John Zimmers

John_ZimmersI was born in Tyrone, Pennsylvania and spent my childhood growing up in the Tyrone and Sinking Valley areas located in central PA. I attended Tyrone Area High School and graduated in 1988. I possess a passion for the outdoors and sports. My first job was with Wertz Landscaping in Sinking Valley where I worked summers gaining landscaping knowledge and experience. Later I went to work under the guidance of famed superintendent Paul R. Latshaw at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, DE where I developed an interest in the turf management profession. I spent several years working at Wilmington C.C. completing various renovations to the course. During that time I also attended the Professional Turf Management Program at Rutgers University, NJ and graduated in 1993.

Upon graduating in 1993, I joined Mr. Latshaw at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD where I held the position of Assistant Golf Course Superintendent. Over the next two years I supervised several major renovation projects in preparation to host the 1995 Senior Open and the 1997 U.S. Open. The invaluable experience obtained during that time led to my next opportunity in 1995, when I accepted the position of Owner Representative/Superintendent for construction of a new golf course to be named Sand Ridge Golf Club in Chardon, OH. My employment began at the conception of Sand Ridge G.C. and I progressed on to manage the opening of the course in the spring of 1998. At the time of completion, Sand Ridge G.C. was recognized by Golf Digest as the Best New Conditioned Golf Course in America and was ranked #52 in the Top 100 rating. Sand Ridge G.C. placed great emphasis on preserving the environment by implementing programs to protect the surrounding wetlands. By meeting all of the requirements and having such a passion for this initiative, Sand Ridge G.C. was the first course in Ohio, and only the 10th worldwide, to receive the prestigious status of becoming an Audubon International Signature Series Sanctuary designated course.

In the fall of 1999 I joined the team at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, PA as the Golf Course Superintendent. Oakmont C.C. is world renowned for being the site of 18 major championships. I have played host to three of these championships: the 2003 U.S. Amateur, the 2007 U.S. Open, the 2010 Women’s U.S. Open and I am currently preparing to host the 2016 U.S. Open. This is quite unique as Oakmont C.C. is the only club to have ever hosted three national championships in a seven year period. Oakmont C.C. is rich in tradition and history. It was founded in 1903 by Mr. Henry C. Fownes and is recognized today as a National Historic Landmark. Oakmont C.C. is currently ranked 5th in the nation by Golf Digest Magazine. Over the past several years, I have managed a major construction project to restore Oakmont to its original Fownes’ design. The restoration work included the removal of over 5,000 trees, rebuilding of bunkers, installation of a new irrigation system, implementation of internal/subsurface drainage to all the original putting greens, while meeting all the necessary USGA requirements to host national championships. During this time I have also managed the widening of the Pennsylvania Turnpike onto Oakmont C.C. property.

I have been the recipient of several honors and awards. The most recent was in 2012 when I was acknowledged as one of the most recognized living golf course superintendents by Golfdom Magazine. In 2007, I was recognized as the Superintendent of the Year. I was designated as one of the top 10 superintendents in the world in 2005. Later that year, I received

the Rutgers Professional Golf Turf Management School Award for Professional Excellence. In 2002 Golf Week Magazine recognized me on their 40/40 list for the 40 individuals under the age of 40 most likely to succeed in their profession.

My specialized area of expertise is preparing courses for championships, as I have hosted or been involved in hosting 27 championship golf events in my career to date. I take great pride in delivering consistent, championship conditions on a daily basis for the members of the club. Mentoring others in the turf profession is something I find hugely important and very rewarding. There is nothing more fulfilling to me personally than to help someone and watch them succeed in this competitive industry. I make it my goal to strive for perfection and believe that one should always continue to grow and learn daily.

I have been married to my wife, Tracey, for over 20 years. We do not have any children, but we adore our adopted yellow lab, Coleman. When not working or volunteering in the turf profession in some fashion, I enjoy sporting events and traveling. Both Tracey and I take great pride in supporting our favorite charities such as the Humane Society of the United States, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and Tips for Tots for the Marine Corps.