Clarence Wolfrom’s first contact with turf came at the age of 15 at Meadowbrook Golf Club where he worked on the grounds crew and helped to screen topsoil to top dress the fairways. As such, one could say that dirt never left his fingernails for over a half-century of distinguished turfgrass service.
Along with his youthful stint at Meadowbrook, Wolfrom learned his trade by being part of the team that built Western Golf and Country Club under Donald Ross. He became Golf Course Superintendent at Maple Lane GC in 1930, a position he held until 1984. Fondly named “the dean of growing grass” in Michigan, Wolfrom mentored 19 golf superintendents in the profession including sons Clem and Bruce.
Wolfrom’s leadership and contributions to his profession were equally notable and steadfast. He attended the first Michigan Turfgrass Conference in 1930 and was a frequent contributor. He served as President of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation in 1960 and 1961 and was a past President of the Greater Detroit Golf Club Superintendents Association.
Designer of the “Maple Lane Spiker,” a tool used nationwide in golf course maintenance, Wolfrom was honored by Michigan State University by having a lecture room named in his honor in the Plant Pathology Building. He passed away in 1984.