VGCSA Fall Meeting a big win

By |  October 22, 2015 0 Comments

I’m back in Kansas, and I’m walking on air following the VGCSA Fall Conference.Screen shot 2015-10-22 at 8.36.44 PM

Yes, it was cool to be the keynote speaker, but it was also great to be a part of such a significant, informative event.

Check this out: Rafael Barajas, CGCS, talked about GCSAA politics, including the demise of the “SM” membership category; there was a big WOTUS discussion that included a D.C.-area lawyer (an interview with her to come soon via the magazine and GolfdomTV); then the big brains at Virginia Tech (Erik Ervin, Ph.D.; Shawn Askew, Ph.D.; and David McCall, soon-to-be-Ph.D.) gave a great presentation; and then I limped up there and spoke for 75 minutes about such things as labor issues, propane mowers, soil moisture meters, third-party online tee time brokers, and the average age of today’s superintendent.

Screen shot 2015-10-22 at 7.02.02 PMMore on that WOTUS talk: it primarily featured Kerry McGrath, who works for Hunton & Williams, a D.C.-based law firm that specializes in natural resources.

McGrath had a few rather scary things to say about Waters of the U.S., and what it could mean for superintendents. Of course WOTUS is currently unenforceable, but she told me she expects that to change in “the next few months.”

“Under this rule, there is going to be a lot of differences in opinion in what is a ‘Water of the U.S.’ and what isn’t,'” McGrath told the group. “And that isn’t very helpful when you want to keep all the permits that you need.”

But hey, on the bright side, there were some really good cookies served!

David Norman, executive director of the VGCSA was ecstatic with the end result of the meeting. This is the second year for the VGCSA Fall Conference, and there seemed to be a lot of interest in the meeting overall. I was thrilled that I was somehow able to help, and I learned a lot, especially about WOTUS, while I was there.

Look for more coverage of the event in next month’s issue of Golfdom.

Photos: Golfdom

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at

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