It doesn’t matter what kind of golf course you run, NGCOA is for you. 

Owners and operators of golf courses throughout the U.S.—from those who run 9-hole facilities in rural locations to owners of the largest golf course portfolios in the most popular golf destinations—look to the National Golf Course Owners Association for business-critical information, relevant and timely education, professional and meaningful networking, and crucial advocacy for advancing their business interests.

The NGCOA is the only trade association dedicated exclusively to golf course owners and operators. NGCOA members include owners, operators and general managers of daily-fee, semi-private, private and resort courses of all sizes. While diverse in its makeup, the association offers information and inspiration on how to operate golf facilities as efficiently and profitably as possible.

NGCOA's History

In 1971, Don Rossi (then president of the National Golf Foundation) assembled a group of owners of public-access golf courses to form an association to represent golf course owners' interests. Today, the NGCOA is recognized as one of the most important and influential organizations in golf. The association was a founding member of Golf 20/20, the industry’s comprehensive grow-the-game initiative, and CEO Jay Karen serves on the consortium’s executive board.

The NGCOA was also a founding partner of the Golf Industry Show, which attracts thousands of golf course superintendents, club managers, golf course architects and builders, as well as owners, to the industry’s second-largest trade show each year. In 2019, the NGCOA formed a strategic alliance with the PGA of America and PGA Golf Exhibitions to co-locate the association's annual Golf Business Conference with the PGA Merchandise Show through 2025.

NGCOA Timeline

  • 1971: Don Rossi, then president of the National Golf Foundation, begins talking with public daily fee golf course owners about forming an association to represent their interests and focus on their specific business needs.

  • 1973-1974: An informal group of public golf course owners begins meeting in Northern California on a regular basis. 

  • 1975National Association of Public Golf Courses (NAPGC) formed, with the following officers and board of directors:

    • Officers:

      • President: William Saunders, National Golf Courses, Inc.

      • Vice President: Williams Lyons, Lyons Den Golf Course

      • Secretary/Treasurer: Roy Moore, Golf Management & Planning, Inc.

      • Director at Large: Daryl Scott, Gull Lake View Golf Course

      • Director at Large: Joe Jemsek, St. Andrews Golf Course

    • Board of Directors:

      • Bailey Trull, Trull Brook GC, Inc.

      • Art Young, Holiday CC

      • Lanny Snode, Tannenhauf GC

      • James Dorian, Hidden Lakes Golf and CC

      • Wallace Staatz, Hi-Cedars GC, Inc.

      • Pat Markovich, Franklin Canyon GC

      • Charles Lynch, Pinecrest Golf Center

      • Dick Forester, Jr., Bear Creek Golf World

  • 1976: The first annual meeting of the NAPGC was held on November 10

  • 1977: H. Bailey Trull becomes president of NAPGC 

  • 1979: Scott Krauss becomes president of NAPGC 

  • 1983: National Association of Public Golf Courses (NAPGC) becomes Golf Course Association (GCA)

  • 1985: Curt Walker becomes president of GCA

  • 1987/1988: Curt Walker is appointed first Executive Director of the GCA. Headquarters moves from Chicago to Minnesota

  • 1990: Mike Hughes becomes CEO of GCA, relocates its headquarters to Charleston, SC and rebrands GCA as National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA)

  • 2015: Jay Karen becomes CEO of the NGCOA upon Mike Hughes' retirement