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Green Start Academy moves to Pinehurst this fall, brings on Rain Bird as co-sponsor

Assistant superintendents' event is Nov. 15-17

June 22, 2021  By Turf & Rec

The Green Start Academy, a three-day education session for North America’s brightest young assistant golf superintendents, is moving to a new location this fall – the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina.

The Nov. 15-17 event has traditionally been sponsored by John Deere and Bayer. Also coming on board this year as a new sponsor is Rain Bird.

“This industry is built on relationships, and Green Start Academy provides the perfect platform for attendees – as well as the mentors and hosts – to support the next generation of this industry,” Jeffrey Lawson, national sales manager, Rain Bird, said. “We are excited to join John Deere and Bayer for this year’s event and look forward to meeting the 2021 class in North Carolina.” 

Green Start Academy is open to assistant superintendents from the U.S. and Canada who are looking to advance their careers and build connections within the golf industry. The 2021 application period will be open from July 1 through Aug. 1, and selected participants will be notified by Aug. 16.


“We are excited to continue the tradition of Green Start Academy, bringing assistant superintendents from all over North America together for three days of education, professional development, and networking,” Manny Gan, global director of golf, John Deere, said. “One of the things that makes Green Start Academy special is the unique opportunity we have to connect attendees with the top leaders in the golf industry. We are excited to further enhance this experience by bringing our participants to one of the best courses in the United States – Pinehurst.”

The academy will continue to feature educational sessions from top industry experts and breakout sessions with industry leaders, but the 2021 event will place even more emphasis on mentorship and networking. Additionally, due to the new location, attendees can expect additional new events to be added to the 2021 agenda.


“Bayer is honoured to welcome Rain Bird to the Green Start Academy family, and we are equally excited about the program moving to Pinehurst,” Will McMurdo, head of the U.S. turf and ornamentals business for Bayer, said. “While John Deere and Bayer have made great strides with GSA since the program’s inception over 15 years ago, we both agreed that bringing another partner to the table and changing the venue would be a great way to evolve and elevate the program. And we can’t think of a better partner than Rain Bird or a better venue than Pinehurst as we continue this time-honoured tradition of helping develop the next generation of superintendents in this game we all love.”

Green Start Academy was established in 2006 to help develop aspiring leaders by bringing the best and brightest of the industry together for a career-changing experience.

Assistant superintendents who wish to apply or learn more about the 2021 event can visit the Green Start Academy website.

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