The North Central Turfgrass Association and the North Dakota Golf Association annually offer scholarships to qualified applicants completing studies in golf course, turf, and athletic field management. Scholarship applications for 2020 will be due December 31st, 2019! Below are the most recent scholarship winners
2019 NCTGA & NDGA Scholarship Recipients
Matthew Becker, North Dakota State University
Matthew Becker received the 2019 North Dakota Golf Association Scholarship. Here is what Matthew had to say about his career path:
"My name is Matthew Becker and I am a student at North Dakota State University from Savage, Minnesota. I enjoy the outdoors and the game of golf, so I found this future career path a good fit. As a baseball player growing up, I was always exposed to certain groundskeeping practices and I have been interested ever since. Taking care of plants and being outdoors has become a passion of mine.
I have worked at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota the past two years and have learned a lot about the golf course industry from Chris Tritabaugh. On top of this, to improve my management skills I am a student manager at the Residence Dining Center on campus. I have learned valuable management skills from this job that include interviewing and onboarding student employees, communication skills, and problem solving. All these skills will be valuable for my future.
This upcoming summer I will be working at Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata, Minnesota, where I will have the opportunity to oversee a capital improvement project. I am excited to be able to have this opportunity to work with a great superintendent, Tim Johnson. This internship will focus on the "whys" not just the "how’s" of all inputs. This will give me valuable turfgrass management experience.
In five years, I would like to be a first assistant at a golf course somewhere in the twin cities metro. With all my experience and relationships that I have made in this region, I should not have a hard time finding work in the cities. I believe all the work I am putting in now will pay off in the short future. My long-term goal will to become a head superintendent one day."
Benjamin Koisti, University of Minnesota-Crookston
Benjamin Koisti received the 2019 North Central Turfgrass Association Scholarship. Here is what Benjamin had to say about his career path:
"Golf has always been part of my life. As a child, I was fortunate to live ten minutes from the golf course. This led to many unplanned trips to the course after school, and a routine 8:00 AM tee time with my father and his friends on Saturday mornings. Ten minutes must not have been close enough. My family decided to build a new house on the seventh tee box at Lake Region Golf Club prior to my seventh grade. That summer I applied to work at Lake Region Golf Club and received a position on the grounds crew. I completed tasks that you might expect a seventh grader to do, wash carts, string trim trees, push mow tee boxes, and my favorite, digging irrigation holes when a leak or burst occurred. I continued to work at the golf course throughout middle school, high school, and most of college each year.
Looking back, when I first started working at Lake Region Golf Club l did not envision it as a future career. I viewed it as a summer job that would earn me a little money to spend throughout the school year, but each summer I found myself back working at the golf course. It was satisfying to be able to tum acres of grass into what I viewed as a masterpiece. Even though I did not realize it at first, I was building a career.
In looking towards what the future holds for me, I have short and long term goals. In the short term, I will graduate this coming spring from the University of Minnesota Crookston with a Bachelor’s degree in Golf and Turf Management and a minor in Business Management. I have also applied to multiple graduate schools in the Midwest for a PhD in turfgrass science. As for my long term goals, I have a number of paths in which I could pursue. If I choose graduate school and obtain my PhD, I would apply for a teaching position at a college or university where it would be rewarding to teach the next generation of turf grass students. If I choose to enter into the profession after graduation this spring, I will look for an upper management position at a golf course in the Midwest. Also, if I have the opportunity during my career to return to Lake Region Golf Club to be the general manager I would take the position and be honored to continue what I started way back in seventh grade. With all of these potential options, I am excited for what the future has in store and how I can continue to contribute to the golf and turf community."
2018 NCTGA & NDGA Scholarship Recipients
Leah Withrow - North Dakota State University
Leah Withrow has been awarded the 2018 North Central Turfgrass Association Scholarship. Leah is a Senior at NDSU majoring in Sports & Urban Turfgrass Management with an emphasis on athletic field management. In addition to that, she is pursuing minors in Horticulture, Crop & Weed Science, and Business Administration. Leah has completed internships with both Triple A and Major League Baseball teams, including the Milwaukee Brewers. During her time at NDSU, Leah has served as the Turf Club President, along with membership in other organizations. With her strong work ethic and impressive resume, Leah is a repeat recipient of the NCTGA Scholarship from both 2016 and 2017.
Chad Blank - North Dakota State University
Chad Blank has been awarded the 2018 North Dakota Golf Association Scholarship. Growing up on Alexandria’s Lake Miltona Golf Club- a course his family owns and operates- Chad learned to love the golf industry at an incredibly young age. After developing an interest for turfgrass throughout his childhood, his passion eventually led him to pursue a degree in Horticulture & Sports and Urban Turfgrass Management from North Dakota State University. Now in his second year of studies, he will be interning on Long Island this upcoming summer at the Maidstone Club. In his spare time, Chad enjoys spending time with family, reading, traveling and being outdoors.