Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.
Issue link: http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/766215
16 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.17 With a new year upon us, it's common to hear reflections about the year that just con - cluded and resolutions about the year to come. And even though I'm not a resolutions person myself, I do believe it makes sense to reflect on things in our personal and professional lives, to see what we're doing well and where we could make improvements. When the calendar turns to a new year, my goal is to make the current one better than the last, and I know I'm not alone in this sentiment. Continual improvement is an ideal that's easy to support but often hard to achieve. Change is a constant in our world, and the things we're expected to know and do are always shifting. It's difficult to stay on top of everything, and for me, staying on top of technology, both at home and on the golf course, is my greatest challenge. What challenges the global membership of GCSAA may differ from what challenges me, but regardless of whether you're a work - ing superintendent, retired from the business, a university faculty member or student, or are employed by one of the many great companies that provide products and services to golf fa - cilities, the need to be a lifelong learner — to be a continual improver — is clear. One of the best lines I heard during my travels last year came from Jim Croxton, CEO of the British and International Golf Green - keepers Association, who shared a message he would receive regularly from his mother grow - ing up: "Every day is a school day," she used to tell him, meaning that we are all lifetime learners and need to realize and embrace this philosophy to be successful. Whenever I speak with turfgrass students, I tend to burst their bubble a bit when I tell them that just because they'll soon be out of school and on the job, that doesn't mean the need for education stops. In my opinion, the day you think you can't improve yourself through continuing education and network - ing is the day you should leave this profes- sion. New products, research results, laws and regulations, and agronomic and business prac - tices — and, certainly, changing weather — all factor into how we do our jobs. Unless we are pursuing information about these changes and advances, talking with our colleagues or taking advantage of educational opportunities (either in-person or online), we're falling be - hind, and it's our golf facilities and our careers Pete Grass, CGCS firstname.lastname@example.org Staying ahead of the curve Continual improvement is an ideal that's easy to support but often hard to achieve. (president's message) that suffer when that happens. The good news is that in today's world, information is available at our fingertips, and we can communicate with others around the world in an instant. For someone like me who remembers the "primitive" days before the in - ternet and cell phones, there really is no excuse to not be learning every day. I am proud to say that GCSAA is an ex - cellent provider of many educational oppor- tunities for our members. We offer a website ( www.gcsaa.org ) filled with so much content that it could take someone years to explore it all. The website also features free webcasts — both live and archived for future reference — that GCSAA presents in partnership with Syngenta. I have gleaned a lot from these web - casts, and they are one of the reasons I value my GCSAA membership so much. I have spoken about this before, but atten - dance at the upcoming Golf Industry Show is the best overall professional development op - portunity available in our industry. This year it's in Orlando, starting the day after the Super Bowl, and I consider GIS the Super Bowl of the golf course management profession. It's an event packed with education from the most respected superintendents, university profes - sors and researchers in the world, along with networking opportunities with industry pro - fessionals from around the globe. It also boasts the largest turfgrass and golf course manage - ment trade show in the world. If you or your employer invests the re - sources in having you attend GIS, I know you will bring back more in value to your facility than what you invested. You simply can't put a price on the knowledge you'll gain or the products and services you'll see, all of which can help you do your job better. I've certainly felt that way about each of the 25 years I've at - tended the Golf Industry Show. This issue of GCM is primarily dedicated to previewing this year's event in Orlando (see "Something for everyone" on Page 78), and I hope to see many of you there next month. To all, though, I want to wish you a very happy new year. Here's to a productive and profit - able 2017. Pete Grass, CGCS, is the superintendent at Hilands Golf Club in Billings, Mont., and a 32-year GCSAA member.