The Pellucid Perspective - February 2016 - (Page 15)

THE LAST WORD Slow life in the fast lane F ormer colleague Harvey Silverman used to pen a column for this publication entitled something along the lines of "Musings from 30,000 feet" based on his impressions of the annual PGA Merchandise Show as he winged his way home from Orlando to the San Francisco Bay Area. Given the fact that last week's Golf Industry Show was in my back yard of San Diego, but still took nearly one sixth of the time Harvey's flight required to cover the 35 miles or so to the downtown San Diego Convention Center at rush hour, I thought I would call my show journal "Musings from one of 30,000 cars." My first impression was that unlike three years ago, when the GIS last visited San Diego only to be greeted by temperatures in the 40s and rain, this year I didn't have to take abuse from my many industry acquaintances who know I'm a local. The weather was spectacular, actually recording all-time record highs in the 80s on the coast for most of the weeklong schedule of NGCOA and GCSAA meetings and events and the two day trade show. I'm not sure that redounded to the benefit of trade show exhibitors, as the afternoons were noticeably less crowded on the show floor, with a number of the attendees from colder climes grabbing some pool or beach time. "Can't believe we have to leave tomorrow and go back to the snow" was a familiar refrain. As for the show itself, there were undoubtedly a number of new products in the "latest and greatest" vein, although this will not be a comprehensive review of those. One I found interesting was what Toro is calling its STEALTH Series Kit. It's an addition to their INFINITY Series product line of sprinkler heads which attaches to the irrigation line below grade and allows turf to actually grow on top of the sprinkler head in a "turf cup." The turf is raised when the sprinklers are turned on beneath it. So, for better or worse, golfers will get neither help nor hindrance from the periodic sprinkler head bounce. Much as the other driver manufacturers raced to emulate TaylorMade when TMAG introduced adjustable weighting in metal wood club heads, E-Z-GO and Yamaha showed off their new GPS technology for cart fleet tracking and management, hoping to bridge the technology gap between themselves and Club Car's early adopter Visage system. Several of golf 's leading organizations annually use the GIS as a platform to elect and announce their new officers, including the USGA and GCSAA. Both of their incoming volunteer presidential announcements were interesting, for en- tirely different reasons. Businesswoman Diana Murphy will serve a one-year term at USGA President, following in the footsteps of her husband Reg, who held the same office in 1994. In an interview with San Diego Union-Tribune golf writer Tod Leonard, Murphy gave some indication that the USGA, which to date has paid more attention to preserving golf 's past than growing its future, might begin to explore ways to increase participation, encourage diversity and fund some grow-the-game oriented endeavors. Her own election is a step in the right direction. As for the GCSAA, how can you fault them for tabbing the superintendent at Hilands Golf Club in Billings, MT as their incoming president? His name? Peter Grass. Sounds like a can't miss to me, even if his grass is under several feet of snow for much of the winter. To show my support for the new president, I joined hundreds of other attendees who passed through the extensive Bayer booth in trying on a spiffy "grass jacket" (see attached photo). It was considerably heavier than the one that will be awarded in early April at Augusta National, and I suspect even the Bayer folks would admit that it's less prized, but it was "interesting." More musings Someone recently directed my attention to a press release on behalf of the PGA TOUR Superstore chain, trumpeting the imminent opening of a new franchise location in Minneapolis. That was all well and good, but those who read the press release, including at least one Pellucid supporter and golf course owner in the area, shook their heads at the chain's contention that "the area is underserved for golf retail." Well, it's true that Minnesota's golfers are annually among the game's most faithful participants despite their short season, but since there are already a Dick's Sporting Goods and a Golfsmith/GolfTec on the same Wayzata Avenue where the Superstore will open this spring, local green grass operators are wondering just how many off-course stores are needed to equip the Gopher state golfers? The Club Managers' World Conference is here in town next week, which is nice for me and the other folks west of the Mississippi (or under several feet of snow elsewhere). Next year, however, it's the dreaded (by me, anyway) triple play of PGA, GIS and CMAA shows in Orlando, not quite close enough to back to back to make staying in Mickeyland worth it. Hopefully not only will the weather be similar, but 2016 rounds and revenue numbers will be up again and cause for optimism, although as my associates at Pellucid will caution, that probably depends, as usual, largely on the weather. We'll see if we can share some of our San Diego weather, if you'll reciprocate with a few rainy weekdays over the next couple of months. -Jim Dunlap The Pellucid PersPecTive 15

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - February 2016

PerformanceTrak rides off into the sunset: What’s next?
Millenials are only part of the story; don’t forget the rest
Scoundrels or saviors depends on one’s point of view
January golf weather impact: All good things come to an end
Tough love, brother, in Philly market
Slow life in the fast lane

The Pellucid Perspective - February 2016