President's Messages
Past President - Thomas Speakman

Howdy CTGCSA Members, 
I can't believe that we are nearing the end of 2015, from a cold wet winter to hot Texas summer and starting a wet fall, it has been one hell of a year.  I have enjoyed my year as President and would like to thank every member for making CTGCSA a great organization.  With the help and support of the membership we raised over $13,500.00 for scholarships that will be awarded next year.

I would like to thank Jim Papa for serving an extra year as Past President, I really appreciated his advice and encouragement throughout the year, thanks Jim.  Also a big thank you to Carol Cloud for joining our group and for all the hard work she has put into this organization.

Thomas Speakman
Central Texas GCSA - Past President 
New President - Donny Latham

I would like to begin my first newsletter by saying that I look forward to serving you all for the upcoming year 2016 and I want to thank Thomas Speakman for setting the bar so high as your outgoing President. Thomas did a great job this past year organizing some great events. I would also like to thank Jim Papa for serving the past two years as Past President.  Jim's guidance for Thomas and I was invaluable as we press on into 2016.  Also, thanks Pat Brown, Rich Cope and Jason Weideman for their service on the Board of Directors.  I would like to welcome our new board members voted on by the membership. Wayne Slayton, Matt Cowan and Jarrett Eledge will be serving as the superintendent members. Corby White and David Shackelford will be the affiliate members. We have a great group of Board of Directors, a good mix of some new faces and some returning ones. I think 2016 will be a great year. 

I would like to let you all know of some things that will be coming in 2016. Our first meeting of the year will be an educational meeting held at Cabela's. This meeting will take place January 19th. This meeting will feature Armen Suny as our guest speaker. Armen has a very long and impressive resume growing grass at some of the finest properties in the country.  Armen is also a principal in the design firm Suny Zokol Golf Design and he is the primary superintendent headhunter for Kopplin & Kuebler Search Firm. Armen will share some insight into resume building and career development. I think this will be a great educational meeting for all of us. Our Turf Show/Scholarship Tournament will be held at The Bandit Golf Club in New Braunfels. Please come out and support that event. More details on future events will be coming in our next newsletter. 

It is my goal to bring education back to several of our meetings. Even if these educational meetings are only an hour long, I feel it is important to offer this to the membership. Also, if you have not had time to do so, please visit our website. Carol Cloud took it upon herself to build a new site for us and it turned out fantastic. The website is very informative and up to date. 

In closing, if there is anything that we as the Board of Directors can do to enhance your membership please do not hesitate to contact myself at or Carol.  I look forward to a great year.

Donny Latham
Central Texas GCSA - President 
Getting to Know Your New President - Donny Latham

In 2013, Donny accepted the position of director of golf course management at The Club at Sonterra, a 36-hole private facility managed by Century Golf. He is a native Texan and grew up in Little River - Academy, a very small town near Temple and one that only the most experienced Texas travelers would ever have heard of or visited. He headed south to Austin and earned a degree in biochemistry from the University of Texas. His career then took him to Seattle, Wash., where he worked in the biochemistry industry until he literally woke up one day and knew he needed a change in scenery and career path. He remembered that a close childhood friend, Justin White, had a degree from Texas A&M and was working in an industry that involved golf courses and growing grass. He checked into the details, and faster than a walking greensmower, he made a 180-degree change in careers.

Donny and his wife, Laurie, picked up from Seattle and headed south to Tucson, where he enrolled in the turf program at the University of Arizona. On his very first day in Tucson, another one of those bizarre twists happened when he met a golf member at The Gallery Golf Club while having dinner and watching the Holiday Bowl featuring the U of Texas and the U of Washington. The member introduced him to superintendent Paul Ellwood, who hired Donny despite his lack of experience or knowledge about golf course management. It turned out to be a great hire as Donny was instrumental in the building and opening of the South Course at The Gallery. Donny calls Ellwood a true professional superintendent and credits him with shaping his career.

From Arizona, Donny and his family made successful steps to the University of Texas Golf Club where he served as assistant superintendent under Rich Cope and then to his first superintendent position at The Republic Golf Club in San Antonio. Donny says he feels very fortunate to have worked with some great people along the way, which is evident in the way he talks about Ed Miller, with whom he had the privilege of working for at The Republic: "Ed is an amazing man who taught me so many things both professionally and personally. I only hope to someday positively affect the next generation of grass farmers in the way he influenced my career."

Upcoming Events

DECEMBER 15-17, 2015

                    CENTER &  GRAND HYATT HOTEL
                           Click Here for all the details.

 will be held Wednesday, December 16th at 11:30 a.m.
Guest Speaker: Chava McKeel, 
Director of Government Affairs from GCSAA
Top Stories
Annual Meeting
                             Wrap Up
This years Annual Meeting was held at Olympia Hills Golf & Event Center. There was a good crowd on hand to hear Dr. Casey Reynolds present his program. Along with Dr. Reynolds presentation was the election of next years Board of Directors and the 2015 Superintendent of the Year vote.

On this years ballot we had four Superintendent nominees to fill three openings: Matt Cowan, Jake Snyman, Wayne Slaton, and Jarrett Eledge. There were also two openings for our Affiliate board needs. The nominees for Affiliate board members were: Don Vann, Corby White, David Shackleford, Ken Bramble and Brad Sladek.

Congratulations to the new 2016 Board of Directors

Donny Latham - President
Thomas Speakman - Past President
Jared Heine - Vice President
Open - Secretary/Treasurer
Bruce Burger
Craig Felton
Matt Cowan
Wayne Slaton
Jarrett Eledge
Cameron McDermid
Corby White
David Shackleford

Moving off the board are Jim Papa, Pat Brown, Rich Cope and Jason Weideman. Thanks to all these board members for making 2015 a successful year.

Thanks to Jake Snyman and Brian Cloud for providing an informative update of the 2015 Chapter Delegates meeting. Jake was a first time delegate and did a great job representing the chapter. For more information regarding the delegate meeting outcomes, read Ken Gorzycki's review later in this newsletter.
Meeting Photos
GCSAA News and Updates
2015 GCSAA Chapter Delegates

I just returned from the Chapter Delegate meeting in Kansas City along with Rodney Crow - STGCSA, Jake Snyman - CTGCSA, Jay Edwards - TGCSA and Johnny Walker - Director Candidate. I also represented NTGCSA and WTGCSA in the absence of their delegate. The following are the main topics discussed:
  • Affiliation Agreement - Up for renewal
  • Rounds-4-Research - This initiative is two-fold. 1) Collect donated rounds to be auctioned. 2) Get bidders to purchase the donated rounds at the highest price possible. We have had reasonable success collecting the rounds but have not had a successful means of attracting bidders to the auction site to purchase rounds.
  • Member Standards - We will be voting on a proposal that essentially changes the title of the SM member to a B member. In addition, all references to Class SM member in the By-Laws will be changed to Class B member.
  • Class A Renewal Points - Total points remain at 5 over a 5-year renewal cycle however the Education points increase from two to three and the Service points decrease from three to two. Some of the previous service points will be reclassified as Education points and all remaining Service points must be golf centric. All non-golf centric Service points will be eliminated.
  • Equipment Manager Update - 2015 dues is free, $95 after. Developing programs specific for this category.
  • Member Engagement - Seeking increased committee and task group involvement. Increase communication to show value and benefits, support student engagement and mentor programs, recruiting, etc.
  • GIS - Update for San Diego this year. Working on future sites.
  • Government Affairs - Government Relations has been renamed Government Affairs to more accurately reflect their function going forward. They not only expect to continue their involvement with Congress but also focus even more on government agencies both at the national and state level. Discussed expanding attendance at National Golf Day in Washington DC and filling the remaining Grassroots Ambassador positions.
  • Board Elections at GIS - This could turn out to be an interesting election this year, 1) The easy part is Pete Grass is scheduled to be President and Bill Maynard to be Vice President. After that it could get dicey. 2) Rafael Barajas and Darren Davis are running for Secretary/Treasurer. Although Rafael ran last year against Bill Maynard, it appears Darren has a lot of support. Rafael is at the end of his 2-year term and Darren has a year left on his 2-year term. 3) If Rafael wins S/T, there will be two 2-year terms to be competed for by the four director candidates Kevin Breen, Jeff Millies, Rory Van Poucke and John Walker. However, if Darren is elected S/T, then Rafael will likely be nominated from the floor to join the other four director candidates competing for the two 2-year terms and there will also be a one year appointment to fill the remaining year on Darren's term. Obviously, Texas will be providing full support for Johnny Walker. 
Please contact me if you would like to discuss these issues and provide your input.

Thanks - kg

Kenneth A. Gorzycki, CGCS
Director of Agronomy
Horseshoe Bay Resort & Summit Rock Golf Club

Office | 830.598.5541
Fax | 830.598.6702
E-Mail |

2015 Annual Sponsors
2015 Event Calendar
December 8 - Toy Drive - Briggs Ranch
Sponsored by C&M

December 15 - 17 -  Texas Turfgrass Association Conference
San Antonio, TX

December 16 - Lone Star GCSA Luncheon
San Antonio, TX

January 19, 2016 - Education Meeting
Cabela's, Buda, TX
Details and Registration coming soon.

February 6-11, 2016 - GCSAA Education Conference 
and Golf Industry Show - San Diego, CA

February 10, 2016 - Lone Star GCSA Reception
San Diego, CA
at Bootleggers, 7-11 p.m.

March 14, 2016 - Turf Show and Scholarship Fundraiser
The Bandit Golf Club