Conference to focus on educating participants in golf turf management

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- When it comes to golf course management, there is a lot more to know than how to run a mower. Education is crucial with a growing demand for personnel trained to manage turfgrass.

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is helping to fill that need by offering a conference that will provide information about golf course management to practitioners, industry representatives and students.

The 2012 Penn State Golf Turf Conference will be held Nov. 13 to 15 at the Nittany Lion Inn on the University Park campus. Some of the best and brightest in the industry, including United States Golf Association agronomists, university turfgrass experts, golf course superintendents, industry representatives, graduate students and others will share their expertise and cover important topics.

Turfgrass management is an evolving topic with a constant flow of new information to assist golf course superintendents, according to John Kaminski, associate professor of turfgrass science and director of the Golf Course Turfgrass Management Program at Penn State.

"Whether it's the latest products available for pest control or innovative ways to communicate, there is something for everyone at the conference," he said.

An optional preconference seminar will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Nov. 13 by Peter Dernoeden of the University of Maryland. This session will cover techniques that golf course superintendents can use to manage creeping bentgrass in the hot and humid Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

Industry experts will cover topics such as turfgrass nutrition, equipment purchasing options, weed control and other aspects of golf course management. Keynote speaker J. Rhett Evans, CEO of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, will provide an overview of future trends for the golf course industry.

The conference also will provide a chance for those in the golf industry to say goodbye to the late Stanley Zontek, who was considered by many to be a turfgrass legend. The conference will be dedicated to the life and career of Zontek, and will include a video tribute of what he meant to the industry. An evening gathering during the event will celebrate his life and career, and raise money for the newly named Stanley J. Zontek Turfgrass Endowment at Penn State.

"The Penn State Golf Turf Conference has a long history of providing education to golf course superintendents throughout the world," Kaminski said. "This year's event will be no different, and we are delighted to have participants from throughout the United States and as far away as Scotland."

Participants can register for the full conference in advance for $120 or on-site for $140. There is also a one-day registration option in advance for $75 and on-site for $90.

Optional fees include $75 for the pre-conference seminar, which includes lunch and a copy of Dernoeden’s book, and $18 for the Turf Club Luncheon (limited tickets).

For more information or to register, visit

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Last Updated November 09, 2012