By Mike Jiggens
June 26, 2019 – The class of 2019 of Canada’s Top 10 Under 40 has been helping to shape the future of the Canadian turf and grounds maintenance industry since entering the profession, and these young individuals are poised to ensure that the qualities of leadership, innovation and teamwork are in strong supply for years to come.
This year marks Turf & Rec’s second consecutive mission to find the best young talent in the industry in Canada who have yet to reach their 40th birthdays. Whether they are employed in the golf, landscaping, sports turf or other sector of the industry, these chosen individuals have made significant contributions to their profession over the years and are setting an example for their peers, paving the way for the next wave of up-and-coming professionals.
Turf & Rec wishes to thank The Toro Company for its sponsorship of the Top 10 Under 40 program.
This week we feature Dave Jacobsen, 37, assistant superintendent at Bearspaw Golf Club in Calgary, Alta.
Jacobsen, a graduate of the University of Guelph’s diploma in turfgrass management program, tends to fly under the radar. He is known among his peers for his amicable personality and remarkable intelligence. Since his arrival at the golf course in February 2015, he has changed the culture of the team through inspiration, leadership and motivation. He understands the staff’s strengths, weaknesses and abilities and shapes their work schedule to enhance performance.
Club superintendent Darren Reddekopp said Jacobsen has established a connection with all staff, allowing him to emerge as a leader. This has led to staff retention of about 70 per cent, ensuring consistency to meet member expectations.
Bearspaw Golf Club has been undergoing some significant transformations with much of the work being done in house, and a lot of it spearheaded by Jacobsen. He has actually been wearing two “hats” of late, assisting with golf course operations and maintenance and heading up landscaping and golf course construction the past year during the building of a new clubhouse.
“Dave is hard working, loyal, and inspiring to our staff,” Reddekopp said. “Having Dave as a part of my team means I never have to worry. He understands the needs and expectations of our members and our course. He is forward looking and constantly evaluating course conditions and what we need to do to improve. He has built a team with a vast skill set and that has been with us for numerous years. This allows us to branch into other areas such as facilities maintenance and golf course construction operations. This allows us to save money but more importantly build and enhance the skill of our team while providing future learning opportunities for our staff.”
Jacobsen is also known for his golf playing skills and often wins something in most industry tournaments in which he plays, including the 2018 Canadian Golf Superintendents Association’s fall field day tournament.