GCSAA recognise leaders in environmental stewardship


The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) has announced the winners of its Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards (ELGA) 2023.

Landon Lindsay, Matthew Gourlay, Jim Pavonetti and H. Mitchell Wilkerson have been recognised for outstanding contributions to sustainability and commitment to best management practices in environmental stewardship.

“The ELGA awards are a way to recognise those golf course superintendents who exemplify a tremendous commitment to environmental stewardship, while still providing quality playing conditions,” said Rhett Evans, CEO of GCSAA. 

“We are always thrilled to acknowledge those who are standouts in keeping the game of golf sustainable. Congratulations to all the recipients.”

The annual awards, presented by the GCSAA and Golf Digest in partnership with Syngenta, were founded in 1993 and modified in 2018 to recognise specific achievements and areas of focus including communications, land stewardship and conservation.

Eight runners-up also received recognition for their environmental efforts.

This year’s winners and runners-up are:

H. Mitchell Wilkerson, CGCS

Communications and Outreach Award

Recognises effective communication of conservation strategies with facility employees, golfers and other members of the community.

Winner: H. Mitchell Wilkerson (CGCS), Moss Creek Owner’s Association, Hilton Head, South Carolina.

First Runner-up: Wayne Mills, La Cumbre Country Club, Santa Barbara, California.

Second Runner-up: Coman Mulry, MG, Al Zorah Golf Club, United Arab Emirates.

Matthew Gourlay, CGCS, MG

Healthy Land Stewardship Award

Recognizes effective strategies for efficient use of pesticides and nutrients, as well as pollution prevention.

Winner:  Matthew Gourlay, (CGCS, MG) Colbert Hills Golf Course, Manhattan, Kansas.

First Runner-up: Kevin Goss, Sugar Creek Golf Course, Villa Park, Illinois.

Second Runner-up: Harlyn Goldman, (CGCS) Needwood Golf Course, Derwood, Maryland.

Jim Pavonetti, CGCS

Innovative Conservation Award

Recognizes unique and innovative strategies for conservation.

Winner: Jim Pavonetti (CGCS), Fairview Country Club, Greenwich, Connecticut.

First Runner-up: Carl Thompson, (CGCS) Columbia Point Golf Course, Richland, Washington.

Second Runner-up: Jay Wade, (CGCS) Magnolia Green Golf Club, Moseley, Virginia.

Landon Lindsay, The Nelson Golf and Sports Club Irving, Texas

Natural Resource Conservation

Recognizes effective strategies for water conservation, energy conservation and sound wildlife management.

Winner: Landon Lindsay, The Nelson Golf and Sports Club, Irving, Texas.

First Runner-up: Charles (Roby) Robertson IV (CGCS), TPC San Antonio, Texas.

Second Runner-up: Justin Brimley, Crystal Springs Golf Course, Burlingame, California.

“Golf course superintendents are nature sensitive,” Wilkerson said. 

“That is our bread and butter. I don’t think there is a golf course superintendent who is not concerned about nature.”

For in-depth case studies of each ELGA winner, read the full GCSAA news release here.

The four winners will be formally recognized during the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show, January 29 to February 1 2024, in Phoenix, Arizona.

A list of previous ELGA Award winners is available here.