Registration and Continental Breakfast
Science of the Green—The Value of Golf Courses Beyond Golf
Dr. Brian Horgan (Read Bio)
Matt Amundsen's Presentation (Read Bio)
Presentation of WWGCSA Distinguished Service Award
Dr. Brian Horgan, Professor and Chair of the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University, will be presenting a talk on the value of golf courses as a natural resource to any community or municipality. The perspective he will discuss is not from the point of view of a golf course as a place to play a game, but a golf course as open space, a habitat for plants and animals in the middle of an urban jungle; even as a place which reduces the temperature of its surrounding community.
Dr. Horgan’s research interests focus on developing systems-based metrics for urban green space resource conservation including water conservation, low-input turfgrass systems, as well as the fate and transport of pesticides and nutrients. This work continues today with the Science of the Green, a research, extension and demonstration initiative addressing the golf industries’ need for long-term agronomic, economic, and environmental sustainability. Horgan’s most recent awards recognizing excellence in the turfgrass industry include the TOCA Environmental Communicator of the Year, the prestigious Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association President’s Award, and the Minnesota Golf Association Distinguished Service Award. He has served as science editor for Turf News, associate editor for the Crop Science Journal, European Turfgrass Journal, and the International Turfgrass Research Journal.
Born and raised just minutes from Jackson Park GC, his first experience with golf was at the Short Nine at Jackson Park in the early 1970’s. His roots run deep in golf in Seattle. Matt has been a Class A Member of the PGA of America for 25 years. He began his career in golf at Jefferson Park Golf Course in the Spring of 1988 after graduating from the San Diego Golf Academy earlier that Winter. Going into his 33rd season in 2020, he has worked his way from an assistant golf professional all the way to the position of President of Premier Golf Centers. Managing up to 13 facilities from South Tacoma to Bellingham, Matt is well-versed in all aspects of the Puget Sound Golf market. He has experience in managing all revenue centers, as well as managing multiple maintenance staffs, and has worked in virtually every position within the golf industry. Matt left Premier Golf Centers in August of 2018, and now is the Golf Manager for the City of Seattle’s four golf courses.
Evan grew up in Issaquah and worked at Twin Rivers Golf Course throughout high school, where he honed his golf skills and learned the first ropes of the golf business. Serving as varsity captain of his golf teams at Skyline High School and Claremont McKenna College in California, Evan was an All-American Scholar and studied Psychology and Law as an undergraduate before beginning his career in the field of Real Estate development and finance. In his spare time, he started volunteering with The First Tee of Greater Seattle and developed a huge appreciation for the program and connected with its mission to help young people develop character through the game of golf. So in 2012 when the position for Program Director became available, Evan made a career change and invested himself full-time in the First Tee. Now as the Director of Programs and Development, Evan is responsible for operations and fundraising at the chapter. Evan is a First Tee nationally recognized Coach and Program Director, a National Trainer, Level 3 PGA Associate, and serves on the Player Development Committee of the Western Washington Chapter of the PGA. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, paddling, and playing golf.
Troy grew up working and playing golf at Oakbrook G&CC in Lakewood, Wash. He is a graduate of Central Washington University and he spent several summers working on the maintenance crew at Oakbrook to help pay for school.
Troy started working for the Associations in 1999 when he was hired as the Director of Rules and Competition. After seven years in the Championship Department, he became the Director of Communications until 2007, when he was named Assistant Executive Director. In 2011, Troy was named CEO/Executive Director of the Associations and The Home Course.
Troy is a proud husband and a father of two boys. When he isn’t working, he is with his family and he is hopeful to get them out on the golf course more.
Kealy began his career in golf as a caddie at Seattle’s Broadmoor Golf Club in 1972 and has since gone on to become one of the region’s most respected golf course superintendents. In 1987 he earned his BS in Agronomy from Washington State University, and has been the golf course superintendent at Glendale Country Club in Bellevue, Wash. Since 1990.
Since 2000, he has hosted over 100 field trips to his golf course to teach schoolkids hands-on environmental education through the First Green program, and serves as a mentor to golf course superintendents and clubs in setting up their First Green field trips.
Heather Hansen operates her own government relations firm specializing in agricultural and natural resource issues.
Heather earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Washington State University. She served on the faculty of Utah State University and the University of Arizona as a county extension agent. She is an alumnus of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Program and serves on the Board of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center for public policy.
Heather has received awards for grassroots organizing, promoting agriculture and excellence in legislative and government affairs from various state and national organizations.