Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club general manager and superintendent Leo Barber has won a prestigious award from a United States golfing association.

Each year the Golf Course Superintendents Association of New Jersey present the Ed Walsh Award to a member in recognition of the best superintendent written article in their Greenerside magazine.

Leo has won the 2019 Ed Walsh Award for his story Getting Back to Nature.

"It discussed the benefits of using the outdoors as a way of tricking the mind into escaping the pressures faced from maintaining golf courses to assist health and well-being," he said.

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"I am sure this could be applied across a number of professions.

"I recalled my own personal experiences of using the trails around Kāpiti to relax the mind and even recalled the more advanced trip I undertook into the Tararuas that I shared in the Kāpiti News."

A well earned break during a Southern Crossing tramp in the mighty Tararua Ranges.
A well earned break during a Southern Crossing tramp in the mighty Tararua Ranges.

Leo is a honorary member of the association stemming from trips to work several PGA tournaments hosted in the state.

"New Jersey has twice New Zealand's population and a golf industry of a similar size."

All superintendents that have an article published in the magazine are eligible for the award.

"The award honours Ed Walsh, a longtime New Jersey golf course superintendent and past Editor in Chief of the Greenerside," Leo said.

"Walsh was known for his dedication and contribution to the Greenerside which under his leadership won multiple national industry awards."

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Judging feedback from a panel of industry peers said Leo's story focused on the target audience, recognised problems and offered solutions and seamlessly flowed from paragraph to paragraph, and held reader interest.

"As a pure amateur writer but someone that is passionate about my role in golf, it was pleasing to be recognised in an industry publication and for the article to be judged worthy by peers," Leo said.

Doug Vogel was also an award recipient for his 2018 story "Rewriting GCSANJ history - the truth about Riggs Miller".