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President’s Letter – May/June 2010

As President of ENCTA I found myself wondering how did the Association first being, what was the main purpose of the association, who was involved with the creation, and what was a meeting like during the beginning.  So I starting asking people that been involved with the Association and I was lead to three people (Joel Johnson, Leon Lucas, John Mills) whom could recall the history of the Associations creation.

Here are some highlighted points of what it was like to be member during its first years of existence.

  • The Eastern North Carolina Turfgrass Association was started in 1973
  • President- Jake Pennel, Superintendent of Jacksonville Country Club
  • Board Members:

Joel Johnson Porter Brothers (Jacobsen Dealer)
Ed O’Donnell, Superintendent Brook Valley Country Club
John Hilton, Superintendent Cape Fear Country Club
Bill Sutton, Superintendent Walnut Creek Country Club
Dr. Gilbert, Professor North Carolina State University
Dr. Blake, Professor North Carolina State University

  • This group of individuals are responsible for the Creation and incorporation of the By-Laws and the over all foundation of the ENCTA today.
  • Mission Statement for the ENCTA in 1973 and today;

“To educate the Golf Course Superintendent on golf Course Maintenance, and to improve the level of knowledge and image towards the profession. Dues were $25.00 a year, which covered educational meetings for the year.  If you stayed for the meal (which was usually a steak dinner) a $5.00 additional cost was required. There were six ENCTA meetings per year.  They all concentrated on education.  The meetings would start at 12:00 p.m. with a round of golf, cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m., and dinner at 6:30 p.m., and concluded with an educational speaker for the last hour.  It’s important to note that Golf Course Superintendents at the time where not allowed in the clubhouse, so having a ENCTA meeting inside a Country Club was considered a big accomplishment.  Each member attending the meeting was expected to wear a coat and tie, and if not, that person was not allowed to attend the function. The Eastern North Carolina Turfgrass Association was important to a turf grass professional because many Golf Course Superintendents did not receive any turf growing education before being a Golf Course Superintendent.  So the most convenient, affordable way to receive education, ideas, and relationships in the turf grass field was through the ENCTA. The average attendance for an ENCTA meeting was around twenty members. Members had to pay their own way to the meeting, where the club did not see fit to offer the expense. Turf grass vendors in the area played a big part in spreading the word about the ENCTA to turf grass professionals across the area.  They were also big at the recruiting new potential members.

I hope this article educates and reminds some of our members of what it was like to be a member of the ENCTA in the beginning, and shows just how far the image and education of a Golf Course Superintendent and Turf Professional has come in 37 years which is the ENCTA mission statement.


Drew Ramsey
President ENCTA

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