Lawrence, Kansas, United States: Greg Neill, Equipment Manager at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club in Texas, has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Most Valuable Technician (MVT) Award, presented by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and Golf Course Management (GCM) magazine in partnership with Foley Company.
Now in its 10th year, the award recognises excellence among golf course equipment managers and the vital role they play in the golf course management industry.
Equipment managers are nominated by their golf course superintendent, and a panel of industry judges narrows those nominations down to three finalists, who are then voted on by GCSAA members through an online voting process.
“Foley Company remains a proud sponsor of this award. We are pleased to give back to the outstanding equipment managers since they are our largest customer base. We congratulate Greg for winning this year’s award and for all he has accomplished at Four Seasons, and thank you to everyone who submitted nominations,”said Paul Rauker, President of Foley Company, the presenting partner of the Most Valuable Technician Award since its inception, and a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“Golf course superintendents have long been aware of the enormous impact their equipment managers have on the success of the golf course maintenance operations,” said Rhett Evans, the GCSAA’s Chief Executive Officer.
“GCSAA wishes to recognise the efforts of equipment managers through the MVT Award and their own membership classification, of which there are over 800 members. Greg Neill’s passion and dedication as an equipment manager are unmatched. He’s a key member of the team at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club who contributes strong knowledge and leadership. We’re proud to recognise him for all his achievements.”
Neill has been in the golf course management business for nearly two decades, and currently applies his experiences at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Dallas at Las Colinas, where GCSAA member Anthony Williams is the Director of Golf Course and Landscape Operations.
There, Neill serves as the lead trainer of safety efforts in the club’s grounds department to improve safety. He is certified in CPR and first aid and thanks to Neill’s leadership, the club is entering its third year without a lost-time accident. Environmental stewardship is a big deal at Las Colinas, and Neill played a big role in Williams and the resort winning GCSAA’s and Golf Digest’s 2017 Environmental Leaders in Golf Award.
The five-year GCSAA member is also dedicated to professional development and completed the GCSAA Level 1 Equipment Management Certificate Programme during the 2019 Golf Industry Show in San Diego.
“I am honoured, humbled and excited to win the MVT Award. I am glad equipment managers have an award like this to recognise the hard work and dedication we put into our golf courses,” Neill said. “Most of the time I am called, it is because something is broken and needs to be repaired. It feels good to get calls of congratulations and hear ‘good job’ every once in a while.”
Nominator Williams said: “Greg Neill is the driving force that keeps our operation moving. He is a master of his craft and you see it across our property from the lawns at the hotel entrance to the greens on both courses, Greg’s signature is seen on the quality of cut and he has excellent penmanship.
“He takes ownership of every piece of equipment and its role in our operation. Greg and I have a great relationship and it makes everything easier. He is a huge asset to our team and an innovator and leader within the equipment manager side of the golf industry. The MVT Award is a huge honour and now others will know what I have always known: Greg is the best!”