In Memoriam: Clifford Wagoner, CGCS

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Clifford A. Wagoner, CGCS at the age of 97.

Thank you to Gary Carls for preparing the following tribute to Mr. Wagoner:

For those of us fortunate to know him he was a great friend and mentor. For those of you who may not have known him I would like to share just a few brief notes on his legacy with both GCSANC and GCSAA.

As part of GCSANC, Clifford was actively involved well into his 80’s and he and his wife Myrtle were the leaders in putting together our 65th Anniversary Meeting back in 1997 as well as compiling a complete chapter history of the first 65 years of our chapter. Clifford served as GCSANC President in 1959, 1965 and 1967 and was heavily involved in setting the chapter on it’s course as one of the leading chapters of GCSAA. He also was involved in the early days of what soon became the California GCSAA.

With GCSAA, Clifford was the chair of the committee that created the GCSAA Certification program and later became GCSAA President in 1973. Clifford remained deeply involved with GCSAA throughout his career and was a positive role model for many of us who came after him. He spent most of his career at Del Rio CC in Modesto where he retired as GM back in the 1980’s. He and Myrtle both attended over 50 GCSAA Conferences and one of my great memories of them both will be of having the opportunity to help escort them around a few years back as they attended what would be their final GIS in San Diego. They had developed so many great friendships over the years with GCSAA and GCSANC that it was great just to see the smiles as they reconnected with so many friends from the past.

Clifford always took the time to share his thoughts and ideas with those of us who would ask him questions and I always appreciated his insight. He will be sorely missed by so many of us who knew him and worked with him on many various GCSANC projects. He will be re-united in heaven with his dear wife of over 76 years, Myrtle, whom we lost last year. They were truly one great team and made GCSANC what it is today.

Rest in Peace, My Friend

Service Information

Celebration of Life Memorial – Clifford Wagoner
Friday, June 1, 2018
11:00 a.m.
Del Rio Country Club
801 Stewart Road
Modesto, CA 95356

Donation Information

Clifford & Myrtle Wagoner Scholarship and Research Fund
Make checks payable to GCSANC
2215 21st Street
Sacramento, CA 95818


Optimal Hospice
1101 Sylvan Ave #B-10
Modesto, CA 95350

Burial was private

2018 GCSANC Staff Directory

Dear GCSANC Members,

As most of you know, Connerly and Associates, Inc. has managed our day to day operations for the past few years. As a Board, we are extremely pleased with this collaboration and look forward to working with them in the years to come. We would like to introduce the staff, job duties, and contact information. This will allow members the ability to discuss items with the staff directly if desired.

Rebecca Keeley, Administrative Assistant

Member relations, Event registrations/name badges/event assistance, Collections, Product order fulfillment

E-mail:, Phone: (916) 454-1320 Ext. 103


Julia Barajas-Cisneros, Senior Consultant

Event Planning and implementation, GCSAA points

E-mail:, Phone: (916) 454-1320 Ext. 112


Simone Youngblood, Communications Consultant

Email announcements, Event materials, Website

E-mail:, Phone: (916) 454-1320 Ext. 115


Maria Wihren, Accounting Specialist

Financial recordkeeping and reporting

Email:, Phone: (916) 454-1320 Ext. 116


Ryan Connerly, Associate Consultant

Membership database

E-mail:, Phone: (916) 454-1320 Ext. 105


Marc Connerly, Executive Director

Board liaison, Advocacy, Sponsorships, DPR points

E-mail:, Phone: (916) 214-6495


Hopefully this information will help you with inquiries in the future. Along with that, the Board is always available to answer any questions. Our contact information can be found on the website directory. We look forward to serving you, and hope to see everyone at this year’s events.


Stacy L. Wallace, Director of Golf Course Maintenance, Bay Club StoneTree

President, GCSA of Northern California

2017 GCSANC Annual Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2017 GCSANC Annual Award Winners!

Presented at our 2018 GCSANC Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at Meadow Club (Sean Tully, Superintendent and Outgoing GCSANC President)


DENIS KERR, Golf Club at Quail Lodge (Carmel Valley), Superintendent

Denis grew up in the great state of Oregon. His first exposure to golf came from playing Salishan Golf Links and Devils Lake Golf Course in his home town of Lincoln City. Denis’ career path started at just 16 years old when he was hired by Mr. Richard Schwabauer at Waverly Country Club in Portland Oregon.

Attending both Lewis and Clark College and Oregon State University, he worked his way through school employed by the City of Portland at West Delta Golf Corse under the direction of Mr. John Zoller, Jr.

Upon graduation, Denis moved to California and took a position at Monterey Peninsula Country Club working for Mr. Bob Zoller.

Denis’ first and only superintendent position has been at the Golf Club at Quail Lodge where he has worked for the past 27 years. Denis currently works with two of the finest assistants in the industry: Danny Buckley and Eric Martin. He is also very appreciative of his current coworkers, as well as all those colleagues he has had the privilege of working with in the past.


JUSTIN MANDON, Pasatiempo Golf Club (Santa Cruz), Superintendent

Justin Mandon is the golf course superintendent at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz. Prior to Pasatiempo, Justin was the golf course superintendent at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Justin’s duties during his 7 years at The Olympic Club included Lake Course Superintendent for the 2012 United States Open Championship and numerous renovation projects and improvements to the 45 hole facility.

Justin is a GCSAA Class A Superintendent and member of the Northern California Superintendents Association. Justin graduated from Rutgers University Professional Turf Management School in 2001. He is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, and has also worked at La Rinconada Country Club and Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club.







THOR LARSON, Farmload Distributors, Sales Representative

Thor got his start in the golf course industry at an early age, working after school and during the summers at a course in rural Minnesota. While attending college at the University of Wisconsin, he continued his golf course work at the university’s course. Go Badgers! Eventually, he ended up with a Bachelor of Science in Soil Science/ Turfgrass option. After college he returned to Minnesota and continued to work his way up the ladder in the golf course industry.

In 1997, after a long cold winter, he decided the grass was greener in California, and so moved to Monterey where he has been ever since. He was the Assistant Superintendent at both Quail Lodge and Spyglass Hill, and eventually became the Superintendent of Del Monte Golf Course. In 2006 he changed directions with his career and started working with Farmload Distributors.

Farmload’s mission is to bring new and innovative products to the Northern California golf course market. During this time, Thor also attended Monterey College of Law where he received his Juris Doctor in 2010. One of the things he appreciates most about his work is the numerous relationships he has built with his customer base.

He feels that visiting a variety of golf course maintenance operations on a daily basis gives him a good understanding of where our profession has come from and where it is going.


MICHAEL T. GARVALE, CGCS, Callippe Preserve Golf Course (Cupertino), Superintendent

Michael Garvale’s long history of service to the turfgrass industry began in 1972 – the year he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from the University of Detroit – and took on the position of Assistant Superintendent at Plum Hollow Golf Club in Southfield, Michigan. From there, he completed his graduate studies in Biochemistry at the University of Detroit, and, in 1976, took on the role of Assistant Superintendent at Orchard Lake Country Club in Orchard Lake, Michigan.

That same year, Michael graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Turfgrass Management. From there, he worked as Superintendent at Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City, Michigan from 1978 to 1984.

It was in 1984 that Michael’s career brought him to California where he worked as Superintendent of Palo Alto Hills Country Club until 2007.

For the next couple years Michael held a position at Harding Park Golf Club in San Francisco as Director of Agronomy, Kemper Sports, for preparation of the Presidents Cup. In 2010, he took on his current role as Superintendent at Callippe Preserve Golf Club in Pleasanton.

Michael’s service to the industry includes several accomplishments, including being recipient of the GCSANC Turfgrass Excellence Award in 1987, and serving as our association’s President in 1991.

He has been married to his wife Christine for forty years. They have one daughter and one granddaughter. Michael is an avid flyfisher, and is looking forward to accomplishing the one milestone he has yet to achieve – retirement!


JAY NEUNSINGER, Boundary Oak Golf Course (Walnut Creek), Superintendent

Jay Neunsinger has worked at Boundary Oak Golf Course in Walnut Creek since 2015. A graduate from Colorado State University, Jay has been in the Bay Area now almost 10 years with stops at Franklin Canyon, Tilden Park and now Boundary Oak Golf Course. Jay is a new daddy, so he has little time outside of work and home.








2017 PRESIDENT’S AWARD (presented by GCSANC President Sean Tully)


Terry Grasso, CGCS, recently retired from Sequoyah Country Club after over 30 years in the golf industry. He is the recipient of the President’s Award for 2017.

Terry started work at Claremont Country Club working for Randy Gai, then went on to work for John Fleming at Olympic Club. After his time there, he took on the Superintendent position at Burlingame for 10 years before moving to the East Bay to Sequoyah Country Club as the Superintendent. He worked there for 17 years before retiring in 2017.

Terry was a member of both GCSAA and GCSANC for 30 years and became a Certified Golf Course Superintendent in 2010.

He served two terms on the Board and was active in the association throughout his career. He was awarded the George Santana Distinguished Service Award in 2012, and in 2004 was honored as the Superintendent of the Year.

Terry was also a supporter of the California Alliance for Golf and several community-based golf initiatives such as Sequoyah Country Club’s Youth Merit Scholarship program, The First Tee of Oakland, and the NCGA Foundation.

Terry has been married to his wife Carol for 44 years. In his retirement he plans on traveling and enjoying some leisurely rounds of golf.