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2009 National Convention Day Two Recap

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2009 National Convention Day Two Recap



One of the ways the GCAA hopes to do this is developing and/or strengthening relationships with a variety of other national organizations, including the USGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour, National Golf Coaches Association and the American Junior Golf Association.

?We?re looking to partner with some of these associations and work together on programs that will not only benefit the organizations but the game of golf as well,? said Gregg Grost, the GCAA?s executive director. ?We?ve got to do a better job of bringing college golf to the forefront and letting people know we have some very dedicated and talented coaches out there.?

One such project, Grost said, is the GCAA?s involvement with the Sun Safe Tee Program which is geared to bring awareness to skin cancer, not only among golfers and athletes in general, but to everyone. The USGA, PGA, AJGA and NGCA are also on board in this program.

?We feel very strongly about this as it has a major impact on our sport because our players are out in the sun the majority of the time,? Grost said. ?This is strictly an educational program and we as college coaches need to champion this cause.?

Also during the morning?s GCAA general business meeting, president Mark Crabtree, head coach at Louisville, reported this year -- the first time this convention has been held this far west -- had ?probably one of our biggest turnouts ever? with 192 coaches in attendance from Divisions I, II, III, NAIA and NJCAA.

Still, Grost expressed some concern in that the GCAA has 592 members and encouraged coaches to urge their fellow coaches to consider attending in the future.

Of the GCAA membership, Grost said, ?There is no reason we shouldn?t have 85-90 percent of all the men?s (college) golf coaches out there as members.?

Also during the general business meeting:

-- Southern Cal coach Chris Zambri has been named coach of the U.S. team for the 2010 Palmer Cup to be played June 24-26 in Northern Ireland.

 Zambri is in his fourth year as USC?s men?s head coach and has led the Trojans to the NCAA Championships in each of his first three years.

 Last season Zambri?s Trojans advanced to the Elite Eight match play portion of the NCAA after finishing third in the 54-hole stroke play competition. USC lost in its opening match to Michigan, 3-2. The Trojans won two tournaments during the regular season and had 10 top-5 finishes.

-- Stanford coach Conrad Ray was elected the GCAA?s third vice-president as Crabtree will step down as president this summer and BYU?s Bruce Brockbank, currently first vice-president will assume the president duties.

Also, Dave Jennings of Central Alabama was re-elected to b the NJCAA representative at-large. Elected as Division I directors were Clemson?s Larry Penley (East), Oklahoma State?s Mike McGraw (Central) and Pepperdine?s John Geiberger (West). Jimmy Stobs of Barry was elected Division II director while Dan Ruyle of Southwestern was elected Division III director.

-- The GCAA presented service awards to coaches for 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years in coaching. The final service award recipient drew a standing ovation. It went to Joe Prisco of Providence, who has been in the ranks for 55 years.

-- Grost also reported the GCAA is currently working with MultiView, Inc., out of Irving, Texas and Washington, D.C., to publish a 52 weeks a year newsletter for the members that will deal with the GCAA and college golf. H also said the organization is continuing to look into ways to upgrade its website, saying, ?We feel there is a definite need for that.?

In addition to the general business meeting, Tuesday activities included an insightful seminar on the Rules of Golf from the USGA?s John Reis, and breakout sessions for all divisions, including assistant coaches, where coaches had the opportunity to make their voice heard and ask questions about specific things within their own division.

Among the various subjects within Division I was the match play portion at the NCAA Championship and whether it should be contested as strictly match play -- like in 2009 -- or possible switch to a medal/match format where all matches would go the full 18 holes with the low score among the two players earning the team point. That, however, would be a matter decided upon by the NCAA Golf Committee, but in a close straw vote taken Tuesday, coaches favored the medal/match format.

Slow play in college golf was again brought to the table. Through all the discussion, there were those who put the blame on the coaches themselves.

?As coaches, we need to do a better job with educating our players on this,? said BYU?s Bruce Brockbank. ?A lot of our kids don?t know how to play fast. So it?s up to our coaches to educate our players at home. We have to get on them to pick up the pace. It?s up to us.?

 Bringing more awareness to its organization and promoting its member as teachers of the game while doing the same for college golf in general was among the items discussed Tuesday (Dec. 8) during the second day of the annual Golf Coaches Association of America convention at the Riviera Hotel.