Illinois-based golf course architect Mike Benkusky has become the 79th president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, at the Society’s annual meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Benkusky, who succeeds Brit Stenson in the role, has over thirty years’ experience in golf design, initially for Lohmann Golf Designs and since 2005 with his own firm. He works primarily in the Midwest, with projects in his home state of Iowa, as well as Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and Wisconsin. He also recently worked in Florida at Palm Aire Country Club, restoring Dick Wilson features to the Champions course.
In an address to ASGCA members and other attendees of the annual meeting, Benkusky emphasised the role of family and friendships in his career.
The meeting also saw Frank Jemsek honoured as the 2023 ASGCA Donald Ross Award recipient, following a long career operating the Cog Hill, Pine Meadow and St. Andrews clubs in Illinois, and Summer Grove in Georgia. In accepting the award, Jemsek spoke of his work on initiatives to introduce new players to the game.
Read more: an interview with Jemsek and his family about their life in golf.
Education sessions covered a range of topics, including pace of play, strategy, putting courses, fast and firm conditions and native grasses. ASGCA director of outreach Jeff Brauer spoke about the Chicago School of golf course architecture, Garrett Gill provided a retrospective on his father David Gill’s life and career as a golf course architect, and golf historian Dan Moore provided insight into the work of William Langford and Theodore Moreau.
Attendees also visited three Wisconsin courses, at Milwaukee Country Club, Erin Hills and Blue Mound Golf and Country Club.
ASGCA executive director Chad Ritterbusch also announced his plans to relinquish the position he has held since 2004. Ritterbusch will stay in the role until a new appointment has been made and will assist with the subsequent transition. More information on the search for a new executive director can be found on the ASGCA website.
“ASGCA is grateful to Chad for his leadership and the time, caring and commitment he has shown over the past three decades,” said Brit Stenson, who was ASGCA president at the time of the announcement. “Besides serving ASGCA, the ASGCA Foundation and the golf industry, Chad has put together a great team of staff members who will continue their good work on behalf of ASGCA.”