College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

Turf Terps Take 2nd at Collegiate Turf Bowl

Kevin Mathias
University of Maryland coaches and team members at the 2015 Collegiate Turf Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.
Image Credit: 
Kevin Mathias

Teams from the University of Maryland logged an impressive showing at the 2015 Collegiate Turf Bowl hosted by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) in conjunction with its winter conference in San Antonio, Texas on February 26.   Of the 69 teams competing from around the country, teams from UMD placed 2nd, 19th and 23rd.  

As the reigning champions, the Terrapins felt the pressure 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 in 2014, they could not outscore a determined Penn State team and their score of 449 points to set 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.

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