Thankfulness: Perspective on Georgia GCSA and Beyond

A view from the 15th green at East Lake Golf Club, with Atlanta's skyscrapers in the background. 

A few things have happened in my professional life recently which have made me extremely grateful for how things are..... (read on to see what I mean).

This week one of our promising groundsmen is leaving East Lake to again take a position as a car salesmen. As he tells me how much he loves golf and working at East Lake, he also tells me, "They are what everyone says they are!", referring to car salesmen. He recounts stories of questionable workplace ethics as he hangs his head in disappointment. Envisioning myself working in an environment like that makes me nauseous. (I'm sure there are some great car salesmen out there, God bless you and I hope I buy from you.)

In hosting the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents' Annual Meeting earlier this week at East Lake, we experienced a very contrasting industry culture. The reality that we attend these meeting in order to connect, share advice, and offer a helping hand is significant in light of the way things could be. I have "grown up" in this industry attending seminars and meetings, rubbing elbows with Superintendents I look up to, and learning from the best speakers in the country. I have been taught by great men before me how to be a professional in every personification of the word, and for that I am thankful beyond words.

Monday night I was honored by the Georgia GCSA as the Assistant Superintendent of The Year. As I have reflected over the past few days, I am first humbled, but also overwhelmed by the fact that I am a product of the association and the industry that we work in.    

I am thankful that in our industry we support each other. Superintendents mentor young Assistants knowing that one day they will be the next "hot shot" Superintendents. Chemical and equipment companies pour LOTS of money back into educational events rather than flashy advertising. Leaders in our industry agree to devote time to develping a seminar that will teach others how to replicate some of their life's greatest accomplishments.  Across state lines and throughout this country this process is repeated as our industry strengthens itself from within, not waiting for someone from the outside to do it for us.

I am a product of our Industry, and for that I am thankful. 

Jason Tharp
Assistant Superintendent 
East Lake Golf Club

Photos from the 2015 GGCSA Annual Meeting at East Lake Golf Club

Tenia Workman Georgia GCSA Executive Director introducing the next speaker.

The East Lake Food and Beverage team did a phenominal job providing meals.

Catching up with industry friends.

Clear skies, how about that!

John Deere is always a tremendous sponsor of the Georgia GCSA, and this year was no acception.

Greens #1, with #2 in the background.

A special thanks goes to Caroline McGill of East Lake Golf Club for the fantastic photos! Thank you!

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