Tegtmeier and Croda named Superintendents of the Year

There were no hanging chads involved, but picking a winner for this year’s Superintendent of the Year Award, presented by Syngenta literally was too close to call.

Jorge Croda, Stephanie Schwenke and Rick Tegtmeier.

For the first time in the 18-year history of the award there was a tie.

Jorge Croda, a hometown Texas favorite from Southern Oaks Golf Club in Burleson, and Iowan Rick Tegtmeier of Des Moines Golf and Country Club were named co-winners of the award.

An industrial engineer by trade, Croda has built a career on restoring dilapidated golf courses in the United States and Mexico, including Southern Oaks Golf Club in Burleson, Texas. But that skill is only a small part of his contribution to the golf industry. He also is a tireless advocate for members of his largely Mexican national team of employees and the superintendent profession as a whole.

His efforts include career-development opportunities for his team that combine English language and computer instruction. He is an avid promoter of the superintendent profession and an advocate for youth golf in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

After renovating nine holes of 36-hole Des Moines Golf and Country Club over a four-year span, Tegtmeier ushered the club in West Des Moines, Iowa through the 2017 Solheim Cup, and he took almost the entire state along for the ride.

The event became an opportunity for other superintendents throughout the state and others around the country (many of whom had work with or for Tegtmeier in the past) to prove to the golf world that Iowa can stage a major golf event that rivals any tournament anywhere.

The list of those who nominated included 2007 Masters champion (and Iowa native) Zach Johnson, Team USA captain Juli Inkster and Bill Northey, Iowa’s secretary of agriculture.

Stephanie Schwenke, turf market manager for Syngneta, presented the awards.

Croda and Tegtmeier were chosen from a field of finalists that also included Mark Hoban of Rivermont Golf Club in Johns Creek, Georgia, Chris Ortmeier of the Champions Club in Houston and Josh Pope of the Old White Course at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

Croda and Tegtmeier each receive a trip for two on the annual TurfNet golf trip to Ireland, courtesy of Syngenta.

Previous winners include: Dick Gray, PGA Golf Club, Port St. Lucie, FL (2016); Matt Gourlay, Colbert Hills, Manhattan, KS (2015); Fred Gehrisch, Highlands Falls Country Club, Highlands, NC (2014); Chad Mark, Kirtland Country Club, Willoughby, OH (2013), Dan Meersman, Philadelphia Cricket Club (2012), Flourtown, PA; Paul Carter, The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay, Harrison, TN (2011); Thomas Bastis, The California Golf Club of San Francisco, South San Francisco, CA (2010); Anthony Williams, Stone Mountain (GA) Golf Club (2009); Sam MacKenzie, Olympia Fields (IL) Country Club (2008); John Zimmers, Oakmont (PA) Country Club (2007); Scott Ramsay, Golf Course at Yale University, New Haven, CT (2006); Mark Burchfield, Victoria Club, Riverside, CA (2005); Stuart Leventhal, Interlachen Country Club, Winter Park, FL (2004); Paul Voykin, Briarwood Country Club, Deerfield, IL (2003); Jeff Burgess, Seven Lakes Golf Course, Windsor, Ontario (2002); Kip Tyler, Salem Country Club, Peabody, MA (2001); Kent McCutcheon, Las Vegas (NV) Paiute Golf Resort (2000).