Industry News

GCSAA launches Women's Leadership Academy to break barriers, build networks for women in the turfgrass industry

Inaugural event will be held Nov. 7-9 in Lawrence, Kan.

Lawrence, Kan. (July 11, 2023) – The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) announced today the debut of the Women’s Leadership Academy Nov. 7-9 in Lawrence, Kan., home of GCSAA headquarters. 

The event is focused on providing women in the turfgrass industry with education, mentoring and networking enabling participants to unleash their potential, empower their future and become inspirational leaders on scales both small and large. Participants will be guided along a path of discovery aimed at breaking down barriers and enhancing inner skills to maximize their impact as leaders.

Epic Creative was able to get a behind-the-scenes view at The Olympic Club, in San Fransisco, as they prepared for the 2021 US Women's Open.

The Women’s Leadership Academy will be headlined by Suzy Whaley, PGA Master Professional and first woman to serve as president of the PGA of America. Whaley, who has a unique understanding of the work of turfgrass professionals, having worked side by side with many GCSAA members, will speak to her experience in the golf industry and relate it to turfgrass professionals during a fireside chat at the opening evening reception where participants will be able to ask questions in a conversational format. 

The 2 ½ day event is open to all women in the turfgrass industry, not just members of GCSAA. In addition, participants will bring a wide range of experience from those early in their career to those who are seasoned veterans. The diversity within the group will help grow the network of women, not only in golf, but within the entire turfgrass industry. 

“The Women’s Leadership Academy evolved from feedback from the 2022 GCSAA Women’s Task Group,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “This event gives us the opportunity to inspire a small, yet growing, and passionate group in our industry to become impactful leaders. Their leadership will not only help those already in the turfgrass industry but attract more women to work in turf-related fields.”

Education at the event will be divided into four segments: self-discovery, understanding others, communicating effectively and being an inspiration. In addition to educational sessions, the Women’s Leadership Academy will include networking opportunities and discussions on wellness, talent optimization, human resources and more.

The Women’s Leadership Academy top-level benefactors include The Toro Co., Nufarm and Yamaha, who are designated as event Trailblazers. Club Car is a Pathfinder benefactor, and Target Specialty Products is a Flag Bearer benefactor. Because of these benefactors the event is free to all those selected to attend. In addition, Trailblazer and Pathfinder benefactors have the opportunity to include women from their own organizations to participate in the event, in turn growing leadership opportunities within their own ranks. Additional benefactors are welcome to support this endeavor by contacting Matt Brown at

 Applications to attend are now available at and must be submitted by Aug. 7. 


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

Angela Hartmann
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Mike Strauss
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Phone: 800-472-7878, ext. 5164