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!

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