GCSAA Education Conference Concludes in Atlanta

Sean A. Hoolehan, certified golf course superintendent at Wildhorse Resort and Casino in Pendleton, Ore., was elected the 70th president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) at the association’s annual meeting, Feb. 10 in Atlanta.

The annual meeting was among the activities conducted during the 2006 GCSAA Education Conference, Feb. 6–11. The conference is the education complement to the Golf Industry Show held Feb. 9–11.

Elected vice president was Ricky D. Heine, CGCS, general manager and director of grounds at The Golf Club Star Ranch in Austin, Texas, while David S. Downing II, CGCS at Rivers Edge Golf Club in Shallotte, N.C., was elected as secretary/treasurer.

Two new directors were elected to the board:

  • Patrick R. Finlen, CGCS, Director of Golf Maintenance Operations, Olympic Club, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Sanford G. Queen, CGCS, Manager of Golf Course Operations, Overland Park (Kan.) Golf Club

Those remaining on the board and fulfilling their terms include:

  • Mark D. Kuhns, CGCS, Director of Grounds, Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J.
  • James R. Fitzroy, CGCS, Director Wollaston Recreational Facility/Presidents Golf Course, North Quincy, Mass.
  • Robert M. Randquist, CGCS, Director of Golf Course and Grounds,Boca Rio Golf Club, Boca Raton, Fla.
  • Timothy T. O’Neill, CGCS at the Country Club of Darien (Conn.), also remains on the board as immediate past president.

The GCSAA Education Conference continues to be a vital resource for the golf industry as 7,229 seats were sold for the 107 seminars. That compares favorably to the 7,329 seats filled last year in Orlando, despite GCSAA officials having to relocate the event twice due to hurricanes last fall. Content for the seminars focused on the professional development of attendees, including personal skills (finances, time management, quality of work/family life); leadership (teamwork, professionalism); communications (administration, management, scientific content, outreach); operations management (financial management, resource allocation, regulatory compliance); and resource utilization (staff, materials, equipment, golf course). An additional 50 hours of panel discussions, sessions and forums that touched on such subjects as diversity, media/public relations, environmental compliance, etc., were offered.

“Continuing education is not an option for golf course superintendents—it is a necessity,” Hoolehan said. “Not only is it important for their professional development, but for the success of the golf facility as well. I believe the quality of the programs and the number of attendees is a testament to the importance golf course superintendents and employers place on GCSAA programs.”

The GCSAA Education Seminar Program has been presented in partnership with Jacobsen, a Textron Co., since 1996. The sponsorship includes the activities conducted in Atlanta and regional education seminars conducted by GCSAA and its chapters throughout the year.

A highlight of the conference, the Collegiate Turf Bowl, was won by Iowa State University (Travis Dykstra, Clint Crill, Shane Brockhoff, Jake Kocak). The event featured a competition between university/colleges to identify soils, turfgrass species, diseases, weeds and insects. In addition, the examination included questions on business and financial management. Teams from Purdue University finished second, third and fourth.

The conference welcomed leaders from all aspects of the golf industry as attendees, participants and contributors to the seminars, forums sessions and special meetings.

“The diversity of attendees reflects on the value of the event from the industry perspective and the desire to integrate the industry to an even greater degree,” Hoolehan said. “The convention halls were not only filled with golf course superintendents, but also owners, managers, golf professionals, architects, builders, government officials, golf association representatives, members of the environmental community and other interested individuals.”

The 2007 GCSAA Education Conference will be held Feb. 19-24 in Anaheim, Calif.

Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org for more information.

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