Clemson turfgrass scientist earns Carolinas GCSA Distinguished Service Award

Clemson turfgrass scientist earns Carolinas GCSA Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Bert McCarty will be honored at the annual Conference and Trade Show in Myrtle Beach.

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May 7, 2018
GCI Staff
People News Show & Event Coverage
Internationally renowned turfgrass scientist Dr. Bert McCarty has earned the 2018 Distinguished Service Award from the 1,800-member Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association. McCarty, a professor of horticulture specializing in turfgrass science and management at Clemson University, will receive the association’s highest honor at a special ceremony during the Carolinas GCSA Conference and Trade Show in Myrtle Beach later this year.

“Bert McCarty is a giant in his field, not just in the Carolinas but across the country and overseas,” says Carolinas GCSA President Rob Daniel, III, CGCS from RiverTowne Country Club in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. “No one will be surprised by this news. If anything, they might wonder why it didn’t happen long ago. Because Bert has been providing distinguished service as long as many of us can remember.”

McCarty was raised in Batesburg, S.C., and attended Clemson University and North Carolina State University, earning a Ph.D. in plant physiology and plant pathology. He arrived at Clemson in 1996 after serving close to nine years in a similar role at the University of Florida. Today, he is among the most-decorated members of his field in the U.S. 

In 2014, he received the Fred Grau Award as the top national and international turfgrass science researcher from the 5,000-plus member Crop Science Society of America. He is also a Societal Fellow, the highest recognition the society bestows. In 2016, he was also selected as a Fellow by the American Society of Agronomy. In 2012, he won the prestigious Godley-Snell Award for Excellence as the top agriculture researcher at Clemson University, and is a three-time winner of the university’s Board of Trustees Award for Excellence.

He is a frequent speaker at regional, national and international conferences and has authored or co-authored 11 books, as well as hundreds of book chapters, journal articles, research reports, and nearly 600 scientific presentations and abstracts. He was a coordinating author of the landmark Best Management Practices for Carolina Golf Courses published by the Carolinas GCSA in 2015. In 2010 and 2013, his works received the Notable State Document Award from the SC State Documents Depository System from over 3000 entries each year. 

“Most golfers wouldn’t know of Bert McCarty, but he’s done a lot for their games,” Daniel says. “Through his research, his teaching of future superintendents and troubleshooting on the golf course, he’s been a major factor in the quality of golf course conditioning that the Carolinas are known for.”

Indeed, the golf industry delivers an overall economic impact of more than $7 billion each year in the Carolinas. “It’s very easy to make a case that Bert McCarty’s career is one of the reasons we can bank on that economic benefit year after year,” says Carolinas GCSA executive director Tim Kreger. “He makes the game better from below ground level through his research, and from above, through his teaching and support of future and current superintendents.”