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
"Becoming a certified golf course superintendent has been a goal I have aspired to achieve since the beginning of my career in this industry. I credit my success to opportunities working and learning from some of the most respected superintendents in the industry, including my father, John Shannon, Eric Greytok, and Bob Alonzi, Sr., CGCS. These invaluable life lessons have enabled me to achieve numerous goals while overcoming adversity and continuing to strive for greatness. I am grateful for my accomplishments and take great pride in what I have achieved. I also credit my wife for her unconditional love and support which enables me to achieve my goals. Attaining certification exemplifies my abilities that I have developed professionally and personally as a golf course superintendent."
– Jesse Shannon, CGCS, Manhattan Woods Golf Club, West Nyack, N.Y.
"It is a great honour and I feel really proud as the first and only Certified Golf Course Superintendent in Malaysia. After 3 years of rigorous course work, numerous assignments and traveling to and from the United States, it is definitely worthwhile for my professional career. With this certification, I am able to further enhance my competencies, knowledge and experience which are also greatly beneficial for my team members. Special thanks to my beloved wife, Shamsinar, and my CEO, Steven Thielke, who is also my mentor and a great inspiration."
– Mohd Nizam Othman, CGCS, TPC Kuala Lumpur
"Achieving certification was a learning experience and taught me a lot about myself and what I could do.
Achieving the designation of a Certified Golf Course Superintendent has always been a personal and professional goal of mine. The process of becoming Certified gave me the opportunity to dig deep into my abilities to excel at this profession. I am fortunate to have worked for and alongside several Certified Superintendents and their dedication to this industry has helped shape my path to success. I want to thank my wife, Kristine, and our children for their support and encouragement. This is truly an honor for me to represent this profession and GCSAA as a Certified Golf Course Superintendent."
– Bryce Koch, CGCS, Cypress Lake Country Club, Fort Myers, Fla.
"Achieving CGCS status has been a goal of mine since my first days in the industry. It has given me a boost of confidence and has put even more confidence in my membership about my abilities.”
– Greg Jones, CGCS, Champions Run Golf Course, Omaha, Neb.
“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