Golf Course Management

APR 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 17 of 165

14 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.19 When I began my term as president of GCSAA in early February, I felt I had a good handle on what was in store for me. I had spoken with numerous past presi - dents to get their big-picture view of the de- mands that come along with serving this great association in this capacity. I had worked closely with the staff at GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., to map out my responsi - bilities, both when I was at home and when I was on the road. I had discussions with CEO Rhett Evans about what I could expect from my year in office. Despite it all, nothing could have prepared me for the whirlwind that was my first month in this role. It was daunting, for sure — on the heels of a very successful Golf Industry Show in San Diego, there was more than 15,000 miles of travel through eight time zones in less than three weeks — with some missing lug - gage along the way. But it was also as rewarding an experi - ence as any I've had since beginning my ser- vice to GCSAA. It gave me the opportunity to see the positive impact that GCSAA's ef - forts are having on the game of golf and to engage with leaders throughout the industry. From the Federation of European Golf Green - keepers Association conference in Rome to the USGA Annual Meeting in San Antonio, the CMAA World Conference in Nashville and, finally, the Canadian Golf Course Manage - ment Conference in Banff, British Columbia, these collective experiences were a fantastic af - firmation that all the hard work GCSAA has dedicated to these efforts is paying off. Of course, I am typically not one who re - flects too extensively on the past. While cel- ebrating successes is important, I much pre- fer looking to the future, which is one reason among many why I am looking forward to the upcoming Rounds 4 Research auction and the 12th annual National Golf Day. For the uninitiated, Rounds 4 Research is an effort to address a critical shortage in turfgrass research funding by auctioning do - nated rounds of golf online. Those funds are then distributed through the Environmental Institute for Golf to the auction's fundrais - ing partners, GCSAA chapters and turfgrass Rafael Barajas, CGCS Twitter: @rbarajas001 A road warrior's view of GCSAA's impact It was also as rewarding an experience as any I've had since beginning my service to GCSAA. It gave me the opportunity to see the positive impact that GCSAA's efforts are having on the game of golf. (president's message) foundations, who then direct that funding to research efforts most important to turfgrass managers in their areas. The Carolinas GCSA first developed the concept, and since GCSAA began adminis - tering the program nationally in 2012, more than $1 million has been raised, including a record $313,000 in 2018. This year's auc - tion is set for April 29-May 5, and I encour- age you to spread the word about this impor- tant initiative. For more information, go to ; to bid, go to http:// . At that same time, National Golf Day 2019 will take place in Washington, D.C. Now in its 12th year, National Golf Day is an industry-wide advocacy effort that gives the golf industry an opportunity to share the great story of the game's economic, environmental, charitable and health benefits with legislators and regulators in our nation's capital. The event is set for May 1 and will be preceded on April 30 by a community service project on the National Mall. It's an event that I've been lucky enough to participate in on multiple occasions and one I look forward to as much as any on my calendar, largely because superintendents and GCSAA members have long been the founda - tion of National Golf Day. GCSAA members make up a large percentage of the contingency on hand for the event and are primarily re - sponsible for the progress that has been made in the dozen years golf has been coming to Capitol Hill. I hope I'll see many of you in Washington this time around. It is often said that the rewards of giving back far outweigh the costs. I am blessed to have seen that during my first few weeks rep - resenting GCSAA as your president and even more blessed to see firsthand just how impact - ful the work of this association can be on the golf industry, both at home and abroad. Rafael Barajas, CGCS, is the director of golf course opera- tions at Boca Grove Golf and Tennis Club in Boca Raton, Fla., and a 33-year member of GCSAA.

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