Monday, January 11, 2010

Jacobsen's Future Turf Manager's Program

Jacobsen's Future Turf Manager's Program gives graduating college seniors the opportunity to get a real-world view of the turf industry and the opportunity to visit some of the nation’s most prestigious golf courses and interact with some of the top names in the industry. The annual program takes place at Jacobsen’s Headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

For a student or recent graduate to be considered for this program they must be graduating within the 2010 calendar year and need to provide letters of recommendation from their professor and from a superintendent they have worked for. This program is open to one student per university and will consider students nationwide. Ryan Madden, Assistant Superintendent at WingHaven Country Club and recent ISU graduate, was selected and took part in the program this past year. Ryan shares his experience of the program below.

The first day of the seminar began when we boarded a chartered bus to travel to Jacobsen’s Wilmar Plant. The Wilmar Plant is Jacobsen’s manufacturing plant for virtually every product the company makes. We were able to see all of their products being built and were allowed in the Research and Development area to view their future products.

The next stop for the day was Jacobsen’s Quality Drive plant which is also home to the company’s world headquarters. We took a plant tour and had lunch at the facility. After lunch we listened to guest speakers including, Ed Seagle from Abraham Baldwin University, John Patterson, Fleet Manager for Doral Golf Resort & Spa and current President of the International Golf Course Equipment Managers Association (IGCEMA), Lyne Tumlinson from the GCSAA, and Quinn Derby, Jacobsen’s Product Manager. We were then invited to demo all of the new equipment outside of the plant.

The second day of the seminar we headed to Augusta, Georgia for a tour of The Augusta National Golf Club. Brad Owen, the Superintendent, spoke to us for about 40 minutes and gave us a tour of their facilities and the course. After our tour of the maintenance facility, Mr. Owen surprised us and let our bus driver take the bus through the golf course out to Amen Corner. I’d like to think this had to be the first time a tour bus drove across the 2nd, 8th, and 18th holes at Augusta National. This was possibly the highlight of my life getting to walk down the 12th and across Hogan’s Bridge.

After departing Augusta National, we headed over to the E-Z-GO plant, also in August, Georgia. We toured the facility which includes a test track where we were able to test out the future of golf carts and utility vehicles. At the end of the tour we were given a presentation by E-Z-GO President, Kevin Holleran. We then departed for University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. We toured the USC Gamecocks new, state-of-the-art baseball stadium complete with indoor practice facilities.

The third and final day of the seminar began with a brunch at the hotel with an awards ceremony presented by the President of Jacobsen, Daniel Wilkinson. The entire Jacobsen staff made this a very memorable and rewarding experience. I owe a thank you to my professor, Dr. Nick Christians, and department head, Dr. Jeff Iles, for writing me letters of recommendation which allowed me to participate in this memorable experience. I would also like to thank my current employer, WingHaven Couuntry Club, and Superintendent Brent Rockwell for letting me take the time off work to attend the seminar.

For more information about the Future Turf Managers Seminar and Jacobsen, visit or call 1-888-922-TURF.

Ryan Madden
Assistant Superintendent
WingHaven Country Club
O'Fallon, Missouri

1 comment:

Nick Christians said...

Great post Ryan, thanks