Phil Lagao and Roxy, out on their rounds at Black Butte Ranch. photo by Jim Williams
Phil Lagao and Roxy, out on their rounds at Black Butte Ranch. photo by Jim Williams

Phil Lagao, head golf course superintendent at Black Butte Ranch, has been named the Superintendent of the Year by the Oregon Chapter of the Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) for the year 2012.

"This is the first time I've won the award," Lagao said. "I was pretty surprised to be nominated, but grateful that Jeff Fought would take the time and would think enough of me to nominate me. And it's not just an award for me, it's recognition for my excellent staff and all the hard work they do as well."

Lagao, 38, and a resident of Sisters, is originally from Pendleton, where he wrestled for Pendleton High School, while also finding time to take up golf. It was while working summers at Pendleton Country Club that Lagao nurtured his passion for golf.

Jeff Fought, director of golf at Black Butte Ranch, nominated Lagao for the prestigious award.

"Phil just does a great job, especially on Glaze Meadow, building the course and keeping it on budget," said Fought. "He's also one of the most personable superintendents that I've ever been around."

An Oregon State University graduate, Lagao majored in turf and landscape management, receiving his degree in 1997. While in college Lagao became an avid golfer, taking advantage of free playing privileges at OSU's Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis for the school's turf management students.

Returning to Pendleton after college, he was soon hired as an assistant superintendent by the Pendleton Country Club. In 1999, Lagao took the same position at Langdon Farms Golf Club in Aurora. In 2000 Lagao was promoted to head superintendent, a position he held for nearly seven years until becoming the head superintendent at Black Butte Ranch in 2007. In 2004, he became a GCSAA-certified superintendent, the highest level of recognition a golf superintendent can receive.

"This is a very deserving honor for Phil," said Scott Huntsman, president and chief executive officer of Black Butte Ranch. "With our exciting renovation of Glaze Meadow Golf Course and the additional play that Big Meadow received during that period, Phil and his staff have stepped up to enhance Black Butte Ranch's reputation as a premier golf destination."

The 300-member Oregon Chapter of the GCSAA introduced the Superintendent of the Year award beginning in 1986. Lagao served as chapter president in the years 2009 and 2010.