Golf Course Management

DEC 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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Page 19 of 101

16 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 12.18 tober issue of GCM ( ), and we had exchanged emails about it. We had never met in person, however, so I felt I should introduce myself in real life. We visited a bit about Green Start, and I had to ask him about something that had been nagging me. It had dawned on me that, be - cause every GSA attendee had been deemed a rising star, there is a better-than-average chance that at some point, two or three or more mem - bers of the Green Start Academy class of 2018 will end up applying for the same job. So while he or she was sitting in a room full of friendlies now, the reality is that down the road the person sitting in the next chair or the next row could become a direct competitor. And yet they were sharing business cards and Twitter handles and swapping stories about pest-control measures, talking turf without a care. "at's what makes this industry unique," Pannkuk said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, before explaining that he planned to add 55 names to his contact list, plus the names of all the big-name presenters, who, to a man, encouraged the attendees to contact them after the academy — and then helpfully provided their contact info. Pannkuk explained he wouldn't hesitate to ask for help from anyone in the room — nor would he pause to provide it. Late the next day, I had another eye-opener. As the program was winding down, I found myself in the hallway with one of the few presenters I had yet to meet. Billy Weeks, GCSAA Class A superintendent at Houston Country Club and a 20-year association mem - ber, strolled over and shook my hand. I didn't expect to be dismissed, but I pre - dicted little more than a perfunctory nod once he learned I was there on behalf of GCM and the GCSAA. Instead, Weeks' eyes lit up. "I just want to thank you for all you do at the magazine — and at the association," Weeks said. We visited a bit before heading back into the auditorium for the final presentations. As he walked away, I couldn't help but think about how lucky those assistants were to be getting such great insight into the role of a golf course superintendent. In a completely different way, so was I. Andrew Hartsock is GCM 's managing editor. Andrew Hartsock Twitter: @GCM_Magazine Crashing the crash course (inside gcm) My boss called me into his office one day several weeks ago and asked if I would be available to travel for a couple of days at the end of October. He explained that he wanted me to cover Green Start Academy, the annual professional development program for assistant superinten - dents. He saw it as a perfect chance for me to get firsthand exposure to the industry. I didn't hesitate. For two-plus days, 56 of the best and brightest rising assistants learned about bud - geting and networking and interviewing and labor management — and I learned about them. You can read more about the program, sponsored by Bayer and John Deere, inside this issue, on page 22, in addition to online- only content at, available at . I've had a few days to reflect on my time in and around Raleigh, N.C., and I've come to realize my two biggest takeaways were neat bookends, one from early in the first day and the other from just before the conclusion. at's not to say I didn't benefit from all the time in between. I rather enjoyed being a fly on the wall as some of the industry's biggest names mentored and mingled with some of its up-and-comers. I have no doubt some of the kids there were puzzled by the presence of the quiet old guy in the room. Fun fact: Four of us rode the shuttle from the airport to our hotel; the combined ages of any two of the youngest three was less than or equal to the age of the fourth (me). It didn't take long for me to learn about the GCSAA's place in this business. During the first night's meet-and-greet dinner, I made small talk with a young assis - tant, who, glancing at my nametag, eagerly re- marked, "Oh, you're with the GCS-double-A. What do you do for them?" I explained my role at this magazine, and I could just tell there was an obvious level of respect there, a feeling I experienced time and again, during bus rides and around the table at meal times as I was asked about how we gener - ate story ideas and how can somebody become a GCM author and, of particular interest, how the "Climbing the Ladder" subject is selected. Now, about those takeaways … During a break on the first full day, I caught up with Conrad Pannkuk, an assis - tant at e Club at Wynstone in North Bar- rington, Ill. Pannkuk wrote a story for the Oc- I rather enjoyed being a fly on the wall as some of the industry's biggest names mentored and mingled with some of its up- and-comers.

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