Kyle Marshall, director of golf courses and grounds at Capital City Club in Atlanta, Ga., has been named a Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award winner by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
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 receive a trip to take part in the annual National Golf Day event in Washington, D.C. (when held in person).
“Kyle’s passion for advocating on behalf of the industry and sharing with Congress how superintendents are committed to sustainable environmental stewardship is commendable,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “His focus on communicating the facts of the environmentally and scientifically sound practices exercised by golf course superintendents and their staffs is key to the industry’s longevity. Congratulations to Kyle for this well-deserved recognition.”
The GAL Award is part of the Grassroots Ambassador program, which matches superintendents with members of Congress to build strong relationships between them. More than 470 GCSAA members currently serve as ambassadors.
A 34-year member of GCSAA, Marshall joined the Grassroots Ambassador program in 2016 with a simple motive: to help the industry as much as possible. Recognizing that superintendents often face uphill battles with members of the public and policymakers, who have been misinformed about superintendents’ work, is another motivating force for Marshall.
“While I won’t claim that golf course superintendents are perfect, I do believe we do a good job as environmental stewards, and becoming a Grassroots Ambassador seemed like an opportunity to help spread that message,” Marshall said.
Upon joining the program, Marshall was paired with Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA-11), and he has kept in regular contact with Loudermilk’s office over the years, most frequently corresponding with Field Director Claire Bartlett. Given the rural areas included in GA-11, Loudermilk’s office has been especially concerned with agriculture and horticulture.
“I had the opportunity to connect with Congressman Loudermilk in December of 2018, when he was gracious enough to join the Georgia GCSA Annual Meeting and share his insights on golf, the environment, and the state of politics,” Marshall said. “By coming to our meeting, Congressman Loudermilk was able to witness first-hand Georgia golf course superintendents’ commitment to sustainable environmental stewardship.”
Though Marshall’s regular correspondence with Bartlett, topics such as labor issues, water quality and Best Management Practices, and golf’s impact on the Georgia economy, have been discussed in detail, and he’s been able to provide Loudermilk’s office with accurate information surrounding the industry and the legislative policies that affect superintendents.