GCSAA's certification program

A complete guide to the certified golf course superintendent designation



GCSAA offers a professional certification program that enables golf course superintendents to be recognized for their high level of achievement in golf course management. The professional designation, Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS), is bestowed upon those who voluntarily meet the stringent requirements.

The CGCS designation is the most widely recognized in the golf industry and the highest level of recognition that can be achieved. Approximately 25% of GCSAA Class A members are certified golf course superintendents.


What new CGCSs say about the program


"Achieving certification through GCSAA has been a professional and personal goal of mine from the beginning of my career. Becoming a certified golf course superintendent is a great opportunity to pass along the experiences and dedication required to other aspiring CGCSs. Throughout my 16-year career, I have gained knowledge in the golf course construction and maintenance industry. The certification process, specifically the electronic portfolio, strengthened that knowledge. I would have never achieved this status without some very influential mentors during my career. My mentors (Jack Archer, Shannon Easter and Carl Collins) have instilled in me the qualifications to become a successful superintendent. Their knowledge aided me in obtaining certification status, and I want to thank them and GCSAA for this opportunity. I will treasure this accomplishment and represent the association's core values and ethical standards. Thank You GCSAA!"

– Joey G. Franco, CGCS, Brookstone Country Club, Acworth, Ga.


"The valuable knowledge I've gained from the certification program will not only benefit me as a manager, but also the organization I am committed to. I now have more confidence to make sound agronomic decisions, and I understand that I have control to enhance our environment and can improve the enjoyment and growth of the game of golf. In addition to the education I've gained, I am now more familiar with my roles and responsibilities to be a true leader that my team deserves. Thanks GCSAA!"

– Ryan Wulff, CGCS, Sunriver Resort - Woodlands Course, Bend, Ore.


"From the time I began my career, becoming a certified superintendent has been a goal for me. Throughout my career, I have worked for certified superintendents who impressed upon me the value of certification. I have been eligible to work toward my certification for several years, but life and work commitments required my priority and focus. After working through this program over the past year, I can say it reinforces your strengths and abilities, while challenging you to improve in other areas. I hope as a CGCS, I am able to mentor future superintendents and impress upon them the value of the program, while utilizing the valuable tools and knowledge that I have developed through this cap-stone experience."

– Eric H. Frazier, CGCS, Willow Oaks Country Club, Richmond, Va.

David Kuypers

"I believe in having an attitude of continuous improvement both on the golf course and professionally, and I have been fortunate to have had professional mentors and employers who have encouraged and supported this belief. Attaining a Certified Golf Course Superintendent designation from the GCSAA is a result of that support and represents the achievement of a career goal that I set for myself upon graduation from Penn State University. I am proud to be a part of the 2014 class and to be a part of the CGCS community."

– David J. Kuypers, CGCS, Cutten Field, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Rob Steger, CGCS

"Becoming a certified superintendent has always been a dream of mine. I remember counting the years before I would be eligible to start the process when I got my first head superintendent job. Once you become a superintendent, you realize that taking the time to work on certification is sometimes easier said than done. I am here to tell all eligible Class A superintendents that you CAN find the time; and the entire process is a rewarding experience. I feel like I grew more as a superintendent during the last year (while working on my certification designation), than the last three managing our facility.”

– Rob Steger, CGCS, Saginaw Country Club, Saginaw, Mich.


"Starting in college and throughout my career, I have had the good fortune of working with great mentors who have continually challenged me to better myself. So, achieving certification through GCSAA has always been a goal of mine. The process of achieving certification was a great challenge that reinforced and tested all the knowledge and abilities I have gained in my career in all aspects related to golf course management. Thank you GCSAA for the opportunity. I am excited to have achieved certification and look forward to what the future holds."

– Andy Klein, CGCS, Falcon Lakes Golf Club, Basehor, Kan.


"Ever since I decided to pursue a career in turfgrass management, I have always had the goal of becoming a certified golf course superintendent. I have been fortunate to work for several certified superintendents who have exemplified leadership, professionalism and a commitment to success. Some of the greatest lessons involved ethics, values and responsibility – all of which the certification process commands. This program has helped me reinforce certain proficencies while strengthening others. I hope as a CGCS, I can be a mentor to future industry professionals and provide a positive influence on their careers.”

– Peter J. Rappoccio, CGCS, Concord Country Club, Concord, Mass.


"As a young, up-and-coming agronomist with a passion for golf, I wanted to be one of the best; and I knew obtaining certification would naturally be part of the process. I had the good fortune to work under Rick Owens, CGCS, for over two years after graduating with my turf degree. He was, and still is, a great mentor. Although I met the requirements and was eligible to pursue certification in 2005, I didn’t even begin to take it seriously until last year – thanks in large part to my loving wife. The process was not easy, but then nothing worthwhile in life ever is. Along the way I learned a lot, not only about my profession, but more importantly myself. Becoming a certified golf course superintendent is my greatest accomplishment professionally. Thank you GCSAA for providing the opportunity!"

– Matthew Wharton, CGCS, Carolina Golf Club, Charlotte, N.C.