NGCOA’s Hughes: Tough Year Filled with Timeless Lessons
Association CEO to Present State of the Association Address
at Annual Conference in San Diego
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Jan. 14, 2010) – “It was a year many want to forget, but one that also bears remembering,” Mike Hughes, the NGCOA’s CEO, writes in his annual letter to association members.
A stagnant economy that forced golf courses to cut budgets and trim staff made 2009 an extremely challenging year for most owners and operators. “But if adversity really does bring out the best in us, then 2009 extracted a lot of what makes golf great and reinforced many of the qualities that distinguish those who own and operate our nation’s courses,” Hughes says.
The year called for strong doses of perseverance, commitment and innovation, Hughes says, and his letter cites examples of members who exhibited those characteristics.
“The past year called for a special type of resolve. On the PGA TOUR, they call it grinding. It’s what even the greatest players have to do on those days when they don’t have their best stuff … . That’s also the approach many owners and operators needed to keep their businesses going,” Hughes says.
Despite the economic hardships, 2009 also had its highlights, Hughes notes, citing the success of the Get Golf Ready program as an example. More than 1,100 facilities were certified and more than 17,000 participants were confirmed in the first year of the industry-supported grow-the-game initiative.
Looking ahead to 2010, Hughes notes that new advocacy initiatives supported by the NGCOA and golf’s allied organizations demonstrate an unprecedented spirit of cooperation. Stepped-up advocacy also provides an opportunity for golf to make a strong case for its value as a financial engine and source of jobs to lawmakers and policymakers.
Hughes will deliver his state of the association address on Feb. 12th during the NGCOA’s 2010 Annual Conference in San Diego. The CEO letter can be viewed on the NGCOA Web site (ngcoa.org).
The golf industry’s largest gathering of course owners and operators will be held Feb. 8-12 in San Diego. The Conference’s keynotes, breakout sessions and panel discussions over a two-day period are designed to help attendees understand how to adapt to consumers’ new attitudes and purchasing patterns, continue to weather the current economic storm and take advantage of improving economic conditions.
NGCOA members and non-members can register for the Conference at www.ngcoa.org/conference.
The NGCOA’s Annual Conference will run concurrently with the 2010 Golf Industry Show, Feb. 10-11, at the San Diego Convention Center. The Golf Industry Show, which is expected to attract more than 625 manufacturers and service providers whose exhibits will cover more than 220,000 net square feet, is presented by the NGCOA, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the Club Managers Association of America.