Speaking Engagements

I was asked back in July if I would participate in a low input turf maintenance talk at the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America's national conference. GIS or Golf Industry Show is in Orlando this year. I was honored and thrilled to be asked. After hearing who the other two speakers were I spent the next 20 minutes trying to convince the organizer how I was not on their level. He was not swayed and thought I would be a good fit for the panel. I had started thinking about the talk and prepared an outline. We had a few conference calls to discuss content etc. I put together a slide presentation and even practiced it once. The other speakers are Chris Tritabaugh, Hazletine National GC coming off the Ryder Cup and one of the brightest young supers in our industry and Jason Haines, Pender Harbor GC in Brittish Columbia who is essentially doing research on his course and writing some of the best blog posts about it I have ever read. Esteemed company for sure.

original cover slide

one of the slides

another slide from talk
I then received a call from the organizer of the Maine Turfgrass Conference (Mike Guibord) asking if I would be interested in speaking up there in January. Thinking "in for a penny in for a pound" why not? After speaking with him for 20 minutes on the phone explaining what my talk would be about I asked how long the slot would be? He said an hour. I almost drove off the road. Now any of you who know me understand I like to talk. I am even OK in public having had to run meetings for my local superintendents organization and even being a moderator at the New England Regional Conference, but those are very different from being a sole speaker for an hour! The GIS talk is three of us with each being approximately 20 minutes. Mike responds you will be fine we just talked for 20 minutes, as if a phone conversation is akin to standing in front of 100+ people for an hour. I added a couple more slides and worked up a speech for each slide then shaved those to bullet points and then went for broke. Everyone was right. It went fine and I actually received many compliments on the talk.
Me in Maine starting talk
And some good natured ribbing on Twitter from the professor at Penn State Dr Ben McGraw who was actually before me, then a lunch break, then after me in the program. Speaking of Twitter, there were also some conversations leading up to the talk and I was getting nervous as it came closer. One response from Dave Wilbur really hit home and stuck with me:
Twitter conversation leading up first Talk

When it comes to the Bioject and using a biological control for fungal diseases there are not many, if any at all, who have done it for as long as I have here at Mink. 19 years is a long time to not use fungicides. I have seen very good results with it and am very proud to have been using less chemical inputs for 21 seasons. A lot of the credit goes to you the players who are willing to put up with less than "perfect conditions" and my staff who buys into the entire program. Some of it is less insecticides. It is frustrating to work all season keeping good turf only to see it torn up by skunks overnight. We are not regulated and can use any chemicals we choose so voluntarily decide to use less on the majority of the course. Living proof if the greens are good a lot of sins are forgiven. I will update you on how it goes after a couple of weeks on vacation before the show. Wish me luck. For more timely updates on what is going on check out my Twitter feed @22Crowther where it is mostly turf talk but occasionally a rant about the Boston Bruins or pictures of Bert...

1 comment:

  1. You're too kind Matthew! I look forward to meeting you in a few weeks and hopefully some good long discussions!