The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America’s most prestigious honor will be presented to the former superintendent and designer of more than 400 courses at the GCSAA Conference in San Diego next February.
Mike Hurdzan will be awarded the 2013 Old Tom Morris Award by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) at the 2013 GCSAA Education Conference in San Diego on February 6, 2013.
The award is GCSAA’s most prestigious honor and is presented to an individual who “through a continuing lifetime commitment to the game of golf has helped to mold the welfare of the game in a manner and style exemplified by Old Tom Morris.” Morris served as the greenkeeper and golf professional at the St. Andrews Links Trust Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland; was a four-time winner of the British Open (1861, ’62, ’64 and ’67); and was ranked as one of the top links designers of the 19th century.
Previous award winners include Arnold Palmer, Bob Hope, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Nancy Lopez, Nick Price and Peter Jacobsen, among others.
Hurdzan, featured in a “Super to Super” interview in the August 2007 issue of Club & Resort Business, began his career in golf as a course superintendent before embarking on a career as a golf course architect that has seen him worked solely or with his partners on more than 400 courses. Hurdzan had partnered for many years with Dana Fry in the Columbus, Ohio-based firm of Hurdzan-Fry Design, but it was recently announced that the partnership would end and Hurdzan would be joined by his son Christopher in a new firm, Hurdzan & Son, also based in Columbus.
Hurdzan’s designs include Devil’s Paintbrush in Ontario, Canada and Erin Hills Golf Course in Hartford, Wis., a links-style course that will host the 2017 U.S. Open. He has also authored books and publications, served on multiple committees, delivered dozens of presentations and assembled one of the top collections of golf memorabilia and artifacts.
“Mike is most deserving of this honor,” said GCSAA President Sandy Queen, CGCS. “His contributions to the game have had a significant and lasting impact. He has given so much of his time for the benefit of the greater good. He is indeed a true gentleman.”
Hurdzan, winner of the Donald Ross Award from the American Society of Golf Course Architects in 2007, was exposed to golf at a young age and learned the game at Beacon Light Golf Course in Columbus, Ohio from his father, a golf professional.
“I think I spent almost every day of my life between 1952 and 1966 at Beacon Light,” Hurdzan said. “I loved being on the golf course, and that is why this award means so much to me. It is given by an organization for which I have the ultimate respect and by a group of individuals I consider to be my peers. I am extremely honored.”
Hurdzan has degrees from Ohio State University and the University of Vermont and is also a graduate of the National Golf Foundation’s Golf Course Management School. He is a retired colonel from the U.S. Army Reserves–Special Forces Branch.
“No one is going to outwork Mike,” said Ron Whitten, senior architecture editor for Golf Digest and a collaborating architect on Erin Hills Golf Course. “His thirst for knowledge is incredible. And that leads to him being attentive to every detail. His name may not be as big with golfers or the media, but believe me, the industry knows just how good he is.”