James Watson, Ph.D., a former agronomist with The Toro Co., will receive the Don A. Rossi Award from the Golf Course Builders Association.
Watson began his four-decade career with The Toro Company in 1952 as director of agronomy. He continued on as a vice president of customer relations, serving as an advisor for both the company and the turf industry.
In his 46 years with Toro, Watson pioneered important turf and water management research and was often called upon for advice and counsel by many of the worlds leading golf courses, parks and sports facilities. He was also influential in Toros entry into the commercial and residential irrigation business, constantly promoting conservation and more efficient use of water resources. With Toro, he led a team of 25 researchers, conducting studies on a variety of grasses and soils to ensure best management practices in fertilization and water usage, as well as approaches for controlling unwanted grasses, turf diseases and pests.
Since his retirement from Toro in 1998, Toros research grounds have been designated as the Dr. James R. Watson Research and Development Proving Grounds. During his career, he also participated on a number of prestigious turf and water management boards, organizations and research efforts. Watson was the inspiration behind Toros cutting-edge turf and water management agronomic research, and development of the companys Center for Advanced Turf Technology.
The Rossi award is given by the GCBAA to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the game of golf and its growth and who have inspired others by example. It is named for the former GCBAA executive director Don A. Rossi, who also served as executive director of the National Golf Foundation from 1970 to 1983 and was instrumental in forming the National Golf Course Owners Association.
Watson will receive the award Feb. 5, at the Golf Industry Show in San Diego.