Michael Huck, the 2019 USGA Green Section Award recipient, at San Juan Hills Golf Club in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., in January 2019. Photo courtesy of the USGA/Kohjiro Kinno
The USGA has named Michael T. Huck, a turfgrass and irrigation specialist from Orange County, Calif., the recipient of its 2019 Green Section Award. Huck will be honored at the USGA’s annual meeting and service awards dinner in San Antonio on Feb. 23.
Currently a principal at Irrigation and Turfgrass Services in Southern California, Huck is widely recognized as a visionary in water conservation and water use efficiency. He has authored nearly 50 articles and continues to share news and insights on water regulations, supply issues and the future of golf course irrigation with a worldwide audience. He also regularly works with regulators, golf facilities and allied associations on developing best practices and policies that conserve water while ensuring sustainability.
“Mike’s continued dedication to elevating the topic of water conservation in golf and advocating for education and dialogue has benefited courses across North America and the world,” says Kimberly Erusha, Ph.D., USGA Green Section managing director. “His innovative approach, matched with his ability to communicate very complex science in a relatable way, has provided game-changing leadership that helps golf courses and communities.”
Huck has more than 40 years of experience in the golf industry, including 12 years as a golf course superintendent and six years as a regional agronomist for the USGA. His particular expertise lies in irrigation water quality assessment, saline and recycled water management, irrigation system auditing, and sprinkler uniformity.
Huck has also served on several golf water task forces in Los Angeles, San Diego and the Coachella Valley in the wake of water restrictions imposed on golf courses during periods of extreme drought. He collaborated with the Southern California Golf Association to study the feasibility of creating on-site non-potable water sources that could be used on large landscape environments. For 12 years, he taught an advanced water quality seminar through GCSAA, and he co-authored a 2009 reference text on the subject.
“I have known Mike for over 30 years, during which time he has always had a genuine concern for the proper use of our precious water resources,” says Pamela Pavela, water use efficiency specialist for the Western Municipal Water District in Riverside, Calif. “However, it is Mike’s strong character and his commitment to valuing business relationships that make him a consummate professional so deserving of this award.”
Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section Award recognizes an individual’s distinguished service to the game of golf through his or her work with turfgrass, including research, maintenance and other areas that positively impact the landscape upon which golf is played. Through the work of its Green Section, which was established in 1920, the USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on turfgrass management, as well as research, development and promotion of environmentally friendly practices and a more sustainable game.
Other awards that will be given out at the USGA service awards dinner are the Joe Dey Award, the Ike Grainger Award and the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award.