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Voices

President’s Message: Variety is the spice of life

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By the time most of you read this, the maintenance team at the Country Club of St. Albans (Mo.) will be on the backside of one of the busiest summers any of us can remember.

I’ve made mention of this in previous columns, but in the span of six weeks, our facility played host to not one, not two, but three significant tournaments: the professional Metropolitan Open in mid-June, the Junior PGA Championship for girls in mid-July, and the boys’ Junior PGA Championship just 10 days following the conclusion of the girls’ event.

If that had been all we had to concern ourselves with during that stretch, it would have been plenty. But to which I’m sure you can all attest, tournaments are never the only thing on the plate for a golf course maintenance team. There are small projects to complete, meetings to attend, budgets to monitor, and day-to-day play to prepare for, which, at a 36-hole facility such as ours, can be a handful all on its own.

As if that weren’t enough, I have had to balance everything taking place at St. Albans with my responsibilities as GCSAA president. The summer months are typically busy ones for the association’s board of directors, with major industry events to attend and board meetings to prepare for. Balancing those important duties with everything that was occurring on my golf course was a constant challenge for me — one that made me sympathetic to what former GCSAA board members Pat Finlen, CGCS, and Mark Kuhns, CGCS, went through when they hosted the 2012 U.S. Open and 2005 PGA Championship, respectively, while serving on the GCSAA board.

So, yes, to say that I had to wear a wide array of hats this summer to successfully accomplish what we pulled off would be a massive understatement. But to say that I wasn’t prepared to wear that many hats would be almost equally inaccurate. I was ready for it, and I can tell you with great certainty that I have GCSAA to thank for that.

It’s no secret that superintendents at venues of all shapes and sizes juggle an amazing variety of tasks in their jobs. Some are agronomic, some are administrative, and some are managerial. So it should come as no surprise that for as long as I’ve been involved with this great association, GCSAA has focused its programs and services on endeavors that prepare its members to successfully deal with everything they face from one jam-packed day to the next.

The annual Golf Industry Show is a perfect example of GCSAA practicing what it preaches when it comes to the organization’s desire to educate the entire superintendent. The menu of educational offerings each year provides opportunities to improve communication skills, to learn about the latest construction and renovation techniques, and to garner helpful personal finance and retirement tips. And, of course, there is a litany of agronomic education tailored to both warm- and cool-season turfgrass managers.

Learning opportunities such as those extend well beyond the classroom, too. I’ve picked up a host of valuable tips and tricks that I use almost every day from one-on-one interactions with my peers at chapter education and golf events, and by participating in the GCSAA Golf Championships. And later this year, GCSAA is offering another such opportunity with the first-ever Can Am Cup, Oct. 22-24.

You can read much more about this inaugural event in this month’s message from GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans (see “A win-win competition,” Page 16), but I couldn’t be more excited about the great golf and great networking that will be taking place at the Can Am Cup, as well as the unique variety of education that will be available to participants. For more information, go to www.thecanamcup.com.

Trying to balance the wide array of obligations we have as superintendents is never easy, and it’s often not a lot of fun. But it is gratifying to know that, for the most part, we’ve prepared ourselves to meet those challenges when we have to, and that GCSAA is dedicated to making sure we stay that way well into the future.


Bill Maynard, CGCS, is the director of golf course maintenance operations at the Country Club of St. Albans (Mo.) and a 31-year member of GCSAA.