Carolinas GCSA Conference and Show sets highs in multiple categories

Carolinas GCSA Conference and Show sets highs in multiple categories

Overall attendance of 2,020 eclipses the 2008 high.

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The nation’s largest regional event for golf course superintendents just grew a little larger. The 2019 Carolinas GCSA Conference and Show in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, set new highs in all major categories but one. 
 
More people attended seminars, saw more exhibit booths and competed in the annual golf championship than ever before. Not surprisingly that pushed gross revenues to a new high as well. The sole exception to the upward trend was in the number of individual companies present, down six from the previous record of 221 set before the recession took hold in 2008.
 
“We know we have a great product that presents great value at a great time of year for superintendents in the Southeast and it seems like the word continues to spread,” Carolinas GCSA executive director Tim Kreger says. “But still I shake my head at how we continue to grow. It’s a good indicator that the golf industry, in the Carolinas at least, is back on solid footing.”
 
Underlining Kreger’s point is that the Carolinas show came just three months before the 2020 Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Florida. Historically, there has been a drag on Carolinas numbers when the Golf Industry Show rotates to Orlando every three years. But not so this year.
 
The annual golf championship presented in partnership with Smith Turf and Irrigation started the week with 369 golfers competing across three courses, up on the previous high of 344 in 2015. The total of 1,379 seminar seats bettered the 2014 benchmark of 1,357. And overall attendance of 2,020 was two more than the 2008 high.
 
Terry English from Kiawah Island Resort’s Oak Point course won the golf championship with a one-under par round of 71 at True Blue Plantation. 
 
In other highlights from the three-day event:
 
  • Brothers Wayne Smith, Jr. and Steve Smith from Smith Turf and Irrigation received the association’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.
  • Justin Webb from Palmetto Dunes in Hilton Head, South Carolina, won the $3,000 grand prize in the 27-Hole Challenge presented by John Deere Golf, Greenville Turf and Tractor, and Revels Turf and Tractor.
  • More than 500 people attended Carolinas Night at the Beach at Topgolf presented in partnership with Tri-State Pump and Control, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
  • Brian Stiehler, CGCS, MG, from Highlands Country Club in Highlands, North Carolina, was elected president.
  • Members also elected four new directors: Daryl Ewing from Carolina Lakes Golf Club in Indian Land, South Carolina; Don Garrett, CGCS, from the Walker Course at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina; James Huntoon from Heritage Club in Pawleys Island, South Carolina; and Ryan McClannon from Reynolds Park Golf Club in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 
  • Scott Heath from Kinderton Country Club in Virginia won the sporting clay championship, presented in partnership with Bayer and Carolinas Fresh Farms.
 
The 2020 Carolinas GCSA Conference and Show is Nov. 16-18 in Myrtle Beach.