The staff of GCM goes to great lengths to learn about the business of golf course management. None of us are formally trained in turfgrass science — street smarts over book smarts, I guess — so any chance we get to dive in and get some first-hand knowledge about the job of the superintendent, we take it.
Case in point: Last week's Green Start Academy in North Carolina, the professional development event for assistant superintendents put on by John Deere Golf and Bayer Environmental Science. As is customary, the companies extended invitations to attend and cover the event to industry media, so we took them up on the offer, sending our editor-in-chief Ed HIscock on his very first trip to the greater Clayton/Fuquay-Varina (really, that's where Bayer and John Deere, respectively, have facilities in North Carolina) metroplex.
From his recap to our staff upon his return, sounds like it was a great event. I've been to several myself over the years, and would have to agree that the companies put together a top-notch show for the assistants in attendance. What he didn't tell us, however, was that he got his hands a little dirty and took one of John Deere's new hybrid greensmowers for a spin while he was there.
Fortunately, we had a spy on the ground in North Carolina (I'm not naming names, but I will say that we have some great friends on the PR side of this industry!) who sent me a few pictures of Ed in action. Not sure how straight his lines were or how precisely he made his turns, but it is photographic proof of our dedication to learning as much about the business that we cover as we can.
It also might be the first step into a second job for Ed. If anyone needs help mowing greens out there — I wouldn't trust him with a walk-behind just yet — you now know where to call!