Industry News

Barton wins GCSAA Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award

Golf course superintendent honored for advocacy efforts, advancement of association priority issues and congressional outreach

Lawrence, Kan. (Dec. 31, 2019) – Kyle Barton, golf course superintendent at Tam O’Shanter Country Club in West Bloomfield, Mich., has been named a Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award winner from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

Kyle Barton (right), with Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI)

The Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award, presented quarterly in partnership with The Toro Co., recognizes and honors individuals who have demonstrated growth in advocacy and advancement of the GCSAA Priority Issues Agenda through congressional outreach and relationship development with a member of Congress. Through Toro, the winners will receive a trip to take part in the 2020 National Golf Day in Washington, D.C.

“Congratulations to Kyle for being recognized for his hard work and dedication to the golf industry,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “He is a proactive and vocal advocate for golf in Michigan, and he’s also mentoring others to speak up for the industry.”

The GAL Award is part of the GCSAA Grassroots Ambassadors, a program that matches superintendents with members of Congress to build strong relationships between them. More than 380 GCSAA members currently serve as ambassadors.

While becoming an ambassador provided the 12-year GCSAA member the chance to become more involved on the national level, he has also become very active in his local chapter, the Michigan GCSA. He currently serves as chairman of the Michigan GCSA Government Relations Committee and was part of the committee that created the best management practices guide for golf courses in the state.

Barton is paired with Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and has had the opportunity to meet with Jeremy Mahrle, Detroit regional director for the senator. That meeting, along with a subsequent visit from Mahrle at Barton’s course, have given them the opportunity to discuss key issues affecting the golf industry such as labor, environmental conditions and water management. Barton also met with Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) in Washington, D.C., during the 2019 National Golf Day and later hosted Stevens at Tam O’Shanter.

“It feels good to open someone’s eyes to the job we do each and every day to take care of the environment while also providing great course conditions for our members,” Barton said.

Building on his own success as an ambassador, Barton has helped recruit seven other ambassadors and now serves as the Grassroots Ambassador Mentor for Michigan.

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About GCSAA and the EIFG
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 nearly 18,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the 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 Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit EIFG at, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Angela Hartmann
Director, Marketing and Communications
Phone: 800-472-7878, ext. 3647 or 785-393-1361 (cell)