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Ken Nice of Bandon Dunes receives national award from GCSAA

Ken Nice, the director of agronomy at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore. has been selected the national award winner as an environmental leader in the Resort Courses category for 2016 by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

Nice, a native of Corvallis, Ore. who served as the superintendent for each of the resort’s four courses before ascending to the director of the entire facility, has a multi-faceted and environmentally-friendly program at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Bandon was voted the “Best Green Workplace” in Oregon in 2016 and the resort has been a Golf Digest Green Star Award winner.

“We are thrilled to receive the award, and it is a great honor,” said Nice. “We work hard at our environmental initiatives and it really speaks to our owner, Mike Keiser, and his commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Other national award recipients include Shannon Easter, the maintenance director and environmental consultant at Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton, Fla., who was chosen as the Overall and National Private recipient of the 2016 Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards (ELGA); and Alex Stuedemann, the golf course superintendent at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., who won for the Public Golf Course category.

The awards are presented annually by GCSAA and Golf Digest in partnership with Syngenta and Rain Bird’s Golf Division. The winners will be recognized Tuesday, Feb. 7, during the Opening Session at the 2017 Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Fla. Winners will also be featured in upcoming issues of Golf Digest and GCSAA’s official monthly publication, Golf Course Management magazine.

The awards recognize golf course superintendents and their courses for overall course management excellence and best management practices in the areas of water conservation, water quality management, energy conservation, pollution prevention, waste management, wildlife and habitat conservation, communication and outreach, and leadership.

“The ELGA winners are not only stewards for the environment, but excellent examples of the focus our industry keeps on sustainable efforts,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “They are on the frontline of how superintendents are making great playing conditions and environmental management practices work in tandem.”

An independent panel of judges representing national environmental groups, turfgrass experts, university researchers and valued members of the golf industry conducted the award selection.

In addition to the national winners, 19 chapter winners and nine merit winners were chosen from GCSAA’s 98 affiliated chapters. Here is a list of recipients from the Northwest.

ELGA chapter winners (facility, location, chapter)

  • Carl Thompson, CGCS, Columbia Point Golf Course, Richland, Wash., Inland Empire GCSA
  • Kurt Noonan, CGCS, Juniper Golf Course, Redmond, Ore., Oregon GCSA
  • Mark Trenter, Chambers Bay, University Place, Wash., Western Washington GCSA
  • Michael Bednar, Palouse Ridge Golf Club, Pullman, Wash., Inland Empire GCSA

ELGA merit winners (facility, location, chapter)

  • Alan Nielsen, CGCS, Royal Oaks Country Club, Vancouver, Wash., Oregon GCSA
  • Gary Heath, Glendoveer Golf and Tennis, Portland, Ore., Oregon GCSA
  • Ron Kuhns, Sun Willows Golf Course, Pasco, Wash., Inland Empire, GCSA

About GCSAA and the EIFG
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 18,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at

The Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit EIFG at