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GCSAA elevates, enhances Col. John Morley Award for superintendents

by Aug 17, 2021 | Angela Hartmann

Two new awards will also recognize golf industry contributors, young leaders

John MorleyLawrence, Kan. (Aug. 17, 2021) – The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) has announced changes to its Col. John Morley Award, which will elevate it to the status of one of two Pinnacle Awards exemplified by service to the industry.

The Col. John Morley Award, named for GCSAA’s founder, will be presented annually to an individual who is or has been a GCSAA Class A or B superintendent member and has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the golf course superintendent's profession. The contribution must be significant in both substance and duration.

Nominations for the Morley Award are open through the Oct. 25. The Morley Award will be determined by the GCSAA Board of Directors. 

The Morley Award joins the status of the other GCSAA Pinnacle Award, the Old Tom Morris Award, which will now be limited to those outside of the GCSAA membership who have helped mold the welfare of the game.

“We are very excited to introduce the new Morley Award as one of our two highest honors and to recognize our superintendent members who have advanced the profession and the game,” GCSAA President Mark F. Jordan CGCS and natural resources leader at Westfield Country Club in Westfield Center, Ohio, said. “As is the case with our Old Tom Morris Award, we look forward to the Morley Award becoming a widely recognized accolade in the golf and sports industries.”  

With the rise to the Pinnacle Award level, the annual winner of the new Morley Award will be honored in the same ways as the Old Tom Award with on-stage recognition at the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show, media promotion including gracing the cover of the January issue of GCSAA’s GCM magazine and more. The first Morley Award will be bestowed at the 2022 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show in San Diego in February.

The Col. John Morley Award is different than the now retired Col. John Morley Distinguished Service Award, which was open to anyone in the golf industry who had shown lifetime achievement.

In addition to the revamped Morley Award, GCSAA is also introducing two new awards to honor specific golf industry achievement: the Emerging Leader Award and the Outstanding Contribution Award.

Emerging Leader Award

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes a GCSAA member who serves the industry as a superintendent with less than five years’ experience, student, associate member or assistant superintendent and displays continuous growth in service and leadership.

A nominee must be a GCSAA member in good standing, engaged in their local chapter or at the national or community level and advocate for the profession.

The Emerging Leader Award will be selected by the GCSAA Assistant Superintendent Task Group. Nominations will be open Sept. 7-Oct. 31, 2021, and the first winner will be recognized at the 2022 GCSAA Conference.

Outstanding Contribution Award

The Outstanding Contribution Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the GCSAA membership, through outstanding contributions for the golf course industry.

Nominees must not currently be a Class AA, A, B, C, EM or ISM GCSAA member or must not have retired in any of the membership classification listed.

The Outstanding Contribution Award will be selected by a new committee to be appointed. Nominations will be open Sept. 7-Oct. 31, 2021, and the first winner will be recognized at the 2022 GCSAA Conference.

For more information and nomination forms for all of the awards, visit and click on the specific award.