THE TRUTH ABOUT GREEN SPEEDS
Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, NY, will be in the national spotlight when it host the 120th U.S. Open from Sept. 17-20. It will be the sixth U.S. Open held on the club’s iconic West Course, dating back to 1929. At least one thing will remained unchanged from the five previous championships: Even the world’s best golfers will struggle on the West Course’s wicked fast, undulating green complexes.
Green speed is one of the most sensitive and misunderstood topics in golf. Golfers see lightning-fast greens on television or hear claims about green speeds at a course they admire and think that’s an ideal their home club should apply, too.
What they may not realize is that those conditions require significant resources to deliver, may last for only a short period of time and are not appropriate for the vast majority of golf courses or golfers.
There is also a lot of misinformation about green speeds, so golfers shouldn’t believe everything they hear from their playing partners or television broadcasters.
George Waters, Manager of Green Section education for the USGA, looks at five things every golfer should know about green speed.
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On Sept. 23, the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America, in conjunction with other global superintendent organizations, is encouraging all those who love golf to thank their course’s superintendent as part of “Thank a Golf Course Superintendent Day,” a campaign to recognize those who help keep the game going.
In anticipation of the official celebration on Sept. 23, last month the TGA asked its membership to thank their supers on Twitter with a #SuperShoutout in addition to submitting shoutouts on our website. The results were overwhelming. We received more than 330 responses from golfers praising their grounds crews.
Next month, we’ll be featuring those courses with the most “shoutouts” as a special to #ThankASuper day in the Oct. issue of Lone Star Golf, the TGA’s digital magazine. In collaboration, the TGA created a special page on its website that will show all the submissions received from TGA Members and TGA Member Clubs thanking their superintendents and grounds crew, as well as tribute video dedicated to all those who work hard each day to provide the excellent playing conditions that add to the enjoyment of the game.
CHARLIE EPPS NAMED SPIRIT GOLF ASSOCIATION INTERIM PRESIDENT
The Spirit Golf Association (SGA) recently announced that long-time PGA Professional Charlie Epps will serve as interim president. Epps has served on the SGA Board of Directors since January 2020.
The SGA, a 501 (c) (3) charity dedicated to the promotion of amateur golf for the benefit of health-related causes, was formed in 1999 by Houston philanthropist Corby J. Robertson, Jr. Robertson established the SGA and Whispering Pines Golf Club, rated by Golf Digest as the #1 course in Texas, as a mission for philanthropically minded people to support charitable causes, enjoy membership privileges at a world-class golf property and to conduct The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship.
“We are so fortunate to have Charlie step into this role after being an invaluable member of our Board of Directors and take the reins as we continue our charitable missions and promoting the international goodwill of amateur golf,” said Robertson. “Right now we’re focusing heavily on our recently created Spirit Food Fund, and Charlie has been instrumental in helping us raise more than $1.35 million for the food insecure. He brings years of unmatched experience and expertise in the golf industry and will continue to be a great asset to our organization.”
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INITIATING DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS [CMAA]
We are living through a challenging time in America with COVID-19, a focus on diversity and social unrest throughout the nation. Some experts say it is true leadership that will guide us through these challenging times. Like so many organizations that want to be a part of the solution, club leaders face difficult conversations with employees and members who want to know where their club stands particularly on important social issues.
“The expectations for organizations have changed dramatically over the years, and Americans increasingly expect them to express their values and not just sell or serve,” said Harry Frazier, managing director at Colonnade Communications in Charlottesville, Va. “As consumers, we get emails from merchants and brands about where they stand on certain issues. If clubs haven’t proactively communicated in light of recent events, a subset of members might be wondering why they haven’t heard anything yet.”
The challenge for club leaders is knowing how and when to initiate these seemingly uncomfortable conversations with employees and members.
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