Golf Course Management

MAR 2019

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 43 of 117

38 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.19 knows what you're probably thinking. The director of golf course maintenance at Boca Grove Golf and Tennis Club in Boca Raton, Fla., doesn't blame you, either. As he begins his yearlong term as the 83rd president of GCSAA, Barajas knows full well that becoming the first Hispanic president in associa - tion history is going to bring with it plenty of attention. It's not a part the 33-year GCSAA member shies away from. He knows that with the attention comes opportunity. Opportunity to serve as a role model for other Hispanics working in golf course manage - ment. Opportunity to expand the recognition for all the positive efforts GCSAA is undertaking on behalf of the industry. And opportunity to strengthen and grow ties with colleagues in other corners of the world (see "Laser-focused," Page 40). So Barajas gets it. He understands the interest. He is proud of his heritage and everything it has meant to him during his career. He em - braces being known as a Hispanic golf course superintendent and the first Hispanic president of GCSAA. He just hopes that's not the only thing you think of when you think about him. And when you take even a cursory look at Barajas' personal and professional journey in golf course management, it reveals that there is much more to him than just his ancestry. There's a decorated 40-plus-year career that has taken him from one coast to another and points in between. There's a drive and determination to better himself and those around him through education and professional develop - ment. There's a mission to give back, on both the local and national levels, to an industry that has given him so much. Boca Grove Golf and Tennis Club in Boca Raton, Fla., has been home to Rafael Barajas, CGCS, since 2015. The club's leaders and membership have been supportive of Barajas during his time on the GCSAA Board of Directors, highlighted by his election last month as the 83rd president of the association. Photos by Montana Pritchard Rafael Barajas

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