As a healthy outdoor activity that can adhere to social distancing requirements, golf has seen a worldwide resurgence in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. On 23 September 2020, the New Zealand Golf Course Superintendents Association (NZGCSA) in conjunction with other global superintendent and turf management organisations, is recognising those who help keep the game enjoyable with the first international “Thank a Superintendent Day” encouraging all those who love golf to thank their course’s turf management professionals. 

In addition to the NZGCSA, other groups taking part in the global event include the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), Australian Sports Turf Managers Association (ASTMA), the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA), The Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Associations (FEGGA) and many others. All together the groups represent more than 31,000 golf course management professionals in 78 countries around the world.

The celebration on 23 September will include a “Thank You” video that will appear on the Golf Channel and other media outlets, and social media messages touting the many ways that superintendents and their teams make the game more enjoyable, diverse and sustainable. Clubs, members and others are encouraged to join in the conversation on social media using the hashtags “#ThankASuper” or “#ThankAGreenkeeper” depending on their country’s nomenclature.

“Course management teams work hard each and every day to prepare and manage the outstanding playing conditions that New Zealand courses are renowned for,” says Dean Murphy from NZ Golf. “Faced with a range of challenges due to the pandemic, these New Zealand greenkeepers have played a key role in making sure golf courses were maintained safely, following regulations and restrictions during Level 4 lockdown to allow golfers back out on the course as soon as they could do so” says Dean.

As courses reopened after the four-week COVID-19 lockdown, the demand for golf was clear. In New Zealand, early indications are that rounds in June and July were up as much as 30 per cent over the same time period last year and around 30 per cent up in Australia. In the United Kingdom July rounds were up 40 per cent over last year.

In addition to dealing with new regulations, course management teams continually strive to keep playing surfaces healthy and beautiful with environmental stewardship as a primary focus. Thanks to the efforts of many superintendents and the golf industry, courses are using less water, engaging in incredible biodiversity activities, employing sustainable management practices and developing green corridors allowing natural wildlife habitats to be incorporated into the environment of courses.

“Golf has been a refuge for many during the past few months, so we are taking a day to recognise the hard-working teams, the men and women who work behind the scenes to make the golf course an ideal opportunity for healthy activity right now,” says Murphy. “We are proud to join with our fellow associations around the world by encouraging those who love golf and appreciate the work superintendents and greenkeepers do to send a message, to reach out on social media and #ThankASuper.”

To learn more about the NZGCSA and the role sports turf managers play in the enjoyment and sustainability of the game, visit



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