Golf Course Management

JUN 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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2012 Annual Report If the mood of the convention halls, hotel lobbies and trade show foor were not telling enough, post event surveys were a clear indication GCSAA hit the jackpot. Attendees were extremely complimentary of the education programs with 93 percent either satisfed or extremely satisfed — the highest rating since 2005. Exhibitors were equally impressed, with 87 percent satisfed or extremely satisfed with their experience, the highest rating since 2004. Catching Mother Nature's curveball In lock step with its members, GCSAA has had to adapt as well. The association has had to focus its available resources on programs and services that enhance its members' opportunities for success. It has invested in technologies that have enabled the leadership to better serve the members and do so in a more effcient manner. Coalitions have been built and collaboration has been enhanced in the industry to help strengthen facility success. Associations that have staying power and remain relevant are those that engage their members. Members can have staying power and remain relevant if they engage their association. One without the other is almost always a recipe for failure. The presence of a strong bond is why for nearly 90 years GCSAA and its members have been viewed as key to facility success and to the golfer's enjoyment of the game. Viva Las Vegas GCSAA returned to Las Vegas for the frst time since 1997 for its annual education conference and Golf Industry Show and came away a winner. Despite a golf economy that was still weakened, qualifed buyer attendance grew 3 percent. Exhibition space remained essentially the same as the previous year in Orlando, traditionally a bigger foor than western locations. Education was still a big draw as 5,338 seminar seats were flled, a modest 1.4 percent jump over Orlando the previous year. Attendees were greeted with 22 new education seminars, plus 63 additional hours of innovative sessions touching upon virtually every subject from social media to records management to attracting golfers to environmental stewardship to photography. Overfow crowds focked to hear Old Tom Morris honoree Peter Jacobsen and an entertaining, inspiring and touching performance by David Feherty. G-4 The good news was rounds played were up an average of 7 percent in 2012. A mild winter and early spring stoked the passion of golfers and sent golf facility cash registers humming. The bad news was Mother Nature once again proved to be fnicky, turning the summer and early fall into an oven. In fact, the 2012 calendar year proved to be the warmest since records were frst kept in 1895. Signifcant areas of the country were affected by severe drought as well. GCSAA distributed to members information and education to help them address the situation with employers and golfers. The members were well equipped to share the message as Twitter feeds were scrolling at a rapid pace, blogs were being churned out and facility newsletters did not go an issue without the descriptor "record heat." Media quickly picked up on the story and weather maps fush with triple digit temperatures were a staple of front page news and the lead story on the six o'clock news. If there was a sliver lining, it was that golfers and employers were understanding and supportive during this time of strife. Anecdotal feedback was GCSAA members and their staffs were seen as "Herculean" in their efforts to keep their courses playable. It is likely that communications was just as important as hand-watering in combatting the issue. Battling for your right to do business GCSAA continues to gain industry-wide respect for its government relations program. It has been successful because of a well-defned national strategy that is supported by a passionate grassroots network of members. From labor, growth of the game and accessibility for individuals with disabilities to water use, water quality and pesticide registration, GCSAA advocates for you and your facility to conduct business in a fair and equitable manner when compared to other small businesses. Additionally, as a founding partner with the CMAA, the NGCOA and the PGA of America in forming the We Are Golf coalition, GCSAA has been collaborative in addressing industry-wide governmental concerns, both statewide and nationally. A cornerstone of the efforts has been to conduct National Golf Day where the associations and other members of the golf industry go to Washington, D.C., to meet with lawmakers. Similarly, GCSAA and its affliated chapters collaborate with the other associations to gather state economic and environmental impact data, and to conduct state golf day events. The partnership of GCSAA and its member network was successful in working with policymakers to have a positive effect on the golf course management business environment. With support from other industries, GCSAA successfully lobbied to keep MSMA on the market. Its relationship with the EPA, specifcally the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program, was recognized in several agency communications as a model for others to follow. Several positive outcomes were gained below the federal level including Chesapeake Bay Watershed nutrient loading legislation, work with the Vermont Business Environmental Partnership, and support to defeat pesticide restrictions for municipal golf facilities in Durango, Colo.

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