Farewells, not goodbyes

Farewells, not goodbyes

GCI publisher Pat Jones explains why this is a special Carolinas GCSA Conference and Show for a pair of industry stalwarts.

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November 14, 2017
Pat Jones
Show & Event Coverage Top Stories
Each of us comes to an event like the Carolinas GCSA Conference and Show for different reasons. For some, it’s to come up to speed on new technologies or to try to connect with a potential new employer. For others, it’s the Turf Bowl or the Golf Championship. 

But, for almost all of us, the chance to see old friends and make new ones is the greatest attraction of all. This is, quite simply, a fraternity where we build relationships that go far beyond turf. 

Unfortunately, with the opportunity to see friends also comes the inevitability or saying farewell to some too. This year, we say farewell to two of our most notable, best respected and even beloved friends: Dr Bruce Martin and Mr. Willie Pennington. 

On Sunday night, many Carolinas members and others came to Myrtlewood Golf Club to help bid a fond farewell to Bruce and Willie. The folks at Vereens Turf put the event together just to say thanks to these gentlemen but also to remind us how much relationships and our amazing industry supporters matter. It was a farewell, not a goodbye since we damn sure hope they will hang around in future. 

If you don’t know Bruce, CLICK HERE for a quick podcast to help you understand more about his career and what he’s meant both to the university and the golf community here. And Willie? How could you not know Willie? He’s been the face (and heart) of BASF in the region and around the country for 45 years. CLICK HERE for an interview I did with him years ago that just begins to scratch the surface of his contributions:

Bruce is retiring for real and there is some concern about when and even if his position will be filled. Willie is still easing his way out with no official retirement plans in sight. But, the time was right to pay tribute to both men because events like the Carolinas GCSA Conference and Show are as much about remembering the folks who helped build our industry as forging new friendships. 

When you see Willie and Bruce, just say “thanks” for all they’ve done for us. And beg them not to go because we need them more than they ever needed us!