Golf Course Management

MAR 2015

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 03.15 All of us have memories of our frst real job. For some, that memory might be of a sim - ple household chore such as doing the dishes or taking out the trash. For others, it might be pitching in on the family farm where the only real payback was a sore back and the ap - preciation of your mother and father. And still others might identify the frst job that provided them with a real paycheck for their efforts as the point they offcially crossed over into the American workforce. My recollections of my frst real job sur - round mowing lawns for a local landscaping company during the summers around my hometown of Lenox, Mass. The lawns tended to be large and the work could be hard, but I was proud of what I did and the few dollars it did generate improved my life greatly. At no point, though, did I think what I was doing would set the stage for what would become my career. I had other thoughts and other plans at that age, but that modest start led to a job managing the grounds at a nearby condominium community which ultimately led me to a turf degree from the University of Massachusetts and to the long, memorable career that I have today. All of these steps along the way came back to me often in recent months and were cer - tainly in clear focus when I was fortunate enough to be elected by the membership of GCSAA as the association's 79th president last month in San Antonio. It was a hum - bling experience, to be sure, but one that I feel is the next logical step along my journey in this great career that we all share. Leading up to that election and in the weeks that have followed, I have been asked many times what I hope to accomplish in my year as GCSAA president, what a successful year would look like. And while I've always recognized that success is no individual en - deavor and comes in many different shapes and sizes, I would look back on my year in this offce without regret if we were able to keep GCSAA on the same positive, upward path that those who have come before me have set us upon. Success would mean we continued our dogged pursuit of the association's strate - gic vision of becoming the global leader in golf course management by the year 2020. It would mean that membership standards remain front and center among GCSA A members and that we learned more about what association membership means to them today and what it should mean to them in the future. A successful 2015 would maintain the great momentum we have achieved in the areas of advocacy and government relations, with the respect and authority that our in - dustry has gained among legislators at the national, state and local levels only growing in the next 12 months. And it might also include a deep dive into ways we can build upon what in my mind has been one of this association's greatest victories in recent years, the establishment of our feld staff program. But in the end, I won't measure my year as GCSAA president by a series of individual triumphs or setbacks. Instead, I will ask my - self the same question that I'm sure many of you ask yourselves when evaluating your own golf courses: Are my members happy? Are they satisfed with my work and the results that we were able to achieve in the past year? If the answer you hear is "yes," chances are you sleep well at night after a long day at work, knowing that the most important constituents you have — those who play your golf course on a regular basis — are pleased. And in the same vein, if the members of GCSAA tell me that they are pleased with the direction of the association and with the programs and services that we offer, then I, too, will be content that my year of service in this position has been for the better and that we remain frmly on the path toward achiev - ing GCSAA's mission, vision and goals. John J. O'Keefe, CGCS, is the director of golf course man- agement at Preakness Hills Country Club in Wayne, N.J., and a 35-year member of GCSAA. John J. O'Keefe, CGCS turfjok@aol.com The customer is always right But in the end, I won't measure my year as GCSAA president by a series of individual triumphs or setbacks. Instead, I will ask myself the same question that I'm sure many of you ask yourselves when evaluating your own golf courses: Are my members happy? (president's message)

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