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Don A. Rossi Award

The Don A. Rossi Award is given annually by the Golf Course Builders Association of America in memory of the late Don Rossi, former President of the National Golf Foundation and the Executive Director of the Golf Course Builders Association of America. Recipients are individuals who have made significant contributions to the game of golf and its growth, and who have inspired others by their example.

Don Rossi, who called himself the "godfather of the golf industry, served as Executive Director of the National Golf Foundation from 1970 to 1983. During his tenure, he led the NGF into a vastly expanded role in the world of golf. Among his achievements at the NGF were the institution of annual seminars for golf course owners, operators and employees; the establishment of the NGF research and statistics division; and the initiation of the annual Joe Graffis Award.

Mr. Rossi set up the first annual worldwide golf development meeting, which drew golf officials from eight countries. This meeting was instrumental in the formation of the National Golf Foundation of Japan and the Canadian Golf Foundation. Rossi also laid the groundwork for the NGF's Golf Summits, and was instrumental in restructuring the NGF to include members of the Allied Associations of Golf on its board of directors.

After he retired from the NGF, he established Don A. Rossi & Associates, a golf course development firm; served as secretary/treasurer of the National Golf Car Manufacturers Association; and served as executive director of the Golf Course Builders Association of America from 1984 to 1990.

After his death on March 11, 1990, the GCBAA chose to honor him by instituting the Don A. Rossi Award, which was given to him posthumously in 1991 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the game of golf. The award is presented at the GCBAA Awards Dinner.

Rossi Award Recipients

  • 2013 James R. Watson
  • 2012 Jim Kirchdorfer, Sr.
  • 2010 William Kubly
  • 2009 Byron Nelson
  • 2008 Dr. Marvin Ferguson
  • 2007 Edwin J. Hunter
  • 2006 Ed Seay
  • 2005 Gary Player
  • 2004 Doyle Jacklin
  • 2003 Karsten Solheim
  • 2002 Dr. Michael J. Hurdzan
  • 2001 Jack Nicklaus
  • 2000 Brent Wadsworth
  • 1999 Dr. James Beard
  • 1998 Arnold Palmer
  • 1997 Stanley Zontek
  • 1996 Geoffrey S. Cornish
  • 1995 Dr. Joseph Duick
  • 1994 Alice O'Neal Dye
  • 1993 Joe Jemsek
  • 1992 Robert Trent Jones
  • 1991 Don A. Rossi