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CGSA Announces the Late John Bladon as the CGSA John B. Steel Distinguished Service Award Recipient for 2023

posted on Jan 16, 2024

Mississauga, ON - The Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) is pleased to announce the late John Bladon (1968-2023) of The Chimera Group/Turf Prophit in Guelph, Ontario as the CGSA John B. Steel Distinguished Service Award recipient for 2023.

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 a past CGSA President.

The award will be accepted on behalf of John by his wife Sabrina. She will receive an “All-Access” registration to The Canadian Golf Course Management Conference taking place at the Hotel Bonaventure in Montreal, Quebec from February 27-29, 2024, 4 nights’ accommodation and transportation costs and she will be presented with the prestigious John B. Steel Award on John’s behalf on Tuesday, February 27th during the Awards Ceremony.

John was a member of the CGSA since 1994. During his teenage years, he was part of the maintenance team at Guelph's Cutten Fields and later graduated from the Turfgrass diploma program at the University of Guelph's Ontario Agriculture College in 1991.

Throughout his career, John worked in various aspects of the industry, including superintendent roles, sales, and consulting. He held positions such as grow-in superintendent at Port Carling Golf Club and Guelph Lakes. Additionally, John gained experience in sales across Canada before becoming an independent consulting agronomist at The Chimera Group in 2011.

In his consulting role, John worked closely with golf course superintendents across Canada, offering expertise in areas such as sustainability, agronomy, design and construction, and business development. One of his significant contributions to the industry was the development of Turf Prophit, a proprietary cost analysis software specifically tailored to the unique needs of golf course management. This innovative tool provides valuable insights and data-driven solutions, empowering golf course professionals to make informed decisions to optimize their operations. Turf Prophit quickly became recognized as a valuable asset within the industry, further solidifying John's reputation as a forward-thinking leader in golf course management.

“What a pleasure it is to announce that the late John Bladon is the winner of our most prestigious award. John was nominated for this award by several members and with his passing, the industry has lost a great resource to so many superintendents and assistants, but most of all they lost a mentor and a friend! John passionately believed in a strong association, and his contributions to the Turfgrass industry were felt by many.  I am glad we can honour his memory with our members through this award.”

Dustin Zdan, AGS, CGSA President

Sabrina Bladon, speaking on behalf of John, conveyed, "John was committed to enhancing the golf course industry, driven by passion rather than mere career aspirations. I am honoured to accept this award on his behalf."

On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff and CGSA members, I extend our congratulations to the John on his selection as the 2023 John B. Steel Distinguished Service Award winner!

Dustin Zdan, AGS
CGSA President

The CGSA represents golf course superintendents, assistant superintendents, equipment technicians, and others involved in golf course management across Canada. CGSA was founded in 1966 and has approximately 1,000 members. Its mission is to promote excellence in golf course management and environmental responsibility through the continuing professional development of its members. For more information, please visit www.golfsupers.com.