GCSAA elevates, enhances Col. John Morley Award for superintendents

In addition to the revamped award — now exclusively for golf course superintendents — GCSAA has announced new awards for young leaders, outstanding industry contributions.


GCSAA has announced changes to its Col. John Morley Award that elevate it to the status of one of two association Pinnacle Awards that recognize service to the golf industry.

The Col. John Morley Award, named for GCSAA’s founder, will be presented annually to an individual who is or has been a GCSAA Class A or B superintendent member and who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the golf course superintendent’s profession. The contribution must be significant in both substance and duration.

The nomination period for the Morley Award is open through Oct. 25. The recipient will be determined by the GCSAA Board of Directors.

The Morley Award joins the status of the other GCSAA Pinnacle Award, the Old Tom Morris Award, which will now be limited to those outside of the GCSAA membership who have helped mold the welfare of the game.

“We are very excited to introduce the new Morley Award as one of our two highest honors and to recognize our superintendent members who have advanced the profession and the game,” says GCSAA President Mark F. Jordan CGCS, natural resources leader at Westfield Country Club in Westfield Center, Ohio. “As is the case with our Old Tom Morris Award, we look forward to the Morley Award becoming a widely recognized accolade in the golf and sports industries.”

Learn about the life of Col. John Morley and the creation of GCSAA:

With the Morley Award’s rise to the Pinnacle Award level, its annual winner will be honored in the same ways as the Old Tom Morris Award winner, with on-stage recognition at the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show, media promotion — including gracing the cover of the January issue of GCSAA’s GCM magazine — and more. The first Morley Award will be presented at the 2022 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show in San Diego in February.

The Col. John Morley Award is different from the now-retired Col. John Morley Distinguished Service Award, which was open to anyone in the golf industry who had shown lifetime achievement.

Along with the revamped Morley Award, GCSAA is introducing two new awards to honor specific golf industry achievements: the Emerging Leader Award and the Outstanding Contribution Award.

GCSAA’s Emerging Leader Award

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes a GCSAA member who serves the industry as a superintendent with less than five years’ experience, an assistant superintendent, a student or an associate member, and who displays continuous growth in service and leadership.

A nominee must be a GCSAA member in good standing, engaged in his or her local chapter or at the national or community level, and an advocate for the profession.

The Emerging Leader Award will be selected by the GCSAA Assistant Superintendent Task Group. The nomination period will be open Sept. 7-Oct. 31, 2021, and the first winner will be recognized at the 2022 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show in San Diego in February.

GCSAA’s Outstanding Contribution Award

The Outstanding Contribution Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the GCSAA membership through outstanding contributions to the golf course industry.

A nominee must not currently be a Class AA, A, B, C, EM or ISM GCSAA member, and must not have retired in any of the membership classifications listed.

The Outstanding Contribution Award will be selected by a new committee to be appointed. Nominations will be accepted Sept. 7-Oct. 31, 2021, and the first winner will be recognized at the 2022 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show in San Diego in February.

For more information and nomination forms for each of these awards, visit the Awards page on GCSAA.org.

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