Glenn Cowen already had some experience in turf management before coming to Rutgers. He had earned an associate's degree in turf management from a local community college along with a diploma in accounting.
Shortly after that, he worked at a small par 3 course for five years, eventually becoming the Superintendent. "But it was basically a practice facility," said Cowen.
He eventually landed a job as an intern at the prestigious Oakmont Country Club – host of more USGA and PGA championships than any other course in the country – in Oakmont, PA during his days off.
With his experience, Cowen already had practical turf management skills but he knew that if he wanted to advance in the turf management industry he would need to sharpen up on his agronomy.
Rutgers – The Right Decision
Agronomy is the soil and plant science behind growing grass. Understanding turfgrass agronomy is a critical skill that any aspiring golf course superintendent must have.
The fact that Rutgers turf management program teaches turfgrass agronomy, offers excellent scholarship opportunities, and lets you earn a certificate in just 20 weeks were all major selling points for Cowen.
But perhaps the biggest indicator that he was making the right decision in choosing to earn his turf management certificate from Rutgers University was that he was referred to the program by his boss, Oakmont Country Club golf course superintendent and Rutgers turf management program alumnus, John Zimmers. Zimmers' success is, in some measure, a testimony to the quality of the Rutgers turf program.
The Immediate Pay Off
In fact, Cowen began seeing his studies pay off before he even completed the Rutgers golf turf program: in between his first and second years at Rutgers, Cowen was promoted to a full-time position at Oakmont.
Just two years after completing his Rutgers turf management education, Cowen accepted an Assistant Superintendent position at Prospect Bay Country Club, located on the Eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay in Grasonville, MD.
The Future’s So Bright…
Although he's still on track to become a Superintendent within 5 years of graduating (a prediction he made while still in school), his long-term goal though is to be on the other side of the classroom; he plans to concentrate on a specific area of turf management and teach about it. Someday in the not-too-distant future, Cowen may very well help produce the next crop of turfgrass managers and golf course superintendents.
Prospect Bay Country Club is located in Grasonville, Maryland. For information, call 410-827-6950, or visit www.prospectbaycountryclub.com.