2023 News Releases

Jim Pavonetti, CGCS, wins 2022 Leo Feser Award

by Nov 28, 2023 | Scott Hollister


The Connecticut superintendent’s story about the value of establishing golf course maintenance standards was selected as the year’s top superintendent-written article in GCM

Lawrence, Kan. (Aug. 22, 2017) Jim Pavonetti, CGCS, the golf and grounds superintendent at Fairview Country Club in Greenwich, Conn., has been selected to receive the 2023 Leo Feser Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). Now in its 46th year, the award is presented annually to the author of the best superintendent-written article published in Golf Course Management, the association’s flagship publication, during the previous year

A 28-year member of GCSAA, Pavonetti authored the story “Gold standards” that was published in the November 2022 issue of GCM  https://www.gcmonline.com/profession/operations/news/gold-standards-best-maintenance-practices. The story was originally published in the July 2022 edition of Tee to Green, the chapter publication for the Metropolitan GCSA, and was reprinted with permission in GCM.

Pavonetti’s story examined the practice of establishing formal maintenance standards for golf courses, how he went about doing that at his facility, and the lessons he learned throughout the process. The story also included a checklist of items to include when creating maintenance standards, what to avoid, and how to communicate the standards to members and avid golfers.

“I’m certainly honored to receive this award, but it was completely unexpected,” Pavonetti says. “I wasn’t even thinking about it when I submitted the story.  I wasn’t really sure I was eligible since it had been published in Tee to Green first, but I really thought the topic was one that would interest other superintendents so I wanted it to be seen as broadly as possible. That it won the Feser caught me by surprise, for sure.”

GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans, says, “Jim is a longtime active GCSAA member with an established track record of giving back at both the chapter and national levels, so I’m not surprised he wanted to share his story to help other members. I know his words will be of great help to others in our industry, and I congratulate Jim on being selected as the recipient of the 2023 Leo Feser Award.”

Pavonetti will officially receive the award during the 2024 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show in Phoenix. He will also have his name engraved on a plaque that is permanently displayed at GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kan.

The Leo Feser Award honors the late Leo Feser, a pioneering golf course superintendent and a charter member of GCSAA. Feser is credited with keeping the association’s official publication alive during the Great Depression. For three years, 1933-36, he wrote, edited, assembled and published each issue of The Greenkeepers’ Report — as the association’s magazine was known then — from his home in Wayzata, Minn. The award was first presented in 1956 and has been given annually since 1977. Members of GCSAA’s GCM Editorial Board Task Group select the winner of the award each year.

For a complete list of previous Leo Feser Award winners, go to www.gcsaa.org/about-gcsaa/awards/leo-feser-award.