Olds College June 2014 News

13.07.30-olds.college.logoBy Jason Pick

Wishing them both the very best of luck, we finished the winter term at Olds College with two CGSA/TORO Future Superintendent nominees; Carmen Kozak (graduating turf diploma) and Franz Unterberger (graduating applied turf degree).  As exceptional ambassadors of our program and industry, we are very proud of both students.  We can also raise a toast to Ms. Stacy Reichert, who recently won CGSA’s Scholastic award of $2500 for her article reporting on the Alberta floods.

New to our “TORO University” reel building and grinding training, we are now able to provide our students an accredited certificate after completion.    Oakcreek  was recognized this January by  Bernhard and Company UK, as an official trainer for these sessions.  Our sincere thanks go out to Mr. Jonathan Templar,  Kim Furnell, and Sallie Taylor of Bernhard & Co., for their support and acknowledgement.

This spring, degree grads took to the Glencoe Golf Club in order to gain a broader perspective of the golf business.  We learned from Mike Kenney, General Manager of the $10m/yr club, what it takes to manage an entire golf facility.  Later in the term and seeking an alternative point of view, we visited the Olds Highlands golf course to gain insight and perspective from another Head Professional and General Manager Wade Berchell, with dramatically differing goals.  We learned to compare the differences among private and daily fee courses and the diverse techniques each employ to remain profitable.    

Each fall, diploma students in our golf course construction class create course features in our 20,000ft² indoor construction center. This year, grads completed tee and bunker construction projects; drainage install, bunker board, liner and shaping, proving that you can still learn how to build in the dead of winter inside the Olds College Pavilion complex.

14.05.07-Olds.article.image1Olds College Turf Students construct a golf course bunker inside the Landscape Pavilion

As an ongoing commitment to provide premier turfgrass management programming,  members and subcommittee members of the 2014 turfgrass advisory group, were invited for their quarterly annual review of the turf program.  Among many agenda items discussed over the two day session was the new turf program and the subsequent summer field schools and internships. Each member brought exceptional insight to the table prompting energetic discussion.  The Olds College turfgrass advisory group may include up to twelve industry professionals, including superintendents and field experts, who review all program offerings in detail, offering relevant techniques to faculty in order to maximize competency relevancy, student learning and experience. 

A significant contribution of time and energy to assist on the advisory board is greatly appreciated.  We thank, once again, our advisors and attending partners;  Brad Eshpeter, (Red Tail landing), John Faber (Springbank Links), Mike Johnson (Blackhawk Golf Club), Darren Reddekopp (Bearspaw Golf Club), Robin Sadler (Silvertip Golf Club), Terry Shinkewski, (Canal Delacour Golf Club), Kelly Watkins (Keso Turf), Kerry Watkins (Glencoe Golf Club), Dustin Zdan, (Connaught Golf Club) and BCGSA president Mr. Dean Piller for joining faculty and contributing to the sessions and social events!  

Following the program review sessions, a social event including advisors, students, and faculty joined for a tour of the new Olds College brewery.  With some additional liquid motivation to chat, discussions continued well into the evening with students sharing their ideas during an open networking session.  We wish to thank all our advisory group leaders for investing in the turf program at Olds College and helping us create innovative learning goals to continually improve our turf program.

For program information, check http://www.oldscollege.ca/programs/horticulture/turfgrass/index 
or contact Olivia Knight Enrolment Advisor  P#(403) 507-7713, Toll Free:1-800-661-6537
Email: golf@oldscollege.ca to request an information package