William E. "Bill" Kennedy from Chechessee Creek Club in Okatie, S.C., is the new president of the 1,800-member Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association.
Kennedy was elected last week at the annual business meeting during the association's Conference and Trade Show in Myrtle Beach. He is the 43rd president in the history of the association, which was founded in 1954.
Carolinas GCSA announced that the conference set a new high for gross revenues at nearly $667,000. Nearly 200 companies attended the trade show, occupying almost 400 booths. A record number of seats, 1,357, were filled for education seminars and the field of 339 golfers in the annual championship across three courses at Barefoot Resort also set a record.
It was a little more than 200 days before Chambers Bay GC just outside of Tacoma, Wash., would play host to the first swings of the 2015 U.S. Open. But on this day in early November, that major championship seemed a long, long way away. For those tending to the course on this day, just keeping warm was job one.
In the Pacific Northwest, winter was making its first appearance of the year. Air temperatures had only dropped into the lower 40s, but a nasty northeast wind barrelled across Chambers Bay, making it feel much, much colder. It was also wreaking havoc with the greens covers that had carefully been placed atop at least six of Chambers Bay's fescue putting surfaces in an attempt to protect the young grass blades there from winter's bite. Today, though, winter was winning that battle, with gusts as high as 45 mph shoving the covers here and there, leaving the grass uprotected until crews could track down the wayward covers.
The only person who didn't seem bothered by any of this — the bone-chilling cold or the wandering greens covers — was the person who you'd figure would be most concerned by what was taking place, Chambers Bay superintendent Josh Lewis (@theturfyoda), a nine-year GCSAA member. Instead of ducking for cover in the face of wind gusts strong enough to knock a man off his feet or freaking out when that wind got the better of the greens covers and the 15-pound sand bags designed to keep them in place, Lewis instead focused on happily guiding a pair of guests around a rapidly maturing golf course that in less than seven months time will play host to the best players in the world.
The Golf Club at Cordillera Ranch, a Jack Nicklaus signature course located just outside of San Antonio, will serve as the host to the 36-hole GCSAA National Championship when the association's Golf Championships come to town Feb. 21-23, 2015.
Cordillera Ranch, where 19-year GCSAA member Mark Semm serves as the GCSAA Class A director of agronomy, is the home of PGA Tour player Jimmy Walker, a three-time winner on the professional circuit and a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team this past September. Walker took part in a news conference at the club today that officially announced the rotation for the 2015 GCSAA Golf Championships.
Four other courses at three San Antonio locations will also be involved in tournament action in February — the Oaks and Canyon courses at TPC San Antonio, the host to a pair of professional events (the Valero Texas Open on the PGA Tour and the AT&T Championship on the Champions Tour); the Palmer Course at La Cantera Golf Club; and The Quarry Golf Club. On a rotating basis, those facilities will play host to the Four-Ball event, a shamble tournament and the two days of the Golf Classic.
The USGA today announced several major changes in its Green Section department.
Effective Dec. 1, the Green Section regions will be realigned, reducing the current eight regions to four. In the news release from the USGA, the realignment is "to deliver better service to our Course Consulting Service (CCS) customers and to improve efficiency." The USGA says this is the first time in nearly two decades since significant changes have been made to the Green Section regions.
Darin Bevard was promoted to the new Green Section position of director, championship agronomy. He will be lead agronomist for the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women's Amateur. Bevard has been staff agronomist in the Mid-Atlantic Region since 1996 and director of the region since 2012.
Chris Hartwiger was promoted to director,CCS. He will oversee the planning, direction and execution of the USGA's CCS and will work directly with Green Section agronomists on the development and dissemination of science-based and practical sustainable management practices solutions to help golf facilities.
Dr. Charles Sifford, the first African American PGA member to successfully break through racial barriers and compete professionally on the PGA Tour, is being awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Nov. 24 by Barack Obama. The award is the nation's highest civilian honor.
Sifford, who was GCSAA's Old Tom Morris Award recipient in 2007, is 92. He is the third golfer to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The others are Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
Sifford became the first person of color to compete in PGA-sanctioned events following the demise of the "Caucasian-only" membership clause in 1961. In 2004, Sifford was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and two years later was bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree by the University of St. Andrews.
Born in Charlotte, N.C., Sifford recorded two victories on the PGA Tour. The first triumph came in 1967 at the Greater Hartford Open. In 1969, Sifford won the Los Angeles Open.
Sifford's best finish in a PGA Tour major was a tie for 21st in the 1972 U.S. Open.
Interested in Bayer's Plant Health Academy? The application process is now open. Twelve superintendents will be selected to attend the academy in 2015. Below is the news release from Bayer, including how to apply:
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (Nov. 11, 2014) – To provide golf course superintendents a unique opportunity to gain new learnings and be successful at their course, Environmental Science, a division of Bayer CropScience LP, today announced a call for applications for the third annual Plant Health Academy. GCSAA Class A and Superintendent members who are also members of My Bayer Rewards can apply through Dec. 19 to participate in the program, which is one of four educational opportunities available as part of the Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrowinitiative Bayer launched in partnership with the GCSAA’s Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG).
Bayer and GCSAA will select 12 superintendents for the 2015 Academy, a two-part immersive program that allows attendees to participate in plant health research and education sessions. The first session at GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., takes place April 20-22, 2015, and the second session, hosted at the Bayer Training and Development Center in Clayton, N.C., runs from Sept. 16-18, 2015. Attendee travel, accommodations and meals will be paid for by the Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow program.
“Bayer’s Plant Health Academy provides a unique opportunity for superintendents to stay-up-to-date on real-world plant health applications,” said David Wells, golf business manager for Bayer. “The Academy offers attendees a chance to learn from industry experts about the latest trends in plant health and how they can positively impact their course.”
Paul L. Carter, CGCS, has been selected to receive GCSAA's 2015 President's Award for Environmental Stewardship.
Carter, who has been the superintendent at Bear Trace at Harrison Bay, Tenn., for the last 13 years, will accept the award Feb. 25 during the Opening Session at the 2015 Golf Industry Show in San Antonio.
The GCSAA President's Award for Environmental Stewardship is the association's top environmental award and was established in 1991 to recognize "an exceptional environmental contribution to the game of golf; a contribution that further exemplifies the golf course superintendent's image as a steward of the land."
Please visit GCSAA's news release for additional information. GCM will feature Carter in a future issue.