Closing thoughts

Departments - Teeing Off

December 8, 2014
Mike Zawacki
  Mike Zawacki

Typically, every year production of this issue shoehorns us somewhere in between Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday. Frankly, it’s a nutty time of the year because we’re busy managing end-of-year commitments, holiday vacation schedules and strategic editorial planning for the coming year.

Part of that includes issue prep and planning for the Golf Industry Show. Like in recent years, GCI’s show issue will feature our annual State of the Industry report. And as I write, that research is out in the field. So without a doubt you’ll need to pick up a copy of the January issue.

However, we’re constantly discussing the state of the industry… as we see it.

What we know...

Without a doubt, this industry will continue to wrestle with all matters pertaining to water in not only the coming year, but the foreseeable future. What’s interesting is that water impacts nearly everyone — the have not’s and even the have’s. If you’re not asking where to get it, then you’re preoccupied with how to best manage it in your turf system.

Most importantly, as an industry we need to remain out on the forefront of this issue and not only regulate from within, but do a better job of telling that story to the general public. When politicians feel the pressure from constituents who can’t water their lawns, we need to be ready to tell the story about how the course is operating at optimum irrigation efficiency, that x-amount of rough has been converted to native species, and how the local course is an important economic engine to the community.

What we hear...

In the coming year, expect to hear everyone talking about “precision turf management (PTM).” It started to gain momentum this year, but will be the topic de jour in 2015. Again, like with water, it all focuses on being better stewards of the cards you’ve been dealt, and PTM encompasses everything from inputs, to playing conditions and creating a more sustainable and environmentally responsible golf course.

What we think...

Bunkers, bunkers, bunkers. Everyone seems to have a bunker project on the books. It’s just the latest in what appears (again, this is what we “think”) to be a growing boom in course renovation and construction. We suspect courses are dusting off Master Plans and addressing issues impacting playability and economics.

That’s why you need to check out Assistant Editor Guy Cipriano’s feature “Pulling it all together” (page 20), which provides an in-depth account of the $7.2 million renovation of Ford Plantation. Guy’s story is reflective of what we’re seeing, hearing and thinking in the industry. At the very least, it’s an interesting read about giving Pete Dye a mulligan on a nearly 30-year-old project.

One more thing...

Attention all turf students... GCI is seeking qualified candidates for its 2015 scholarship program. GCI and its parent company, GIE Media, has established a fund to support academic scholarships for outstanding college students focused on leading in the green industry.

This is the fifth year that GCI will be giving away a $2,500 scholarship. To be eligible, candidates must be enrolled at a recognized two- or four-year college or university working toward a degree in horticulture, environmental science or other field related to a segment of the green industry.

Know someone who’s interested? Let them know they can download an application by entering into their browser. Applications must be postmarked by April 15, 2015.