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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Inside GCM by Scott Hollister The good-hands people Spend any time wandering the halls of power in Washington, D.C. — which is something I've had the privilege of doing on several occasions as a member of GCSAA's contingent at National Golf Day — and you're likely to come away with a few clear conclusions about the day-to-day grind in our nation's capital. I know I have. The frst is that the machine that is the U.S. government runs the way that it does thanks to the backbreaking labor of thousands upon thousands of recently graduated 20-somethings. The well-heeled and powerful might have all the corner offces in the Senate and House of Representatives offce buildings, but it's the assistants, the aides and the junior staffers who are doing the bulk of the heavy lifting on Capitol Hill. For me, it was a realization that was reassuring and unsettling all at the same time. The second — and probably far more pertinent conclusion for this audience — is that the business of golf is defnitely on the right path when it comes to educating lawmakers on the economic, environmental and social benefts the game brings to communities around the country. Sure, it hasn't always been that way and the notion might run contrary to popular misconceptions, but I've seen the evidence frst hand. There are more friendly faces in D.C., fewer skeptical ones. More advocates and fewer critics. The association's ongoing vigilance in the area of government relations — and, really, the entire golf industry's efforts as a part of Golf 20/20, in general, and National Golf Day, specifcally — deserve much of the credit for these advances. But the real kudos should go to your fellow superintendents, your colleagues in golf course management who, like the young go-getters that fll the hallways on Capitol Hill, have been the real muscle behind GCSAA's work in this arena. Take, for example, someone like Matt Shaffer, who will be in the spotlight for other reasons this month as the GCSAA Class A director of golf course management at Merion Golf Club. Less than two months before playing host to the 2013 U.S. Open — an event our associate editor Howard Richman previews in this month's magazine ("Seeding is believing," Page 42) — Shaffer was among a host of other GCSAA members who spread out across Capitol Hill to put a personal 18 GCM June 2013 touch on the messages the industry delivers to lawmakers during this year's National Golf Day activities. Shaffer played his part fawlessly. His career achievements, the high-profle nature of his employer and the kind of events they host opened plenty of doors, but it was his humble nature and unassuming, straightforward delivery that really closed the deal with the senators and representatives with whom he met. And those traits that served him so well on The association's ongoing vigilance in the area of government relations — and, really, the entire golf industry's efforts as a part of Golf 20/20, in general, and National Golf Day, specifcally — deserve much of the credit for these advances. National Golf Day are guaranteed to do the same thing later this month when the best golfers in the world descend upon his golf course in suburban Pennsylvania. Shaffer wasn't alone, obviously. By their nature, most superintendents share many of those same qualities with Shaffer, and that led to plenty of other little victories involving GCSAA members all over the Hill that day. You can read more about those, including the experiences of a Colorado superintendent making his frst visit to congressional offces as a part of GCSAA's Government Relations Committee, in this month's Front Nine news section ("Golf takes the Hill on National Golf Day," Page 20). A full recap is also available online by visiting www.gcsaa.org/Newsroom/News/ Government-Relations/2013/GCSAA-helped-spread-thegood-news-about-golf-at-2013-National-Golf-Day.aspx. GCM Scott Hollister (shollister@gcsaa.org) is GCM's editor-in-chief.

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