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

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hunting and Membership Renewal Season

I still live in Northern Michigan about 10 minutes away from Crystal Mountain and I am not a hunter. I have hunted birds once and am an avid fisherman, and I do love some venison sausage, I say all this to let you know I am in favor of hunting in all forms but it is just not my thing. Being raised in Metro Detroit (Clinton Township) and having a Father who did not hunt deer I was unaware of the November 15th holy day of hunting until I re located to Northern Michigan. For any of you who are still unaware it is opening day of rifle season for deer. Living in Northern Michigan where I do it is very rural, and I am still surprised by the amount of gunfire I hear every year on this date, I think there is an average of 3 to 4 shots every hour I can hear from my house. It also still surprises me how most businesses except those catering to hunters are shut down today.

I wish golf had the same type of opening day, where everyone knew the course would be packed. Could you imagine, setting your budget around opening day every year, knowing the parking lot would be packed. Maybe the Michigan Golf Alliance should get a pact going and ask everyone to let the spring golf itch build until a set date, charge a premium and get the year off to a great start. I am not sure that is the message we want to send, but a sure fire opening day would be nice for the registers.

The fall is also the time we try to get members to renew their memberships with the MiGCSA. Last year we were in the middle of a large transition and let the membership renewal fall off the radar a little. So this year we are going to send monthly reminders via email until the middle of the winter, then we will send paper mail, followed by a separate cover of the winter Course Conditions to members that says it will be their last issue. We are down about 60 members from last year at this time, but the board and I are working on our expired member spreadsheet and will be making some calls this winter, so if you let your membership lapse renew now before you get the call from your district Board Member.

By paying your dues to the MiGCSA you are helping to support one of the strongest chapters of the GCSAA, we advocate for our members all of the time in conjunction with the allied associations in Michigan. You get 4 issues of the best chapter magazine in the country, a Membership Directory (Yes we will be printing one in 2011, within the next month) access to the member only section of, email with news that affects you and golf in Michigan, and access to over 20 great networking and educational events. All of this for only $75, that is a steal, it is even less if you are a Student or Assistant Superintendent. If you have not renewed for 2012 yet please do, and remember when you renew your membership you are not supporting us you are supporting yourself and your industry.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Two Fundraisers and a Wedding...

This is where we had our ceremony.
Just Married
Well the hope for a two week gap at the most between posts did not apply for the last month. We had two well attended fundraisers since my last post. The Western Golf Day Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor and The Big Event at Warwick Hills Country Club. Both events had over 100 players and we have gone well over the $30,000 mark for fundraising in 2011, this is more than the last two years combined! Western Golf day was on September 26th and The big Event was on October 3rd, I got married on October 1st at Crystal Mountain. This schedule was not ideal, but when we planned the wedding in July a year and a half ago I was not in this position and was the Superintendent at Crystal Mountain. It was a very busy week but the wedding went very well thanks to my wife Laura. We got married at the top of the Mountain at Crystal, guests rode the chairlift up for the ceremony and then rode down after. It was a bit chilly but the sun was shining and it was a beautiful fall day. We had our reception at the Resort as well and it really was a day to remember.
Whispering Pines is a hidden gem, owned and operated
by Ron Weingartz and his family.
The Equipment Techs gathered in the Golf Maintenance shop
at Crystal Mountain. Thank you to Chad Corp Golf Course
Superintendent for letting us host this event again.

The MiGCSA has had two other events since my last post as well, the Assistants Golf Outing and the Equipment Technicians Education event. The Assistants committee really does some great work and had a really good educational and networking event set up at Whispering Pines in Picnkey. This event was free to new members if they signed up for an MiGCSA membership and only $25 for current members. Representatives from John Deere spoke about their equipment and the leasing vs. buying options when it come to equipment. Then lunch and an 18 hole scramble, followed by prizes for 1st place and a long drive and closest to the pin. A great event but we only had 14 people attend. For someone who has an assistant there is no better way to get them involved and to bring value to your facility than by having them attend one of these Assistant events. I hope more Superintendents start to see the value in having their Assistants attend these events.

The Equipment Technician event was well attended by over 20 members. This event is free for all current members of the MiGCSA and the education was put together by Dave Ertl, Equipment Technician at Traverse City Golf and Country Club. I really like this event because it always leads to lively conversation between the attendees and the speakers. I wish there was this much interaction at Superintendent events.

As we head into the Fall the board and I are busy preparing for the 2012 season, we already have over 75% of the schedule done for next year. Planning is in the works for a very special gathering in Las Vegas  for MiGCSA members and their guests, stay tuned to and email updates fro for more details.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Brrr and Blogs

It is really starting to feel like fall up here in Northern Michigan, it won't be long until we start to hear the snow forecasts, it comes too soon every year. Blog post about fall projects and aerification seem to be everywhere, if you have a Blog let me know, if you don't take a look at some of these for inspiration and start one this winter.

Yesterday I spoke to Steve Hammon, Past President of the MiGCSA and Superintendent at Traverse City Golf and Country Club about his latest blog entry on aerification Steve really does a great job with member communication, not getting too detailed and giving them lots of photos.

Gregg Matthews, MiGCSA Secretary/Treasurer and Superintendent at Lakelands Golf and Country Club also uses his Blog to help communicate any course issues to his members, the latest is on aerification and some pump issues. 

Steve Cook, CGCS, MG at Oakland Hills Country Club has one of the best Blogs going. He posts often and has great photos and information for members and anyone interested in the operation there.

Mike Edgerton at Meadowbrook Country Club has not only information for the course but he give a few tips for homeowners as well. This is a great way to reach a wider audience.

The Blog from Forest Lake Country Club is also a good example of getting the information Superintendents all know out to the members to help them understand.

And for some great nature photography and environmental examples check out Scott Spooner's Blog on Leslie Park Golf Course in Ann Arbor

Adam Garr at Plum Hollow Country Club is a great example of blogging often and using the information as a record for himself and his members

I know it is said and heard a lot but communication is key in the Superintendent profession, a Blog is a great way to make information available when the reader has time, unlike an email that often gets deleted or set aside. Another great bonus of a blog is to use it as a journal. How many times do you think when did we do that? Now you can look back at your Blog entry and see pictures, weather, or any other circumstances you may have forgotten about. They are easy to set up, and to update.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Field Day and Fundraisers

As expected the Field Day at the Hancock Turfgrass Research center at Michigan State was a great event. It is amazing to see the direct focus they have there on Turf research. So many other facilities are doing many types of agricultural studies and they have a section of the area dedicated to turf. At MSU the entire property is dedicated to cutting edge turf research. We are very lucky to have this resource here in Michigan. As a former Superintendent I know how easy it is to take this for granted, but it is an incredible advantage to have the resources of the Turf program at Michigan State at our disposal. One of the major reasons we have this amazing facility and are leading the way on so much research is because of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation The MTF helps to fund and support the faculty and facilities dedicated to turfgrass management at MSU. It is because of this that the MiGCSA has four separate fundraisers every year. This year we had a bowling fundraiser in February, the June event at Arcadia Bluffs and we now have opened the registration for the event at Harbor Shores and will be opening registration for Warwick Hills on Friday. So far this year we have raised over $20,000 in sponsorship alone thanks to our Premiere Sponsors, along with $8,000 from Arcadia and $1,000 from the bowling event we are on our way to the biggest fundraising season the MiGCSA has ever had, the last two years we raised $15,000 a year, we are hoping to more than double that this year. The money raised at these fundraisers is mainly used for a donation to the MTF and Student Scholarships. Supporting the MiGCSA and MTF at these events is a great way to give back and get away to some fantastic venues. So hopefully you will sign up soon before we are sold out.

Sign up for Harbor Shores by CLICKING HERE

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gearing up for fall

Last week I attended the MGCOA Summer Outing at Gull Lake View in Augusta. Charlie Scott and his family own the course and they really do a great job there and with the MGCOA and the Scott Family Educational Support Foundation. In 1996 the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association created a separate tax exempt foundation with a mission of "providing training, education and professional development for Michigan golf course owners and operators." Because of the generous initial financial support from the Scott family of Gull Lake View Golf Course in Augusta, the Foundation was named in their honor.

That evening I had a visit with John Fulling at his house to meet his two Chinese interns. It was very interesting to speak to them about their culture and ours and there interest in Turfgrass Management. There are 72 Chinese interns in the United States for the next three months. Not many in Michigan, hopefully we can help promote this program that is helping the MSU Turfgrass program.

Tomorrow is the MTF Field day. I am heading to Lansing tonight to meet up with John Fulling and Lee Collins from John Deere Golf to discuss the MiGCSA Industry Partner Program.

We are also starting into a stretch of fall events for the MiGCSA. August 25th the 1/2 day education and golf at the Emerald, September 19th the 26th annual Tuck Tate at Black Lake, September 26th Western Golf Day at Harbor Shores, and the Big Event on October 3rd at Warwick Hills. On a personal note I need to carve out some time to get married on October 1st in the middle of these important events. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

State Championship and a Southwest swing

I am back in Northern Michigan today after spending the last three days in Grand Rapids. I went down to Railside Golf Club on Monday for the 4th annual MiGCSA State Championship. We had 44 members come out and played a two best of four net team game and competed for the 2011 State Championship. Dr. Kevin Frank defended his 2010 title with a 66 to win the championship. We had hoped for more attendance but it is a hot and high stress bit of weather we are in right now. I did speak to Dan Lucas about having the 2012 championship at The Kingsley Club in Kingsley, MI. A great venue for a State Championship. On Tuesday I rode with Marc McCoy from Harrell's on sales calls. We started at 6:30 in Ionia and visited the Jackson area in the morning and early afternoon. Then a run to the warehouse in Brighton, then a drop off in Battle Creek. We finished up 14 hours later, his phone was ringing off the hook all day with people struggling with turf, mainly poa. On Wednesday I picked up MiGCSA Board Member Jeff Holmes, CGCS at Egypt Valley and went down too Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor to meet with Brad Fry to discuss the 2011 Western Golf Day Fundraiser. Brad took us on a tour of the course and it is an amazing place. It will be a great fundraiser. It is nice to be home. I think I have found that this blog will not be as updated as I originally hoped, it looks like I will get an update on here every week or two as I find the time.

Monday, July 25, 2011

OTF Regional Seminar

Had a great experience with our turf neighbors to the south the last two days. Today I attended the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation Regional seminar at Fifth Third field, home of the Toledo Mudhens. We had a great tour of the field and the operations by Jake Tyler, Field Manager. On Sunday night MiGCSA President Jay Eccleton and I attended a reception at the Park Inn right around the corner from the field. We met many professors and field staff from Ohio State. And we spent a lot of time getting to know the new Executive Director of the OTF Steve Jurick and the Associate Director Brian Laurent. There is a significant opportunity for the MiGCSA to work with the OTF to provide more education opportunities to members, especially those in the southern part of Michigan. Like the event today, .3 GCSAA CEU's and a 1/2 day of great education and discussion with fellow superintendents for no cost to any members. This is another example of why the MiGCSA was formed, to find and foster these relationships with allied associations with the same goal of improving and advance the game of golf.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Website Meeting

Just finished a meeting with Gaslight Media, our website company. We are looking into a major upgrade in how the back end of the website handles membership data. Along with this is a much more custom user interface. It will probably not be complete until this winter or even next spring. It will be in place by membership renewal in October 2012. The goal is to make everything more personal and automated. Membership renewal is like aerification, it is a process that is tough on everyone but it has to be done and the benefits are important. Look for improvements coming soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Flint Elks Golf Event

We had a great turnout for the Flint Elks Golf event on the 12th. We had 40 players that competed in a best two of 4 format. And there was an hour of education on conducting an irrigation audit for .1 CEU's from Ian Williams with Rainbird. I did not have a chance to post until now as I was in Detroit for this event and had to head back on Friday for my first wedding shower. I grew up in Clinton Township and still have many family members there. The shower was at Cherry Creek Golf Club and a special thank you to MiGCSA member Superintendent Scott Schellpfeffer who hosted myself, my brother in law, father in law, and nephew to be for 9 holes on Saturday. The course was great and we were able to get in on time to see everyone.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Catching Up

The Presidents of the groups that make up the Michigan
Golf Alliance met with the Speaker of the House Jase Bulger
Went down to Lansing yesterday for a recap meeting from the Michigan Golf Day in Lansing at the MGCOA headquarters. Kate Moore, MGCOA Executive Director will be coming to the Spring Management Meetings next spring to talk about how well organized the day is. It can be intimidating to go into a Representatives office and speak about golf. It is tough to get the members to understand how it is all set up for you, talking points, assignments for visits, and information packets. Once you come to the golf day it is a hard event to skip, we are really starting to make an impression on the Capitol. Hopefully the MiGCSA members will absorb the information and try to attend in 2012.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grand Rapids

Heading to Grand Rapids today to meet with Kevin Fuchs and Marc McCoy from Harrell's at Egypt Valley. Board member and Egypt Valley Superintendent  Jeff Homles, CGCS will be meeting us as well. This is another chance to speak with one of our valuable Industry Partners. Harrell's has supported the MiGCSA from the start and is an important part of the MiGCSA success. As everyone's budget begins to shrink at the course it in turn decreases the budget for distributors and the amount they can support very worthy causes. The MiGCSA is more than a cause to support however, we are also the most direct line for marketing to Superintendents available. But the real question is how can the MiGCSA help our partners improve their bottom line while they also help us, which in turn helps us to have great member benefits. I ask you as members as I always do to really make sure you look at the companies that support the MiGCSA and when you can please support them as well.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Detroit District Survey

Working on a Detroit District member survey today with the Detroit District Events Committee chaired by Gregg Matthews. We are trying to get the right set of questions for our members. We want to make sure we are doing the best things we can for them and to make the events more popular. In the last few years, even before the MiGCSA came to be attendance in all 4 chapters were slipping. There are many ideas as to why this is happening from cost, to time to venues and I think they are all valid. But we are hoping to get some more concrete evidence as to how we can make the events better. The Detroit District is by far our most populated, but often has the lowest attendance for events. So we are starting there to see what type of response we get. It is short only 5 questions so hopefully we get some responses. I know how tough it is to find time for these things but a little information can go a long way to help all of us.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Legislative Day

Had a great turnout yesterday and the rain held off until after "Lunch at the Turn". In the morning we heard from Dennis Muchmore, Governor Snyder's Chief of Staff on his thought on the State and fielded questions about golf. He used to be a lobbyist for the Golf Course Owners Association, so he is familiar with our industry. We then went out in groups with bags of information and visited the House of Representatives. I paired up with Greg Lyman and John Miller, CGCS from the GCSAA. We had the opportunity to sit with many Representatives or to speak with their staffs. Everyone was invited to "Lunch at the Turn" thanks to Eagle Eye Catering, hot dogs and hamburgers. The tent on the front lawn of the capitol building was packed with Representatives, Senators and their staffs. In the afternoon we visited the Senate. They were still in session so we spoke to their staffs and left information for the Senators. A great day thanks to the newly formed Michigan Golf Alliance.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Off to Grand Rapids

I will be heading to Grand Rapids today to have dinner with Dave and Linda Wheeler, the owners of Automatic Supply Michigan the Rain Bird Distributor for Michigan and a Silver Industry Partner for the last two years. I try to meet all of our Industry Partners and take them to dinner to discuss the program. The Industry Partner program with the MiGCSA is really the key to our operation. Without the support from these companies we would not be able to charge such a low membership fee. In the last two years these companies have supported the MiGCSA to the tune of $180,000. These funds go to magazine and digital advertising, and also to help sponsor every event we have that is not a fundraiser. The Industry Partner sign at the golf events represents a hue commitment to the members, and we encourage to look at that sign and see if there is an opportunity for you to help support them, because they do a lot to support you.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Another gap in the blog as I get accustomed to keeping up. I was in Lansing this weekend for my little brothers wedding. We had a drop in by Sparty in a tux. I will be heading back to Lansing on Wednesday for the Legislative Golf Day. Jay Eccleton the MiGCSA President and I will be meeting with the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader along with other Michigan golf association presidents. It should be a great event. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Legislative Day

Almost a week away from the 2011 Michigan Golf Legislative day in Lansing. I am hoping we can get some more MiGCSA members to sign up. It is a great day to get with your legislator to make sure they know how important golf is to Michigan. This year the MiGCSA joined the Michigan Golf Alliance which is a group of all the golf associations in Michigan to help plan and fund the event. There will be two large tents on the capitol lawn, along with large blow up hitting nets where PGA members will be giving lessons to legislators and their staff. There is no cost for the event and it is one of the most important of the entire year.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Arcadia Bluffs

A small lull in the blog during the 2011 MiGCSA Northern Fundraiser at Arcadia Bluffs. Another great event this year, over $8,000 was raised at just this event. I did a full recap on the website, CLICK HERE to view it. It was a fun two days for me, I only live about 15 minutes from Arcadia so it was nice to be able to stay at home for an event. We will be heading back to Arcadia in 2012, it is a great fundraiser site and they do a fantastic job.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Q & A with Mike Giuffre of Congressional By: Terry Moore

Terry Moore from sent me a great Q&A with Mike Giuffre, Superintendent at Congressional and a Traverse City native.

Click Here for the entire interview -

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wee One in Michigan

The MiGCSA was a sponsor of the 2010 and 2011 Wee One outing in Michigan. Yesterday we received a nice note of thanks. This really is a great cause and can directly effect you or someone you know if times get tough. Next year the event will be held at the Country Club of Detroit on May 12th. If you have not made it to a Wee One event yet it is well worth the time, mark you calenders now!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Off to Traverse City

I have a 1:00 appointment with Mike Meindertsma today. If the name rings a bell it is because Mike used to be a Superintendent at the Grand Traverse Resort, and then Highpoint in Traverse City. He is now the manager for the Northwestern Mutual in Traverse City. He is interested in advertising with the MiGCSA and getting involved in the association and seeing some old friends. A bank run is also overdue to 5/3 to deposit checks from members and Industry Partners, the closest 5/3 bank is in Traverse City, 45 minutes away. I usually try to pair up errands. Only one spot left for Arcadia skins game to get to the 10 teams we were hoping for, get signed up today!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

MiGCSA communication continues to grow

Hopefully some MiGCSA members saw the post on Facebook today and are now following the blog. Working on buttoning up all of the tee times, group names and payment for the Arcadia Bluffs Fundraiser next week. There are still two spots open for the skins game and a few for the Monday outing.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

This will be the first post of my blog. This will be used to keep track of the daily operations of the MiGCSA and to help keep members or interested parties informed.