Gordon Witteveen was born in the Netherlands in 1934 and emigrated to Canada some twenty years later. He attended the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph and worked during the summers at Noranda Mines Golf Course in Quebec, where he developed a love of golf and turf (see photo above right).
Upon graduation from college in 1958, he became the superintendent at London Highland Country Club in Ontario. Three years later he moved to Toronto to embark on a 12-year tenure as superintendent at the now defunct Northwood Golf Course. During this period he became active with the Ontario GSA and later helped found the Canadian GSA.
He initiated The Greenmaster magazine of the CGSA and served as its editor for five years. He also served as a director of GCSAA and on its historical preservation committee.
In 1973 Gordon became superintendent at the 36-hole Toronto Board of Trade Country Club, which he expanded to 45 holes a few years later. A frequent contributor to industry publications, Gordon received the Leo Feser Award from GCSAA for the best superintendent-written article in Golf Course Management magazine.
In 1995 Gordon and his then-assistant Cory Janzen became involved in TurfNet, actively participating in the Forum dialog, making friends and dispensing advice, opinions and experiences. Gordon proceeded to write a column, The Last Word, for TurfNet Monthly for six years.
Upon retiring from the Board of Trade in 1999, Gordon re-opened a dormant 9-hole layout near Brantford, Ontario and owned/operated it until it’s sale in 2008.
A world traveler who has visited and played golf courses all over the globe, Gordon often spoke to superintendent groups with presentations such as his “25 Years of Mistakes”. Together with Michael Bavier, CGCS (now retired) from Chicago, Gordon co-authored a book titled Practical Golf Course Maintenance which is in its second printing and has also been translated into Spanish. A seminar based on the book, The Magic of Greenkeeping, has been presented all over Canada, the USA and beyond.
Gordon also wrote A Century of Greenkeeping for the Ontario GCSA in 2001, and co-authored (with the late Bob Labbance) Keepers of the Green: A History of Golf Course Management for GCSAA in 2002.
As an accomplished career superintendent, author, teacher and lecturer, Gordon feels his most lasting contribution to the industry is the many young men and women he has mentored who have followed in his footsteps.