Golf News for Tuesday, November 6, 2012 | Events

Dan Rooney, Michael Hurdzan to speak at GCSAA Education Conference

Major Dan Rooney and Michael Hurdzan, Ph.D., two of the most highly respected members of the golf industry, will share their experiences with attendees of the GCSAA Education Conference, set for Feb. 4-8 in San Diego.

The GCSAA Education Conference, held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show (Feb. 6-7), is the largest educational conference in the turfgrass management industry. Covering all ranges of golf course management, including agronomics, environmental management, communication and business management information, the conference includes more than 100 seminars, as well as numerous education sessions. The GCSAA Golf Championship is set for Feb. 3-5, including the four-ball competition (Feb. 3), a fun-event shamble (Feb. 4) and the National Championship and Golf Classic (Feb. 4-5). Registration for the week's events for GCSAA members opens Nov. 1. To register, visit

"Dan Rooney and Mike Hurdzan are two of the most impressive and caring individuals we have in the game today," GCSAA President Sandy Queen, CGCS, said. "It has been my good fortune to have heard both of them speak, and I left each time inspired, humbled and moved. I am excited for GCSAA members to have the opportunity to hear and see them."

Rooney, a former F-16 fighter pilot and member of the PGA of America, is the founder and president of the Folds of Honor Foundation and Patriot Golf Day. It was his vision to create a means by which families that have lost loved ones in combat could receive education scholarships and other assistance. Rooney has been honored with the White House's Presidential Volunteer Service Award, the Air National Guard's Distinguished Service Medal, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the PGA of America's Inaugural Patriot Award. He has also been recognized as one of People Magazine's 2008 Heroes of the Year and one of ABC World News Tonight's Persons of the Year for 2008.

Rooney, who played golf collegiately at the University of Kansas, has extensive experience in the golf industry. He is a part-owner of Grand Haven (Mich.) Golf Club and majority owner of The Patriot in Owasso, Okla. The Patriot is the home of the Folds of Honor Foundation, and a percentage of its profits are directed to the foundation.

Watch more on Rooney, who will speak on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 5:30 p.m. at the GCSAA Opening Night Celebration, presented in partnership with Syngenta.

Hurdzan, who was selected this past fall to receive GCSAA's highest honor, the 2013 Old Tom Morris Award, is respected worldwide for his course design talents. A member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, he has more than 400 projects to his credit. The multi-talented Hurdzan has achieved many milestones in his career. Among his many honors and citations, Hurdzan was named among the five most powerful architects by Golf Digest and Architect of the Year by Golfworld; he has received the Donald Ross Award (ASGCA), the Donald Rossi Award (GCBAA), and the Distinguished Alumni Award (Ohio State University); and is a member of the Ohio Golf Association Hall of Fame.

Though he's better known for designing golf courses, Hurdzan began his career in golf as a golf course superintendent. He has authored books and publications, served on numerous committees, delivered dozens of presentations, and owns one of the top collections of golf memorabilia and artifacts.

Watch more on Hurdzan, who will speak Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 8 a.m., at the GCSAA Opening Session, also presented in partnership with Syngenta.

"I have always said, there is no better professional development opportunity than the GCSAA Education Conference, the Golf Industry Show and our golf championship," Queen said. "The education, the networking, the ability to see the latest products and the sharing of information is unparalleled. San Diego has always been a highly rated venue, and combined with the condensed schedule, we believe the event will be better than ever."

GCSAA is a leading golf organization and has as its focus golf course management. Since 1926, GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to 19,000 members in more than 72 countries. GCSAA's mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Find GCSAA on Facebook, follow GCSAA on Twitter, and visit GCSAA at The EIFG is the philanthropic organization of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, and has as its mission to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game.