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John Reitman

By John Reitman

Carolinas, BIGGA and dozens of GCSA chapters redefine distance learning

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BIGGA, the Carolinas GCSA and more than 30 other chapters are teaming up to redefine distance education this year.

For those who think traditional education in the turf industry has been redefined in Covid era, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Nearly three dozen golf course superintendent associations across the United States and the British International Golf Greenkeepers Association are partnering in a marathon online education conference this fall devised in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Using a tailored Zoom platform, Conference Comes to You presents 30 two-hour seminars – scheduled one a day – over 30 days starting November 2.

Registration in the program presented by the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association opens at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 25 at www.conferencecomestoyou.org.

The online conference, which has a week off over Thanksgiving, takes the place of the Carolinas GCSA’s annual conference and trade show in Myrtle Beach, which is the largest regional event for superintendents in the U.S.

As official partners in Conference Comes to You, participating chapters earn discounted pricing for members – $40 rather than $70 – and will receive a share of each member registration fee. Each attendee also has the chance to share in $30,000 of guaranteed cash prizes ranging from $100 to $2,500. Members qualify for one entry with each seminar they take.

Participating chapters include: Alabama, Calusa, Central Florida, Central Ohio, Connecticut, Eastern Shore, Everglades, Florida, Florida West Coast, Georgia, Gulf Coast, Hawaii, Heart of America, Hi-Lo Desert, Louisiana-Mississippi, Met GCSA, Miami Valley, Mid-Atlantic, Minnesota, New England, New Jersey, North Florida, Northern California, Palm Beach, Rdige, Rocky Mountain, Seven Rivers, South Florida, Southern California, Southern Nevada, Suncoast, Tennessee, Treasure Coast, Wisconsin and Virginia.

"We're thrilled to have so many chapters joining us. This platform benefits everyone involved, and the more people who participate the more benefit there will be for everyone," said Carolinas GCSA president, Brian Stiehler, CGCS, MG at Highlands Country Club in Highlands, North Carolina.

"We see many visitors from across the country and overseas at our traditional conference and show each year. So, in these extraordinary times, when we can’t be face to face, it made sense for our conference to go 'see' them."

Stiehler stressed his association's gratitude for the financial backing of dozens of industry partners, including longtime education partner, Syngenta, and prize package partners, John Deere Golf, Revels Turf and Tractor, Greenville Turf and Tractor, Toro, Smith Turf and Irrigation, Jacobsen and TSP Turf.

"This is an incredible show of support from companies we have worked with for years and in many cases, generations," Stiehler said. "That they have stepped up to help superintendents continue their professional development in times like these speaks volumes."





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