Sports turf sessions at GIE+EXPO again this year

For the second year in a row, sports turf professionals and golf superintendents will have education opportunities at GIE+EXPO (Green Industry & Equipment Expo). The Golf and Sports Turf Management Conference, hosted by the Kentucky Turfgrass Council, will take place Thursday and Friday, October 19-20 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.

“With 900 exhibits – indoors and out – that showcase the newest turf management equipment, lawn and garden products, light construction equipment and UTVs, it’s a natural fit for golf course superintendents and sports turf professionals,” said Warren Sellers, show director. “Having the conference sessions in conjunction with the tradeshow makes GIE+EXPO their one-stop shop for new products and education.”

Sports Turf Sessions

Sponsored by Southern Athletic Fields

Thursday, October 20

1:30 – 5 PM

Oversight and Management of High-End Sports Fields

Dan Bergstrom, CSFM

This session will cover a wide range of topics, including daily maintenance of athletic fields for high-end results, tips and tricks for enhancing fields on low budgets, renovation techniques for grass and skinned areas, and keeping fields in condition for year-round play. A 25+ year veteran of the sports turf industry, speaker Dan Bergstrom has managed grounds crews and playing fields in the NFL, as well as for the University of Kentucky, University of Nebraska and Houston Astros. He is currently at BBVA Compass Stadium, home of the Houston Dynamo MLS Club.

Healthy Soils, Better Sports Fields, Fewer Pesticides

Tom Samples, PhD, UT Extension Turfgrass Specialist

In addition to maintaining nutrient-rich soils, this presentation by Tom Samples will reinforce the importance of soil texture, structure, organic matter, microorganism activity and drainage. Dr. Samples received his PhD in Crop Science from Oklahoma State University in 1985. He is an extension specialist of turfgrass management. His primary interests are production, establishment and maintenance of turfgrass science and management.

Fundamentals of Sports Field Specifications

Laith Ross, PE, LEED AP

Laith Ross will provide valuable insight on ways to enhance your specifications for the construction of a natural grass or synthetic turf sports field. Along with a discussion on the types of bids available for such projects, topics will also include key components for sections of the bid package. Attendees will gain a better understanding of how to write, and or review, sports field specifications for construction projects. A senior principal with RossTarrant Architects, Ross has over 25 years of experience as a consulting engineer specializing in athletic facilities, master planning and site design for educational and recreational clients. His client list includes the University of Kentucky, Georgetown College, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University and numerous other public and private schools.

Sports Turf in the Region – Past, Present and Trends for the Future

Carla Hagan, Eastern Kentucky University

Dr. Greg Munshaw, University of Kentucky

Dr. Paul Woosley, Western Kentucky University

This panel discussion will highlight trends in sports turf based on research, site visits and the panelists’ experience in the turf industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in the discussion about a variety of issues regarding the planning and maintenance of sports fields.

Golf Sessions

Sponsored by The Toro Company with Century Equipment & Kenney Machinery Corp.

Thursday, October 20

8:30 AM – NOON

Pat Jones, Moderator

For three decades, Pat Jones has been known for his insights into the golf and turf business and his candid approach. The publisher and editorial director of Golf Course Industry magazine, Jones is a prolific writer, blogger and social media commentator and a frequent presenter at regional, national and international turf conferences. He began his career in the industry at GCSAA headquarters and 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.

Surviving a Natural Disaster as a Golf Course Superintendent, From Disaster to Rebuild

Josh Pope

Josh Pope will talk about his experience as the golf course superintendent who saw The Greenbrier face a disastrous flooding event June 23, 2016, rebuilt The Old White TPC and hosted a PGA Tour event – The Greenbrier Classic – a year later. With 16 years of experience in the golf course management industry, Pope started his career at Oakmont Country Club and also spent time at The International Golf Club in Bolton, MA and Pikewood National Golf Club in Morgantown, WV. He has been at The Old White TPC at The Greenbrier since 2014.

Inside the Ropes on the PGA TOUR – A Look at Course Conditioning Goals and Maintenance Practices

Paul Vermeulen


Paul Vermeulen, who is Vice President Competitions Agronomy for the PGA TOUR, will give attendees an inside look at course conditioning goals and provide best practice tips for maintenance. An accomplished speaker and facilitator at educational conferences, Vermeulen l has written turfgrass-related articles for various trade magazines. Prior to the PGA TOUR, he was Regional Director for the Mid-Continent Region, Green Section United States Golf Association.

General Session

Friday, October 21

9 – 11 AM

A pre-session networking breakfast, 7:30 – 9 am, is included with general session fee.

Real World Advice for Twitter and Social Media

Pat Jones and Guy Cipriano

This session will cover the do’s and don’ts for starting or managing an effective social media presence. Attendees will come away with answers to questions related to “all things” social media. Guy Cipriano, the associate editor of Golf Course Industry magazine, is responsible for key content creation, attending industry events, producing podcasts, coordinating website and social media efforts, and editing print and digital editions. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. He will be joined by publisher Pat Jones, who is a writer, blogger and social media commentator.

Golf, Sports Turf and Landscape Irrigation Trends – Where things are headed


Bob Scott’s presentation will cover a variety of irrigation trends in the areas of technology, water resources, green codes and budgeting. Topics will include Cloud-based controls, HDPE pipe, storm water harvesting, water treatment, pumping systems and filtration options, ground water and reuse water development and much more. Scott is founder and president of Irrigation Consultant Services, Inc. The advancement of irrigation water resource development and LEED accredited projects has pushed his techniques for irrigation design and consultation to the forefront of golf and sports turf irrigation projects. ICS was awarded the American Society of Irrigation Consultants award for work on the Cauley Creek Water Reclamation Plant/Atlanta Athletic Club, Belmont Golf Club in Bermuda and other projects. Current projects include Atlanta Athletic Club water resource development, Carolina Panthers Stadium, Atlanta Falcon Stadium, Atlanta United FC Training Grounds and CC of Landfall.



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. In addition, participants are invited to upgrade their session registration for $50 to include a networking reception Thursday, 5:30-8 pm at The Galt House Hotel prior to GIE+EXPO’s free concert at Fourth Street Live! featuring The Crashers. The $50 reception ticket includes networking, hors d’oeuvres and two drink tickets.

Registration for GIE+EXPO is $15 by September 8; $30 September 9 – October 16 and $60 thereafter. For information or to register: Other contact points: Facebook,info@GIE-EXPO.comTwitter @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).