Golf Course Management

FEB 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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44 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.18 In 2014, he served as lead author in the development of "Best Management Practices for New York State Golf Courses," which were designed to assist superintendents in protecting water resources. These guidelines have since been adopted and adapted in many other states. He has served as a consultant for New York City's Central Park, the New York Yankees and two U.S. Open golf championships at Bethpage Black, in addition to two World Golf Championship events there. Rossi also developed sand and grass specifications for the 2016 Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro alongside fellow Cornell graduate Gil Hanse, the project's lead architect. In 2015, Rossi co- authored the fifth edition of "Turfgrass Science and Management" with his mentor at SUNY Cobleskill, Professor Bob Emmons. Getting the word out It's nearly impossible to boil down an entire career to a few bullet points, a few major contributions, for even those tend to overshadow what researchers like Rossi do best — namely, work day in and day out responding to the needs of superintendents and other land managers, not just in the state of New York but across the country. This is the nature of Extension work, something Rossi has thrived on for more than two decades. First in Wisconsin and now in New York, every day brings a new issue dropped at his doorstep. Every month there are speaking commitments and site visits. Rossi is not just one of golf 's great talkers. He has channeled his natural verbosity into a flood of relevant information. "I try to maintain a strong problem- solving focus in the Extension program," Rossi says, adding that he relies on what he calls a "just-in-time" delivery strategy. One example is ShortCUTT, a weekly subscriber-only e-newsletter sent to more than 3,000 turf managers. "Obviously, you've got someone in Frank Rossi who is very knowledgeable and extremely passionate about his chosen subject, but more than that is his ability to articulate that knowledge in clear, understandable, laymen's terms," Mona says. "For people to understand on a scientific level, he can go deep, but he's pretty remarkable in his ability to break down complicated concepts into simple language. That's rare among academic types, who tend to have their own language. Frank has got that common touch." His protégé Woods may have put it best: "Frank's not all show. You may think that when you see him waving his arms at some seminar — that he's just putting on a show. But when you see him on a regular basis, work with him, you realize he's also paying attention, remembering the issues, bringing someone else's work into the discussion, contributing valuable insights, moving the discussion forward. "All this tends gets people thinking, 'Why am I doing it that way? Frank mentioned a guy in Florida who's doing it this way ... Maybe I should try that.' Ninety-nine percent of those who attend his seminars question what they are doing on account of him, and do a better job on account of him. He's had a huge impact on the industry in that way." Hal Phillips is the managing director of golf and resorts for Mandarin Media, a public relations firm with offices in Portland, Maine; Park City, Utah; and Saigon, Vietnam. He is the former editor of Golf Course News. Rossi has taken his agronomic knowledge well past the golf industry, serving in consultant roles with New York City's Central Park and the New York Yankees, among others. Photo by Heather Ainsworth President's Award winners For a complete list of all the former winners of GCSAA's President's Award for Environmental Stewardship, go to

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