GCM’s Industry News Digest: April 2024

The latest golf course product and industry news, curated for golf course superintendents and other turf industry professionals.


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Editor’s note: The GCM team will be doing our best to maintain an up-to-date feed of announcements on this page. If you have news you think belongs here, please email Scott Hollister.

Friday, April 19

  • Joe Vargas, Ph.D., passed away Thursday, April 18. Vargas, a 28-year GCSAA member, was a professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. He received the 1997 GCSAA Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to turfgrass research. 

Tuesday, April 16

  • John Deere, with the help of quarterback Brock Purdy, launched a hunt for the company’s first-ever Chief Tractor Officer (CTO) — a content creator ready to help the iconic American brand celebrate farmers, contractors, groundskeepers and brand fans. To apply, candidates must submit a short-form video with their pitch for the position, showing the creativity, humor, and passion they’d bring to the job. Candidates are also encouraged to publish their entries to TikTok and/or Instagram tagging @JohnDeere. Applications are open through April 29.
  • The employee-owners of PBI-Gordon Corporation announced today that Matthew Crowther, Sean Lehr, and Chris Quinlan have joined the company as sales representatives. Crowther will manage all sales initiatives for golf course, sports turf, lawn care, and landscape maintenance customers in the northeastern U.S. Lehr will lead golf, landscape, professional lawn care, and agriculture sales for PBI-Gordon customers and distributors in Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. Quinlan will lead sales initiatives for golf course, sports turf, lawn care, and landscape maintenance customers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
  • Omni La Costa Resort & Spa announced that following a comprehensive renovation of its Champions Course by Hanse Golf Course Design, the esteemed layout will revert to its original name, the “North Course,” and will open for resort guest and member play beginning June 1.

Brad Owen

Wednesday, April 10

  • Brad Owen, senior director of agronomy at Augusta Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., and 38-year GCSAA member, was recognized for his work and career during the Masters by Masters Chairman Fred S. Ridley. Owen will retire from his position this fall.

Friday, April 5

  • Syngenta is excited to announce that applications are now open for the 2024 Syngenta Business Institute professional development program, which will be held at the Graylyn International Conference Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Dec. 3-6. Golf course superintendents have until Monday, Aug. 19, to apply online.