GCM staff photo
As a healthy outdoor activity that can adhere to social distancing, golf has seen a worldwide resurgence in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Wednesday, Sept. 23, GCSAA, in conjunction with other global superintendent organizations, is encouraging all those who love golf to thank their course’s superintendent as part of “Thank a Golf Course Superintendent Day,” a campaign to recognize those who help keep the game going.
In addition to GCSAA, other groups taking part in “Thank a Golf Course Superintendent Day” include the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association (ASTMA), the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA), and the Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Associations (FEGGA). Altogether, the groups represent more than 31,000 golf course management professionals in 78 countries.
The celebration on Sept. 23 will include a commercial that will begin rotation on Golf Channel and other media outlets, and social media messages touting the many ways superintendents make the game more enjoyable and sustainable.
Golfers and others are encouraged to join in the conversation on social media by using the hashtags “#ThankASuper” or “#ThankAGreenkeeper” (depending on their country’s nomenclature).
“Superintendents work hard each day to provide the excellent playing conditions that add to the enjoyment of the game,” says GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans. “But in the face of the pandemic, they have played a key role in developing and maintaining the safety protocols that allow golfers to engage in their favorite sport while adhering to pandemic-related guidelines and restrictions.”
As courses reopened after the early months of the crisis, the demand for golf was clear. In the United States, golf rounds in June and July were up as much as 20% over the same period in 2019, and in the United Kingdom, July rounds were up 40% over last year.
In addition to making adjustments to follow new pandemic protocols, superintendents continuously strive to keep the game’s playing fields healthy and beautiful with environmental stewardship as a primary focus. Thanks to the overall efforts of the golf industry, golf courses are using less water, employing sustainable maintenance practices, and expanding natural wildlife habitats on their properties.
“Golf has been a refuge for so many, so we are taking a day to recognize the men and women who work behind the scenes to make the golf course a perfect escape right now,” Evans says. “We are proud to join with our fellow associations around the world by encouraging those who love golf and appreciate the work superintendents do to reach out on social media to #ThankASuper.”