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Cal Roth: A fond farewell for PGA Tour’s grass guru

The agronomist is retiring after 35 years with the organization.

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Cal Roth
Photo courtesy of the PGA Tour


As he prepares to retire from his post as the PGA Tour’s senior vice president of agronomy, Cal Roth reflects on his career, how golf course maintenance has evolved, and the quality of the game’s modern landscapes in an interview with PGATour.com.

“When I was out of school and just starting in the business, 98 percent of what you had to know you learned on the job,” Roth says. “But now, these young people know so much more than we did. The talent level with the superintendents who are out there today is incredible.”

A native of Illinois and graduate of Southern Illinois University, Roth was superintendent at Flatirons Golf Club in Boulder, Colo., when then-PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman arrived in town to interview candidates for the job at TPC Plum Creek in Castle Rock, Colo. Roth was hired for the position in 1983, thus starting his three-plus decades of involvement in the conditioning of golf courses that host tournaments on the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions and Web.com Tour. Roth has also served on the board of trustees of the Environmental Institute for Golf.

Among Roth’s accomplishments was work on the 2016 Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro. “Cal was willing to adapt to some of our out-of-the-box thoughts on design, construction and maintenance,” says Olympic Golf Course architect Gil Hanse. “... We are forever grateful for his significant contributions to the success of that project and will miss working with him on our other Tour projects.”

Read PGATour.com’s full article on Cal Roth.

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