Stanley Thompson posthumously receives the CGSA John B. Steel Distinguished Service Award

Mississauga, ON – The Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) is pleased to announce the late Stanley Thompson (1893-1953) as the CGSA John B. Steel Distinguished Service Award recipient for 2020.

The CGSA John B. Steel Award commemorates the CGSA’s first President, who was also the first superintendent to be inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. This award is presented annually to an individual, chosen by the CGSA Board of Directors, who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the profession of Golf Course Superintendent. The recipient is presented with an original soap stone carving designed and carved by Bill Fach, retired Master Superintendent and former CGSA President.

The award will be accepted on behalf of the Thompson family by two descendants of Stanley Thompson.  They will join us during the Awards Ceremony as part of The Canadian Golf Course Management conference on Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 2:15 pm to say a few words on behalf of the family.  The John B. Steel award with Stanley Thompson as the recipient will be housed at the Stanley Thompson Society in Burlington, Ontario.

Stanley Thompson was born in 1893 and was the seventh of nine children.  He along with his four brothers all developed into excellent golfers and made significant contributions to Canadian golf.  Stanley Thompson designed courses from 1912 – 1952 mostly in Canada leaving his mark on the Canadian golf landscape with courses from coast to coast.  Many of those courses are recognized in the top 100 courses in Canada year after year.

Thompson got his design start with George Cumming, mentor and long-time professional at the Toronto Golf Club, who designed several Canadian courses early in the 20th century. In 1948, Thompson was a co-founder, with Donald Ross and Robert Trent Jones, of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, Thompson served as ASGCA president in 1949.  He passed away in 1953.

In 1980, Stanley Thompson was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, and in 2004, Thompson was named a Person of National Historic Significance by the Canadian government.  In 2015, he was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

“Stanley Thompson is Canada’s most celebrated golf course architect. But his first, formal training came in plant sciences and the upkeep of golf courses at the University of Guelph. Throughout his entire career, Thompson’s design company also offered agronomic consulting services. He recognized the important role golf course superintendents play relative to the game’s ultimate success and trained many green keepers during the development and continued maintenance of his golf course designs across Canada. Stanley Thompson certainly contributed to the advancement of the profession of golf course superintendent significantly over a 40-year career in golf. He’s a very worthy recipient of this year’s John B. Steel Award and the Stanley Thompson Society commends the CGSA for his selection.” – Stanley Thompson Society.

Darren Kalyniuk, CGSA President, had this to say about the award, “What a pleasure it is to announce that the late Stanley Thompson is the winner of our most prestigious award.  The number of courses that carry Thompson’s signature in Canada is impressive.  He has definitely left his mark on the Canadian golf industry and those who are able to experience working at a Stanley Thompson golf course carry on his legacy.”

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff and CGSA members, I extend our congratulations to the late Stanley Thompson on his selection as the 2020 John B. Steel Distinguished Service Award winner!”

To learn more about the Stanley Thompson Society, please click HERE.

The CGSA represents golf course superintendents from across Canada. Its mission is to promote and support superintendents and their profession. The association is also committed to environmentally sustainable practices with respect to the management of golf course properties.

Fairways Magazine

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