseball to play an abbreviated schedule with all games played in Arizona without fans. According to published reports, the plan includes isolation of players and their families. During games, players would sit in the stands and not in a crowded dugout. But, since sports are about money first (or why else play a game with no fans?), what about the people in the TV truck and others needed for a professional game to be played. What about the minor league system that feeds MLB throughout the season when players are injured? How will all of these people be protected?
    It's even worse in college football.
    Clemson coach Dabo Swinney makes a lot of money to win football games. And he wins a lot. Since 2008, Swinney has led his team to 130 wins and taken the Tigers to the College Football Playoff in five of the six years of its existence, winning the national championship in 2017 and 2019 and runner-up finishes in 2016 and 2020.
    When asked how he thought the COVID-19 virus might affect the 2020-21 college football season, he said: "My preference is, let's get to work and let's go play. That's the best-case scenario and I think that's what's going to happen. I don't have any doubt. . . . I mean I have zero doubt that we're going to be playing. The stands are going to be packed and (Clemson's Death) Valley is going to be rocking. Zero doubt. That's the only thought I have, right there. All that rest of the stuff, I don't think about any of that."
    While golf tournaments talk about safety of fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff, the guy at Clemson who earns $9 million a year says it's time for everyone else to toughen up.
    Good thing he's not holding daily briefings on TV.
    Swinney should be thanking Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State's mulletted head coach, who recently voiced his own opinion of the relationship between college football and the coronavirus and made the Clemson coach's comments seem benign by comparison.
    "In my opinion, we need to bring our players back," Gundy said in a recent teleconference. "They are 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 year olds, and they are healthy and they have the ability to fight this virus off. If that is true, then we sequester them and continue, because we need to run money through the state of Oklahoma."
    Even if you don't care about other people, at least pretend that you do during a global health crisis. That will make it easier for Gundy to convince parents he has their sons' best interests at heart during the recruiting season. Otherwise, he is going to have a tough sell.
    Gundy's comments make it clear that he views football players as commodities and not as people. They also show that he has little regard for all the others who make college football what it is today.
    It takes more than 20-something-year-old world-class athletes to stage a televised football game or golf tournament for that matter. It takes media personnel, coaches, assistant coaches, officials, field crew and other support staff, few of whom are 20-something-year-old world-class athletes, and all of whom could be at risk.
    Sports are an important part of the fabric of American culture. Whenever this is over, and none of us know when that will be, sports will be back. Everything might not be exactly the way it was before, but they will be back, and I for one will welcome that day. Until then, they are not worth dying over.
  • John Deere is stepping up to help healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Deere, along with the United Auto Workers, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, is producing protective face shields at Deere's Seeding Group facility in Moline, Illinois. Deere employees will produce 25,000 face shields to meet the immediate needs of healthcare workers in several of its U.S. manufacturing communities.
    Materials and supplies are on order to produce an additional 200,000 face shields. The company is using an open-source design from the University of Wisconsin for the project and leveraging expertise, skills and innovation of its employee base.   
     
    "Our manufacturing and supply management teams, along with our production and maintenance employees, the UAW, and our partners have worked tirelessly to ensure we could lend our support and protect our health-care workers during this crisis," said John May, chief executive officer of Deere and Co. "By working closely with the communities where our employees live and work, we can help support the needs we've identified close to home and, as the project expands, address additional, urgent needs across the country."
    John Deere Seeding Group employees are supporting the special project and are utilizing extensive and robust safety measures adopted across the company to safeguard employees.
     
    "This is a very proud day for the UAW and our UAW members," said Rory L. Gamble, UAW president. "I want to recognize the hard work that Secretary-Treasurer and Agriculture Implement Department Director Ray Curry and Region 4 Director Ron McInroy contributed to this effort. This included working to put the necessary health and safety provisions in place for our members to begin manufacturing critically-needed face shields for the health-care workers who are on the front lines of this crisis saving lives. We are especially proud of the courageous UAW members who are stepping up to do this critical work."
    The production of protective face shields is one of many initiatives the company and its employees have executed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Efforts in the U.S. have included the following:  
    PPE donations to health care facilities 2:1 employee match program encouraging donations to local food banks and the American Red Cross. Production of approximately 18,000 protective face shields for use by factory employees. Employee volunteerism efforts to sew cloth masks for community members along with a match from the John Deere Foundation for the time invested in this volunteer activity. Launch of a COVID-19 innovations site to share open-source specifications for related projects, including 3D-printed clips to affix face shields to protective bump caps. For more information, visit Deere's Coronavirus Update Center.

  • As the manager of international sales for Brandt's line of turf fertilizer products, Bruce Williams, CGCS, is on the road - a lot. At least he used to be.
    With virtually all of the country on lockdown in response to the COVID-19 threat, Williams, like everyone else, is hunkered down in his home, which in his case is near Barrington, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago. Few people likely have had their schedule affected quite the way he has. He has gone from traveling some 200,000 air miles over at least 125 nights per year to staying home seven days a week.
    "It's been good to be home and get some home cooking," Williams said. "There's been no hoarding that you hear about in the larger cities. It's been pretty calm. There's no shortage of paper towels or toilet paper."
    Just because he's off the road and off an airplane, Williams has plenty to keep him busy at home as he attempts to keep up with Brandt's customers across the world - including Asia, where he spends much of his time.
    "I have about six months of work staring at me to keep me busy," Williams said. 
    His time at home hasn't been all play. He and wife Roxane have been spending time, weather permitting, at open places such as Cook County Forest Preserve parks and taking advantage of their newfound time at home.
    "We're pretty boring, doing jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles," he said.
    While being frugal until the current global health threat is a memory, the Williams have been supporting the local economy by supporting their favorite local dining establishments.
    "Drive-through, carry-out; we want to support local restaurants that we want to be around when this is over," he said. "We've found some new places, and it's fun to try something new."
    Steven Neuliep, director of golf operations at Etowah Valley Golf and Resort in Etowah, North Carolina, is taking advantage of some of his mandated time at home to pursue his goal of attaining Master Greenkeeper designation through the British and International Greenkeepers Association.
    "I am studying and preparing for both the site visit and eventually the examination portions," Neuliep said. "I have already completed compiling all of the information to complete Stage 1, which is the documentation of educational and work experience and plan to send in all of that documentation next week at the latest."
    And when Neuliep isn't preparing for MG status, he is spending some of his time looking for a replacement for the TRX workout he used to do at the local YMCA . . . before it closed in deference to social distancing.
    So far, he's taken up walking more with wife Tammy and he's rediscovered his bicycle.
    The two also have rediscovered the art of discussion.
    "(We are) taking an hour each evening and actually talking to each (other) and turn the TV off," he said "Many times in the past, and not that we were really watching the TV, but it was almost on as a background. While we want to be informed, we are not addicted to watching it every minute in the evening."
    Not everything has been fun and games as people spend more time at home.
    Joe Wachter, superintendent at Glen Echo Country Club in St. Louis is still working 50 hours per week at the golf course. When he's home, he's catching up on household chores.
    "I've delayed painting my foyer and living room over the winter, but will now embark upon getting this done since my wife and I have stopped our trips out to relax and enjoy our local establishments."
    He's grilling out more for himself and wife Beth, but when they do eat out during the stay-home order it's take-out tacos on Friday nights.
    "And," he said, "margaritas at home."
  • Happier days: Gleneagles Golf Course during a disc golf event in 2018. The golf industry is not immune to the ills of the COVID-19 virus, and no place is feeling its effects more than Gleneagles Golf Course.
    Owned by the city of San Francisco, but independently operated for the past 16 years by local businessman Tom Hsieh, Gleneagles is teetering on the brink of closure after California Gov. Gavin Newsom shuttered all non-essential businesses, including golf courses, on March 15. And Hsieh, who has dumped a lot of his own money into maintaining the 1962 Jack Fleming design, is asking for help to make sure the course still is around whenever the coronavirus quarantine is lifted.
    Hsieh has established a gofundme page where he is asking for donations to help keep the property running until he can open for business. So far, he has raised a little more than $1,000 of his $75,000 goal.
    "I am requesting financial assistance from the golf community to help me make it through this crisis. I have paused for two weeks in hopes that we could open again, doing my part in solidarity with small business owners who face certain closure due to this crisis," Hsieh wrote on the gofundme page.  
    "It appears that without financial assistance, I will not be able to continue operating Gleneagles nor will I be able to maintain (it), even minimally in the coming weeks."
    Since the course was forced to close for business, he has had to lay off five of his seven employees, with two people staying on to maintain the golf course. With no money coming in the door, he is not sure how long he can keep it up.
    The city owns six golf properties, including well known Sharp Park and Harding Park facilities, but Gleneagles is the only one that does not receive municipal support. Even in the best of times, making a go of it at Gleneagles has been a struggle for Hsieh, while other municipal properties across town prosper with city support. Since he took over management of the course, Hsieh has invested nearly a half-million dollars in the property located a 3-wood from the former site of Candlestick Park in one of San Francisco’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Hsieh, who has been active in local politics for years, has given back to a community and a neighborhood that needs a lot of help.
    Besides making numerous improvements to the property with help from other Bay-area superintendents, he has worked with a local union to devise a training program that helped at-risk residents learn a trade while simultaneously providing him with low-cost labor.
    He says without help from the local community and the golf industry, he will be unable to keep up his dream of continuing to operate the course for his local community.
    All funds raised, he says, "will be used to keep a small crew working on the grounds, watering the property properly through May and helping us meet other fixed financial obligations. I cannot guarantee that even with your support we will make it to the end but it will give us a fighting chance."
  • Editor's note: Rather than talk about what golf course superintendents and their teams are doing in response to the threat of COVID-19, TurfNet recently talked to a few people throughout the industry for an ongoing series about what they are doing in their newfound time at home.
    For more than 10 years, Sundays at the Tegtmeier house in Des Moines, Iowa, have been reserved for family dinners, but the introduction of the term "social distancing" to everyday vernacular has put those group meals on hold - at least for the time being.
    As people isolate themselves in their homes to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, life hasn't come to a halt, but it sure has changed it quite a bit. Those changes have not been all bad. For many, newfound time at home has helped bring families together in other ways.
    Des Moines Golf and Country Club remains open for play, so Rick Tegtmeier and his team are working every day while still practicing social distancing. The only other place he frequents is the grocery store. Otherwise, he and wife, Sherry, have been staying close to home.
    "This past Sunday we canceled our weekly family dinner. That one hurt," he said. "We are playing cribbage against each other again. We haven't done that for a long time."
    Some activities have required a bit more innovation, like building a new table for the deck, watching on Facetime as a friend hit golf balls into a pasture, and sitting in the driveway celebrating Happy Hour, while shouting to their neighbor across the street.
    "He had gone on spring break and was keeping his distance from everyone," Tegtmeier said.
    More than 600 miles away in Dublin, Ohio, Chad Mark, like Tegtmeier, has been busy at the golf course. When he is not at work at Muirfield Village Golf Club, he is polishing up his athletic skills.
    A longtime high school basketball coach, Mark and his sons, Drew, Ryan and Brett, stay busy playing hoops in the driveway. With gyms in Ohio closed, he's boxing using the Title Boxing system to get in his workouts.
    "My wife, April, has done a great job structuring their day. Get school work done and get outside to work on sports," Mark said. "April and I have gone for more walks in the neighborhood, and we notice more people are outside."
    University of Tennessee turfgrass pathologist Brandon Horvath and his family have spent much more time together during the past couple of weeks. Dinner time has been better - home-cooked meals and no fast food, as well as conversation at the table - because everyone isn't rushing off to soccer practice or games.
    Instead of racing off to the soccer fields, he and 15-year-old son, Alex, (pictured at right) have spent more time together, beating up on each other playing Rocket League, a soccer video game. The games tend to get a little intense, but all in the spirit of good sportsmanship.
    He's also started reading more and time home with family has helped him appreciate things all of us tend to take for granted from time to time.
    "Everything is just a little slower right now," Horvath said. "I've gotten back to reading. It's been a while since I've read a book cover to cover. I pick up books, skim through them and read a few chapters, then I get bored or I don't have time to finish them. Now, I have time.
    "I've realized during this how much we take for granted and how quickly it can be taken away. I'm more appreciative of the little pleasures."
    Ryan Gordon, superintendent at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge near Seattle, says he hasn't really discovered any new activities, but has embraced the lost art of quality family time at home.
    That has included he and wife Liz helping their 10-year-old son, Knox, plan his distance learning, doing puzzles and baking cookies. 
    "I don't remember the last time I baked anything," Gordon said via email. "I've also enjoyed having Knox teach me to play some of his video games and sitting across from my wife in a comfortable chair chatting while she works on jigsaw puzzles. Our family meals are much more elaborate, delicious and the conversation at the dinner table has been better because we are not all rushing off to the next thing - baseball practice, email or picking up that thing at the big-box store somewhere."
    Their video game of choice so far has been Fortnite.
    "Overall, it's been a bigger emphasis on quality over quantity," he said. "People are figuring out what's essential and what's not. All the white noise is slowly fading away."
  • There is now more than one defendant in the ongoing Roundup cancer story.
    Multiple plaintiffs on March 20 filed lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after it concluded a regulatory review and re-approved use of glyphosate. The active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, glyphosate has been blamed for causing cancer in thousands of users, leading to thousands of lawsuits during the past two years against Monsanto and ultimately Bayer.
    One suit was filed by the Natural Resource Defense Council and another on behalf of the following groups: the Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, the Rural Coalition, Organización en California de Lideres Campesinas and the Farmworker Association of Florida. 
    In a statement released Jan. 30 after concluding its regulatory review on glyphosate, the EPA said: "After a thorough review of the best available science, as required under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, EPA has concluded that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen. These findings on human health risk are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority, the European Food Safety Authority, and the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health."
    Nearly 50,000 cases have been filed against Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, claiming that glyphosate caused their non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
    Those who recently filed suit against the EPA and the thousands who are suing Bayer are basing their cases on information by the World Health Organization, a United Nations organization that in 2015 declared that glyphosate was a "probable carcinogen."
    A handful of cases have been decided through 2019, while the litigation process on thousands of other outstanding cases was postponed in January as attorneys on both sides worked toward a settlement.
    Bayer told Reuters in January that recent decisions, like that from the EPA, have slowed talks toward a settlement. The company, which is based in Germany, also told Fortune, however, that if talks toward a settlement progressed it would consider selling assets as a result.
  • On the count of 3, every teacher and every student at every level at every school across the country should say "thank you" to Al Turgeon.
    As professors, teachers and students of all ages change the way they teach and learn amid the COVID-19 scare, each owes a debt of gratitude to the longtime professor of turfgrass science at Penn State who pioneered distance learning and changed forever the way curriculum is delivered - and received. 
    While many instructors and many schools have been teaching online for years, Turgeon is the Lewis and Clark of distance learning. His Turf 235 class in 1998 was the first college course offered when Penn State rolled out the country's first online education program known as the World Campus. As it turned out, Turgeon and others at Penn State were working simultaneously yet independently of each other toward developing online curriculum when the two worlds collided in a case of great minds thinking alike. Turgeon's class was ready, and it went online first.
    The result is what today is an exhaustive distance learning program that offers 179 graduate and undergraduate degree and certificate programs.
    "It just so happened that the two worlds converged at that time," Turgeon said. "There were a lot of people who were involved in that, but it was fun being part of that group. I've derived a great deal of satisfaction being part of that and seeing it all come to fruition."
    Turgeon, now 76, retired in 2012. He recalls it wasn't always smooth sailing in those early days of the World Campus.
    "The way we engaged students was trial and error," he said. "The kids were our Guinea pigs."
    Distance learning was not something Turgeon just stumbled into.He has been involved in it since the 1960s, when he served as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and developed instructional texts for soldiers.
    He worked with other early versions of distance learning tools at the University of Illinois, where in the 1970s he lectured by telephone from a remote location over a slide presentation on a platform named Telenet. 
    "I was asked to travel and speak at meetings," he said. "I just thought there had to be a better way."
    In the pre-Internet age of the late 1980s and early '90s, he worked with satellite feeds and recorded videos. Finally, by the mid-90s a student showed him something new, the Mosaic web-browser developed at the University of Illinois through funding provided by a bill written by then Tennessee Sen. Al Gore, Jr.
    "I knew right away that was the future of education," Turgeon said. "People could learn on their own time at their own place.
    "I learned HTML coding and we started developing online learning resources that improved over time."
    His concern in those early days of the World Campus was that distance learning would be perceived as "cheap or easy education," and he made sure that didn't happen. 
    "Nobody thought you could teach that way," he said. "When I started it, I had to make it tough."
    Today, Penn State entomologist Ben McGraw, Ph.D., teaches that Turf 235 class. When he first took over the class, he thought he might have to overhaul it. In the end, he has done little more than update graphics.
    "I thought I was going to change it all," McGraw said. "It was so rigorous when I came out the other end, I didn't change a thing."
    For those who doubt the veracity of distance learning or the quality of education it can afford, Turgeon says that all depends on how the instructor approaches each course.
    "I insisted that my students log in every day and do the lessons. I continually engaged them," he said. "I taught them to ask good questions, and I think that was a better situation than someone sitting in the last row in a room of 100 students. Now that is distance learning."
    1-2-3
  • Getting ready to record video for online instruction at Ohio State ATI in Wooster. Photo by Zane Raudenbush, via Twitter In an area where horse-drawn buggies still are a popular form of transportation, Ohio State Agricultural and Technical Institute is about to go high-tech with the way it delivers instruction to its students.
    Like just about every college, university, high school, junior high and elementary school in the country, OSU-ATI is taking its curriculum - turf and otherwise - entirely online for the spring semester. 
    Zane Raudenbush, Ph.D., and Ed Nangle, Ph.D., who run the turf program at ATI have been busy preparing for Monday's rollout of online-only education as schools nationwide do their part to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 
    Ohio State's main campus in Columbus has a long history of delivering classes online. ATI, which is home to one of the country's most highly regarded two-year turf programs and relies heavily on field work and labs, does not have the same tradition of teaching through technology. The entire OSU system extended spring break for an extra week to allow instructors time to get ready for online-only instruction that begins next week.
    "This is unprecedented territory," Raudenbush said. 
    "We have to make the best of this and move on."
    Like many schools, ATI already utilizes online platforms like Canvas and Zoom. Now, it's a matter of creating content and converting it to a system that is simple to use while also giving students a quality educational experience.
    For Raudenbush, that will mean recording lectures and making videos of work in the field.
    His concern isn't necessarily about the quality of work he produces, but the quality of the educational experience for students who enrolled at ATI for face-to-face interaction and, through no one's fault, are cast into a world of distance learning.
    "My real concern is that not every student is well adapted to receive content online," Raudenbush said. "Data shows not everyone succeeds online. Some do fine, some don't do so well. That is my concern."
    An hour-and-a-half from Wooster in Columbus, turfgrass specialist Pam Sherratt is teaching HCS 2200 - World of Plants - a face-to-face class with 140 students that she is converting to online curriculum by Monday. Sherratt, who has been teaching the next generation of sports turf managers at OSU for 21 years, has a lot of experience with distance education. She also is teaching another course this year that is online-only, HCS 3370 - Sports Turf Management, which has 415 students logging in from around the world. Sherratt's colleague, Karl Danneberger, Ph.D., implemented distance learning in Columbus in 2007 with a golf turf certificate program
    For the students in her World of Plants class, Sherratt plans to convert her face-to-face class to online by meeting weekly with students through Zoom, recording lectures, uploading slideshows with audio and a lot of practice tests and study guides. 
    When TurfNet spoke with her, Sherratt still wasn't sure how she would deliver exams, but said there are plenty of options available through the university's Carmen system that ensure students are not getting any outside help during a test.
    "We're going to have our first Zoom meeting on Tuesday," she said. "I'm already teaching a class online, so this is not going to be a big deal for me."
    What Sherratt, who is known as "Turf Mum" by her students, will miss is the personal interaction that comes with lab work and field trips.
    "Every year, I give my students an aloe plant. And every year many of my old students text me a picture to show me they still have it," she said. "We do other things, like tour the Chadwick Arboretum, and we won't be able to do that."
    Like Raudenbush, Sherratt is keeping in mind that this new world she, her colleagues and their students have been cast into is by no one's choice, and she plans to teach, test and grade accordingly.
    "Their lives have been disrupted enough," she said. "Many students are working three jobs just to be here and now they've probably lost all of them."
    Administrators at Auburn University told instructors to be prepared to migrate to online-only instruction before a decision was made to move in that direction. That didn't affect things too much for Beth Guertal, Ph.D., who is teaching Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management this semester.
    "Whenever I teach a class, I also teach it online," she said. "There are already 15 people taking that class from all over the world."
    She uses Canvas and Panopto to deliver lectures, assignments and extra credit to her students.
    "It's not a lot unlike what TurfNet does with webinars," she said. 
    Exams are handled through Honor Lock, an proctored online service.
    Although distance learning is a proven commodity at Auburn, it has its downside, she said.
    "You don't get to know the students," she said. "And you don't get to identify which ones might make good graduate students."
    For those who might not be up to speed on how to convert traditionally face-to-face curriculum to an online format, Guertal says most universities now have entire departments to assist professors with developing and managing online content.
    "Keep it simple," she said. "Don't spend hours or days learning how to do this. Universities have a lot of resources to help you set this up, or even do it for you."
  • CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE YOUR TECH FOR THIS YEAR'S AWARD!
    Would your equipment manager appreciate some ongoing education at the John Deere factory, or an opportunity to gain additional hands-on experience working at a high-profile tournament? Would your operation benefit in the long run if your tech had such an opportunity?
    If so, nominate your equipment manager for the TurfNet Technician of the Year Award, presented by John Deere. Our judging panel will assess nominees on a variety of criteria, including criteria on which candidates are judged include: crisis management; effective budgeting; environmental awareness; helping to further and promote the careers of colleagues and employees; interpersonal communications; inventory management and cost control; overall condition and dependability of rolling stock; shop safety; and work ethic. 
    The winner will receive the Golden Wrench Award (a real gold-plated wrench) from TurfNet and admittance to either a training session at the John Deere factory training center in Morrisville, North Carolina, or the opportunity to work at the 2021 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
    Nomination deadline is April 30. CLICK HERE to nominate your tech.

    2015 Goden Wrench winner Robert Smith of Merion Golf Club. Previous winners include (2019) Dan Dommer, Ozaukee Country Club, Mequon, WI; (2018) Terry Libbert, Old Marsh Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens, FL; (2017) Tony Nunes, Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, IL; (2016) Kris Bryan, Pikewood National Golf Club, Morgantown, WV; (2015) Robert Smith, Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, PA; (2014) Lee Medeiros, Timber Creek and Sierra Pines Golf Courses, Roseville, CA; (2013) Brian Sjögren, Corral de Tierra Country Club, Corral de Tierra, CA; (2012) Kevin Bauer, Prairie Bluff Golf Club, Crest Hill, IL; (2011) Jim Kilgallon, The Connecticut Golf Club, Easton, CT; (2010) Herb Berg, Oakmont (PA) Country Club; (2009) Doug Johnson, TPC at Las Colinas, Irving, TX; (2007) Jim Stuart, Stone Mountain (GA) Golf Club; (2006) Fred Peck, Fox Hollow and The Homestead, Lakewood, CO; (2005) Jesus Olivas, Heritage Highlands at Dove Mountain, Marana, AZ; (2004) Henry Heinz, Kalamazoo (MI) Country Club; (2003) Eric Kulaas, Marriott Vinoy Renaissance Resort, Sarasota, FL.
  • Erin and Adam Engle and their children Everett and Grace have made helping others their life's work through their foundation - Griffin's Guardians. Adam and Erin Engle could have crawled into a very dark place when they lost their son to pediatric brain cancer nearly six years ago, and no one would have blamed them.
    Instead, the Engles turned a negative into a positive and started Griffin's Guardians, a non-profit foundation in their son's memory that has since raised more than $1 million to assist countless other sick children in central New York and their families, help fund medical research projects and bring awareness to children's cancer.
    "We wanted to continue Griffin's legacy," said Adam Engle, Griffin's father. "We saw what people who were less fortunate than us were going through. We wanted to help them out."
    Griffin Engle died Sept. 12, 2014 after a brief battle with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of brain cancer. It is fairly common, accounting for approximately 15 percent of all brain cancers and affects approximately three per 100,000 people, but is extremely rare in those 20 and younger, according to the National Institutes of Health.
    Doing something to honor Griffin's life and continue his legacy while also helping other families going through the same horrific experience helped the family cope.
    "We wanted to do it to help other people," said Engle, superintendent at Lakeshore Yacht and Country Club in Cicero, New York. "But, it was therapeutic for us as well."
    A month after Griffin's death, Erin Engle filed paperwork with the state to start a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping other families affected by childhood cancer. By Dec. 4, Griffin's Guardians had won approval and was up and running.
    "It happened way quicker than we thought," Erin said. "We were told it would take about six months, but it was approved in six weeks. Then we just went with it."
    Fundraisers throughout the year, including soccer and hockey tournaments, a head-shaving event, school fundraisers and the annual Gold Tie Gala have helped raise $1.25 million since 2014, which funds medical research conducted at the University of Michigan and helps families of children being treated at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse.
    "I had discussed it with Adam, and I told him I wanted to go big or go home," Erin said. "I wanted to make a difference, so since Day 1 we hit the ground running."
    Money goes directly to affected families and can be used for travel expenses associated with trips to the hospital, car repairs, rent, mortgage or even something as simple as helping parents with their laundry.
    A program within the foundation called Lighten Your Load provides families with laundry soap and supplies and quarters - everything parents need to to do laundry outside the home while their children are in the hospital.
    It's one more service the foundation provides to help make things as easy as possible for affected families.
    The foundation has won widespread support from throughout the Syracuse-area community for its work in helping families of sick children across 17 counties who are served by Upstate Golisano, including the backing of the area's biggest sports celebrity.
    Since 2014, the foundation twice has received contributions from the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation, a non-profit organization started by Syracuse University basketball coach Jim Boeheim, himself a cancer survivor, and his wife that funds a variety of community programs in central New York.
    "We didn't realize how amazing this community was until we needed them," Erin said. 'They are loyal and support local charities to help make our community stronger and better."
    The community benefits in return.
    According to information provided by the foundation, Griffin's Guardians has disbursed nearly $13,000 to families in need - just in February.
    Even the Engles' other children help keep the foundation moving.
    Grace Engle, 15, was 9 when she lost her brother. Definitely old enough to know what was going on. She reminded her mother throughout her work with Griffin's Guardians that siblings go through loss and suffering, too, so the foundation started a program called Grace's Sibling Sunshine that raises money to buy gifts for siblings of sick children.
    A variety of fundraisers help support the program, and Grace learns what the children's interests are and matches gifts to kids. The program started with selling handmade crafts when she was 9 to hosting events at Build-A-Bear.
    Younger brother Everett, now 8, helps raise money through events like school fundraisers to support the EVERett Lasting Memory program that provides family photos to those supported by the foundation.
    "Cancer doesn't just affect the child," Erin Engle said. "It affects the entire family."
    The Engle's own children not only are a critical part of the foundation's work, they have helped their parents navigate through a period that no one wants to go through.
    "I didn't want this to destroy their life. I didn't want their outlook on life just to be Griffin's death," Erin said.
    "Grace made me a mother. Griffin made me believe in strength and bravery. Everett saved me. I knew I couldn't curl up in a ball after this. I had to take care of a 2-year-old who had lost his brother. He couldn't lose his mom and dad, too."
  • Renee Powell has been the pro at historic Clearview Golf Club since 1995. Since the end of World War II, making golf available to minorities has been the family business for the Powell family.
    Started in 1946 by family patriarch Bill Powell, a World War II veteran and entrepreneur, Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio, is the country's first golf course built and owned and operated by an African-American. Powell died 10 years ago, but the golf course he built from the ground up still is owned today by his children Renee and Larry, and they have carried on his legacy by bringing golf to an underserved community in northeastern Ohio.
    She is the club's pro and Larry is its superintendent.
    For her years of dedication to the golf industry as an ambassador to the game as a playing and teaching professional, Renee Powell has been named the recipient of the Donald Ross Award, presented annually by the American Society of Golf Course Architects to one "who has made significant and lasting contributions to the profession of golf course architecture."

    Bill Powell built Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio in 1946. Powell has been playing golf since age 11, is the second black woman to play the LPGA Tour and was a touring pro in the United States and the U.K. for 13 years. She captained women's golf teams at Ohio University and Ohio State, and has served as an ambassador of the game on USO tours to dozens of countries during the past five decades.
    The Clearview Legacy Foundation, established in 2001, has a three-pronged mission of promoting education by using golf as a tool to reach children, minorities, veterans and the disabled; preservation of the history of the game and Clearview's place in it and turfgrass research through work to develop, achieve and promote sustainable turfcare practices.
    The course was placed on the National Register of Historic Places 19 years ago.
    The first African-American woman to earn Class A PGA membership, Powell was named an Honorary Member of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in 2015. Brother Larry has been the Clearview superintendent for more than five decades.
    Past Donald Ross Award Recipients
    2019 - Joe Passov, golf writer
    2018 - President George Herbert Walker Bush, U.S. President
    2017 - Alice Dye, ASGCA Fellow, golf course architect
    2016 - Michael Bamberger, golf writer
    2015 - Bradley S. Klein, golf writer
    2014 - Maj. Dan Rooney, founder, Folds of Honor Foundation
    2013 - Rees Jones, ASGCA, golf course architect
    2012 - Bill Kubly, golf course builder
    2011 - James Dodson, golf writer/editor
    2010 - Tim Finchem, PGA Tour Commissioner
    2009 - Ron Dodson, sustainable golf advocate
    2008 - George Peper, golf writer
    2007 - Dr. Michael Hurdzan, ASGCA, golf course architect
    2006 - Jim Awtrey, chief executive officer, PGA of America
    2005 - John Singleton, irrigation pioneer
    2004 - Thomas Cousins, philanthropist, urban golf developer
    2003 - Bill Campbell, president, USGA, captain, Royal & Ancient Golf Club
    2002 - Byron Nelson, professional golfer
    2001 - Jack Nicklaus, ASGCA, professional golfer, golf course architect
    2000 - Jaime Ortiz-Patino, owner and president, Valderrama Golf Club
    1999 - Arnold Palmer, professional golfer
    1998 - Judy Bell, president, USGA
    1997 - Gene Sarazen, professional golfer
    1996 - Ron Whitten, golf writer
    1995 - Pete Dye, ASGCA, golf course architect
    1994 - James R. Watson, agronomist
    1993 - Brent Wadsworth, golf course builder
    1992 - Paul Fullmer, ASGCA executive secretary
    1991 - Michael Bonallack, secretary, Royal & Ancient Golf Club
    1990 - John Zoller, executive director, Northern California Golf Association
    1989 - Dick Taylor, editor, "Golf World" magazine
    1988 - Frank Hannigan, executive director, USGA
    1987 - Charles Price, writer, "Golf World" magazine
    1986 - Deane Beman, commissioner, PGA Tour
    1985 - Peter Dobereiner, "London Observer" columnist, author
    1984 - Dinah Shore, sponsor of women's golf tournaments
    1983 - Al Radko, director, USGA Green Section
    1982 - Geoffrey Cornish, ASGCA, golf course architect, historian
    1981 - James Rhodes, governor of Ohio
    1980 - Gerald Micklem, captain, Royal & Ancient
    1979 - Joe Dey, executive director, USGA
    1978 - Herb and Joe Graffis, founders, National Golf Foundation
    1977 - Herbert Warren Wind, "The New Yorker" columnist, author
    1976 - Robert Trent Jones, ASGCA, ASGCA founding member
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