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PGA Tour donations help support three key GCSAA programs

by Aug 03, 2021 | Angela Hartmann

Major gift pledges will assist funding for BMPs, First Green and Allan MacCurrach Jr. Award

Lawrence, Kan. (August 3, 2021) – The PGA TOUR has announced two major donations to the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) through the GCSAA Foundation to help fund GCSAA’s Facility Best Management Practices Initiative, First Green STEM-education program, and the Allan MacCurrach Jr. Award.

The PGA TOUR will contribute $250,000 over five years to help implement BMPs on the golf facility level and to support the First Green. From 2016-2021, the PGA TOUR provided similar funding to GCSAA to provide grants to GCSAA Chapters to help establish BMP guidelines, which feature agronomic practices that support environmental stewardship, in all 50 states. In January, GCSAA announced that goal had been reached.

“The PGA TOUR’s generosity was key in our reaching our ambitious goal of BMPs in all 50 states,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “We thank them not only for their financial support as we move on to the next BMP step, but also for their backing of programs that help grow the game of golf and the superintendent profession like First Green and the MacCurrach Award.”

Now that the state BMPs have been established, the initiative moves on to the next phase with creation of facility BMP manuals. Using the GCSAA Planning Guide, individual golf facilities can use their state guides to create a BMP manual for their course. Facility BMP manuals not only direct and document agronomic and environmental practices, but they provide an easy, detailed reference for golfers, lawmakers and community members to better understand the operations behind the maintenance of one of their local greenspaces.

First Green provides hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education at golf courses.  First Green is the only STEM education and environmental outreach program that uses golf courses as learning labs. Each First Green field trip averages 75 students who learn about golf and the environment. For most students, these “outdoor classrooms” represent their first exposure to a golf course. 

In addition to the support of BMPs and First Green, the PGA TOUR has also pledged $50,000 over the next 10 years for the Allan MacCurrach Jr. Award, which is a scholarship with the purpose of recognizing an outstanding non-traditional student seeking a career in golf course and turfgrass management.

It is named in honor of the late Allan MacCurrach Jr. who became the PGA TOUR’s first staff agronomist in 1974. The scholarship now provides $10,000 to the winner along with an all-expenses paid trip to the annual GCSAA Conference and Trade Show.

“We believe in the work GCSAA is doing to provide environmentally sustainable maintenance practices, grow the knowledge base of superintendents and introduce young people to the game,” Paul Vermeulen, senior vice president, agronomy, for the PGA TOUR, said. “We look forward to seeing these programs enhance golf’s future.”