A BIG-PICTURE PASSION FOR
LIFE AND THE GOLF INDUSTRY
of the Year
When Keith Blayney joined his first turf crew, he was only
looking for a temporary gig to make some dough before heading
back to school. A career in golf course maintenance was definitely
not part of his long-term plans.
all young kids, I was looking for a summer job at a local golf
course in my says Blayney, who grew up in High River,
Alberta, and who has been a CGSA member since 1988. was a
nine-hole course there. I started in the fall, got my feet wet, and ended
up working there every summer throughout high
After graduating from high school, Blayney moved to Edmonton
to attend the University of Alberta. Each summer, he returned home
to work at the golf course. After completing his degree, with no
immediate job prospects in his field, that regular summer job slowly
turned into a 34-year and counting career.
Come January 2016, at the annual Canadian Golf Course Management Conference in Toronto, the industry to which given so much
will honour him for this distinguished service. Blayney, the AGS from
Edmonton Petroleum Golf Country Club, will receive the CGSA Bayer
Superintendent of the Year Award for 2015.
would like to think when the criteria for this award are analyzed,
and compared to career accomplishments, he would absolutely
be a top choice for the distinction of this says CGSA Past President David Boyd.
Over the years, Blayney has served on various CGSA committees,
including the Membership Services Committee since 2010 and the
Conference Coordinating Committee for the CGSA Conference in 2008.
In 2008, he held the position of Alberta Golf Superintendents Association (AGSA) President, and he has served as the AGSA representative on
the Alberta Pesticide Advisory Committee since 2007.
Early in his career, during his first job at Highwood Golf Club (where
he ended up working as an assistant for his brother for 17 years),
Blayney gained lots of project management experience.
course went from nine holes to 18 and then to he recalls.
was in charge of the construction for the new 18 and also oversaw
when we built a new maintenance shop
was a great learning he adds. were lots of
different managers that came and went while I was there, so I got a
little taste of dealing with turnover, which is part of our business. I eventually decided to make a career of it. I took the short course at Olds
College and the rest is
Winning the CGSA Bayer Superintendent of the Year award came as
a complete surprise.
industrious president called me, I forget what day it was, but
I thought he was calling about the revamping of the Blayney
recalls. even register that that was what he was calling about
it caught me quite off guard and was a humbling experience.
not something that I thought I would ever strive to get or was on my
radar when I got into this