Golf Course Management

APR 2013

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 63 of 141

"Social media feeds have given us a good indication that the education and networking at this year's show was a hit," GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. "It is obvious the new programming — plus some excellent headline speakers — along with our traditional offerings met and/ or exceeded attendee expectations. We are happy with the response." Among the satisfed commenters was Jim Flett, GCSAA Class A superintendent at Muskoka Lakes Golf & Country Club in Midland, Ontario, Canada, who noted, "I enjoyed the education on the trade show foor. It enabled me to get some good information while I was visiting the booths. I've been going to the show for about 10 years and always learn new ideas and meet new people." With a total attendance of 13,192 at the conference and show in San Diego, there were plenty of both new people and familiar colleagues gathered in one sunny Southern California spot. Talk of a fscal cliff was but a distant memory as convention center aisles were crowded and conversations were constant both days (Feb. 6-7) at the Golf Industry Show. "Having been in the golf industry for such a long time, I have not seen much that surprises me," National Golf Course Owners Association CEO Mike Hughes said. "But the level of vibrancy on the trade show foor Folds of Honor Foundation/Patriot Golf Day founder Maj. Dan Rooney won hearts and minds at the Opening Night Celebration. Photo by Roger Billings 58 GCM April 2013 — the enthusiasm of the attendees and the exuberance of the attendees caught me off guard just a bit. And I consider myself an optimist." Vendor Frank Etro of Turf-Vu confrmed Hughes' assessment, stating, "It (GIS) was worth it the frst three hours of the frst day." Added Standard Golf's marketing director, Jim Nygren, "We couldn't be happier with the turnout in San Diego. Everyone seemed to be in high spirits and excited for 2013. The partners do a great job in making this the best show in the industry. It was a success for us." Etro and Nygren represented just two of 517 exhibiting companies covering 172,900 square feet of exhibition space. The show attracted 6,018 qualifed buyers. At the country's largest educational conference in the turfgrass management industry, a total of 4,560 seminar seats were sold, while thousands more attended complimentary forums, sessions and panel discussions during the week. More than 100 seminars and numerous education sessions covered topics including agronomics, environmental management, communication and business management. "What a good show," said Matt Shaffer, the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. "I was very impressed with how (the organizers) … are constantly working to implement changes that will keep the show fresh. As always, the classes I took were fantastic, the show was organized and the layout was fantastic." Celebrating, GCSAA style GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans was kidding that he has another job in mind, but the frst performance during the Opening Night Celebration certainly was no joke. When former GCSAA President Bob Randquist, CGCS, led the singing of "God Bless America" to kick off the Feb. 5 festivities, which were presented in partnership with Syngenta, it was obvious the man can sing. Evans, and many others who stood and heartily applauded his effort, agreed. "I'll tell you what," Evans said at the conclusion of Randquist's effort, "Bob's pretty good. I probably could be his agent, sign him up for the Super Bowl." Randquist defnitely stirred emotions. His effort, though, was only the beginning of a string of powerful, thought-provoking moments in the two-hour program. Syngenta's global head of lawn and garden, Jeff Cox, provided a message that got to the heart of what the week in San Diego was all about. "It's a great place to share best practices, but also, importantly, it's the camaraderie of the event that touches me," Cox said. Outgoing GCSAA President Sandy Queen, CGCS, delivered his fnal message as head of the association. First, though, Evans introduced him and let those who were

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