Western Kentucky University student wins GCSAA Mendenhall Award

By |  October 6, 2022 0 Comments
Elliot Pope (Photo: GCSAA)

Elliot Pope (Photo: GCSAA)

Elliott Pope, a student at Western Kentucky University (WKU), recently received the Mendenhall Award for $6,000 in the 2022 Scholars Competition offered through the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

The GCSAA Foundation administers the GCSAA Scholars Competition, funded by the Robert Trent Jones Endowment. The competition recognizes outstanding students working toward careers in golf course management or other related areas of the golf course industry.

The scholarships range from $250 to $6,000. In order to receive the scholarships, applicants must:

  • Enroll in a recognized undergraduate program in a major field related to turf management
  • Complete at least 24 credit hours or the equivalent of one year of full-time study of the appropriate major
  • Be a member of the GCSAA

Once Pope realized he wanted to become a golf course superintendent he contacted the superintendent at Columbia Country Club, 18-year GCSAA member Sam Friar, and Pope began working on the grounds crew at Columbia CC when he was a sophomore in high school.

Two weeks into his freshman year at WKU, he landed a job at The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ky. He works at Olde Stone several weekday afternoons and weekends during the school year and he plans to return to his job at Columbia CC during winter break.

Pope was a member of the 2021-22 WKU men’s golf team and was a Western Kentucky Agriculture Ambassador for the 2022-23 school year. He is also in the WKU Agronomy Club and completed an internship in the summer of 2022 at a golf course under construction called The Tree Farm, near Aiken, S.C.

“Every day in the classroom and while at work, I am eager to learn as much as possible,” Pope said. “I have been lucky enough to have had some great opportunities working and learning under some amazing people. I believe there is no better job in the world that is a better fit for me than taking care of a golf course. The Mendenhall Award will help me to continue my path toward my goal of becoming a head golf course superintendent.”

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