Dobie, a 52-year GCSAA member, will be acknowledged at the 2011 GCSAA Education Conference during Celebrate GCSAA!
Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) member Frank Dobie, superintendent and general manager at the Sharon Golf Club in Sharon Center, Ohio, has been selected to receive the 2011 GCSAA Col. John Morley Distinguished Service Award.
Dobie, a 52-year GCSAA member, will be acknowledged at the 2011 GCSAA Education Conference during Celebrate GCSAA! presented in partnership with Syngenta, Feb. 8. The conference (Feb. 7-11) will be held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show (Feb. 9-10) in Orlando.
"Frank is most deserving of the Col. John Morley Distinguished Service Award," said GCSAA President James R. Fitzroy, CGCS. "He has made outstanding and significant contributions to the advancement of the golf course superintendent profession as well as to the game of golf. His service to our profession has been invaluable. He has the utmost respect from his peers and those at Sharon."
Dobie got his start on the maintenance crew at Homelinks Golf Club in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, in 1954. He did an internship at Bob O'Link Golf Club in Highland Park, Ill., before earning a GCSAA scholarship in 1960 to Penn State University, where he graduated first in his class with a two-year certificate in turfgrass management. Starting in 1961, Dobie served as superintendent at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Brecksville, Ohio, then Fairlawn (Ohio) Country Club before assuming his current role as superintendent and general manager at the Sharon Golf Club. He co-supervised the construction of the golf course in 1964-65, and under his management, Sharon has made an operating profit for the past 44 consecutive years.
Dobie has mentored more than 30 students, many who have gone on to become superintendents. Several members of his staff, including the assistant superintendent, project foreman and irrigation specialist, have been at Sharon more than 40 years. Dobie conceived and implemented the first bunker liner concept in 1967. He was a pioneer in sub-surface air movement technology and he helped design the first double-row fully automatic irrigation system in northern Ohio. Dobie also established a nationwide group of superintendents in 1995 to test materials for putting green moss control and published his findings in GCSAA's magazine, Golf Course Management.
Dobie has authored dozens of educational articles pertaining to golf course management, published in regional and national publications. He also is a polished lecturer, presenting at national and regional conferences and seminars. Dobie hosted the 1981 U.S. Senior Amateur at Sharon. He organizes an annual winter roundtable discussion group among a cross-section of GCSAA's Northern Ohio chapter members. Dobie has been the president of the Musser International Turfgrass Foundation for the past 22 years. He has served on GCSAA's advisory and historical committees and is a former director of the Northern Ohio GCSA. A former sergeant with the U.S. Army Reserves, Dobie also is the co-founder and first president of the Penn State Turfgrass Alumni Association.
Away from the golf course, Dobie founded a local organization called "Share a Smile" that visited nursing homes, mental health facilities and prisons. He supervised and funded the construction of a soccer field at Sharon Elementary School and landscape beautification projects at Highland's high school, middle school and both elementary schools.
The GCSAA Board of Directors selects the winners from nominations submitted by affiliated chapters and/or association members. The award is given to individuals who have made an outstanding, substantive and enduring contribution to the advancement of the golf course superintendent profession. The award is named after Col. Morley, GCSAA's founder and first president, who was the first to earn the award in 1932, and received it again in 1940.