Lee Strutt, golf course superintendent at gWest, Perthshire, Scotland, has been designated a Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS) by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
Strutt, a 13-year GCSAA member, has been the superintendent at gWest since 2008. Approximately 1,500 golf course superintendents worldwide currently hold “CGCS” status.
According to GCSAA Chief Executive Officer Rhett Evans, “25 percent of GCSAA’s Class A members have elected to earn the highest level of recognition through the professional designation “CGCS” by completion of the GCSAA Certification Program. This program requires their demonstration of a higher set of competencies in golf course management through testing and practical application. Employers can be confident they employ a career professional who will increase their chances of having consistently superior course conditions.”
GCSAA was among the first associations to institute a professional certification program, establishing its program in 1971 to recognize outstanding and progressive superintendents. In 2005, GCSAA completed a restructuring of its certification program in order to raise the level of documented professionalism through comprehensive continuing education. The restructured program was recognized by the National Certification Commission as “one of the most extensive and comprehensive certification programs for any profession.”
To qualify for GCSAA’s new competency-based certification program, a candidate must have at least three years experience as a golf course superintendent, be employed in that capacity and meet post-secondary educational requirements and/or continuing education points. The candidate’s knowledge, skills and abilities are validated through the development of a portfolio consisting of their responses to skill statements, case-study scenarios and submission of work samples; an on-site inspection of their golf facility; and a rigorous six-hour examination covering: equipment, irrigation systems, materials and technology, golf course and grounds, human resources, rules of golf, financial and administrative systems, regulatory and programmatic systems, crisis management, project management, and ethics and values.
As part of the certification process, an on-site inspection of Strutt’s golf course operation was conducted by two GCSAA certified superintendents: Ken Siems, CGCS, Pestovo Golf & Yacht Club, Dunbartonshire, Scotland; and Andrew Campbell, CGCS, Jacobsen – Textron, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland.