Golf Course Management

NOV 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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22 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 11.18 things happening in the golf course management industry with a wider audience." In addition to hearing the podcast via streaming ser - vices, you can find past episodes of the GCSAA Podcast on the association's website. Subscribe to the GCSAA Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher. GCSAA's Lee honored by RISE Michael Lee, GCSAA's manager, government affairs, was honored in September with the RISE (Responsible In - dustry for a Sound Environment) 2018 Grassroots Excel- lence Award for engaging and mobilizing superintendents to support grassroots efforts. Lee (pictured, center) ac - cepted the honor at RISE's 28th annual meeting at Amelia Island, Fla. Lee was honored for his work to engage GCSAA mem - bers in Maryland and Maine in responding to anti-pesticide bills working through state legislatures last spring. Lee's proactive and strategic support and engagement with su - perintendents in those states led to the defeat of the bills as announced by RISE staff at the meeting. Nearly 600 manufacturers, formulators, distributors and other industry leaders attended the meeting, held in conjunction with CropLife America, which honored its long - time President/CEO Jay Vroom, who retired after nearly 30 years, and greeted its new leader, Chris Novak. The RISE Governing Board elected new members Katherine Bishop, Lebanon Seaboard Corp., holding a formulator seat; Scott Reasons, Syngenta, holding a manufacturer seat; and Mi - chael Maravich, Sipcam Agro USA, filling a formulator seat. GCSAA past president Kuhns on the move Mark Kuhns, CGCS, has had numerous spectacular moments on golf courses. Not all of them, though, have come in his long run as a renowned superintendent. "I shot a 74 and had an eagle on a par-4. My opponent threw down his club and his bag," says Kuhns, who at - tended Ligonier Valley High School in Ligonier, Pa. "I was medalist that day. I had one of the best rounds of my life." Kuhns has devoted more than half of his life to this industry, including the past 19 years at legendary Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., which, in the near future, will have a new appearance. It also will have a new su - perintendent. Kuhns is leaving Baltusrol GC March 31, 2019, the day before his contract ends. "It's just good timing for both of us. They've got a lot of things going on here the next seven, eight years with renovations. I just decided to ask about an exit plan, and it worked out well," Kuhns, 63, says. The work that is ex - pected to be done at Baltusrol is already in the planning stages. Major restorations are slated for Baltusrol's Lower and Upper courses under the guidance of architect Gil Hanse. "The club knew I wasn't going to be here through - out this major restoration. For me to leave during it, bring on somebody new and leave them (the club) hanging … the club really needs somebody to come in and work with him (Hanse). Everybody has been cordial about this, and that's one of the nice things about Baltusrol. The people here have been so good and so nice to us. There's just good people here. You don't have that everywhere." Kuhns, a 38-year association member and Penn State University graduate who served as GCSAA president in 2009, says that he hopes to remain in the industry. He has overseen events viewed worldwide, the latest being the 2016 PGA Championship. Since becoming a superinten - dent in 1977 at Ligonier (Pa.) Country Club — where his annual salary was $8,000 — Kuhns has hosted six major championships, including the 1994 U.S. Open at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club. That event marked the last time the The NGF found: Across the board, Facebook is the most popular social network among golfers who use social media, and its popularity increases as ages increase: 38% among 18- to 34-year-olds; 52% for ages 35-49; 64% for ages 50-64; and 79% for age 65-plus. Twitter is used by 27% of social- media-using golfers in the 18-34 age group, and among that same group, 25% use Instagram. Each of those two platforms is used by just 1% of the 65-and-over set. The most serious golfers in the U.S. now spend 4.5 hours a day, on average, on their phones. More than 75% of survey participants had booked tee times online, up from 65% in 2011. Among the 18-34 age group, 88% booked tee times online, via a course's website or a third-party online tee-time agent. Among those booking online, 68% said it encouraged them to play new courses; 87% said they saved money. Golf getting social (media) Perhaps it's no surprise the use of technology on and around the golf course is increasing dramatically. The National Golf Foundation recently conducted a survey of "Golf's Best Customers" — a subset of the NGF's consumer research panel that plays more, shoots lower scores and spends more on apparel and equipment than typical core golfers. The NGF's 2018 report, Technology and Golf's Best Customers, was the first of its kind since 2011. Roughly a quarter of survey participants use their phones on-course: Across all age groups, 25% say they send email or texts; 25% take pictures; and 23% listen to music. Those numbers vary greatly among age groups. Among the 18-34 age group, 51% email or text on-course; among the 65-plus set, it's only 3%. More than half of participants have down- loaded a golf-related app. The most popular apps: those to reserve or book tee times ( 44% of mobile-device users); those for a specific golf tournament, such as the PGA Championship or Masters ( 43% ); and those to measure yardages at golf courses ( 41% ). The

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