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15th Annual Green Start Academy

Starting week of October 12, 2020

Green Start Academy — world-class training for assistant superintendents

Green Start Academy is a leadership and development program co-hosted by Bayer and John Deere. This year, to manage the health, safety and well-being of our attendees during this dynamic time of COVID, Green Start will be held as a virtual event. The event is scheduled to kick off the week of October 12 with additional events to follow in the weeks after.

Since 2006, the goal of this program has been to help assistant superintendents build a strong foundation for their careers as well as to support the future of golf courses and the entire golf industry by offering growth through networking and developing interactive peer groups.

In this year’s virtual setting, selected attendees will enjoy listening to educational and charismatic keynote speaker, Jeff Havens, to discuss the different perspectives and realities of leading a multigenerational workplace, among other topics. Attendees will also get the opportunity to be personally mentored by industry leading superintendents and interact with other assistants through smaller group sessions.

To make things even more interesting, Bayer and John Deere are extending an invite to academy alumni and facilitators from the past 14 years to participate in the general session.

Assistant Superintendent at Green Start Academy
Presenting at the Green Start Academy

We’re looking for the top 50 assistant superintendents. Are you one of them?

The application period is now closed.

The program is open to assistant superintendents in the U.S. and Canada only. Although we look forward to having Academy alumni join us for the general session this year, please note that previous Green Start Academy participants are not eligible to apply for the academy program. Applications must be received by 5:00 PM EDT Tuesday September 8, 2020.


Program Timeline

Application period: August 4 – September 8th
Panelist evaluation period: September 1 – September 11
Selection notification: September 15
Registration: September 15 – 21

Advisory Panel

Jeff havens


Jeff Havens
Jeff Havens is not your typical business growth expert. His uncanny ability to provide actionable answers to today’s business challenges in an undeniably entertaining and impactful way has put him in front of over 1,000 eager audiences across North America and Asia. Delivering well-researched and relevant business insight is something a lot of keynote speakers do, but combining that with the entertainment value of a comedy show is not. Engaging, charismatic, and full of energy, Jeff Havens is the only business growth expert who provides serious solutions in a seriously funny way.  

Carolos Arraya

Carols Arraya
Carlos Arraya is the Assistant General Manager & Director of Agronomy at Bellerive Country Club located in Saint Louis, Missouri. Bellerive Country Club was founded in 1897, is the preeminent family country club in the region. The club has rich major championship history and has hosted the 1965 U.S. Open, 1981 U.S. Mid-Amateur, 1992 PGA Championship, 2001 World Golf Championship, 2004 U.S. Senior Open, 2008 BMW Championship, 2013 Senior PGA Championship, and the 2018 100th PGA Championship. Bellerive Country Club is one of only 3 courses in history to host all four traveling men’s major championships. Carlos has degrees in electronics engineering and in golf course operations management. He is a Certified Golf Course Superintendent and matriculating towards his Certified Club Manager designation from the CMAA.

Carol D Raul

Carol Rau
Dynamic Career Speaker and Author who brings high energy as an inspiring speaker with winning strategies for professionals to advance their careers. Offering audiences insight from 20+ years of success in recruiting, career coaching, resume building, and job search strategies. Expertise in career consulting for golf and turf professionals worldwide as a frequent speaker at national, regional, and local GCSAA conferences.


The agenda is as follows with post-event mentor sessions in between each session: 

Jeff Havens - Leadership in a multigenerational workplace October 14 3:00 - 4:30 PM EST Open to new attendees & alumni
Carol Rau - How to stand out as an assistant October 21 3:00 - 4:30 PM EST Open to new attendees
Carlos Arraya - Leading golf’s multicultural organizations October 28 3:00 - 4:30 PM EST Open to new attendees & alumni
Carol Raul – Position yourself for success November 4 3:00 - 4:30 PM EST Open to new attendees & alumni

In addition to these featured sessions, new attendees will be paired with mentors after each session along with their groups. This year's professional mentors are:

Carlos Arraya – Bellerive CC, St louis, MO

Dan Meersman – Philadelphia Cricket club, Philadelphia PA

PJ Salter – Riveria CC, Miami FL

Bob Farren - Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst NC

Grant Murphy - Barrie CC, Barrie ON, CA

Lukus Harvey - Atlanta AC, Atlanta GA