This past week I had the opportunity to attend the Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Florida. This is an amazing opportunity that allows me to gain valuable knowledge about many different aspects within the golf industry and build important relationships with individuals in several different fields of golf.
The event began with an opening night celebration that highlighted all of the great events that were scheduled and honored several individuals who have made contributions to golf in different ways throughout the past year.
The seminars are an integral part of the show. They offer a wide variety of topics. Two of the seminars that I attended that were particularly interesting and helpful were “DIY For Your Facility” and “BMPs”. The DIY For Your Facility seminar was a presentation of “Do-It-Yourself” ideas that other superintendents have created to solve their facilities’ challenges. The presenters shared their projects (anything from saving water and money to using drones on your course) that could be adopted and adapted to work for organizations. I walked away from this seminar with several ideas that I can immediately implement on my course when I return. The BMP seminar focused on aligning leadership and action to create BMPs (Best Management Practices) for your course. They highlighted 12 different areas that BMPs can be created in and discussed extensively on the how and the why. Attendees of the seminar were also given an extremely helpful book on the development of BMPs. BMPs are essential for safety and consistency in course maintenance.
I also attended a Grassroots Ambassador Boot Camp to learn about upcoming areas of legislation and advocacy that are being focused on in 2017.
The trade show is another area that provides multiple opportunities to learn about cutting edge equipment, materials and practices in the golf industry. It is a massive area that is filled with thousands of vendors showcasing their products. This is also a valuable time to network with vendors and build relationships and gain exposure to products that I may not have otherwise had the chance.
An important part of this week was the GCSAA annual board meeting and voting for board member positions. As a chapter delegate it was my responsibility to represent the North Texas Chapter in the voting. I am proud to announce that my mentor, Rafael Barajas, was voted to the position of Secretary/ Treasure for GCSAA. He is an extremely experienced and talented individual and very deserving of the opportunity.
While in Orlando I had the opportunity to golf at four different high end golf courses for GCSAA sponsored tournaments. This experience was valuable in so many ways. Getting to golf on courses with such a high level of quality offers the opportunity to compare and contrast with my course and identify areas that can be focused on and improved. It also gives me ideas for how to enhance the golfing and customer service experience on my course. Having the chance to network and build relationships with other superintendents is another invaluable aspect of this. These types of relationships are paramount to success within the superintendent field.
An achievement I am particularly proud of in 2016 is obtaining my Certified Golf Course Superintendent certification. To close out the week, a lunch celebration was held to honor the 2016 Class of Certified Golf Course Superintendents. There were 20 individuals that were celebrated.
A closing celebration was held on the last night as a way to bring everything together. There were several speakers and also two comedians. This was an enjoyable way to build camaraderie. The Golf Industry Show is important for some many reasons. The knowledge that I gained over the course of the week will have immediate and sustainable impact on my course. The relationships that were built and fostered will also be important to ensuring continued success.