Turf & Rec

Karen Rumohr

A ‘Leading Woman in Turf’

Karen Rumohr

After a long and rewarding career in golf as both an assistant superintendent and superintendent, Karen Rumohr recently moved over to the supplier side of the industry. Late in 2023, she joined the team at Edmonton-based Shuttle 14 Inc. as a plant nutrition specialist.

“It was an opportunity that presented itself some time ago, and I sort of laughed it off at that point because I loved being a superintendent and I loved the turf side of the business and being on the course every day,” she said.

But, she added, balancing her professional life with that of her personal life had always been a challenge, and when a second opportunity for a change in career presented itself, she jumped at the chance.

“My work life wasn’t balancing with my home life.”

Rumohr said Shuttle 14 is relatively new to the industry and currently serves customers in Alberta and British Columbia, yet the company plans to eventually branch out to the rest of Western Canada and eastward. She said her goal with the company is to take on a leadership role in either training or sales management.

“My goal now is to help to foster anybody that comes on board with Shuttle 14 in the future.”

Rumohr honed her skills in agronomy during a long career in golf which began while attending university. She found herself at a rural nine-hole course in eastern Alberta and having plenty of questions for its superintendent.

“He set me on a path of looking at turf as a career.”

After finishing her degree, she worked the summer at a golf course in Edmonton before being awarded an assistant superintendent’s position the following spring at Pioneer Meadows Golf Course in the city. Rumohr worked nine years at Pioneer Meadows before moving to the Edmonton Petroleum Golf & Country Club, “where I really grew my turf skills set and my management style.”

Rumohr completed 10 seasons at the Petroleum Club before landing the head superintendent’s position at Airdrie’s Woodside Golf Club where she worked for three years before making the transition to the golf course supplier sector.

The lessons she learned as an assistant superintendent and superintendent about managing people are expected to come in handy in her new role.

“As far as managing people, I’ve never really struggled too much with any team members or crews I’ve ever had.”

Rumohr reflects upon her career in golf with pride, noting such achievements as being named CGSA assistant superintendent of the year and earning her accredited golf course superintendent designation.

“Becoming a superintendent was something that I worked towards for 20 years. That was a big check on the list.”

She also cites the networking opportunities she’s been afforded over the years as another career highlight.

“Any of the relationships I’ve forged over the years have always been a highlight for me.”

Rumohr said there were “relatively few” female golf superintendents in Canada when she first broke into the profession, but things have since changed, she observed, noting the growing diversity in the industry “is never a bad thing.”

There’s still a long way to go, she added, “but the fact that we can attract more women to this industry will only help. Getting those lead hands and getting those crew members who are interested in the industry, or assistant superintendents to continue to build relationships and continue to move toward those leadership roles that they want is paramount.”