USGA honors 2022 U.S. Open superintendent

By |  June 22, 2022 0 Comments
Photo: USGA

Photo: USGA

It was just minutes after Matt Fitzpatrick walked off No. 18 at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass., as the 2022 U.S. Open champion. Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA, took to the podium to present the trophy to the Englishman. But before the U.S. Open trophy presentation, there was one more piece of hardware to hand out.

Introducing the E.J. Marshall Platter, an award for the superintendent of the host course.

“Most traditions at the USGA date back over 100 years. But today, right now, we’re going to start a new one,” Whan said during the broadcast. “We’ve never done this before in 127 years, but today we’re going to give the E.J. Marshall Platter … And that’s going to go to an incredible partner in agronomy and course set-up. We’re giving it to The Country Club’s Director of Grounds, Dave Johnson.”

A visibly emotional Johnson held up the platter as the surrounding crowd roared in appreciation.

“I was totally taken back, not expecting it. I was completely honored,” Johnson told Golfdom on Monday following the tournament. “(I found out about the award) when Mike Whan announced it. I was totally taken by surprise. I am just really proud that I get to help elevate our industry and be a part of letting people know what we do, and the value we bring as golf course superintendents.”

The award honors E.J. Marshall, chair of the greens committee at Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio. In 1920, Marshall, preparing Inverness for the U.S. Open, reached out to the USGA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to seek agronomic advice when patches of turf started dying on greens. Later that year, the USGA formed the USGA Green Section to provide course care expertise, which it still does today.

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at

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