Stupid beats none

Departments - Teeing Off

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March 11, 2019

I did something stupid at the Golf Industry Show.

No, I didn’t miss a meeting or deadline. I bypassed eating overstuffed burritos. I didn’t visit the Gaslamp Quarter after dark. If you’re looking for drinking stories and pictures, you’re in the wrong place. We’re here to educate and inspire.

That doesn’t mean we totally avoid bad decisions. A group of us active GIS attendees gather annually for a 6 a.m. Wednesday group run. We have strutted along San Antonio’s River Walk, skirted traffic on Orlando’s International Drive and scanned the beauty of San Diego Harbor. In two years, we’ll sightsee along the Las Vegas Strip.

The runs allow us to establish and strengthen relationships. We start as a group before forming packs based on desired pace. This year, I made the stupid mistake of trying to keep up with Shinnecock Hills GC superintendent Jon Jennings and Weston Golf & CC senior assistant Matthew Legg. They were running around a 7-minute mile pace; I’m comfortable on longer runners at slightly above an 8-minute mile pace. I faded in the third mile like Phil Mickelson in the final round of a U.S. Open. After finishing the 6 ½-mile run, I trudged back to our Little Italy hotel, vowing to stay in the moderate-paced pack next year. Knowing your limits minimizes the possibility of doing something stupid.

There’s no limit to the size of our running group. I know when I walk from the hotel to the convention center on that same morning each year, I’m likely to see my former Penn State Golf Courses boss Rick Pagett, TPC Deere Run’s Alex Stuedemann, golf course architect Jim Nagle, Cohasset GC’s Glen Misiaszek and Jennings. They are successful people who make time for fitness despite life and work demands. I can speak for our happy little group when I say I hope you join us next year in Orlando. You won’t be disappointed by the networking or how you feel the rest of the day.

A day after our informal run, is the Health in Action 5K, a wonderful event supporting the Environmental Institute for Golf sponsored Syngenta. The number of participants swelled to 180 in San Diego, the highest in the race’s three-year history. But the number also raises concerns. The GCSAA reported a GIS attendance of around 11,900, meaning only 1.5 percent of show attendees bothered running or walking with their peers in a beautiful setting. From what I hear, numerous GIS-related parties attracted a far greater share of attendees than the 5K.

We all have different agendas and schedules when attending industry events. None of us have two bodies. For an industry that invests billions of hours and dollars into creating healthy playing surfaces, we can all do a better job of promoting personal health, especially after a year like 2018. Brutal growing conditions not only battered turf, they battered bodies and minds. Finding 30 minutes for fitness a few days a week doesn’t suddenly make a tough job easy. But it does help a body and mind withstand the repeatable rigors of precarious work stretches.

Maybe morning runs aren’t your answer to feeling better. Maybe that evening function really does hold career value. We all must determine Best Management Practices for our own bodies.

I like to complete workouts before the day slips away. Even a stupidly swift workout beats missing one.

About that …

I’m not ignoring the fact my role here is changing (page 50). We’ll examine what makes Golf Course Industry special next month.