Charleston. What a Beautiful City!

As I mentioned here, I have recently been nominated to participate on the National Golf Course Owner Association’s (NGCOA) board of directors.  It has been a honor for me, in addition, it has also required me to do a fair amount of traveling this winter.  I have spoken at both the Minnesota and Oregon regional conferences as well as the national conference in San Diego.  In other words, my kids are getting tired of me leaving them.  My husband is getting tired of me leaving, too, but I don’t think it is for the same reason.

Toad Valley has been a member of the NGCOA for about 7 years.  It is a great organization that has really helped us to keep our focus and our goals for the golf course in check.  We have also been able to make many wonderful contacts and meet some other fellow golf course owners.  I really enjoy visiting with them because they share so many of the same experiences as our golf course does.

On Saturday, we had two golf outings and a wedding.  On Sunday, we had another big golf  outing.  Then, I had to wake up super early in the morning to get on my 6 a.m. flight on Monday morning.  Basically, it was one of the worst Monday mornings that I can remember in recent years.  I. Was. Tired.

IMG_4505When I arrived, Ryan from the NGCOA picked me up.  I thought about climbing in the back seat of his jeep, so I could pretend to be Miss Daisy.  I was in the south, after all. Just outside of the NGCOA offices, they had trees that were covered in Spanish moss.

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I guess it is protected.  Probably explains why it is so expensive at Michaels Craft Store.  Apparently, you can only harvest what falls off the tree.  I resisted the urge to shake the branch.

IMG_4506Ronnie, who is editor for Golf Business magazine, gets the office in the front of the building where his daughter’s artwork compliments the NGCOA logo.  I toured the building and visited with all of the NGCOA staff.  They are just an absolutely amazing group of people.  Very full of energy and love for the game of golf.  After the tour, they treated me to lunch at a great restaurant on Daniel Island.  I had a grilled meatloaf sandwich.  It was delicious.  They offered me sweat tea, but I declined.  I’m a Yankee, what can I say?

IMG_4466I got checked in to the hotel and was welcomed by a small gift from the NGCOA.  They definitely have southern hospitality down.

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We drove through winding roads from the hotel to an absolutely beautiful private golf club called Daniel Island Club.  Before arriving, I had to stop by a gas station for some help in the sleep department.

IMG_4470When I have had 10 hours of sleep in the last three days, I need help.  I’d kiss the person who discovered caffeine. We got to work on our committee meeting as soon as I arrived.

IMG_4469We reflected on the national conference and discussed options for the conference in 2014.  I tried my best to get the conference to come to Des Moines, but I was shot down pretty quickly.  They just didn’t think people would want to tour a golf course when it was covered in snow.  Not to mention the fact that the conference is usually held in destination areas like San Diego, Orlando and Las Vegas.  Perhaps just a tad more appealing to those attendees who come from France and the Netherlands.  Of course, we do have the Pork Expo.  I digress.

IMG_4468Daniel Island Club is the quintessential plantation southern course.  Complete with a croquet  court.

IMG_4500Off to the side of the court was a lovely gazebo.  I could easily see myself enjoying some iced tea while observing a game of croquet.  Do people in Iowa even play croquet?

IMG_4501Their flowers and landscaping were absolutely beautiful.  Everything was immaculate.  Not a single blade of grass was out of its place.

IMG_4498They also had a boccie ball court just off of their outside eating area.

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Inside of the club, they had a whole wall dedicated to all the fun things they do with their members.

IMG_4496They obviously have lots of fun with their members because they had everything from luncheons for Mother’s Day to New Year’s Eve parties.  They also had a great display for hole in ones at their course.

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I had to take a picture of the award that one of their trees received for my dad.  I knew he would be jealous that none of his trees have ever gotten an award.  I’ll have to see what I can do to make that happen for him.

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I came home very proud to show my dad this picture.  He said he didn’t care unless I could tell him what kind of tree it was.  Man.  The Human Squirrel has some strict rules when it comes to trees!

We spent most of the afternoon at the club sorting through our committee meeting details until we broke for supper.  I didn’t want to look too pathetic and take pictures of my food or anything.  I am new to the board, so I didn’t want them to regret their decision of nominating me.  We had prime rib and fancy macaroni and cheese.  What makes it fancy, you ask?  They used a fancier pasta and provided toppings to put on the mac & cheese.  Bacon and green onions.  Yummy.  It was a great dinner and I truly enjoyed the company which included a golf course out of Massachusetts.  We discussed the Boston Marathon among other wide range of topics.  After our dinner conversation, I’m pretty sure we had solved all of the world’s problems.

The morning came quickly with more meetings and breakfast.

IMG_4486Daniel Club is so nice that they have their own Natural Spring Water!

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The board met and discussed lots of different topics.  They are a great group of individuals with hard work ethics.  I think the highlight of my trip was when a board member from Canada climbed into the back of a truck for a ride.  He has more stories than anyone I have ever met.  When I met him, I just said, “I hate your geese.”

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We know how to have fun!  The gentlemen in the blue shirt, Bill Stine, owns two golf courses in Kississmee, FL.  His son, Buck Stine, and I had discussed how we want to have a zombie golf outing at our respective golf courses when we were at the national NGCOA conference in February.  Bill had noticed that I was working on my Zombie 5K and he told me about how Buck was going to have his first zombie golf outing on Friday.  I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

IMG_4489After the board meeting, Steven, an NGCOA staff member, took me on a tour of downtown Charleston since I had never been there before.  I loved it.  The architecture was amazing.

IMG_4510Their downtown didn’t look like a downtown at all.  It was kind of like driving back in time complete with cobblestone streets and open air markets.  If you have never been, you definitely need to put Charleston on your maps of places to visit.

IMG_4511How about you?  Ever get to serve on a board that takes you to tons of beautiful golf courses around the United States?  I must admit.  I like my job.

Post by Allison

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