Conclusion of Summer; Beginning of Year Two

 12.08.15-Olds.College.Collins.headshotBy Jordan Collins, Olds College Incoming Turf Club President  

With summer quickly coming to a close, the 2nd year turf management “turfies”are getting ready to come back for another exciting year of school, and optimistically the most successful!  I have found it has made a world of difference on the golf course having applied even just that first year of knowledge at work. 

Relatively early on in my career at 19 yrs old, I believe it’s important to start building applied knowledge to become a complete, well-rounded Superintendent like my father.  My Superintendent (Curtis Collins), and only 4 employees (yes, four) , care for our 18 hole golf course giving me the opportunity to try a lot of those skills we are learning at college this year.  Although occasionally limited resources can limit where we spend our time, ensuring the essential aspects of the course are up to par have always been a first priority.  You would think our golf course would lack in overall aesthetics, but with a veteran of 15 years, two turf students and a rookie looking to perhaps begin a career in our industry, the compliments were better than ever, and Curtis says confidently, "We could stack up our golf course against any other."

It can be an incredible experience to witness the ingenuity when challenged to do so much with so little;  sometimes few resources can create a most inventive and creative environment.    It is my sixth season at St. Paul Golf Club in my hometown St. Paul, Alberta located two hours northeast of Edmonton, and it can be difficult for us to find help when we need it.   Our resourcefulness was challenged late this April  when our irrigation pump motor went down.  So what did we do? We fire up a 60 year old Massey Ferguson with a pump contraption hooked up to a couple of water tanks with pump hoses attached  and we used this old-fashioned technology to water our greens for three weeks while pump repairs were made.  Our Northern Alberta climate adds to the challenges of a limited budget but has subsequently prompted both creativity and ingenuity - our members say the golf course looks immaculate despite our modest resources.

This year, I am the incoming president of the Turf Club at Olds College and as discussed earlier, starting my second year of the turf management diploma.  Each year our turf club elects new directors and this year we have big shoes to fill.  However,  I am confident we can lead the way and create fun events for turf students to share our knowledge, socialize and communicate.  We plan to include a variety of events and conference opportunities for our diploma and degree turfies this yearto promote networking and meet representatives of our industry. 

The AGSA and WCTA conference are two functions we will be participating in this year.  We took advantage of the convenient venue last year at the CGSA conference in Calgary and recognize the value of conference education and networking.  On-campus fundraisers this year will include several annual events, the Halloween Howler, the McCullough Classic Alumni golf tournament, our Dodge ball tournament, local recycling program, as well as several others proposed to afford association memberships and offset conference costs.  To help accomplish these goals, our turf club members have nominated our team of five directors; Lance Wakefield is the Vice President, Jon Kardelis is the Treasurer, Jay Green is the Media Coordinator and Matt Choquette is our Sports Coordinator. Participating on the turf club board is an amazing opportunity, to be recognized by our colleagues as leaders, and also to learn the functionality of boards first hand - in a relatively “safe” environment.   I am certainly looking forward to making the best of it.  I hope you all of your summers were as fun and relaxing as mine and look forward to seeing you in Penticton!

Best regards,

Jordan Collins

Turf Club President Olds College