Greg Neill (center), the equipment manager at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club near Dallas and the winner of the 2019 Most Valuable Technician Award, examines a rough mower with Anthony Williams, CGCS (right), the club’s director of golf course and landscape operations, and Jacob Boelsche, assistant superintendent. Photos by Scott Hollister
Greg Neill, the equipment manager at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club in Irving, Texas, has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Most Valuable Technician Award, presented by GCSAA and Golf Course Management magazine in partnership with Foley Co.
Now in its 10th year, the annual MVT Award recognizes excellence among golf course equipment managers as well as 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. The winner is then selected by GCSAA members through an online voting process.
“Golf course superintendents have long been aware of the enormous impact their equipment managers have on the success of the golf course maintenance operations,” says Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “GCSAA wishes to recognize 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, and we’re proud to recognize him for all his achievements.”
Neill has been in the golf course management business for nearly two decades, and he currently applies his skills at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club, where GCSAA member Anthony Williams, CGCS, is the director of golf course and landscape operations. Neill, who has worked at the facility since early 2017, serves as the lead trainer for safety efforts in the club’s grounds department. He is certified in CPR and first aid, and thanks to his leadership and commitment to improving safety, the club is entering its third year without a lost-time accident.
Environmental stewardship is a point of emphasis at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club, and Neill played a big role in Williams and the resort winning top honors in GCSAA and Golf Digest’s 2017 Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards. The five-year GCSAA member is also dedicated to professional development, and he completed Level 1 of GCSAA’s Equipment Management Certificate Program during the 2019 Golf Industry Show in San Diego.
“I am honored, humbled and excited to win the MVT Award,” says Neill. “I am glad equipment managers have an award like this to recognize the hard work and dedication we put into our golf courses. 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.”
Greg Neill with his wife, Amanda, daughter, Natalie, and sons, Kayden (left) and Kolton.
“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,” says Williams. “He takes ownership of every piece of equipment and its role in our operation. ... He is a huge asset to our team and an innovator and leader within the equipment manager side of the golf industry.”
Paul Rauker, president of Foley Co., which has been the presenting partner of the Most Valuable Technician Award since its inception, says, “Foley Co. 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.”
Also selected as finalists for this year’s Most Valuable Technician Award were Brian Bressler, equipment manager at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club, and Jody Farber, equipment manager (at the time of nomination) at Anthem Country Club in Henderson, Nev.
Past MVT Award winners
2018: Trent Manning, Ansley Golf Club, Atlanta
2017: Blas Huezo, Barona Creek Golf Club, Lakeside, Calif.
2016: Yvon Jeaurond, Victoria (British Columbia) Golf Club
2015: Cory Phillips, Horseshoe Bend Country Club, Roswell, Ga., and The Golf Club of Georgia, Alpharetta
2014: Joe Stefanick, Seven Lakes Golf and Tennis Community, Fort Myers, Fla.
2013: Brian Heywood, The Valley Club, Hailey, Idaho
2012: Jim Stuart, Stone Mountain (Ga.) Golf Club by Marriott
2011: Gene Pascarelli, Colorado Springs Country Club
2010: Ramon Salas, Azusa Greens Country Club, Azusa, Calif.