SUNY Delhi Students Place in Top 10 in National Turf Industry Competition

Students and professors holding a big checkPhoto by Montana Pritchard

Delhi, NY (02/06/2020) — Last week, four students enrolled in SUNY Delhi's golf and sports turf management program placed eighth at the Collegiate Turf Bowl Competition, a national event in which 56 teams representing 31 schools from across the United States and Canada competed this year. SUNY Delhi's team improved its standing in the competition by seven spots compared to last year.

The Turf Bowl, organized annually by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), was held in Orlando, Florida. The competition rigorously tests turf students' knowledge in agronomy, business management, turfgrass management, environmental management, and plant science. In the competition, student teams were challenged to identify physical and visual samples of plants and equipment, answer a wide variety of questions, and produce a written case study. A total of $10,000 in cash and prizes was awarded to the top ten teams.

Students holding an oversized checkSUNY Delhi Assistant Professor Ben Czyzewski, who accompanied SUNY Delhi's team to Florida along with faculty members Julia Ward and Ryan Abbate, said that placing among the top ten was the perfect illustration of what Delhi represents.

"Although SUNY Delhi's turf program was the smallest of all the schools that placed in the top ten, we were able to prove that our students receive top-grade education," he said. "It is a testament to the strength of our program that we consistently perform at such a high level among the largest programs in the country."

Czyzewski attributes Delhi's success to small class sizes and close relationships between faculty and students, allowing for a personalized, hands-on learning experience.

"Our students are exceptionally well prepared, not only for this competition, but for the industry jobs waiting for them upon graduation."

SUNY Delhi took two student teams to the competition. The team who placed in the top ten consisted of Mario Malagisi, Sean Tillman, John Sweeny, and Michael Battaglia. The second team included Dillon Beckstead, Connor Ryan, and Brooks Bechlear.

"This experience was truly a highlight of my senior year," said Mario Malagisi. "So much hard work and preparation went into the competition, and we couldn't be happier with how we did. This would not have been possible without our amazing professors and such a great team."

SUNY Delhi is a national leader in golf and grounds management with alumni managing the grounds and maintenance at golf courses and sports facilities across the U.S.  Delhi's associate's and bachelor's programs in Golf and Sports Turf management were developed with the input of industry experts. The bachelor's program is the only program in the Northeast that combines the science of turf management with business and communications proficiency.

For more information, contact Ben Czyzewski at or 607-746-4277.