| Nov 16, 2018
A recent initiative within the chapter outreach department and the field staff team is to host a GCSAA board member, who is not in an officer role, as part of a board outreach visit.
This year, in the Central Plains, I had the honor of spending time with board member T.A. Barker, CGCS, conducting site visits and attending two annual meetings. Barker, who is finishing up his first year on the GCSAA board, is from Taylorsville,
Utah, near Salt Lake City. The visit gives board members the chance to get outside of their region to meet members, observe field staff in their environment, and promote GCSAA initiatives.
Our visit began with a trip to Prairie Highlands Golf Course in Olathe to visit with Ethan Shamet. Ethan was in his final day as the Vice President of the Heart of America chapter, as he would assume the presidency at the chapter annual meeting the following
The visit allowed us to discuss the First Green program. If you didn't know, the First Green is an initiative to bring kids to the golf course, with a program focused
on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education. I've previously written on the upside to hosting a First Green event.
It is a great way to introduce youth to the game. These kids could ultimately become the future of golf course management
The following day we spent time with member Bill Irving at Wolf Creek Golf Course, also in Olathe. Bill provided T.A. with a wealth of information on course improvements at the facility. These efforts were designed to help playability and give
members the best conditions possible. T.A. was able to share his experience and the visit was excellent information exchange.
Building relationships is a major component of board outreach. Informing what is going on at the local level is necessary for advancing our profession
Following the site visit, we attended the Heart of America GCSA Annual Meeting. Attendees provided a warm welcome for T.A. He was also allowed a brief moment to introduce himself and explain the board outreach program. His comments
were well received and with roughly 60 people attending it was a great way to meet many at a single event.
That afternoon we traveled to Bolivar, Mo., on our way to the Ozark chapter annual meeting. In Bolivar, we met with 28-year member Ronnie Harman. Ronnie is at Silo Ridge Golf Course. We had a very spirited discussion on certification, the value of GCSAA
membership and the "why" to belong to both GCSAA and the chapter.
This was the first time a board member had visited the Ozark chapter in many years. Meeting Ronnie was an important part of the trip. Ronnie was direct in noting his needs may be different than a member at a larger facility, or at a facility in
a more urban area. He was gracious with his time, and nearly 2-hours later we completed the trip to Springfield.
The next morning we participated in the Ozark chapter annual meeting and education session. We also spent quality time with turfgrass professors Lee Miller of Missouri and Jared Hoyle of Kansas State. This was our opportunity to hear their needs from
the education side, while we were able to update the professors on GCSAA initiatives.
Miller continues to be an advocate for the 50 by 2020 BMP initiative and will work with Missouri to get the project past the finish line. Both Miller and Hoyle see the First Green program as a great way to expose our youth to the golf course.
T.A. then spoke during the meeting on GCSAA programs, services, and initiatives. His presentation was well received.
In speaking with long-time members from the Ozark TGA, they felt the visit was beneficial and a great way to show support for a smaller chapter. That is the purpose of our board outreach efforts. Introducing members to the board and interacting.
Working together to serve.
We look forward to continuing this program in 2019. If your chapter wants to be next in hosting a board outreach visit, please reach out to me and have a great holiday season!