Social media gives golf superintendents all the tools they need to accomplish one of the toughest parts of the job: communication. Last year, Golf Course Industry recognized superintendents who were using social media exceptionally to reach club members or the board, or to share course developments with other supers.
And all that online interaction came together at the GIS TweetUp, held just outside the convention center and led by Pat Jones with his trusty megaphone. We brought the group inside to the Aquatrols booth (#2231) Wednesday for this year’s TweetUp – where superintendents got together offline to talk tweets and enjoy some cold beverages and music.
Also this year, we named another group of top-notch superintendents who know how to connect through Twitter, Facebook and blogs. Though we love a good laugh, we looked for social-media-savvy superintendents who were out there, smartphone in hand, with course updates and turf notes, a blog post or maybe a quick video. These superintendents are some of our favorites:
Kaminski Award for Social Media Leadership
Bill Brown, Hartefeld National GC, Avondale, Pa.
Bill Brown is no stranger to social media. He always seems to be finding a new way to connect golf to technology, between his blog, Twitter and iTurfApps pages and videos. He consistently brings new information on how supers can use social media and their phones to improve their courses. Last year, Bill was named as one of our Best of the Blogs – this year, he’s the winner of our Kaminski Award for Social Media Leadership.
Andrew Hardy, Pheasant Run GC, Sharon, Ontario
Superintendents are sometimes a thoughtful bunch, with time to think while caring for the turf. This means blogging is second-nature to some, like Andrew Hardy. He provides plenty of depth in his posts, with reports and ruminations on what’s happening with his course – and even in his career. He also includes lots of photos to illustrate all those ideas.
Dan Meersman, Philadelphia Cricket Club, Philadelphia, Pa.
Dan Meersman starts his blog off as a listing of “Grounds Announcements,” but it’s really much more than that. His posts are updates for the club membership, but with an eye to what any superintendent would want to see: lots of information about who’s involved, how the work is done and maybe even a video or so of the progress.
Brian Boyer, Cinnabar Hills GC, San Jose, Calif.
Brian Boyer doesn’t have a lot to say in his posts, but he knows the value of a photo or video. Almost every post comes along with a shot, taking readers right to the scene of the course development, turf crew meeting or odd tarantula sighting.
Outstanding Use of Twitter
Chris Tritabaugh, Hazeltine National GC, Chaska, Minn.
Chris Tritabaugh plays alongside the Lighter Side of Turf team on Twitter, and he was noted in last year’s Social Media Awards for his blog work. But his feed isn’t just fun and games. He ties in notes from his coursework to golf news and resources for superintendents, plus moments of work/life balance with his family and friends.
Matt Gourlay, Colbert Hills GC, Manhattan, Kan.
Matt Gourlay keeps a steady stream of course updates in his Twitter feed. From weather tracking to overall course conditions, he uses those 140 characters to keep players informed. And with water at the forefront of the game, his precipitation notes let members know exactly how much of that resource the course requires – and the cost involved.
Special Achievement in Video/Other
PACE Turf, LLC, San Diego, Calif., “PACE Turf YouTube Videos”
Superintendents can hardly search for turf disease info online without coming across the PACE Turf YouTube channel. Dr. Larry Stowell and Dr. Wendy Gelernter walk viewers through symptom recognition and new turf technology, along with best practices and tips to catching disease before it becomes a problem.
Steven Biehl, Naperville CC, Ill., “GCM Blogging World”
It’s easy for a superintendent to keep a laser focus on his corner of the turf world, while missing out on some of the bigger problems in turf management. Steven Biehl is looking at the big picture with his blog aggregator. Not only does it grab the digital edition of the golf industry magazines (we can’t help but notice who’s at top left), but courses from all over are represented, making it easy to see what’s going on anywhere in the world of golf.