40 Year MGCSA Member to be Honored on January 17th at the Annual Meeting
The MGCSA’s Distinguished Service Award (DSA) is an award presented to an individual who has made an outstanding or significant contribution to the advancement of the golf course superintendent’s profession, preferably in Minnesota and/or the surrounding area. This contribution is usually the result of behaviors over a significant period of time, and takes a true dedication to our industry, its initiatives, and its vitality. Perhaps no one exemplifies these attributes, or the meaning of service to one’s industry, better than the 2018 recipient of the DSA award, Rick Fredericksen, CGCS at Woodhill Country Club.
Rick’s career has spanned 40 years as a member of the MGCSA, which includes, not one, but two separate stints as an active participant on the MGCSA Board of Directors, with a rise to president of the association each time. During his first stint on the Board from 1986-1992, Rick helped improve research, developed an environmental awareness program and pushed our association to another level of professionalism. It was during his second stint on the board from 1999-2003 that Rick was at the forefront of supporting a new turfgrass science professor, Dr. Brian Horgan, and enhancing the already strong relationship with the University of Minnesota. In the process Rick helped secure funding and in-kind contributions that would translate into the UMN Turfgrass Research Outreach and Education Center, a permanent and nationally renowned research site and teaching facility for turfgrass science.
According to Dr. Horgan, Rick inspired and encouraged the 2002 MGCSA BOD to pursue the TROE Center concept with a confident appreciation that the UMN could emulate the Penn State research program and apply the information learned locally upon area golf courses. Brian also expressed Rick’s assertive attitude of pushing the envelope in turf management, always seeking a better management plan. Furthermore, Frederickson was and is to this day, according to Dr. Horgan, looking to improve the sustainability of golf courses and embrace environmental stewardship wherever possible, including the incorporation of pollinator habitat, watershed enhancements and implementation of EIQ (Environmental Impact Quotient), and thus reduce amounts of pesticide use based upon toxicity.
Along with this service on the MGCSA board and support of the UMN, Rick has continued his passion for the industry at Woodhill Country Club, where he has been superintendent since 1990. Appreciating the importance of environmental stewardship, Rick pursued and established the private facility as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) golf course in 1996, and continues to uphold these standards for environmental stewardship. He has also hosted numerous MGA and MGCSA events, as well as one USGA event, during his tenure at Woodhill. In support of his strong environmental advocacy, Rick has shared the good story of golf courses at numerous allied association meetings and also as a guest speaker recently at the Minnesota Pollinator Summit. Throughout his career he has continued to work closely with club members and Dr. Brain Horgan at the U of M on many environmental projects and initiatives.
If Rick’s commitment and legacy on the Board and at Woodhill are not enough to distinguish him, he has also spent 11 years on the Long Lake Volunteer Fire Department, including one year as Chief; using his background as an EMT to help others in need and to fight fires. He has also been traveling down to Augusta, Georgia for many years to volunteer for the Masters tournament. He not only volunteers his time during the week of the tournament in the spring, but also goes down there for a week in the fall to help out with overseeding.
Rick’s dedication to this industry is well documented. He has managed to have a long successful career at a prominent club, while still finding time to donate his time and be an active member of the MGCSA, for this, the association is forever grateful. Perhaps most impressive, however, is that Rick has managed to do all of this while being a family man. Rick’s wife, Jackie, whom he met in college (and who he credits with keeping him enrolled at Penn State) and their two daughters, Jodi and Sandy, along with two granddaughters keep Rick busy and fulfilled. Behind a lot of successful superintendents are usually an impactful wife and family, and Rick’s family undoubtedly has been a big influence during his distinguished career.
The level of commitment, dedication and time it takes to receive the DSA is no small feat, but perhaps there has never been a more obvious or deserving recipient than our 2019 winner, Rick Fredericksen, CGCS. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire MGCSA membership, we would like to congratulate Rick Fredericksen for being the 2019 Distinguished Service Award winner.