Golf Industry Show 2012, Las Vegas

It is great to be home after spending a week in Vegas. I normally have this blog posted first thing Monday morning but the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was spend time away from my family writing my recap of the week. It's now Monday afternoon and I have finally decided to give it a go.

First I would like to recognize my staff for doing such a wonderful job while I was gone. I came in on Sunday to find everything in top shape. Again, the weather threw them a curve with a light snowfall, but they still managed to check off a few more projects including some drainage between the tee boxes on fifteen.

The highlight of the trip had to be receiving the Presidents Award. I cannot describe how it feels to be recognized by my peers. When GCSAA's President Bob Randquist called last October, it really caught me off guard. Once I realized that he and the Board of Directors were responsible for the nomination, the gravity of the award fell upon me. This has been the highest honor of my career and I thank Bob and theGCSAA Board for bestowing this upon me.

Receiving the award in Peter Jacobsen's presents could not have been any better. Peter and I go back twenty plus years to the days when I maintained his putting green at his home. It was there when he told me he wanted me to help build Stone Creek Golf Club. For both of us to be recognized at the same event was a moment to cherish. Peter's a true gem to the golf industry and receiving the Old Tommy Morris Award was a well deserved honor. Here is a short video of some of his speech from the show.

David Feherty was our key note speaker at the Golf Industry Show General Session. As always, he kept us in stitches with his wit as he recalled some of his past experiences. Feherty has now been a US Citizen for over two years and it was amazing to see his patriotism shining through. Feherty is co-founder of an organization called Troops First Foundation. He and co-founder Rick Kell have developed several programs and events designed to help Wounded Warriors and their families that address relationship building, mentoring, reintegration and moving forward. Listening to him tell the stories of his experiences was certainly inspiring to say the least.

David Feherty from GCSAA TV on Vimeo.

While walking the trade show floor I like to look for new and innovative products. Especially ones that would enhance Stone Creek Golf Club. One item that caught my eye were these manufactured stone tee signs from Tee Box Creations. Their stones are made from 5000 psi solid cast stone with no resin or plastics. It is solid throughout and is exceptionally durable. What caught my eye was the price. You could pick up a pretty nice sign for around $500. That's not a bad price by golf course amenity standards. These would certainly take Stone Creek's presentation to the next level.

Standard Golf was displaying a new sign for the driving range tee. If you have been following my previous posts regarding the proper use of the driving range tee, this sign may look familiar. If I can contribute to the the greater good I like to share my ideas. Steve Tyler at Standard Golf liked the sign so I gave Standard my permission to print make it on their standard 12x12 aluminum sign. They tweaked the graphics a bit to save on printing costs. I believe the overall message is the same. I hope people take advantage of the sign and use it on their range. It is my goal to re educate the golfer on the proper range etiquette. When used properly we can use the range much more efficiently  and have it heal much quicker as well.

The trade show floor seemed to have more traffic than in recent years. On day one there was a huge line at registration which some stated may have been an over site on GCSAA's part but contrary, it was a great problem to see. I think by the time the numbers are counted the show will be an overall success. Many of the vendors I spoke with seemed very excited by the amount of traffic they had by their booths.

Las Vegas was a memorable week for sure. Especially reconnecting with all my close friends from across the country. The networking alone at the GIS is worth the price of admission. It is through sharing experiences and talking about what works and what doesn't that has inspired me over the years. I enjoy staying in touch with many friends through social networking but there is nothing like good ol' fashioned face-to-face to rekindle the friendships.

Through social networking I have met a lot of superintendents from around the globe. It was great to put a face to the name on many occasions in Vegas. One was Jason Chennault who made the trip all the way from Calcutta to come to the show. Working in India, Jason has utilized social media to stay in touch with his US counterparts and is often part of many Facebook conversations. Social media has certainly impacted the golf industry in a positive way.

On a final note, I would like to congratulate Class A Superintendent, Darren Davis on his selection to the GCSAA Board of directors. I cannot think of a better candidate for the position. Darren and I spent time at Mirimichi Golf Club recording Golf Channel vignettes  a couple years ago and have been friends ever since. He is a first class guy and will be a true servant on the Board.

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