Monday, February 21, 2011

GCSAA , USGA host successful Education Conference's

The Golf Course Superintendent's Assoc. of America's Education Conference continues to be a vital resource for the golf industry as 5,272 seats were filled for more than 100 seminars, Feb. 7-11 in Orlando, a 13 percent increase from 2010. "The GCSAA Education Conference continues to be the best venue for golf course superintendents to keep abreast of the latest trends in golf course management," GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. "I think it says a great deal about the passion our members have for education and their facilities that they travel from all corners of the nation to spend three days in seminar rooms."Content for the seminars focused on the professional development of attendees, including agronomy, business management, communication, environmental management and leadership. Numerous additional educational sessions, panel discussions, and forums that touched on such subjects as the nation's economy, diversity, media/public relations, etc., were offered as well.

Among the education offerings I attended were: a seminar titled Managing & Dealing with Winter Injury; Lessons from the Links (Judy Rankin); Magic of Teamwork (Pat Williams); and Cheers, Tears, & Fears: Hosting a Major Golf Championship. In addition to the GCSAA Conference, the USGA Green Section Conference was held during the week long activities and various season's best "Turf Tips" presentations were made. These are always educational and offered great "take home" ideas. All of these GCSAA and USGA offerings provided valuable information and ideas which I'll incorporate into our plans and programs for the golf course. The Golf Industry Show, 180,000 sq. ft. of all the latest equipment, supplies, nutrient and plant protectants, irrigation products, and essentially everything one could imagine related to golf course management, was on display for two days during the week.
 The Golf Industry Show - Everything imaginable in Golf Course Management

In addition to these sessions I was fortunate to be acknowledged at the event, Celebrating Certification, along with 44 other colleagues, for achieving 25 years of Certification. "Twenty-five percent of GCSAA's Class A members have achieved the highest level of recognition through the CGCS professional designation," said Robert M. Randquist, CGCS, who was elected GCSAA's president at the annual meeting held on the last day of the conference, Feb. 11, and was also another one of the superintendents honored for 25 years of CGCS designation. "This program requires their demonstration of a higher set of competencies in golf course management through testing and practical application. Employers can feel confident they employ a career professional who has made a strong commitment to professional development."

To qualify for GCSAA's competency-based certification program, a candidate must have at least three years experience as a golf course superintendent, be employed in that capacity and meet post-secondary educational requirements and/or continuing education points. The candidate's knowledge, skills and abilities are validated through the development of a portfolio consisting of their responses to skill statements, case-study scenarios and submission of work samples; an on-site inspection of their golf facility; and a rigorous six-hour examination covering competencies relating to agronomic, business, communication, environment and leadership domains.

Maintaining certified status requires renewal every five years after the initial date of certification. To fulfill certification renewal requirements, a candidate must participate in 150 hours of continuing education and professional development. There are a total of approx. 140 superintendents with 25 years or more with the CGCS designation and I am very proud to be part of this group and feel fortunate to have participated in this program and benefited from the outstanding continuing educational offerings throughout these past years.

Portions of this post and photo courtesy of GCSAA

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Skokie CC Retains Audubon Certification

It's been a busy period these past couple months with: Equipment Maintenance and Refurbishment; Tree Management Activities; Snow Removal (especially clean-up of the "Blizzard of 2011"); and most recently, Attending the Golf Course Superintendents Assoc. of America's Annual Education Conference and the Golf Industry Show. I've written about a couple of these items and want to recap the latter in another, soon to be published, post, but upon my return from the GCSAA Conference, I found the following news in my mailbox and thought I would spread the good news.

It's confirmation that we have retained our Certification Status as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. The following letter briefly explains the program and in the near future I will post additional information about our continuing efforts in this program, but for now, the letter below should give good insight into the program.

We became Certified in 2001 and retaining this designation requires bi-annual submission of our continuing stewardship efforts, case studies of projects we have implemented, satisfactory visits from outside environmental groups, and/or extensive survey completion. It's a good bit of effort annually and at each re-certification cycle, but it show's our commitment to continually striving to improve our stewardship of our property and, in the simplest terms, it's the right thing to do!   

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More details will follow about this program, our efforts and projects over the past fifteen years or more, and potential future environmental projects I have in mind.
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