Get Ready for Carolinas Night On the Trade Show Floor

Anticipation is high for a first at the Carolinas GCSA Conference and Show when the annual Carolinas Night celebration takes place today in conjunction with the trade show in the exhibit hall at Myrtle Beach Convention Center. “We’re hoping it could be the biggest crowd on the trade show floor in the history of the event,” says Carolinas GCSA executive director, Tim Kreger, says.

Historically, Carolinas Night has been held off site, after trade show hours. But association leaders hope the chance to walk out of education seminars, straight into the trade show with food and beverages available, will mean more attendees on the floor and for more time.

“We really believe this can be a win-win for both attendees and exhibitors,” Kreger says. “No one has to leave the trade show now to get ready for an event off-site. And no one has to leave because they are hungry or ready for a cocktail after a day sitting in classrooms. They can do it all on the trade show floor amongst the very people they look forward to seeing at this time every year.”

Carolinas Night is presented in partnership with Agstone, Green Resource, NanoOxygen Systems, Rapid Water Technologies, TSP and Vereens Turf Products. Three food stations and two bars will open at 4pm, the same time as the trade show. Bars will remain open until the trade show closes at 8pm and food stations will be open as long as supplies last.

Drinks will be available by drink ticket only with tickets available, free, from exhibitors hosting the bars and all 27-Hole Challenge booths. Locations of those booths are listed in the middle of the on-site guide. Some other exhibitors will also have drink tickets available. Drink tickets will also be available from the registration desk at $10 each.

Boyette Finds Swing Again to Claim Championship No. 4

Riley Boyette won his fourth Carolinas GCSA Golf Championship yesterday but only after he rediscovered his swing the day before at the course where he found his way into the business. Boyette shot a one-under par round of 69 at Caledonia Golf and Fish Club to win by four strokes from Virlina Cup teammate, Barry Graham, CGCS. Boyette’s other wins came in 2016, 2017 and last year.

Boyette, who is assistant superintendent to Kyle Johnson at Carolina Country Club in Raleigh, NC, was among 338 golfers entered in the championship presented in partnership with Smith Turf and Irrigation and Toro. The championship included medal play, four ball and captain’s choice formats across Caledonia, True Blue Golf Club and Wachesaw Plantation.

The Carolinas GCSA and presenting partners greatly appreciate the efforts of host superintendents Jackson Clemons, Jr. (Caledonia), Kevin Thompkins (True Blue) and Scott Fretz (Wachesaw). Dillard Traynham holds the record for the most Carolinas GCSA championships with six, between 1968 and 1974.

Boyette says his game was “a little off” after the Virlina Cup in October but some time on the driving range at Cardinal Country Club on Sunday afternoon did the trick. “No, not that Cardinal,” he says referring to The Cardinal by Pete Dye, the highly-rated course in Greensboro, NC. “This one is a little course just down the road in Selma. I definitely found my swing again there. So, I felt good going into the championship.”

Even so, a double-bogey on the second hole must have had him wondering. But, just as he did after a double-bogey on the first hole of his win in 2021, Boyette steadied quickly and had only one more blemish, a bogey on the 10th, to go with four birdies for the rest of his round.

Graham, from Wildcat Cliffs Country Club in Highlands, NC, also had a double bogey in his round, along with three bogeys and two birdies, to finish three over par.

Results from all divisions of the championship will be on display in the Smith Turf and Irrigation booth on the trade show floor and winners can collect trophies and gift certificates there on Wednesday afternoon.

USGA to Unveil New GS3 Ball at the Show

The USGA will make the first public unveiling of its new GS3 tool during the Carolinas GCSA Conference and Trade Show, which opens in Myrtle Beach, SC at 4pm today. Tournament-tested at major championships, the GS3 enables superintendents to collect, analyze and share data about putting green performance.

Sometimes referred to as the “glow ball,” the GS3 rolls off a Stimpmeter and measures three critical elements that influence how players perceive the quality of putting greens. Sensors in the GS3 measure speed, smoothness (up-and-down movement) and trueness (side-to-side movement).

These three variables, along with firmness, give superintendents the ability to communicate more confidently with course staff and golfers about the condition of their greens. And research shows that the condition of greens is the biggest factor in determining golfer satisfaction.

The GS3 comes with a one-year subscription to Deacon, which tracks putting measurements, along with other data such as clipping yields, cultural practices, applications, hole location and weather, either from your desktop or on course through the mobile app. Trade show attendees can be among the first in the country to see, roll and test the GS3 at the USGA booth (#1007).

To celebrate the unveiling, the USGA will hold a drawing to give away a GS3 and a Deacon subscription near the conclusion of the conference. For more information or to enter, stop by the USGA booth or email

The GS3 ball and Deacon giveaway is among a host of exhibitor promotions this week that will see lucky attendees walk away with everything from televisions, to iPads, Yeti coolers, backpack sprayers and more. For a list of exhibitors who announced promotions in advance of the trade show, turn to page 34 of your on-site guide, available at the conference registration desk.

Industry Icons Turn Out To Honor Two Legends

The man who first hired living legends Randy and Danny Allen into the world of golf course maintenance was on hand to pay tribute to them at Myrtlewood Golf Club on the eve of this year’s Conference and Trade Show. Gene Blanton, long since retired, hired the brothers when they were teenagers on a new course construction in Shelby, NC in the early ‘70s. He was among about 100 industry peers, colleagues, friends and family who gathered to honor the Allens’ contribution to the industry.

Both went on to become Carolinas GCSA presidents – Randy in 1989 and Danny in 2006. Both also won the association’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award – Randy in 2006 and Danny, this year. Randy made his name over a long period in Myrtle Beach at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club and with Burroughs and Chapin. Danny was longtime superintendent at Camden Country Club in Camden, SC before moving to Myrtle Beach and is now in his final weeks at Aero Golf Club Short Course. He is retiring next month.

The event at Myrtlewood was organized by Mike Johnson of Agrono-Lytics Turf Consulting and was attended by a number of other former DSA winners including Dr. Bruce Martin, Dr. Bert McCarty, Bill Anderson, CGCS, and Turner Revels of Revels Turf and Tractor. A number of other Carolinas GCSA past-presidents were also there including Steve Hamilton, CGCS, Mitchell Wilkerson, CGCS, Billy Lewis and Joel Ratcliff, CGCS.

It was a night fully reflecting not only the immense and widely-felt respect and admiration for the Allen brothers, but also the lengthy generational ties in the industry. Rob Hamrick, of Golf Agronomics, spoke at one point, which prompted Blanton, now in his 80s, to recall that it was Rob’s father, the late Bob Hamrick, himself a DSA winner, who first got Blanton into the industry.

Danny Allen will receive his DSA at a special presentation in Ballroom E at 11am on Wednesday.

Assistants Celebrate in Lead Up to Show

About 75 people helped celebrate the next generation in golf course maintenance at the annual Assistant Superintendent Social at Banditos Cantina in Myrtle Beach on Sunday night. The event, organized by the Carolinas GCSA Assistant Superintendent Committee, was presented in partnership with Gloves Plus and included entertainment by Daire Barefoot and the Siren. Barefoot is a son of longtime Carolinas GCSA member Bo Barefoot. “It was a great night and we appreciate everyone who took the time to come on out,” says assistants committee chair, Will Dennis, from Hendersonville Country Club in Hendersonville, NC.

"Badge of Honor" Ribbons Available for 2022 Donors

Carolinas GCSA leaders urge superintendents from facilities that participated in this year’s Rounds 4 Research auction to advertise the fact. Special green Rounds 4 Research ribbons are available to attach to name badges from the registration desk. If your facility donated a round to the online auction in 2022, Rounds 4 Research committee chair Don Garrett, CGCS from The Walker Course at Clemson University says, “Please pick up a ribbon and wear it like a badge of honor. And if someone asks you what it is, make sure you tell them all about it and make them promise to make a donation in 2023!”