September is a month of transition as students head back to school, football season begins, and the seasons transition from summer to fall.
The temperatures may not cool off as they did in the past, but the photo-period pattern of change over the year remains constant. Golf course superintendents, much like the turfgrass they maintain, adapt and transition their resources with the ever-changing weather patterns. Fall brings afternoon shadows forcing the turfgrass to reach for the light and to build carbohydrate reserves as the daylight shortens. On the horizon, superintendents will raise the height of cuts, and begin work in the dark hours of morning.
During my career I have experienced several transitional opportunities, the most recent is when I joined the GCSAA as the Southeast field staff representative. It is an honor to help our members, advance the golf course superintendents profession, and improve communities through the enjoyment and vitality of the game of golf! I recently spent a week at the GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence meeting great staff who prioritize serving our community through education, advocacy, communication, environmental awareness and resources to ensure your professional success. If your travel allows, I highly recommend a stop in Lawrence to visit your association headquarters.
September is also the beginning of chapter and local association educational meetings throughout the Southeast region. These meetings are a great way to connect, learn and develop professionally. The Southeast regional chapters list upcoming events on their individual websites and can also be found on GCSAA's website.
Now that schools are back in session, it’s a great time to start scheduling First Green events. GCSAA's First Green is an education program that uses golf courses as learning labs for unique science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) applications. Golf course superintendents and their staff can apply what they do every day to help compliment what the students are learning in the classroom connecting STEM concepts. I am available to help you schedule a First Green program and introduce future generations to a career in golf course maintenance.
Other important dates in September included Labor Day on September 4, the Autumnal Equinox on September 22 and “ Thank a Golf Course Superintendent Day” on September 12. The global celebration of golf course superintendents recognizes their hard work, environmental stewardship, advocacy, community inclusion and dedication in keeping the golf course enjoyable to all that play the game. Among the groups participating with GCSAA on September 12 are the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), the Australia Sports Turf Manager Association (ASTMA), the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) and The Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Associations (FEGGA). I ask that you join me on September 12 in recognizing golf course superintendents and their staff on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media using the hashtags #ThankASuper or #ThankAGreenkeeper.
As we transition to a new season, I am looking forward to meeting you and working with your chapters. Thank you for ALL you do! #ThankASuper