GCSAA awards Watson Fellowship Program winners

Diane Silcox, James D. McCurdy, and Joshua Friell each have been awarded $5,000 postgraduate grants by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) as winners of the Watson Fellowship Program.

The Watson Fellowship is funded by a partnership between the Toro Co. and GCSAA's philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG). The fellowship is named after James R. Watson, Ph.D., a retired vice president for Toro who pioneered turfgrass research. The winners, students working toward postgraduate degrees, have been identified as promising future teachers and researchers in the field of golf course management. They also receive an all-expense-paid trip to the 2013 GCSAA Education Conference (Feb. 4-8) and Golf Industry Show (Feb. 6-7) in San Diego.

All doctoral students, Silcox attends North Carolina State University, McCurdy is enrolled at Auburn University, and Friell is at the University of Minnesota.

Watson is a leading authority on turfgrasses and was vice president for customer relations and chief agronomist for Toro. The winner of the USGA Green Section Award in 1976 and the 1977 Agronomic Service Award by the American Society of Agronomy, Watson was named a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America in 1979. He also won the 1991 Harry Gill Memorial Award of the Sports Turf Managers Association; GCSAA's highest honor, the Old Tom Morris Award, in 1995; and this past December, the Donald Rossi Award from the Golf Course Builders Association of America.

Over the course of five decades at Toro, Watson conducted research on adaptability of species and strains of turfgrasses, fertilization practices, snow mold prevention techniques for the winter protection of turfgrasses, and more. He has authored more than 400 popular articles on turfgrass cultural practices and water conservation.

About Toro

The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) is a leading worldwide provider of turf and landscape maintenance equipment, and precision irrigation systems. With sales of nearly $1.9 billion in fiscal 2011, Toro's global presence extends to more than 90 countries through its reputation of world-class service, innovation and turf expertise. Since 1914, the company has built a tradition of excellence around a number of strong brands to help customers care for golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties, and agricultural fields. More information is available at www.toro.com.

About the EIFG

The EIFG is the philanthropic organization of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, and has as its mission to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. With respect for the game and the environment, the EIFG inspires environmental, social and economic progress through golf for the benefit of communities. Collaboration between the golf industry, environmental interests and communities will lead to programs and services beneficial to all who come into contact with the game of golf. Visit the EIFG at www.eifg.org.


GCSAA is a leading golf organization and has as its focus golf course management. Since 1926, GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 18,000 members in more than 72 countries. GCSAA's mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Find GCSAA on Facebook, follow GCSAA on Twitter, and visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org.

Media contact

Craig Smith
Director, Communications and Media Relations