Golf Course Management

MAY 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 05.14 Throughout my career as a golf course su- perintendent, I have always preferred the di- rect approach. As I was growing up in this business, I found that I learned best when someone took the time to communicate with me face to face, as opposed to sharing information on a new policy or maintenance technique through some staff memo or group message posted in the break room. And as I began to manage golf courses of my own, I have always done my best to stay true to that philosophy when deal - ing with employees or colleagues in the club- house, favoring one-on-one interactions over all-staff emails or call outs in team meetings. I know my endorsement of these tac - tics probably isn't breaking any new ground from a staff management perspective; I'm certain many of you operate the same way. In fact, GCSAA has used a similar approach to achieve success in two key areas I'd like to discuss with you this month — GCSAA's member engagement initiatives and our gov - ernment relations and advocacy efforts, spe- cifcally National Golf Day. Those of you who have been able to vol - unteer your time through committee ser- vice to GCSAA have had the opportunity to experience the value of the direct approach frsthand. Serving at this level offers asso - ciation members one-on-one time with key GCSAA staff, with industry partners and, perhaps most importantly, with fellow mem - bers of the association. And as the association begins to en - gage members again for 2014, we have made changes to this process that I believe will fur - ther enhance those opportunities for our vol- unteers. Our committee and task group struc- tures have been revamped to make them more focused, more task-oriented, with more op - portunities to serve for more members. It's an approach that I believe emphasizes our belief in the member engagement process and in cre - ating positive, career-enhancing opportunities for our members. Perhaps the most notable and effective ex - ample of the benefts of face-to-face contact comes later this month, when the 2014 edition of National Golf Day takes place in Washing - ton, D.C. For the uninitiated, National Golf Day is an effort of the We Are Golf coalition that brings golf industry leaders to our nation's capital to meet with government leaders and share with them the economic, environmen - tal, charitable and ftness benefts of the game of golf. I have been privileged to take part in sev - eral past National Golf Days as a member of the GCSAA Board of Directors and a chair - man of our Government Relations Commit- tee, and I can tell you I have had few more empowering experiences. Talking with law - makers about the role of the golf course super- intendent and the impact our businesses have on local economies — and seeing frsthand that those discussions are making a difference — have been proof positive that the direct ap - proach I have believed in my entire career is the right approach in all that we do. You can read much more about National Golf Day in this month's Advocacy column on Page 36 of this issue of GCM. Finally, I wanted to update you on a pro - fessional matter that I made mention of in my April column. As you may be aware, I have been involved in an extensive job search since the frst of March when I left my previ - ous position with the Country Club of Little Rock (Ark.), a post I had held since 2005. I am pleased to say that search has concluded, and in late April, I began my new position as the golf course maintenance manager at Bella Vista (Ark.) Village. I'm excited by the opportunity to work with the talented superintendents who man - age the six 18-hole and two nine-hole courses that make up this recreational community and retirement destination in northwest Ar - kansas. And I'm grateful to the leadership of the Bella Vista Property Owners Association for the trust they've placed in me and for their support of my volunteer service as president of GCSAA. Keith A. Ihms, CGCS, is the golf course maintenance man- ager at Bella Vista (Ark.) Village and a 33-year member of GCSAA. Keith A. Ihms, CGCS keithai79@gmail.com The personal touch I have been privileged to take part in several past National Golf Days as a member of the GCSAA Board of Directors and a chairman of our Government Relations Committee, and I can tell you there have been few more empowering experiences than those I have spent on Capitol Hill. (president's message) 016-017_May14_PresMess.indd 16 4/16/14 2:39 PM

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