The Technical Assistance Network (TAN) program was launched in 2003 as a way to connect with golf facilities that operate with limited resources. These facilities have the opportunity to experience the benefits of GCSAA membership.
This program was established as an initiative to provide outreach to golf facilities that offer affordable and accessible golf, which may or may not employ a full-time golf course superintendent. The TAN program recognizes that it is often the courses with the smallest budgets that are making the greatest contributions toward growing the game of golf. Their lower green fees and less intimidating environments offer an inviting setting for new golfers.
The end goal is to bring all golf facilities closer together, realizing the health of the game depends on it. Superintendents have been sharing expertise and information even before GCSAA was organized in 1926. This program is simply an extension of the long-held values and philosophy of the golf course superintendent’s profession.
Complimentary GCSAA memberships available
Chapters are asked to award five TAN memberships each year. The TAN membership is a one-year complimentary GCSAA membership. The TAN membership is awarded in the facility’s name, with one designated representative assigned as the recipient of the benefits.
Send GCSAA the names of prospective TAN members, and staff will contact them to offer them a TAN membership. Please send your information to Leann Cooper or fax the certificates to us at 785-832-4433. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 800-472-7878, ext. 3648.
GCSAA’s engagement with TAN members
As chapters submit TAN certificates, GCSAA will send new TAN members a welcome letter and will follow up with a phone call. GCSAA staff will promote opportunities for the TAN member to become involved in the local chapter and with GCSAA. There will be touch points with TAN members throughout the year. Staff will ask TAN members to discuss what their membership needs are, what they like about their GCSAA membership, and how GCSAA can support them.
As the end of the membership year approaches, GCSAA staff will work closely with the TAN member to discuss membership opportunities going forward. The success of this outreach effort is that the TAN facility’s representatives would become active chapter and GCSAA members.
Suggested ideas for engaging TAN members in your chapter
- Offer a free or discounted chapter membership (many chapters have created a facility membership)
- Invite TAN members to chapter meetings (consider offering a complimentary registration for the first meeting)
- Develop a mentoring program that connects TAN members with veteran chapter members
- Invite TAN members to volunteer (examples: serve on a committee, host a chapter meeting, write a newsletter article)
- Communicate with TAN members frequently to keep them connected with your chapter
- Establish a coffee/breakfast group or golf group that meets for networking and camaraderie, and personally invite TAN members to participate
- Provide scholarship(s) for TAN members to attend the GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show
- Ask affiliate members to be involved (example: would they be willing to donate products or used equipment?)
This program cannot be successful without the help of superintendent volunteers. Please consider engaging TAN members in your area. Participation can be as much as volunteering to be a resource to a participating facility or as simple as taking the time to visit a facility in your area and introduce yourself to the staff. The fellowship that exists within the golf course management industry is unique to any other. From its beginnings in 1926, this association was founded to provide a forum for golf course superintendents to come together to discuss problems, share solutions and gain education. That concept is alive and well today in the Technical Assistance Network.