Mark J. Woodward, golf operations manager for the city of San Diego has been selected chief executive officer for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
His selection by the GCSAA board of directors comes after a national search to replace Steve Mona, who became the chief executive of the World Golf Foundation 3rd March. A familiar face to GCSAA, Woodward has been actively involved as a committee participant, a member of the board of directors and 68th president of the association in 2004. He is in his 30th year as a GCSAA member and first achieved the status of certified golf course superintendent in 1986. He is the first golf course superintendent to serve as GCSAA’s permanent chief executive.
“We were extremely pleased with the quantity and quality of candidates that were interested in the position. Without a doubt, Mark presented the best fit for the association,” GCSAA president David S. Downing II, CGCS said. “He is a talented individual with a myriad of skills and abilities that will serve him, the membership, the association, the industry and the game well. He has a strong track record of service to GCSAA and success as a golf course superintendent and an administrator. His efforts have earned him rave reviews in bolstering golf operations for the city of San Diego.”
In his capacity in San Diego, Woodward developed a five year business plan that has resulted in generating an additional $3 million in revenue from 2006 to 2007, including the implementation of the Advance Tee Time program that added $500,000 in revenue in the first year. His department has hosted numerous high profile events including three junior world golf championships, three city amateur championships, three PGA Tour events and the upcoming U.S. Open — on top of the three golf facilities annually hosting 260 golf outings. His plan resulted in creating 20,000 additional tee times available for the public golfer. From a golf course standpoint, Woodward has implemented a management plan that has produced drastically improved course conditions and enhanced environmental stewardship.
“Mark will begin his duties at GCSAA on July 1,” Downing said. “It is important to him and to GCSAA that he sees to completion the U.S. Open. It is a wonderful celebration of the game and it is only fitting that he finishes his integral role in conducting the event.”
Woodward was named to his position in San Diego in January 2005 after serving 31 years in various capacities with the Phoenix suburb of Mesa. His last position there was parks and recreation administrator, which included the oversight of two golf courses, a tennis facility, the Chicago Cubs spring training home, a minor league baseball training site, a park ranger program and a cemetery. He is a 1974 graduate of Arizona State University with a degree in environmental resources and holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
In addition to his past volunteer service to GCSAA, Woodward is active in the National Institute of Golf Management sponsored by the National Golf Foundation. He joined the NIGM board of regents in 1992, serving as its chair in 1999. He was a trustee for the Environmental Institute for Golf, serving as secretary in 2004.
Woodward has a strong golf course management background. He began his career as an assistant golf course superintendent at Mesa’s Dobson Ranch Golf Course, helping to construct the layout. Two years later he assumed the superintendent position and then in 1987 assumed the additional duties of managing Mesa’s Riverview Golf Course.