Thursday, May 25, 2017

Take advantage of the opportunity to get involved

If there is one consistent part of our industry, it is transition.  Seasons change both environmentally and within the business of being a superintendent.  We are transitioning out of a busy education season into facilities opening, handling staff and weather challenges, and chapter meeting and events.  Just because golf begins doesn’t mean education is put on hold.

In a conversation with one superintendent, he told me that attends almost every meeting and plays golf when he attends.  “I always try to take three things back to my facility from every meeting.”  He explained that through education offerings, conversations with peers, and paying attention to the maintenance practices on a colleague’s course, the fact is, he never struggles to find three items to justify his attendance.  He also makes a point to discuss what he learned with his employer.  “We host a chapter education event every year, so my boss understands there is more to our job than standard agronomic practices.  He sees that we learn from each other.”

I have seen meeting attendance increase slightly at chapter events across the region in the last couple years.  Chapter boards continue to look for a magic bullet to drive you, the members, to meetings.  If there was one, they would have been using it! I’ve written about it before in this newsletter: all attendees are a resource for others.  The value to all members is increased by your attendance!

That point was driven home at a recent chapter strategic planning session.  This chapter will be looking to engage members who they have not seen at a meeting or event in a while.  It will not be an easy goal to achieve.  The board is convinced that members who attend a meeting find more value in their association, and are more inclined to engage other chapter events.  The board understands that they must reach out, and actively promote and invite members to attend.  Has anyone done that for you lately?  Would you come to at least one more meeting if someone asked directly if you would attend?

Another colleague spent a long portion of a visit telling me how golf course superintendents need to play the game of golf.  We should understand the rules, be aware of course markings, engage our customers and members and discuss the sport on every level.  We are employed because of the game of golf; explain to those you answer to how important it is to attend meetings and play

There will always be one or more reasons to not go to a chapter meeting.  If you attend regularly, thank you.  I know I have benefitted because you were a part of the event.  If you have not made a meeting in a while, please consider breaking that habit even just one time this year.  Someone will benefit from information you share, and I am willing to bet that you will gain a lot from being there, no matter where “there” is!

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