GCSAA Code of Ethics

GCSAA Code of Ethics

The revised Code of Ethics of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America was adopted by the Board of Directors at its fall meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, held November 1-2, 1996. GCSAA’s Bylaws, Article III, Sections 2 and 3, authorize the Board of Directors to enforce this Code by procedures established through standing rules for the conduct of such proceedings.

This Code is established to promote and maintain the highest professional standards of service and conduct among the membership of GCSAA. Steadfastly maintaining these principles will accrue to the Membership a level of justly deserved recognition and respect from those who come into contact with any member. Through high regard for and strong enforcement of the Code, membership in this Association will be deemed a significant indicator of individual responsibility, character and professionalism.

Professional Conduct Guidelines

The following professional conduct guidelines are provided to encourage the highest standards of conduct among the membership of GCSAA. These guidelines are a companion document to the GCSAA Code of Ethics. While the professional conduct guidelines may not be enforced with membership sanctions, these guidelines should nonetheless be promoted, practiced and encouraged by GCSAA members. Non-compliance of these guidelines should be noted, publicized and self-policed by fellow GCSAA members, officials and affiliated chapters to discourage future instances of such noncompliance. In assessing one's actions, all superintendents should ask the question, "Would my actions meet with the approval of other superintendents?"

  1. A member should always contact a fellow superintendent prior to visiting his/her course, regardless of the reason for the visit.

  2. Applications for employment should only be sent to an employer if the applicant has contacted the current superintendent to determine whether the position is available, or if the applicant is responding to an Employment Referral Service announcement
  3. A member should only accept an interview for a job currently held by a fellow superintendent if the applicant has contacted the current superintendent to verify the position is open, or if the applicant has learned about the opening in an Employment Referral Service announcement.
  4. Members should always adhere to the complimentary golf policies of other golf courses and always give as much advance notice as possible when seeking playing privileges at a fellow superintendent's golf facility.
  5. Members should only accept a consulting assignment at a golf facility if the current superintendent at that facility is aware of such impending consulting activity.
  6. Consulting recommendations for a facility should be made in the presence of the current superintendent or written recommendations should be carbon copied to the current superintendent.
  7. Members should always conduct themselves in the highest professional manner at all golf-related events and other public events where the member is representing the golf course superintendent profession.
  8. A member should not render negative opinions or comments about fellow members.
  9. Members are encouraged to remind fellow superintendents about these courtesies through phone calls, electronic messages and letters. Peer reinforcement of these standards is encouraged.

Application for Membership

Each applicant for membership shall present an application form, as provided by the Board of Directors, to the Board of Directors for an action and classification. Membership applications must be approved and classified by the Board of Directors at a regular or special meeting of the Board of Directors. Each applicant who is a Class A or Superintendent Member must be a member of GCSAA.

Class AA - Life Members: To qualify for Life Membership, one must have retired as a golf course superintendent or assistant golf course superintendent and have been a golf course superintendent or assistant golf course superintendent member of GCSAA for 25 years of which a minimum of 20 years has been as a golf course superintendent. A life Member shall have all the rights and privileges of the Association except that of holding office. Class AA-Life Members will pay no membership dues.

Class A - Golf Course Superintendent: To qualify for Class A membership, an applicant shall have, at the time of application for membership, at least three (3) years' experience as a golf course superintendent, be employed in such capacity and comply with all additional qualifications adopted by the membership. Class A Members shall have all the privileges of the Association, subject to the provisions of Article VI, Section 1 hereof.

Superintendent Member: To qualify for Superintendent Member membership, an applicant shall, at the time of application, be employed as a golf course superintendent and does not meet the additional qualifications for Class A membership. Superintendent Members shall have all the privileges of the Association, except that of holding office.

Class C - Assistant Golf Course Superintendent: To qualify for Class C Membership, an applicant shall be, at the time of application for membership, an assistant to a golf course superintendent, and shall be presently employed in such capacity. Class C Members shall have all the privileges of the Association, except those of voting and holding office.

Class E - Educators: To qualify for Class E Membership, an applicant must be an educator or extension officer. Class E Members shall have such privileges of the Association as the Board of Directors may specify by Standing Rules, except those of voting and holding office.

Associate: To qualify for Associate Membership, an applicant must be employed at a golf course and does not qualify for membership under the Class A, Superintendent Member or Class C Bylaws definition. Associate Members shall have such privileges of the Association as the Board of Directors may specify by Standing Rules, except those of voting and holding office.

Affiliate: To qualify for Affiliate Membership, an applicant must be an individual, business firm or governmental body interested in golf course management and/or in the growing or production of fine turfgrass, either individually or through employment by, or other affiliation with, a company, proprietorship or association, and who does not qualify for membership in another class. Affiliate Members shall have such privileges of the Association as the Board of Directors may specify by Standing Rules, except those of voting and holding office.

Honorary: To qualify for Honorary Membership, the individual must be recognized by the Board of Directors for contributing in an outstanding manner to this Association or profession or related field. This membership shall continue in effect unless otherwise revoked by the Board of Directors. Honorary Members shall not be required to pay dues or assessments of the Association and shall have such privileges of the Association as the Board of Directors may specify by Standing Rules, except those of voting and holding office.

Student: To qualify for Student Membership, an applicant must be a full-time turfgrass student enrolled in a formal course of education, or have completed his or her formal education less than one (1) year prior to the date of application for membership. Student Members shall have such privileges of the Association as the Board of Directors may specify by Standing Rules, except those of voting and holding office.

Retired: To qualify for Retired Membership, one must be retired and no longer seeking employment within the scope of activities of any membership class of the Association. An applicant may apply to the Board of Directors in writing for Retired Membership, the annual dues for which shall be set by the Board of Directors but shall not exceed half the amount paid for the classification in which the member retires. There are two options for retirement: (1) Any member reaching age fifty-five (55), may retire and shall have all the privileges of the Association afforded the member in his or her immediate previous classification, with the exception of holding office; or (2) Any member having completed a minimum of twenty (20) years of service in any membership classification may retire in that classification and shall have all of the privileges of the Association afforded that classification, with the exception of holding office.

Inactive: An Inactive Member is an individual who, by reason of unemployment, illness or other adverse circumstances, has been placed in this class upon his or her application. The Board of Directors shall have the authority to act on such application and to place a member on Inactive status subject to terms and conditions as the Board of Directors may specify by Standing Rules.

REVISED 6/1/05


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The Alabama Golf Course Superintendents Association is dedicated to expanding networking and educational opportunities to enhance programs and value to our members. 

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