Friday, June 30, 2017

In my first month...

New and old: Joined here with GCSAA Secretary/Treasurer Rafael Barajas (left), former South Central Field Staff Representative Brian Cloud (2nd from left) and Southern Oaks superintendent Jorge Croda, CGCS (right)

On June 1, I headed to GCSAA headquarters for training to become the South Central Field Staff Representative.  After two intense days of drinking from the fire hose, I flew back to Houston to prepare to hit the road.  On June 7, I attended the North Texas GCSA meeting at Southern Oaks in Burleson, Texas.  Host superintendent, Jorge Croda, had the golf course in pristine shape for their chapter championship.  Jorge’s good friend and GCSAA Secretary/Treasurer Rafael Barajas flew over from Florida to join the fun.  The next day, I had the opportunity to visit with GCSAA member Richard Webster at Thorntree Country Club.  This was a special treat for me because Thorntree was the very first golf facility that I worked at to start my 30-year career as a superintendent and now it was my first facility visit as the South Central Field Representative for GCSAA.

On June 12, I attended the South Texas GCSA Chapter Championship hosted by George Cincotta at Riverbend Country Club.  All participants had a great time and all agreed the course was in fantastic condition.  On June 13, the Texas Gulf Coast GCSA hosted their meeting at Harlingen Country Club in Harlingen, Texas.  Jerry Wade was the host superintendent and President Kevin Girt did a great job organizing the education and golf tournament.  On June 14, I was able to spend a few hours with Mr. Girt at his facility, Northshore Country Club.  We discussed many things related to his facility and the Texas Gulf Coast GCSA chapter.  This region is geographically challenged with many facilities spread out over a large area and it makes it difficult for members to attend meetings, so we discussed different ways to help achieve better attendance.

On June 27, I headed to the hill country of Texas to attend the Central Texas GCSA Chapter Championship held at Vaaler Creek Golf Club.  Host superintendent, Todd Leist, had this remarkable property in great condition for the tournament.  Superintendents and vendors from the Austin area and San Antonio area had a fun day at this event.  The next day I spent a few hours with Ken Gorzycki, director at Horseshoe Bay Resort on Lake LBJ.  We spent a few hours developing a steering committee for BMP development for the state of Texas.  We have identified and contacted nine people from around the state that will make up this committee and our first meeting to get the BMP development started is scheduled for August of this.

I traveled over 2000 miles for my first month and spoke to over 200 people.  When I was not traveling, I was able to speak to members from Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico to introduce myself and discuss issues with their respective chapters.  I will be meeting with members from Arkansas in July to help them get started with their BMP plan and I hope to do the same with members of Oklahoma.  I also worked with many superintendents over the phone helping them with their class status, Grassroots Ambassador program and dues renewal.  I hope to speak with potential new members over the next several weeks.

John Walker
South Central Field Representative

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