The MiGCSA is dedicated to providing value to our members through programs and services that enhance and promote our profession.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Why are the Fundraisers so much more this year!?!?

With registration opening for the Western Golf Day Fundraiser the fall golf season is in full swing for the MiGCSA. We are heading to beautiful Muskegon C.C. on 9/18 and the Big Event is on 10/9 at newly renovated Bloomfield Hills C.C. these both follow the ever successful Arcadia Bluffs Fundraiser back in June.

However the cost of $155 has made for a few double takes. These events have been $125 per person since before the MiGCSA was formed so a jump of this amount is noticeable. This was decided by the MiGCSA Board back in March of 2017 and the following letter was sent out to all members on 3/24. I think this covers the reasoning very well so I will re post it here for clarification.

03/24/2017
2017 MiGCSA Fundraisers
For over 50 years fundraisers have taken place in Michigan to support Turf Research and provide scholarships for turf students and children of MiGCSA Members. During those years, there have been many host sites around our great state. Since inception of the MiGCSA in 2008 and even before the merger the cost of these events has remained steady at $125 per participant. However, the cost of hosting these events at these great golf venues has steadily increased. Much like a golf course budget you cannot produce the same results today with the same budget as 2008 even though many MiGCSA Members are asked to do just that. It is because of this that the Board of Directors approved an increase of $30 to the cost of all Fundraisers starting in 2017.

This was not done without thorough discussion, debate and thought. The goal of these events is to raise money, money that goes directly back to the industry. The majority of these funds go to the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation to fund the best turf research program in the world right here in our backyard. The proceeds also help fund Member Dependent Heritage and Student Scholarships, Wee One Foundation and the EIFG. As costs have continued to rise over the last eight years the income for these events has been stagnant, as a result the donations to the MTF have steadily declined.

Thankfully participation has been and remains strong as do sponsorships which has allowed the MiGCSA to crest $100,000 in donations to the MTF this year. However, this is not a sustainable model for the future. It is important to remember these events directly benefit you, our members we represent. We welcome feedback on this decision and hope you understand why it was made. Thank you for your support of the MiGCSA and the golf industry in Michigan.

Sincerely,


Your MiGCSA Board of Directors

Monday, July 24, 2017

MI Turf T Shirts

On July 7th the MiGCSA launched a new fundraiser online selling some really cool T shirts. This was an idea that was formed from an annual meeting with my fellow Great Lakes Chapter Executives in Columbus Ohio in June. The OTF did a similar fundraiser and it was very successful so we decided to do our own. The idea for the actual shirt came from Adam Garr our Syngenta rep who has been using a great hashtag #MITuf when discussing issues on turf this summer. The combination with our logo was a natural fit. The two week time frame sold 180 shirts and raised $3,820!

We will be using these funds to award an MiGCSA Member an all expenses paid trip to the 2018 Golf Industry Show. If your interested in applying for this the deadline is August 4th 2017 and here is the form: http://www.migcsa.org/uploads/2018-MiGCSA-Golf-Industry-Show-Scholarship-Application.pdf

Thank you to everyone who supported this fundraiser, it was an amazing show of support and community.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Go Time!

It is raining here at MiGCSA HQ just north of Grand Rapids, not quite the warm spring rain that is usually coming around this time of year but it is a big all day spring rain none the less. It is that slow all day soaker that reminds you the real spring is here. Another sure sign of spring is my Twitter and Facebook feeds are packed with photos of greens mowers out  making that first cut, one of my favorite days of the year when I was a Superintendent. Everyone knows it is Go Time.

1st Mowing of 2010 at Crystal Mountain
It all happens fast, all of the sudden your back on the sprayer, the first shotgun start and the double mow and roll days are upon you. Here in Michigan that is usually broken up by some brutal cold weather and sometimes snow as winter tries to hang on longer than anyone wants it to, but we all know it is Go Time.

So this is a great time of year to make sure you have some plans to do more than the day to day operations on the golf course. Of course these are very important to you and your job security, but I caution you on thinking that is the only thing you need to do to be successful. Your Chapter has many opportunities for you to meet and interact with fellow members all season, from the 24th of April to the 2nd of October. Right now make the plans to attend at least one or two of these meetings. I would also encourage you to sign up as a single, I know radical right? But when you do that I will make sure you are paired with someone you will value meeting at the end of the day. Yes golfing with your "group" is fun, and I am not saying you should drop those guys, but maybe go to a meeting in another area of the state, as a single or ride with someone and get paired up. Or even better grab that guy down the road who you know is not a member and invite them to come with you, expose them to the MiGCSA and our members, think about how much that would mean to them. Grow your network, meet some new people who are just like you. North, South East or West we are all Golf Course Superintendents. So before Go Time becomes I can't go time make your plans to utilize these opportunities, you will never know what your missing if you always miss it!


2017 Events
Monday, April 24 - Spring Opener (Spring Lake C.C., Spring Lake)
Monday, May 8 - Can-Am Tournament (Essex C.C., Ontario)
Monday, May 22 – Wee One Fundraiser (Birmingham C.C., Birmingham)
Sunday, June 4 – Northern Fundraiser Practice Round (Arcadia Bluffs, Arcadia)
Monday, June 5 - Northern Fundraiser (Arcadia Bluffs, Arcadia)
Thursday, June 8 – Legislative Golf Day (Capitol Building, Lansing)
Thursday, June 22 – LaFontaine Outing (Coyote Preserve, Fenton)
Wednesday, July 12 – Mid Golf Event (Apple Mountain, Freeland) 
Thursday, July 27 - Tuck Tate Championship (TBD)
Wednesday, August 16 – MTF Field Day (Hancock Turfgrass Center, East Lansing)
Thursday, August 24 - MiGCSA State Championship (Bucks Run G.C., Mt. Pleasant)
Friday, September 8 - Assistant & Student Networking Golf Outing (College Fields, Okemos)
Monday, September 18 - Western Golf Day (Muskegon C.C., Muskegon)
Monday, October 2 - The Big Event (Bloomfield Hills C.C.) 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Us and Them

This article was spurned by a post on the Facebook page started by Gary Grigg called Golf Course Maintenance. If you are not a member it is a great group and is really a forum for many things. The topic that lead me to write this was on the GCSAA new classification system where class SM Members will go back to a classification of B. This was voted on at the 2016 GCSAA Annual Meeting after discussion by the chapter delegates and the Board of the MiGCSA did approve it as well.

There was a complaint on this page about the reclassification as feeling like a second-class citizen. It lead to many more comments about the GCSAA and the feeling that the membership dues are not worth it, things about the local chapter has my back but not he National or just flat out it is a waste of money what do they do for me? Now this is not the first time I have heard this, and personally there was a time when perhaps I would have not disagreed with it. If you look at GCSAA or MiGCSA Membership as a service, then it appears to be a terrible value. $375 for a GCSAA Membership and another $100 for the MiGCSA and all you get are a few magazines you don’t usually have time to read. When that is the mind set, I cannot blame someone for not seeing the value.

However, if that is your mindset I am not sure you understand how this all works. The GCSAA and MiGCSA are not a direct service in the traditional sense. These groups are an opportunity and can be as large of an opportunity as you can make of them.

If you sit back and wait for the GCSAA & MiGCSA do things for you it will not work, it is not supposed to work that way. It is like buying a new sprayer parking it in the barn and wondering why you have disease ridden turf, you must use it for it to work! Anything you need or could want is at your fingertips, but you must, under your own power move them. 

When I first started this job, I struggled with trying to come up with the “elevator pitch” to explain why the MiGCSA is important for members. I started listing all the things we do behind the scenes like foster relationships with the State and Local Governments, provide networking and educational opportunities, produce an industry leading magazine and a massive communication network and so on down the line into the minutia of the daily operations. But as I struggled with this I was turned on to a Ted Talk by Simon Sinek on the idea that people do not believe in what you do they believe in why you do it. This resonated with me and has changed my elevator speech completely.

The MiGCSA or GCSAA for that matter is not about doing things for you, even though they both do, a lot. They are about giving you the opportunity to be part of us, not them, just us. We are all Michigan Golf Course Superintendents members or not, it is what we do. Why do we do it? For the giant pay checks or the glory and appreciation? It is because we are passionate about our profession. As a group of people who are passionate about our profession we are unstoppable, when we all believe in why we do it together, we are unstoppable, when we utilize the opportunities by getting involved to whatever level you would like, we are unstoppable. Not us and them, just us. When the GCSAA does well we all do well, when the MiGCSA does well we all do well. It is not they do well, we are they. So, the next time you wonder about paying your dues to either group please think of it not as a service like your cable bill, but as an investment in all of us which absolutely includes YOU!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2017 Michigan Turfgrass Conference

It is conference season time, and the 2017 Michigan Conference is again set to be a great event starting on January 3rd in East Lansing. I am often asked about the conference as if it were an MiGCSA event, but it is not. The conference is produced by the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation (MTF) and all of the planning comes from their very capable conference planning committee chaired by Amy Fouty, CSFM from MSU. Amy and her group have been doing a phenomenal job of getting speakers and topics that are up to the minute relevant to anyone who grows turf, and especially in the Golf Turf areas. This conference is also available at a great cost of only $195.00 for three days when you pre register.

If you have not attended this conference before make a point to do so now, if you have attended before get signed up. More information can be found here and you can register online at the MTF website here.



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Annual Call to Action!

It is 51 degrees and spitting a light rain today here in Rockford just north of Grand Rapids and as I write this I am taken back to this time of year pouring over budget numbers in the office as a Superintendent. The deluge of early order programs and picking them apart to maximize the dollars saved. I am betting there are more than a few people reading this doing the same thing, looking at the monitor of spreadsheets and paper laid out over the desk.

If so I am honored that you took a break from that to read this. I am also now going to make my annual call to action to add one more consideration into your decisions this fall. To consider the companies and individuals who partner with your Chapter. This is the critical part of the circle of support I often speak about. These partners are the main funding source of the MiGCSA. They do this because they believe in the Chapter and you, but they also do it because they want your business. The margins on many products you use are not a large as you may think, especially during early order. If these partners lose business to other companies that are not participating in the MiGCSA Industry Partner Program then it makes it harder every year to support you.

So please, when the early order information starts to come in, when the salesperson makes the appointment, when you make those commitments, please use the information on the signs below to help keep the circle of support intact. The Industry Partners support everything the MiGCSA does and the Fundraiser Sponsors help fund the future of our industry. This is one of the most important ways to support your Chapter and all of the members in it, thank you.






Monday, August 29, 2016

Fundraisers, where does the money go?

As we start to turn the corner into aerification, snow mold and irrigation blowouts it is also fundraiser season around Michigan. We have three every year, the first is always at Arcadia Bluffs on the first Monday in June and we blew it out again this year as this annual event continues to be a staple on many calender's. In September we have the Western Golf Day at Kent Country Club on September 19th and the Big Event at Plum Hollow on October 3rd. These are long standing events and are the highest attendance we see all year. Which allows us to raise a lot of money, but then what where does it go?

All of the proceeds from these events go right back to you... well not in direct cash form but to all of us in the form of industry support. The highest percentage goes to the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation to support the world class turf research going on a t MSU. Since the inception of the MiGCSA in 2008 the Association has been able to donate $120,000 to the MTF! All of the research done at MSU is for the benefit of our members and we are glad to be the largest single contributor to the MTF on an annual basis.

We also use these funds to support the scholarships we give out every year. There are the 4 Heritage Scholarships that are awarded for $1,500 each to dependents of current members after an application and essay. And the Student Scholarships, up to 2 at $2,000 each. These are available to turf students at MSU and are awarded based on an interview process.

The final group that regularly receives funds is the Wee One Foundation. In recent years the MiGCSA has been a sponsor of these events and have matched member donations.

Other turf related philanthropic causes and groups can also be funded by request and approval from the MiGCSA Board of Directors.

So if any of these seem important (hint: they should) to you and you want to have a great day with your colleagues then please sign up and participate in one of the remaining fundraisers and in turn help to support and fund the future of our industry.