GCSAA earns 26 awards in national communications contest

GCM, GCSAA’s creative services team and GCSAA TV honored in 2023 Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association awards program


Golf Course Management (GCM) magazine, the official publication of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), the association’s creative services team and GCSAA TV combined to win a total of 26 awards — including 10 first-place awards and a best-in-show Gardner Award — in the 2023 Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) Communications Contest. The awards were for work produced in 2022 and presented during the organization's annual meeting in Portland, Maine, in April.

GCM took home two first-place awards for writing, two for photography and one for design. Senior managing editor Andrew Hartsock won a first-place award in the general feature writing category for “Second chances,” a story on a Florida program that teaches former prisoners job skills through work on the golf course that was published in February of last year. Associate editor Howard Richman won the top prize in the headline writing category for “The reel deal,” the headline for the story on Old Tom Morris Award winner Johnny Morris that appeared in December.

In the photography division, first-place awards went to Roger Billings, senior manager, creative services, in the single photo, stock art category for ““Trouble in paradise,” which was featured on the cover of the July issue of the magazine, and freelance photographer John Shearer in the print magazine cover category for his photo of Old Tom Morris Award winner Vince Gill that appeared in January. And in the design division, Billings took first place in the single-page design category for “Course correction,” which was the 411 infographic that published in the April edition.

Two other GCSAA properties took home top honors in their respective categories. In the new media division, the GCSAA Podcast and its host, Scott Hollister, GCSAA’s director, publications, were named best podcast for an episode titled “All about the weather with Herb Stevens and Garrett Bastardi,” which was released in September. And the annual Dog Days of Golf Calendar, produced in partnership with LebanonTurf, won first place in miscellaneous special publishing/print projects category in the special projects division.

Merit awards went to:

  • Hollister in the column writing category for “The best laid plans” from May GCM; in operations profiles for “Return engagement,” also published last May; and in podcasts for the GCSAA Podcast episode “From Holey Moley to diversity in golf: A Conversation with Craig Kirby,” which debuted last May.
  • Hartsock in the turf writing category for “Myriad forces driving fertilizer volatility,” which was published last July; in operations profiles or “History in the making,” published last June; in general feature writing for “Golf course warriors,” published last April; and in writing for websites for “Maintenance crew rescues pup-filled plane,” which appeared on GCMOnline.com on Nov. 17.
  • Billings in single-page design for “Labor costs on the rise,” which was the 411 infographic in the March issue.
  • GCMOnline editor Abby Olcese in websites for the magazine’s website, GCMOnline.com.
  • The GCM staff in best coverage of an off-site event for “Face time,” the magazine’s reporting on the 2022 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show in San Diego.
  • Freelance writer John Fech, Ph.D., in ornamental features for “Maximize to minimize” published last February.
  • GCSAA TV, which is produced by EPIC Creative, had three videos earn first-place recognition among their seven total awards. One of those, featuring tournament coverage from the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., was also selected as a winner of a Gardner Award.

TOCA is an organization composed of editors, writers, publishers, photographers, public relations/advertising practitioners, industry association leaders, manufacturers and others involved in green industry communications.