Thursday, February 18, 2016


The days are getting longer and the temps have moderated. These are great signs that the end of winter has started. How long will that take? It's different every year. I always plan my winter work to be completed by April 1.

Last week I was able to attend the Golf Industry Show in San Diego. Yes the weather was warm but they did have the air conditioning on for us in the convention center. Over 12,000 people from around the world attended this event. It is always great to renew friendships and catch up with others in the industry. Even casual conversations lead to exchange of ideas and information.
With a large event, one must have a game plan to attack the needs that you are looking for. The first 2 days I spent in the classroom. I listened to talks on DIY Projects including bat house construction which would reduce the mosquito and flying insect problems. There were several short presentations on equipment modifications that could be useful. A longer presentation on Labor Management from The National Golf Course Owners Association was next. There were several management companies that gave their ideas on managing the largest line item of the budget.

The afternoon seminar I attended was The Business of Golf. They presented their ideas on emerging trends in the industry. The #1 trend they see and we are doing a terrible job is promoting women at the golf course. Europe is doing very well with this and we should follow. I highly recommend that we make a better effort in this area. The good news from this seminar is that we are doing the right things to keep our golfers and attract new ones. They are: 1. Great Course Conditioning. 2. Great Customer Service. Gwen and her staff do an amazing job. 3. Priced Right. The Golf Commission has helped in setting the bar to have a great value to their experience. Other tidbits I'll discus later.

The next 2 days were spent on the trade show floor. With over 5 acres of displays, my game plan was to work on our needs. I spent a lot of time with the tee sign and marker folks. By implementing some new accessories will help bring a fresh feel. I also spent time looking at the fairway mowers as this is our #1 priority of equipment needs. The last main focus area was that of irrigation. The need to upgrade our system is great and we need to start gather information to help decide how we proceed. This is a year or two away.

It is always fun to look in all corners of the show to find those unique items that can help out our needs. I'll comment on two that I saw but there were more. First is a product called Vinyl Guard. It is a vinyl product that when heated shrinks to conform to the object. I have used it before and I will buy some this year to cover our rake handles. Instead of replacing handles, simply cover them to look new again. There is a significant cost savings by covering instead of replacing. Second is a hot item that golfers are talking about are Golf Boards. These are individual boards to stand on to travel around the course. They have a handle bar to grab and and to turn you must lean to one side like a snowboard. I was able to test drive one and they are very safe and fun. This could be another avenue to increase revenue. I will be getting a demo this spring and allow golfers to use and get their feedback on the potential use. I will let people know when that happens.

For now, back to the grind stone.