March 18, 2021, PHOENIX— Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply recently expanded its golf team, adding Pat Gross, formerly of the United States Golf Association (USGA), in the newly developed role of Ewing Golf Inside Sales.
“The Ewing Golf Team is thrilled to have the tenured Pat Gross on our team. His in-depth knowledge and experience in the golf industry will be a tremendous benefit for our golf course customers, as he will be reaching out to provide support to Ewing customers nationwide,” said Steve Sakurai, Ewing Golf Segment Manager.
Gross recently retired from the USGA after a 28-year career with the organization as agronomist and director of the Western Region of the Green Section. During his tenure with the USGA, he completed more than 2,000 on-site consulting visits to courses throughout the Southwest United States and Mexico, with a focus on providing practical information to help golf courses conserve water and improve course conditions.
Another aspect of his career with the USGA that Gross really enjoyed was working with courses in the West that hosted USGA championships, including 25 amateur championships and nine US Opens.
Gross mentioned, “It was fun to be involved with golf at the highest level, such as the US Opens and the Women’s Open. People would be amazed to see what goes on behind the scenes and learn how many years of planning goes into putting on a major golf event.”
One of the projects Gross was especially proud of was the development of the USGA Water Resource Center website. During the severe drought that occurred around 2009, he was involved with a team at the USGA that pulled together information and resources to help golf courses survive the drought, as well as share information with the general public and legislators on what golf was doing in response to the crisis.
“I have firsthand experience dealing with drought, and it was gratifying to share my ideas and help golf courses get through the crisis,” said Gross.
A graduate of Cal Poly Pomona, Gross earned his Bachelor of Science degree in ornamental horticulture specializing in turfgrass management. After graduating from college and prior to joining the USGA, Pat was a golf course superintendent in the Los Angeles area for five years. He gained practical experience digging ditches and raking bunkers at several courses including Montaingate CC, Lakeside GC, Industry Hills, and Hacienda Golf Club, before getting his first superintendent job at Shandin Hills and then returning to Industry Hills as the superintendent of the Eisenhower Course.
Gross remembers, “At the time, Industry Hills was known as the “Cal Poly Proving Grounds’. Several successful superintendents and agronomists came out of that program including Mike Huck, Dave Oatis, Robert Hertzing, and many others.”
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