Scott Watson, a 43-year-old student at Rutgers University, where he is pursuing a turfgrass management degree, has earned the top prize of $6,000 among 16 awards in the 2015 Scholars Competition offered through GCSAA.
The $30,000 program is primarily funded by the Robert Trent Jones Endowment and administered by the Environmental Institute for Golf, GCSAA's philanthropic organization. It was developed to recognize outstanding students planning careers in golf course management.
“My wife and I both broke down in tears when we learned of winning the scholarship,” said Watson, an assistant superintendent at Linville (N.C.) Golf Club. “I never expected it. This will take some of the pressure off of wondering how we are going to make ends meet. I had kids when I was young and had to start working. I never had the chance to think about college until now.”
Watson started working at Linville Golf Club in the mountains of western North Carolina when he was 19 and advanced to second assistant superintendent in 2006, but he knows he needs a college degree if he ever wants to be a head superintendent. The program at Rutgers is highly acclaimed and fits his schedule, since it is offered in the winter months when his golf course is closed. Watson will graduate in June 2016.