Greenkeeper wins mental health award

By Alistair January 15, 2023 09:07

A US greenkeeper who wrote about his mental health issues and the support he received has won a national award for the article.

Peter J. Grass, CGCS, the golf course superintendent at Hilands Golf Club in Montana, has won the 2022 Leo Feser Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), the body he was president of in 2016.

Now in its 45th year, the Leo Feser Award is presented annually to the author of the best superintendent-written article published in the GCSAA’s magazine in the previous year.

His story details his years-long struggles with stress and anxiety brought about by pressures on the golf course. It also explores what finally prompted him to seek help in dealing with those challenges.

Those steps included conversations with two members at Hilands Golf Club who work in the mental health space and, based on their recommendations, an exploration of cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on increasing understanding of what matters that is within your control and ways to let go of stresses created by matters that are not within your control.

“I am thankful and honoured to receive this award because it means my article meant something to others,” Grass said.

“I wrote about my challenges to help others who may be struggling in some way, to encourage them to seek help to make their lives better at a much younger age than I did. I’m hopeful that openly sharing about myself will lead others to think about themselves, their situation and how our industry has many different stresses that we must navigate in a healthy manner.”

Meanwhile, the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association has pledged to create 100 ‘mental health first aiders’ during 2023. They will receive training to support greenkeepers through difficulties, says the organisation.

By Alistair January 15, 2023 09:07

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