STGCSA scholarship fund honors Marian Takushi

Scholarship allows superintendents, assistants and mechanics to attend the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show.


Editor’s note: Chapter Spotlight is a bimonthly GCM feature designed to highlight notable achievements and impactful initiatives among GCSAA’s 95 affiliated chapters. To submit ideas for this feature, contact Andrew Hartsock at

Just ask Kyle Brown about Marian Takushi, then prepare yourself for an onslaught of positivity.

“Good person. Quick wit. Can be fun to be around. She’d tell you what she thought, which we appreciated,” Brown says. “She cared about members and was good at knowing what needed to happen.” Quite the happening emerged in honor of Takushi. Sadly, she did not live to see it. Takushi, the longtime executive director of the South Texas GCSA, passed away in 2018. But her legacy lives on. The STGCSA Marian Takushi Memorial Golf Industry Show Scholarship was launched in 2019.

It is awarded each year for two deserving superintendents, assistants or mechanics to attend GCSAA’s Conference and Trade Show. The scholarship is intended to assist STGCSA members whose clubs do not normally pay for them to attend the conference and trade show. Applicant requirements include being in good standing for two consecutive years in the STGCSA and having attended a minimum of four meetings over a one-year span. Those selected are asked to write a short article for the chapter’s Tee to Green newsletter, recapping their experience and how they benefited from attending the show, which this year was in Phoenix.

Recipients of the most recent scholarship were Brown, a GCSAA Class A superintendent and 23-year association member who oversees the Palmer Course at The Woodlands Country Club in The Woodlands, Texas; and Brad Seiler, director of agronomy at Shadow Hawk Golf Club and Black Hawk Country Club in Richmond, Texas.

Marian Takushi

“For me, it was not in my budget. To go and take part in education, a seminar such as one on the business side of it, getting tips on budgeting, and things like team-building … it was great,” says Brown, a past president of STGCSA. “This (scholarship) is the way we intended it to be, for someone to be able to get there. I think she (Takushi) would love we’re doing this.”

Seiler, meanwhile, simply is enamored with the conference and trade show. The scholarship provided him the opportunity, which to him means everything. “It’s always been a special event to me. When I was green and young and went the first time, it opened up my entire world and blew me away,” says Seiler, a GCSAA Class A superintendent and 25-year association member who did his best to maximize his time in Phoenix, including absorbing education about nematode control, an ongoing issue that he continues to try to get dialed in on his courses.

His thirst for education is exactly what Takushi wanted for those in her chapter, says Brandon Cole. A regional sales manager for Salsco, Cole knew Takushi for years. “She was heavily involved in our association. She wasn’t there just for the job. She was a trailblazer,” Cole says. “She went above and beyond for the association.”

Wife of Jerry Takushi, a superintendent at locations such as Houston Country Club who passed away in 2019, Marian Takushi’s drive included increasing funds for member scholarships and to help fund outsiders to come to speak at chapter meetings and events. Cole says, “She wanted to be more about education. She worked pretty hard to get good speakers to come to meetings, even if they had to travel and fly in. In honor of her passing, we wanted to have a scholarship in her honor, wanted people to go to the conference and trade show who have never been. That’s what this scholarship was designed to do.”

Pretty much everything Takushi sought to accomplish had a plan — and it elevated the STGCSA to new heights, according to John Walker, GCSAA South Central field staff representative. “The chapter ran smooth under her. She was time conscious, wanted things done on time. The chapter became an organized group of leaders,” Walker says, “and she was adamant on finding ways to get them (members) there to the conference and trade show.”

If anyone understands what made Takushi tick, her son provides some insight. He is well versed in the education component of what she represented. “She was an elementary school teacher before (entering the golf industry). It (education and school) was always a priority in our household,” says Blake Takushi, owner and creative director of Idea Peddler, an advertising and media agency based in Austin, Texas. “I believe she’d be super proud (of a scholarship in her name). And I think it’s incredible.”

Howard Richman is GCM's associate editor