Class A Membership

Your comprehensive guide to becoming a Class A member

Earn Class A status through a combination of formal education, experience as a golf course superintendent, continuing education and providing proof of a valid pesticide license or passing the GCSAA IPM Exam. Your Class A membership demonstrates your personal commitment to lifelong learning, environmental stewardship and elevating the golf course management profession. You also show employers that your achievements and competencies are documented and validated. For more information about Class A eligibility and renewal requirements, review the Class A Code of Standards.

Class A then CGCS

Becoming a Class A member


Formal education + golf course superintendent experience + continuing education = 20 points plus proof of possessing a valid pesticide license

First, identify your level of formal education, which dictates the minimum number of years of experience you must have as a golf course superintendent. A value is assigned to each level of formal education.

Then, review the Class A class-a-sliding-scale-for-eligibility. If you have met the minimum number of years of experience based on your level of formal education, add the point value associated with your formal education and your years of experience to determine how many, if any, education points you must attain/document in order to have a total of 20 points or more. The education points can be from sessions and seminars that you took previously or that you will take in the future. You must also provide proof of possessing a valid pesticide license/certification or pass the GCSAA IPM Exam.

Verify your requirements

Confirm your level of formal education by providing GCSAA with an official transcript from the school/university you attended that shows the level of formal education you completed.

Transcripts can be sent to:

GCSAA Membership Department
1421 Research Park Dr.
Lawrence, KS 66049-3858

Education and service points

Education points help you obtain or maintain Class A status. Service points may be used to renew your Class A status. Find out what type of activities qualify for points with the New Education and Golf-Centric Service Points org.

Education points

Education points are earned through approved education opportunities. You receive .10 points per educational contact hour, which means 10 hours equals one point. Points can be earned through a variety of educational opportunities, including seminars, live webinars, On Demand webinars and self-study courses. You can also receive points from programs offered by local chapters, regional conferences, state pesticide recertification seminars and other external educational opportunities. Or you can earn additional education points by writing articles, participating in Audubon Cooperative programs and state environmental programs, as well for CPR and First Aid training. You can start earning education points toward the requirements for Class A status anytime, even as an assistant or student.

Golf-centric service points

Service points, which can be applied toward renewal requirements, are earned for association, civic and chapter service/activities in addition to other activities including, but not limited to, giving an informational speech or participating in a media interview, volunteering agronomic/environmental expertise to another golf course or sports facility, completing surveys and participating in the GCSAA National Championships.

Recording your points

Both education and service points will automatically be recorded when you participate in any GCSAA educational programs and activities. If necessary, use this affidavit to apply for credit for any other education or service points.


Pesticide license

The pesticide license requirement demonstrates a commitment to environmental stewardship. While not every golf course superintendent applies chemicals, all Class A members should have a basic understanding of the concepts related to this competency.

You can fulfill this requirement in one of two ways:

Provide proof of a valid state/country pesticide license/certification with your current license number, date of expiration and the state, province or country that issued the license.

Submit your license info »

Successfully complete the GCSAA IPM exam, which tests the basic principles of safe pesticide storage, disposal and application. The online exam and its study materials are available free online and may be ordered online or by calling 800-472-7878.

After you enroll, you will have access to the study guide right away. You can print this material or view it online. The exam is 100 true/false and multiple-choice questions. It is divided into two sections of equal length that you can complete independently.

Order the exam »

Maintain your Class A status

To maintain your Class A status, you meet ongoing requirements within a five-year cycle. (The cycle begins the day you become a Class A member.)


During that time, you must earn a total of 5 points, with a minimum of 3 points in continuing education. The remaining 2 points can be earned through continuing education and/or golf-centric service point activities. You must also maintain a current pesticide license or complete the IPM exam during each renewal cycle.

Please keep in mind that only points attained during the time that your Class A status is “active” will count toward your Class A renewal requirements. 

Keep your account current

View your My Membership page to keep your membership updated. Your Class A transcript will reflect your renewal cycle dates and break down your earned education and service points.

Consider certification

Class A membership is just one of the qualifications needed to earn Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS) status. Learn more about earning your CGCS designation.


Tools you can use to promote your Class A membership

Use this toolkit to share your great achievement with employers, golfers, and community members. You can share the news about your Class A status in a variety of ways.

Letter to your employer

GCSAA will send congratulatory letters to up to three employers announcing your Class A status. The personalized announcement will be mailed to the contacts and addresses provided and copies of each correspondence will be sent to you via mail.

Class A Member certificate

Display your achievement with a Class A member certificate. Complete this request form to receive your certificate in the mail, and please provide your name as you would like it to appear on the certificate.

Class A member logo

Use the GCSAA Class A member logo on business cards, stationery, websites or other items.

News release

Create a personalized press release to share your Class A member status. To develop a press release, complete the news release form, either for new Class A members or renewed Class A members. The information provided will automatically pre-populate into a personalized press release that you can distribute to various media outlets.

Newsletter article

Highlight your achievement in your facility’s newsletter. Two versions of the special Class A newsletter article are available for use, either as a PDF or Word version.

At the 2016 Annual Meeting, the GCSAA membership adopted enhanced education point renewal requirements for Class A membership. Based on this action, the GCSAA Board of Directors, on the recommendation of the Certification Committee, adopted enhanced CGCS point renewal requirements.

Class A Renewal Requirements (effective July 1, 2017)

CGCS Renewal Requirements (effective July 1, 2017)

At the 2016 GCSAA Annual Meeting, the membership approved a revised definition for Class A membership. That revision now allows members to maintain Class A status, once they have attained it, as long as they are employed within the golf industry. However, they must continue to fulfill ongoing Class A requirements.

If you previously held Class A membership in GCSAA, but reclassified due to a change in employment status, you are now eligible to reinstate your Class A status.

If you are interested in reinstating your Class A status, contact Shelia Finney, senior director, member programs, to learn how to once again be a Class A member.