Golf News for Wednesday, August 31, 2016 | Others

Certified golf course superintendents earn distinction, value professional recognition

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Monica Lalinde, 57, wants to show the passion she has for her profession. Ted Horton, 73, wants to keep pace with the newest technologies in his business. They may look at it differently, but the two Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) members agree that being a certified golf course superintendent (CGCS) makes them exceptional within their profession.

The distinction of CGCS, awarded through a certification program administered by GCSAA, is like having an advanced degree for a golf course superintendent. It requires a combination of experience, on-course evaluation, a completed portfolio and examination, and continuing education, and that can take up to a year to complete.

"The certification process is very detailed, and it's pretty intense," said Stephanie Confer, specialist in professional development for GCSAA. "From the portfolio to the exam and course evaluation, the certification process requires dedication and a focused look at how a superintendent does the job."

The objective for the CGCS program, which was founded in 1971, is two-fold: to demonstrate knowledge and achievement within the profession, and to give employers an easy way to know they've hired one of the best. The inaugural certification class had 18 superintendents. So far in 2016, 12 members have become newly certified and 114 have renewed their certification. Certification must be renewed every five years.

Lalinde has held CGCS designation since 2001, and she is one of only about 1,400 who actively hold the CGCS distinction - from among 17,500 GCSAA members and 30,000 superintendents nationally.

"The CGCS program means everything to me, said Lalinde a native of Colombia, who, because of health issues, recently decided to take a break from her job as superintendent at Tennessee's Smyrna Golf Course for 19 years. "Being CGCS shows your love for the profession and for what you do. It makes me stay current and shows how much I value education."

Horton is even more bullish on the program, which he undertook in 1976 when he was the head superintendent at legendary Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

"It was important to me 40 years ago, and it's important to me now," said Horton, who is doing part-time consulting and lives in California. "It's a challenge that we have to measure ourselves to be the best. Superintendents are as well trained as anyone in any business, and this is how we can demonstrate that."

About GCSAA and the EIFG
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 18,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association's mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

The Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit EIFG at or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Craig Smith, Director, Communications and Media Relations
Phone: 800-472-7878, ext. 4431 or 785-691-9197 (cell)