GCSAA's certification program
A complete guide to the certified golf course superintendent designation
GCSAA offers a professional certification program that enables golf course superintendents to be recognized for their high level of achievement in golf course management. The professional designation, Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS), is bestowed upon those who voluntarily meet the stringent requirements.
The CGCS designation is the most widely recognized in the golf industry and the highest level of recognition that can be achieved. Approximately 25% of GCSAA Class A members are certified golf course superintendents.
What new CGCSs say about the program
“The certification process was challenging and made me look at all aspects of my maintenance operations. I’m extremely grateful for the mentors I’ve had that started me on this road, particularly Steve Cook, CGCS, MG, Paul Mayes, CGCS, and Doug Heinrichs, CGCS. It’s because of their examples and dedication to the golf course maintenance industry that I knew I wanted to achieve my certification. I’m proud to have received this designation and look forward to opportunities for advancing our profession.”
– Keith Hill, CGCS, Hidden Valley Country Club, Reno, Nev.
“I wanted to become a Certified Golf Course Superintendent because I am proud of the accomplishments I have made in my career. The certification, for me, recognizes all of the hard work and achievements I’ve managed to attain to this point. Additionally, I have always aspired to attain a level of success similar to the leaders and mentors that have worked with me and taught me such a great deal in the profession that I love.”
– Mark A. Kosbab, CGCS, Sportsman's Country Club, Northbrook, Ill.
"The certification journey was rigorous but at the same time, it gave me the opportunity to look at every operational area
and find new ways to implement continuous improvement.
Leadership opportunities that have arisen from this process have been of benefit to both myself and the entire maintenance team.”
– Jorge J. Croda, CGCS, Southern Oaks Golf Club, Forth Worth, Texas
"Being a third generation Superintendent at my family's golf course I have had large shoes to fill, following in the footsteps of my dad (Todd) and grandfather (Vaughn) whom I have idolized my entire life. I wanted to prove to them that their golf course is in good hands for the future. I feel like the certification process has made me the best Superintendent for my course, my patrons and my family's future. I am truly honored to be able to use the CGCS designation at the end of my name and am grateful to everyone who has supported and guided me along the way in my professional career. I also want to say thank you to my beautiful wife Natalie, she has been my rock and my inspiration, without her love and support I would not be where I am today."
– T.A. Barker, CGCS, Fore Lakes Golf Course, Taylorsville, Utah
"Becoming a certified golf course superintendent was important to me as a professional goal and as a leader by example.
The process is rigorous but very thorough. It required that I evaluate my entire operation as well as how I could
improve in many areas. In our industry, the designation includes you in a select group of individuals who have taken
the time to reach this accomplishment. It is self-rewarding but also validates your professionalism, assists in career
growth and strengthens you as a leader in your operations and industry."
–Tim Carpenter, CGCS, Gaston Country Club, Gastonia, NC
"In 1995, as a turfgrass student at Penn State, I set a personal goal to become a certified golf course superintendent. I found the certification program to be challenging and rewarding! It has made me a better leader and mentor in my current role and will undoubtedly serve me well in future endeavors."
– Shane A. Miller, CGCS, Iron Lakes Country Club, Allentown Pa.
"Achieving certification was a learning experience and taught me a lot about myself and what I could do.
The process is hard but, if it were easy everyone would do it. I feel I am a part of a select group of professionals."
– Damon Dean, CGCS, Keith Hills Golf Club, Buies Creek, NC
"The certification process tested every area of knowledge and competency in our industry and I am proud to have earned this distinction. Achieving certification has been a long-term goal and represents making good on the opportunities that have been presented to me by my employers and mentors throughout my career. I feel empowered to lead by example and to become a mentor to future superintendents, helping to provide them new opportunities and incentives to grow and strive to continually better themselves.”
– Tim Huber, CGCS, Club at Carlton Woods, Spring, Texas