Industry News

Totten wins GCSAA’s Budding Award

Totten’s long career has focused on service to his profession, mentoring others.

Lawrence, Kan. (Dec. 5, 2017) – Charles “Chuck” Totten, the equipment manager at Westmoreland Country Club in Wilmette, Ill., is the winner of the 2017 Edwin Budding Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

The Edwin Budding Award, named for the inventor of the lawn mower and presented in partnership with Jacobsen, is given annually to an equipment manager or related innovator, technician, educator or engineer who has made a significant impact in the golf and turf business.

Totten has more than 30 years in the industry, and his dedication to his career has often been expressed through his service to his fellow equipment managers. He is a past president and current board member of the Turf Equipment Technicians Association, which is headquartered in his native Illinois. He has also been a mentor for dozens of golf course equipment technicians and equipment managers in the Chicago area. 

“There is more to this professional than just moving wrenches,” said Totten, whose career has spanned public, private and high-end golf facilities. “I try to teach the younger ones all the things I’ve been through, and to give them a better understanding of everything that goes on in the industry.”

“Chuck has not only been a huge proponent of education for equipment managers, but he’s actively helping the next generation of equipment managers forward their careers,” said Bill H. Maynard, GCSAA president and the certified golf course superintendent at the Country Club of St. Albans in St. Albans, Mo. “His efforts have made a great impact on the industry, and he is most deserving of the recognition of the Budding Award.”

Totten had originally had planned on a career in the agriculture industry while a student at Kankakee (Ill.) Community College. However, it was working in San Antonio building houses in the early 1980s that led him to golf. When the oil market crashed and halted the Texas housing boom, his next job offer was on Texas golf course. He loved the game and kept advancing in the golf industry, eventually returning to his home state. Three decades later, Totten remains passionate about his work, and even in winning the Budding Award, his thoughts are still on his peers. 

“I couldn’t believe I won,” said Totten. “I know so many technicians all over the United States who are highly qualified. Any one of them would deserve this honor, so I am pretty proud of it.”

Todd Fyffe, a 13-year GCSAA member, began working with Totten as the assistant superintendent at Westmoreland, but their working relationship expanded when Fyffe was promoted to superintendent in 2012.

“Everyone at Westmoreland has a great deal of respect for Chuck,” Fyffe said. “He brings this old school experience, but he’s always open to trying something new and he always delivers.”

Totten will formally receive the award at the 2018 Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, where he will be recognized at the Opening Night Celebration on Feb. 6, along with other GCSAA national award winners.

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
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
Phone: 800-472-7878, ext. 3647 or 785-393-1361 (cell)