2024 OGSA Centennial & Turfgrass Management Conference Schedule

Conference Location: Fallsview Casino Conference Centre,
Grand Hall, Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada.
Hotel: Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Hotel & Suites

In 2024 at the OGSA's Turfgrass Management Conference, we will also celebrate 100 years of the OGSA!
Join us in Niagara Falls, January 16-18, 2024.
Take in our outstanding speaker series, network with your peers and the future leaders of turf, and enjoy the magnificent Centennial Celebration Party at the Niagara Parks Power Station.



OGSA Centennial Reg Pages - Clippings


Syngenta • Turf Care • BrettYoung • Plant Products • Envu • Belchim Turf Protection • GT Golf & Turf • Target Specialty Products • GreenHorizons Sod Farm • Allturf • GC Duke • OSC • R.J. Burnside & Associates Ltd. • Capillary Flow • Vanden Bussche Irrigation • Lakeshore Sand Company • BASF • Evergreen Bio Innovations • Hutcheson Sand • Almack Agronomics • R&M Construction • Nutrite • James Dick Construction Co. • Marmic Solutions • Professional Stump Grinders • Podolinsky Equipment Ltd. • Watertronics • Mobilicab


Check out this year's auction and bid on terrific product for your club or yourself! Thank you to the companies who are participating! Keep checking back as we continue to update the donated items! Proceeds will support the OGSA scholarship program.

Plant Products •  GreenHorizons • Capillary Flow • Vanden Bussche Irrigation  • Podolinsky •  Evergreen Bio Innovations • Hutcheson Sand & Mixes • OSC • James Dick Construction Co. • R.J. Burnside • Belchim Turf Protection • Watertronics • BASF • Turf Care • R&M Restoration • GT Golf

Speaker Series

Conference Schedule - January 16, 2024

IPM: 3.0
CGSA: 4.0
GCSAA: Day 1 - .45 | Day 2 - .60 | Day 3 - .30

8:30am - Registration Opens, Coffee and tea available.

9:45am - Welcoming Remarks, in partnership with Syngenta

10:00am - OGSA Golf Course Best Management Practices: Why every club needs this document.

10:30am - Frank Rossi, Ph.D, - What's Your Score. Grading your environmental stewardship.

11:30am - BREAK

11:45am - OGSA Annual Awards Luncheon, in partnership with ENVU

1:45PM - BREAK

2:00pm - Pat Jones, Double Edge Sword of Superintendent Culture

3:00 - Matt Legg, Unleashing Innovative Ideas: Redefining Turfgrass Management with Digital Technologies

3:30pm - Frank Rossi, Ph.D - Turfgrass Traffic Jam: Understanding managing and using traffic on the golf course to address cultural practices.

4:30pm - Day end Remarks, Hotel check in.

6:30pm - OGSA Centennial Reception Celebration! Cocktails and food will be served. Shuttles are available outside the hotel lobby beginning at 6:15pm. See you there!

Conference Schedule - January 17, 2024

IPM: 2.83
CGSA: 5.25
GCSAA: Available Jan

8:00am - Day 2 Registration Opens. Breakfast and coffee are available.

8:55am - Day 2 Welcoming Remarks, in partnership with Turf Care

9:00am - John Kaminski, Ph.D - Emerging Diseases for Golf Courses

10:00am - Don White, Turf Care, Tier4 Engine Systems, Practical Operation and Maintenance Guidelines

10:30am - BREAK

10:40am - John Kaminski Ph.D - Technology & Managing Turf in 10 Years.

11:40am - Ryan Scott, Superintendent - First Green. Sowing the Seeds for the Next Generation of Superintendents

12:00pm - Networking Lunch

1:30pm - Ernest Coetzee, B.A., J.D.│ Counsel │ RZCD Law Firm LLP - Negotiating Your Contract - What You Need to Know Before You Sit Down to the Table.

2:30pm - Paul Grotier, Belchim Turf Protection - Phosphites in 2024 – What’s In and What’s Out?

3:00pm - BREAK

3:15pm - Chris Tritabaugh, Superintendent, Hazeltine National Golf Club - 10 Rules for Leadership and Balance

4:30pm - Closing remarks

4:45pm - OGSA AGM

4:30pm -Turf Care Party

Conference Schedule - January 18, 2024

IPM: 3.0
CGSA: 2.75
GCSAA: Available Jan

8:00am - Breakfast & Coffee Available

9:00am - Chris Tritabaugh - Data collection, testing and sampling procedures and methods that have allowed such minimal disruption to take place.

10:00am - Sara Stricker Ph.D - Advancing Integrated Pest Management with Science: Current research and how to do it yourself

11:00am - Superintendent Panel - Join Kevin Collier, Brad Hutchinson, and Carol Turner and moderator Cam Shaw as they discuss Golf Course Innovation on a tight budget.

12:00pm - Closing Remarks

Session Summaries & Speaker Bios


Frank Rossi, Ph.D

Dr. Frank Rossi is an Associate Professor with the School of Integrated Plant Science, Horticulture Section at Cornell University. When he isn't teaching, Frank conducts research on ecological aspects of turfgrass science. His recent research has been focusing on applying the rigorous scientific method to practical problems in turfgrass management.

What's Your Score - Grading your environmental Stewardship

Session Summary

There is much talk about publishing Best Management Practices (BMPs) for environmental stewardship, however very little effort put into are we as an industry actually implementing them. Join Frank Rossi as he reviews adoption of sustainability practices from research conducted in US and abroad in last three years and highlight key aspects of stewardship that everyone can adopt.       

Turfgrass Traffic Jam: Understanding Managing and Using Traffic on The Golf Course to Address Cultural Practices.

Session Summary

This session will cover a broad range of scientific and practical topics on understanding, managing and using traffic on the golf course to address cultural management challenges. A specific emphasis will be placed on golf footwear impacts on putting surface performance, using traffic for OM mgt., and rolling for pest management and weed control.

John Kaminski photo

John Kaminski, Ph.D

Dr. John Kaminski is a Professor and Associate Head of the Department of Plant Science and Director of the Golf Course Turfgrass Management Program at PennState.
His experience in turfgrass management and the management of turfgrass diseases is extensive, and makes him a wonderful, insightful speaker for our 2024 Conference.

Technology: Managing Turf in 10 Years

Session Summary

The talk "Technology – Managing Turf in 10 Years" offers an insightful glimpse into the future of turf management, particularly in the context of rapid technological advancements. This presentation delves into how emerging technologies will revolutionize the way turf is managed, focusing on the next decade's landscape. 

Emerging Diseases for Golf Courses

Session Summary

The primary focus of this session is on the recent surge in turfgrass diseases affecting golf courses, emphasizing their identification, impact, and management strategies. John will outline their distinctive symptoms, underlying causes, and the environmental conditions that exacerbate their spread. He will also highlight how they can severely affect turf health and course maintenance and a comprehensive overview of effective management strategies is provided.

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Chris Tritabaugh

Chris is the Golf Course Superintendent at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

 As Chris' Twitter bio says, "willing to learn, helping to learn, and posting about it", and that is exactly what he does! Chris' blog offers insights into a large variety of turfgrass topics.

10 Rules for Leadership and Balance

Session Summary

Hazeltine National’s golf course superintendent Chris Tritabaugh will share the ten rules he uses to lead his team and keep a good balance between work and life.

Learning outcomes:
• Be more present, at work and at home
• Turn criticism into motivation
• Leadership methods and tips to get the most from the entire team
• Ideas to improve your mental and physical health and your golf course.

Data Collection, Testing and Sampling Procedures

Session Summary

During this talk, Chris Tritabaugh will walk attendees through his data collection and measurement process. Chris will explain the various metrics he tracks each day, along with the materials, methods, tools and time required.

Learning outcomes:
• What type of data to collect and how to do so
• The correlation between data and management practices. What to look for and how it can help with decision making.
• Implementation, or not, based on the data
• How to use data to communicate and inform members and golfers

Pat Jones

Pat Jones
Pat is an industry marketing expert and candid observer of the golf business trends. He has 30 years of passionate experience in the golf industry.

Pat is no novice to the keynote speaking game, and he is well known for his candid talks about golf, business and life!

Double-Edged Sword of Superintendent Culture

Session Summary

Veteran industry observer Pat Jones says the same attributes that have defined great superintendents have also demanded too much from the rest of their lives. That double-edged sword has all too often caused anxiety, depression and sometimes loss of identity when circumstances change. And they almost always do. How can you avoid the same fate? Pat has thoughts on that as well as a look at the state of the golf industry four years a virus changed everything. 

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Matthew Legg, Syngenta

Matthew Legg is the Technical Lead for Syngenta Professional Solutions, based out of Toronto, ON, where he leads all technical outreach, advanced troubleshooting, and product development on behalf of Syngenta Canada.  Before joining Syngenta, Matthew worked in a golf course setting, serving in the capacity of Director of Agronomy within the private golf sector.

Academically, Matthew holds a diploma in turfgrass management from the University of Guelph, along with his Bachelor of Science, in Turfgrass Science, from the Pennsylvania State University.
Outside of Syngenta Matthew provides educational outreach as a seasonal lecturer of Turfgrass Entomology, at the University of Guelph, where he educates up and coming Turf Managers about the biology, ecology and management of turf and landscape insect pests.

Unleashing Innovative Ideas: Redefining Turfgrass Management with Digital Technologies

Session Summary

Join Matthew Legg, Technical Lead for Syngenta Professional Solutions, as he discusses the world of digital technologies within turfgrass management. In this short, but captivating presentation, attendees will witness a live demonstration of a free platform that promises to enhance agronomic decision making for Canadian Turfgrass Managers.

Discover the power of precise weather parameters at your fingertips, enabling you to make informed decisions and optimize your turfgrass management strategies. Explore functional disease modeling tools that revolutionize disease control, providing you with the knowledge to prevent outbreaks and maintain healthy turf. Keep track of your progress with application tracking tools, ensuring accurate and efficient product usage.

Finally, unlock the potential of spray application risk windows, guiding you towards the perfect timing for treatments and maximizing their effectiveness. By the end of this presentation, Canadian Turf Managers will be equipped with the tools and insights to elevate their turfgrass management operations.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the possibilities of digital technologies and embark on a journey towards more efficient and successful turfgrass management. Get ready to be inspired and empowered to take your turfgrass management to new heights.


Al Schwemler, Retired Superintendent, OGSA Past President & Director

Al Schwemler is a former superintendent and the Past President of the Ontario Golf Superintendent Association (OGSA). He holds a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Guelph and a BSc in Geology from the University of Windsor. Al’s storied career includes experience at Essex G&CC, Westmount G&CC, Board of Trade CC, Toronto GC and York Downs G&CC. Al continues to support the turf industry by serving on the OGSA Board of Directors and spearheading the recent BMP’s for Ontario project through OGSA and GCSAA.


Kevin Doyle, Field Staff-Northeast Region GCSAA 

Kevin Doyle graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and embarked on a career in golf course management lasting 17 years. Doyle also earned a master's in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University in 2010. He has authored articles in various trade magazines, including GCM. Doyle began working with, and advocating for, the members and chapters of GCSAA as the regional field staff representative in March of 2012.

Ontario BMP's - Drive Sustainability at Your Facility and Advocate for Golf’s Future

Session Summary

Golf course superintendents in Ontario are professional land managers entrusted to protect the environment and communities the property lies within.  Regulatory requirements such as Integrated Pest Management Accreditation Program, Permit to Take Water, and others create a framework superintendents must abide by.  The Best Management Practices (BMP) for Ontario Golf Courses, a voluntary initiative of the Ontario Golf Superintendents Association (OGSA), provides a comprehensive document developed by experts, and vetted by your peer superintendents, that can help foster the sustainability of our industry.

  • The history of the BMP initiative.
    • With rapidly changing regulations, our industry needs to better communicate golf’s positive environmental impact. BMPs are the language of regulators.
  • A walk through the document, highlighting the integration of current IPM and Water regulations within the BMP for Ontario Golf Courses.
    • The BMP document serves as a conduit to access vital regulatory information and offers industry expert recommended best practices to further enhance your environmental efforts.
  • Benefits to you and your golf course, specifically the impact on the sustainability triangle of people, planet, and profit.
    • From the minute the door opens at your maintenance facility the goal is to offer a safe environment for staff and golfers, the community at large, and the environment. This comprehensive document helps superintendents in Ontario tell that story.
  • Finally, how to build your own facility BMP in GCSAA’s online tool.
    • Those in the regulatory world will applaud the efforts of the OGSA in building this document, then they will ask how many are using it. Will you be one?

Join me and see how the BMPs for Ontario Golf Courses document can become a vital building block to communicate and elevate your environmentally positive efforts to stakeholders including those in golf, within your community, and the regulatory arena.


Paul Grotier
Paul Grotier began his career in turfgrass management, in 1990, at Hillsdale Golf & Country Club in Quebec. He went on to earn his diploma from the University of Guelph, and became the assistant superintendent at Donalda Club. More recently, Paul has joined Belchim Turf Protection Canada as a Sales and Account Manager in the Professional Turf division.

Paul will be teaching us all about phosphites with his expertise on the super and supplier side.

Phosphites in 2024 – What’s In and What’s Out?

Session Summary

This presentation details the recent changes in Canada’s phosphite regulation, discusses the potential impact to your golf course and reviews new research on how to harness the power of this unique class of chemistry in your turf operation.

Sara Stricker - Headshot

Dr. Sara Stricker

Dr. Sara Stricker is a plant pathologist who works as the Communications and Outreach Coordinator at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute. She aims to make turfgrass research interesting and accessible to the industry and the public. Sara obtained her B.Sc, M.Sc, and Ph.D degrees at the University of Guelph and completed a Bachelor of Education at Western University. She has conducted research on foliar diseases including tar spot of maple, Stemphylium leaf blight of onion, and Microdochium patch of creeping bentgrass.  Sara has taught Environmental Turf Management, Plant Biology, Plant Pathology, and Turf Insect Pests at the University of Guelph.

Advancing Integrated Pest Management with Science: Current Research at the GTI and How To Do It Yourself

Session Summary

In this presentation, we will delve into the latest research spearheaded by Dr. Tom Hsiang, Dr. Eric Lyons, and Dr. Katerina Jordan, undertaken at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute. The primary emphasis will be on integrated pest management, covering diverse projects. These include investigating fungicide resistance in the dollarspot pathogen, understanding the taxonomy of the pathogen (or pathogens?) responsible for take-all patch, enhancing fungicide infiltration with surfactants, and exploring the efficacy of iron-based products combined with overseeding for weed management. In addition, Dr. Stricker will cover tips for conducting small on-site research projects to better understand how management practices effect the turf and pests at your property. 


Ernest Coetzee, B.A., J.D.│ Counsel │ RZCD Law Firm LLP

Ernie Coetzee has been a labour and employment lawyer in the GTA for almost 35 years. He is one of the founding partners of RZCD Law Firm in Mississauga which opened its doors in 1993 .
Ernie has negotiated many contracts over the years and has previously acted for this association and its members going back nearly 30 years. Do you all remember Bob Heron? Ernie also worked in the greens department for two summers at the Islington Golf and Country Club during his university years (hello to Tom Charters) and he has been a member of the Markland Wood Golf Club for 50 years!
Ernie also has experience in the world of professional sports having acted for professional hockey team owners, leagues and players in the past.  He has also served as the President and CEO of both an American Hockey League team and the development company that designed and developed the Coca Cola Coliseum, previously the Ricoh Coliseum.

Negotiating Your Contract - What You Need to Know Before You Sit Down to The Table.

Session Summary

Topics will centre on individual employment contracts versus independent contractor agreements, the need for overall strength and unity as an association and how that can benefit the individual members of your association with respect to negotiated wage rates, benefits, pensions and working conditions. The issue of fixed term contracts versus open-ended contracts and the applicability of severance entitlements in each case will also be addressed.

Superintendent Panel Discussion Participants:


Kevin Collier, Superintendent, Riverbend Golf Community

Topic: Superintendent Panelist - Innovation on a Tight Budget

Kevin is currently the golf course superintendent at the RiverBend Golf Community in London where he has held the position since 2012, and is a 15-year member of the OGSA.  Over the past 10-years he has been instructor within the Golf and Club Management Program at Fanshawe College introducing many students to the industry.  Previously, he spent time as various properties within ClubLink and many years working for a 9-hole property in the Durham region.  He also is passionate about tournament golf and has worked many events including: The Masters, PGA Championship, US Open, CP Women’s Open, and the Freedom 55 Championship. He has a goal is to complete the grand slam when the opportunity arises at the British Open.


Brad Hutchinson, Superintendent, Warkworth Golf Course

Topic: Superintendent Panelist - Innovation on a Tight Budget

Brad Hutchinson, is the Golf Course Superintendent at Warkworth Golf Course in Eastern Ontario.  Originally built by his grandparents and father, Warkworth G.C. has been a family run business since 1967. Brad completed the Turf Managers Short Course in 1998 and has continued his ever-evolving education through countless dollar spot seminars and turf conferences over his 27-year career.  As a third-generation superintendent, Brad has taken a keen interest in the organic regenerative turf movement and is making great strides in reducing the amount of pesticides applied to his property each year.  Brad and his wife Lindsay, have two energetic sons and during the winter months, he volunteers his time as both a coach and board member for their local hockey association.  To relax, they enjoy going back country camping in Algonquin Park and snowboarding in the Eastern Townships in Quebec.  Some proud professional accomplishments include fully automating their irrigation system, completely rebuilding a Toro 3200 transmission successfully, and annually reducing his pesticide use.  Brad truly loves the golf course industry and enjoys working alongside with his parents. He is proud that they can work together everyday and always sit down for a family dinner and a laugh.

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Carol Turner, Bigwin Golf Club

Topic: Superintendent Panelist - Innovation on a Tight Budget

Carol Turner is a Golf Course Superintendent at Bigwin Island Golf Club in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. Bigwin Island is a Doug Carrick-designed golf course ranked 33 on Score Golf's top 100 golf courses in Canada. It is a unique property located on an island with no access by land. Previously, Carol was Assistant Superintendent at Bigwin Island before being promoted to Superintendent. Her experience includes other top clubs in Ontario, including The Ladies Golf Club of Toronto and The National Golf Club. Carol is a past representative for the GCSAA Assistant Superintendent Task Group, a speaker at the 2023 GCSAA Conference in Orlando, and a Women in Turfgrass Program mentor. Bigwin Island is in beautiful Muskoka, Ontario, where Carol grew up and is the course where she fell in love with golf/turf nearly 20 years ago. Carol is passionate about the environment and the outdoors and is most at home near a body of water.


Cam Shaw, Manager | Diploma in Turfgrass Management (DTM)

University of Guelph | Ontario Agricultural College

Topic: Superintendent Panel Moderator - Innovation on a Tight Budget.


Innovation on a Tight Budget.

Session Summary

Meeting player and owner expectations on a budget while adhering to environmental compliance can be tricky for many courses. This discussion will cover some first hand innovation that superintendents have implemented in their own routines to help bridge the gap between the budget and expectations.


Don White, Director of Technical Support, Training and Education, Turf Care Products Canada

Tier4 Engine Systems, Practical Operation and Maintenance Guidelines

Session Summary

High level look at common issues and possible solutions which have been uncovered since the implementation of tier4 in our industry.

Ryan Scott

Ryan L. Scott, OGSA Past President and Superintendent of Oakville Golf Club

Event Page

The Awards Luncheon


The 2024 OGSA Awards Luncheon will see many of our members receive well-deserved awards.

For some of these awards, we need your say! This year we have created the OGSA #TodayInOntario calendar to commemorate 13 of our amazing member submissions.

We want you to pick your favourite shot from our #TodayInOntario Calendar.

ONCourse November 2023

Each year we award one of our ONCourse writers with the Barry Endicott Editorial Award. This year, we will see TWO winners of this award.

Please check out the amazing articles that our members worked so hard to write this year, and vote for your favourites.