Golf course superintendent honored for advocacy efforts, advancement of association priority issues and congressional outreach
Lawrence, Kan. (Nov. 16, 2021) David H. Robinson, certified golf course superintendent (CGCS) and senior director of golf grounds at Marriott Golf in Ocoee, Fla., 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 2022 National Golf Day in Washington, D.C.
“We are truly appreciative of David’s commitment to fostering a strong relationship with Congress and bettering the golf course management industry,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “His determination to share the importance of golf and educate others on the environmental benefits is commendable. Congratulations to him for this well-earned award.”
The GAL Award is part of the Grassroots Ambassador program, which matches superintendents with members of Congress to build strong relationships between them. More than 470 GCSAA members currently serve as ambassadors.
A 27-year member of GCSAA, Robinson has been heavily involved in the golf industry over the years and had a long-held interest in the legislative process, so becoming a Grassroots Ambassador was a natural fit. He joined the Grassroots Ambassadors program in April 2017 to give back to the industry and share his story as a superintendent.
“I’ve learned that if we – golf course superintendents – are not the ones telling our story, someone else is going to tell their own version of it,” Robinson said.
Upon joining, Robinson was paired with Rep. Val Demings (D-FL-10), and his goal was to have Demings tour a golf course. After four years of working toward his goal, Robinson achieved it in June 2021 when Demings and a staff member, Mark Hinson, joined Robinson for a course tour.
“When I took the congresswoman out onto a facility and walked her through our practices and what we do, I saw the light bulb click,” Robinson said. “When I hear, ‘Wow, I never realized this is the level of maintenance that goes into maintaining a golf course,’ I know I’m doing my job—educating people on what goes on behind the scenes.”
Prior to the course tour, Robinson attended multiple National Golf Days, attended state lobby days in Tallahassee, Fla., and met with Demings in her district office. Moving forward, he will remain an advocate for the golf course management industry and keep building on his relationship with Demings.
“I’m glad to have the opportunity to tell our story,” Robinson said. “Please pass on my thanks to all at GCSAA for giving me this opportunity and recognizing my small contribution.”