Golf Course Management

MAR 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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16 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.14 Growing up in central Texas, benevolence and giving back were more than just occa - sional feel-good gestures. They were family traditions, as real as Sunday dinners and Texas A&M football. Both my mother and my father were hard- working, focused individuals with little time for nonsense. Mom ran a tight ship around the house, while my dad was a sunup to sundown farmer. But despite the long hours they put in, they both always had time for their children and they always had time for helping out and giving back, whether on the local school board or through their church. That ethos and that dedication to service defnitely rubbed off on me. When I took my frst head superintendent job at a course near Houston, one of the frst things I did was volunteer to serve in my local superintendent chapter. That continued throughout each of the stops I made on my career path, and ad - vanced to service at the national level with GCSAA. And as I begin my term as the asso - ciation's 78th president, I am humbled by the trust that GCSAA's membership has placed in me and I am dedicated to serving you with the same passion, focus and determination that I have tried to bring to all of my previous op - portunities to serve. One of the most notable ways that I be - lieve I can serve GCSAA members as your 2014 president is by keeping the association on the same steady, positive path that I believe we have followed over the past several years. Those who have come before me have helped to assure that your association has successfully weathered tough times and economic chal - lenges while still keeping an eye on the future, and I fully intend to make sure we continue doing business in this manner. To me, that means celebrating successes and doing our best to build upon them. Suc - cesses such as our feld staff program, which is now fully staffed with nine highly talented individuals spread across the country helping to facilitate better engagement between our affliated chapters and the national associa - tion. Keeping this program moving forward and identifying potential expansion in certain strategic parts of the country is defnitely one of my priorities in 2014. Another success we all can take pride in is the Rounds 4 Research program, which gen- erated nearly $150,000 last year for turfgrass research projects at the local and regional lev - els. Keeping this vital pipeline fowing and making sure those who beneft most from the program — our nation's golfers — are aware of its impact are both goals that will have my undivided focus over the next 12 months. I also believe that previous national boards of directors and other groups of member vol - unteers deserve considerable credit for their work on membership standards. The impact of that work can be seen every day across our industry, as superintendents receive better compensation and increased recognition for the role they play in the overall health and suc - cess of a golf facility. As an offshoot of that work, we have been examining GCSAA's membership classifca - tion structure — currently, there are 12 differ- ent classifcations of membership — and how we might simplify that for the beneft of both the member and the GCSAA staff. I feel this is an important initiative for the association, and I assure you it will be a key target for me throughout the coming year. But individual points of emphasis will not be what drive me during my year as your president. Continued successes in these areas and many others are certainly satisfying, but it is my belief that a dedication to a broader focus, a dedication to always pursuing what is in the best interest of the GCSAA member, is a much nobler goal. We will experience our share of wins and losses in the coming year, but I am convinced that if everything we do centers upon what is best for our members, then my efforts in giving back to a profession and an association that I hold so dear will be well worth it. Please know that I am always available to hear your thoughts, feedback and opin - ions about GCSAA's products and services, so feel free to reach out to me at keith.ihms@ with any questions or concerns you might have. Keith A. Ihms, CGCS, is the director of grounds main- tenance at the Country Club of Little Rock (Ark.) and a 33-year member of GCSAA. Keith A. Ihms, CGCS Following the family tradition When I took my frst head superintendent job at a course near Houston, one of the frst things I did was volunteer to serve in my local superintendent chapter. (president's message) 016-017_March14_PresMess.indd 16 2/18/14 1:40 PM

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