You cannot be a GCSAA staff member for very long and not become attached to the association’s members.
Regardless of position, staff interacts with the membership on a variety of matters. And while few on staff have an agronomic background, we quickly gain an appreciation for the profession through our orientation and training program. Those interactions become more frequent and friendships are built as we attend conference and show, chapter meetings, host committees at headquarters, go to Capitol Hill to advocate or sit down to do a magazine piece.
Given this relationship, we ride the rollercoaster of emotions with you. When an award is won, we celebrate the accomplishment. When a job is lost, we hope a new door opens quickly. When we see a member on TV, we revel in the exposure. When we hear of one’s passing, there is pit in our stomach.
Today the mood at headquarters is somber. Philip “Stan” George, CGCS (pictured here) at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., was found dead Saturday evening. He was 57. The details of his passing are sketchy, but those details aren't really important. Located just three hours away from GCSAA headquarters, Stan was known to many staff members as we collaborated with him to do media work, write magazine articles, volunteer at golf events, present education events at conference and occasionally take special guests to his club, a true jewel on the prairie that's routinely been ranked among the top 100 courses in the world.