Mike Hansen Wins 2005 GCSAA Leo Feser Award

The 2005 Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Leo Feser Award will be given posthumously to Mike Hansen for his article, “Breaking the glass wall,” which appeared in the May 2005 issue of Golf Course Management. Hansen was killed Jan. 15 in a plane crash near Hatch, Utah, at age 34. At the time of his death, Hansen was the golf course superintendent at Thanksgiving Point Golf Course in Lehi, Utah, and a six-year GCSAA member.

Hansen’s wife, Sandi, will accept the award in Hansen’s honor Friday, Feb. 10, during the General Session of the 2006 GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show in Atlanta.

The Leo Feser Award is given annually to the best superintendent-written article published in GCM, the association's monthly magazine. The articles are voted on by members of the Publications and Online Use and Positioning Task Group. Hansen’s article focused on how having a cooperative relationship with the others in your course’s management team has a direct influence on the success of the course.

In the article, Hansen wrote, “A ‘glass wall’ often separates the maintenance department from the clubhouse. You can’t see the wall, but it’s there. I would love to say it’s a simple problem easily resolved, but that would be a lie. I’m sharing my story of dealing with the wall—and of success and recognition—in the hope that others will be able to benefit from it.”

Hansen was also the CEO and co-founder of Golf Resources Inc., a golf course management company he started with friends Andy Staples, a golf course architect, and Alex Walton, who has a background in customer service. Walton was severely injured in the plane crash that killed Hansen but is recovering.

"Mike Hansen took his own advice to heart even outside the parameters of Thanksgiving Point Golf Club," said GCSAA President Timothy T. O’Neill, CGCS. "It’s a privilege to present the GCSAA Leo Feser Award in honor of his name."

In addition to the recognition at the Golf Industry Show in Atlanta, Hansen’s name will be engraved on a plaque that is on permanent display at GCSAA headquarters. The Feser award honors the late Leo Feser, a pioneer golf course superintendent and a charter member of GCSAA. Feser is credited with keeping the association's official publication alive during the Great Depression. For three years (1933-36), he wrote, edited, assembled and published each issue of The Greenkeepers' Report from his home in Wayzata, Minn. The award was first awarded in 1956 and has been awarded annually since 1977.

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