Tips, tricks and awards

Georgia equipment manager and Reel Turf Techs podcast host Trent Manning earns GCSAA’s Edwin Budding Award.


Courtesy of GCSAA

Trent Manning, CTEM, eight-year GCSAA member and equipment manager at Ansley Golf Club at Midtown in Atlanta, and Ansley Golf Club at Settindown Creek in Roswell, Georgia, is the winner of the 2022 Edwin Budding Award from the GCSAA.

The Edwin Budding Award, named for the inventor of the lawn mower, is given annually to an equipment manager or related innovator, technician or engineer who has made a significant impact on the golf course and turf industry.

Manning began working at Ansley Golf Club at Settindown Creek at the age of 16 with Courtney Young, CGCS. He later moved to an assistant technician position under equipment manager Larry Freeman. Manning would question Freeman about how the equipment worked and how to fix it. From there, Manning worked his way up from crew member to equipment manager.

“The turf industry picked me,” Manning said. “Most of what I’ve learned over the years I picked up from the experienced and knowledgeable technicians I’ve been fortunate to work with, starting with Larry Freeman and including many legendary Atlanta-area techs.”

Manning earned certificates in small engines, electrical and reel theory from Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, Ga. After working in several aspects of the golf and sports turf industry, including as a Toro Co. mobile service technician, Manning returned to his original home at Settindown Creek course at Ansley Golf Club in 2010, again under the leadership of Young.

Young has been a huge mentor to Manning, pushing him to step outside of his comfort zone and explore opportunities to better himself and the industry. Manning has also taken advantage of professional development opportunities over the years with Toro and John Deere education for technicians, the Georgia GCSA and GCSAA.

“I’m so fortunate to be a part of an industry with so many great people who have huge hearts and are willing to give so much,” Manning said. “I learned so much from being involved on the ground floor of developing the Certified Turf Equipment Manager program and achieving my CTEM this year was a great educational experience, too.”

Manning launched the Reel Turf Techs Podcast in March 2021. He created the podcast “to highlight the stories of turf technicians and equipment managers worldwide.” Since its launch, RTT has become a community for technicians and equipment managers to connect, collaborate and help solve problems faced on the golf course. The podcast includes a monthly episode on Golf Course Industry’s Superintendent Radio Network.

In addition, Manning helps the Georgia GCSA develop equipment manager education and has served on the GCSAA Equipment Managers Task Group for GCSAA. He completed the GCSAA Equipment Management Certificate Program Levels 1 and 2 on the way to earning his CTEM designation.

“Manning fosters a positive and supportive community for technicians and equipment managers in the turfgrass industry,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “His initiative and proactive approach in the profession is remarkable, and we are grateful for the opportunity to reward and recognize all his hard work via GCSAA’s Edwin Budding Award.” 

Manning will formally receive the Budding Award at the 2023 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show in Orlando on Feb. 9 during the CTEM recognition ceremony.

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