Vale Dr James Beard

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The AGCSA is deeply saddened to hear of the passing on Monday evening (US time) one of the doyens of the global turfgrass industry, Dr James Beard. There are not enough superlatives to describe the influence that Dr Beard (82) had on turf research and on a generation of golf course superintendents and turf managers the world over.

Australian turf managers were blessed with his presence at three Australian Turfgrass Conferences, the first in 1976 when he was keynote speaker at the 4th National Turfgrass Conference held on the Gold Coast. At that conference he spoke alongside Warren Bidwell, then manager of golf course and grounds at Congressional Country Club, US, and our very own Peter McMaugh and Trevor Siviour.

Dr Beard’s papers at that conference were titled ‘Science and the Golf Course Superintendent' and 'Environmental Stresses in Turfgrass’. Dr Beard also returned Down Under as keynote speaker at the 1986 (Gold Coast) and 1988 (Perth) conferences. The AGCSA has Dr Beard's presentations on file and will make them available for viewing shortly.

Dr Beard’s seminal texts – Turfgrass: Science and Culture (1973) and Turf Management for Golf Courses (2002) – were (and still remain) bibles for novice and experienced turf managers alike and his unstinting efforts to gather turf publications from the world over for his extensive library collection will be a legacy the industry will forever be grateful of.

The AGCSA, on behalf of its members, salutes an incredible and pioneering career and sends its sincere condolences to the family. Click here to read GCSAA’s GCM article on Dr Beard’s passing.


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