Plans for the 2018 Deep South Turf Expo are coming together. Information about the 2018 education line-up that serves as the centerpiece of the Expo is available on our website of DeepSouthTurfExpo.org. This year our keynote speaker is veteran industry journalist Pat Jones. Pat will explore why turf is critical to American life today and why it will be even more important in the future. Expect a fast, furious and funny look at our industry’s past, present and future.
In an additional golf segment presentation Pat will discuss how in recent decades, more superintendents have been fired for poor communications than poor turf. He will share proven, effective communications strategies for superintendents including when and how to use social media in his presentation, “Modern Networking: Building Relationships in the Digital Age.”
Now in its fourth year, the Expo continues to change and adapt to further meet client’s needs across the Southeast. One big change this year is the addition of a second golf tournament. The Preserve Scramble, sponsored by Ameri-Turf, which has been held on the Tuesday prior to opening of the education session, will be held as usual. However, Tuesday’s scramble has grown so much that it indicated the need for another tournament. Those who take a more serious approach to golf can now register for a two day “Championship” Golf Tournament and play a Two Person Best Ball format. The Championship will begin on Monday, November 26th at The Preserve, followed by a Fish Fry Dinner provided by Beard Equipment Company. Beard, along with Greenville Turf and Tractor, are the namesake sponsors of this event. On Tuesday the action moves to Fallen Oak Golf Course where teams will finish play.
Our fourth Skeet and Trap Tournament at Coastal Rifle and Pistol Club (sponsored by Dow AgroScience) will be held Tuesday during the golf tournament. Meanwhile, the sports turf field tour (sponsored by Agri-AFC and PBI Gordon) will be held concurrently and we thank Keaire Edwards for making Gulfport’s beautiful playing fields available for a behind the scenes tour for our members.
This year will also see changes in the Tradeshow. Adjustments have been made to increase traffic for the exhibitors and fun for the attendees. Breakfast, sponsored by Harrells, Syngenta and FMC, will be served on the tradeshow floor on Wednesday and Thursday morning. The tradeshow reception, sponsored by Jerry Pate Turf and Irrigation, takes place on Wednesday, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. and we will rock the show with a live band (sponsored by Harrells) during the afternoon! We welcome our new Partner, Simplot, Inc., who is sponsoring lunch on Wednesday.
In order to increase traffic during the trade show there will be various contests and games set up around the trade show floor. Time to show off your putting and corn-hole skills for cash prizes! Winners will be announced at the end of the reception during the close of the silent auction. Following the reception and auction we will hold our host organizations’ business meetings. Thanks to the support of our hosts: Alabama Golf Course Superintendents Association, Alabama Turfgrass Association, Gulf Coast Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Louisiana/Mississippi Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Mississippi Turfgrass Association.
Our Deep South Turf Expo Board is working hard to ensure that our regional show is relevant to all our attendees and exhibitors. Stay tuned for some exciting new announcements over the summer and fall. Please block out those days during the week after Thanksgiving to attend and stay abreast of the latest in the Turfgrass industry and stock up on your pesticide and education points for the next year. See you there!
Melanie Bonds is the Executive Director of the Alabama Golf Course Superintendents Association