2019 News Releases

Barton wins GCSAA Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award

by Dec 31, 2019 | GCSAA

Golf course superintendent honored for advocacy efforts, advancement of association priority issues and congressional outreach

Lawrence, Kan. (Dec. 31, 2019) – Kyle Barton, golf course superintendent at Tam O’Shanter Country Club in West Bloomfield, Mich., has been named a Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award winner from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

The Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award, presented quarterly in partnership with The Toro Co., recognizes and honors individuals who have demonstrated growth in advocacy and advancement of the GCSAA Priority Issues Agenda through congressional outreach and relationship development with a member of Congress. Through Toro, the winners will receive a trip to take part in the 2020 National Golf Day in Washington, D.C.

“Congratulations to Kyle for being recognized for his hard work and dedication to the golf industry,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “He is a proactive and vocal advocate for golf in Michigan, and he’s also mentoring others to speak up for the industry.”

The GAL Award is part of the GCSAA Grassroots Ambassadors, a program that matches superintendents with members of Congress to build strong relationships between them. More than 380 GCSAA members currently serve as ambassadors.

While becoming an ambassador provided the 12-year GCSAA member the chance to become more involved on the national level, he has also become very active in his local chapter, the Michigan GCSA. He currently serves as chairman of the Michigan GCSA Government Relations Committee and was part of the committee that created the best management practices guide for golf courses in the state.

Barton is paired with Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and has had the opportunity to meet with Jeremy Mahrle, Detroit regional director for the senator. That meeting, along with a subsequent visit from Mahrle at Barton’s course, have given them the opportunity to discuss key issues affecting the golf industry such as labor, environmental conditions and water management. Barton also met with Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) in Washington, D.C., during the 2019 National Golf Day and later hosted Stevens at Tam O’Shanter.

“It feels good to open someone’s eyes to the job we do each and every day to take care of the environment while also providing great course conditions for our members,” Barton said.

Building on his own success as an ambassador, Barton has helped recruit seven other ambassadors and now serves as the Grassroots Ambassador Mentor for Michigan.