Sunday, March 1, 2015

Golf Industry Show 2015 in San Antonio

This past week Mitch and I had the honor and pleasure of attending the 2015 Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, Texas.  GIS includes both the annual national conference of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the National Golf Course Owners Association, among others. This year was very special as we accepted the 2015 GCSAA President's Award for Environmental Stewardship from GCSAA President Keith Ihms during the Opening Ceremony.  This is the highest member honor given out by GCSAA and we could not be more proud.

Besides being able to address the attendees of the Opening Ceremony after accepting our President's Award I also had the pleasure of presenting to my fellow golf course superintendents on Tuesday morning.  My presentation on our Electric Equipment Initiative and how successful the project has been was very well received and we got lots of positive feedback and questions regarding our results.  Hope some will go back and really research the benefits of using electric equipment on their golf courses.

The Golf Industry Show provides many opportunities to meet new people and reconnect with old friends and this year was no exception.  I had the opportunity on Wednesday to promote our environmental projects on GCSAA TV with fellow environmental award winner Gary Ingram from California in a segment hosted by the one and only Brad Klein of Golfweek Magazine.  This was followed by another interview and then another one and finally the day concluded with a fun interview with John Maginnes on SiriusXM PGATOUR radio daily afternoon talk show.  It is always great to talk with the SiriusXM guys as they completely understand that without the work and dedication of the golf course maintenance staffs no golf would ever get played.

In many ways this had to be the busiest GIS ever with presentations and speeches each day but we still had time to meet with many people to talk about the future of environmental sustainability in the golf course industry.  We were able to meet with the great folks from Golf Environment Organization and discuss the exciting changes in their certification program.  We met with Ms. Teresa Wade of Experience Green to discuss the success of her Sustainability in Golf program.  At the Environmental Institute for Golf reception we got to speak with many like minded persons in the golf course industry and got to catch up with two of my mentors, David Phipps, GCSAA Northwest Field Rep. and Anthony Williams of Stone Mountain Golf Club.  These are only a few of the meetings and contacts and I would like to thank everyone for their time and interest.

It wasn't all work though and Mitch and I had time to relax and take in many of the sights offered in San Antonio.  We did make it up to see the Alamo, unfortunately it was night and the mission was closed.  The Towers of the America's was quite a sight to see especially at night lit up with the GCSAA emblem and the San Antonio Riverwalk was extremely nice even though the unseasonably cool weather kept most from walking along it.  We had a great time at the Jacobsen rodeo on Tuesday night where we got to get up close and personal with some authentic Texas longhorns and then watch a live rodeo.

Once again our supervisors in Nashville showed their continuing support for us by joining us at the event.  Mitch and I have to thank Mr. Nixon for taking time out of his busy schedule to always show his support for us.  It was nice to be able to spend some time with GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans and GCSAA President Keith Ihms over the past few months both at the USGA Annual Meeting and the GIS.  From my standpoint the golf course industry is in good hands and is primed for future success.

Again, Mitch and I have to thank everyone at GCSAA for their generous hospitality and recognition this past week.  It was a once in a lifetime experience that we will not soon forget.  To everyone behind the scenes at GCSAA and GIS THANK YOU.  If you are a superintendent that has not attended the GIS make it a career goal to do so.  You will not regret it and your course will get so much out of it.

Hope everyone who attended returned home safely and did not have to wait in the airports too long.  Til next year in San Diego.

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