An Ongoing Series on Toro’s Support and Involvement in the Golf Industry

If you’re a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), you have probably benefited from some of the resources and opportunities it provides. But you may not know that it takes a substantial outside investment beyond your dues to make those opportunities possible.

Industry partners, including The Toro Company, help fund GCSAA education programs, scholarships, leadership opportunities and networking events. Industry support also helps the GCSAA provide resources such as mentor programs and business institutes where superintendents can learn about everything from management and budgeting to how to effectively recruit and train employees.

So, how important is that support? “It’s instrumental,” says Rhett Evans, CEO of the GCSAA. “At the end of the day, we couldn’t do what we do without these partnerships.”

“Whether it’s through advertising, the Golf Industry Show, or simply funding environmental projects we put all of that funding back into the Association to help support our members who play a vital role in the success of a golf facility. Evans continues. “Our partners such as Toro, have a clear view of the big picture and understand the importance of education, research and advocacy. By working together we have achieved much more than we could have on our own.”

Serving the Mission
“We’re the conduit for sharing advances and best management practices with our membership,” adds Matt Brown, director of corporate sales at the GCSAA. “When there’s something that can change the game for the better, we make sure everyone knows about it.”

Brown says the GCSAA and its partners make consistent efforts to increase scholarship levels and available education. They also invest in research into ways to reduce inputs and water usage. “All of those things make the facilities more viable by helping to reduce expenses,” he notes.

According to Brown, industry support ultimately helps the organization deliver on its goals. “Our mission is to advance the profession and to enhance the growth, enjoyment and vitality of the game of golf. Everything we do serves our members and that mission, be it through education, scholarship or advocacy — and industry support helps make that possible.”

How Toro Supports GCSAA
As a GCSAA Platinum Partner, Toro has experienced that win-win investment firsthand, helping to fund long-term initiatives ranging from turfgrass and environmental sustainability research to the development of best management practices. “Toro has certainly been one of the industry leaders in supporting these initiatives,” Evans confirms.

Toro also partners with GCSAA to present the GCSAA Golf Championships. This members-only event includes four different competitions over three days and takes place annually, right before the Golf Industry Show. “It’s a great opportunity for our members to come together prior to the show and network,” Evans adds. Toro has sponsored this event for more than two decades.

Toro has recently provided another $50,000 grant in 2015 to the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), the philanthropic arm of the GCSAA, for continued support of the Rounds 4 Research program to help further turfgrass research at local universities. Toro is a longtime partner of the EIFG, donating more than $1.8 million to help support scientific research, education and scholarships for future turfgrass professionals.

Local Impact
Toro’s Channel Partners have a long history of supporting local chapter events and actions. At the local level, industry partners help strengthen each GCSAA chapter and its ability to offer valuable programs to accomplish its mission. “Local chapters thrive on networking and education focused on the area,” explains Steve Randall, the Central Plains regional representative and director of chapter outreach at the GCSAA. “Without industry support locally, chapters would be more limited in terms of providing services and value for members.”

Manufacturers’ distributors also play an important role at the chapter level. “Their support, attendance and membership in local chapters provide a presence and voice to ensure successful chapter events,” Randall says. “They provide immediate and direct information on products and services that can help facilities.”

For example, industry partners can be a resource for local chapter education. And many chapters have Industry Partner Appreciation Days or other opportunities when members can demo equipment at events. “This is a great win-win relationship for GCSAA, chapter members and our industry partners,” Randall observes.

For many years, Toro has provided co-op funds to their local distributors in support of local chapters. The company has a strong belief in the power of local relationships and continues to find that close relationships between the company, their channel and end-user customers are key to developing successful products that meet the needs of all turfgrass professionals.

The Big Picture
At Toro, we understand that industry organizations like the GCSAA are key to advancing both the game and the business of golf. That’s why our commitment goes much deeper than manufacturing equipment. We strongly believe in supporting and investing in industry resources that help you, our customers, manage successful facilities. And we continue to look for more ways to make a difference.

GCSAA has been a leading golf organization since 1926, and currently provides education, information and representation to more than 17,000 members in more than 72 countries. For more information, please visit