A team of 8 Turfgrass Science and Management students escaped our New-England-in-February weather for a trip to Orlando, Florida, location of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Annual Conference.
Their focus was the 28th annual Turf Bowl Competition, for which Stockbridge has been a standard bearer for many years, often placing in the top ten against collegiate teams from all around the country.
The pandemic created interruptions that posed additional challenges for all Turf Bowl competitors. 2023 marks the return of Stockbridge to the Turf Bowl Competition for the first time in five years.
Our Turfgrass Science & Management program sent two teams of four students each, representing a mix of both our 2-year associate degree and 4-year bachelor degree students:
- Patrick Armstrong (B.S. 23)
- Harrison Culhane (B.S. 23)
- Ryan Mallow (B.S. 26)
- William Morris (A.S. 24)
- Cole Perra (B.S. 26)
- Dillon Pooler (B.S. 23)
- Liam Power (A.S. 23)
- Ryan Vieira (A.S. 22, B.S. 23)
The competition itself is academic and intensive, lasting four hours, and consisting of several testing formats, including, but not limited to essay, multiple choice, visual identification, and short answer. This year saw 230 students from 27 schools around the country and Canada, with more than 60 teams competing.
Visual identification often represents the most difficult challenge for competitors, and this portion is run by subject matter experts and faculty advisors from across the industry. Essays are evaluated by leading golf course superintendents working in the field today.
The GCSAA provides several cash prizes, along with a trophy for the first place team. But the most valuable prize is the industry recognition that our students can list on their resumes.
The annual conference of the GCSAA is national and draws upwards of 10,000 turf professionals, vendors, educators, students, and recent graduates with a focus on turf management for the golf industry.
The Turfgrass Science programs at Stockbridge School of Agriculture rank #1 in New England, and #2 in the nation.