Golf Course Management

MAR 2017

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

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14 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.17 I first became a GCSAA member in 1986, when I was working as an assistant superin - tendent at Hillwood Country Club in Nash- ville, Tenn. Mark Littlejohn, CGCS, was my boss and one of my first mentors, and his en - couragement about the benefits of member- ship was all I needed to join up. At that time, I never dreamed that I'd eventually become a member of GCSAA's national board of directors, let alone serve as the organization's president. But last month at the Golf Industry Show in Orlando, that became a reality, and while I know it sounds cliché, it truly is an honor to serve as your 2017 president. As I begin my year in office, I want to offer up a challenge to those members will - ing to accept it. Be advised that I will hold you accountable to this challenge, because your next move could change the world that we all care about so deeply. During the An - nual Meeting in Orlando, I challenged those in attendance to change someone's life by getting them involved. Changing someone else's life can be as simple as sparking their engagement with your chapter, allowing them to experience the fellowship, mentoring and camaraderie that GCSAA founder Col. John Morley famously referenced when he said, "No life is, or can be, self-existent. We depend on each other." I am challenging you to spark that kind of interest in someone else. One reason I believe this is so important is because the future promises to place great pressure on our profession, and, by exten - sion, on our association and the industry as a whole. To withstand such pressure, we need healthy, growing chapters and memberships. There is strength in numbers, and we all get better when new professionals join our ranks. Said another way, more of us are better than just a few of us. When we opt not to reach out, we silo ourselves. We become weaker and more iso - lated, which also makes us more vulnerable. Those we do not reach out to are left want - ing more of the things I think involvement in GCSAA offers — fellowship, education, ca - maraderie. Those individuals likely feel that GCSAA does not need them or understand their struggles, and they don't see that value in membership. The ironic thing about our colleagues in golf course management who are not in - Bill Maynard, CGCS bmaynard@gcsaa.org A grateful call to action We have an opportunity to create the strongest membership network in the world of golf, and the time to do that is now. (president's message) volved in GCSAA at either the local or na- tional level is that if you were to ask them to borrow a piece of equipment, they'd be the first to step up to help. For the most part, these superintendents want to help and want to assist others. They've just never been asked to do so within the context of involvement with GCSAA. And that, I believe, is at the heart of my challenge. These colleagues are willing to help; they just need to be asked. Often - times you hear, "If someone would ask me for help, I would do anything I could for them." So regardless of where you live and work, be the person who does that asking, who reaches out to others and gets them involved in their chapter or at the national level. Show them the opportunities available to them to improve themselves and become better equipped to handle a rapidly changing industry, while giving back to their peers at the same time. We have an opportunity to create the strongest membership network in the world of golf, and the time to do that is now. The time to collaborate is now. We all must act to strengthen, protect and empower each other. If you are not utilizing GCSAA to its full - est, then you are paying for a piece of valu- able equipment that you never take out of the maintenance facility. Global issues such as government regulations, labor shortages and rising fixed costs are all easier to navigate when we can depend on each other, as Col. Morley stated all those years ago. I am certainly an example of a superinten - dent whose life was changed because some- one asked me to get involved. That spark first given to me by Mark Littlejohn and nurtured later by a host of other mentors throughout my career led me to this moment in GCSAA's history and my year as association president. What do you have to lose by urging others to get involved or getting involved yourself? What you might gain is seeing that spark you ignited change someone else's life and, in the process, change your own life and the future of the profession. Bill Maynard, CGCS, is the director of golf course mainte- nance operations at the Country Club of St. Albans (Mo.) and a 30-year member of GCSAA.

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