Dr. Jesse Benelli Director of Turfgrass Programs
Dr. Benelli joined the CDGA in January 2017. The Director of Turfgrass Programs is responsible for overseeing a rapid golf course diagnostic service to all CDGA member organizations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Additionally, this position coordinates the applied research program in collaboration with other industry professionals across the Midwest. These research findings are disseminated to turfgrass practitioners through various in-person and online avenues including educational meetings, field days, weekly scouting reports, social media, and other digital platforms.
Phone (O): 630-685-2307
Phone (C): 570-439-0540
Twitter: @JJBenelli | @TurfResearch
2016 | PhD in Plants, Soils, and Insects | University of Tennessee
2013 | MS in Plant Sciences | University of Tennessee
2007 | BS in Turfgrass Science | Pennsylvania State University
2017-current | Director of Turfgrass Programs | CDGA | Lemont IL
2013-2016 | Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant | University of Tennessee | Knoxville TN
2010-2013 | Graduate Research Assistant | University of Tennessee | Knoxville TN
2007-2010 | Research Technician | Pennsylvania State University Turfgrass Pathology | State College PA
Turfgrass Management Experience
2012-2015 | Weekend Agronomy Staff | Gettysvue Golf & Polo Club | Knoxville TN
2007-2010 | Weekend Agronomy Staff | State College Elks Country Club | Boalsburg PA
2006 | Golf Course Intern | Meadowlands Country Club | Blue Bell PA
2002-2005 | Agronomy Staff and Pro Shop Attendant | Tyoga Country Club | Wellsboro PA
Ron Townsend Turfgrass Research Manager
Ron Townsend began working with the Turfgrass program with the CDGA in march of 2014. Since taking the Research Manager position Ron has provided Ed with support taking over many of the research trials. Managing trials and organizing data allows the turfgrass team at the CDGA to provide greater support for the district superintendents. Bringing prior experience with research primarily in turfgrass pathology Ron is a great addition to the turfgrass team.
Working with Todd Hicks and Joe Rimelspach at the Ohio State University, Ron was able to gain valuable experience. Working with the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation the turfgrass pathology team was able to perform numerous trials during the year on various types and heights of turf. Drawing from prior experiences Ron will go above and beyond to help the district superintendent and provide them with sound agronomic information.
- BS Turfgrass Science, Plant Pathology minor, The Ohio State University 2012.
- Turfgrass Research Manager CDGA 2014
- 2nd assistant Exmoor Country Club 2012-2014
- Crew member/intern Oakhurst Country Club 2010-2012
- Intern Kirtland Country Club 2011
- Intern Pinnacle Golf Club 2009
- Ohio State turfgrass pathology team 2008
Christopher Painter Green Superintendent and Facility Manager
Christopher Painter joined the Chicago District Golf Association as the green superintendent and facility manager in 2004. Painter maintains the Sunshine Course at the Midwest Golf House complex to benefit disadvantaged golfers and host the Association’s turfgrass research. Each season, Painter supervises the facility’s grounds crew, makes all plant protectant applications and maintains the automated irrigation system. With Sunshine Course hosting multiple turfgrass research field day events each year, Painter plays an instrumental role to facilitate Illinois turfgrass research as he adjusts golf course maintenance procedures to accommodate researchers from across the state.
- A.S. Turf Science, Joilet Junior College, 1993
- Green Superintendent and Facility Manager, Chicago District Golf Association, 2004–present
- Superintendent, Downers Grove Park District Golf Course in Downers Grove, Ill., 2001–2004
- Mechanic, Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent of Youth Links, Cantigny Golf in Wheaton, Ill., 1989–2001
- Mechanic, Bryn Mawr Country Club in Lincolnwood, Ill., 1981–1989