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

Monday, November 11, 2013

Michigan Golf Alliance

Last week on Wednesday 11/5 I met with the other three Executive Directors in the Michigan Golf Alliance for lunch in East Lansing. The attendees were Kate Moore of the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, Kevin Helm with the Michigan Section of the PGA and David Graham from the Golf Association of Michigan.

The Michigan Golf Alliance was formed in 2011 and is an informal meeting of all golf parties in Michigan to discuss the industry and plan our Legislative Golf Day in Lansing at the Capitol building. We met to discuss the other impact our groups can have to promote golf in Michigan. All of us have our own member needs and goals, but the one thing that directly affects all of us is the goal to get more people to play more golf.

Even with the slow "return" of the economy I have yet to see it really help many golf course in our state. The cost of maintaining a course has not decreased and has gone up over the last 10 years, but this is with a slow decline of golfers either established or new.

We are exploring many options to get more people to play more golf. Including partnering with the Pure Michigan campaign and creating curriculum for schools to use to introduce golf to kids. We plan to meet again to decide where we would like to put our resources and time. If you have any ideas or directives you have seen work to bring more golfers into the game please let me know and I will take it to the Alliance.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fundraisers, where the funds go

We are only a few weeks away from the Western Golf Day Fundraiser and about a month away from the 48th Annual Big Event. These are two of the three fundraisers the MiGCSA puts together every year, the first is the first Monday in June at Arcadia Bluffs. If you were wondering here is where the funds raised go.

none of the funds raised at these events go into the operation of the MiGCSA, 100% of these funds are allocated to our Foundation. The Board of Directors for the MiGCSA decide where these funds should be allocated based on our MiGCSA Foundation Charitable Contributions Policy Statement

It is the policy of MiGCSA Foundation to promote the Turfgrass Industry by making charitable contributions to qualified Turfgrass and Golf Foundation Charities and Student Scholarships affiliated with Professional Golf Course Superintendents and their families.  

The benefactors of these charitable contributions include, but are not limited to, the Michigan Turf Foundation, The Wee One Foundation, MiGCSA Heritage Scholarships and Academic Scholarships to Michigan State University Turfgrass students.  

This policy is administered by the Executive Director of the MiGCSA with approval from the MiGCSA Board of Directors. 

In the past these funds have been dispersed in the form of 4 Heritage Scholarships, these are awarded by the MiGCSA Scholarship Committee to dependents of MiGCSA Members who have applied and completed an essay on a topic set by the committee. Each one is worth $1,000 and up to 4 can be given in any one year. There are also two MSU Student Scholarships that are worth $1,500 each and are also awarded by the Scholarship Committee after interviews with MSU Students who apply and are current members of the MiGCSA. This year the Foundation matched Member Donations to the Wee One Foundation and sponsored the Wee One as a Platinum Tee Sponsor.

But as it has always been the number one recipient of these funds is the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation. Last year the MiGCSA donated more than $16,000 to the MTF. And the total donation sine the inception of the MiGCSA in 2008 is over $100,000!

Our hope is that we can branch out into the golf community with these events and get back to selling these events out. So please let your members, family and friends know of these great events.

Friday, July 5, 2013

MiGCSA Mid Year Review

The MiGCSA Fiscal year runs with the calender from January 1st to December 31st so I thought I would give a little 1/2 way update on the 2013 year for the Association.

Of course the #1 priority for the MiGCSA is our members, but just like a golf facility we can not service our members without a successful budget. Thanks mainly to overwhelming Industry Partner support including two new 2013 Silver members in Epar and John Deere Landscapes and an increase in level by Residex to Gold. As well as continued support from long time partners like Platinum: Syngenta, Bayer, BASF. Gold: Spartan Distributors, and Silver: Tri-Turf, Direct Solutions, Harrell's, WinField, J.W. Turf, Jacobsen, Great Lakes Turf and Rain Bird.

We have had a very successful membership renewal cycle as well and are up 36 members from the same time last year and up 91 from 2011. Our renewal starts in October of each year and we try to renew everyone throughout the winter.

With our largest ever Northern Fundraiser in the books it looks like a banner year for the MiGCSA Foundation as well. All of the funds raised at our three golf fundraisers go directly back into the turf industry in Michigan, and a vast majority goes directly to turf research at MSU with a donation to the MTF.

As of June 30 the financial report for the Association is positive, we are about $5,000 ahead of June 2012, and almost $15,000 ahead of budget. Thank you to all of our members and Industry Partners for making the MiGCSA one of the best chapters in the country, we hope to see you soon at one of our events.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Michigan Golf Alliance Summit
This past Tuesday, 5/28 the Michigan Golf Alliance  held our first ever Golf Summit. Normally this group plans and participates in Legislative Golf Day, but this year we decided to have a golf summit. This was a 9 hole mixed scramble in the morning followed by lunch and a keynote speaker. After the keynote each members of the alliance spoke about their groups and their individual goals. The attendees were made up of Board Members and managers of the groups in the MGA. We were unfortunately rained out for golf, but still had a productive lunch and meeting. Jim Baugh spoke to everyone about the Get Golf Ready program that is making some great strides to capture and keep new golfers. If you would like to see his entire presentation filled with great stats on the golf industry and where we can improve you can download it here. Every group in the MGA is working hard toward a common goal of growing the game of golf, below you will see the introduction I gave to the group on the MiGCSA.

"Good afternoon and thank you all for taking the time to join the Michigan Golf Alliance today to continue to promote the game of golf in our great state. First off I want to personally thank Kate Moore and Jada Paisley from the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, today’s event simply would not have happened if it were not for those two. My name is Adam Ikamas and I have been the Executive Director for the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association for the last two years. Before that I was the Golf Course Superintendent at Crystal Mountain Resort for seven years and I still consider myself more of a Superintendent trying to do the job of and Executive Director than an Executive Director doing a job for Superintendents. I started in the golf business when I was 17 and am very proud to be here today to represent the MiGCSA.

Our Association was formed in 2008 from 4 separate affiliated local chapters of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America the GCSAA. The oldest of these four chapters was started in 1948 in Detroit, so although the MiGCSA is young our associations are not. In these 5 short years we have grown our membership to over 750 golf industry professionals from Superintendents, Assistants and Equipment Technicians to sales people and students. Our mission statement and a daily working goal is that “The MiGCSA is dedicated to providing value to our members through programs and services that enhance our profession.” As many of you know the Superintendent can be one of the greatest assets to a golf course operation. The number one reason most golfers come back or go away is the condition of the golf course. Our hope is to make sure our members have access to all the resources they need to be successful, which more often than not is access to one another. The Superintendents in the MiGCSA are advocates for one another and regardless of facility type or market position they are a tight knit group always willing to lend a helping hand. It is an amazing part of the industry that is often not well understood from the outside. We also hope that we can get the message of the Superintendent as an integral part of a professional operation out in front of more golfers and others in the industry. Events like today are a great way to do this. I see the members of the MiGCSA as the front line in protecting our environment and dispelling the myths about golf courses being harmful to wildlife or the land, as we all know in this room that could not be farther from the truth. This is a powerful point for all of us to take home that every MiGCSA member golf facility no matter how big or small has a highly educated expert caring for the property every day and making decisions that are environmentally sound. There are few other places in our great state where such an abundance of wildlife and nature can be seen in such a relatively small area.

Personally I look at the Michigan Golf Alliance as a macrocosm of an individual golf facility. As you all know without communication between the managers at a facility there can be no hope for overall success. In the MGA we have the PGA representing the golf professional, the MGCOA representing the owner, the GAM as the member or golfer, the CMAA representing the Club Managers, the MTF representing the research that is so important to our MiGCSA Superintendents. Just like a golf facility it is imperative that we all work together for our one common overriding goal, more golf being played by more people. Regardless of our individual needs and goals this is the tie that binds us all together. I hope that when we all leave today we can carry the message of golf and of our allied associations back with us to our own corner of the state of Michigan and of golf. Thank you very much."

Friday, May 10, 2013


The first of our three golf fundraisers is on June 3rd at Arcadia Bluffs. This is a tee time event and will open up for registration on May 15th at 12:00 noon. We have these events every year not to raise funds for the MiGCSA as a Chapter but to return the funds raised completely to the turf industry in Michigan. Last year we gave the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation a check for over $16,000 to fund research at one of  the finest turf research facilities in the entire country at the Hancock Center. We also gave out two MSU Student Scholarships for $1,500 each. Four Heritage Scholarships for $1,000 each, these are given to MiGCSA Member dependents
Giving our check for $16, 830.03 to MSU President
Lou Anna Simon and MTF Presdient John Fulling
 at the 2013 Michigan Turf Conference
who are in college. Last year we also were a Platinum Sponsor for the Wee One Foundation Fundraiser for $2,000 and matched member donations of over $600. We also were a Platinum Sponsor this year and matched $650 in member donations. We gave $1,000 to the Environmental Institute for Golf, $500 to the MSU Turf Club, and support to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. In total we returned 100% of our $30,330.03 in profit for our 2012 fundraising season.

All of that goodwill and you get to play some great golf too. It is a true win win situation. So please make sure you join us at one or all three this year so we can extend the reach of this great community even farther in 2013.

2012 Scholarship Winners


Monday, April 8, 2013

Education Renovation

Currently at MiGCSA HQ there is still about 6 solid inches of snow in the back yard with no sign of leaving any time soon. Thankfully our first golf event of 2013 is a bit further south in Pierson at Pilgrims Run G.C. on April 22nd. This year at all MiGCSA golf meetings we plan to provide updates and education on current turf issues from the MSU Turf team at every event. These will be after golf and before awards. A 15 to 30 minute open Q&A with a member of the MSU Turf team.

We are also planning to pilot "Lunch and Learn" sessions this year as well to try and accommodate the busy schedules of our members. These will be 1 hour GCSAA CEU education sessions followed by lunch for a low cost of hopefully around $25. These will be held in the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Northern Michigan areas this year. If there is interest in more we will roll out more locations in 2014.

Also on the education front we hosted our first MiGCSA #Turfchat last week. This is an idea that started with Dr. John Kamanski at Penn State and is an online chat on Google +. Thank you to MiGCSA Communications Committee member Dan Mausolf for the idea of bringing this to Michigan. We will do more as time allows and they are broadcast live as we do them and are available on You Tube for future views. You can view the one hour chat below. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for future dates and time @MiGCSA.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fulling Wins! MiGCSA at GIS 2013

It was a very successful West Coast swing for the MiGCSA at the GIS. On Wednesday the 6th we hosted over 100 members at Busters Beach House right down the bay from the San Diego Convention Center from 8:00 - 11:00. It was great to see so many members and friends old and new. Thank you to our 2012 Industry Partners for supplying the food at this event.

On Thursday afternoon the 2013 GCSAA Annual Meeting was held. This marked the end of a fantastic year as President for Sandy Queen, CGCS and the beginning of a new one for Pat Finlen, CGCS to take the helm. Pat Finlen, CGCS and GCSAA Vice President Keith Ihms, CGCS were both voted in by unanimous vote. The race for Secretary/Treasurer was between Pete Grass, CGCS and John O’Keefe, CGCS the vote was in favor of John O’Keefe, CGCS who will be the new GCSAA Secretary/Treasurer. This was the end of the term for Pete Grass so he was nominated from the floor to run again. Darren Davis, CGCS new director from last year was also up for re-election after his one year term. John was running as a new director against John Walker from Texas and Mark Jordan, CGCS from Ohio. As is usual the two incumbents won their spots handily, Darren had and Pete had had the most votes. So the real race was between John, Mark and John Walker for the remaining open spot. John took had the most votes of the three, Mark took the second most and John Walker ended up with the least in a very close vote for three great candidates. With this John won a board position on his first attempt to the 2013 GCSAA Board of Directors. Congratulations to the new GCSAA Board Members, the Board
2013 GCSAA Director John Fulling, CGCS
and Members of the MiGCSA are very proud to see John representing us at the National level.

New GCSAA President Pat Finlen, CGCS
announces the 2013 GCSAA Board of Directors

Friday, February 1, 2013


Hopefully many of our members are gearing up for the GIS next week in San Diego. If you are heading out there are two can't miss events for MiGCSA Members. The first is on Wednesday night at Busters Beach House, just a short walk from the convention center. There are over 70 people already signed up for this event. There will be a cash bar and complimentary appetizers served from 8:00 - 11:00 pm on the 6th. For more information on this event please Click Here to go to the link on our website.

The other event is the GCSAA Annual Meeting and Elections. This year MiGCSA Past President John Fulling, CGCS is running for the National Board of Directors. The meeting is on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 2:30 pm in Ballroom 20A of the San Diego Convention Center. For more information on all of the candidates you can Click Here, come by on Thursday to support John.

Friday, January 11, 2013

2013 Events

The MiGCSA District Committees have been working hard to get the 2013 Event Calender completed. This is always a work in progress and the most up to date information is always available at Some of the venues for 2013 include Pilgrims Run, Arcadia Bluffs, Metamora Golf & Country Club, The Nightmare, The Emerald, and Egypt Valley Country Club. We also have some great education lined up for the Spring Management meetings in late February and early March in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Gaylord. A few highlights for those events are Dr. Frank Wong, Pat Jones, Lyne Tumlinson, Dr. Rob Golembiewski, Dr. Kevin Frank, Dr, Emily Merewitz and many more. You can click on the following link to download the most current 2013 schedule.

Of course coming up soon is the 2013 Michigan Turf Conference. If you have not signed up for this event yet you have to get to Lansing. The lineup is second to none, it is the can't miss event of 2013. You can see the entire lineup at and register online as well.

The Michigan Gathering in San Diego will be at Busters Beach House, just steps away from the conference center on Wednesday February 6th from 8:00 - 11:00 pm. Join the MiGCSA for complimentary appetizers in the upstairs Beach Loft with a beautiful view overlooking the San Diego Bay and the Coronado Bay Bridge. This event is not limited to just MiGCSA members, all are welcome. For more information and to pre register for an accurate count please Click Here.

Hopefully we will see everyone at the Turf Conference Kick Off Show at Spartan Stadium on Tuesday January 22nd, the MiGCSA will be at booth #12. Stop by and say hi!

And on a personal note my wife and I had our first child on December 17th at 11:01 pm. Adalyn Grace Ikamas was 7 pounds, 2 ounces and 19 inches long. She was born via emergency C section but everyone is doing great.