Golf Course Management

SEP 2014

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

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16 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 09.14 As golf course superintendents, we know more than most that the view from the outside looking in is often quite different from how things are viewed from the other way around. As professionals whose work is judged on an almost daily basis by those who play the golf courses under our care, we've all felded questions about why greens aren't faster, rough isn't shorter or why we insist on putting tiny little holes in perfectly good putting greens. Knowing what we know about agronomy and the state of our golf courses, the answers to those questions seem obvious, but even the most knowledgeable, well-intentioned golf - ers sometimes miss the obvious because their point of view is quite different from ours. That common experience is similar to one I've encountered many times during my travels as GCSAA president, during conver - sations with members from courses big and small about the overall value of GCSAA membership. Even the most involved among them have asked me what they get out of their membership in this organization, aside from the magazine you now hold in your hands and the annual Golf Industry Show. The question can take me back, largely be - cause when you're involved in this great orga- nization the way that I am, a day rarely goes by when I'm not reminded of all the good things that GCSAA does on behalf of its members. And despite the excellent job that we do in communicating these accomplishments to our membership, sometimes those messages slip through the cracks. That's why the developments of the past few months have been so encouraging to me, because they have given us another opportu - nity to tell this exceedingly positive story to our members and reaffrm that broad value they receive by belonging to GCSAA. Take, for example, the GCSAA Chapter Outreach Grant program, which announced its 2014 re - cipients in August. This program offers fnancial assistance from GCSAA to its affliated chapters in sup - port of local communication and outreach efforts that further position superintendents as key fgures in the game of golf. This year alone, 11 chapters were awarded grants to help with everything from video production to the creation of print advertising and statewide economic impact studies for the game of golf. For many superintendents, this column might be the frst time they've heard about this program. But for this year's recipients and the chapters who have received help during the previous two years, this program stands as a shining example of the ways the national as - sociation provides benefts to its members that go far beyond the run of the mill. Another effort undertaken by GCSAA that was designed with its members' profes - sional wants and needs in mind is the Golf Course Environmental Profle (GCEP). Begun in 2006, this groundbreaking effort was designed to develop a comprehensive en - vironmental snapshot of golf courses in the United States, for the frst time giving the golf industry solid statistical information on things such as water, nutrient and energy use. Phase II of the GCEP, which was always intended to be a regular series of surveys, will be launched later this year. And to reintroduce that work, this issue of GCM features a story that not only provides a refresher course on the motivation behind and the topics examined by the GCEP, but perhaps most importantly, how the data that has already been generated is being used by GCSAA members to beneft both their facilities and the golf course man - agement industry as a whole. Superintendents are busy individuals, both personally and professionally. I know this as well as anyone, and have no expectation that every GCSAA member will have an in-depth knowledge of every initiative being pursued by the national association. However, as I hope these few examples illustrate, GCSAA is giving much more to its members than just a magazine, an education conference and a trade show. It's also giving them tools that can make them better superintendents and golf course management a better industry. Keith A. Ihms, CGCS, is the golf course maintenance man- ager at Bella Vista (Ark.) Village and a 33-year member of GCSAA. Keith A. Ihms, CGCS More than meets the eye Another effort undertaken by GCSAA that was designed with its members' professional wants and needs in mind is the Golf Course Environmental Profle. (president's message)

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