PTC Rounds for Turfgrass–Donations Needed

Rounds for Turfgrass is an initiative where golf facilities can partner with the Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council to sell rounds of golf with the proceeds dedicated for research. These rounds will be bid on and sold at the Philadelphia Golf Expo, to be held Feb. 9-11, 2018, in Oaks, PA. Thousands of golf enthusiasts attend this show each year. They are the end users in the golf industry and potentially future customers or members for participants.

2018 PTC Rounds for Turfgrass(1).

The Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council over the last fifty years has been committed to the financial support of turf research at Penn State University. Since its inception, the council has raised more than 3.5 million dollars for research at the Joseph Valentine Turf Research Facility. This funding has helped to develop better turf varieties, control measures for disease and insect resistance, cutting edge technology to produce the best playing surfaces possible. Turf managers and superintendents depend on Penn State to help develop the tools and solutions of tomorrow.

Facilities can set the parameters including number of players, carts, amenities and the value of their donation. A letter explaining the details of the donation will be on display at the show for golf enthusiasts to bid on.

Donations can be emailed in PDF format to Andrew Dooley at or hard copies of donations can be mailed care of Andrew Dooley:
Berkshire Country Club
1637 Bernville Road
Reading PA 19601

Need Credits? Eastern PA Turf Conference Celebrates New Venue

The Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council’s 2018 Eastern Pennsylvania Turf Conference will take place on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, at its new location: Shady Maple Conference Center in East Earl, PA. Click here for the information and registration brochure: PTC 2018 Eastern 2018 PA Turf Conference Info and Registration 2.

Using a three-pronged approach, this one-day conference offers many options to earn PA pesticide credits in multiple categories and .4 CEU’s from GCSAA. Pre-registration ends on December 31 [$15 discount].

Featured at this year’s event are a combined lunch and trade show exhibition, as well as presentations throughout the day from respected industry leaders. Registration is also available online at

PAGCS in the Christmas Spirit

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The PAGCS knows how to play it: have fun AND do good! This year was no exception, from First Green to First Tee, and the Association wrapped it up nicely with the 2017 Toy Drive and Christmas Party on Tuesday at Barnaby’s Havertown.

All toys were donated to The Matthew Renk Foundation and their efforts on behalf of Toys for CHOP.

Woz and group

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PAGCS Teams Up for First Tee!

This fall, during Thanksgiving week, the Philadelphia Association of Golf Course Superintendents held what has become their annual volunteer event at Walnut Lane Golf Club. Walnut Lane Golf Club is an Arthur Findlay design that is owned by the City of Philadelphia and leased to The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia [TFTOGP].

A few years ago, the PAGCS began helping with the fall aerification, providing a volunteer force made up of a members. Now, under first year superintendent, Ben Davies, the staff at Walnut Lane has been able to complete aeration in house. So, this year, when Ben was approached about what would help the facility the most, he came up with some projects that could make a big difference in his continuing efforts to improve the turf quality.

15867 (2)First up was the 7th hole, which is next to the maintenance facility. There has been a drainage issue causing water to collect on the front of the green and to the left of the approach after any rainfall.

The second and main project was trying to create more airflow by the 10th and 3rd greens. The 10th green is the most difficult on the golf course to maintain. It has all the characteristics of the worst scenarios when trying to grow turf, including minimal sunlight, airflow restriction from trees, and a low-lying area that does not drain well. Thirdly, there was a significant need of stump grinding on the property.

As a request went out to the PAGCS membership, the first person to volunteer was Bill Brown, CGCS (20-year GCSAA Member) of Aqua-Aid. Bill offered the services of their Imants Root Pruner, a process that the golf course was in dire need of! Next to chip in were Shreiner Tree Care and Arader Tree Service, offering large commercial stump grinding services. To fill out the volunteer list were members from Lehigh CC, The Ace Club, Philadelphia CC, Huntingdon Valley CC, and Bala CC. Also donating their time were Mike Janzer (17-year GCSAA Member) from Plantfood Co., Jeff Hass from Golf Cart Services, Sumner Cross (31-year GCSAA Member) and Matt Brown from Lawn & Golf Supply Company and Andy Barone from Ventrac.

At the end of the day, the entire course was root pruned, all the old stumps on the course had been ground, and the 3rd & 10th Greens had significant tree removal from their surrounds. Also, the area around the 7th green had a new drainage system installed. Finally, there was also significant brush removal completed throughout the course using two Ventrac mowers.

All of this was topped off with a traditional Philly Cheesesteak lunch and a talk from special guest Mike Quick, a hometown favorite and Philadelphia Eagles Great, who currently serves as a TFTGP Board Member and works as the color analyst for the Philadelphia Eagles radio broadcasts. The PAGCS, TFTOGP, and Walnut Lane Golf Course are pretty sure the day could not have been more successful.

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Bill Hyndman, Executive Director of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia had this to say:
“The Walnut Lane Golf Club and The First Tee are grateful to the Philadelphia Association of Golf Course Superintendents. The course would not be in the shape it is today without the support and dedication of the many superintendents, crewmembers, and vendors who have helped us for a number of years. These individuals, who all have difficult jobs themselves, selflessly take time each year to help us, and we can see that they have made a tremendous difference. Thank you for helping us make a difference for our kids and for golf.“

To say that the course has gone through a revitalization, might be an understatement. In the last 3 years, the course has received a much-needed reinvestment. There has been over a $500,000 in TFTGP investments and kind services donated! The involvement of people like Frank Shuman (GCSAA 45 Year Member) TFTGP Board Member and longtime PAGCS member and PAGCS Past President & TFTGP past board member, Jay Parisian (25-year GCSAA Member) have been key in the current momentum at Walnut Lane Golf Club, home of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia!
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About the author:
Bill Corcoran is a 20-year GCSAA Member, Board Member of the TFTGP and a Commercial Representative on the Board of the PAGCS

PAGCS Member Needs Our Help!

PAGCS member Ron Gorniak and his family are facing an uphill battle. Ron’s 21-year-old daughter, Lauren, is bedridden by a disease called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. This genetic condition manifests in many ways, some more challenging than others, and for Lauren, it has meant special accommodations to finish high school and, finally, a year of bed rest.

The only option is a rare surgery only performed by one doctor in the US. Lauren’s surgery is set for Dec. 4. To help cover the travel costs and other medical expenses that this surgery will cost, the family has set up a Go Fund Me page, where you can also read more about the disease and its impact on the family. Please consider helping the Gorniak family: Click Here.

Thank Our 2017 Sponsors: Three Events Left This Year!

banner design final on 6-6-17

Next up is the joint meeting with ESAGCS on Tuesday, Sept. 19. Get ready for lots of cool giveaways and some spirited competition.

Mark your calendars for October 23rd and the PAGCS Golf Championship at Waynesborough Golf Club. This will be one spectacular day with the ever popular crystal up for grabs!

We will close out the year with the Annual Meeting on November 6 at Ledgerock. Elections, awards and more! Be there!

None of this would be possible with our 2017 Sponsors. Please take the time to thank them for their support of the PAGCS and all of its members.

Meet the 2016 Recipients: PAGCS Turf Student Scholarship

The PAGCS is proud to offer the Turf Student Scholarship Program, helping advance the careers of talented men and women who will shape the future of the industry. This year’s deadline is fast approaching: click here for full details and application.

The 2016 recipients represent the top of their class, such as Joe Kopania. Joe was awarded the 2016 Frank I. Shuman Scholarship. This award is funded by the generosity of Frank’s son, Frank T. Shuman, in memory of his father. Frank I. Shuman was an industry leader and Eb Steiniger Award recipient. Like father, like son, Frank T. Shuman followed his dad’s lead and has been one of our industry’s best friends. In 2015, he was awarded the Eb Steiniger Award.

Joe Kopania is working on a Bachelor of Science in Turfgrass from Penn State University. A previous intern at the Bucks Club under Joe Agnew, he plans to graduate in May 2019.

Next up, meet Jacob Shughart, whose equally impressive resume includes stints at Maidstone Club and Bidermann Golf Club with Jon Urbanski. Jacob received one of two scholarships awarded in the name of the PAGCS. He earned his two- year certificate in turf from Penn State this past spring and currently serves as Assistant Project Manager at Total Turf with Greg Hufner.

The second recipient, Seamus Foley, is a current Penn State student, studying Turfgrass Science. Before heading to his current internship at Saucon Valley under Jim Roney, Seamus worked for John Gosselin at Aronimink. He plans to graduate this coming May.

Among the scholarships available each year, there is one that is the most tenured. The George E. Ley Scholarship, so named for its benefactor, has been awarded since the 1990s. George has supported the PAGCS, its members, and the Scholarship Program for decades, and the annual scholarship outings were his brainchild.

Please meet the 2016 George E. Ley Scholarship Recipient: Scott Musser. Scott earned his B.S. in Biology-Ecology from West Chester University in 2015 and proceeded to intern with Paul Stead, CGCS, at Kennett Square Golf & Country Club in 2016. He is now enrolled in Penn State’s World Campus working on a masters of science and has taken on the roll of Paul’s second assistant superintendent. Scott plans to graduate this December.

Please share the scholarship program information and the Sept. 30th deadline with any student you know who has worked or is working for a PAGCS superintendent:

Local Chapters Mourn the Loss of Industry Friend and Leader: Michael Gilmore

The PAGCS extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Michael J. Gilmore. Mike passed away on August 27, 2017. He was a former golf course superintendent, past president of MAAGCS, and more recently the owner of Growing Solutions.

Michael is the beloved husband of Jody Gilmore; cherished son of Jeanne S. Gilmore and the late Dr. George T. Gilmore; devoted father of Katherine Wroten and her husband Eric, Lucas Gardner and his wife Amanda, Christopher Gilmore, Jamieson Gilmore and the late Megan Ann Martinek; loving grandfather of Madison, Jonas, Jayce, Hannah and Olivia; dear brother of Susan, Timothy, Thomas, Patricia, Peter, Jeanne, Mary, Paul and the late George. Also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Services were held on Friday, September 1, 2017. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Esophageal Cancer Action Network, P.O. Box 243, Stevenson, MD 21153.

Lottery Open for 2017 Member-Guest at Philadelphia Cricket Club

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LOTTERY REGISTRATION for the 2017 Member-Guest Tournament at Philadelphia Cricket Club is now open and will close on Tuesday, June 27, 2017.

Due to the overwhelming response we anticipate for this event, we will be holding a registration lottery for the 2017 Member-Guest Tournament. All lottery entries will take place online [no e-mails or phone calls]. Entrants will be notified of the outcome by Friday, June 30, 2017.

Special notes:
1. Members who have attended meetings this year will be given extra lottery entries.
2. This is a member-guest tournament, so the lottery will work to accommodate partner requests.

Event Highlights: Full-day package includes Lunch, Green Fee [Wissahickon Course] and Caddie Fee [tip is incumbent upon player and paid in cash day of], On-Course Refreshments, and an Open Bar Reception after golf. We are able to offer this wonderful package at only $165 due to the tremendous efforts and support of our sponsors and our host, Dan Meersman and Philadelphia Cricket Club

Title Sponsor: Pocono Turf Supply
Check-In: 9:45 a.m.
Lunch: 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.
Shotgun [Wissahickon Course]: Noon
On Course Refreshments Sponsor: Turf Equipment and Supply
Reception, Dinner & Awards: 5-7 p.m.
Open Bar Sponsor: Genesis Turfgrass
Skill Prize Sponsor: Turf Equipment and Supply
Full Day Price: $165 per person
Click here to enter the lottery.

Member-Member to Benefit First Tee and Walnut Lane

This coming Monday, the PAGCS will host its annual Member-Member tournament. Always a highlight on the event calendar, this year, the Member-Member will be even more meaningful and special.

Why? Maybe because the post golf reception will feature Philly cheesesteaks, hoagies, water ice — all things Philadelphia, courtesy of Frank Shuman. Or maybe because our beverage sponsors, Turf Screen and Lebanon Turf, have provided some really cool giveaways. Possibly, the highlight of the day will be the hole-in-one contest and a chance to win a fully loaded Audi Q5 SUV, sponsored by Ventrac, or the multitude of additional skill prizes up for grabs, sponsored by Fisher & Son. We like to think the lead crystal trophies courtesy of Lawn & Golf are special, too!

Bottom line is all of these amenities will make for one incredible day, but what makes this event special and meaningful is that we are headed to Walnut Lane Golf Club, home of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia [TFTOGP]! As a result of this event, the PAGCS plans to make a donation to Walnut Lane and TFTOGP. But we need your help to make this event a success! Please register today: Click Here for full event info and registration.

TFT-Greater-PhilThe First Tee is a network of programs throughout the United States and beyond, offering character education through the game of golf. In 2016, this network reached more than 5.3 million young people. Started in 1997, The First Tee began as a way to bring an affordable junior golf program to youth and communities that did not have them. Soon after, the program leaders discovered that by blending the rules of the game with life and leadership skills, kids and teens didn’t just learn how to putt – they were learning important values.

Based on Nine Core Values and through teaching Nine Healthy Habits, The First Tee aims to improve life quality among our youth. Please visit The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia for more information on this powerful program.

Please join us this Monday as we enjoy a day of camaraderie and competition for a very special cause.
Registration: Click Here
Event Info: Click Here
TFTOGP: Click Here