John Abendroth, Hooked on Golf
John Abendroth is a San Francisco native, PGA Member, Former PGA-Tour Player and NCAA All American. John was a co-founder of Celtic Golf Management, owned and operated the Golf Learning Center in San Mateo for nearly 10-years and has consulted with several golf related companies.
Along with Mitch Juricich, the pair founded the Hooked on Golf Foundation to benefit junior golf which was the idea and the seed to start the Youth On Course program operated now by the Northern California Golf Association providing affordable golf and scholarships. The program has expanded to nearly all of the United States and Canada.
Mitch and John co-hosted the Hooked on Golf radio program based in San Francisco at KNBR for 26+ years and produced the TV version for 15 years, airing on NBC Sports Bay Area.
John is a member of the sports hall of fame of The Olympic Club, Weber State University, Lincoln High School of San Francisco, and was golf professional of the year in 2008 with the NCPGA. John is married, is a resident of Burlingame, CA, with two children.
Jim Baird, University of California, Riverside
Jim Baird is the Turfgrass Specialist at the University of California, Riverside.
Charles Bohlig, East Bay Municipal Utility District
Charles Bohlig has been with East Bay Municipal Utility District since 2004, where he currently is the Supervisor of Water Conservation. In this role he creates, implements, and analyzes their incentive programs, administers their transformation into an informational services group, and directs their water budget program. He is also the District’s lead on implementing the State’s Long Term Framework water conservation plan. He has co-authored two 10-year Water Conservation Master Plans, three Urban Water Management Plans, as well as forecasting water conservation’s savings out to the year 2050. Before joining EBMUD, Charles was an Energy Analyst for Pacific Gas & Electric Company. He has over 25 years of experience in water and energy resource management and currently serves on the Board for California Water Efficiency Partnership (CalWEP).
Parker Cohn, Performance Resource Management
Parker Cohn is a soil management expert who helps farms increase the quality and quantity of crop yields while reducing the amount of water, energy, chemicals, and labor used. His business, Performance Resource Management, uses a unique combination of biological processes and remote sensing technologies to rebuild the soil on golf courses, sports fields, and farms with massive implications for global environmental conservation. Results delivered by PRM include: improving the health of our food supply; increasing carbon cycling; providing a cleaner water supply by reducing chemicals and runoff; reducing the carbon footprint of PRM clients, while allowing businesses to greatly reduce operating costs. The water and energy infrastructure of agriculture in the west is a major threat to health and food security around the globe. Parker’s systems are powerful answers we’ve been looking for to support soil carbon sequestration and move toward solving our climate crisis. Parker holds a BA/BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of San Diego, where he discovered and developed his strong interest in the future of water conservation.
Josh Heptig, San Luis Obispo County Parks & Recreation
Josh Heptig is the Director of Golf Course Operations with San Luis Obispo County Parks & Recreation. He oversees three golf courses: Morro Bay, Chalk Mountain and Dairy Creek, and manages budgeting, course conditions, facilities management and customer relations. At Dairy Creek GC he started a “Zero Waste Park” initiative to reduce consumption, increase recycling and minimize waste. As a result, he was awarded GCSAA’s 2017 President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship. Before then, Heptig earned a degree in Horticulture and Golf Course Management at Kansas State University and was a Golf Course Superintendent for over 20 years at golf clubs throughout the country.
Jeff Jensen, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
Jeff Jensen has served as the GCSAA Southwest Field Staff Representative since 2012, covering 10 GCSAA affiliated chapters in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada. Jeff started his career in the golf business in 1994 and has worked for Golf Enterprises, American Golf, KSL, and OB Sports in a variety of positions, including course operations, maintenance, tournament operations, and sales/marketing. His experience in the Southern Nevada golf market includes stints at Angel Park, Black Mountain Golf & Country Club, Las Vegas Golf Club, and The Legacy. He also served for six years as the Chief Operating Officer for Imagine Communications in Henderson, NV, specializing in advertising, marketing and government relations.
Jeff serves on the Board of Directors for the California Turf & Landscape Foundation, is a committee member of the California Alliance for Golf, the Coachella Valley Golf & Water Task Force, and the Southern California Golf Association Government Relations Committee.
Jeff grew up in Dillon, Montana and has been a resident of Southern Nevada for nearly 30 years.
Mark Johnson, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
Mark Johnson provides leadership, direction and project management for the various environmental programs, tools and services at GCSAA. Mark has worked for more than 30 years in outdoor recreation, environmental protection, wildlife and natural resource conservation. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in systematics and ecology. He also completed the Sustainable Business Leadership Certificate program through Johnson County Community College.
Justin Mandon, Pasatiempo Golf Club
Justin Mandon has been a golf course superintendent and turf farmer for over 20 years at courses such as Sharon Heights CC, The Olympic Club and currently Pasatiempo GC in Santa Cruz, CA. He also serves as a Grassroots Ambassador for GCSAA. Mandon attended Rutgers University and studied turfgrass management.
Mike McCullough, Monterey One Water
Mike’s myriad responsibilities at Monterey One Water focus around business development. If you ask him the key to his position, his answer will center around establishing and fostering relationships with diverse constituent groups. Through these integral relationships, Mike successfully works with elected officials and local, state, and federal regulators to advocate for key legislative policies that will help position the Agency for a strong future. Further advancement of the Agency’s strategic goals and mission includes managing the research and application processes for grant funding opportunities that assist in administrative and capital improvement.
Dr. Matteo, USGA
Matteo Serena, Ph.D., is the newest member of the USGA Green Section. As senior manager of irrigation research and services, Dr. Serena will be an important part of the Green Section research team. He will work with superintendents, researchers, allied golf associations, and other stakeholders to advance water conservation on golf courses. Matteo has more than a decade of experience researching turfgrass irrigation and water conservation strategies. A native of Italy, Matteo received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the University of Padua. He earned his doctorate in plant and environmental sciences from New Mexico State University, where he continued as a research assistant professor before joining the University of California, Riverside.
Brian Whitlark, USGA
Whitlark joined the Green Section staff of the USGA in 2008 as an agronomist in the West Region. He makes Course Consulting Service visits in Arizona, Nevada, California, New Mexico and Mexico. Whitlark is a certified professional soil scientist and has worked extensively with golf courses facing challenging soil and water conditions. Since joining the Green Section, Whitlark has conducted applied research in a variety of areas, including mitigating saline and sodic soils, evaluating practices to produce quality putting surfaces, exploring the pros and cons of using turf colorants and optimizing mower setup. He has written extensively for practitioners in the areas of soil, water and soil test interpretation. Whitlark is a graduate of the University of Arizona at Tucson, where he received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, with an emphasis in turfgrass science.
Craig Zellers, Golf Irrigation Consultants
Craig Zellers is well known throughout the West as an expert in large scale irrigation systems. He is a licensed California contractor, Certified Golf Irrigation Auditor, and a licensed drone pilot. Craig started in 1983 as an assistant golf course superintendent while he attended SDSU, where he earned his BS in Business. He was a GCSAA Certified Superintendent for 10 years, and sold Toro golf for 10 years prior to starting Golf Irrigation Consultants in 2006.