Monday, January 31, 2011

Randquist talks GIS numbers

I had a nice phone conversation with the soon-to-be president of the GCSAA this morning, Robert Randquist, CGCS at Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton, Fla.

I've been hearing murmurs that GCSAA has been busy lately, as GIS numbers have been picking up in recent weeks. Randquist confirmed this for me.

"Our projections (for the GIS) were not conservative, and they were not liberal -- they were moderate. So far the trade show and seminar seats have both exceeded expectations," Randquist said. "Especially the seminar seats, they're considerably ahead (of projections).

"As you know, these seminar seats and making the trade show floor space goals -- it makes for a financially successful Golf Industry Show," Randquist said.

But what about attendance?

"Attendance is pretty close to what our projections were," he said. "It seems to be up-ticking pretty good lately. Usually in Orlando, we get a lot of walk-in traffic. If we get some of that, we'll be just fine."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Places to be: Turfco booth

Just caught word of what Turfco has going on at their booth (# 2740) this year.

The company is celebrating 50 years of business this year. Turfco invented the spreader back in 1961, so they want to do it up right this year. They're giving away commemorative 50-year divot repair tools at the GIS. Also, people who stop by their booth can register to win an iPad... they're giving away one iPad every month this year.

And their grand prize? One winner will score a free Widespin 1540EC. Score!

Can't wait until Orlando to get your name in the hat for an iPad? You don't have to wait... word is supers will be able to enter on-line via a special link. I've been given that link, but the page isn't live yet. As soon as it goes live, I'll share it with you.

I'm thinking the iPad is the official "it" prize of the year for the GIS. And I think that's cool... they're a hot item. Heck, I know everyone on the Golfdom staff has been Jonesin' to get one!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oregon State study finds optimal treatment for fast, healthy greens

Researchers at Oregon State University believe they've come up with a winning formula for making putting greens fast and healthy – and they have the numbers to prove it.

They examined different rolling and mowing techniques on annual bluegrass putting greens and found that golf balls rolled the farthest when the greens were mowed daily and rolled immediately afterward. The balls traveled an average of 11 feet when struck at a controlled speed, which was 15 inches farther than on grass that was only mowed daily, not rolled.

The next greatest distance, an average of 10 feet, was on plots that were rolled daily but mowed only four days a week.

The study is important because the grass was mowed at a higher-than-normal height, which kept the grass healthy and vibrant and proves that putting speed can still be fast on taller grass.

For the complete press release click here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sad news in the industry

I received some very sad news that my friend Matt Hurley of Standard Golf passed away today. He suffered a brain aneurysm one week ago, had emergency surgery and never came out of a coma.

Matt touched many lives and will be sorely missed by all. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and co-workers at Standard Golf.

-- Pat Roberts, publisher, Golfdom

GCSAA made a strong choice in choosing Evans

Though it might not satisfy some, removing the “interim” title and choosing Rhett Evans as the next GCSAA CEO was a strong choice made by the GCSAA Board of Directors.

In the short term, Evans already knows the score at GCSAA. He knows what the association is going through. He knows what the staff has been going through. There will be no “catch-up” stage.

In the long term, Evans has the pedigree. Keep in mind, when GCSAA hired Evans to become the Chief Operating Officer, they really were hiring him to be the next GCSAA CEO – even ousted former CEO Mark Woodward would tell you that. Woodward introduced the Board to Evans as “his guy” – the two worked together back in Mesa, Ariz. Both Woodward, then Evans, worked as the city’s director of parks and recreation, where they managed a staff of 700 and budget of $32 million.

When Woodward left for Torrey Pines, Evans took over for Woodward back in Mesa. Woodward obviously liked what Evans was made of, because when the GCSAA Board started looking for a COO, Woodward dropped Evans’ name. The Board was looking for a COO, but more important, they were looking for the person to eventually take over for Woodward, and Woodward knew this.

And now that’s happened, albeit a lot faster than Woodward, Evans or the Board of Directors had planned.

But Evans is a leader. He’s also one of the most competitive people I know. Whether it’s golf, duck hunting or his Ironman triathlons he competes in, he likes to throw himself into projects full-bore. These qualities make for a CEO with a strong potential to succeed, and to lead the GCSAA into the future.

"We are excited to have Rhett Evans as our CEO," Jim Fitzroy, GCSAA’s current president, said in a press release from the association. "He has a track record of success everywhere he has been. He has experience in the golf industry, both on the facility level and from an organizational perspective. He has experience in managing a large staff and being accountable to a variety of constituents. And, he is a consensus builder. That will serve him well with GCSAA members and in the increasingly collaborative golf industry."

The truth is, Evans has seen a lot of blood on the walls during his short time at GCSAA. But he empathized with the staff while they were going through it. I can think back to my time at GCSAA during a particularly rough round of layoffs, and though I still disagree with some of the decisions made that day, Evans obviously didn’t take any of them lightly.

I don’t know who else was a candidate for the GCSAA CEO position. But honestly, the Board could have done a lot worse. By taking Evans, they know whom they’re getting. No one knew the last 18 months was really Evans’ try-out for immediately taking the GCSAA CEO position, but that’s what it ended up being.

Now, Evans can lead the GCSAA into the future. With the support of the membership, I think he’ll do a fine job.

Rain Bird's 2011 Intelligent Use of Water film competition now accepting entries

This just in from Rain Bird... and check out the judges, which includes our own Pat Roberts!

(Not sure about Pat judging films though... I recently discovered that he didn't agree with me that "Throw Momma From the Train" was unfairly denied an Oscar.)


Environmentally-focused film competition seeks short films highlighting the need for responsible water use

AZUSA, CA (January 25, 2011) – Rain Bird's 2011 Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition is now accepting entries from amateur and experienced filmmakers who want to raise awareness of the need for effective, efficient and responsible water use. Now in its fourth year, the Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition is open to all narrative, documentary, animated, experimental short films of one to ten minutes in length. These films should creatively explore methods and ideas about how to responsibly manage and use Earth’s most precious resource.

A judging panel of film and water experts will review films submitted via the competition's website, Finalists will win a trip to Los Angeles, where they will be guests at a formal screening event hosted by wildlife expert, Jack Hanna, a 30-year veteran of documentary films and TV shows.

“As a person that has spent the better part of my life documenting the beauty of wildlife and the habitats in which they live, I can appreciate the incredible power that film has to open minds, create an emotional connection and bring about change,” said Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo and Aquarium and host of the syndicated television series Into the Wild. “When I travel around the globe, I get to see firsthand just how strong the connection between water and life is. I am excited to once again have the opportunity to join Rain Bird in raising awareness of the fragility of all life and the need to find sustainable solutions that will preserve all of Earth’s inhabitants.”

Following the screening of the finalists’ films and a roundtable discussion with the filmmakers and judges, two winners will be announced and awarded cash prizes of $6,000 for the Jury Award and $3,000 for the Audience Choice Award.

This year’s competition will also feature a $6,000 Green Industry Award, which will be presented to the finalist’s film receiving the most votes from professionals who work in the green industry, such as landscape architects, landscape contractors, irrigation contractors and golf course superintendents. The Green Industry Award will be presented in partnership with the Questex Media Group, publishers of leading landscape and building publications including Athletic Turf, Golfdom and Landscape Management. Industry professionals will case their votes on a separate website hosted by Questex.

In addition to the return of Questex Media Group and FilmL.A. as Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition partners, The Chronicles Group, GOOD magazine and the Southern Nevada Water Authority have also partnered to support the competition in 2011.

A representative from each organization will also serve on the competition’s judging panel, where they will evaluate the submissions based on their ability to creatively address the issue of responsible water use. The 2011 competition judges are:

• Doug Bennett, Conservation Manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority
• Ben Jervey, Contributing Editor, GOOD Magazine
• Patrick Roberts, Group Publisher, Golfdom and Landscape Management magazines
• Philip Sokoloski, Manager of Communications, FilmL.A.
• Jim Thebaut, Chief Executive Officer, The Chronicles Group, Inc.

All entries to the Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition must be submitted electronically no later than 11:59 PM (PDT) on Monday, August 1, 2011 for consideration. More information about the competition and entry requirements is available at Visit Rain Bird’s Facebook page to share thoughts and ideas with other filmmakers.

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 4 -- All Tigered Out

Welcome back to another addition of Hendren’s Hyperbole! Hopefully everyone had a chance to watch some of the Bob Hope Classic. If you didn’t have time due to an exciting weekend of trips to Bed, Bath and Beyond and Home Depot, you should be ashamed of yourself, but I know how wives and girlfriends do sometimes.

If you missed it, I‘ll fill you in on what you missed.

A rookie wins! What a coincidence, I let a couple of rookies have it in my last post and a rookie, Jhonattan Vegas, ends up winning in the next tourney. I think its Hendren’s Hyperbole karma! Either that or the one thing everyone needed to know about Johnny was he is a Venezuelan who knew little English when he came to the U.S. and he graduated with a degree in kinesiology. What? Nothing about a shoe fetish or his dream foursome? BORING!

Jhonattan earned 500 FedEx Cup points, a Masters invite and a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour with his win last Sunday at the Bob Hope Classic. In only his second PGA tour event he sunk a 15-foot putt on the second playoff hole to defeat Gary Woodland. He nearly holed out for eagle from the bleachers on 18 in the first playoff hole, an awesome shot! One thing is clear; this rookie has got some large stones! Nice work Johnny! You're kind of a big deal!

What does everyone think about Tiger dropping to #3? Personally, I don’t care if he's first or last. I know Tiger is good for the PGA Tour and golf in general but I am all Tigered out. Even when Tiger isn’t in the field he is still a topic of conversation between the on-air personalities. What a joke. I would rather hear about bunker maintenance, or John Daly’s wardrobe than the glitch in Tiger’s swing or whatever the topic of the minute is about Tiger.

That’s it for this week’s addition of Hendren’s Hyperbole! Hopefully everyone can find some time this weekend to watch the Farmers Insurance Open. Tiger is supposed to play so I am sure we will all get our fill of Tiger, his fake niceties and his generic interviews. This one here is my favorite Tiger interview...

Till next week!

-- Matt Hendren

Monday, January 24, 2011

Places to be: John Deere booth (or their website)

Continuing a series, I think the John Deere booth (# 2001) at the GIS will definitely be a place to visit during the show. Why? Well, besides the cool hardware... how about a trip to the Open Championship? Or an iPad?

The cool thing is Deere has already started this sweepstakes, and you can take a shot at it now by visiting

Here are the complete details, courtesy of John Deere:

John Deere Golf has launched its Think Ahead Sweepstakes, offering participants a chance to win a trip for two to the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s or one of several iPads. By watching a video on the John Deere Golf website, or taking a brief tour of the booth at the Golf Industry Show (GIS), golf course industry professionals qualify for a chance to win one of five iPads and are automatically entered for the opportunity to attend the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s this upcoming July.

“We’re focused on providing equipment, agronomics and irrigation products that equip customers for today’s obstacles and tomorrow’s opportunities,” said Gregg Breningmeyer, global director of sales and marketing, John Deere Golf. “We’re excited to offer the Think Ahead Sweepstakes as an opportunity for industry professionals to learn more about how products and support services from John Deere Golf can help them prepare for and achieve success.”

For the sweepstakes, there will be five entry periods. Three will offer online opportunities for entering by viewing videos on the John Deere Golf The first video was posted on January 13, the second will post on February 11 and the third on April 1.
An additional two entry periods occur each day during the GIS where attendees can enter after taking a brief tour of the John Deere Golf booth (#2001). Those interested in entering the sweepstakes through the booth tours should see a John Deere representative once they enter the show booth.

The sweepstakes is eligible only to U.S. citizens and the grand prize winner will be required to have a valid U.S. passport.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Places to be: BASF booth

I thought I'd start a series of posts here about some of the booths that are celebrating the GIS with some awesome giveaways... since I just spoke with these guys yesterday about the topic, I'll lead off with BASF (and to get your cool booth activities listed here soon, email me at

I spoke with Heather Mueller of PSB yesterday, and she told me about how the game of Superintendent Thousandaire works... you know they're giving away some big money prizes to superintendents, a la "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," right?

So I figured that to participate, you have to get your name drawn, or something like that.

But no, it's easier. You just have to be at the BASF booth (# 940) at the right time.

So that time is top-secret, right? There's the rub, I figure... you've got to pop in and hope they're getting ready to choose some supers to compete in Thousandaire.

And then Heather told me, "It's at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, and at 11 a.m. on Thursday."

Ooh! So I got the scoop, right?

"No, we tell everyone that information. We post it on our blog, too."

Oh. OK. Well... how cool is that? You know the time and the place... all you have to do is go to the booth at that time and look like a superintendent who wants to win money. Heck, I could do that!

I'll also take this opportunity to remind you that your friendly (and even not-so-friendly) golf media will all be at the BASF booth at 3 p.m. on Thursday competing in our own version of Superintendent Thousandaire. All the money raised goes to charity. You can read more about that here.

Check out the BASF Turf Talk blog for the complete 411 on their giveaways during the GIS. Here's a hint: cash, product and turf books!

The best thing you could win at the Golfdom booth?

Surprise! It's not this!

(But you could still win it!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Former GCSAA sales chief leaves association to join the First Tee

For almost five years to the day Mark Bisbing was the director of corporate sales and marketing for GCSAA. It was Bisbing who led the charge on all revenue generated for the association. It was on Bisbing's watch that the Partner Recognition Program (PRP) for GCSAA was created, making companies stretch for that next plateau to give more strength to each of their dollars spent with the association (think super-sizing that order of fries for only an additional 39 cents).

That was until a few weeks ago, when he accepted a new job as the director of corporate relations for the First Tee. Located at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., the organization strives to make a positive impact on children’s lives through the game of golf. The organization boasts 3.5 million participants and 705 program locations.

Now living in sunny Florida, Bisbing is already taking advantage of the nicer weather.

“I hit golf balls yesterday,” Bisbing laughs. He wouldn’t have been able to do that back in Kansas where his wife and daughter are still trying to sell their home in Lenexa. GCSAA headquarters had just picked up 5 inches of snow on this day.

In his new position, Bisbing will interact with the First Tee’s corporate partners and solicit funds to support the First Tee. “This was a great opportunity for me. I’ve always wanted to work down here in the mecca of golf,” Bisbing says.

Bisbing says it was with mixed emotions that he left the GCSAA. In one sense he felt like it was best for his family, as the economic environment at GCSAA has been rocky -- layoffs in recent years have cut the staff from 120 to 80 people. And in another sense he felt like he was leaving behind a family -- the great people he’d no longer get to work with every day at GCSAA headquarters. "It's never an easy decision to move your family," he says.

Bisbing says he’ll look back at his five years at GCSAA fondly, but also with a feeling that he left behind unfinished business.

“I still see tremendous opportunity and potential for the GCSAA,” he says. “I think I left and there were still some opportunities that could be leveraged to elevate the brand and revenues for the association that weren’t getting done.”

Bisbing says he enjoyed trying to find creative new ways to connect superintendents to GCSAA’s industry partners.

“The (GCSAA) members are the cornerstone to the success and playability of a course. The main reason you go to a golf course is for the golf course itself, whether the clubhouse is nice or in a trailer,” Bisbing says. “I always challenged the term ‘unseen heroes.’ I always wanted them to be seen heroes. They’re definitely under-recognized for the work they perform.”

For now, the self-described “golf guy” is looking forward to his wife and daughter joining him in Florida, and he’s also happy to still be in the golf business. He hopes he can still help out superintendents in his new role by helping grow the next generation of golfers while impacting the lives of millions of children through the programs and efforts of the First Tee.

“I’ve always wanted to work somewhere where I could make a difference in someone’s life,” Bisbing says. “This isn’t about selling widgets or our stock price, etc., it’s about making a difference in a child’s life. What could be better than that? And to do it in the universe of golf!”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 3 -- TMI, Rookie!

Hola! Welcome back to another addition of Hendren’s Hyperbole! from sunny El Cozumeleno beach resort! Today it is a balmy 80 degrees. 80 and sunny sure beats the brutal -2 and snowy when we flew out of Kansas City. Tomorrow we are going to hit the links at Cozumel County Club. If things go well (I don’t shoot 120) I might fill you in on the adventure in another post.

Let’s get on to this week’s topic, 2011 PGA rookies.

This last week at the Sony Open was the first chance for the 2011 rookies to show the world what they are made of. Twenty six of the 35 rookies teed it up last week at Waialae. This year’s class is very diverse with players haling from Sweden, Venezuela, Brazil, Korea, South Africa, Argentina and the United States. Ages range anywhere from 20 to 41.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find anywhere to watch golf on the beach. However my Samsung Epic is still rocking so I can check out Twitter. Last week the PGA tweeted out a link to a list of the one thing you need to know about the 2011 rookie class. I found this list pretty stinking funny and a little disturbing at the same time. Let’s take a look at a couple of my favorite things you need to know about the rookie class of 2011.

1. Joe Affrunti, 29. Joe says he has a shoe fetish and never travels without flip flops. WHAT? Why do I need to know that? That’s just weird. A grown man with a shoe fetish should keep that to himself. TMI, Joe. Maybe when Joe is in New York later this year he can look up Rex Ryan’s wife and they can compare their open toe shoe collection! HEY-OH!

2. Jim Herman, 33. Jim says his dream foursome would include his father, brother and Donald Trump. Uh, Jim, this is supposed to be your dream foursome. I’m sure you pop and bro are great people but you wouldn’t substitute them for, oh, I don’t know, someone you can’t play golf with on a regular basis? Dream BIG Jim, dream big! I’m going to let the Donald selection slide. To easy.

I’m not sure why we need to know anything about the 2011 rookies but I am sure glad Joe and Jim decided to share! I recommend everyone who has a Twitter account and loves golf follow @PGATOUR for future little nuggets like the one thing you need to know about the 2011 rookie class.

That’s it for this edition of Hendren’s Hyperbole! Oh yeah, in case anyone was wondering I haven’t cut my finger on any coral. I did cut my lip on a beer bottle, but I was a good fifteen feet from the ocean and so far no one has scratched me a check for $70,500. I guess you only get a check if the cut requires stitches.

Check back next week for what I’m guaranteeing will be a great post.

-- Matt Hendren

Monday, January 17, 2011

We've got a new poll

Last week was BUSY, but we got through it... we're starting this fine MLKJ day with a simple question: Do you care who GCSAA hires as its new CEO?

Vote in the poll on the right side of the page! And if you want to add more than a vote, the comments button is always open.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Who will it be? -- Part 4, our best guesses yet??

OK, our WORST guesses yet...

Here's our final installment of suggesting the next GCSAA CEO. Hope you've had as much fun as we have! And good luck to GCSAA finding the right person -- we're rooting for ya!

Seth Jones, editor in chief, Golfdom magazine
Charming; deceptively young given his abundance of gray hair; member of inaugural “Leadership GCSAA” class; once bowled a 135; christened by Phoenix Environmental Care “smartest editor in the turf business”; likes to party; also, humble.
If named GCSAA CEO, would insist on making every day “jeans and a Jayhawk T-shirt day” at GCSAA headquarters. That dress code would apply to visiting superintendents, too.
Why it would work: Jones claims the staff at GCSAA still mostly like him despite his recent move to Golfdom. He could make industry leaders feel good about their own golf games when they witnessed his lousy golf game. Jones would also aggressively add an extended “happy hour” to all GCSAA functions, something we could all agree is a good idea.
Finally, two words: margarita machine.
Why it wouldn’t work:
CEO position would cause Jones to fall behind on his quest to find the world’s best chicken fried steak. Plus, Jones is currently having too much fun at his new gig with Golfdom.

The Active Ingredient, crime fighter extraordinaire

15 million/1
Sworn enemy of Dollar Spot and Fairy Ring. Also, bulletproof.
Vulnerability to anthracnose. Also, the Masked Avenger would refuse to work daytime hours. Plus, would probably insist on bringing in his sidekick, Active Ingredient Lad, to work as his receptionist -- and we all know Active Ingredient Lad is a bit pretentious.
Why it would work:
GCSAA could boast the only CEO that was a superhero! The AI could double as GCSAA CEO and security at all industry events. Also, rumor has it he likes to party. But despite rumors, he is not Seth Jones... Seth is, uh... shorter. And, Seth isn't bulletproof. But he does have a weakness to anthracnose, but that's entirely coincidental.
Why it wouldn't work:
Would golf industry feel comfortable making business deals with a man in a mask? Cape could inhibit golf swing. Also, overall superhero costume probably violates most clubhouse dress codes. The AI refuses to provide Social Security number, citing secret identity concerns. Finally there's the thought that some have, that he may be certifiably insane. I mean, really, who dresses like this?!? I know I certainly wouldn't...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who will it be? Part 3

Here is part three of Golfdom's possible candidates for the GCSAA CEO position. Click here for part one, scroll down for part 2.

The GCSAA is currently interviewing candidates in Kansas City.

It is absolutely possible that a new CEO of the association will be named this month.

Who will it be?
All week here at the Golfdom blog we're throwing out guesses -- some good, some OK and some just flat out bad -- on who the next CEO of the GCSAA might be.

Agree, disagree, have your own candidate? Want to nominate yourself? The comments button is open, post yours!

Greg Norman, World Golf Hall of Famer
Odds: 87/1
Pros: C'mon, the guy is a Shark! Plus, the salary is irrelevant to him. Extra bonus, Norman's star power would make him a keynote speaker on just about any agenda, getting GCSAA tons of found exposure.
Cons: Golf game might get rusty with winters in Lawrence, Kan.
Why it would work: OK, we're not saying Norman wants the job of GCSAA CEO... we're just saying that Norman wants to rule the world. Or at least, the golf world. If he ever had eyes on being commissioner of the PGA Tour, this might be a good first step, eh Sharky? Also, Norman already knows GCSAA well, having been heavily involved with the EIFG and winning the GCSAA's Old Tom Morris Award in 2008. Wow... I've almost talked myself into this one!
Why it wouldn't work: Well, there's the whole playing schedule thing. And the different companies he's already in charge of. Plus, GCSAA headquarters wasn't built to code for a helicopter landing pad on its roof. OK, I talked myself back out of it.

Chuck Borman
, former executive director of the Carolinas GCSA, former COO of GCSAA, currently a consultant for the CGCSA
Odds: 100/1
Pros: Previous experience at GCSAA as the association’s Chief Operating Officer. Years of experience as the director of the Carolinas GCSA, the most successful chapter out there right now.
Cons: Already enjoying semi-retirement.
Why it would work: Borman has the connections as well as a proven track record as the leader of the Carolinas. He also has a lot of friends back at GCSAA.
Why it wouldn’t work: You know how the Minnesota Vikings had to send three players to Mississippi to get Brett Favre to come back last year? Well, it would take all remaining 80 GCSAA staff members to go to South Carolina to drag Borman back to Lawrence, Kan. Second, Borman’s already left the GCSAA once, GCSAA wouldn’t want to set itself up to be left again.

Steve Mona, CEO, World Golf Foundation
Odds: 250/1
Pros: GCSAA CEO during most of the association’s heyday (1993-2007).
Cons: Can you ever go home again?
Why it would work: Mona was a cherished asset at the association while he was there. If he pulled a Roy Williams-goes-back-to-Carolina (apologies for another Lawrence, Kan. reference) and returned to the association which made him a force in the golf industry when they really need him? His appreciation within the GCSAA membership would be off-the-charts! At least until the GCSAA dropped back-to-back games in Hawaii, fell out of the AP top 25, and then... wait, I'm talking about Roy Williams again, aren't I? Sorry.
Why it wouldn’t work: Mona’s been there, done that. He's looking forward, not backward.

Come back tomorrow for what is surely our single-best nominee yet!

And if you have your own opinion, maybe you think a different Tour golfer would be a better CEO? Post it below!

Who will it be? Part 2

Here is part two of Golfdom's possible candidates for the GCSAA CEO position. Click here for part one.

The GCSAA is currently interviewing candidates in Kansas City.

It is absolutely possible that a new CEO of the association will be named this month.

Who will it be?

For the next five days here at the Golfdom blog we're throwing out guesses -- some good, some OK and some just flat out bad -- on who the next CEO of the GCSAA might be.

Agree, disagree, have your own candidate? Want to nominate yourself? The comments button is open, post yours!

Rhett Evans, interim CEO, GCSAA
Odds: 12/1
Pros: Former GCSAA COO, now current interim CEO. Was brought in to be groomed as the future CEO while Woodward was still there. Knows well the current situation and mood at GCSAA HQ. Also, would only have to move his office about 25 feet.
Cons: The GCSAA Board of Directors might think that naming Evans CEO lacks pizzazz, and would seem like a long-term plan put into effect too soon. Also, Evans is still relatively new to the association, having started in July of 2009.
Why it would work: The GCSAA board of directors likes Evans. They trust him as well, as he’s been asked to be involved in some pretty high-level layoffs in his short tenure. Evans also has the hallmark characteristics of a CEO: friendly, yet ultra-competitive and driven.
Why it wouldn’t work: Who says it wouldn't work? But if the GCSAA Board is looking to make a big splash, promoting the interim CEO doesn't ripple a lot of water.

Teri Harris, former director, Environmental Institute for Golf
Odds three months ago: 15/1
Odds today: 1,500/1
Pros: Years of experience at GCSAA as a high-level director, including a long stint as the head of GCSAA’s Environmental Institute for Golf.
Cons: Recently laid off. Whoops.
Why it would work: Had she not been let go a few months ago, Harris could have been a great candidate. She was one of the top executives at GCSAA for over a decade. She was good on camera. She had a knack for developing relationships that benefited the EIFG and the GCSAA. Also, it could have made a big splash to have named a woman CEO.
Why it wouldn’t work: Obviously, hiring Harris as CEO months after she was let go would not only be a human resources nightmare, but also a public relations nightmare. Had things worked out differently and she were still working at GCSAA, Harris may have been considered one of the front-runners for the position.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 2 -- Stick with the Pool, Dude

Welcome back to Hendren’s Hyperbole! I hope everyone’s week was parallel to Jonathan Byrd and not Camilo Villegas. I logged a lot of time last week watching the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. I figured by now, as much golf as is watched in the Hendren household, my wife and daughters would be as huge a fan of watching golf as I am, but no, at least not yet. Let’s be honest, if they’re not fans after over a decade of constant golf watching, it’s probably not going to happen.

Let’s begin this week by taking a closer look at Geoff Ogilvy. Ogilvy is the two-time defending champion of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions (formally the SBS championship). Geoff had to withdraw prior to the start of the tourney Thursday due to a cut on his finger. Apparently he slipped while swimming in the ocean and cut his finger on some coral. A cut that needed twelve stitches to close up. Alright, come on, what the hell is Ogilvy doing in the ocean in the first place? Is he a professional golfer or a professional surfer? He’s not in Hawaii on vacation; he’s on a business trip! If he felt the need to cool off possibly the pool may have been a better option, maybe a cool shower. He is not only going to miss this week’s tournament but reportedly next week’s tournament as well. Here is the kicker; he is going to receive $70,500 for withdrawing. That’s not a typo, $70,500 for essentially flying to Hawaii and cutting his finger.

Now, on to Mr. Villegas, Mr. Camilo Villegas. Everyone knows you are a workout fanatic but here is a tip from me to you. Next time you are riding your bike from Jupiter, Fla. to Orlando to catch a flight to your next tournament (he literally rode his bicycle 80 miles from his home in Jupiter to the Orlando airport and got on a plane to go to a tournament) how’s about downloading a copy of the Rules of Golf on your iPod? Villegas was disqualified before play started on Friday due to turning in a signed, incorrect scorecard Thursday. The problem I have is that the infraction wasn’t caught by Villegas, his caddie, another player, or even the PGA’s vice president of rules. The infraction was called in by a golf rule narc, errrrr, television viewer! WOW! Remind me not to hit up the local muni with that guy! Oh well, I guess this will give Camilo a few more days before next week’s tournament to bang some weights, rip off a few crunches and read the Rules of Golf!

On a couple of lighter notes, Stuart Appleby lost his putter before the start of the tournament. It was found by a Golf Channel employee and returned but not before he bought a $120 putter in the pro shop and played his round Thursday. Isn’t a professional golfer losing his putter like a race car driver losing his keys?

Did anyone see Jason Day hit his tee shot fat by about 6 inches on No. 13 Friday? It was a dribbler off the tee! It reminded me of playing a round with one Mr. Seth Jones. The only difference is Jason still got a par! Golf, I love this game!

That’s it for this week’s addition of Hendren’s Hyperbole! My next entry will be posted from Cozumel, Mexico where I will be on the beach with a cocktail in both hands so I don’t cut either one on any coral!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Who will it be?

The GCSAA is currently interviewing candidates in Kansas City.

It is absolutely possible that a new CEO of the association will be named this month.

Who will it be?

For the next five days here at the Golfdom blog we're throwing out guesses -- some good, some OK and some just flat out bad -- on who the next CEO of the GCSAA might be.

Agree, disagree, have your own candidate? Want to nominate yourself? The comments button is open, post yours!

40-ish lawyer/sports agent type with a smooth demeanor
Odds: 4/1
Pros: This guy is good in front of a camera, looks slick in a nice suit and has had some real success out there in the private sector. He even smells like potential.
Cons: Doesn’t truly understand the work of the superintendent. The last time he interacted with one was when he helped get one fired as a member of a greens committee at his country club, but let's not tell anyone that!
Why it would work: Because the GCSAA is at its core still a business, and they need a businessman to run the place. If that same businessman could turn the charm on in front of the cameras? Deal. Plus, by hiring someone who is an up-and-comer rather than an established executive, that could save the GCSAA some serious coin.
Why it wouldn’t work: Who says it wouldn’t work? Only possible hiccup would be training new guy quickly in politics of superintendents and board of directors. But the new guy could lean on the GCSAA staff early. Let’s face it, whoever they choose this time around, they’re going to have to give him a longer rope than they gave Mark Woodward – the GCSAA doesn’t need to have the dubious honor of having four CEOs (Woodward, Rhett Evans, the new guy and his replacement) in the span of four years.

Jeff Spangler, Senior Vice President, Science and Agronomy, Troon Golf
Odds: 8/1
Pros: Former superintendent with as much experience in the boardroom as in the maintenance facility. With 17 years as an executive with Troon, understands the politics involved with public, private and resort courses.
Cons: Would members embrace a… gasp! management company guy?
Why it would work: Spangler already represents a huge number of superintendents… why not represent them all? He knows what challenges superintendents are up against, and he has ideas on how to deal with them. By being essentially in charge of every golf course’s agronomics under the Troon umbrella – and that’s a lot of golf courses – there might not be a better suited person out there right now.
Why it wouldn’t work: The fear of the big, bad management company. By hiring someone from the management company school of thought, would the anti-management company supers react like the GCSAA just hired Darth Vader to run the Empire? Possibly.

Check back tomorrow for more "who will it be?" guesses! If you want to comment, post it below!

Friday, January 07, 2011

A super's Super Bowl

As the clock winds down on the week here at Golfdom HQ, it's easy for us to start thinking about one team and one team only... THE CHIEFS!

I called devout Patriots fan Steve Sarro, superintendent at Vail (Colo.) Golf Club to see if he was worried about the Chiefs being in the Patriot's way to the Super Bowl.

Seth: So, are you worried about the Chiefs beating the Ravens and being on a collision course with your Patriots?

Steve: The Chiefs? They deserve to be in a bowl game! One of the dot-com bowl games that nobody cares about!

Seth: Ouch! We'll see about that!

Steve: I really think the Patriots have the best shot at the Super Bowl, depending on what the Ravens and Steelers do. But it really comes down to the Steelers or the Patriots. You know the Steelers could play all home games except for the Super Bowl...

Seth: If the Steelers can keep Big Ben together for a few more games, I think they're the team to beat.

Steve: Yeah, I don't know. I think Tom Brady walks on water. Look at what he's done without much of a roster right now.

Seth: I remember calling you when Belichick got rid of Randy Moss, and you told me you weren't worried about it... "In Belichick we trust."

Steve: I bet Randy Moss is sitting somewhere in Tennessee right now, thinking to himself, 'Man, I shouldn't have ticked those guys off!'

So... no love for my Chiefs. But you've got two picks made here. Sarro is taking his Pats, I'm taking the Steelers. Who are you taking the whole way?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

What if?

Editor's note -- Today Pat Roberts, publisher of Golfdom, checks in to talk the impending new GCSAA CEO announcement... and something the association should consider doing.

I’m waiting for the big announcement on the new CEO of GCSAA -- if I were in the ivory tower, I’d surely make the announcement at the big show in Orlando. It would have a profound impact as opposed to getting an email from GCSAA headquarters with a press release.

This got me thinking about who the new CEO could possibly be. Let's see, they tried going the “one of our own” route this last time around and we all know what happened there.

Wait, actually, we don’t know what happened there, do we?

Before him the GCSAA went with the “tried and true” association guy, which worked well.

But what if this time around they thought outside of the box? What if they brought in a woman, or a minority to run the association?

It would certainly raise some eyebrows, but I think it just might be what the doctor ordered. I think it would be fantastic and a breath of fresh air.

These times call for strong leaders, regardless of their gender or ethnicity. Hey, Nancy Pelosi was the first female Speaker of the House in the history of this country, and we have a minority in the White House. Why not GCSAA?

-- Pat Roberts, publisher, Golfdom

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

How clear is your crystal ball?

That was a question asked to me today.

An industry person wanted to know what my expectations for the golf industry in 2011 were. My first thought was, "Wow, you want to know what I think?" My second thought was, "I'd like to tell you what I think!"

A short email followed... and I thought, why just email this complete speculation to one person? Why not share it with the world?

So, here you go: Seth's totally non-researched prediction for the golf industry where I predict such things as a Tiger Woods revival and the weather

  • Golf will bounce back in 2011. I'm sure of it.
  • OK, say that golf is behind the rest of the world when it comes to the economy (I wonder how many industries say that about themselves... "In the cotton candy industry, we're behind the rest of the world...") But if there's even a slight bounce-back in the economy, that means that those golfers are going to want to get out more than they did in 2010. Even if it's just one round more. I'm from the Steve Mona school of "a rising tide lifts all ships," OK?
  • Here's where I predict the weather: the weather is going to be better in 2011, more golf friendly. That's not according to any book or weather reporter... that's according to the "it couldn't get any worse, right?" belief. 2010 was brutal. If 2011 is anywhere less than brutal? Good things.
  • Tiger Woods will play better, contend... WIN... and drive TV ratings again. As soon as he sticks a 7-iron at an impossible pin to win a tournament, that'll inspire tons of us hackers to attempt the same shot the following weekend.
So, apologies for a non-researched post on this fine Wednesday afternoon... but I hope you can appreciate, I have Kansas Jayhawks basketball tickets for tonight's game. I picked up two tickets for me and a friend.

What's that? Why, no, I didn't buy any Kansas basketball tickets in 2010... you know, the econo--

Hmmm! So maybe the order goes like this: college basketball tickets, cotton candy, then golf.

You read it here first.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 1 -- Fantasy versus Reality

Editor's note: Beginning with this installment, the Golfdom blog will feature a regular column from Matt Hendren, a superintendent for the city of Kansas City, Kan., and all-around golf nut.

Welcome to the inaugural entry to Hendren’s Hyperbole! This will serve as a weekly outlet to rant about all things golf and golf related. Now while I have absolutely none of the needed skills to be a great golfer, I do have all the needed skills to rant and rave about the 2011 PGA Tour Season. Check back here weekly for additional updates.

Believe it or not the 2011 PGA Tour kicks off this week in Kapalua, Hawaii with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions January 6th through the 9th. Being a big fan of all fantasy sports I decided to do a little research on World Golf Rankings versus fantasy rankings. If you currently participate in a fantasy golf league or are considering joining one I think you will be interested in the difference. Let’s compare the current top ten World Golf Rankings versus the average top ten fantasy draft golf cheat sheet.

World Golf Ranking
1. Lee Westwood, Eng
2. Tiger Woods, USA
3. Martin Kaymer, Deu
4. Phil Mickelson, USA
5. Graeme McDowell, N.Ire
6. Jim Furyk, USA
7. Steve Stricker, USA
8. Paul Casey, Eng
9. Luke Donald, Eng
10. Rory McIlroy, N.Ire

Fantasy ranking
1. Tiger Woods, USA
2. Phil Mickelson, USA
3. Zach Johnson, USA
4. Geoff Ogilvy, Aus
5. Padraig Harrington, Ire
6. Steve Stricker, USA
7. Jim Furyk, USA
8. Hunter Mahan, USA
9. Henrik Stenson, Swe
10. Dustin Johnson, USA

Only five of the current World Golf Ranking top ten are on the average fantasy ranking top ten. It would seem to me the top 10 on the World Golf Ranking would be a safe bet for any fantasy golf roster. They are, after all... the World Golf Ranking top 10!

All golfers listed on the fantasy top 10 are indeed top 25 golfers with two exceptions: Henrik Stenson, listed 9th on the fantasy ranking, is 53rd on the World Golf Ranking and Geoff Ogilvy, listed 4th on the fantasy ranking, is 27th on the World Golf Ranking.

Another interesting note: check out how many American golfers are on the top 10 fantasy golf list, and how many are on the actual World Golf Ranking top 10. We're looking at 7 American golfers on the fantasy top 10, but only 4 on the World Golf Ranking top 10. This is indeed a case of fantasy versus reality, and I'm sure those American golfers wish it were the other way around (I know I do).

Like all fantasy sports, fantasy golf is a crap shoot and the “sleeper” pick may be the pick to make but probably not break your fantasy roster. I just found it interesting to compare the World Golf and fantasy golf ranking top 10.

OK, that's it for for my first installment of Hendren's Hyperbole! I'll be back with more hyperbole next week, after we've seen one week of actual results. Thanks for reading, everyone!

-- Matt Hendren

Cloud, Pavlasek named GCSAA field staff

Congrats to Brian Cloud of Cloud Golf Services and Richard Pavlasek, CGCS, for being named GCSAA's newest field staff reps. Cloud will serve the South Central region (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico and Louisiana) while Pavlasek gets the sweet, sweet Southwest region (aloha, Hawaii! And California, Nevada and Arizona).

For now, click over here to read the GCSAA press release on Pavlasek, and click here to check out the press release on Cloud.

And expect your friends at Golfdom to follow up with both these gents down the road!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Fort Collins super earns DSA

Congrats to Grant Yaklich (pictured), Fort Collins (Colo.) CC superintendent, who was presented the Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association's 2010 Distinguished Service Award at its annual conference and trade show in Denver recently.

A former president of the RMRTA, Yaklich has been in the turfgrass industry for 27 years. His service includes an effort to expand educational offerings to the association in such areas as business and employment. While Yaklich was superintendent of the Links at Sierra Blanca, he improved the course's Golf Digest ranking from 10th to 6th while at the same time reducing the course's water usage by 54 percent.

Yaklich has been the superintendent at Fort Collins since 1999.