Sports turf management part of GIE+EXPO 2016

Sports turf professionals will have new education opportunities at GIE+EXPO 2016 (Green Industry & Equipment Expo). The Golf and Sports Turf Management Conference, hosted by the Kentucky Turfgrass Council, will take place Thursday and Friday, October 20-21 at the Kentucky Exposition Center during the annual tradeshow. GIE+EXPO draws more than 18,000 participants to see the latest innovations and attend first-rate education programs.

Thursday’s programs will offer golf sessions in the morning and sports turf sessions in the afternoon, allowing attendees to spend half day in education and half day visiting the trade show. A combined general session is set for Friday morning.

“Our 750 exhibits – indoors and out – include turf management equipment, lawn and garden products, light construction equipment and UTVs, so it’s a natural fit for golf course superintendents and sports turf professionals,” said Warren Sellers, show director. “With the addition of the conference, GIE+EXPO is their one-stop shop for new products and education.”

Golf Sessions

Thursday, October 20

8:30 AM – NOON


Moderator: Pat Jones, Publisher & Editorial Director, GIE Media


The Story of Oakmont Country Club’s Restoration and Hosting USGA Championships

John Zimmers, Golf Course Superintendent, Oakmont Country Club

Learn about the restoration of Oakmont Country Club, which hosted its record ninth U.S. Open in 2016, to its original Henry Fownes design. John Zimmers will discuss the restoration of bunkers and ditches in addition to other original architectural features of the golf course. He will also cover the removal of approximately 15,000 trees, as well as topics regarding the hosting of USGA Championships.


Effective Water Management for Agronomic Programs

Sam Green, Chief Operating Officer, Aqua Aid Incorporated

Sam Green will provide valuable insights on methods and technologies available to enhance water efficiency, which can lead to a reduction of usage and better conservation and protection of a valuable, essential resource.


Evolution of a Golf Course: A Superintendent’s Perspective

Jeff Corcoran, Manager of Golf Courses and Grounds, Oak Hill Country Club

Jeff Corcoran will discuss the evolution of Oak Hill Country Club’s Donald Ross designed East Course and the architectural changes that have been made through the years. He will also detail how those changes influenced the current long-range planning and future championships planned at Oak Hill.



Sports Turf Sessions

Thursday, October 20

1:30 – 5 PM


The Principals of Sports Turf Management Planning and Drainage

Marcus Dean, Sports Turf Manager at University of Kentucky

Marcus Dean will discuss the processes for developing a useful maintenance plan that can be applied to either cool or warm grasses. He will cover weed and disease strategies, aerification, drainage and budgeting. While the focus will be on native soil fields, Marcus will also offer some of the major differences in fields constructed with native soils vs. a sand-based root zone.


Sports Turf Applications for Plant Growth Retardants and Weed Control Options

Dr. Wesley Totten, Chair Department of Agriculture, Geosciences, and Natural Resources, University of Tennessee at Martin

Dr. Wesley Totten will cover the history of usage in turf, including sports turf.  He will discuss the types and classifications of plant growth retardants, the current usage of plant growth regulators in sports turf situations and current weed control options, including timings and frequencies.


Sports Turf Panel: All Things Baseball – The Maintenance of Baseball/Softball Fields for Skinned and Turf Areas


Tom Nielsen, Head Groundskeeper, Louisville Bats Baseball Club

Thomas Trotter, Head Groundskeeper, Nashville Sounds Baseball Club

Jake Tyler, Turf Manager, Toldeo Mud Hens

Each panel member will open with a brief discussion highlighting one maintenance task that all sports turf managers face. Topics will include repairing the mounds and home plate; fertility and repair of the turf areas; and grooming and maintenance of the skinned areas. After addressing questions on these topics, the panel will expand on other critical issues, such as turf areas, fertility, weed control, construction of mounds, skinned areas and warning track. They will also address qualities they look for in employees, budgeting and management of staff.



General Session

Friday, October 21

9 – 11 AM


World of Turf…Turf Managers Around the World Have Many Tools in Their Toolbox to Build their Agronomic Programs

Sam Green, Chief Operating Officer, Aqua Aid Incorporated

This session will provide a whirlwind tour from all areas of the world with examples of different approaches to the management of turf. From equipment and staffing to problem solving, Sam Green will discuss a multitude of diverse problems and issues and share the unique and creative solutions used to solve them.


Groundskeeping Abroad and Making Events Work on Fields at All Levels

Luke Yoder, National Sports Field Specialist for Ewing

Luke Yoder will discuss his experiences working on professional fields in Korea, Sweden and the Dominican Republic.  These experiences include new field construction, field renovation and teaching best maintenance practices working with what they have. The discussion will also include tips and methods for hosting up to 100 events per year while still maintaining a field up to MLB standards for 81 home games.


Pre-registration is required for the Golf and Sports Turf Management sessions. The fee for each Thursday session is $99. Friday’s session is $89. Registration for GIE+EXPO is $15 by September 8; $30 September 9 – October 16 and $60 thereafter. For information or to Other contact points:,Twitter @GIE_EXPO and 800-558-8767/812-949-9200..


GIE+EXPO is sponsored by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Inc. (OPEI), Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) and National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).





Speaker Bios


Jeff Corcoran, Manager of Golf Courses and Grounds, Oak Hill Country Club

Jeff has spent most of his 20-year career at Oak Hill Country Club where he is currently Manager of Golf Courses and Grounds. While there, he has had the opportunity to help host the Ryder Cup, U.S. Amateur, Senior PGA and PGA Championship. He also spent three years as Superintendent at Boston’s Weston Golf Club. Jeff has a degree in Turfgrass Science from Penn State University.


Marcus Dean, Sports Turf Manager, University of Kentucky

Marcus has been part of the sports turf team at the University of Kentucky since 2003. The UK graduate has a degree in PLS with an emphasis in Turfgrass Management and is a Certified Sports Field Manager. Prior returning to UK, he was Assistant Playing Surfaces Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Marcus has spoken at local, regional and national sports turf conferences and served as president of the Kentucky Turfgrass Council in 2011-12. He was awarded the KTC “Man of the Year” in 2014.


Sam Green, Chief Operating Officer, Aqua Aid Incorporated

Sam has spent most of his career as a superintendent, most recently for Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, NC. Eagle Point was ranked in Golf Digest as a Top 100 course three consecutive times during his tenure. He is now Chief Operating Officer for Aqua Aid Incorporated, the parent company of Aqua Aid wetting agents, Verde Cal calcium and Potassium products, Worm Power Turf extract, and the North American importer for Campey Imants equipment lineup.  With a degree in Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences from Virginia Tech University, Sam has 27 years of experience in the turf industry.


Pat Jones, Publisher & Editorial Director, GIE Media

For three decades, Pat Jones has been known for his insights into the golf and turf business and his candid,tell-it-like-it-is approach.  As publisher and editorial director of GIE Media’s Golf Course Industry magazine, Pat runs the industry’s leading independent publication. He is a prolific writer, blogger and social media commentator and a frequent presenter at regional, national and international turf conferences. Pat began his career in the industry at GCSAA headquarters. He later created and launched Golfdom magazine before starting his own company, Flagstick LLC, to provide consulting services to golf/turf companies and organizations. He joined GIE Media full-time in 2010 and is a member of the company’s executive team.


Tom Nielsen, Head Groundskeeper, Louisville Bats Baseball Club

Tom has been the Head Groundskeeper for the Louisville Bats Baseball Club for 17 years. In addition to his baseball duties at Slugger Field, he is responsible for converting the field, which serves as the home venue for the Louisville City Football Club, into a soccer pitch 15-19 times per year. Tom has been in sports turf management for over 25 years, also working with the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Florida Marlins, Kansas City Royals, Eugene Emeralds and Chattanooga Lookouts. Tom holds a degree in Horticulture Production and received the George Toma “Golden Rake” Award in 2011.


Dr. Wesley Totten, Chair Department of Agriculture, Geosciences, and Natural Resources, University of Tennessee at Martin

Dr. Totten earned a B.S. is Agronomy and Soils and an M.S. in Horticulture from Auburn University, as well as a Doctorate in Plant and Environmental Sciences from Clemson University. He has been an Associate Professor of Golf Course and Landscape Management at the University of Tennessee at Martin since 2007 and recently became chair of the Department of Agriculture, Geosciences and Natural Resources.


Thomas Trotter, Head Groundskeeper, Nashville Sounds Baseball Club

Thomas is responsible for the maintenance and management of Nashville Sounds’ playing field and landscaping around the stadium. Under his stewardship, the field at Greer Stadium was honored as the recipient of the 2011 Professional Field of the Year Award by the Tennessee Turfgrass Association. Prior to his move to Nashville, he worked for the Louisville Bats Baseball Club and San Diego Padres. Thomas is a graduate of Clemson University.


Jake Tyler, Turf Manager, Toldeo Mud Hens

Originally from Jackson, TN, Jake started his baseball career with the West TN Diamond Jaxx (Cubs AA farm club), becoming the Head Groundskeeper at age 17. Following a stint at Louisville’s Slugger Field he worked for the AA Mets ballpark in Binghamton, NY, before his move to Toledo where he maintains 5/3rd Field, home of the Toledo Mud Hens, the AAA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.


Luke Yoder, National Sports Field Specialist for Ewing

As a national sports field specialist, Luke works closely with Ewing’s nationwide team of sports field specialists in delivering products, support, service and education to sports turf managers at all levels. Prior to joining Ewing, Luke spent time at PNC Park in Pittsburgh and San Diego’s Petco Park, where he hosted more than 100 events annually on the field. He has also worked with sports fields around the world. With a degree in Horticulture Turfgrass Management from Clemson University, Sam regularly consults on sports turf management nationally and internationally.


John Zimmers, Golf Course Superintendent, Oakmont Country Club

A graduate of the Professional Turf Management Program at Rutgers University, John’s 23-year career has included superintendent positions where he managed renovation projects in preparation for prestigious championships. He joined the team at Oakmont Country Club in 1999 where he managed a major construction project to restore the course to its original Fownes’ design and has hosted the 2003 U.S. Amateur, the 2007 U.S. Open, the 2010 Women’s U.S. Open and the 2016 U.S. Open. John was Superintendent of the Year in 2007 and was named one of the top 10 superintendents in the world in 2005.