Golf Course Management

JUL 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 99

16 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.18 Do you remember your first time on a golf course? Maybe you were a preschooler and vis - iting your superintendent father at his office. Maybe your mother was a scratch golfer, and she put a putter in your hand before you could ride a bicycle. Or maybe you were a teenager just looking for a summer job. Whenever your first journey to a golf course took place, it obviously made an indelible impression that helped chart your career path. For me, it was my grandfather, Paul Hunt, who first introduced me to golf. He was an avid golfer and lived on a course, and I was always so excited to visit and get to ride with him in the golf cart. He was just trying to share his love of golf with me and could not have guessed how that introduction to the game would impact my life. Now imagine thousands of kids getting thousands of first impressions on golf courses. What could that do to increase interest in working in the industry, showcase the profes - sion and create future golfers? Later this month, GCSAA and the En - vironmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) will begin administration of operations of First Green, an innovative STEM education out - reach program — Science, Technology, En- gineering and Math — using golf courses as hands-on environmental learning labs. With online lesson plans and other extensive re - sources for superintendents, First Green fa- cilitates connections between golf courses and local schools. First Green began 20 years ago in the Pa - cific Northwest and has already reached thou- sands of students in that time. First Green's research shows that each student who attends a First Green event spreads the First Green message to an average of an additional 10 peo - ple. However, longtime First Green Executive Director Karen Armstead and the First Green board knew the program had even greater po - tential to make a global impact. They came to GCSAA with the hope that GCSAA's net - work of 18,000 members and other resources could help take the First Green message to new heights. A merger with First Green made perfect sense to us, too. With our growing catalog of programs aimed at promoting superin - tendents and environmental awareness, First (from the CEO) J. Rhett Evans Twitter: @GCSAACEO Green provides an ideal platform for GCSAA members to strengthen ties with their com - munities and bring the many positive benefits of golf to a new generation. With First Green, it's superintendents who serve as hosts for this introduction of golf to kids who may have never set foot on a course before. As they test water quality, collect soil samples, identify plants and learn about con - servation, the kids not only get to see the sci- ence behind golf, but they get to see the super- intendent as a scientific professional in their community. First Green is a feel-good program, without a doubt, but it's also a strategic opportunity for the association. First Green will provide many ways for us to support our mission by giving GCSAA members an opportunity to advance their profession and enhance the growth of golf and the industry. First Green not only is a great educational opportunity, but it's also a public relations vehicle and advocacy tool. If you have hosted a First Green field trip before, rest assured that you'll still have access to the lesson plans and tools that have made First Green such an easy and rewarding expe - rience on both sides. However, you will see a few changes, most notably a new logo and up - dated website to highlight First Green's con- nection to GCSAA. If you are new to First Green, GCSAA field staff will play a key sup - port role in your region to help get you started. And as the program evolves with GCSAA's additional resources, we'll be able to develop even more engaging, hands-on workshops that bring STEM learning to life through the lens of golf. As First Green comes under the umbrella of GCSAA and the EIFG's family of pro - grams, I encourage you to take advantage of this simple way to showcase your career and the golf industry. To learn more about First Green, visit or contact your GCSAA field staff representative and start making first impressions that will have a huge impact on the industry's future. J. Rhett Evans is GCSAA's chief executive officer. First impressions Imagine thousands of kids getting thousands of first impressions on golf courses. What could that do to increase interest in working in the industry, showcase the profession and create future golfers?

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