Rhod Trainor to receive OGSA’s William Sansom Distinguished Service Award

Rhod Trainor, the former superintendent at Hamilton Golf and Country Club has just been named the 11th recipient of the William Sansom Distinguished Service Award by the Ontario Golf Superintendents’ Association (OGSA). The OGSA will officially recognize Trainor during the Award Ceremony Luncheon held January 18, 2022 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel during the joint Canadian Golf Course Management Conference, which is being hosted in partnership with the OGSA.

OGSA president, Al Schwemler states, “Rhod’s notable career as golf course superintendent, educator, and mentor makes him the ideal recipient of the William Sansom Distinguished Service Award.  His contributions to the turfgrass industry are well regarded by his peers.”

This award, named after the OGSA’s first president, was created in 2004 to recognize those who have made significant contributions in the advancement of the golf course superintendents’ profession in Ontario, and is considered the most prestigious award the OGSA can bestow.

Upon receiving the news, Trainor shared “I am extremely proud, humbled… and surprised to be selected for the William Sansom Award – someone who starts up an association and takes on all the related work is someone I greatly admire.  A large part of my whole career was getting people to go to meetings and get education and that is best supplied through a well-organized group.”

Nominations supporting Trainor were received from his colleagues: OGSA past president, Cory Janzen, Superintendent (Westmount Golf & Country Club); OGSA past president, Keith Bartlett (Bayer); and Dean Baker, Superintendent (Burlington Golf & Country Club).

Passionate about the industry, Trainor spent his career seeking all opportunities to learn everything there is to know and shared his wealth of expertise by educating young turf managers at the University of Guelph and Humber College. More recently in 2019, he took on a new title as project manager where he tackled a complete 27-hole renovation at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club. This two-year course improvement project is now complete and will be a regular stop for the PGA Tour Canadian Open event.

Janzen states, “In addition to being a great person and mentor, he has also had a great career. Multiple PGA Tour Events, 30 years at the same private club, Past President of the OGSA, CGSA Superintendent of the Year Award Recipient, and the list goes on. Most of us would consider our career successful if we achieved ONE of these milestones, let alone four of them. I could go on, but I honestly think that what he has achieved speaks for itself.”

A well-known spokesperson for the golf and turfgrass industry, Trainor is respected and admired by his peers, employees, and industry affiliates. “My favourite and most admirable qualities are his empathy and loyalty,” says Bartlett. “Over the years, he would vehemently defend any golf course superintendent who was unfairly criticized. He would ensure the truth was stated even if unpopular at the time. He would have your back!”

Baker agrees, “Rhod is a fine candidate for OGSA William Sansom Distinguished Service Award. He’s a man of integrity. He is a dedicated soul, to his work, his family and his friends. He faces any challenge head on. And does so with hard work, dedication and a strong sense of humour… which I love!”

The OGSA looks forward to honoring all of Trainor’s accomplishments in front of his peers in January.

About the William Sansom Distinguished Service Award

William Sansom was the OGSA’s first president from 1924 to 1932. The award was created in 2004 to recognize members who made significant contributions in the advancement of the golf course superintendents’ profession in Ontario. The OGSA shall present this award to an individual who has been nominated and accepted by the Board of Directors. This award is not bestowed every year. 

Fairways Magazine

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