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.

Issue link: http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/1108924

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16 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.19 We also cover these events in the manner we do because, quite simply, readers respond to them. Major-championship preview sto - ries and our inside-the-ropes reporting about maintenance activities at majors that appear on GCMOnline.com routinely generate big readership numbers. Our social media efforts from the sites of major championships elicit similar responses, setting high-water marks for the year across a wide variety of metrics. Based on all that, we believe that the re - porting we do on the majors from the perspec- tive of the superintendent is firmly on point. But that doesn't mean we don't have room to grow, that we can't cast a wider net for stories that represent GCSAA members at all facili - ties, not just those hosting big, international tournaments. Our ultimate goal is to tell great stories and share news and information that can help superintendents do their jobs better, wherever the stories, news and information might come from. ere are several ways we currently do that in the pages of GCM. On the tournament front, you can read about superintendents and courses hosting everything from high school state tournaments to state amateurs in "Course of Action," which you can find monthly in - side our Front Nine news section. Outside the tournament realm, you can find stories about superintendents from courses big and small, from all corners of the country, in "Climbing the Ladder" in our Back Nine section; in vari - ous columns that appear on a bimonthly basis in the magazine; and in longer feature stories that we publish throughout the year. Can we make progress in telling stories from nine-hole facilities and municipal courses with more limited means? Absolutely we can, and we'd ask for your help in doing that. If you know of good stories about superintendents and their golf courses — regardless of operat - ing budget or whether they host tournaments — we want to know about them. You can email me at the address listed above or reach out to us via Twitter at @GCM_Magazine. Professional tournaments are great vehicles for promoting the superintendent and sharing good stories from the golf course management industry. But they're not the only vehicles, and with your help, we can make sure GCM tells as many of those stories as possible. Scott Hollister is GCM 's editor-in-chief. Scott Hollister shollister@gcsaa.org Twitter: @GCM_Magazine Sharing great stories, big and small (inside gcm) Contrary to popular perception, golf courses come in all shapes, sizes and economic classes. Not everybody is like Augusta Na - tional. Statistics from the We Are Golf coalition bear this out. Of the approximately 15,000 golf courses in the U.S., more than 10,000 are open to the public. Eight out of 10 golfers play regularly on public courses, and the median green fee for all courses in the U.S. is just $34. Still, perceptions being what they are, there is only so much that cold, hard numbers can do to change the way people look at the game. While the perception of golf is slowly begin - ning to match the game's reality, to many, golf remains reserved for the elite, to be played out on heavily manicured, overly watered playing fields, and no manner of evidence to the con - trary is going to change that. Even among those who work in golf and should know better, these perceptions have been hard to shake, with these preconceived notions forming opinions and fueling criti - cisms that have been directed at a variety of en- tities — individual courses, governing bodies, the media — throughout the industry. And I should know, because this magazine often has been the target of that scrutiny, most notably as it relates to our reporting on tournament golf. e comments and emails take different forms, but they all have the same basic foun - dation — GCM only writes about the high- dollar courses that play host to major tourna - ments. And there is definitely some truth to that; we do regularly profile the courses and superintendents playing host to the biggest events in golf. Case in point is this month's cover story, which features director of agron - omy Andrew Wilson and his team at Beth- page Black, the site for the 2019 PGA Cham- pionship (see "May days," Page 34). But the reasons we feature these stories as prominently as we do don't always match the assumptions about our motivations made by most critics. We're not doing them to cater to the whims of big-budget facilities. e real reason we do them is because high-profile events such as PGA Championships, U.S. Opens and Ryder Cups turn a huge spotlight on the game of golf and, consequently, present huge opportunities to increase the recognition level of superintendents and the work they do. From the perspective of GCSAA and the asso - ciation's flagship publication, they are oppor- tunities that simply can't be missed. High-profile events ... turn a huge spotlight on the game of golf and, consequently, present huge opportunities to increase the recognition level of superintendents and the work they do.

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