Thursday, November 20, 2014

Being Social!

This past week I was honored to be a speaker at the Carolinas GCSA Annual Conference and Show in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The annual gathering of golf course superintendents, assistant superintendents and industry representatives is one of the most successful and well-attended regional trade shows in the golf course industry. 

At the event, I joined Pat Jones, Editorial Director and Publisher of Golf Course Industry magazinto co-present a half-day seminar, “Communicating for Success: Social Media and Beyond to an engaged group of superintendents and assistants

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Our presentation was essentially a two-part lesson in public relations and communication. We stressed that social media can be a valuable component of a communications program, which every superintendent should have. We professed that the program needs to begin with clear, simple goals on what one wants to achieve and that those goals should be written and reviewed periodically to insure you are achieving the desired results.  

I stressed to the attendees that blogging is a critical linchpin that can drive much of your communications program. It's a great way to reach your audience (golfers and others) in your own words and setting up a blog is easy and free. I also encouraged the use of multiple social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, FourSquare, YouTube, Instagram, etc.). Individuals prefer different social media platforms and it’s relatively easy to put your content on each of them. My co-presenter and I agreed that Twitter and Instagram are probably the most effective tools for superintendents to tell their stories. I also provided attendees with a brief overview of my website , which in addition to being a valuable communication tool, also serves as the hub of all of my social media outlets.

During the conference and show I also participated in the one-hour panel presentation, “GCSAA at your Service.”  My co-presenters were Rhett Evans, the Chief Executive Officer of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), Chava McKeel, GCSAA Associate Director of Government Relations and Ron Wright, GCSAA Field Staff. The take home message was that GCSAA’s commitment to delivering services to its members has never been greater.   

In addition to presenting, while at the event I was able to attend numerous valuable educational offerings and network with a terrific group of golf industry professionals.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

"I Feel the Need ... the Need for Speed!"

"I feel the need ... the need for speed!" Although it's a line from the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun, many golfers have the same feeling when it comes to putting green speed. 

While not the only aspect, green speed is an important component of a putting green’s overall quality. Consequently, in the winter golf season at Olde Florida, green speed is checked daily on two greens (the two greens are rotated each day). 

Green speed is the distance, measured in feet and inches that a ball travels after being released from the inclined plane of a measuring device. Although Eddie Stimpson developed the original Stimpmeter in the 1930s, an improved design of the device was released and endorsed by the United States Golf Association in 1977. 

More recently, in 2004, another device used to measure green speed was released, the PELZmeter. The PELZmeter was designed to reduce the variability associated with the Stimpmeter. The PELZmeter implements a bubble level system to ensure the ball is released from a consistent height on a tapered ramp, which releases the ball horizontally onto the green to minimize ball bounce. The PELZmeter’s three side-by-side grooves help to minimize ball-tracking effects.

While both devices work well, the PELZmeter is the preferred green speed measuring device at Olde Florida, primarily due to the consistent results obtained when used by multiple employees.

At a minimum, in the winter golf season the greens at Olde Florida are single cut seven days a week, often they are double cut and sometimes they are also rolled. This is all based on the previous days green speed.
Assistant Golf Course Superintendent Andrew Polzin using the PELZmeter on #1 green at Olde Florida