History of GCSA of New England

After preliminary work and canvass of the Greenkeepers in the Greater Boston area by Mr. Thomas Fahey and Mr. Alec Brice, at that time Greenkeepers respectively at Winchester C.C. and Belmont Springs C.C., it was decided to hold a meeting looking toward some form of organization. From this meeting came a get together dinner at Cottrelle’s Restaurant in Boston on February 25, 1924. Forty-one Greenkeepers attended this dinner and at that time the Greenkeepers Club of New England was formed, a constitution adopted, and officers elected.

Since that time twelve regular meetings a year have been held, with special meetings as occasions have demanded. Summer meetings are held at golf clubs throughout New England. Winter meetings were held for a number of years at Horticultural Hall in Boston, Statler Hotel in Boston, Field Station of the University of Massachusetts at Waltham and various hotels in the Greater Boston area. Lately various golf clubs have served as sites for the winter meetings. The opportunities presented the members through these meetings for observing golf course maintenance as practiced in various parts of New England and for hearing the many authorities on turf maintenance and allied subjects who have been brought before the Club at the winter meetings has resulted in an elevation of the standards of the profession and has inspired a closer bond of the members.

The Club, the first of its kind in the United States, has introduced or sponsored:

    • The first outdoor and indoor golf equipment show and demonstration in New England.
    • The publishing of its own professional paper, The Newsletter, issued regularly each month since May 1929.
    • Meetings at the University of Massachusetts and the Rhode Island Experimental Station in the interests of turf culture.
    • Joint meetings with the Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire Golf Course Superintendent Associations and the Cape Cod Turf Managers Association.
    • Close cooperation with the University of Massachusetts Winter School for Turf Managers, the golf section of the annual Recreation Conference at the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Massachusetts Fine Turfgrass Conference & Show.
    • Financial support for experimental work at the University of Massachusetts and Rhode Island Experimental Station.
    • The John Shanahan Memorial Tournament bringing together the Superintendents and Golf Professionals in an annual tournament.
    • A night school so that members who were unable to avail themselves of the many short courses being given at state universities could have the benefits of the latest information on turf culture and course maintenance.
    • Close cooperation with the Massachusetts Golf Association through six members serving on the Service Section.

We were instrumental in bringing the National Turf Conference & Show to Boston in 1950. This conference was again held in Boston in 1973. Both were the largest and most successful at the time.

On April 4, 1955, it was unanimously voted to change the name of the organization to Golf Course Superintendents Association of New England. Traditionally there was a reluctance to change the name. Discussion and debate continued for several years before unanimity was reached. It was the opinion of all that the name Greenkeeper was a misnomer misunderstood by the public and not applicable to the present day scope of duties. The new name conforms with the title of the National organization and other sectional groups who have already made a similar change.

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of New England was incorporated as of December 1, 1967.

The Association sponsors and administrates the Troll-Dickinson Scholarship Fund. Scholarships are awarded to deserving students.

The Arthur Anderson annual tournament, bringing together superintendents and members of the press, originated in 1968.

In 1972, Richard C. Blake, past president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of New England, was elected President of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

The Association and the Club Managers Association of New England have sponsored a joint meeting yearly since 1979.

In 1982, the Massachusetts Golf Association and the Francis Ouimet Caddie Scholarship Fund revised their bylaws permitting the President of the GCSA of New England to serve as a member of their respective Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

In 1987, Donald E. Hearn, past president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of New England, was elected President of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

In 1993 the Association established the Scholarship and Benevolence fund. This fund offers assistance in time of need, and scholarships to its members’ families.

In 1995 the Thomas Schofield Scholarship was established. This award, established in memory of the longtime treasurer of the Association, is awarded to a deserving student.

In 1996, GCSANE became the sponsor of the Massachusetts Turf Conference. This conference was originally started by the Massachusetts Turf & Lawn Grass Association. Dr. Joseph Troll was the original organizer of the first Massachusetts Turf Conference in 1959. From 1996 until 1997, GCSANE held the conference in Boston, Mass. In 1998, the New England Regional Turf Conference was started. The conference is held in Providence, RI. All the New England golf course superintendent associations, which include Cape Cod, Connecticut, GCSANE, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, joined together to create one of the largest turf conferences run in the country today.

In October 2000 the Association launched its web site, gcsane.org.

Sharon Brownell is the association’s Executive Secretary from 1999-2011.

James R. Fitzroy, CGCS, director/superintendent at Wollaston Recreational Facility/Presidents Golf Club in North Quincy, Mass., was elected president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) at the association's annual meeting Feb. 12, 2010.

Richard T. Gagnon, superintendent at Segregansett Country Club, is awarded The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Excellence in Government Relations Award.  The award recognizes and honors an individual, chapter or coalition/alliance that demonstrates outstanding advocacy or compliance efforts in government relations in February of 2010.

Donald E. Hearn, CGCS is hired as the 1st full-time employee of the association and becomes our Association Manager starting in November of 2011.

Altogether, this is a record of which the Association may be justly proud in that its aims and achievements progress continually toward the goal of ultimate perfection in turf culture and professionalism.

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