Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada: Barry Cochrane, who began his career with The Toro Company in Singapore a quarter of a century ago, has been named as winner of the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) John B. Steel Award for 2017.
It was in 1992 that Cochrane assumed the role of Technical Sales Manager for the Asia-Pacific region for Toro, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
In 1996, he returned to Calgary and took on the responsibility of golf and sports field and grounds product sales in the Canadian market until his retirement at the start of this month.
Jim Flett, CGSA President, said: “Barry is one of the most respected colleagues and mentors in the turf management industry. Barry has not only been a professional source of information and support for golf course managers across Canada but also a friend to many.
“I had the privilege of calling Barry to inform him of winning this award and what better way to call a colleague to wish them a happy retirement than to also let them know they’ll be adding this prestigious award to their already astounding career.”
A CGSA member since 1999, Cochrane served as Toro’s representative for the CGSA/Toro Future Superintendent of the Year Selection Committee since 1998.
Cochrane said: “Being named the recipient of the John B. Steel Award for 2017 is an absolute honour and, frankly, something that I would never have imagined happening in my wildest dreams! Being employed by a company with a rich history like The Toro Company, working alongside some incredible colleagues and with our distributor partners was such a rewarding and satisfying 25-year career.
“What really was the pinnacle, however, was having the opportunity to travel through every corner of this great country of ours and visiting with the superintendents, the assistant superintendents and equipment technicians who exhibit so much passion, skill and professionalism in what they do on a daily basis.
“The end result of these accomplished individuals never ceases to amaze, regardless of what mother nature throws their way. The interaction with these people is the thing I will miss the most about retirement from the turf industry.
“I have worked closely with the various CGSA boards and with the CGSA staff on several initiatives over the years. One would be very hard pressed to find a more committed and passionate group whose mandate is to further the profession of the superintendent and our industry.”
The CGSA John B. Steel Award commemorates the CGSA’s first President, who was also the first superintendent to be inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
This award is presented annually to an individual, chosen by the CGSA Board of Directors, who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the profession of the golf course superintendent.
The recipient is presented with an original soap stone carving designed and carved by Bill Fach, retired Master Superintendent at Black Bear Ridge Golf Course in Belleville, Ontario and former CGSA President.
Cochrane and his companion will receive an ‘All-Access’ registration to The Canadian Golf Course Management Conference in Quebec City from February 26-March 1, 2018, four nights’ accommodation and transportation costs. He will be presented with the John B. Steel Award at the CGSA Awards Ceremony on February 28.
Hainan Island, China: Yalong Bay Golf Club, one of China’s best-known and most prolific tournament venues, has joined the Asian Golf Industry Federation.