The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) hosted the 2015 Collegiate Turf Bowl in conjunction with its winter conference in San Antonio, Texas on February 26. Of the 69 teams, UMD teams placed 2nd, 19th and 23rd.
As the reigning champions the Maryland team felt the pressure to going into the competition. The top-placing UMD squad, nicknamed the “Big H” team (their last names all start with the letter H) included Jimmy Halley (IAA), Scott Hebert (IAA), Ryan Higgins (PSLA) and Brian Hogan (IAA). Even though they scored higher in this year’s competition (431 points) compared to their winning score of 425 points in 2014, they could not outscore a determined Penn State team which amazed everyone with 449 points, setting a Collegiate Turf Bowl Competition record.
Maryland’s 19th place team, dubbed the “Dream Team,” consisted of IAA students Jeff Bynaker, John Critzos, Marvin Martinez, and Ian Patrican. The Turf Terps team of Shaun Clark (IAA), Gabe Gammill (IAA), and Will Goundry (PSLA) far exceeded Dr. Mathias’s expectations and surged to 23rd place.
Students commented how the conference and the competition enhanced their networking skills and a new sense of camaraderie with fellow students. Clark, an IAA golf course management student said, “The trip to the San Antonio was a great overall experience and I can’t wait until next year’s competition.”
The Collegiate Turf Bowl covers various areas relating to golf turf maintenance from turfgrass weed, insect, and disease identification to business and people management skills. The team of Halley, Hebert, Higgins, and Hogan received a $2,000 check from John Deere during the awards ceremony. The UMD teams also attended a John Deere reception titled “Showdown at Sunset Station,” various educational seminars, and the Closing Ceremony. Special thanks to John Deere for sponsoring this event since 2010.
The Turf Terps teams pose for a picture in their suits at the Collegiate Turf Bowl Reception. Kneeling and left to right are Gabe Gammill, John Critzos, and Jeff Bynaker. Standing and left to right are Will Goundry, Brian Hogan, Ryan Higgins, Ian Patrican, Shaun Clark, Marvin Martinez, Jimmy Halley, and Scott Hebert.