Grand finale: Closing Celebration wraps up #GIS18 in style

An Auburn triumph in the Turf Bowl, a new GCSAA board of directors and the comedy of SNL alum Darrell Hammond put a bow on San Antonio.


Darrell Hammond "Saturday Night Live" alum Darrell Hammond was the featured performer during Thursday night's GCSAA Closing Celebration at the 2018 Golf Industry Show, which also featured the unveiling of the winners of the 2018 Collegiate Turf Bowl and the new GCSAA board of directors. Photo by Montana Pritchard

It was a chance to relax, laugh, and say goodbye.

On Thursday night, GIS 2018 San Antonio finished with a flurry. The Closing Celebration, presented in partnership with John Deere Golf, provided an opportunity to herald GCSAA members in a fun format at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

Center stage was former "Saturday Night Live" star Darrell Hammond, who is known for his impersonations, particularly President Bill Clinton. In fact, Hammond once met Clinton, who apparently wasn’t offended by Hammond’s work.

“He said, ‘I make the headlines, but you turn them into gold.’ All I could say was ‘Thank you for my house,’” Hammond said, referring to a nice living he made from having some fun with famous figures such as Clinton on SNL.

Even Auburn University got a mention from Hammond. Why? The Tigers took home the GCSAA Collegiate Turf Bowl championship. “I want to congratulate Auburn University,” Hammond said. “You Turf Bowl people are very bright. I went to the University of Florida and got a 2.1.”

Speaking of Florida, it took center stage when one of that state’s superintendents, Darren J. Davis, CGCS, was elected GCSAA’s 82nd president.

It was the first speaker, though, who eloquently summed up what happened this week in San Antonio. John Deere sales manager Dave Plaster delivered a message to the audience that never ceases to resonate.

“With your help, we’ll find ways to advocate for this industry we all love,” Plaster said.

Howard Richman is GCM’s associate editor.