Superintendents Association of Northern California Announces Honors

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of Northern California (GCSANC) will recognize five of its members for outstanding contributions within the golf and turf care industry. Awards will be presented at the 2012 GCSANC Annual Meeting on Monday, January 9, at The Course at Wente Vineyards (Livermore, Calif.). More than 100 association members and turf care industry leaders are expected to attend.

The Golf Course Superintendent of the Year Award will be presented to Patrick "Pat" Finlen, CGCS, and director of golf course maintenance operations at the Olympic Club (San Francisco, CA). A certified golf course superintendent, Finlen receives the top honor for his contributions to the betterment of the association and its members, as well as the golf community.

Finlen has served on the GCSANC board of directors and currently is secretary/treasurer for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) where he is instrumental in improving programs and services for fellow golf course superintendents. He is a trustee for The Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), a not-for-profit organization committed to strengthening the compatibility of the game of golf with the natural environment. Additionally, he is a supporter of the California Alliance for Golf (CAG), a statewide trade organization whose primary goal is to protect valuable resources for those in the business of golf.

Finlen receives this coveted award as he prepares the Olympic Club (Lake Course) for the 2012 U.S. Open Championship, slated for mid-June. He is past president of the California, Heart of America and the Northern California Chapters of the GCSAA, and a member of the GCSAA for 26 years. This is the second time Finlen has earned this prestigious award, first time was in 2003.

Jason Green, of San Jose Country Club is the recipient of the prestigious George Santana Distinguished Service Award, a special distinction presented to an individual who has displayed the highest level of professionalism while demonstrating a long-standing commitment to the GCSANC and the turf care industry. Green, who currently serves as general manager and chief operating officer at San Jose CC, has been an active member of the association for several years. He has served as chapter president and on several key committees and currently he is a delegate to the California Chapter of the GCSAA.

The GCSANC Turfgrass Excellence Award is presented to two individuals for their high level of achievement in upholding quality standards in turfgrass maintenance. Criteria for this award takes into consideration overall course condition, environmental factors, rounds of play, and maintenance budget. The recipient for the GCSANC Turfgrass Excellence Award in the Public Category is Abelardo "Lalo" Pacheco, director of agronomy at Rancho Solano Golf Club (Fairfield, CA) a well-maintained municipal course (located between San Francisco and Sacto), owned by the city of Fairfield and managed by KemperSports.

In the Private Category, the Turfgrass Excellence Award will be presented to Dale Engman at Mayacama Golf Club (Santa Rosa) where he serves as golf course superintendent. Engman's success is derived from his immense dedication in maintaining the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, one that ranks among the best by GolfWeek and Golf Digest.

Jim Sherman, vice president for Turf & Industrial Equipment Company is the worthy recipient of the GCSANC Bert Graves Affiliate Merit Award, bestowed for ones contributions to the betterment of the association and its members. Sherman, an affiliate board representative also co-chairs the sponsor relations committee which raises funds for educational programs, turfgrass research projects and scholarships.

"We, as an association, are extremely proud of our members and their good work which takes place not only at their club or course but also within our organization," stated GCSANC president and Annual Meeting host Glenn Matthews. "The highlight of our annual meeting will be the awards ceremony when we recognize these dedicated individuals for their contributions."

The above report is courtesy of the Northern California Chapter of the GCSAA. For more information, visit