Cook, Zontek Recognized by GCSAA for Distinguished Service

Thomas W. Cook, associate professor of horticulture at Oregon State University, and Stanley J. Zontek, director of the United States Golf Association Green Section's Mid-Atlantic Region, have been selected as recipients of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America's (GCSAA) Distinguished Service Award. They will be acknowledged at the Opening Session (Feb. 9) of the 2006 GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show in Atlanta, Feb. 6-11. The Opening Session is presented in partnership with Bayer Environmental Science.

"Tom and Stan are most deserving of the Distinguished Service Award,” said GCSAA President Timothy T. O’Neill, CGCS. “They have made outstanding and significant contributions to the advancement of the golf course superintendent profession as well as to the game of golf. GCSAA is honored to have them as colleagues in the field of golf course management.”

During his 20 years at Oregon State, Cook has developed, refined and continually updated the turfgrass management curriculum. Recognized for his professional and scientific expertise in the field, Cook was hired by the university in 1977 to develop an undergraduate program for students interested in the turf and landscape industry. As the expert in turf management in the Pacific Northwest, he has established modern golf course management standards in the region. He is a member of the American Society for Horticultural Science, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and the International Turfgrass Society, among others. He is also a member of the Northwest Turfgrass Association, the Oregon Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Inland Empire Golf Course Superintendents Association, and serves as the advisor to the Oregon State University GCSA student chapter.

Zontek, the USGA’s longest tenured employee, has been instrumental in serving golf course superintendents for more than 30 years, educating them on evolving agronomic practices. The son of a golf course superintendent, Zontek joined the USGA staff in 1971 and has been a director for the North Central, Northeastern and currently the Mid-Atlantic Green Section Regions. He serves on the Musser International Turf Foundation Board of Directors as By-Laws Chairman, has received the Don Rossi Humanitarian Award from the Golf Course Builders Association, the Eb Steinger Award from the Philadelphia Association of Golf Course Superintendents and has overseen and participated in the maintenance of the putting green at the White House in Washington, D.C. He has made more than 4,000 Turf Advisory Service visits and regularly travels throughout the world to speak to the industry about basic and practical element of turfgrass maintenance and management.

The GCSAA board of directors selects Distinguished Service Award winners from nominations submitted by affiliated chapters and/or association members. First presented in 1932, the award is given to individuals who have made an outstanding, substantive and enduring contribution to the advancement of the golf course superintendent profession.

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