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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On the road again

It has been quite the whirlwind over the last month and a half since my last post. In that time I have had the opportunity to represent the MiGCSA and Michigan Superintendents at a variety of industry events all around the State. The first was at the Annual Can-Am challenge at the TPC of Michigan in Dearborn. This event is a match play between the MiGCSA and the Ontario Golf Course Superintendents Association and has been taking place for over 35 years. The MiGCSA won the event 40 to 20, there is talk of a bus ride to Toronto for next years event, if you have not played in a Can-Am before I would highly recommend it, and the OGSA will be great hosts in 2013.

Alan Mullaly, CEO of Ford
On May 7th the Golf Association of Michigan held it's Annual Meeting at Franklin Hills Country Club. In the GAM year in review video GAM Executive Director David Graham spoke about the impact the Michigan Golf Alliance has in Lansing, and in planning the Michigan Golf Day on June 13th. This is a great example of how our statewide chapter has a greater impact on the golf industry in Michigan, with four separate chapters we would certainly not have a seat at the table with the Golf Alliance. The meeting also featured guest speakers, including Rick Smith, Golf Instructor and Designer. He had some unique ideas about golf and how to grow the game, something that is important to everyone in the room. I think my favorite idea is to charge a higher fee the farther back tees you choose to play, this would encourage people to go up a tee or two, and increase the speed of play. The second speaker was Alan Mulally President and CEO of Ford Motor Company. I did not know much about Alan before this event but I have to say I was very impressed by his demeanor and candor when discussing the bailouts and hearings in Washington, best advise was not to take a corporate jet when testifying in front of Congress.

The MiGCSA Team, Vice President
Greg Pattinson, Myself, Secretary/Treasurer
Gregg Matthews, and Director Phil Owen
And last week on Sunday the 20th the MSU Turf Team was given a special award at the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony. This is well deserved and thanks in part to the MiGCSA representative on the MGHOF Board Retired Superintendent Fritz McMullen. It is another benefit of a united voice for Superintendents to have Fritz on the board to make sure Superintendents and other Turf Industry professionals are considered for induction. The next day was the Wee One Foundation Fundraiser at the Country Club of Detroit. This event has really become a must attend for many in Michigan, and it is an important event for the MiGCSA Board as well. This year the MiGCSA was again a Platinum Sponsor and matched donations from members for a total of $2,975. These funds come from the MiGCSA Foundation and are only possible because of the support at our three fundraisers and our Premiere Foundation Sponsors. The first of these events is on Monday at Arcadia Bluffs. The Western event is scheduled for September 17th at Wuskowhan Players Club in Holland, and the Big Event in the Detroit District is October 8th at Birmingham Country Club.

Jack Nicklaus at the Senior PGA
After the Wee One I traveled to Benton Harbor to attend an event with the PGA at the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores. All of the leaders from the Michigan Golf Alliance were invited to this media event featuring The CEO of the PGA of America Joe Steranka, many others from the PGA and Kitchenaid and Jack Nicklaus. One of the key items I picked up from this event was the economic impact golf has on the State of Michigan, this is one of the key items we use at Michigan Golf Day as well to educate legislators in Lansing about one of the many important impacts golf has in Michigan. I was able to see a little bit of the instructional clinic by Jack, but I don't think any of it can help me, not even tips from Jack Nicklaus. The last leg of my journey took me back to East Lansing to see a presentation from the first of three candidates for the Turfgrass Physiologist position at MSU. I was also able to have lunch with the candidate and members of the MTF board after the presentation. I have to admit much of the presentation was over my head as a former grass cutter and now paper pusher, but the room was packed with academia from the Crop and Soil Department at MSU, I was there mainly to represent the MiGCSA and to take part in the process. The second candidate presented yesterday, I was not able to attend as my wife and I had our second appointment to hear our baby to be heartbeat. She is about 12 weeks along and it was quite an experience. MiGCSA President Jay Eccleton attended in my absence.

It has been a busy month so far, with the first fundraiser on Monday at Arcadia Bluffs coming up and another candidate presentation and luncheon tomorrow it looks like there are no signs of slowing down.

The MSU Turf Team with their Award