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Finlen Elected GCSAA President O

ne of the nation’s top golf organizations

will be led by a Bay Area resident in 2013. Certified golf course superintendent Pat Finlen, director of golf at The Olympic Club, was elected president of the Golf Course Super- intendents Association of America (GCSAA) at the association’s annual meeting last February in San Diego. A GCSAA member for

28 years and past president of the California GCSA and the GCSA of Northern California, Finlen has served at The Olympic Club since 2002. He is responsible for both the Lake (host of the 2012 U.S. Open) and Ocean courses, the Cliffs course (par 3), driving range and practice facilities, landscap- ing and all naturalized areas of the facility encompassing 365 acres. It’s been a busy few

years for Finlen, not only as a GCSAA volunteer leader, but also hosting arguably the most diffi- cult event from a logistical standpoint. In serving as GCSAA Vice President last year, he had little free time in prepping for the U.S. Open. His efforts drew rave reviews. “For those that come to

the U.S. Open every year, I know this is going to sound like a stuck record. . .[but] there’s no person that really influences this champion- ship more [than the golf course superintendent],” said Mike Davis, execu- tive director of the United States Golf Association. “Just a great job, and you’re a delight to work with,”

68 / NCGA.ORG / SPRING 2013

added Davis in reference to Finlen. Previously, Finlen served

as director of golf course maintenance at Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Course in Seaside, golf course and grounds manager at Quivira Lake and Coun- try Club in Lake Quivira, Kan., and superintendent at Cypress Point Country Club in Virginia Beach, Va. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Mo. He was also Heart of America GCSA President from 1993-94. Finlen, who resides in Half Moon Bay with his wife Denise, is clearly ready to assume the role of president. “To be entrusted with the leadership of GCSAA by my peers in the golf industry is truly hum- bling,” said Finlen. “I look forward to the challenges and opportunities in the upcoming year and provid- ing vision and leadership for our nearly 18,000 members throughout the U.S. and the world. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the members, board of directors and my staff at The Olympic Club for allowing me the time to pursue this important endeavor. Their support of


the superintendent profes- sion and the game is truly remarkable.” While the position of

president is all-encompass- ing, one of Finlen’s pri- orities is the continued col- laboration with allied golf associations, including the USGA, PGA of America, Club Managers Association of America and regional/ state golf associations like the NCGA to improve the golf economy and state of the game. An NCGA mem- ber since 1998 and host superintendent of the 2011 California Amateur that was contested at The Olympic Club, Finlen has always admired the way the NCGA supports the ama- teur game. “The NCGA is the backbone of amateur

golf in Northern California and it has done a terrific job in growing the game and providing its members with numerous opportunities to participate in the game at a competitive level,” said Finlen. “I look forward to working with Lyn Nelson and her staff to continue and improve the already strong and beneficial rela- tionship that the NCGA has with GCSAA.” Serving as a GCSAA

national director the past seven years, Finlen has seen the game and business of golf change. “I am constant- ly amazed at the passion and creativity the golf in- dustry shows in adapting to the ever changing environ- ment we work in. The game of golf and the business of golf demand that we adapt, and our industry has done that in astounding ways,” said Finlen. “The message of GCSAA along with our allied partners is being heard and no longer is golf silent on issues that affect the well-being of the game and those who are employed by golf.” For more information on

GCSAA, its leadership and the direction of the industry for 2013, visit the website at

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of Northern California is dedicated to serving its members, fostering communication, advancing the profession, improving the environment and enriching the quality of golf. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @GCSANC. It is an affiliated chapter of the

Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

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