The Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) has announced Barry Cochrane, Canadian general sales manager for the Toro Company based in Calgary, is the CGSA John B. Steel Award recipient for 2017.
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.
The 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 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, Ont., and former CGSA president.
Cochrane will receive an all-access registration for two to the Canadian Golf Course Management Conference in Quebec City, Feb. 26-March 1, four nights’ accommodation and transportation costs.
He will be presented with the John B. Steel Award at the CGSA Awards Ceremony in Quebec on Wednesday, Feb. 28.
Cochrane has been a CGSA member since 1999; and he has served as the Toro Company representative for the CGSA/Toro Future Superintendent of the year selection committee since in 1998.
He has been with the Toro Company since 1992, when he started his career as the technical sales manager for the Asia/Pacific region and was based in Singapore.
In 1996, he moved back to Calgary and took on the responsibility of golf and sports field and grounds product sales in the Canadian market until his retirement as of November 2.
“Barry Cochrane is one of the most respected colleagues and mentors in the turf management industry,” said CGSA president Jim Flett.
“Barry has not only been a professional source of information and support for golf course managers across Canada, but also a friend to many,” he added.
“I had the privilege of calling Barry to inform him of winning this award and what a 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,” said Flett.
It’s a phone call Cochrane won’t soon forget.
“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,” he said.
“Being employed by a company with a rich history like the Toro Company, working along side of some incredible colleagues and with our distributor partners was such a rewarding and satisfying 25-year career,” he added.
“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,” said Cochrane.
“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,” he said.
“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. I hope for continued success in their mission,” added Cochrane.
“I am humbled by this honour and my deepest appreciation goes out to the CGSA board for selecting me as the 2017 recipient of the John B. Steel Award” said Cochrane.