Assistant superintendents take spotlight at Toro event

Inaugural event brings 32 assistants to Twin Cities for education, networking and an inside-look at equipment giant’s operations.


Rick Olson, president/CEO of The Toro Co., welcomes attendees to the company's first Experience for Assistant Superintendents on Monday.

Chris Tritabaugh had a simple message for the turfgrass managers gathered Monday for the inaugural Toro Experience for Assistant Superintendents.

"Manage others the way you want to be managed."

It's a simple lesson that harkens back to most people's youth, but it's one that definitely resonated with the 32 assistants from around the country who came to Toro's world headquarters in Bloomington, Minn., for three days of education and networking.

And during an educational Q&A in the clubhouse at Hazeltine National Golf Club — a venue that Tritabuagh, a 17-year GCSAA member, has served as superintendent for the past five years — that concept which is at the core of Tritabuagh's philosophy in managing his team generated plenty of discussion and conversation.

The visit to Hazeltine for this session, along with an in-depth tour of the maintenance facility and golf course that hosted last year's Ryder Cup, capped a busy first day at the event that started with a tour of Toro's headquarters, which opened a sparkling new addition just three years ago in conjunction with the company's 100th anniversary in business. Attendees saw vintage vehicles, went in-depth with Toro's research-and-development process and got first-hand looks at new products that came out of that process, including the prototype vehicle dubbed "Project Delta" that stole the show in the company's booth at last year's Golf Industry Show in Orlando (much more to come on that effort in the pages of GCM).

The assistants also got a tour of Toro's component production facility in nearby Shakopee, Minn., which produces many of the parts that make up each and every piece of Toro equipment, before heading off to Hazeltine to wrap up the day.

On Tuesday, the Toro Experience for Assistant Superintendents rolls several hours east into central Wisconsin to visit Toro's production facility in Tomah, Wis.

Scott Hollister is GCM’s editor-in-chief.