Message from the President
Seems like almost yesterday I was writing my first President’s message and now here I am writing my last. Time moves quickly when you’re busy and having fun, and this has been an active year for the OGSA and its members. To begin, the OGSA and CGSA hosted a successful joint conference for the first time since 2016.
We were also successful in getting several projects off the ground. With support from the GCSAA, Al Schwemler and the BMP committee are working with Burnside Golf Services to develop a Best Management Practices document for golf course maintenance in Ontario. This is set to release early 2023. We’ve also developed a new website which you're visiting right now, and integrated a new member management tool. Our hope is that the transition to Member365 will allow for smoother event registration, membership renewal, job postings, and access to other resources as they’re developed.
The scholarship committee awarded over $13,000 to assistants, turfgrass students, and children of OGSA members to support their professional development and we donated $15,000 to the OTRF to support turf research. We welcomed a record number of new members this year, and the board made the decision to provide turfgrass students with a free membership. We’d like to see as many of these students as possible at the conference, giving our members an opportunity to meet tomorrow’s leaders. We are still striving to reach 1000 members by 2024, our 100th Anniversary, so help us reach our goal and spread the word to join the association.
Spring brought back in-person and we were able to secure two beautiful courses to host the Inaugural 2-day OGSA Championship. Thanks to Clublink and superintendents Jeff Allen and Craig Thompson for hosting the championship at Lake Joseph Club and Rocky Crest Resort. Although the weather wasn’t ideal, that did not stop anyone from playing and enjoying two days of golf and camaraderie with colleagues and friends. We are already looking forward to next year’s event which will take place at Deerhurst Resort and the Muskoka Bay Resort on September 25 & 26th, 2023.
I’d also like to thank Delky Dozzi and Troy Hoxley for hosting the ever-popular Assistants’ Tournament this fall at Woodington Lake Golf Club. The Legends course was in top condition, and the assistants had a great time. These are two great golf events that should be on everyone’s calendar to attend. I would like to thank all our sponsors for both events; we could not have done it without you.
As our 100th year approaches, we are spending a lot of time reflecting on our history and we’re planning for a celebratory year in 2024. Part of that heritage includes our relationship with GCSAA, which allows us to leverage a large network of individuals, experiences, and knowledge to support members. In late October, I headed south to Kansas City, MO to represent the OGSA at the 2-day GCSAA Chapter Delegates’ meetings. The meetings covered a variety of topics and initiatives that affect the industry and its associations. This was also an opportunity to meet GCSAA board candidates and discuss their campaign platforms.
The Ontario Golf Course Management Conference is on January 17-19, at snowy Blue Mountain, Collingwood. We’ve secured an excellent speaker line-up and topics, and we will deliver the same top-tier learning and fantastic networking opportunities you’ve always valued at our conference. There is no better place to learn and network with colleagues.
As I end my last President’s message, I would be remiss not to thank Courtney and the OGSA staff for their support over the last year. I’d also like to thank the Board of Directors, past and present, who I have worked with over the past 6 years. It has been a valuable and rewarding experience to work alongside like-minded individuals to support the industry; it is a highlight of my professional career and a true honor to be your President. I would encourage any of you to reach out to learn more about serving on the OGSA board.
The OGSA is proud of our accomplishments over the last couple of years, and as I pass the gavel to our incoming President, Owen Russell, I am confident that this momentum will continue.
Superintendent, Oakville Golf Club