Ohio's Bonar Recipient Of 2009
USGA Green Section AwardDecember 8, 2008
|Terry Bonar was appointed the superintendent at Canterbury Golf Club in Shaker Heights, Ohio, in 1984. (Courtesy DSPhotoguy.com)
Far Hills, N.J. - The United States Golf Association announced Monday that Terry Bonar, 67, golf course superintendent at Canterbury Golf Club in Shaker Heights, Ohio, is the recipient of the 2009 USGA Green Section Award.
The Green Section Award is presented annually by the USGA to recognize individuals who exemplify outstanding contributions and dedication to the game of golf through their work with turfgrass. The award will be presented to Bonar on Feb. 6, 2009 at the USGA Green Section Education Program in New Orleans, La., in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show.
"When you consider the past recipients of this award, those people are the ones I've learned everything from and looked up to all these years," said Bonar, who has more than 45 years of experience in golf course maintenance. "To be considered in their company, I'm very humbled by this gesture. It never occurred to me that I'd ever win something like this, and it's by far the most prestigious honor I've ever been given."
Bonar graduated from Penn State University in 1961 and became the assistant superintendent at Canterbury in 1963. After serving for four years in the U.S. Air Force, he returned to Canterbury in 1967 and was appointed the superintendent in 1984. He has helped Canterbury host numerous championships, including the 1979 U.S. Amateur Championship and the 1996 U.S. Senior Open, and is currently directing the club's preparations to host the 2009 Senior PGA Championship.
Bonar has mentored many employees in the golf course maintenance industry, and has seen more than 50 assistants or former interns move on to other positions in golf, including 18 current superintendents at other courses around the country.
In addition, Bonar has long been viewed as an innovator, from his efficient use of water in order to provide firm and fast playing surfaces, to being one of the first superintendents to utilize lightweight mowers to maximize turf health and playability.
"It is fitting that the USGA would recognize a golf course superintendent for its Green Section Award," said Golf Course Superintendents Association of America President David S. Downing II. "It not only recognizes Terry's knowledge, skills and abilities, but also reflects well on his peers. On behalf of the 20,000 GCSAA members, I congratulate Terry and thank the USGA for recognizing his contributions."
Bonar's work away from the course in educating his staff and others throughout the industry has been just as noteworthy. He was influential in showing ways to take agronomic theory and use it for practical purposes. Bonar is a past recipient of the Mal McLaren Award - the highest honor bestowed by the Northern Ohio GCSAA - and the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation's Professional Excellence Award. Bonar has also served on the USGA's Green Section Committee for the last 12 years.
"Terry has been the essence of what a golf course superintendent should be," said Jim Snow, national director of the USGA Green Section. "He has excelled in every phase of the profession, and has left his mark on the industry in a number of significant ways."
For past Green Section Award winners, click here
About the USGA
The USGA is the national governing body of golf in this country and Mexico, a combined territory that includes more than half the world's golfers and golf courses.
The Association's most visible role is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open. Ten additional USGA national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women's Amateur.
The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, provides expert course maintenance consultations, funds research for better turf and a better environment, maintains a Handicap System and administers an ongoing "For the Good of the Game" grants program, which has allocated more than $62 million over 11 years to successful programs that bring the game's values to youths from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with disabilities.