Golf Course Management

AUG 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 15 of 107

12 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08.19 What's in it for me? What is GCSAA doing for me? The GCSAA Board of Directors and our team of professionals at headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., are investing considerable attention toward reaching our shared goal of 20,000 members in the national association by the end of 2020. In doing so, we have at - tempted to view things through the lens of a prospective member, which has led us to re - flect on the questions and answers that would likely arise for someone considering member - ship in GCSAA. Overall, this process has been enlightening and valuable. As someone who has benefited greatly both personally and professionally from all GCSAA offers its members, the answer to many of the questions are self-evident. For those willing to make an effort and utilize the many benefits and services that come with GCSAA mem - bership, I am confident in saying that the value you get from membership in this asso - ciation will far exceed your investment. With- out question, GCSAA membership will help advance your career. I often view membership in GCSAA in the same way I view a visit to a great restaurant. When you dine out, you look at the menu and choose the few items that will satisfy your ap - petite during that visit. There is no way you can order everything on the menu and con - sume it all in one sitting. In much the same way, GCSAA offers a packed menu of prod - ucts and services to its members. It's up to the individual member to select what will benefit him or her the most. Another way to look at it is to compare GCSAA membership to a gym membership. When you join a gym, you're likely looking to get in shape, shed a few pounds and maybe take an organized class or two. Gyms have many different pieces of equipment, different classes and training services that, when used properly and regularly, can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. But what happens if you buy that gym membership and never use it? Will you com - plain that your gym is not working for you? You're not losing any weight. You're not get - ting in shape. You're not seeing any results. Clearly this gym is not doing anything for you. Obviously, this is a silly line of thinking — your gym membership is not working because you're not using it. But we often hear this same Rafael Barajas, CGCS Twitter: @rbarajas001 Membership has its privileges Since earning my first position as a superintendent, I have always turned to GCSAA for assistance, education and networking. GCSAA has delivered each and every time. (president's message) argument applied to GCSAA. Some join the association and make little or no effort to take advantage of what membership offers them, then complain that they get nothing out of belonging to GCSAA. Well, of course they're not — if you don't use your membership in GCSAA, that membership will not do any - thing for you. Throughout my career, I have always re - lied on what I call "The Triangle" — family, career and professional development — to bal - ance myself and help make sure I am keeping my priorities in order. Family, of course, is al - ways the most important factor in my life, so it holds the spot at the top of the triangle. But my career in golf course management and my pursuit of professional development have been great foundations for everything I have done, so they hold important spots on the other two points on the triangle. Helping to keep that foundation strong and healthy has been a major benefit of my membership in GCSAA. Without it, there is no way I would have been able to achieve what I have in my career and my life. Since earning my first position as a superintendent, I have always turned to GCSAA for assistance, edu - cation and networking. GCSAA has delivered each and every time. That's why I've been so passionate about engaging those who wonder what GCSAA is doing for them. If you're not willing to put in the time, to explore the association's offer - ings and to discover what's most important to you, then you're not going to see the benefits of membership. But, if you take the time to talk with others, to see what GCSAA really has to offer and then take those offerings and apply them to your job, you can rest assured that it will benefit your career. My career is living proof of that. And as GCSAA's founding father, Col. John Morley, said time and again during the early days of the association, it's not what indi - vidual members can get out of membership in the association, it's what those individuals put into the association that matters. In my experience, truer words have never been spoken. Rafael Barajas, CGCS, is the director of golf course opera- tions at Boca Grove Golf and Tennis Club in Boca Raton, Fla., and a 34-year member of GCSAA.

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