John Jeffreys Receives USGA’s E.J. Marshall Platter

By Andrew Dzurita, USGA

Jun 16, 2024 | Village of Pinehurst, N.C.

Pinehurst No. 2 course superintendent John Jeffreys holds the USGA’s E.J. Marshall Platter, flanked by members of his grounds crew and U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau. (Chris Keane/USGA)

As part of the 2024 U.S. Open Championship trophy presentation, the USGA today presented John Jeffreys, superintendent of Course No. 2 at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, with the E.J. Marshall Platter.

In 2022, the USGA introduced the E.J. Marshall Platter, which recognizes golf course superintendents who showcase dedication, expertise, and seamless teamwork with the USGA. This honor celebrates their efforts in creating a well-maintained course that surpasses expectations, fit to host a national championship and the world’s finest golfers. The entire course maintenance crew and volunteers were also acknowledged during the award ceremony at the 18th green.

Jeffreys, a 12-year member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and native of Wendell, N.C., is in his 24th year at Pinehurst – having previously worked at Course No. 7 and Course No. 6 before leading the Course No. 2 team in 2014. Jeffreys and his crew of 20 worked together with the USGA’s senior director of championship agronomy, Darin Bevard, over the last year to ready the 7,543-yard, par-70 course for the championship. 

The renowned course, designed by architect Donald Ross in 1907, features Champion ultradwarf bermudagrass putting greens and Tifway 419 bermudagrass around the collars, approaches, fairways and teeing areas. This year’s U.S. Open marked the first one played on modern ultradwarf bermudagrass greens, a warm-season turfgrass that delivers exceptional playing quality, year-round, in Pinehurst and other areas with hot summers. Pinehurst No. 2 switched its putting green surfaces from bentgrass immediately following the back-to-back 2014 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open championships.

Included among the group of golf course maintenance members who helped prepare Course No. 2 for the 2024 U.S. Open were members from the current cohort of the USGA’s Greenkeeper Apprenticeship Program as well as apprentices from last year’s inaugural class. 

Jeffreys is also supported by Bob Farren, Pinehurst Director of Grounds and Golf Course Management and this year’s USGA Green Section Award recipient, as well as Kevin Robinson, Pinehurst Manager of Golf Course Maintenance Operations. 

The platter’s namesake was the chair of the green committee at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, in 1920. After he approached the USGA and the Department of Agriculture for help at the course, the USGA formed the Green Section to provide course care expertise to golf facilities.

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