First Green Field Trip held during the 2022 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show

GCSAA hosted a First Green field trip and train-the-trainer event as part of the 2022 GCSAA Conference and Trade show in San Diego, Calif. First Green is GCSAA’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) environmental and community outreach program that uses golf courses as a living laboratory. K-12 students participate in hands-on learning stations. This is the sixth year that GCSAA has offered a First Green Learning Tour to conference attendees. The Learning Tour is a train-the-trainer event that combines classroom instruction with the opportunity to see an actual First Green field trip at a local golf course. The Learning Tour has been instrumental in helping to spread the program nationwide.

The day began at the San Diego Convention Center where participants received a brief overview of the First Green program and an explanation of what would take place onsite at the golf course. Attendees then boarded motor coaches for the quick trip to Bonita (Calif.) Golf Club. The train-the-trainer experience continued once on site with a brief overview of each station, information on how the students would be split into groups and a reminder to rotate thru each of the STEM based stations to get a sense of the material covered.

Brendon Reaksecker, golf course superintendent at Bonita Golf Club welcomed more than 50 attendees from around the world to the golf course to witness first-hand what takes place during a First Green field trip. The adults were joined by 75 sixth graders from nearby Sunnyside Elementary School.


Once the students arrived at the golf course and split into their groups, the First Green field trip was underway. The students were able to participate in stations that focused on Soil Science, Cool Tools on the Green combined with a putting station and Math on Course. Each station was offered twice, and the students were placed in six groups. Doubling the stations keeps the group size small – important when the students are expected to be active participants in the learning. Each student rotated through three stations, which lasted for 25 minutes, and then participated in the putting contest. In all, the students were at the golf course for just under two hours.

GCSAA wishes to thank the following individuals for sharing their time and talents with the students and the participants in the First Green Learning Tour and field trip.

  • Brendon Reaksecker, Golf Course Superintendent, Bonita Golf Club, Bonita, Calif.
  • Jeff Gullikson, CGCS, Golf Course Superintendent, Kalispel Golf and Country Club, Spokane, Wash.
  • Steve Kealy, CGCS, Golf Course Superintendent, Glendale Country Club, Bellevue, Wash.
  • Josh Cheney, Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, Glendale Country Club, Bellevue, Wash.
  • P.J. Potuzak, CGCS, Golf Course Superintendent, Bear Creek Country Club, Woodinville, Wash.
  • Chad Wortinger, Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, Bear Creek Country Club, Woodinville, Wash.
  • Ryan Kraushofer, GM/Golf Course Superintendent, Westminster National Golf Course, Westminster, Md.