Tuesday, February 23, 2010

GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show

During the week of February 8th, I had the privilege of attending the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America's Education Conference(GCSAA) and Golf Industry Show in San Diego. The GCSAA has teamed with presenting partners which includes the Club Managers Association of America(CMAA) and National Golf Course Owners Association(NGCOA). Participating partners included the Golf Course Builders Association of America(GCBAA), American Society of Golf Course Architects( ASGCA), the National Golf Foundation(NGF) and the United States Golf Association(USGA).

Education and the trade show are two key components of the event for me. 4730 seats were filled for 99 seminars which were presented at the conference by the GCSAA.

I attended two seminars which had outstanding educators presenting some valuable information regarding the turf we manage at Glen Echo.

The first was presented by Ronald Calhoun from Michigan State who discussed"Practical Use of PGR(plant growth regulators) for Golf Courses". We use plant growth regulators for a number of reasons here at our course.
  • Reduction of poa annu seedheads on our greens in the spring.
  • Applications to our greens during the season to reduce the amount of poa annua and increase the amount of bentgrass which is a stronger plant.
  • Speed control and consistency.
  • Growth control.
  • Plant health, reduction in top growth encourages root growth and utilizes less energy which is important for the turf to survive severe environmental or stress conditions of the summer.
Mr Calhoun discussed the different classes of regulators, how to use them effectively and presented research data to help evaluate the use of the various products.

Dr. Frank Rossi from Cornell University presented "Beyond Organic-Sustainable Golf Turf".
Dr. Rossi's take home point in his presentation revolved around improving resource efficiency. Improvement of resource efficiency not only makes sense for the health of our turfgrass but also makes good economical sense in utilizing the financial support provided by our membership.

Early morning presentations called the Innovative Superintendent Session began at 7:00 a.m. on both Tuesday and Friday mornings. Presentations made by fellow superintendents provided great insight into various areas of golf course management including personnel, operations, and construction. Cultural practice tips in water management, bunker stabilization, equipment modification ideas, and quality control were some other great topics covered by my peers. Superintendents from Iowa gave us insight into the terrible tornado and flooding season that struck our neighbors to the north in 2008. Hard work, innovation and determination has brought the facilities back to pre-disaster conditioning.

Two days of walking the trade show allowed me to network with vendors who provide products and services that support our facility. I was also able to check out new and or existing products that could help us provide better playing surfaces. The trade show also offers me the opportunity to renew relationships that I have developed over the years with local and national companies that provide valuable expertise and knowledge in helping our facility evaluate the many products and services that are offered to use on the golf course.

It was a great five days of education and insight into the golf management industry.

Below, I have attached a short highlight video from the GCSAA regarding the conference.

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