Doug Robinson has been involved in the turf industry for more than four decades. After completing his time as a Fitter Welder at an engineering business in his home town of Oberon on the NSW Central Tablelands he moved to Coffs Harbour and secured a position as a Trainee Greenkeeper at Coffs Harbour Golf Club.
After completing his trainee-ship he moved to Gold Coast Burleigh Golf Club as assistant to his mentor from Coffs Harbour, Les Neuhaus. His time at Burleigh was short lived after he successfully applied for the Head Greenkeeper position at Southport Golf Club. This move seemed premature to Doug but Neuhaus believed "it would be the making of him".
Doug started work at Southport early 1973 and it was during his time here that he became Hon. Secretary/Treasurer for the Queensland Golf Greenkeepers Association, the start of what was to become a 20 year involvement in State and National Association activities.
On moving from Southport to Sydney's Concord Golf Club in 1976 Doug was co-opted on to the NSW Superintendents Association to assist in the organising of the 1978 National Conference following his involvement with the successful 1976 conference.
It was the 1976 conference that saw James Beard make his first visit to an Australian Superintendents Conference. Doug was ultimately elected to serve on the committee of the NSW Golf Course Superintendents Association.
He worked as Superintendent at Manly Golf Club for a time before returning to the Gold Coast to assist his long-term friend Les Neuhaus at Tweed Heads Coolangatta Golf Club in 1980. Les was seriously ill and wanted his protege to carry on his development work at the club. Unfortunately Les passed away a couple of months after Doug had taken up the position.
Doug was ultimately elevated to the position of Course Manager and in that role saw the club develop into a 36-hole facility. Again Doug became involved with the Queensland state association serving on committee and as President.
This involvement saw him continue to be active within the national movement. During this time he realised that if the National Association was going to work in the interest of the members and the industry generally it had to stand-alone and have complete autonomy by having a board elected by the membership. He became the inaugural President of the newly incorporated Association and served in that position from 1988-1994.
When he stepped down from office at the Adelaide Conference in 1994 he had completed 20 years of dedicated service to the superintendent movement.
|Doug Robinson (right) pictured with fellow AGCSA Life Member, Peter Lonergan|
Doug is proud of the fact that he has attended all but one conference since 1974. A significant highlight in his career was receiving the Australian Sports Medal, for services to golf, in 2000. The presentation of the AGCSA Distinguished Service Award in 2002 was the ultimate accolade and is something he says he will cherish forever. Upon receiving his award Doug expressed his sincere thanks to Scotts Australia for their continued sponsorship of this most prestigious award. He emphasized that the AGCSA awards programme is very special and as time passes the significance of each award will grow and become more and more sought after by the Membership.
Reflecting upon those years of involvement he recalls the tensions of the late 70s early 80s and how the will of the members endured the issues of not becoming a registered union. The National Turf Conference grew from an event that was held entirely within a major city hotel and hosted by hard working State Associations on a rotational basis to what it is today.
The education of greenkeepers has developed and improved because of the efforts of the Superintendents through the various State Associations. Eventually overcoming the ups and downs associated with getting an association magazine that reflected the needs of the superintendent movement.
Doug Robinson remains dedicated to the golf and turf industry and maintains a strong interest in the AGCSA.
Peter Lonergan started in the Turf industry in 1977, when undertaking and completing his Apprenticeship at LaTrobe Golf Club in Melbourne.
After completing his Apprenticeship, Peter moved to Colac Golf Club, in Western Victoria to continue his career as a Qualified Greenkeeper, and gain a valuable amount of experience at a regional course with different turf varieties and climate conditions.
After a short 2-year stint in the Trade to further expand his experiences and knowledge, a move back to Turf Management was made, where Peter was appointed as the Superintendent at Coolangatta Tweed Heads Golf Club on the Gold Coast.
Throughout his career, Peter has been actively involved in State and National Associations, endeavouring to use his passion for the Trade to further the industry. This included stints as President of the Victorian Golf Course Superintendents Association and Golf Course Superintendents Association of Queensland.
It was during his involvement with the Victorian Golf Course Superintendents Association that Peter, along with all other State Presidents, were instrumental in the early 1990’s in driving the formation of a National body, the creation of the Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association.
Peter has served on the Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association Board for 8 years, 4 of which were served as President, and continues to serve the industry today.
Peter was awarded Life Membership of the Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association at the National Turf Industry Awards Dinner, on 24th June 2019.
Peter Lonergan was awarded AGCSA Life Membership at the 2019 National Turf Industry Awards Dinner