IAA Students Take Third Place at Collegiate Turf Bowl Competition

IAA students hold the winning check for a 3rd place finish at the 2016 Collegiate Turf Bowl. Left to right: Christian Brinkerhoff, Marvin Martinez, Jimmy Halley, Scott Hebert, Shaun Clark, Ian Patrican, Jarod Knopp, Dr. Kevin Mathias, Jacob Kilmon.

February 18, 2016

A team of Turf Terps placed third at the 2016 Collegiate Turf Bowl Competition in San Diego last week. They were Scott Hebert, Jimmy Haley, Marvin Martinez and Ian Patrican, all second-year students at the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) at the University of Maryland, College Park. This is the fifth consecutive year that a UMD team placed in the top three.

The foursome was one of two IAA teams to compete against 60 other teams from 32 different universities and colleges across the United States. The other UMD team, including Christian Brinkerhoff, Jacob Kilmon, Shaun Clark and Jarod Knopp, came in 27th.

“Since 2000, when we began taking teams of UMD students to the Turf Bowl, the competition has grown substantially,” said Dr. Kevin Mathias, Lecturer and Coordinator for Turfgrass and Golf Course Management at the IAA. “Placing third is a great confirmation that the Golf Course Management program at the IAA is one of the best in the nation.”

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) hosted the 2016 Collegiate Turf Bowl in conjunction with its winter conference in San Diego. The winning teams were recognized in front of over 1,000 golf industry professionals, and took home prize money from title sponsor John Deere Golf.

The Turf Bowl featured a written case study, as well as a wide variety of questions covering agronomic, business and financial management aspects of the superintendent profession. To prepare, the UMD students attended weekly practice and review sessions with Dr. Mathias and Alex Steinman, Sports Turf Manager for UMD Recreation and Wellness. The Golf Course Management concentration at the IAA also provided a solid foundation in turf identification, growth and development, irrigation and drainage, soils and fertility, pest management, and business and people management.

“The IAA focuses on education that opens doors to successful careers,” added Dr. Mathias. “Winning third in a national competition is a great resume booster for our students, who will undoubtedly achieve great success as future golf course superintendents.”