Turf & Rec

Kim Best

A ‘Leading Woman in Turf’

Kim Best

Kim Best’s entry into the turf industry came as a summer job while she was studying at the University of Ottawa. At the time, she thought it would be difficult to find work, figuring her hearing impairment might be an obstacle.

But her interest in science and her fascination with golf course work helped to steer her in the right direction.

“I really liked science growing up,” she said. “That helped as well.”

In fact, Best said she found applying plant science to golf course maintenance was “fun.”

Further studies at the University of Guelph enabled her to acquire her spray licence which qualified her as a spray technician and as a second assistant. She enhanced her academic standing through an online course in advanced golf course management through Ohio State University.

Best landed her initial assistant’s job at Amberwood Village Golf & Country Club near Ottawa, where she worked for a couple of years, before moving on to the Camelot Golf & Country Club in Ottawa as an assistant superintendent.

An opening for an assistant’s position at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Ottawa eventually presented itself, and Best was keen to snare the job as it meant working closer to home. Following only a couple of months on the job, Eagle Creek’s superintendent moved on, and Best was awarded the position which she’s held since 2021.

Best has already noted a personal career highlight since becoming the club’s superintendent. Eagle Creek was the host venue for a CPGA Tour stop – the Commissionaires Ottawa Open – last July, and the same tournament is returning this summer. She said that having that initial event under her belt, she’s better prepared for being the host superintendent a second time.

“I learned what needed to be done and what didn’t, how many people I need, maintaining the green speed and moisture control – with lots of hand watering and night watering – and just trying to be very minimal to keep our green speed consistent.”

Best said she feels fortunate to be working at Eagle Creek and with the ClubLink organization.

“The membership is so supportive with everyone at ClubLink and Eagle Creek.”

Best joined Morgan Creighton’s mentorship program and said it has led to a greater connection among women in the industry.

“I think being able to talk with other women thinking about getting in has made that bond stronger.”

She noted that as recently as only a decade ago, the industry was especially male dominated, but the percentage of women working in the field has significantly increased.

“We’re all in this together,” she said, adding it’s important for women to communicate their doubts, concerns and positive thoughts.

Best offers a simple piece of advice to women who might be contemplating a career in the turf industry.

“Follow your gut because it’s an incredible industry and very supportive. My biggest advice would be to communicate.”