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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Page 19 of 157

President's Message by Patrick R. Finlen, CGCS Questions and answers I am fortunate to regularly correspond with members on a variety of topics. I certainly appreciate those who take time to share their thoughts and ideas to advance the profession and the association. I wanted to take this opportunity to address a few topics that I've recently been asked about. First, a few of you have questioned the results of the GCSAA Compensation and Benefts Survey that showed a 1.9 percent increase in average salary, asking if an increase was really possible in this economy. Certainly, there have been those who have experienced cuts, but the matched analysis (those who took both the 2011 and 2013 surveys) explains why salaries continue to increase since measurement began in 1991. A total of 16 percent experienced salary cuts, some at a signifcant amount to support the anecdotal information that members shared. However, another 33 percent reported no change, and just over 50 percent reported higher salaries, generally refected by cost-of-living adjustments. Those fgures offset larger cuts incurred by the minority. While this in no way discounts the 16 percent who have experienced salary cuts, it is signifcant that our members have continued to see increases, even in a down market. I have also been asked about GCSAA's emphasis on advocacy and why we only have one staff member dedicated to those programs if it's such a priority for us. While we are adding a government relations specialist in the near future, the reality is GCSAA's advocacy program is a true team effort. Our executive, communications, environmental and feld staff team members are integral in our work with policymakers. There is much that goes on behind the scenes to support our excellent government relations staff. I trust you had an opportunity to read about our successful trip to Washington, D.C., for National Golf Day in our newsletters and social media platforms, and I encourage you to read the summary in this month's GCM ("Golf takes the Hill on National Golf Day," Page 20). I have also heard from members expressing a greater understanding of the Environmental Institute for Golf, the philanthropic organization of GCSAA. This appears to be a result of our branding campaign that demonstrated a stronger tie between the two organizations. However, some expressed concern that members would be expected to be the sole source of EIFG funding. Certainly, members and chapters are key 16 GCM June 2013 funding sources, and for that we are appreciative. However, we are reaching out to allied associations, industry partners and even non-golf sources to fund programs that beneft the entire game. We are pleased by the support we have received from those sources and look to increase contributions in the coming months. Finally, our feld staff program continues to establish itself, and we could not be more pleased by the results. We are heartened by the feedback from those chapters who have utilized I certainly appreciate those who take time to share their thoughts and ideas about advancing both the profession and the association. feld staff for strategic planning, government relations, education, allied association relations, Rounds 4 Research donations and other efforts. The focus of the program is to enhance chapter/member effectiveness through GCSAA programming, facilitated by feld staff. We expect to have all nine regions staffed by the end of summer. I close on a personal note with a message that I hope all will take time to refect on as we enter the busiest part of the season for most of us. Philip "Stan" George, CGCS at Prairie Dunes Country Club took his own life on April 27. Stan was a friend and a peer from our days together in the Midwest. He was the consummate professional who helped all when needed. Each of us knows someone who is struggling in some regard; I urge you to take time today to reach out to them. Even if it is just a phone call, a warm smile, a frm handshake or a kind word, it will go a long way. Please make that your commitment today and every day. GCM Patrick R. Finlen ( is the director of golf at The Olympic Club in San Francisco and a 28-year GCSAA member.

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