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January 17, 2014

{ Editor’s Notebook }

The business end of golf

Turf is the easy part of being a superintendent, for many supers – it’s the people that can make the job difficult. Superintendents gathered from all over the country to work on those business skills that make up the rest of the time not spent growing grass at the annual Syngenta Business Institute at Graylyn International Conference Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. in December.

The four-day seminar, run with Wake Forest University, not only covered business topics, but gave the small group of 23 superintendents the chance to play through situations and find the best solutions for working with others. During the seminar on negotiations, superintendents worked with partners in a scenario to try to find a resolution that gave benefit to everyone involved.

“Not only can you learn a lot from the instructors because that is their area of expertise, but you can learn a lot from the real-life stories about what happens to this guy here,” says Matt Kregel of The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wis. “Everyone is a little bit different and unique, but I think listening to a lot of those stories and applying what you learn in class, you can definitely better your way of managing.”

Also returning from last year’s SBI were seminars on financial management and bridging the generation gap. A brand-new module focused on leading individuals and teams across cultures, as well.

Beyond the teaching sessions, superintendents had plenty of time to network and talk about both work and more during receptions and an off-site dinner. The program is free, but superintendents must apply to be a part of the annual sessions.

Continue the trend

For our third year running, Golf Course Industry will recognize superintendents and industry leaders who are using social media exceptionally well to keep others updated, share course changes and show the world what the life of the superintendent is like.

Once again, the megaphone will be back at the Aquatrols booth (#1013) in Orlando, when Pat Jones takes the floor to announce the winners of this year’s Super Savvy Social Media Awards for 2014. Aquatrols partnered with GCI once again to recognize standouts in the social media world for Twitter, Facebook, video, overall social media strategy and the much-coveted John Kaminski Award for Social Media Leadership. Come by the booth Wednesday, February 5 at 3 p.m. to be a part of the conversation and connect offline with other superintendents and researchers, as well as enjoy some cold beverages and music.

Don’t forget to tweet at us with the #GCITweetUp14 tag on Twitter to let us know you’ll be there!

Get in touch with GCI at GIS

Catch an opportunity to meet the editorial staff of Golf Course Industry plus your favorite columnists by dropping by our booth (#3003) on the show floor. Come tell us what you think of our State of the Industry stats this year, and how it looks from where you’re standing – or even just to hang out with the coolest golf magazine in the field.

If you haven’t had a chance to use our iPad or iPhone app, come by to get hands-on with a giant version on the big-screen in our booth!

Know your fuel

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute is focused on a new national ethanol education campaign called “Look Before You Pump.”

The “Look Before You Pump” campaign cautions consumers and turf maintenance professionals that it is harmful and illegal to use higher than 10 percent ethanol gas in any outdoor power equipment such as mowers, chain saws, UTVs, generators and other small engine products.

Research that shows high-ethanol blends of gasoline can damage or destroy small engines not designed to handle it. A recent OPEI/Harris Interactive study shows the vast majority of Americans (71 percent) are “not at all sure” if it is illegal or legal to put high level ethanol gas (i.e., anything higher than 10 percent ethanol) into engines such as those in boats, mowers, chain saws, snow mobiles, generators and other engine products.

For more information, visit and search for #LookB4UPump on Twitter and Facebook.

Podcast pick of the month

With the Golf Industry Show 2014 coming up, it’s hard not to want to be involved in the big show. But it’s important to remember your local association, as Tim Kreger, executive director of the Carolinas GCSA reminded us during the Carolinas show last November. Head to to hear it.


From the feed

The Syngenta Business Institute gave superintendents the chance to learn and network, and some of them did a little networking on Twitter as well! There were plenty of opportunities to share some knowledge – and maybe have a little fun in the process.

Greg Shaffer @gtshaffer
#SBI13 Day 1. Lets do this.

Erwin McKone @TurfDoctor
I can smell the intensity.

Matt Kregel @CreekSupt
Day 1 of the Syngenta Business Institute. Great info as we start in on financial management.

Erwin McKone @TurfDoctor
My view of a great industry event, Syngenta Business Institute. #SBI13 Make sure you apply in 2014!

Ryan Bourne @TCCcaddyshack
No better way to network!