Conference and Show
The ties that bind
In a fitting, fun-for-everyone destination, GCSAA once again
brought its extended family together for an all-time
record-breaking, celebratory reunion.
ith all due respect and ning of generations at the associa-
W plaudits to GCSAA's offi-
cial1996 entertainer, John
Michael Montgomery, the tune "Fam-
tion's highest level by the Williams
family of Illinois.
In between were hundreds of
GCSAA members and staff, commer-
ily Tradition" by one of his country
and western music colleagues seemed cial representatives and association
to be forever echoing throughout the allies attending the conference and
endless expanse of the Orange show with their families in tow to
County Convention Center in take in the area's myriad delights.
Orlando, Fla., during the 67th Inter- All told, this golf course industry
national Golf Course Conference and family added up to a record-shatter-
Show held Feb. 5-11. ing conference and show attendance
Although a family theme was defi- of 21,784, along with almost 700
nitely protocol during the closing Gala trade show exhibitors. It was reflective
'96 (related article on page 88), it also of earlier in the week when an
was repeatedly in evidence through- unprecedented 720 participants
out the association's activity-laden played in the GCSAA Golf Champi-
week. It almost was enough that onship (see article on page 104).
GCSAA's conference and show was in Thus, GCSAA's annual pilgrimage
Orlando - perhaps America's ulti- to celebrate the golf course manage-
mate family-oriented destination. ment profession continues to know no
But there was much, much more. bounds, and association officials
Intentionally and otherwise, GCSAA already expect a similar response to
played host to family reunions all over the 1997 assemblage in Las Vegas
the place - from the grassroots gath- next Feb. 6-12.
ering of superintendents from the GCSAA's affair in Orlando was indeed family-oriented.
Dodson clan of Canada to the span- Continued on p. 44
Golf Course Management / April 1996 41
Conference and Show
Historic hand off
Emblematic of GCSAA's family
affair in Orlando was the official
change of leadership at the closing
Gala '96. When 1995 president Gary
T. Grigg, CGCS, passed the gavel to
Bruce R. Williams, CGCS, it marked
the ascendancy of the association's
first second-generation president.
Not only was Bruce's father, Robert
M. Williams,the association's president
in 1958, but he also was among those
on the dais at the gala to be honored
- as the 1996 recipient of the USGA's
prestigious Green Section Award.
The theme played on when
GCSAA's highest honor, the Old Tom
Morris Award, was presented to golf
course architect Tom Fazio, a man
known by many as much for his com- Toro's virtual reality was an eye-opener.
mitment to family as for the long list
of award-winning and environmen-
tally friendly golf venues he has
brought to life. honored two industry legends in the removed from that of the golf course
making as this year's Distinguished superintendent, he noted.
Booming kickoff Service Award winners: 1993 president Holtz talked a lot about attitude -
A few days earlier, Grigg, superin- Randy Nichols, CGCS at Cherokee one's attitude toward adversity, toward
tendent at Royal Poinciana Golf Club Town & Country Club in Dunwoody, a purpose and toward one's self.
in Naples, Fla., and himself born of a Ga., and Michigan State University's "Adversity is to be overcome," he said.
family with strong agronomic inter- Paul Rieke, Ph.D., a turfgrass manage- "Always have that hope. Within an
ests spanning five generations, ment educator and researcher for more organization, associate yourself with
opened the Orlando festivities with a than three decades. people who care, make sacrifices,
traditional ribbon cutting and a pre- Also recognized were Dan Rack- accept criticism and have a passion
diction that immediately looked to be ~iffe,CGCS at The Longshore Club in for excellence."
right on target: "The 1996 conference Westport, Conn., as the recipient of Above all, Holtz added, is having
and show will impact the golf course the Leo Feser Editorial Award for his the right attitude when viewing the
industry for years to come." winning superintendent-authored "big picture," the central purpose.
Presented in partnership with article in GeM, and the new GCSAA "Don't forget exactly what you're try-
United Horticultural Supply, GCSAA's golf champion, Jim Dusch, CGCS at ing to do ... what your job is," he said,
Orlando kickoff was one of its more Atlanta National Golf Club in adding that a professional should be
riveting opening sessions in recent AIpharetta, Ga. adept at helping satisfy the needs and
years. Following Grigg's bold but The large Opening Session crowd wants of others.
prophetic statement, the association was also treated to a video promoting
GCSAA's highly popular TV show, A reason for being
"Par for the Course," which in March If GCSAA's conference and show
began a new season on ESPN, the all- has a central purpose in the final
sports network that reaches about 65 analysis, it's education. The Orlando
million American households. gathering was up to its usual incredi-
That impressive lineup served to bly high standards with educational
set the stage for the session's keynote programs and activities in all direc-
address by famed Notre Dame football tions. Staff's array of more than 90
coach Lou Holtz, who made up for a educational sessions, forums and sem-
late arrival with an entertaining hour- inars attracted more than 5,500
long motivational rendition of registrants, an all-time record. The
personal experiences from a man who lineup of educational sessions included
Some serious scrutiny on the trade show floor. holds one of the nation's most visible some that dealt with matters close to
and pressurized jobs - not too far Continued on p. 46
44 Golf Course Management / April 1996
Conference and Show
SHOW jromp.44 Emblematic of GCSAA's emphasis
on education and its professional ben-
many superintendents' hearts, such as efits was the annual certification
the Decision-Makers Forum; Identity luncheon and meeting. Partnering
Crisis, a session on image; another on with Ciba Turf & Ornamental Prod-
employment security; and a couple of ucts this year, GCSAA showcased
days of exploring the ongoing con- 144 newly certified superintendents.
frontation with Poa annua. Traditionally taking the back seat
A workshop featuring the to no educational event in popularity,
Audubon Society of New York State's the Turfgrass Tour took its sell-out
Cooperative Sanctuary Program for entourage on a whirlwind spin of
golf courses also included an introduc- The Turfgrass Tour included a stop at Walt
Disney World's recycling center. Walt Disney World's nursery, recycling
tion of ASNY's new Cooperative and composting facilities, as well as
Sanctuary Program for Schools that WOW's Eagles Pines and Osprey
is being sponsored by GCSAA Ridge golf courses; then toured The
(related article on page 125). what to do if you are fired; Nancy Scotts Company's renowned research
The always-popular and heavily Pierce of The Links at Crowbush facility in the Orlando area; and
attended Innovative Superintendent Cove on Prince Edward Island finally stopped off at the Grand
sessions didn't disappoint. Each ses- reviewed her work in the develop- Cypress Resort as guests of superin-
sion began with an early morning ment and management of an tendent Tom Alex, who showed off
breakfast, compliments of GCSAA environmentally sensitive golf course; his modern maintenance operation.
partners American Cyanamid and another Canadian superintendent, Highlighting the educational activ-
Club Car, and then offered almost two Robbie Hellstrom of Mont- Tremplant ities for GCSAA's many student
hours of popular peer-to-peer, how- Golf Course in Quebec, coaxed his members was the Collegiate Turf
to case studies. colleagues to consider their worth as Bowl competition that centered
Some of the more attention-grab- "directors of golf" in the ongoing around the identification of turfgrass
bing innovative subject matter again management tug of war; and Ken specimens and the solution of turf
included those issues most closely Thompson of Stone Harbor Golf Club management problems. Steve Millet
observed by today's superintendents. in Cape May Court House, N.J., of the University of Wisconsin-Madi-
Ed Walsh, CGCS at Essex County demonstrated how a little common son edged John Mills of Penn State
Country Club in West Orange, N.J., sense can lessen the rigors of dealing for first-place honors, while Josh
imparted firsthand knowledge on with personnel. Mahar of the University of Nebraska
This year's Student Forum empha-
sized the job market, ranging from an
exploration of career opportunities, to
the value of intern programs, to
career success stories by several men-
GCSAA's chapters were the sub-
ject of much conference and show
talk because of the election results at
the annual meeting concerning dual
membership and the affiliation agree-
ment, but they also made an impact
on the education front through
forums for chapter publications and
workshops for chapter leaders.
Enhancing the educational offer-
ings at the conference and show was
the simultaneous interpretation ser-
vice for selected sessions made
available through GCSAA's partner-
ship with Toro International and
Turfgrass Tour participants got their exercise during an unscheduled stop.
Continued on p. 66
46 Golf Course Management / April 1996
Conference and Show
What are friends for?
Greatest show on turf GCSAA's industry and association
Benefiting most dramatically from allies were on hand in Orlando to pre-
the unprecedented attendance at sent informative and sometimes
Orlando was the trade show, which revealing mini-conferences.
featured a record 693 exhibitors whose The American Society of Golf
wares covered 208,870 square feet. Course Architects used the GCSAA
Significant trends were in evidence - conference and show as a stage for
such as the introduction of seven-plex celebrating the society's 50 years of
mowers by Toro and Ransomes, existence and presenting a unique
Jacobsen celebrating its 75th birthday The Opening Session included the traditional
educational session. Panelists at the
with a "one-of-a-kind" anniversary event moderated by ASGCA presi-
edition of its new Tri-King triplex dent Jeff Brauer included Pete and
mower and Rain Bird's latest in com- conference and show partners, The Alice Dye, Rees Jones, Robert Trent
puter-~nhanced irrigation technology. Scotts Co. (sponsor of the President's Jones Jr., Ed Seay and Art Hills.
Cognizant of the issues of the day, Reception), to announce the winner of Remarks also were given by venerated
many exhibitors stressed the environ- its 1996 Tradition of Excellence society member Geoff Cornish and an
mental friendliness of their products. Award: Stan Metsker, CGCS at the actor portraying the legendary archi-
And for out-of-the ordinary, there Country Club of Colorado in Colorado tect Donald Ross, who opened the
were Toro's irrigation promotion fea- Springs. A superintendent for nearly session with a series of "remem-
turing a virtual reality show, four decades, Metsker, among other brances" of the old master's work.
Monsanto's magician and Oase's cap- things, is credited with helping iden- The National Golf Foundation's
tivating water arch. tify salt-tolerant turfgrasses. He also session was highlighted by the release
In all, the expanded Orange has been one of the most enduring of the results of an NGF study of
County Convention Center prompted and active members of the Rocky golfer attitudes and perception toward
an aura of positive feedback for Mountain GCSA, notably as a prolific superintendents. Overall, the research
GCSAA as exhibitors reported strong writer and editor for its publication, revealed that a surprising number of
traffic, an abundance of quality leads the Rocky Mountain Reporter. Metsker golfers are aware of the superinten-
and a general good feeling about the will be honored with the award during dent's professional role in the care and
conference and show overall. The Tradition tournament on the upkeep of a golf course.
The trade show setting also was an Senior PGA Tour on April 4-7 in The USGA in the meantime,
opportunity for one of GCSAA's key Scottsdale, Ariz. treated a large audience to a rendition
of "Golf Course Management: Past,
Present and Future." The four-hour
session included presentations from
various Green Section directors and
agronomists, a look at the associa-
tion's first 100 years and the next 100
years by its executive director, David
Fay, and, of course, repeated stints
featuring the USGA's ever-popular
The American Zoysiagrass Associ-
ation's annual forum featured
presentations by superintendents
Denis Barron, CGCS at Missouri
Bluffs Golf Club in St. Charles, Mo.,
who oversaw the sodding of a new
venue with zoysia, and Tim Taylor of
Richland Hills Country Club in Brent-
wood, Tenn., who converted his
course's ryegrass fairways to zoysia
with big-roll sod and was back in busi-
ness in less than two months.
Keynoter Lou Holtz told his audience to get an attitude.
Continued on p. 70
66 Golf Course Management / April 1996
Conference and Show
The Society of Golf Appraisers
featured a computer graphics presen-
tation about the physical and
economic issues that involve superin-
tendents and can lead to increased
profits and owner equity.
Member services galore
One of the busiest areas on the
trade show floor was GCSAA Mem-
ber Services, which included six
kiosks comprising the services the
association's staff provides the mem-
bership. The hotbeds of show-goer
interest centered on the merchandise
store and the Career Development
A Blues Brothers act put GCSAA in the mood for an upbeat week.
Continued on p. 72
GCSAA's educational program attracted a record 5,500 participants.
70 Golf Course Management / April 1996
Conference and Show
Resource Center. Both did a land-rush
business, with long lines of attendees
toting away their apparel and other
merchandise, and the resource center
handling almost 900 resumes and a
steady stream of interested visitors
talking with employers, employment
consultants and a group of mentor
The GCSAA Bookstore also was a
busy stop, enhanced by book -signing
sessions that featured the recent
works of Robert Kroeger, Sidney L.
Matthews, Mike Klemme, Mike Hur-
dzan, A.J. Turgeon and Pete Dye. The
"Par for the Course" kiosk grabbed the
spotlight, as well, especially when it
hosted a run on free "Par" sweatshirts,
and for the second year in a row, the
free cancer screening booth drew
ample lines of attendees. Career Development's job board was an attention-grabber again this year.
GCSAA Friends of The Founda-
tion's annual meeting and reception
played to more than 200 guests. Hon-
ored were The Foundation's latest center lobby. GRrrrrreat!
scholarship winners announced last A reception also was an opportu- GCSAA Government Relations'
December, while an update on fund- nity for participants and friends of biggest contribution to the conference
raising activities included recognition GCSAA's Government Relations Net- and show was partnering with Ciba,
of The Foundation's many contribu- work to learn about the association's Jacobsen, Lebanon Turf Products and
tors. The Foundation also again advocacy programs and the chapter Rain Bird in presenting a dramatically
sponsored the vintage maintenance or alliance advocacy efforts that the improved Environmental General
equipment display in the convention network promotes. Session format - expert moderator
Arthur Miller orchestrating a panel
consisting of superintendents, a golf
course designer, a turfgrass professor
and environmental activists going
head-to-head over the issue of the
coexistence of golf courses and the
environment, or lack thereof.
(For a comprehensive look at the
panel discussion, see the related arti-
cle on page 90.)
The event, which produced a hearty
positive reaction from a large audi-
ence and similar feedback in the
succeeding days at the conference
and show, also featured a formal pre-
sentation of honors to the national
Environmental Steward Award win-
ners and the President's Award for
Environmental Leadership to the
As 1995 president, Gary Grigg also
used the forum to announce
Free cancer screening was a service popular with many attendees.
Continued on p. 74
72 Golf Course Management / April 1996
Conference and Show
SHOW fromp.72 ing for something to do in this visi-
GCSAA's new environmental pro- The pure numbers reflect both the
grams and initiatives, which included record attendance at this year's con-
the association taking a leading role ference and show and the increasing
in the development of environmental popularity of the social events. For
principles for the industry, an active instance, the service offered tickets to
participation in the Environmental the many Disney theme parks at a
Summit, participation in the EPA's special rate and sold nearly 3,000
Pesticide Environmental Stewardship before the week was out. The four
Program, and a sponsorship role in tours catered to 1,060 people in all,
the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary while the two Wednesday mixers - The GCSAA Merchandise Store did a landslide
Program for Schools. one for adults and one for children -
had almost 400 participants. But the
Off-site socializing big number came at the end - Sun-
Not to be undone by the many day night's "Private Affair with were the 18-Hole Challenge drawing
activities going on within the conven- Shamu" at Sea World. The dinner and winners.
tion center, the awesome number of show seemed hardly private as just a Richard Zepp, CGCS at
attractions found in the Orlando area few GCSAA staffers, members, fami- Whitinsville Golf Club in Whitinsville,
undoubtedly played a key role in this lies and guests shy of 3,000 took part. Mass., won the grand prize, a Regal
year's record attendance. From the Valanti 182 SE Mercruiser sport boat
almost obligatory visits to Walt Dis- The big winners and trailer, while Bruce Behnke of
ney World's theme parks to daily Although there were many more Belmont Hills Country Club in St.
social tours that included a river winners than losers at GCSAA's 67th Clairsville, Ohio, took home the sec-
cruise and a stop at the Kennedy conference and show, some won ond prize, a Kawasaki Jet Ski Tandem
Space Center, superintendents, their much more than others. Three mem-
families and guests were never want- bers who immediately come to mind Continued on p. 76
Seminar interpreters used all kmds of methods to get the facts straight.
74 Golf Course Management / April 1996
Conference and Show
SHOW fromp.74 Ciba, was a popular stop, and handy,
too, with its location in the lobby/reg-
Sport Watercraft, and Mike Varkonyi istration area.
of Louisquisset Golf Club in North In the meantime, the International
Providence, R.I., won third place, a Summit attended by GCSAA execu-
weeklong cruise for two aboard a tives, industry leaders and
Royal Caribbean luxury liner. representatives of several countries,
Although all 18-Hole Challenge dwelled on the common fronts the
participants received a 17-by-24-inch golf course industry faces worldwide.
print of golf superstar Ben Crenshaw GCSAA's 1995 president, Gary T.
by David Pursell, artist and executive Grigg, CGCS, noted that those com-
vice president of Pursell Industries, mon fronts include the heart and soul
earning the framed, No. 1 copy of the of GCSAA's mandates: image, the
print was the first GCSAA member environment and career assistance.
to turn in his completed challenge Much of the roundtable discussion
card at the "19th Hole": Jeff Johnson, involved the progress, ideas and needs
assistant superintendent at Midland of those common issues. It was evi-
Hills Country Club in St. Paul, Minn. dent that most of the countries in
attendance have placed a great
An international flavor emphasis on education - notably
The international participation at Canada, the United Kingdom, Ger-
the conference and show continued many and Switzerland - for their golf
to be more visible than ever at course management professionals, but
Orlando - 65 countries were repre- at the same time most of them cov-
sented by nearly 1,800 attendees. The Almost 1,800 foreign attendees tuned into golf
International Lounge, sponsored by Continued on p. 80
The hectic registration area reflected the record attendance at the 67th conference and show.
76 Golf Course Management / April 1996
Conference and Show
eted the expertise of GCSAA in that
area. Mexico, for instance, said green
industry publications from the United
States would greatly enhance that
country's educational efforts.
To no surprise, the environment is
a paramount issue worldwide, and all
agreed that a proactive stance is pre-
ferred. Dr. James Beard, who
participated in the summit discussions
as an interested observer, suggested
that the global environmental effort
not only be a proactive one, but also a
sustained, long-term effort to counter
activist movements, many of which
have basically remained the same
over the last 30 years while periodi-
cally stirring up new spasms of
GCSAA efforts mentioned
Outgoing GCSAA President Gary T. Grigg, CGCS, presided over an incredible smash hit at Orlando.
Continued on p. 84
The immortal Donald Ross came to life to help the American Society of Golf Course Architects mark its 50th anniversary.
80 Golf Course Management / April 1996
Conference and Show
GCSAA s array of presenting partners assured attendees of first-class amenities.
SHOW fromp.80 tions have become very aggressive in Michael DeYoung of the Hartlen
promoting their members as facility Point Forces Golf Course in Nova
included the upcoming development leaders are in evidence worldwide to Scotia and 1995 president of the
of public statements about well-main- some extent. Most agreed that more Canadian Golf Superintendents Asso-
tained golf courses being good for the emphasis on the expertise of ciation, noted that GCSAA has
environment, as well as a challenge to the superintendent - the agronomic members in more than 50 countries
take the lead in using GCSAA factor - should be at the forefront of and queried GCSAA leaders whether
research to support industrywide efforts to elevate the superinten- they had considered international
efforts promoting golf's positive rela- dent's status. chapter affiliation.
tionship with nature. Spurred by Argentina's Ricardo de "We still have a lot to do at home,
GCSAA's new president, Bruce R. Udaeta, many of the representatives but there are services available (to
Williams, CGCS, and Beard both put were interested in the improvement or other parts of the world)," Williams
the weight of success in golf course outright establishment of international replied, adding that the GCSAA's new
management's relation with the envi- relations in golf course management. affiliation agreement is not applicable
ronment on GCSAA's individual From Ireland, where there are 300 to chapters outside the United States.
members. Williams said association superintendents with an average age
leadership must get the word out, of 32, more student exchanges and Votes of confidence
and then the members must "walk use of the Internet were suggested, The results from the annual meet-
the talk." while representatives of the British ing generally reflected support for the
As for career assistance, move- and International Golf Greenkeepers direction the membership-driven
ments similar to that in the United Association mentioned the use of association is headed. The 1996 Board
States in which club professional more international speakers at confer-
and general managerial organiza- ences around the world. Continued on p. 86
84 Golf Course Management / April 1996
Conference and Show
of Directors retains nearly all of its '95
makeup, while the bylaws and articles
of incorporation issues all earned
huge margins of victory, including the
much-debated dual membership and
chapter affiliation issues.
The dual membership requires all
Class A and B superintendents join-
ing GCSAA or an affiliated chapter to
join both, effective July 1, 1997. That,
in turn, reflects the affiliation agree-
ment, which requires all chapters
wishing to be affiliated with GCSAA
to sign the agreement by Jan. 1, 1997.
Also easily approved was the
removal of voting privileges for Class
C members, which was followed by a
supporting vote to reduce those
members' dues to encourage mem-
bership growth in that classification.
Williams and new vice president Buttons promoting GCSAA's Las Vegas conference and show in '97 were handed out in glittering fashion.
Paul S. McGinnis, CGCS at Moon Val-
ley Country Club in Phoenix, Ariz.,
were elected by acclamation, while another year in his-current term on Bozeman, Mont., and also returning
George E. Renault III, CGCS at Burn- the board, as does Tommy Witt, CGCS for another year is Michael Wallace,
ing Tree Club in Bethesda, Md., at Wynstone Golf Club in North Bar- CGCS at Hop Meadow Country Club
topped David W. Fearis, CGCS at rington, Ill., who was not up for in Simsbury, Conn., who for the sec-
Blue Hills Country Club in Kansas re-election. Elected to a second term, ond year in a row was the president's
City, Mo., for the secretary/treasurer meanwhile, was R. Scott Woodhead, appointment to fill the secretary/trea-
position by 1,500 votes. Fearis has CGCS at Valley View Golf Club in surer's unexpired term. Grigg, of
course, serves a year as immediate
past president. The only new face on
the nine-member GCSAA board is
Ken Mangum, CGCS at Atlanta Ath-
letic Club in Duluth, Ga., who won his
seat with a solid 3,500-vote total.
That evening at the Gala '96 fes-
tivities, Williams expounded on the
task ahead for himself and others
among the GCSAA leadership. His
personal endeavor in that regard, he
said, will be shared by both those in
the Williams household and those
who work for him at Bob O'Link Golf
Club in Highland Park, Ill.
'The commitment to serve GCSAA
will take a tremendous amount of
time and sacrifice by my family and
my staff," he said. "We are prepared
for the challenges and hard work
ahead. I will give my best effort every
day to work for GCSAA." ~
The "Greatest Show on Turf" played to a full house.
Jerry Ostmeyer is editor of GeM.
86 Golf Course Management / April 1996