Mitch Savage, golf course superintendent at Broken Tee Golf Course in Englewood, Colo., has been named a Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award winner by GCSAA.
The Grassroots Ambassador Leadership (GAL) Award, presented quarterly in partnership with The Toro Co., honors individuals who have demonstrated growth in advocacy and advancement of the GCSAA Priority Issues Agenda through congressional outreach and relationship development with a member of Congress. Through Toro, GAL winners receive a trip to the 2020 National Golf Day in Washington, D.C.
“Congratulations to Mitch for being recognized for his hard work and dedication to the golf industry,” says GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans. “He is a vocal advocate for golf in Colorado and has raised the profile of issues affecting the industry in the state.”
The GAL Award is part of the GCSAA Grassroots Ambassador program, which pairs superintendents with members of Congress to build strong relationships with them. More than 400 GCSAA members currently serve as ambassadors.
A general interest in politics led Savage, a 17-year GCSAA member, to volunteer for the ambassador program in 2016. In 2018, he helped train other advocates at the Grassroots Ambassador Bootcamp offered at the annual Golf Industry Show.
“This program, more than any other program or committee I have been involved with through GCSAA, has pushed me and put me well outside my comfort zone and taught me many valuable skills and lessons,” Savage says. “It has taught me to pay close attention to all the issues that are affecting golf course management at any given time. Even if a particular issue may not be directly impacting me, my golf course or my state at the moment, it is certainly affecting other superintendents and turf professionals somewhere on some level, and I need to be educated and ready to speak on their behalf.”
Savage is paired with U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette and has forged a relationship with the congresswoman and her staff. He frequently attends town halls and other events that DeGette hosts, and has been successful in engaging her on topics that impact the golf industry, such as labor. In 2017, he was personally invited to be part of a roundtable discussion at the University of Denver hosted by DeGette and other local business leaders to discuss immigration reform, including H-2B work visas.
Editor’s note: Hear from Savage about his experiences attending Rep. Diana DeGette’s public forums in The power of the town hall meeting.
“As a golf course superintendent at a municipal golf course, one of my goals is to host a site visit with Rep. DeGette or members of her staff and show them how valuable of an asset Broken Tee Golf Course is to our community,” Savage says. “Being an ambassador has given me and many others the platform needed to point out the numerous ways in which members of our profession are doing so much good for everything around us.”