Industry News

Brandon Razo tabbed as GCSAA Emerging Leader Award recipient

The eight-year GCSAA member is highly involved with GCSAA task groups

Lawrence, Kan. (January 17, 2023) – Brandon Razo, the golf course superintendent at Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Ill., is the winner  of the 2023 Emerging Leader Award by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. Razo will be honored Feb. 9 during the Send-off Celebration of  the 2023 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show in Orlando

The Emerging Leader Award, which is presented in partnership with John Deere, recognizes an individual who serves the industry as a member of GCSAA within the following membership categories: superintendent with less than five years’ experience, student, associate, or assistant, who displays continuous growth in service and leadership. A nominee must be a member in good standing, engaged in their local chapter and/or at the national level, or at the community level, as an advocate for the profession.

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Razo, an eight-year GCSAA member, started at Panther Creek this week after serving as superintendent at Cross Creek Golf Club in his hometown of Decatur, Ind., since 2018. He graduated from Penn State University with an associate’s degree in turfgrass science and management.

“I am very excited and grateful to receive this award,” Razo said. “It is great to be recognized. I want to thank the GCSAA board members who have helped me become more involved with helping others and to lead out.”

Razo is currently the president of the Hoosier Golf Course Superintendents Association. He has been involved in several GCSAA programs, including serving as a Grassroots Ambassador and as a chapter delegate. His GCSAA committee involvement includes the Environmental Awards and Education Task Group, Technology Task Group, Scholarship Task Group and Chapter Outreach Task Group.

“Brandon is a great example of how getting involved in the industry and community, developing as a leader, and serving others can benefit, not only the person doing so, but the entire industry,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “This type of involvement makes Brandon a very deserving recipient of this recognition.”

Razo said he has always been a person who likes to give back. He has been very active in the community helping coach high school wrestling and softball programs and is the Girls Wrestling State Rankings Coordinator. He also raises money for children’s hospitals and spends times mentoring high school students.

“I have always been involved in sports and appreciate what coaches did and how that benefited me my whole life,” he said. “I love coaching and doing anything I can for kids.” 

Razo and his wife Miranda have three daughters. 


The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to more than 19,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and improve communities through enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at or find us on Facebook or Twitter. Visit our industry-leading magazine at

The GCSAA Foundation is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to secure funding and support to strengthen advocacy, education, and research that advances the work of golf course management professionals. Visit the Foundation at

Mike Strauss
Manager, Media Relations
Phone: 800-472-7878, ext. 5164