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Local Coffee Breaks Coming to a Spot Near You!

Posted 12.28.18—Archived 6.26.19

Chapter Delegates Meet with the GCSAA

Posted 11.21.18—Archived 6.26.19

Alex Hedlund of Sahalee Wins Superintendents' Cup

Posted 8.22.18—Archived 6.26.19

New Board Members Elected at WWGCSA Annual Meeting

Posted 8.21.19—Archived 6.26.19

Large Gathering Highlights 2018 Annual Meeting

Posted 8.21.18—Archived 1.4.19

Courtesy Discounted Room Block for WTLS Attendees

Posted 10.15.18—Archived 1.4.19

Another Successful Fivesome

Posted 5.31.18—Archived 8.18.18

Cornelius Crop Production Services Branch Rebranding as Nutrien Solutions™

Posted 8.7.18—Archived 8.21.18

Genetics Technology Could Lead to More Crops, Fresher Food

Posted 8.10.18—Archived 11.22.18

GHIN Discontinued

Posted 3.28.18—Archived 8.18.18

In Memoriam

Posted 7.2.18—Archived 8.18.18

Introducing Bill Ackerley

Posted 5.17.18—Archived 8.18.18

Nominations for Board Positions

Posted 7.21.18—Archived 8.21.18

Notice of Stolen Customized 2008 2030A Progator

Posted 7.17.18—Archived 8.10.18

Report from Chapter Delegates Meeting

Posted 11.14.17—Archived 8.8.18

Steve Kealy Awarded the 2018 Paul Backman Distinguished Service Award

Posted 5.29.18—Archived 8.18.18

Tacoma Country Club Defends Crew Tournament Title

Posted 7.3.18—Archived 8.18.18

Van Hollebeke Appointed to Board

Posted 1.17.18—Archived 8.8.18

WWGCSA Develops New Mission Statement

Posted 1.10.18—Archived 8.8.18

1377 Aaron Ave., NE • Bainbridge Island, WA 98110   |  206-459-1698  | Email

Nearly 80 members gathered at Aldarra on August 20 at the WWGCSA Annual Meeting. Superintendents and their Assistants, as well as sponsors and friends of the Association met to go over some business, eat some lunch, play some golf and, most importantly, reconnect face to face to celebrate the brethren of the world Golf Course Superintendents.

Scott Phelps (Newcastle), outgoing President of the Board, delivered a few words to summarize the goings of the Association over the last 12 months. He stressed a renewed emphasis on communication and getting together, despite the growing benefits of a digital learning environment, and the challenges of increased traffic congestion that is especially prevalent in Western Washington. Scott was roundly thanked by those in attendance for the yeoman’s effort he has put in the past two years as Board President, even serving as interim Executive Director when there was a vacancy in the position earlier this year.

Sean Reehoorn (Aldarra) was elected to be the new President of the Board by those in attendance. Sean has had a lot of interaction with the GCSAA, serving on its Education Committee as well as being the WWGCSA’s voting delegate. He is encouraged that the new Board will include members from public courses such as Jackson (Greg Van Hollebeke) and Maplewood (Steve Meyers), as “they bring a different perspective on the challenges that Superintendents face every day,” Reehoorn said.

The day was wrapped up on the fabulous course that is Aldarra. Seventeen foursomes teed it up with prizes for closest to the pin, low net and low gross. While many, by their own account, had a difficult time scrubbing off the rust on their games before their round was done—there was not a shortage of smiles by the time they reached the 19th hole.


Placeholder image Room blocks have been reserved at the Embassy Suites in Lynwood. You can call in your reservation to 425-775-2500 and reserve your room under the Washington Turf and Landscape Show 2018 Block.

Reservations need to be made by midnight, Wednesday, December 5, 2018.

The special rate of $119 includes:

  • Daily hot buffet breakfast that includes a chef made to order omelet station

  • Nightly two hour reception with complimentary hard & soft drinks and appetizers

  • On site restaurant and lounge

  • Indoor pool & whirlpool

  • Precor fitness facility

  • Free parking

  • Complimentary scheduled shuttle service within 5 mile radius


Congratulations to Meridian Valley Country Club, this year’s winning team at the WWGCSA Fivesome Scramble at Fircrest Golf Club.

Placeholder image In a close competition, their margin of victory was less than a full stroke over both Rainier Golf & Country Club and Kitsap Golf & Country Club. With a similar score, Western Equipment won the Industry Team division.

A good time was had by all, as the team at Fircrest provided a magnificent course in excellent condition. A big shout-out goes to Superintendent John Alexander and his crew, as well as PGA Professional Greg Talley for providing a great environment for this year’s tourney. As always, General Manager Jeff Hillen’s staff were top notch hosts for this year’s rendition of the Fivesome, an important fundraiser for the WWGCSA and the Northwest Turfgrass Association.

Sahalee will be the host of the 2019 WWGCSA Fivesome.


Cornelius, OR (July 02, 2018)—As of July 1, 2018, Crop Production Services’ Cornelius retail branch is rebranding as Nutrien Solutions™. The Cornelius branch is one of more than 1,500 retail locations aligning across North and South America as part of Nutrien Ltd. (Nutrien)’s international network, strengthening the company’s long-term mission to help local turf and landscape managers meet increasing demands profitably and sustainably.

“Our rebrand as Nutrien Solutions enhances our ability to deliver custom, personalized solutions for golf and landscape managers—backed by the resources and reach of Nutrien’s global network,” said Jake Browning, manager of Nutrien Solutions’ Cornelius, OR branch. “This allows us to stay ahead of our customers’ evolving needs, connecting them with the latest best-in-class technology, tools and expertise to support the needs of our golf course superintendents and landscape managers.”

The rebrand also features the launch of a new digital platform designed to amplify Nutrien Solutions industry-leading distribution network, agronomic advice and support services. The platform provides turf and landscape managers with an easy to use, all-in-one customer experience hub, allowing customers to interact with agronomists and field service representatives seamlessly. This new platform will be rolling out in the Oregon and Washington market in phased updates from now to mid-2019.

For more information, visit nutrienagsolutions.com.

About Nutrien

Nutrien is the world's largest provider of crop inputs and services, playing a critical role in helping growers increase food production in a sustainable manner. We produce and distribute over 26 million tonnes of potash, nitrogen and phosphate products world-wide. With this capability and our leading agriculture retail network, we are well positioned to supply the needs of our customers. We operate with a long-term view and are committed to working with our stakeholders as we address our economic, environmental and social priorities. The scale and diversity of our integrated portfolio provides a stable earnings base, multiple avenues for growth and the opportunity to return capital to shareholders. For further information visit us at nutrien.com.  


Idaho-Based J.R. Simplot Company Has Acquired Gene Editing Licensing Rights. A multinational agricultural company based in Idaho has acquired gene editing licensing rights that could one day be used to help farmers produce more crops and make grocery store offerings such as strawberries, potatoes and avocados stay fresher longer.

J.R. Simplot Company on Monday announced the agreement with DowDuPont Inc. and the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, developers of the nascent gene editing technology. Simplot is the first agricultural company to receive such a license.

“We think this is a transformative technology—it’s very powerful,” said Issi Rozen, chief business officer of the Broad Institute. “We’re delighted that Simplot is the first one to take advantage of the licensing.”

There is no evidence that genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs, are unsafe to eat, but changing the genetic code of foods presents an ethical issue for some. For example McDonald’s had declined to use Simplot’s genetically engineered potatoes for its French fries.

The food industry has also faced pressure from retailers as consumer awareness of genetically modified foods has increased.

J.R. Simplot officials declined to say how much the company paid for the licensing rights acquired through a process intended to prevent the technology from being used unethically. The technology allows scientists to make precise changes to the genome of living organisms and has wide-ranging applications for improving plant food production and quality.

“The issues are about getting the right kind of food produced in the right kind of way,” said Neal Gutterson, chief technology officer at Corteva Agriscience, DowDuPont’s agriculture division. “It’s important to be able to produce enough food for the nine to 10 billion people who will be on the planet in 30 years.”

The gene editing technology is called CRISPR-Cas9, the first part an acronym for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.” The technology speeds up the traditional process of breeding generation after generation of plants to get a certain desirable trait, saving years in developing new varieties that are as safe as traditionally developed varieties, scientists say.

Essentially, if an organism’s genome is made analogous to a large manuscript, CRISPR-Cas9 allows scientists to edit specific words in the manuscript using a “search and replace” function. One of the remaining challenges, scientists say, is getting the complete genome for particular food crops. Or, to use the analogy, to not only have the complete manuscript but to have it translated so scientists know where to make the edits.

The CRISPR-Cas9 technology is so new that in March the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates how food is produced, issued a statement clarifying its oversight of foods produced with gene editing. “Under its biotechnology regulations, USDA does not regulate or have any plans to regulate plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques,” the agency said.

Simplot markets products in more than 40 countries, and it has major operations in the United States, China, Canada, Australia and Mexico. The company, which is a top producer of avocados grown in Mexico and sold in the U.S., is perhaps best known for potatoes.

The company has already used other genetic techniques to adapt genes from wild and cultivated potatoes to produce commercially sold potatoes that resist bruising and late blight, which caused the Irish Potato Famine and continues to cause problems for potato farmers. Gene editing is expected to further the company’s expertise in potatoes.

“That’s part of our vision for Simplot—to be the knowledge leader for potatoes,” said Susan Collinge, vice president of plant sciences at Simplot, where she supervises about 95 plant scientists.

Idaho produces 13 billion pounds (6 billion kilograms) of potatoes annually—a third of the nation’s potatoes—worth about $1.2 billion.

Gene editing likely wouldn’t result in new varieties of potatoes for at least five years, and probably longer before the potatoes could be sold commercially, Collinge said.


We have decided to discontinue the GHIN program at this point. If you want to continue to maintain your handicap through the USGA GHIN system you can join at your local club or you can call or email Shari Jacobson with the Washington State Golf Association and she will get you pointed in the right direction. She can be reached at 253-214-2925 or shari.jacobson@thewsga.org. We are attempting to reach everyone by email who this might affect.


We have lost a family member of our golf course maintenance team at Sahalee, Glen Charleston. Glen passed away suddenly on Wednesday, June 27th. He was an integral part of our operation and will never be forgotten!

Glen started at Sahalee Country Club in October of 2002, he was our Equipment Manager. Prior to joining our team, he spent 6 years at The Golf Club at Newcastle as the Equipment Manager which began during construction of the development. Before that, he was employed as the mechanic for numerous years with the City of Bellevue’s municipal golf operations. He was well-respected by his peers and friend to many through the years of hosting tournament events and attending seminars. Glen was a native to the Puget Sound area, in fact, grew up on Lake Sammamish in a cabin and attended Issaquah High School.

For those who knew Glen, he was “rough on the edges” but kind at heart. He never denied the opportunity to crack a joke or offer a helping hand. Glen was passionate about golf and the maintenance of courses, however, his true love was fishing and spending time on the water.

Glen is survived by his parents, two sons, and three daughters. He was devoted to his family.

Glen, we miss you!


For those of you who attended the Fivesome this is old news. For those who didn’t, please welcome Bill as our new Executive Director of the WWGCSA.

In February of this year we put out the notice that we were looking for a new Executive Director. We formed a search committee consisting of board, affiliates, members at large and Brian Coury; the Executive Director of the Western Washington PGA. The committee was tasked with narrowing the field from over ten applicants to three finalists. Those three finalists interviewed with the board before Bill was chosen. We feel Bill will help take our association to the next level and be an outstanding face of our organization.

For those of you who don’t know Bill or recognize his name, here are some things about him. Bill is a member at Wing Point and is a past president of the club. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and received his MBA from Cornell. He trained with American Airlines as a financial analyst. He then became a lead executive with KJR radio, Horizon Broadcasting, and the Seattle Supersonics to name a few.

Bill and his wife Carolyn have been involved with coaching their kids and youth sports for the last two decades. This includes the Bainbridge High School boys baseball team and the area swim team. Bill is an avid golfer and looks forward to combining his executive leadership with his love of sports and golf to help our organization. We feel lucky to have Bill on board with us and hope everyone gets a chance to meet him soon. Bill can be reached at bill.ackerley@wwgcsa.org.

We appreciate everyone’s patience with this process and look forward to a bright future with Bill.


All WWGCSA Members, your Board is pleased to announce the following nominations for your consideration at our upcoming Annual Meeting (August 20 at Aldarra Golf Club):

Class A, B, and C Board Positions (3 to be selected to 3-year terms):

  • Sean Reehorn (Aldarra)
  • Greg Van Hollebeke (Jackson Park)
  • Marcus Harness (Sahalee)
  • Steve Meyers (Maplewood)

Assistant Superintendent (1 to be selected to a 2-year term):

  • Rick Michel (Broadmoor)

Affiliate Member (1 to be selected to a 1-year term)

  • Jason Otto (Wilbur Ellis)

Nominations can be taken from the floor at the time of election.

See you all at Aldarra on August 20!


Serial Number TC203AT0020372, along with custom Baby Bowie hydroseeder serial number 28131 belonging to Greenshield Systems. They were taken at 1 a.m. July 13, 2018 from Stahl Jr Hi, Puyallup.

We are now needing a 2030A progator (with or without a bed) to replace the stolen one.

If you have one for sale or loan, please contact Greenshield Systems 360-466-0406.


Sean Reehoorn, the superintendent at Aldarra Golf Club and the vice-president of the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association, recently attended his first GCSAA Delegates Meeting back at GCSAA headquarters.

Click here for his report that includes updates and information on GCSAA endeavors such as BMPs, membership drive, government advocacy, Grass Roots Ambassadors, Round 4 Research, certification programs and by-laws and Code of Ethics revisions.


Steve Kealy was the recipient of the annual award at this year’s Fivesome Tournament and Auction at Fircrest Golf Club.

Our host Superintendent John Alexander and his staff put on a show this year with their superb course conditions! After a beautiful day of golf at Fircrest, Steve was handed over the award presented by the WWGCSA Board, which was accompanied by some tears in the crowd. This is just the most recent award in Steve’s 30 year career as the superintendent at Glendale Golf & Country Club. Over the years he has proven to be one of the best communicators in the industry for environmental stewardship and the importance of the superintendent in the golf community at large. Steve has also played an important role in the development of the First Green Program which is dedicated to the education of youth with regard to turfgrass management and the world of agronomy. Steve provides numerous hours of community service, donating his time and talents to educate local area high school students on agronomic and environmental issues.

This award was extra special to Steve as he was a very close friend of our late Director Paul Backman, who worked tirelessly to promote our profession in the local golf industry. Steve seemed to think this award was far too soon in his career, however everyone that knows him thinks it has probably come too late. Congratulations Steve, you deserve it!


The 4-man team from Tacoma Country Club went to a lot of effort to lug the rather large traveling trophy up north to Willow’s Run for the Annual Crew Tournament.

Turns out they ended up returning it from whence it came, as Tacoma’s team of Miguel Hernandez, Kevan Kenna, Joe Monteleone, and Richard Young beat the field by four shots after carding a 55. Three teams finished tied for second with a 59, forcing a playoff won by Suncadia over North Shore Golf Club and one of the four teams representing Sahalee.

Tacoma Country Club repeats Crew Title at Willow’s Run

In all, 31 teams competed at Willow’s Run. Tacoma and Suncadia will go on to represent the Western Washington Crews in a competition versus the Oregon Crew Tournament winners sometime toward the end of the summer.

Many players, all of whom should know what they’re talking about, were heard praising Superintendent Ryan Semritc and his team for the fantastic condition the course was in. The Willow’s crew has certainly been busy, as it followed up the Crew tournament by hosting the USA Special Olympics golf event this July.


Greg Van Hollebeke, the superintendent at Interbay Golf Course in Seattle, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association.

Van Hollebeke will replace John Hicks of Canterwood Golf & Country Club, who resigned from the Board because of health concerns. Van Hollebeke, the former superintendent at The Golf Club at Redmond Ridge, will complete Hicks’ term on the Board, which runs through to the Annual Meeting in August.

WWGCSA President Scott Phelps of The Golf Club at Newcastle appointed Van Hollebeke to the position, and the appointment was approved in a vote of the Board of Directors.


During a strategic planning session Tuesday administered by the GCSAA, the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association developed a new mission statement.

Here is the new mission statement:

The WWGCSA is a professional organization established to unite golf course superintendents, provide value to members, and to enhance the profession.

The WWGCSA spent six hours discussing strategic planning and traditional Board business at Tam O’Shanter Golf & Country Club in Bellevue and wants to thank host superintendent Jerry Thompson and his members for all their hospitality.


Sean Reehoorn, Superintendent at Aldarra Golf Club, was elected the new Board President of the WWGCSA at its Annual Meeting. Held August 20, coincidentally at Aldarra Golf Club, Reehoorn was elected along with new Board Members Steve Meyers, Superintendent of Maplewood Golf Course, and Rick Michel, Assistant Superintendent at Broadmoor Golf Club. Meyers and Michel join Reehoorn, Greg Van Hollebeke (Jackson Golf Course) and Jason Otto (Wilbur Ellis) each of whom were re-elected to the Board.

Scott Phelps (Newcastle), though stepping down as President after two terms, will remain on the Board in the post of Immediate Past President. Rolling off the Board after completing their terms of service are Thaddeus Lalley (Assistant from Everett Golf Club) and Michael Goldsberry (Immediate Past President, from Wing Point GCC).
Returning to the Board with remaining terms are Ryan Semritc (Willows Run), Clint Goold (Druid’s Glen) and Jason Krogman (Kitsap Golf and Country Club).



The air was smoky around Aldarra Golf Club, with ash falling from the sky and sticking to anything in its way, just as it was across the entire Puget Sound region in late August from the wildfires in the Cascades, Olympics and Canadian ranges. But that didn’t dissuade 70 golfers from taking on a tough golf course as part of the festivities surrounding the WWGCSA’s annual meeting.

Alex Hedlund, Assistant Superintendent in Training from Sahalee, overcame a strong field of golfers shooting a 9 over par score of 80, defeating Tom Robinson (Bellevue Golf Course) and Jon Fullmer (Jackson Park Golf Course) by a single shot. Sean Reehoorn (Aldarra) was three shots back. Hedlund’s name will be added to a new perpetual trophy that he will get to display at Sahalee until at least next year’s rendition of the Superintendent’s Cup.

Ross O’Fee of Empire Turf finished with the lowest net score of 72, beating Chris Thornton of Auburn Golf Course by two strokes.



The GCSAA recently hosted the Annual Delegates meeting in Kansas City/Lawrence, Kansas in November. The GCSAA is made up of 99 chapters that has a voting delegate to represent the 18,000 plus members of the association. Most delegates arrive on Tuesday for dinner and a “State of the Association” address from Rhett Evans, CEO of GCSAA. The association is under great leadership with Rhett at the helm. Partnerships with other industry organizations continue to grow in both exposure and strength. Our association continues to endeavor to be the leader in the global golf industry as many know the dedication and time Superintendents put into their jobs and organizations.

Leadership of GCSAA is focused on two large initiatives, first Best Management Practices (BMP) and membership growth and expansion. BMPs will give each chapter a seat at the table as environmental restrictions are passed down through state, and even federal, legislation. Being ahead of the curve here has already benefited many chapters and will benefit more in the future. Membership growth strengthens our presence as there is true strength in numbers.

mailto:sean@aldarragc.com"sean@aldarragc.com or 425-222-3662.



New for 2019: The WWGCSA will be holding a series of Coffee Breaks across our region throughout the year. The concept is to enable Superintendents to gather for informal conversation with their peers without a lot of travel or any cost. The Coffee Breaks will be supported by various Association Partners. What’s in it for the Partners? We will invite them to get the conversation going with a 5-10 update on what’s new with their assortment of products and services, and then they get to sit back and enjoy learning about what’s on your mind. The range of topics are unlimited. At least one WWGCSA Board Member and our Executive Director will be present to keep the conversation flowing. The range of topics is entirely up to you. It may focus on how all of the rain and wind has put stress on your labor hours and then divert to how exciting it is that the Seahawks turned a rebuilding year into a playoff appearance. It’s entirely up to you. The number one objective is to get you together with fellow Supers, maybe even ones you don’t know, even though they’re close in proximity.

Expect the Coffee Breaks to last somewhere between 90 minutes and 2 hours (again, that’s up to you). Coffee and small food items will be provided. There is no charge to you as a member of the WWGCSA, thanks to our Association Partners. You just need to get there, wherever a convenient opportunity may present itself. We will have enough coffee breaks that you will be able to get to at least one over the course of the year without driving more than 30-45 minutes. We are targeting attendance to be 8-10 Supers per Coffee Break. Small enough that everyone can participate.

The first Coffee Break will be hosted at Aldarra Golf Club, presented by Wilbur Ellis, on January 10 in the morning. Exact times will be posted on the website calendar as the date gets closer. If you’re nearby, we’ll want to see you. If not, a Coffee Break will be coming to a Spot near you sometime over the course of 2019. Happy New Year!