Southwest

Jeff Jensen Southwest Headshot
Jeff Jensen
Southwest regional representative

Prior to joining the GCSAA staff, Jeff spent more than a decade in the golf industry in management and marketing. He resides in Henderson, Nev.
Tel. 800-472-7878, ext. 3603.


Field staff report

Benoit inspires golf facilities to adopt BMPs during his journey across America

by Jeff Jensen | Nov 25, 2020

Founder of Eco Turf Consulting peddles nearly 3,400 miles over 51 days

Eco Turf Consulting Founder Ken Benoit, CGCS, recently completed a journey across America on bicycle to promote the development and adoption of BMPs. 

A 26-year member of GCSAA, Benoit resides in Bedford, NY. and served over two decades as a golf course superintendent including a stint as President of the Metropolitan GCSA. His firm, Econ Turf Consulting, specializes in the implementation of BMPs, assisting golf facilities in developing a customized approach to course management and maintenance.

Benoit began his journey August 14 in Greenwich, Conn. and peddled his way across America arriving at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, OR. on October 3.  The journey encompassed 51 days (36 days of actual riding) with Benoit riding 3,397 miles. 

Benoit’s love of cycling, golf and the environment, along with GCSAA’s goal of having BMPS in 50 states by the end of 2020 led him to using a bike trip as a platform to promote BMPs. Benoit has served as a consultant on BMPs for 14 individual states. 

“I named my tour the “Connect To Protect Tour” as a nod to connecting with superintendents in a way which would hopefully inform of the importance of BMPs and their relationship to protecting the environment, particularly as it relates to water conservation and quality, pollinator and wildlife habitat,” said Benoit.

Benoit took a northern route through 13 states, stopping along the way at 14 golf facilities to consult and assist with their BMPs: 

·       Fairview Country Club – Greenwich, CT.

·       Bedford Golf & Tennis Club- Bedford, NY.

·       Centre Hills Country Club – State College, PA.

·       Muirfield Village Golf Club – Dublin, OH.

·       Brickyard Crossing – Indianapolis, IN.

·       Mt. Hawley Country Club – Peoria, IL.

·       Finkbine Golf Club – Iowa City, IA.

·       The Prairie Club – Valentine, NE.

·       Fossil Island Golf Club – Kemmerer, WY.

·       Hillcrest Country Club- Boise, ID.

·       Silvies Valley Ranch- Seneca, OR.

·       Sunset Bay Golf Club- Coos Bay, OR.

·       Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Bandon, OR.

In addition to meeting with superintendents, some of Benoit’s favorite memories of the trip included crossing the Continental Divide, seeing the Tetons for the first time, spending a night in a teepee on the North Platte River and having the chance to meet up with his sisters in Columbus, OH. and Coos Bay, OR. 

Benoit’s journey was both mentally and physically demanding.  “Each day of riding presents mental challenges,” said Benoit.  Riding 100 miles per day was challenging mentally but also motivating in another sense.Before the start of my tour, I stated my intention to average 100 miles per day and was determined to keep to that goal.  Throughout the ride I had moments when I wanted to stop short of 100 miles but it was personally important for me to stick to that goal, which served as a major source of motivation to keep pedaling on days when I had a strong desire to stop short.”

“I faced many small and not so small physical challenges along the way,” said Benoit.  “Saddle sores, a head cold, nerve damage to my hands from the pressure point on the handlebars and most critically, an Achilles issue that I thought could end or at least delay my trip.” 

“The most important lesson I learned was really a reminder of what we all know but often lose sight of…it’s important to put effort into the things which we feel are important,” stated Benoit.  “I realized that, anything important in my life, requires a connection in order to protect it.”

As we approach the end of a very difficult year for most of us, Ken’s journey across the country served as an inspiration for me and many other GCSAA members during a very turbulent time. 

“When I embarked on my tour I was feeling down about where we were at as a country.  It seemed obvious to me that we were deeply divided, and not in a way which allowed for acceptance of personal expression, but in a way that seemed closed minded and harmful,” said Benoit.  “What I discovered while riding across the country and making myself open to having conversation with the people I ran into, is that the United States is a pure representation of its people.  Meaning there is good and bad in all of us just like there is good and bad throughout the country.  But, after spending a lot of time speaking with fellow Americans across the country I discovered, overwhelmingly, that the vast majority of Americans are good and caring people who want what’s best for the country.”

Thanks to Ken for sharing some insights on his amazing journey and l hope it serves as some inspiration as we lead into what is sure to be a better and brighter 2021.  


Transitions

Arizona

  • Madeline M Francis, Class C, Carefree
  • Charlie W Pense, Class C, Scottsdale

California

  • Jonathan H Briggs, Class S, San Luis Obispo
  • Simon Oliver, Class C, Newport Coast

Arizona

  • Clay S McKinley, formerly (A) at The Club at Las Campanas, is now (A) at Pueblo Del Sol Country Club in Sierra Vista

California

  • Christopher Bien, formerly (B) at PGA West Greg Norman Course, is now (B) at PGA West Private Golf Courses in La Quinta
  • Gary A Bley, formerly (C) at Pauma Valley Country Club, is now (C) at The Grand Golf Club in San Diego
  • Cavin Brown, formerly (A) at Seascape Golf Club, is now (A) at Saratoga Country Club in Saratoga
  • Javier Campos, formerly (C) at California Golf Club of San Francisco, is now (B) at California Golf Club of San Francisco in South San Francisco
  • Jason M Decker, formerly (SW) at Michigan State University, is now (SW) at Shady Canyon Golf Club in Irvine
  • David T Gutierrez, formerly (C) at El Camino Country Club, is now (C) at Dad Miller Golf Course in Anaheim
  • Brynly C Marsh, formerly (B) at Maroon Creek Club, is now (B) at Vineyard at Escondido in Escondido
  • Sean O'Brien CGCS, formerly (A) at Hawk's Landing Golf Club, is now (A) at Target Speciality Products in San Marcos
  • John J Oles, formerly (AS) at Morro Bay Golf Course, is now (AS) at Dairy Creek Golf Course in San Luis Obispo
  • Timothy Phelan, formerly (C) at Maroon Creek Club, is now (C) at South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla
  • Geoffery Plovanich, formerly (B) at The Olympic Club, is now (B) at City & County of San Francisco in San Francisco
  • Roger Robarge CGCS, formerly (A) at California Golf Club of San Francisco, is now (A) at Valley Club of Montecito in Santa Barbara
  • Ryan Zuehlsdorf, formerly (A) at Monarch Bay Golf Club, is now (A) at Oakhurst Country Club in Clayton

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