WITH a grandfather who played professionally and a father who was an international selector, it is little surprise John Forrest is a golf devotee.
This dedication is evident through his work, where the 60-year-old has been heavily involved with golf courses throughout his career, co-ordinating the revegetation and vegetation auditing for courses such as Wembley, Cottesloe, Melville, Rose Hill, Sea View, Sun City and the club he plays at, Hartfield.
He also works as a Tafe lecturer in horticulture and turf management and a consultant at Challenger Institution of Technology in Murdoch, combining both roles to teach apprentice greenkeepers the ins and outs of the profession for the past 20 years and pass on his incredible knowledge to a younger generation.
It was this level of service and contribution to the local golf industry, most notably his work as a project coordinator at several metropolitan golf clubs, which earned the Rivervale resident a WA Golf Industry recognition award last month.
Forrest spoke about his fondness for being outdoors and the roots of his passion in golf.
“Going on to golf courses provides a wonderful environment, it’s a place where you’re removed from the world, self absorbed with what you are doing, it’s what has led me to enjoy doing what I do,” he said.
“To this day, if I go out to a golf course early in the morning, when it’s quiet and it’s a nice day, I don’t think there is a better feeling really.”
The third-generation golfer, whose grandfather George was a professional and whose father Barry was a long-time selector for New Zealand, said the award was unexpected but humbling.
“My whole life has revolved around working within the golf industry where I have given my time up and my family have been pretty special in allowing me to do that,” he said.
“I think that sometimes when we do things, we don’t really realise what we maybe are achieving.
“This is just recognition of lots and lots of hours that you put in.
“Without spending a lot of time on golf courses and in the turf industry, I would have never been able to win such an award.”
Forrest is heavily involved at Hartfield Golf Club where he has been a committee member since 1999 and plays each Saturday afternoon.
The club congratulated its course director for the award, describing him as extremely well respected amongst his peers and being instrumental in the education of Golf Course Superintendents Association members.
He specialises in soil management, water quality, water treatment, revegetation, plant nutrition and irrigation and has led research projects for the Water Corporation entitled “irrigation emitter efficiency” and “measure reduction in irrigation requirements and capacity to withstand stress.”
Forrest described WA’s turf to be the “best quality turf in the world” and praised the tight knitted golf community in WA.
“From our public open spaces through to our golf courses, Western Australia, without a doubt has the best quality turf anywhere consistently across the board,” he said.
“Golf course maintenance is a wonderful industry to be involved with and there are very nice people here who are keen and passionate about their jobs and I enjoy it very much.”