A team of Cal Poly Pomona plant science students finished in fourth place at the 20th annual Collegiate Turf Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
The competition is sponsored by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and is held every year at the organization’s Education Conference and Golf Industry Show.
The Turf Bowl is a three-hour test on 11 subjects that a golf course superintendent would need to know, including turf types, weeds, insects and diseases, and irrigation.
The team consisting of Raul Martinez, Cody Chavez, Adam Mason and Lucio Zapeda was awarded $800 for finishing fourth out of 71 teams. The University of Maryland, Michigan State and Penn State were the top three scorers. Purdue, Iowa State, Rutgers, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Ohio State and Kansas State rounded out the top 10.
A second Cal Poly Pomona team consisting of Brett Wininger, Anthony Vazquez Perez, Oscar Del Real and Tyler Harvey placed 17th. An alternate, Luellen Swayzer, also traveled with the two teams to Orlando.
The two teams had divided up the topics in November and worked with alums and on-campus advisers to learn the material. Kelly Parkins and Ryan Nichols, who are both plant science faculty, served as the teams’ advisers.
The students are hoping to improve upon this year’s finish: most of them are just first- or second-year students.