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

Break and enter to Ponoka farm home while resident was inside

Caucasian suspects quickly entered the home and stole several items Tuesday afternoon

Grand trip for tournament was an epic experience for Lacoka midget squad

Girls from Ponoka, Lacombe area take in sights, sounds of Toronto while winning bronze

Alberta bison producers showcase growing industry in Ponoka

Annual conference, meeting plus show and sale highlight industry on the move

Provincials proved challenging for Ponoka’s atom McDonalds

The team left provincials with a win and a strong spirit of teamwork

Tax rates stay the same in Ponoka County

Surplus of $3.6 million a huge boost to absorbing higher expenses this year

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Ice fisherman hooks massive catch from Sylvan Lake

Ron Rivard potentially holds the new Alberta record with the 43 inch jackfish

10-15 cm expected for parts of Central/Northern Alberta

Lacombe and south can expect around 2-7 cm of snow today and into tonight

Heavy ice off Canada coast strands pod of dolphins, fixating small town

The small Newfoundland community, Heart’s Delight, is fixated on plight of trapped dolphins

Foreign election interference a reality, says Trudeau after Putin re-election

Trudeau said the heavy use of social media and interference by foreign actors are the new reality in elections.

Canadians joining #DeleteFacebook amid fears of electoral meddling

Privacy experts say numerous Canadians are taking to other social media platforms to join in on the #DeleteFacebook hashtag

Schools close as spring snow storm tracks toward Maritime provinces

Schools are closing across the Maritime provinces as a spring snow storm tracks towards the region.

Son of late Canadian professor fights for mother’s release from Iran

Mehran Seyed-Emami’s father, an Iranian-Canadian professor, died in an Iranian jail after being accused of spying.

Deadly crash raises questions about Uber self-driving system

The fatality prompted Uber to suspend all road-testing of such autos in the Phoenix area, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto

Most Read