Editorial Guidelines

Most of GCM’s articles deal with problems faced by superintendents or describe techniques that allow superintendents to do their jobs better. The magazine particularly welcomes contributions from superintendents. 

Send a one-page synopsis of the article (or proposed article) to:
Scott Hollister, GCM Editor-in-Chief
1421 Research Park Drive
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-832-4456
Fax: 785-832-3665

If you are a superintendent, a one-page synopsis is not necessary. Please contact:
Abby Olcese, GCMOnline.com Editor
1421 Research Park Drive
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-832-4435
Fax: 785-832-3665

 The article synopsis should:

  • Detail the author’s qualifications for writing the article. (Is the author a superintendent who has faced the problem, or an industry-related participant who has specialized knowledge?)
  • Describe in detail the problem addressed by the article and the author’s solution or technique.
  • Describe available artwork that could illustrate the article. GCM is a color magazine — good color illustrations, photos, graphs, etc., are a plus when the editors consider an article for publication. 
  • Let the editors know whether the article has already been prepared, or whether it is yet to be written. If the article is not completed, include an estimate of the completion date. 
  • Upon receipt, GCM editors will review the synopsis to determine whether the suggested topic and treatment are appropriate. Editorial submissions on individual golf course operations, outstanding superintendents, special on-course projects, reconstruction, renovation or on-course applications of technology are always welcome for review. The greater the emphasis on the management role of the superintendent and the more effective the presentation of that role, the greater the likelihood of acceptance for publication. Notification of acceptance or rejection will occur as soon as possible. 

General submission guidelines

Language: GCM generally employs a blend of Associated Press and magazine style for published feature articles. Even the most technically intricate articles can often be written in simple, conversational style. Use short, precise words. Convey one thought per sentence. Construct brief paragraphs.

Editing: GCM will edit all published articles, and the editing staff can be ruthless. There is generally no author review after the editing process.

Industry submissions: GCM welcomes story submissions from companies within the golf course maintenance industry or public relations firms representing these companies. However, these stories should not be commercial in nature, should not be product-specific, and are subject to extremely strict editing by GCM staff members. Ideally, industry submissions will trade on the expertise of the submitting company in the discussion of a topic of general interest to golf course superintendents, or focus on how a GCSAA member superintendent solved a problem or improved the management of the golf course.

Illustrations: GCM is a full-color magazine. An article’s chance of publication is greatly enhanced if photographs or other illustrative material accompany the article.

Payment: GCM pays on receipt of accepted articles and a signed author’s agreement. 

Length requirements: In general, feature articles should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words, although there is flexibility in those requirements. Please consult with a GCM editor to discuss story length in more depth.

Preferred electronic software: Current or recent versions of Microsoft Word for Windows are preferred. Contact the editors if an alternative submission method is planned.

Preferred mode for submission: Please email your article to the appropriate editor. If you do not have email access, please contact the editor about an alternative submission format.

Competition: GCM will not publish articles if they have previously appeared in another competing national publication. Also, after an article has been accepted for publication in GCM, we ask that it not be submitted to other national golf/turf industry publications or other publications. An article may be reprinted in a GCSAA-affiliated chapter publication, with permission. However, we request that the article appear in GCM first.

Leo Feser Award: All superintendent-written articles are eligible for the Leo Feser Award, presented first in 1956 and then annually since 1977 to the author of the best superintendent-written article published in Golf Course Management magazine during the previous year. Winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Golf Industry Show, where they are recognized, and they have their name engraved on a plaque permanently displayed at GCSAA headquarters.

Photo guidelines

Photographs and illustrations are vitally important to stories published in GCM, and authors are strongly encouraged to include an appropriate amount of these elements with their story submissions. GCM strongly prefers digital images, although other formats are acceptable with approval of GCM editors. Submitted digital photos should be high-resolution (at least 300 dpi) JPG, TIFF or EPS files and their physical size should be at least 4 inches wide. Digital photos may be submitted on by email or other online transfer systems (Dropbox, Google Drive, Hightail, etc.). Original low-resolution digital photos that have been altered into high-resolution files in Photoshop or other photo editing programs are discouraged. Any physical photos submitted will be returned to authors following publication.

Standard operating procedure for photographs: Photographs are a key element in complementing articles and in illustrating advertisements in Golf Course Management. It is the intention of both to show the physical appearance of superintendents in the most professional light possible. The GCSAA Board of Directors has approved the following publication dress standards.

  • Superintendents will not be depicted in blue jeans.
  • Superintendents will not be depicted in shorts.
  • Superintendents will not be depicted in T-shirts or sweatshirts.
  • Hats are allowed, but discouraged. Superintendents will not be depicted in hats bearing seed, chemical, grounds equipment or other commercial logos. Hats bearing employer/facility, GCSAA or chapter logos are acceptable.
  • Superintendents, including those with facial hair, must appear well-groomed.
  • Sunglasses, when feasible, should be removed.

Research editorial guidelines

Share your research with the people who need it: golf course superintendents.

Golf Course Management has a circulation of 40,000 and reaches nearly every golf course in the United States. Readership surveys indicate that GCM is the No. 1 periodical in its field, and that its research section is one of the most-read parts of the magazine.

Already published in a scholarly journal?

GCM often publishes papers that have previously appeared in scholarly journals. Most golf course superintendents do not subscribe to those journals, which may print only one or two articles relevant to their work. Because GCM is an association magazine, its articles are edited to appeal to a broader audience.

Submitting a paper to GCM:

Content: GCM publishes the results of original research that is of interest to superintendents or helps them perform their professional duties. Following American Society of Agronomy guidelines, GCM requires two years or two distinct locations for field studies.

Manuscript format: Papers should be about 2,000 words. A longer article or a series of articles may be published on a topic that requires more coverage. Submit manuscripts in electronic format, preferably as email attachments. Each part of the manuscript — the text and each graph, photo or illustration — should be sent as a separate electronic file. If you submit a hard copy of your manuscript, you must also submit an electronic copy. A current or recent version of Microsoft Word is the preferred word-processing program.

Technical jargon: Explain complicated, technical concepts and avoid jargon. Superintendents are busy professionals who appreciate a readable writing style.

References: Each article in the research section includes a numbered list of references or literature cited.

Acknowledgments: GCM requests that authors acknowledge all sources of funding for the research described in the article.

Graphs and tables: If you cannot provide tables as Word files, indicate which application has been used. Because GCM’s designer will redraw all graphs, please provide data points for each graph. Microsoft Excel is the preferred format, but tables of data points are acceptable.

Photos and illustrations: Authors are encouraged to include photographs or illustrations that enhance the article. Digital photographs must be high-resolution (at 300 dpi), and JPG, TIFF or EPS files are preferred. Any physical photos submitted will be returned to the authors following publication.

Review and editing: GCM’s science editor reviews all research articles submitted to GCM. After a paper has been accepted, it is tentatively scheduled for publication. GCM’s science editor edits papers and returns them by email to the corresponding author for review eight to 10 weeks before the date of publication. The author answers the editor’s queries, makes changes and corrections and returns the manuscript by email. After receiving the corrections, the editor may continue to correspond with the author about the manuscript, but authors do not review proofs.

The publication agreement: Authors are required to sign a nonexclusive contract allowing GCM to publish the article in the magazine and on the GCSAA website. Payment is made for each article published in the research section of GCM.