I recently completed the renewal process and was able to maintain my status as a Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS) with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
I received my initial Certification in 2005. The certification program was established in 1971 to recognize outstanding and progressive Superintendents. In 2005, the program was restructured in order to raise the level of professionalism through comprehensive ongoing education. This "new" program is recognized by the National Certification Commission as "one of the most extensive and comprehensive certification program for any profession'.
The Certification program is a very comprehensive and difficult program. The candidate must have a least three years experience as a golf course superintendent and meet post secondary educational requirements and/or continuing education points. The candidate must then develop a portfolio based on numerous case studies scenarios and submission of work studies. Also , an on-site inspection of the golf facility is conducted by another CGCS Superintendent. Additional a very rigorous six hours examination is given testing all aspects of golf course maintenance including; equipment, irrigation, technology, human resources, rules of golf, financial and administrative systems, regulatory systems, crisis management, project management, ethics and values.
Maintaining this certified status requires renewal every five years. this process involves at least 150 hours of continuing education or retaking the exam. I was very close to the educational requirements but fell short a few hours and in order to maintain this honor I elected to take the new exam. The test was a true test of my knowledge and the full six hours was needed to complete the exam. Was again I am happy to say that I fulfilled my requirements and am one of only 25% class A members that have elected to earn the highest level of recognition in the GCSAA.
Neil Radatz CGCS