Industry News

3 students win GCSAA’s Watson grants

EIFG, The Toro Company fund three postgraduate grants

Lawrence, Kan. (Jan. 30, 2018) -- James Hempfling, Henry Qu and Devon Carroll have each been awarded $5,000 postgraduate grants by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) as recipients in the Watson Fellowship Program. The Watson Fellowship is funded by a partnership between The Toro Company and GCSAA's philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG). 

The fellowship, started in 1998, is named after the late James R. Watson, Ph.D., a vice president for Toro and a pioneer in turfgrass research. The winning students working in postgraduate degree programs have been identified as promising future teachers and researchers in the field of golf course management.

Hempfling is a doctoral student at Rutgers University whose current research is focused on the control of dollar spot disease. Qu is also a doctoral student at Rutgers, and is working on the selection of tall fescue cultivars for improved drought tolerance. Carroll is pursuing a master’s degree at Pennsylvania State University with a thesis on the influence of temperature and cultural practices on bentgrasses. 

“Toro is proud to continue Dr. Watson’s legacy by honoring the next generation of turfgrass science leaders like James, Henry and Devon,” said Dana Lonn, managing director of Toro’s Center for Advanced Turf Technology. “Our partnership with GCSAA on the Watson Fellowship allows us to recognize their important contribution to the future of the golf industry.”

Watson was a leading authority on turfgrasses and was vice president for customer relations and chief agronomist for Toro. The winner of the USGA Green Section Award in 1976 and the 1977 Agronomic Service Award by the American Society of Agronomy, Watson was named a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America in 1979. He also won the 1991 Harry Gill Memorial Award from the Sports Turf Managers Association; the Old Tom Morris Award, a special GCSAA honor, in 1995; and the Donald Rossi Award from the Golf Course Builders Association of America.

Over the course of five decades at Toro, Watson conducted research on adaptability of species and strains of turfgrasses, fertilization practices, snow mold prevention techniques for the winter protection of turfgrasses and more. He authored more than 400 popular articles on turfgrass cultural practices and water conservation.

About GCSAA and the EIFG
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 18,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at, or find us on Facebook or Twitter. Visit our industry-leading magazine at

The Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit EIFG at, or find us on Facebook or Twitter

Angela Hartmann
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
Phone: 800-472-7878, ext. 3647 or 785-393-1361 (cell)