Detroit District History
Greater Detroit Golf Course Superintendents Association (GDGCSA)
Written By William Smith and Clarence Wolfrom
Organized in the spring of 1925 with 15 members, the Michigan and Border Cities Greenkeepers Association, as it was then known, was actually planned in the fall of 1924 at a meeting held at the Hotel Normandy on lower Woodward Avenue. The association covered all of Michigan and the border cities of Ontario.
The Association was organized, chartered and operating the following spring with Herbert Shave as its first President. The charter members were as follows: Herbert Shave, Oakland Hills Golf Club, President; Alex McPherson, Detroit Golf Club, Vice-President; Hiram Godwin, Redford Golf Club, Secretary/Treasurer; John Gray, Essex Golf Club; Harry Cartwright, Country Club of Detroit; Ruben Scott, Detroit Municipal Courses; and Willy Smith, Red Run Golf Club. On average 12 meetings were held per year.
That same year about twenty more members joined the Association from the Detroit District, and the Association received the recognition and support of the Detroit District Golf Association, and the Michigan State Agriculture Department. By 1931 the membership, which consisted of greenkeepers and greenkeepers’ assistants increased to over 40.
This was the period when the National Greenkeepers’ Association (now knows as the GCSAA) was organizing, with John Morley as it’s first President.
The Association was host to the National Golf Course Association Turf Conference and Equipment Show three times in 1928, 1941 and 1948. Our Association also helped inaugurate the Turf Conference at Michigan State University in 1930 and the Michigan Turf Foundation in 1957.
A lot of credit for what we enjoyed for 83 years – our beloved Greater Detroit Golf Course Superintendents Association, should go to our Past Presidents: Herb Shave, William Smith, John Gray, Ruben Scott, Clarence Wolfrom, Ward Cornwell, George Prieskorn, Stanley Hill, Bill Mine and Lee Johnson. Also, the secretary/treasurers who have served the Association during this same era included: Hiram Godwin, Bill Smith, Ruben Scott, Dave Kennedy, Ward Cornwell, Dick Sincerbeau, Andy Bertoni, William Milne, Bob Fauteck and Connie Scharde.