Industry News

Canadian superintendent wins award

Brian Youell wins 2018 Leo Feser Award from GCSAA

Golf course superintendent is honored for his article in GCM magazine

Lawrence, Kan. (Dec. 4, 2018) -- Brian Youell, the golf course superintendent at Uplands Golf Club in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Leo Feser Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). Now in its 41st year, the award is presented annually to the author of the best superintendent-written article published in Golf Course Management, the association’s flagship publication, during the previous year.

Youell, a 21-year member of GCSAA, authored the story "Down, but not out," which was published in the November 2017 issue of GCM ( His story focused on the very personal challenges that he encountered following a serious head injury suffered on the job, the long road to recovery that he endured and how the experience changed him, both personally and professionally. Youell's story was a follow up to a story published in GCM in September 2011 ("Aftermath of an accident).

“I wrote this article to help others," Youell said when asked about his motivation for writing a follow-up story. "I suffered in silence for many years. It wasn’t until I started to speak publicly about overcoming adversity that I realized there were so many others who were going through personal challenges. I wanted to let them know they weren’t alone and to reach out.

“GCSAA President Darren Davis (CGCS) called to inform me that I had won the Leo Feser Award, and it's a call I will never forget. I am honored to receive such a prestigious award, and I will continue to share my story to help others.“

Davis said, “This was a very personal story, but it's one that I'm glad Brian shared with GCM readers and GCSAA members. To learn how he turned an extremely challenging experience into something that now benefits others going through similar recoveries was both inspiring and motivating, and Brian's work is certainly worthy of recognition as our 2018 Leo Feser Award winner."

As part of winning the Leo Feser Award, Youell receives an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2019 Golf Industry Show in San Diego, where he will be recognized during a presentation at the GCM trade show booth (No. 1231) at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6. He will also have his name engraved on a plaque that is permanently displayed at GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kan.

The Leo Feser Award honors the late Leo Feser, a pioneering golf course superintendent and a charter member of GCSAA. Feser is credited with keeping the association’s official publication alive during the Great Depression. For three years, 1933-36, he wrote, edited, assembled and published each issue of The Greenkeepers’ Report — as the association’s magazine was known then — from his home in Wayzata, Minn. The award was first presented in 1956 and has been given annually since 1977. Members of GCSAA’s GCM Editorial Board Task Group select the winner of the award each year.

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
Associate Director, Communications
Phone: 800-472-7878, ext. 3647 or 785-393-1361 (cell)