Colonel John Morley, the founder and first President of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), has been selected to receive the association’s 2009 Old Tom Morris Award.
The award will be accepted by attending past presidents of the association on behalf of the late Colonel Morley at the Opening Session of the 2009 GCSAA Education Conference on February 5th. The conference (Feb. 2-7) will be held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show (Feb. 5-7) at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.
Along with 59 other greenkeepers, Morley founded the National Association of Greenkeepers of America (NAGA) in 1926 at Sylvania Country Club in Toledo, Ohio, and served as NAGA’s first President from 1926 to 1932. The founding group pledged to build an association to inform and educate its membership and strive for the betterment of the greenkeepers’ future. Having evolved into the GCSAA, it now serves about 20,000 active members from more than 70 countries around the world.
“This is a long-overdue honor for the first president of our association,” current GCSAA President David S. Downing II, CGCS, said in making the announcement. “Colonel Morley is one of the founding fathers of our profession and a cornerstone in the foundation of the relationship between the golfers who enjoy the golf course and the superintendents charged with their care. It is also appropriate that the entire golf industry gains a greater understanding and appreciation of Morley’s contributions to the game. His tireless dedication not only elevated the profession, but the recreational and entertainment value for golfers. It is my hope that we will see him in the World Golf Hall of Fame in the near future.”
The Old Tom Morris Award, GCSAA’s most prestigious honor, is presented each year to an individual who “through a continuing lifetime commitment to the game of golf has helped to mold the welfare of the game in a manner and style exemplified by Old Tom Morris.” Morris (1821-1908) was greenkeeper and golf professional at the St. Andrews Links Trust Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland; a four-time winner of the British Open (1861, ’62, ’64 and ’67); and ranked as one of the top links designers of the 19th century.
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