Celebrating golf’s leaders who innovate and demonstrate leadership in sustainability and water resource management, the USGA has named Michael T. Huck, a turfgrass and irrigation specialist from Orange County, Calif., as the recipient of its 2019 Green Section Award.
Huck will be honored at the USGA’s Annual Meeting and Service Awards Dinner at the J.W. Marriott in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday, Feb. 23.
Currently a principal at Irrigation and Turfgrass Services in Southern California, Huck is widely recognized as a visionary in water conservation and water use efficiency. He has authored nearly 50 articles and continues to share news and insights on water regulations, supply issues and the future of golf course irrigation to a worldwide audience. He also regularly works with regulators, golf facilities and allied associations on developing best practices and policies that conserve water while ensuring sustainability.
“Mike’s continued dedication to elevating the topic of water conservation in golf and advocating for education and dialogue has benefited courses across North America and the world,” said Dr. Kimberly Erusha, USGA Green Section managing director. “His innovative approach, matched with his ability to communicate very complex science in a relatable way, has provided game-changing leadership that helps golf courses and communities.”
Huck has more than 40 years of experience in the golf industry, including 12 years as a golf course superintendent and six years as a regional agronomist for the USGA. His particular expertise lies in irrigation water quality assessment, saline and recycled water management, irrigation system auditing and sprinkler uniformity.
Huck has also served on several golf water task forces in Los Angeles, San Diego and the Coachella Valley in the wake of water restrictions imposed on golf courses during periods of extreme drought. He collaborated with the Southern California Golf Association to study the feasibility of creating on-site non-potable water sources that could be used on large landscape environments. He also taught an advanced water quality seminar through the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America for 12 years and coauthored a 2009 reference text on this subject.
“I have known Mike for over 30 years, during which time he has always had a genuine concern for the proper use of our precious water resources,” said Pamela Pavela, water use efficiency specialist for the Western Municipal Water District in Riverside, Calif. “However, it is Mike’s strong character and his commitment to valuing business relationships that make him a consummate professional so deserving of this award.”
The USGA Green Section Award has been presented annually since 1961. Through the work of its Green Section, which was established in 1920, the USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on turfgrass management, as well as research, development and promotion of environmentally friendly practices and a more sustainable game.
The Service Awards Dinner honors the people whose dedication and outstanding accomplishments have made an important contribution to the USGA and its mission to serve the game. In addition to the Green Section Award, the Joe Dey Award, the Ike Grainger Award and the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award will be presented at the evening event.