GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans made an appearance on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive" program earlier today to discuss the role of the superintendent in leading a golf course's conservation and sustainability efforts. The discussion, all apart of the network's Green Week programming, is featured above.
When American writer Mark Twain pronounced that a round of golf was “a good walk spoiled,” he clearly didn’t have all the facts. Today, we know that walking a round of golf can burn more than 2,000 calories.
We also know a heck of a lot more about the positive benefits of golf and the game's environmental stewardship. So on this Earth Day 2015, here are five fun facts that GCSAA is sharing through a news release that hit media inboxes late last week.
Rhett Evans, chief executive officer of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, will be a guest on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” program on Earth Day, April 22, to talk about golf’s ongoing contributions to environmental stewardship.
Golf is a sport for a lifetime and one that can enhance the environment, while delivering more than two million jobs and contributing $3.9 billion annually for philanthropic causes — more than all other major sports combined.
Evans and Golf Channel personality Matt Ginella will discuss turfgrass, technology and a healthy lifestyle. The show airs from 7-9 a.m. (Eastern) and is re-broadcast from 9-11 a.m.
In the world of proprietary specialty chemical companies, bringing just one new product to market each year can be quite an accomplishment.
The entire process — from the development of an new active ingredient through testing and government approvals and, ultimately, release to customers — routinely takes a decade or more and costs millions of dollars. It’s a high-stakes game that Sygnenta’s Brian Delp, who heads biological R&D for the company, describes this way: “It’s like falling in love and breaking up a few times before you find just the right one.”
That’s what makes the news that has come out of Syngenta over the past eight months all the more remarkable. Thanks to a notable mix of hard work and plain old good fortune, the company has brought four new products into the golf market in that span, the two most recent of which were unveiled Wednesday during Syngenta’s Turf Innovation Day at their research facility in Vero Beach, Fla.
On the heels of the launch of the insecticide Ference last August and the fungicide Velista during the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio back in February, Syngenta officially added the fungicides Appear and Heritage Action to the menu of offerings available to golf course superintendents at this event.
Editor's note: For live reports from National Golf Day 2015 in Washington D.C., all day today, follow GCSAA's Twitter account, @GCSAA.
Rory Van Poucke
Rory Van Poucke got his first taste of government relations in 2012 when his water provider was about to shut off water to his 9-hole golf course in the Phoenix suburb of San Tan Valley.
As a matter of self-preservation, Van Poucke lobbied for more time to find answers and tried to educate his lawmakers on the value of his small business to the area.
“When they called me and told me the water was going to be turned off, I just thought, ‘What floor do you want me to jump from?’” said Van Poucke, who formerly owned two golf courses with his father, a retired PGA pro.
Today, he knows the value of being proactive in his community and sharing real numbers about the golf industry, including how important golf is to the Arizona economy.
He was one of the first to sign up for the Grassroots Ambassadors program offered by GCSAA last year, and he will be one of 26 superintendents traveling to Washington, D.C., with other leaders from GCSAA for the eighth annual National Golf Day April 15.
Famed Atlanta Athletic Club will have a new leader when May arrives.
Lukus Harvey has been announced as the club's director of agronomy. Harvey, who most recently has worked at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (home of the PGA Tour's Honda Classic), comes aboard as one of the golf course industry's most notable personalities departs. Ken Mangum, CGCS, who this year was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame and was the host to multiple major championships including the 2011 PGA Championship, is retiring May 1.
Harvey, a graduate of Ohio State University and 14-year member of GCSAA, interned at Augusta National Golf Club before moving along in his career. It includes stops at Calusa Pines Golf Club in Naples, where he played a key role in the grow-in there. He also served at Trump National Doral Miami, home of the famous Blue Monster.
"He comes from multi-course experience," Mangum says. "I'm not expecting him to be like me. He's going to do things different. I'd tell him to go into it slow, learn how things operate, continue to make changes as you see necessary. We've got a great team here."
That mammoth alligator story still has some bite to it at Myakka Pines Golf Club.
"It calms down, then it heats up again," Myakka Pines Golf Club superintendent Scott Austin tells GCM. 'I think it's good publicity for the club. We've gotten calls from all over the world about it. We still are."
The 13-foot alligator in the spotlight is named Goliath (seen here with a turtle in its mouth, photo courtesy of Austin), whose presence made worldwide news last month. That name, by the way, comes from an online contest that Myakka Pines, located in Englewood, Fla., used to determine a name for the gator that sometimes hangs out on the greens of holes No. 7 and 8 of the White Course at the 27-hole facility. Austin says one of the runnerup names for the gator was Myakka Mike.
Goliath, though, isn't the largest gator that ever has been spotted at the course.
"About 10 years ago there was a 15-footer they called Big George," says Austin, a 2-year member of the association. "I think we even had a Big George hot dog on the menu."
Austin says he usually sees a dozen gators on a daily basis, but there hasn't been any incidents involving humans. He also says they don't damage his courses, which in winter time see about 450 rounds per day.
"You leave them alone, they leave you alone," he says.
Kerns, who oversees Arrowhead Golf Club in Minster, Ohio, didn't see this coming. Kerns, who is battling the disease ALS, thought he was attending a dinner this evening sponsored by the Minster High School girls golf team to raise funds to replace recently eliminated ash trees on the golf course.
Sorry, Dean. This was way more about you than those trees.
Kerns (pictured here in 2014) was presented with a SoloRider single-rider golf car during the dinner as approximately 100 people were in attendance. The SoloRider may not just help prolong Kerns' career but also the ability to play golf, the game he simply adores.
"He's been afraid he can't play golf much more. Golf's been his life," Kerns' wife, Terrie, tells GCM. She tells us tonight he was kind of caught off guard by this secret scenario. "He didn't have a clue. But he thinks it's just fantastic," she says.