Great Lakes

Shane Conroy Head Shot

Shane Conroy

Great Lakes regional representative

A former assistant golf course superintendent, Shane joined the GCSAA staff in 2015. He resides in Chicago, Ill.
Tel: 800.472.7878, ext. 3635

Field staff report


by Shane Conroy | Apr 26, 2022

Spring may not be off to such a hot start as far as the weather is concerned, it is, however, off to a hot start when it comes to First Green field trips. Just last week, there were a handful of field trips across the country, with two specifically taking place in the Great Lakes region. 

The first field trip was hosted by 10-year GCSAA Class A member and Lakeside Golf Course superintendent Jason Nelson where he welcomed roughly 60 students from Garden Springs Elementary. Spearheaded by Jason, along with Lexington Parks and Recreation Golf Services Manager Curtis Mitchell and fourth-grade science teacher Shad Lacefield, the three worked together to create three STEM education learning labs on the golf course. 

The weather continued its theme this spring and did not fully cooperate. However, like superintendents, the great thing about First Green field trips is that they adapt easily when the weather doesn’t always oblige. Moving the field trip indoors, students took part in labs which included cool tools found on the course, soil sciences and a putting lab. 

Jason led the soils course where students participated in a hands-on demonstration to learn how soils aid in growing healthy turf on the golf course. The second lab included head professional Aaron McDowell leading the students though the cool tools and equipment Jason and his staff use to maintain the course, such as mowers and aerifiers. The final station included the putting lab which was taught by teacher Shad Lacefield. Here, students worked in teams to learn how the roles of potential and kinetic energy shape the putting stroke. This was a great way to incorporate the STEM education students are learning in the classroom and apply it to real-life scenarios. 

First Green field trip putting lab

Following the field trip in Lexington, Shayne Skolnik, CGCS, and Mike Mausolf hosted nearly 60 students from Cranbrook Middle School at Lyon Oaks Golf Course in Wixom, Mich. Along with the cool tools and the soil sciences labs, Skolnik, CGCS, a 29-year GCSAA member, and Mausolf, a 20-year GCSAA member, also incorporated irrigation technology, and a mathematics lab. 

A nice Michigan spring day allowed us to be outdoors and take advantage of the beautiful course. Along with Adam Ikamas, CGCS, the executive director of the Michigan GCSA, chapter president Ryan Moore was on hand to take part in the day’s events. Moore, a 20-year GCSAA member and superintendent at Lake Forest Country Club, led the cool tools lab where students helped cut a cup, check soil moisture and take part in a putting contest. Here, students were also able to check out some of the mowing and cultural practice equipment Shayne and Mike use at the course. The second station featured an irrigation technology lab where students learned about the water conservation techniques implemented by the golf course to reduce water use, and also checked out irrigation software and satellite boxes used to operate individual irrigation heads. The final two labs included a soils science lab where students learned the components and importance of soils, both on the golf course and at home, followed by a math lab where they found the area of a bunker utilizing the offset method. 

First Green field trip lab

I can’t thank Jason, Curtis, Shad, Shayne and Mike enough for their efforts in putting together these field trips. Without their dedication and support, the opportunity for the students to learn at the golf course simply wouldn't have happened. I've never participated in a First Green field trip where it's not a great time for those involved. It’s always great to see the smiles on the faces of the students and the teachers while they are getting involved in the field trip labs. If you are interested in hosting a First Green field trip at your course, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. 



  • Bradley J Bednarski, Class EM, Lake Forest
  • Zeke Bochenek, Class AF, Chicago
  • Gerardo Contreras, Class EM, Winnetka
  • Kai E Jacobs, Class C, Jacksonville
  • Brandon Kohley, Class SW, Homer Glen
  • Brian D Kolar, Class EM, Romeoville
  • John C Nugent, Class B, Channahon


  • Matthew Hession, Class C, Indianapolis
  • William R Hoke, Class EM, Indianapolis
  • Matthew A McIntyre, Class C, Bristol
  • Brock Neff, Class SW, W Lafayette
  • Chad W Smith, Class C, Fishers


  • Tyler Goss, Class SW, East Lansing
  • Aaron M Herman, Class SW, East Lansing
  • Andrew A Hovsepian, Class SW, East Lansing
  • Ryan Maxwell, Class B, Livonia
  • Matthew Simonson, Class SW, Howell


  • Mitchell L Cofer, Class SW, Dublin
  • Tyler M Payne, Class C, Dayton
  • John C Prusa, Class AF, Stow
  • Arthur E Rhoades, Class EM, Sylvania
  • Dan G Stauffer, Class C, Canton
  • Tyler S Topp, Class SW, Kettering
  • Christopher White, Class C, New Albany


  • Jake R Ertel, Class C, Thiensville
  • Dominic A Frese, Class B, Racine
  • Joey T Peterson, Class SW, Menomonie
  • Michael A Stachowicz, Class EM, Green Bay
  • Matthew T Statz, Class C, Middleton


  • Charles W Anfield CGCS, formerly (A) at Heritage Bluffs Public Golf Club, is now (A) at Prestwick Country Club in Frankfort


  • Robert J Kowatch, formerly (A) at The Bridgewater Club, is now (A) at Meshingomesia Golf & Social Club in Marion


  • Michael B Sanders Jr, formerly (SW) at Louisville Country Club, is now (SW) at Louisville Country Club in Louisville


  • Thomas Collins, formerly (A) at World of Golf, is now (A) at The Camargo Club in Cincinnati
  • Ryan Fleming, formerly (B) at Hamilton Elks Golf Club, is now (B) at Miami View Golf Course in Cleves
  • Jack C Hutchison, formerly (B) at Trumbull Country Club, is now (AS) at Trumbull Country Club in Warren
  • James R Lynn, formerly (C) at Crooked Stick Golf Club, is now (B) at Columbus Country Club in Columbus


  • Jeremy D Dahl, formerly (C) at The Club at Strawberry Creek, is now (B) at Johnson Park Golf Course in Racine
  • Brett Morris, formerly (C) at Hawk's View Golf Club, is now (B) at Browns Lake Golf Course in Burlington
  • Matt R Smith, formerly (C) at Sentryworld Golf Course, is now (B) at Sentryworld Golf Course in Stevens Point
  • Adam C Wepfer, formerly (C) at Bishops Bay Country Club, is now (B) at Bishops Bay Country Club in Waunakee

Upcoming events

Upcoming events in the region. This is not necessarily a comprehensive list. If you have an addition to make, please reach out.

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