Survey at GCSAA 2003 Indicates Internet’s Importance to Superintendents

A recent survey by Bayer Environmental Science of superintendents at the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) International Conference and Show indicated that more than 90 percent of respondents believe the Internet and related online services have a moderate to high impact on the golf course industry. However, most use the Internet to read news and obtain product and technical information, not yet to purchase products, the survey indicated.

Only one individual claimed to “never” use the Internet. The rest of those surveyed indicated they use the Internet mainly to:
Research product/technical information (62%)
Read news (37%)
Review job openings (31%)
Make purchases, general and work-related (21%)
Get event updates (21%)
Just curious (17%)
Correspond through forums (3%)
Don’t use it (1%)

Online Purchasing
Though only 36 percent of respondents purchase work-related products online (and those purchases total an average of 10 percent of monthly purchases), 71 percent said they would purchase products online in the future. They cite close relationships with local distributors/salespeople and unfamiliarity with Internet purchasing as why they haven’t yet purchased online. The remaining 29 percent indicated they would not purchase online in the future or that they live outside the country or have other reasons why they cannot process online payments.

When asked what online functions they would like to use but are not available to them or not invented yet, answers ranged from golf specific weather information to thorough MSDS/chemical information to forums or chat rooms about golf course management.

The survey was conducted at the GCSAA Internet Café on the show floor. One hundred superintendents were surveyed. The average age of respondents was 37, with 92 percent working within the continental United State4s., and eight percent working overseas.

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