Newport and the Chapter Delegates Meeting

Last week I headed off to play Newport CC in the Rhode Island Golf Course Superintendent Associations November meeting. Rain was predicted and of course they got it right. They decided to make it a 13 hole event and we were able to play maybe 8 in relatively decent weather. The last 4 it was raining hard and blowing sideways however. Not the most fun but what can you do?

Bill Coulter, CGCS

NCC clubhouse

sitting room with fireplace going

some historic hardware

random pics hanging on the wall, JFK and Jackie

famous tourney??


close up of some of the builders
The weekend was spent in the company of 98 fellow superintendents from all over the United States. We all represent our local affiliated chapters and gather at the headquarters of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America in Lawrence, Kansas. Actually we meet at a hotel at the Kansas City airport and only make one trip out to the headquarters for a quick tour, some talks and dinner. This was my third or fourth trip out to Lawrence, this time representing the Rhode Island Chapter. They had some issues and asked me a couple weeks ago if I would represent them knowing of my previous involvement for the Cape Chapter. The Cape Delegate, Keven Young and I were none too happy to see snow on cars in RI on Friday morning when we flew out, I can tell you. The Cape area's dodging of storms began early in the weekend.

Jim Fitzroy, CGCS immediate Past President from The Presidents GC in Quincy, MA
The Delegates mtg is a very long weekend because we are not used to sitting in one spot and being bombarded with slides and break out sessions and information overload. In the picture above Jim is all smiles because as past president he no longer has to run this meeting. Actually Jim often smiles because he is a great guy and a true credit to our profession. Behind him is the conference room, which is a great place to have a meeting with less than 70 people so 95-102 chapters becomes a bit cumbersome for three days, hence the airport hotel meeting site.

Board room at headquarters during a break-out session

I was fortunate to get the board room as our location for a small group break-out session during the Friday session at headquarters. others went to places like "the bunker"

Sunday morning during the Government Relations session

in center of another table is Ralph Dane, Field Staff Florida
My table as we discuss the field staff initiative
One of the topics we discussed and were educated on is the GCSAA Field Staff initiative. They are adding staff on the ground, if you will, throughout the country in nine territories. The first was three years ago as a pilot program. They have since added three others and are currently interviewing for the Northeast and then the Northwest. This will be the first time GCSAA has had staff out in the field full time in its 80+ year history. Quite a big deal and large investment. We broke out into small groups to discuss the matter and at my table were the following people and their respective chapters: Vince Zellefrow, San Diego; Stuart Rowland, Hi-lo Desert (calif.); Troy Martin, Miami Valley (ohio); Brian Abels, Iowa and Staffer Scott Woodhead, CGCS who is not only the Manager of Chapter Relations but also a Past President of GCSAA.

So it is a lot of fun to interact with peers from all over the country. The topics covered range from the state of the assoc to government relations as well as presentations and then breakout rooms with all of the candidates. I find the meeting far more enjoyable than the traveling. I am convinced we are not made to fly. Although I have never flown on a  private gulf stream decked out better than Air Force One so it is a sheltered opinion.

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