The Golf Industry Show Reports Record-Breaking Numbers

The 2005 Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Education Conference and inaugural Golf Industry Show wrapped up a week-long schedule of events in Orlando, Feb. 7-12, at the Orange County Convention Center with a strong showing and record-breaking numbers.

The Golf Industry Show, which combines the trade shows of the GCSAA and the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), is a progressive event that features unparalleled networking opportunities and hands-on access to resources for professional members of the golf industry. The Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) will become associated with the event in 2007. Also participating as supporting organizations are the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA), the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) and the National Golf Foundation (NGF).

While the trade shows of the organizations were combined to form a new industry event, each retained autonomous education conferences that ran concurrently with the Golf Industry Show. The objective is to present an industry trade show that represents significant aspects of a golf operation – from ownership, feasibility and design, construction and operations.

Overall attendance for the GCSAA Education Conference, NGCOA Solutions Summit and Golf Industry Show is projected to be near 23,000. Final attendance numbers will be known in approximately a week. Prior to opening registration last fall, officials projected final attendance to be approximately 21,000. Perhaps even more important than the overall figures is the number of "qualified buyers" or those that can influence purchase decisions. Last year in San Diego at the GCSAA Conference and Show there were approximately 6,200 hundred qualified buyers. That number will be eclipsed at the Golf Industry Show in Orlando. It is estimated the number of qualified buyers will reach 8,000.

Exhibitors showed their approval to the creation of the Golf Industry Show as 830 were on hand to showcase their newest products and services, breaking the record of 759 set at the 2001 GCSAA Conference and Show in Dallas. In terms of square footage, exhibit sales covered 270,360, surpassing the projected final total of 255,000 square feet. Last year at the GCSAA Conference and Show, there were 684 exhibitors covering 240,000 square feet. The all-time best for square footage at a GCSAA Conference and Show was 278,000 in Dallas in 2001. This year's exhibit space total marks the third highest.

The GCSAA Education Conference, which ran concurrently with the Golf Industry Show (Feb. 7-12 at the Orange County Convention Center), also drew strong interest. At weeks end, 7,329 seminar seats were processed, marking the second highest total since 7,903 seats were sold in New Orleans in 2000. Last year in San Diego, seminar attendance was 6,772.

In addition, Timothy T. O'Neill, certified golf course superintendent at Country Club of Darien (Conn.), was elected GCSAA president at the association’s annual meeting, Feb. 11. GCSAA members elected three officers and three directors from a field of eight candidates:

President:

  • Timothy T. O'Neill, CGCS at Country Club of Darien, Conn.

Vice President:

  • Sean A. Hoolehan, CGCS at Wildhorse Resort Golf Course in Pendleton, Ore.

Secretary/Treasurer:

  • Ricky D. Heine, CGCS, general manager at The Golf Club Star Ranch in Austin, Texas

Directors:

  • James R. Fitzroy, CGCS, director/superintendent at the Presidents Golf Course in North Quincy, Mass.
  • Mark D. Kuhns, CGCS, director of grounds at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J.
  • Robert M. Randquist, CGCS, director of golf and grounds and Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton, Fla.

Jon D. Maddern, CGCS, immediate past president, and Robert J. Maibusch, CGCS, MG, director, are both retiring from the board of directors. Mark J. Woodward, CGCS, will serve on the board for one year as immediate past president. Gary K. Carls, CGCS, and David S. Downing, CGCS, each have one year remaining on their two-year director's term.

Nicklaus receives Old Tom Morris Award: Jack Nicklaus, one of golf's most influential forces on and off the course, was presented the 2005 Old Tom Morris Award from the GCSAA at the Opening Session, Thursday, Feb. 10. GCSAA’s most prestigious honor, the Old Tom Morris Award, is presented each year to an individual who “through a continuing lifetime commitment to the game of golf has helped to mold the welfare of the game in a manner and style exemplified by Old Tom Morris.”

Miami superintendent claims GCSAA Golf Championship: Seth Strickland, golf course superintendent at Miami (Fla.) Shores Country Club, held off defending champion Tommy Robinson to win the 2005 GCSAA Golf Championship, which wrapped up Feb. 8 in Orlando. Strickland fired a 1-under-par 71 on the International Course at Champions Gate to cap off a two-day performance of 4-under-par 140, three shots better than Robinson and six shots better than a trio of superintendents who finished tied for third. The GCSAA Golf Championship is presented in partnership with The Toro Co.

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