Golf Course Management

OCT 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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Page 20 of 128

16 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 10.14 Family reunions elicit different responses from different people. For some, they're events to be looked upon with dread, to simply be endured. Spending a few days with Uncle Bill isn't everybody's cup of tea, so many folks simply grit their teeth and try to make it through family reunions with as little trouble as possible. For others, though, family reunions are the highlight of the year, cherished opportunities that don't come around often enough. I know I count myself in this category; when my ex - tended family comes together to reconnect and reminisce about old times, it's an occasion to remember and one that I won't miss. I've been reminded of all the best parts of these family reunions as I've prepared myself for this month's chapter delegates meeting at GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kan. The chapter delegates meeting is one of our association's most important gatherings of the year, but it also is one of our most mis - understood. When members ask me to tell them more about these crucial meetings, I've often referred to them as a family reunion for GCSAA, only with a heavy dose of serious business tossed in for good measure. This meeting is an annual opportunity for your national board of directors and members of the GCSAA staff to touch base with repre - sentatives from all 98 of the association's af- fliated chapters. Some of those representatives are familiar faces who have served their chap - ters for many years, while others are new vol- unteers getting their frst taste of involvement at this level. Regardless of which camp they fall into, the chance to interact and share with these representatives in an environment like the chapter delegates meeting is invaluable. But this meeting is not a one-way street. In fact, its most valuable aspect is that the chapter representatives share ideas and concerns from their respective regions. As much as we try to keep our fngers on the pulse of the local and regional issues facing our members, there is no substitute for hearing about those issues from superintendents who are living them each and every day. These messages give your national association a clearer idea of where to place its priorities and exactly what efforts it should undertake on behalf of its members. It's a criti- cal part of chapter delegates meetings, and one I take extremely seriously. This month, attendees will learn about and be asked to provide feedback and guidance on a host of matters important to the future of GCSAA. For example, they'll tackle the Rounds 4 Research initiative, getting in-depth information on the outcomes from this year's Rounds 4 Research auctions, which raised nearly $150,000 overall, and helping to chart the future of that important program. Chapter delegates also will be asked for their views on a number of issues related to membership in GCSAA: hearing from candi - dates for next year's elections for the national board of directors, discussing a wide range of matters related to membership standards and classifcations and sharing opinions on the ideal structure and organization for the association's national leadership. And they'll also discuss the future growth and mission of GCSAA, how it will look 10 years from now and how we can position it for the future and ensure it continues to be an important repre - sentative for the entire golf course manage- ment industry. These are weighty issues, to be sure. But recent history has shown that our chapter del - egates are more than up to the task of tackling these issues and charting a course for GCSAA. And the fact that these meetings also allow us the opportunity to catch up with members that we might see only a few times over sev - eral years is just another happy beneft from a meeting that is increasingly crucial to the on - going success of your association. 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 A meeting of the minds As much as we try to keep our fngers on the pulse of the local and regional issues facing our members, there is no substitute for hearing about those issues from superintendents who are living them each and every day. (president's message)

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