BROOKFIELD, Wis. – Frank Jemsek, owner of Jemsek Golf based in Lemont, Illinois, has been chosen as the 2023 recipient of the ASGCA Donald Ross Award. The award, given annually since 1976, is presented to a person who has made a significant contribution to the game of golf and the profession of golf course architecture. It will be presented to Jemsek at the ASGCA Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, on Oct. 3 at the Donald Ross Banquet.

Jemsek Golf was founded by Frank’s father, Joe Jemsek, who first brought Frank into the family business when he was just 11 years old. More than seven decades later, Frank Jemsek continues to positively impact golfers of all ages and abilities at courses that include: Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, Lemont, Illinois; Pine Meadow Golf Course, Mundelein, Illinois; St. Andrews Golf & Country Club, West Chicago, Illinois; and Summer Grove Golf Club, Newnan, Georgia.

The Jemsek model is to make every course challenging for the advanced golfer and more friendly for the higher handicapper. To that end, he’s an innovator in developing and implementing grow-the-game initiatives such as Family Golf, No Embarrassment Golf School, Youth on Course and PGA Jr. Golf League. Frank has always searched for ways to make the game he loves accessible to all.

“The ASGCA Donald Ross Award recognizes those making a significant contribution to the game,” said ASGCA President Brit Stenson. “Frank Jemsek and the Jemsek family have been doing that nearly as long as ASGCA has been in existence! Beginning with Joe Jemsek and continuing through Frank to his daughter, Katherine, one thing the Jemseks have done exceedingly well is to listen. They ask new and established golfers what they need from a golf facility and they have provided it. This positive impact will continue to be felt for generations to come.”

Frank Jemsek is an Illinois Golf Hall of Fame member and was the first public golf course manager to join the Club Management Association of America. Jemsek facilities have hosted numerous national events, including United States Amateur Championship, U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, Western Open, Western Junior, BMW Championship and PGA Junior Boys and Girls Championship.

The Donald Ross Award is presented by the ASGCA Awards Committee, co-chaired by ASGCA Past Presidents Steve Smyers, ASGCA, and Rees Jones, ASGCA Fellow (the 2013 Donald Ross Award recipient).

Past Donald Ross Award Recipients
2022    John Lawrence, The Toro Company
2021    Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, ASGCA, golf course architects
2020    Renee Powell, golf pioneer/player/course owner
2019    Joe Passov, golf writer
2018    President George Herbert Walker Bush, U.S. President
2017    Alice Dye, ASGCA Fellow, golf course architect
2016    Michael Bamberger, golf writer
2015    Bradley S. Klein, golf writer
2014    Maj. Dan Rooney, founder, Folds of Honor Foundation
2013    Rees Jones, ASGCA, golf course architect
2012    Bill Kubly, golf course builder
2011    James Dodson, golf writer/editor
2010    Tim Finchem, PGA Tour Commissioner
2009    Ron Dodson, sustainable golf advocate
2008    George Peper, golf writer
2007    Dr. Michael Hurdzan, ASGCA, golf course architect
2006    Jim Awtrey, chief executive officer, PGA of America
2005    John Singleton, irrigation pioneer
2004    Thomas Cousins, philanthropist, urban golf developer
2003    Bill Campbell, president, USGA, captain, Royal & Ancient Golf Club
2002    Byron Nelson, professional golfer
2001    Jack Nicklaus, ASGCA, professional golfer, golf course architect
2000    Jaime Ortiz-Patino, owner and president, Valderrama Golf Club
1999    Arnold Palmer, professional golfer
1998    Judy Bell, president, USGA
1997    Gene Sarazen, professional golfer
1996    Ron Whitten, golf writer
1995    Pete Dye, ASGCA, golf course architect
1994    James R. Watson, agronomist
1993    Brent Wadsworth, golf course builder
1992    Paul Fullmer, ASGCA executive secretary
1991    Michael Bonallack, secretary, Royal & Ancient Golf Club
1990    John Zoller, executive director, Northern California Golf Association
1989    Dick Taylor, editor, “Golf World” magazine
1988    Frank Hannigan, executive director, USGA
1987    Charles Price, writer, “Golf World” magazine
1986    Deane Beman, commissioner, PGA Tour
1985    Peter Dobereiner, “London Observer” columnist, author
1984    Dinah Shore, sponsor of women’s golf tournaments
1983    Al Radko, director, USGA Green Section
1982    Geoffrey Cornish, ASGCA, golf course architect, historian
1981    James Rhodes, governor of Ohio
1980    Gerald Micklem, captain, Royal & Ancient
1979    Joe Dey, executive director, USGA
1978    Herb and Joe Graffis, founders, National Golf Foundation
1977    Herbert Warren Wind, “The New Yorker” columnist, author
1976    Robert Trent Jones, ASGCA, ASGCA founding member

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