Nancy Cienfuegos receives 2023 Allan MacCurrach Jr. award

By |  September 27, 2023 0 Comments

Nancy Cienfuegos, a student at Rutgers University and assistant superintendent at Whitetail Club in McCall, Idaho, is the winner of the 2023 Allan MacCurrach Jr. Award. The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) administers the $10,000 award through the GCSAA Foundation.

Nancy Cienfuegos

Nancy Cienfuegos

Previously part of the GCSAA Scholars Competition, the Allan MacCurrach Jr. Award was revamped in 2021 as a stand-alone award to recognize an outstanding nontraditional student seeking a career in the field of golf course and turfgrass management. Applicants must be in a major in a field related to golf course management, planning a career as a superintendent or related profession, be 23 years of age or older and be a GCSAA member to be eligible.

The award is funded by Allan MacCurrach III and the PGA Tour. It is named in honor of the late Allan MacCurrach Jr., who became the PGA Tour’s first staff agronomist in 1974 and was the GCSAA Distinguished Service Award winner in 1994. He was a member of GCSAA for 31 years and was one of the first to become a certified golf course superintendent.

“There are plenty of scholarships available for young individuals interested in turfgrass management, but with the Allan MacCurrach Jr. Award, we want our focus to be on the ‘nontraditional’ type of individual, especially underrepresented people in our industry,” said Allan MacCurrach III, founder and owner of MacCurrach Golf Construction.

Cienfuegos said her father introduced her to the industry. She added that watching her father and brother work at Whitetail Club has been her biggest source of inspiration. Seeing them advance to a mechanic and an irrigation technician, respectively, motivated her to keep reaching toward her own professional goals.

After graduating from high school in 2016, Cienfuegos joined the housekeeping staff at Shore Lodge in McCall, Idaho. Wanting more for herself, she enrolled at the College of Western Idaho, where she obtained her general education certificate while also completing the Boise State University Intensive English Program. In 2017, she began her career at Whitetail Club as a member of the housekeeping staff before switching to the golf course maintenance team, where she has worked her way up to assistant golf course superintendent.

In 2022, Cienfuegos volunteered with the Women in Turfgrass team at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles, where she met many women superintendents who quickly became another source of inspiration for her to further her professional goals. She remains involved with the Women in Turfgrass team serving as a board member.

“Their stories made me realize that it was time for me to take a step further in my own career,” she said. “I want to continue to learn and grow and become the first in my family to obtain a degree. But most importantly, I want to be an inspiration to young girls and to Hispanic people and show them that you can accomplish everything you set your mind to.”

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