Industry veteran Cliff Dipman passes away

The superintendent, who battled cancer for more than a decade, was a mentor to many in the Midwest turf community.


Filed to: Kansas

Cliff Dipman
Cliff Dipman was a past president of the Kansas GCSA and the Kansas Turfgrass Foundation. Photo courtesy of Mingying Xiang

Those who knew Cliff Dipman wouldn’t be surprised that he was still at work last Friday.

Two days later, on Sunday, Oct. 20, the former superintendent at Manhattan (Kan.) Country Club passed away. He was 72.

Dipman, who was featured in the April 2019 issue of GCM, was diagnosed with cancer 15 years ago. The 43-year GCSAA member did all he could not to allow it to prevent him from doing his job at Manhattan CC, where he oversaw the golf course from 1981 to 2013.

After leaving the club, Dipman, a native of Pratt, Kan., served as a research assistant at the Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhattan, helping advance turf research by using his industry connections to secure products and donations for the center. Dipman was working at the center last Friday.

“He is a dedicated professional who continued to work through illness. Cliff will be greatly missed by the entire turf industry in Kansas and beyond,” says Jack Fry, Ph.D., professor of turfgrass science at Kansas State University’s Olathe (Kan.) Horticulture Research and Extension Center, who was previously the director of the Rocky Ford research center.

In October 2018, Dipman learned that his cancer — stage 4 head and neck cancer — had returned. He lost his voice in February after several rounds of radiation, which were followed by chemotherapy. In March, he told GCM, “I only missed work (at Manhattan CC) on treatment days. Having the golf course to take care of and being with the people I worked with gave me the determination to persevere.”

In January, Dipman was the first inductee into the Kansas GCSA Hall of Fame. Dipman is survived by numerous family members, including his wife, Christy, and two sets of twin grandchildren.

Read much more about Dipman and his career in Cliff Dipman’s learning tree, and view Dipman’s obituary.

Howard Richman is GCM’s associate editor.

Filed to: Kansas

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