Ralph Dain small thumbnail

Ralph Dain

Florida regional representative

Ralph is a former superintendent and has been the Florida regional representative since 2008. He resides in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Tel. 800-472-7878, ext. 3607

Field staff report

Leading Out with GCSAA

by Ralph Dain | May 11, 2022


If you know GCSAA's CEO, Rhett Evans, you are probably aware that he is an avid mountain climber with many successful climbs. I am sure if Rhett reads this, he will probably cringe at my word choices because I am unfamiliar with the vernacular of that sport. However, Rhett uses his experiences to provide motivation for members of the association as well as staff. Rhett has shared the expression of “leading out,” a term with which I have gained familiarity.

Leading out in terms of mountain climbing refers to those individuals that create the pathway for others to follow as they ascend the mountain. From Rhett’s description, it is an arduous task and can prove, under the harshest conditions, to be quite exhausting. You can probably see where I am headed with this: The individuals that lead out do so to assist others in their attempt to reach the summit.

Nationally and locally, we have many individuals that lead their associations for the betterment of the memberships they serve. You don’t have to look very far to find numerous examples of individuals who “lead out.” Even in the example of Rhett’s mountain climbing activities, those that lead out still utilize trained guides to reach the goal of the summit. Likewise, those that lead the chapters benefit from services provided by guides that assist them in that effort.

Perhaps that guide comes in the form of a talented peer, or maybe even your state or national association representatives. I am not claiming to be a Sherpa, but with the services and programs provided by GCSAA, your field staff representatives, and really, all staff, have the resources to assist local chapters and enhance their ability to serve their members. Those resources also prove beneficial for members to reach their individual career goals.

Services such as our GCSAA-led strategic planning and board orientation sessions guide chapter leaders with the establishment of achievable goals and the development of a vision for the association. The process also helps create a greater understanding of how the individuals who comprise the board will interact and work together as a team.

Regarding career goals, the education we provide remains a pillar in the foundation of GCSAA service. The modernization of our certification program was a huge undertaking that was intended to make that program more robust and create efficiencies in the process. It remains a challenging proposition to earn the CGCS designation, which will ultimately serve those individuals who successfully complete the program well in their pursuit of advancement within the industry.

Similarly, executive directors of your local chapters provide a wealth of knowledge and services. I have heard firsthand during our session at the GCSAAvConference and Trade Show, as well as our Symposium, the many creative ways that our executive directors also help the leaders of the local associations reach their goals. If you have not utilized your local chapter’s leadership, I would encourage you to reach out to them and see for yourself the many ways that they “lead out.”

We are all committed to assisting the individuals who make a living in the golf industry achieve the goals they may have set for themselves. We may not have the need or fashion sense to wear the clothing of a Sherpa, but I guarantee we share the Sherpa’s desire to get you to your summit! I hope you will reach out to us whenever the need arises. GCSAA staff and your local chapter leadership look forward to the opportunity to serve you on your quest to reach the top of your mountain.



  • Jorge M Arreola, Class C, Vero Beach
  • Henry F Eluett Jr, Class EM, Boca Raton
  • Michael H Jamison, Class C, Panama City Beach
  • Kevin W Kouba, Class C, Ponte Vedra Beach
  • Phillip Martin, Class C, Lake Worth
  • Joe E McKenney, Class C, Fort Myers
  • Christopher W Rickets, Class EM, Destin
  • Rich D Spring, Class C, Venice
  • Anthony Swinford, Class SW, Fort Myers
  • Robert J Warren, Class C, Tarpon Springs
  • Scott R Austin, formerly (A) at Myakka Pines Golf Club, is now (A) at Longboat Key Club-Islandside Course in Longboat Key
  • Sean Brunske, formerly (C) at Red Hill Country Club, is now (C) at The Country Club of Sebring in Sebring
  • Paul M Clark, formerly (A) at Castine Golf Club, is now (A) at The Diplomat Golf Resort & Spa in Hallandale Beach
  • Douglas B Cunefare Jr, formerly (AS) at Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club, is now (AS) at Gasparilla Inn & Club in Boca Grande
  • Richie E Edwards, formerly (A) at Holiday Golf Club, is now (A) at Fort Walton Beach Golf Course in Fort Walton Beach
  • Shane R Willey, formerly (C) at Grasslands Golf & Country Club, is now (B) at The Great Outdoors Golf Club in Titusville

Upcoming events

Upcoming events in the region. This is not necessarily a comprehensive list. If you have an addition to make, please reach out.

previous daynext daytoday

Select date
Title and navigation
Title and navigation
<<<March 2023><<
March 2023

Mar, 2023



Florida forums


Visit the Forums »