Best of both worlds: Education on the GIS trade show floor

The trade show at the 2020 Golf Industry Show won’t just be a feast for the eyes — you’ll find plenty of food for thought in the form of on-floor education.


Golf Industry Show education
The GCSAA TV stage will be a focal point for entertainment, education and discussions of some of the industry’s hottest topics. Find it at the center of the trade show floor on the back main aisle. GCM staff photo

Educational hub or bustling exhibition space — why not both?

This year, you’ll find more education offerings than ever before amid all the action on the trade show floor, meaning you can expand your knowledge on topics from topdressing to stress management within steps of exploring hundreds of exhibitors’ solutions and services for your golf facility. Convenience like that is worth capitalizing on.

Even better, trade show floor seminars come in a shorter, schedule-friendly format — an hour and a half, perfect for even the busiest GIS attendee — and are just $75 for GCSAA members and $35 for students.

Still need the pot sweetened a bit? Try this: A free on-floor education session from GCSAA, the ASGCA and GCBAA will give a glimpse behind the scenes of recent renovation work at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., site of the 2020 U.S. Open Championship. GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans will chat with stakeholders Stephen Rabideau, CGCS, director of golf courses at Winged Foot GC; Gil Hanse, architect; and Shellene Elmore, vice president of LaBar Golf Renovations for an all-sides look at pulling off a major golf course overhaul. (Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2:30-4 p.m., GCSAA TV stage)

New Trends in Putting Green Aeration and Topdressing, another freebie on the show floor, will feature a panel of USGA agronomists sharing insight on core aeration vs. solid-tine aeration, aeration frequency and timing, sand- and air-injection equipment, topdressing sand selection, and more, all aimed at helping superintendents optimally manage organic matter with less disruption to playing surfaces. The session will be moderated by Nelson Caron, director of golf course and grounds maintenance at The Ford Plantation Golf Club in Savannah, Ga. (Wednesday, Jan. 29, 11 a.m.-noon, GCSAA TV stage)

Fee-based trade show floor education seminars will include:

How Much Shade Is Too Much Shade? In the delicate discussions of trees and shade on the golf course, data can be a superintendent’s strongest ally. Mike Richardson, Ph.D., of the University of Arkansas will illuminate how much light your turf needs and reliable techniques for measuring it. (Wednesday, Jan. 29, 10:30 a.m.-noon, booth No. 240)

Wetting Agents and Their Effects on Putting Green Surfaces. Dive deep into the world of wetting agents with Doug Karcher, Ph.D., of the University of Arkansas. You’ll learn how to identify the cause of localized dry spots, how wetting agents work and are classified, and how application timing, spray volume and post-application irrigation affect products’ efficacy. (Thursday, Jan. 30, 9:15-10:45 a.m., booth No. 240)

Noteworthy Tips for Assistants to Win the Job Interview and Succeed as a New Superintendent. Will the new year bring a new job? Chris Carson, superintendent at Echo Lake Country Club in Westfield, N.J., and a frequent GCM contributor, will impart wisdom for getting to the next level in your career, from setting yourself apart from a crowded pool of candidates to shining once you’re on the job. (Wednesday, Jan. 29, 1-2:30 p.m., booth No. 240)

The Demons of Greenkeeping. We’re not talking discernable foes like Poa or Pythium damage, but rather the invisible challenges — stress, burnout, negative thinking, bad habits — that can derail a superintendent’s well-being. Paul MacCormack, the “Mindful Superintendent,” who oversees Fox Meadow Golf Course on Prince Edward Island in Canada, will present strategies for preventing and easing some of these burdens. (Thursday, Jan. 30, 9:15-10:45 a.m., booth No. 247)

Find the full lineup of free and fee-based learning opportunities happening on the GIS trade show floor. Don’t wait to register for any fee-based seminars — seats can fill up fast.

Megan Hirt is the editor of