Golf Course Management

JAN 2018

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 17 of 219

14 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.18 Like many of you, I took a rather circuitous route to a career in golf course management. While I'd worked on golf courses throughout my high school and college days, I didn't really view those experiences as anything more than a part-time job. It never seemed like a gateway to a career — at least at first — and that's why my college days at the University of Tennessee were spent studying psychology and not turf - grass management. But once I was bitten by the superinten - dent bug, I fell hard for both the profession and the industry. And as someone who had to learn just about everything they know about being a superintendent without the benefit of a formal college education, I can say this with certainty: Without GCSAA and its educa - tional products and services, there is no way I would have the career I have today or the life I've been privileged to lead. That may seem like hyperbole in this era where we simply assume information and knowledge is just a click or two away, but I can assure you, I'm not exaggerating. A vast array of resources flow through GCSAA and its affiliated chapters, and no Google search or You Tube video could come close to replicat - ing the impact those can have on your career. My first exposure to such resources started with the publication you're holding right now. I've told this story many times, but reading copies of GCM that were passed down by su - perintendents I worked for in high school and college piqued my interest in the industry. It opened a window into a career I would have known nothing about had it not been for one of GCSAA's primary member benefits. After I'd decided to pursue a career in golf course management, I couldn't consume ev - erything else the association had to offer fast enough. I made chapter events must-attend appointments on my calendar, not only for the formal education available there, but also for the ability to network and trade tips with my colleagues in the business. I took advantage of distance-learning opportunities and, later, on - line education and webinars offered by the na- tional association. And of course, regular trips Bill Maynard, CGCS Twitter: @BillatStAlbans Class is in session I can say this with certainty: Without GCSAA and its educational products and services, there is no way I would have the career I have today or the life I've been privileged to lead. (president's message) to take in the world-class educational offerings at the Golf Industry Show were vital to my growth as a manager of both turfgrass and the people who worked for me on the golf course. I didn't stop my involvement in education and professional development there, transi - tioning from sitting in a classroom to stand- ing in front of one as an instructor. Creating and leading my own sessions and seminars was a way to give back just a portion of what I had received from GCSAA over the years, and it also offered me another path to learn - ing. Most teachers will tell you that they learn as much from their students as their students learn from them, and that has certainly been my experience after teaching at GIS, at various chapter meetings and online. I've been thinking about my personal edu - cational journey a lot recently, with the 2018 edition of the Golf Industry Show just around the corner (see "A slam dunk in San Antonio," on Page 50). As my experiences illustrate, GIS isn't the only way for professionals in the golf course management industry to better them - selves, but it is certainly among the best. The combination of best-in-class education, un - matched networking opportunities and the industry's most comprehensive trade show simply can't be beat. So, whether you're just beginning your journey in golf course management or are a veteran superintendent looking to stay at the top of your game, I can't recommend a trip to GIS next month or any of GCSAA's products and services highly enough. I hope to see you in the Alamo City. 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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