How did an attorney in Toledo, Ohio, become a pivotal figure in golf agronomy? Such is the tale of E.J. Marshall, who in 1920 was the chair of the greens committee at the Inverness Club as that year’s U.S. Open drew close. He tried to locate agronomic advice when patches of dying turf appeared on the greens. After coming up empty, he approached the USGA and United States Department of Agriculture for help and later that year, the USGA formed the Green Section to provide course care expertise, which it still does today.
One hundred and two years later, the USGA will present the inaugural Marshall platter to David Johnson, director of grounds at The Country Club, during the U.S. Open Trophy ceremony. The platter, designed by Tiffany & Co., recognizes excellence in USGA partnership regarding agronomy and course preparation. It pays homage to the determination of its namesake to present a well-maintained course to the world’s best players.