Alumni Turf Group Honors Don Hearn, CGCS

By Michael Stachowicz

This past September, University of Massachusetts alumni, industry representatives, and friends gathered to honor Don Hearn, CGCS at Fenway Golf Club.  This was the seventh annual Joseph Troll Turf Classic which is run annually by the Alumni Turf Group.

Although the event was rained out after 9 holes, the food, the service, the course, and the camaraderie was lauded by attendees.  The praise also extended to the honoree as several speakers talk about Hearn’s career which included stints at some of the best course in Massachusetts and gave back to the industry through service as the President of GCSANE and the GCSAA.  Speakers included ATG President Steve Curry, longtime friend and ATG Board Member Michael Hermanson, Dean Steve Goodwin from the University, and letters from the Trolls (who have recently moved to Florida) and GCSAA President Jim Fitzroy.

This event raised a little over $25,000.  This will be added to the already large pot that ATG has grown for the University over the past seven years.  With this year’s success and matching funds from the state, this endowment is worth well over $150,000.  The purpose of the endowment is to help the UMass Turf Program in ways that traditional funding sources may not be able to.  ATG has used funds from this endowment to provide research assistants, support turf farm operations and staff, and promote field day.

The mood at the turf program is one of excitement.  There is some great research concerning dollarspot resistance, some early plant breeding activity, irrigation efficiency, drought tolerance, and ET development and uses.  These projects will provide useful information that is very practical and useful in the field.

Those of us who are alumni should be proud of our alma mater.  The faculty and staff are great to work with and are well respected in the industry.

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