Ponoka’s Kusiek wins CGSA superintendent of year award

Cameron Kusiek, 26, was chosen as the national recipient for the future superintendent of the year award sponsored by the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) and Toro Equipment.

Cameron Kusiek sits atop the Swilken Bridge crossing the Swilken Burn at St. Andrews with the Old Course Hotel in the background.

By Jasmine Franklin

He took a shot and aced the finals.

Cameron Kusiek, 26, was chosen as the national recipient for the future superintendent of the year award sponsored by the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) and Toro Equipment.

“When I originally went to school I didn’t think it would be for this,” Kusiek said, in an interview from St. Andrews, Scotland where he has been a seasonal green keeper for the birth place of golf — the Old Course. “But this is where my heart is.”

The award goes to the student who is most likely to be a future superintendent of a golf course. Faculties such as University of Guelph and Olds College, nominate one student who would make the best candidate, then a resume is submitted and an interview conducted with a representative of Toro Equipment, a former superintendent architect, and a member of the CGSA.

The list was then narrowed down to a handful of candidates and Ponoka’s Kusiek was the winner.

“I want to see where this guy is in 10 years because he really blew my mind,” said Lorie Micucci, manager of member services for CGSA. “I’ve been doing these interviews for six years now and out of everyone I’ve interviewed he was the most outstanding.”

“I definitely hope to be a superintendent sooner than later,” Kusiek said.

The award sends Kusiek on an all expenses paid six-week tour through the United Kingdom to various golf sites. He also gets to attend the Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show in February, and will be sent to Minneapolis, Minn. to visit Toro Equipment’s headquarters.

“It still hasn’t settled in yet,” he said.

Kusiek’s start into the golf scene wasn’t as he expected. He originally worked at golf courses in 2001 at the Wolf Creek Golf Resort as a summer job while he was working on a science degree from University of Alberta. Upon receiving his degree and while still working at the course, he realized his heart didn’t belong to previous dreams such as sports physiotherapy.

“I went back to the golf for about 1½ years,” Kusiek said. “My superintendent at the Wolf Creek golf course suggested I think about being a superintendant – and that’s when I realized, this is where I should be.”

Kusiek went to school at the University of Guelph and took a two-year turf grass management program where he learned how to be in charge of outside golf management duties such managing labor, time, finances, grass cutting and coordinating special events.

In February of 2008, Kusiek met the superintendent of the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland while the superintendent was at a symposium.

He introduced himself to the superintendent after the symposium, beginning a relationship that landed Kusiek a job at the Old Course for the last five months.

“I’ve been here (Old Course) for five months and it’s incredible. It was the first golf course in the world and has been around for over 600 years,” Kusiek said. “It’s where golf originated, it opens your mind to a lot of things you do.”

Upon his return from Scotland in November, Kusiek will be back in Ponoka where he has been offered the assistant superintendent’s job at Wolf Creek.

Just Posted

Snow flies at Ponoka Legion’s Flags of Remembrance ceremony

Despite the chilly weather, 128 Maple Leaf flags were raised at Ponoka’s Centennial Park

Young Ponoka barrel racer one to watch

Janae McDougall won Lakeland and Wildrose Rodeo Association peewee barrel racing

Ron Orr to return for another run as MLA

Lacombe-Ponoka UCP contest won by incumbent MLA

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Alberta harvest on hold due to poor weather conditions

Central Alberta farmers among those waiting for better temperatures to finish combining

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

Assault charge withdrawn vs. ex-Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna

Former Toronto player agrees to peace bond

UPDATED: Bill Cosby gets 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault

Judge also declared the disgraced comedian a ‘sexually violent predator’

U.S. worker charged after video shows him spitting on customer’s pizza

Jaylon Kerley of Detroit is charged with a felony count of food law violations

Robbery report at outlet mall turns out to be fake: police

Leduc RCMP respond to weapons complaint at premium outlet collection mall

Canada aiming for the moon, and beyond, with new space technology efforts

With an eye on future lunar exploration, Canada’s space agency is calling on companies to present their ideas for everything from moon-rover power systems to innovative mineral prospecting techniques.

New Brunswick Premier meets with lieutenant-governor as Tories, Liberals vie for power

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said the only other leader he had spoken with since results came in was Green Leader David Coon.

Most Read