Golf Course Management

MAY 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 141

14 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.19 If you've been a golf course superintendent for any length of time, it's likely you've been through a course renovation of one kind or an - other. Maybe you just freshened up a few bun - kers or built a new teeing ground. Maybe you stepped it up a bit and regrassed greens or in - stalled a new irrigation system. Or maybe you blew up everything and led a full, wall-to-wall renovation of your facility. Regardless, golf course renovations have become a regular fact of life for those employed in golf course man - agement. The numbers back this up. In its 2018 "Golf Facilities in the U.S." report, the Na - tional Golf Foundation said that since 2006, there have been 1,082 major course renova - tions — defined as having a minimum of nine holes closed for at least three months — worth a total investment of $3.25 billion. In 2017 alone, the NGF says 96 courses (measured in 18-hole equivalents) reopened after major ren - ovations. Whether your renovation was considered "major" or was of the smaller variety, the rea - sons for those renovations vary greatly. In some cases, it's just time; infrastructure needs to improve in order for courses to remain suc - cessful. In others, taking a step forward ag- ronomically made the decision to renovate a no-brainer. And in still others, renovations are prompted by a desire to keep a golf facility competitive in its market so it can retain its core customers while also attracting new ones. In many ways, the reasons golf courses un - dertake renovation projects have a lot in com- mon with the reasons that organizations such as GCSAA undertake significant updates and changes to their features and programs. And I was reminded of those similarities quite clearly with the recent announcement of a major re - fresh to the GCSAA brand. For most of you, this brand refresh will be most noticeable in changes to the associa - tion's primary logo, which is prominently fea- tured on everything from the GCSAA website and association letterhead to the cover of this magazine. The new logo has been designed to make it cleaner, easier to reproduce and more compatible with social media and digital plat - Rafael Barajas, CGCS Twitter: @rbarajas001 Giving GCSAA's brand a fresh look In many ways, the reasons golf courses undertake renovation projects have a lot in common with the reasons that organizations such as GCSAA undertake significant updates and changes to their features and programs. (president's message) forms. As times goes on, this new look and feel will connect all of our various brands and entities with the goal of making them easier to identify as a part of GCSAA. This refresh is about more than just a new logo, though. For me, the one word that con - tinues to come to mind when I think about this effort is "connection." Because through all the hard work and the planning that went into this effort by so many at GCSAA head - quarters in Lawrence, Kan., making sure the finished product connected with the values and traits of GCSAA members was always the project's guiding principle. It is our belief that a strong, unified brand can strengthen the connections that we have with each other and the connection that our members have with GCSAA. A strong, uni - fied brand can help increase the visibility of our members, and can help us in the associa - tion's outreach efforts, most notably in the area of government advocacy by giving us a stronger voice with lawmakers and key stake - holders on the local, state and national levels. Eventually, it is our hope that the updated brand will make its way to our affiliated chap - ters who have adopted our logo as their own. We don't want this to create any hardships for chapters, though, so the rollout on this much broader scale will be gradual, and GCSAA will provide all the materials and assistance needed to make this transition as easy as pos - sible for our chapters. Whether it's a golf course renovation proj - ect or a new logo for your favorite profes- sional association, change can be challeng- ing and unsettling for some, even when the finished product is unquestionably better. It's our strong belief that this GCSAA brand re - fresh will deliver just that and will be a great step forward in the continued ascendency of our association. 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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