Golf Course Management

FEB 2016

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 19 of 147

16 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.16 As I write for my fnal column as president of GCSAA, my single overriding thought is one of profound gratitude. I still can't believe that I was given such an amazing opportunity, and it is still unfathomable to me the place I fnd myself in today given where I came from as a child. As most of you know, I experienced a mea - ger beginning to my life, as my father died when I was very young. My journey in this wonderful business started simply with my need for a job. At that point, I had no grand designs about where that job would lead me. I just wanted to do the best I could, and I was thankful for what the job would provide. And what that job has provided me goes far beyond its monetary rewards. In golf course management, I have found a career that returns an immense sense of satisfaction, a chance to reap the rewards of a job well done. And, most importantly to me, I found a job that provided me with an opportunity to give back. As long as I was willing to work for it, the job offered all of that and so much more. Now that my year as president is coming to an end, I am looking forward to the future and feeling grateful for the past. Although I will miss my involvement and day-to-day commitment, I know there are many ways of going forward but only one way of standing still, and so I look to a future of opportunities to spend more time with my family and an amplifed dedication to my position at Preak - ness Hills. In the coming year or two, I will also be seeking to fnd the next way to give back to this profession that has served me so well. The fabric of my life has changed over the past eight years as I've benefted from the knowledge and inspiration gained from my fellow GCSAA board members, both past and present. They have made it a pleasure and an honor to serve. The GCSAA staff has also been amaz - ing to me, especially my friend, CEO Rhett Evans, whose integrity, work ethic and dedica - tion to a job well done are outstanding. Thank you all for your support and dedication to our membership. Also, I couldn't have done this job without the friendship and guidance of our past president, Keith Ihms, CGCS. He has given his all to GCSAA, even through tough times in his personal life. John J. O'Keefe, CGCS A grateful goodbye In the coming year or two, I will also be seeking to fnd the next way to give back to this profession that has served me so well. (president's message) Throughout my board service, I have been proud to represent Preakness Hills, a club that has been so kind and supportive to my fam - ily and me during the past 30 years. There is seldom a day that goes by that I am not en - thusiastic about going to work. I could never have achieved all that I have without the con - stant support of our club members and our extraordinary management team, led by gen - eral manager James Messina. I'm also inspired daily by the opportunity to grow the experi - ence of our assistant superintendents, Tony Espe and Ante Rogic, along with all of our assistants and interns throughout the years. It keeps me sharp and allows me to have a hand in the future of our business. Of course, to really appreciate what I am most grateful for, I only need to turn to my family. My wife of almost 37 years, Margaret, our daughters, Adrienne and Maureen, sons- in-law, Tom and Dale, and, of course, our grandson, JT, are all my true inspiration and make all the hard work worth it. Finally, I want to thank the members of GCSAA for this opportunity. I hope I have served you well. As I look to the future of our association, I know that we are on the right track and will continue to grow and succeed in being the standard for education, advocacy and professional development. I encourage you to be an integral part of that future by making the most of your talents and getting involved in your chapter and your association. 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.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Golf Course Management - FEB 2016