Herb Kohler to Receive GCSAA Old Tom Morris Award
Executive Chairman of Kohler Co.
The GCSAA, a golf course management organization, has announced Herb Kohler as the recipient of the 2016 Old Tom Morris Award.
Herbert V. Kohler Jr., who led the Kohler Co. into golf and hospitality, will receive the 2016 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
Since 1983, the award has been presented annually to an individual who has helped mold the welfare of golf through a lifetime commitment to the game, in a manner and style exemplified by Old Tom Morris. Morris, a four-time British Open winner, was the longtime superintendent at St Andrews in Scotland until his death in 1908.
"I am particularly honored and I sincerely thank the GCSAA for this award," said Kohler. "Old Tom was an entrepreneur, an influence in the creation of the Open Championship, a designer of golf products and some of the best courses in the world to this day. He nurtured the environment as the first official keeper of the greens."
Kohler will receive the award Feb. 9, 2016 at the Golf Industry Show in San Diego.
"We are indebted to Herb for what he has done for this association and for what he has meant to the game over the past four decades," said Rhett Evans, CEO of GCSAA. "He has made an indelible mark in golf with his focus on the importance of environmental stewardship, both now and for the future."
Kohler brought golf to the Kohler Co., which manufactures products for homes. An avid golfer, Kohler hired architect Pete Dye to build courses at two championship venues -- Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis., and Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis.
In 2004, the Kohler Co. bought the Old Course Hotel Golf Resort and Spa in St Andrews. Five years later, he expanded the Kohler presence in St Andrews with the purchase and development of Hamilton Grand. The historic landmark sits behind the 18th hole of the Old Course and has 26 private residences.
He has given back to the game, serving two three-year terms (1999-2002, 2007-2010) on the board of trustees for the Environmental Institute for Golf, the philanthropic organization of GCSAA, and was board chairman in 2001-2002. He was instrumental in renaming the organization EIFG to show the focus on golf's environmental future.
"Like Old Tom Morris, Herb has succeeded in many disciplines and is dedicated to the game of golf," said John J. O'Keefe, GCSAA president. "He has said that this award was a highlight of his life with golf, so I am proud that GCSAA can honor him with an award so fitting to his personality and contributions to the game."
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