the CGCOA 1
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE CALIFORNIA GOLF COURSE OWNERS ASSOCIATION INSIDE THIS ISSUE CGCOA Executive Director’s Report ............. 1 CGCOA 2014 Calendar .... 2 CGCOA Sponsors ............ 3 Annual Meeting Recap ............................ 4 CGCOA Annual Golf ......... 5 CGCOA Award Receipents ...................... 6 CGCOA Endorsement ...... 11 3rd Party Tee Time Best Practices .............. 11 Six Rules to Avoid the Legal System ........... 13 CGCDA Sponsor Program ....................... 14 New Book: Wide Open Fairways ...... 15 Southern California Update ......................... 17 Upcoming Telephone Town Hall Meetings: Learn to Avoid Tax Traps ............. 18
CGCOA 2215 21st Street Sacramento, CA 95818 Phone: 916/456-0500 FAX: 916/456-7672 www.cgcoa.org
VOLUME 8 • ISSUE 1 • Dec. 2013/Jan. 2014
CGCOA Building Momentum: Executive Director’s Report
New Benefits and Programs for Members and Sponsors Spurring Rapid Growth Like a locomotive building a head of steam, CGCOA steadily gained momentum over the final months of 2013, and the association heads into the new year with an energy and vitality that will greatly benefit the golf industry throughout 2014 and beyond. We have successfully completed our first annual fundraising golf tournament; just released How To Plan And Run A Successful Golf Tournament - A Fundraising Guide For NonProfit Groups, Charities, and Others; developed a Haggin Oaks, Mackenzie Golf Course #14 webinar series with four Meetings throughout the state, affording successful webinars presented to date; unveiled a members and non-members the opportunity to new sponsorship program aimed at giving CGCOA network with fellow industry members and hear sponsors increased value and exposure to CGCOA the latest industry news from CGCOA without members; and recently announced fuel discount traveling far. partnerships with Flyers Energy in the Bay Area You can also look forward to an aggressive and Alexis Oil in Southern California. CGCOA also effort to promote more tournaments at CGCOA unveiled a membership program for multi-course member courses through the distribution to operators managing 11 or more courses that non-profit groups of the How To Plan And Run A enables them to receive full membership benefits Successful Golf Tournament guide, and several at a very reasonable per course price. events planned around the guide. These new programs and member benefits are Of benefit to sponsors, this year CGCOA will in addition to CGCOA’s two annual Educational also promote its “One Shot” Sponsor program Conferences, Annual Meeting, and the many (see article below), designed to encourage offerings available to members through NGCOA. CGCOA members to receive a bid, proposal, or The 2013 Annual Meeting featured the presentation from at least one CGCOA sponsor presentation of CGCOA’s annual awards, including with whom they are not currently doing business. 2013 CGCOA Course of the Year winner Haggin CGCOA is here to serve and promote California’s Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento (see article golf industry, and you, the golf course owners, below), and the two successful Educational operators, manufacturers, suppliers, and service Conferences focused on “Increasing Sales By providers who rely on golf for your livelihood. Our Exceeding Customer Expectations.” doors are always open to hear your ideas and As we start 2014, CGCOA members and suggestions, as well as the issues you may be sponsors can look forward to continued expansion facing, and how we can help resolve those issues of these and other programs. The 2nd Annual for you. I encourage you to call me or email me at CGCOA Benefit Golf Tournament is currently any time with your thoughts at (916) 456-0500 being planned for late June in Northern California or firstname.lastname@example.org. (location and date to be announced); the two Educational Conferences will feature a “Course Wishing you a prosperous 2014! Rescue” theme, patterned after NGCOA’s similar Marc Connerly theme at the Golf Industry Show in February in CGCOA Executive Director Orlando; and we will hold at least four Regional
2014 CGCOA Calendar of Events Tuesday, February 4 6:00 p.m. - Western States Reception @ NGCOA Annual Conference, Orlando, Rosen Centre, Salon 3 Thursday, February 13 10:00 a.m. – VGM Club webinar – “Expense Management” Wednesday, March 5 9:00 a.m. – CGCOA Regional Meeting, Dad Miller Golf Course, Anaheim Thursday, March 6 9:00 a.m. – CGCOA Regional Meeting, San Vicente Golf Resort, Ramona March 31-April 1 GCSA of Central California Symposium on Affordable Golf, Dairy Creek Golf Course, San Luis Obispo (Time TBD) Tuesday, April 29 CCGOA Board meeting (Northern California), location and time TBD Wednesday, April 30 Northern California Educational Conference, location and time TBD Wednesday, May 21 CGCOA Regional Meeting (Palm Springs area), location and time TBD Wednesday, June 25 (Tentative) – 2nd Annual CGCOA Benefit Golf Tournament (Northern CA) Wednesday, July 23 CGCOA Regional Meeting (Sacramento) Tuesday, August 26 CGCOA Board meeting (Southern California), location and time TBD Wednesday, August 27 Southern California Educational Conference, location and time TBD Wednesday, September 24 CGCOA Regional Meeting (Central CA), location and time TBD Wednesday, October 15 CGCOA Annual Meeting/Board Elections (Northern California, Napa area), location and time TBD Thursday, October 16 CGCOA Board Meeting (Northern California, Napa area), location and time TBD Wednesday, November 5 CGCOA Regional Meeting (Bay Area), location and time TBD
CGCOA Announces New Officers and Directors Following an email election, the California Golf Course Owners Association is pleased to announce the election of five new members to the CGCOA Board of Directors. Lee Harlow (Green River Golf Club/CourseCo, Corona), Otto Kanny (River Ridge Golf Club, Oxnard), Michael Lautenbach (Anaheim Hills Golf Course, Anaheim), Rod Metzler (Empire Golf, Rancho Murieta), and Ron Zraick (Cinnabar Hills Golf Club, San Jose) are the newest Directors on the CGCOA Board. Additionally, Brad Shupe is a new Director, serving as the new representative for Poppy Holding (Pebble Beach) on the Board. Jeff Kiewel of Valley Crest Golf Course Maintenance, representing the Victoria Club in Riverside, is the new CGCOA Vice President, and David Kramer of Los Serranos in Chino Hills is the new Secretary/Treasurer. The CGCOA Board and staff welcome the new Board members and extend a heartfelt thank you to all who have stepped up to serve the industry and the association. We also thank those of you who voted in the online election. v
Advertise in a Future Issue of The CGCOA Insider Full Page: $600/yr. Half Page: $450/yr. Quarter Page: $300/yr. Biz. Card: $150/yr.
or or or or
$200/quarter $150/quarter $100/quarter $50/quarter
Contact Marc Connerly at email@example.com or (916) 456-0500 to place your advertisement.
CGCOA BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND STAFF Executive Board Steve Plummer, President Jeff Kiewel, Vice President David Kramer, Secretary/Treasurer Directors Bill Aragona • Lee Harlow • Otto Kanny George Kelley • Sam Koh • Michael Lautenbach Rod Metzler • Brad Shupe • Ron Zraick Advisory Board Tom Addis • Doug Dahl • Z Gordon Davidson Kevin Heaney • Bob Higgins • Ted Horton • Tom Isaak Shaw Kobre • Emmy Moore-Minister • Dave Nelson Dawn Prebula • Joe Priddy • Terry Selk • Ed Smilow Harvey Silverman • Shawn Smith Staff Marc Connerly, Executive Director Ilene Connerly, Administrator Julie Cisneros, Events & Financials Rebecca Keeley, Administrative Assistant
CGCOA Appreciates the Generous Support of Our Sponsors Gold Sponsor
Annual Sponsors John K. Abendroth, PGA Enterprises Energy Management Media Consulting 650-692-6261 firstname.lastname@example.org
www.aa-equip.com www.pellucidcorp.com www.courseco.com www.4flyers.com www.vgmclub.com
The following in-kind sponsors have donated their services in support of CGCOA:
Emmy Moore-Minister www.cybergolf.com 3
Annual Meeting Recap Jim Baugh, Henry DeLozier, Stu Rowland Inform Attendees CGCOA’s 2013 Annual Meeting at Indian Canyons Golf Resort featured lively presentations by Stu Rowland, President of the Hi-Lo Golf Course Superintendentís Association and Director of Golf Course Operations at Rancho La Quinta Country Club; Henry DeLozier, former NGCOA President and national and international speaker on golf; and featured presenter, Jim Baugh, representing the PGA of America and PHIT America. Mr. Baugh’s keynote presentation focused on PGA’s Jr. Golf and Get Golf Ready programs, as well as the “Connecting With Her” initiative, which educates course owners about the importance that women play in the golf business, the purchasing power of females, and how courses can access this very important demographic. His discussion also covered the importance of fitness in America, and how golf plays a significant role in the movement to create a more fit America. Jim’s energy level and enthusiasm wowed those in attendance. If you missed his presentation, you owe it to yourself to see him in the future. Also,
a copy of his powerpoints are available by emailing the CGCOA office email@example.com. Henry DeLozier, with Global Golf Advisors, discussed social and economic trends impacting the golf business, including baby boomers, women and minority golfers, the College Golf Pass program (visit www.collegegolfpass.com for more details), and the state of the economy as it relates to the golf industry. Mr. DeLozier followed up his Annual Meeting presentation with a webinar for CGCOA members, and his powerpoint, including the webinar audio, is also available by emailing the CGCOA office. Superintendent Stu Rowland shared his expertise on water and stewardship issues in the desert and the rest of the state. The Annual Meeting also featured presentation of CGCOA’s annual awards (see below), and attendees were treated to lunch before heading to the Indian Canyons North Course to participate in the 1st Annual CGCOA Benefit Golf Tournament. v
L-R, CGCOA President Steve Plummer and CGCOA Board Member Sam Koh
L-R, Annual Meeting Keynote Speaker Jim Baugh, SCGA’s Craig Kessler, CGCOA President Steve Plummer, State Senate Candidate Glenn Miller
L-R, CGCOA Executive Director Marc Connerly and CGCOA Award Winners and Advisory Board Members, Emmy Moore-Minister and Ted Horton
L-R, Troy York and Tom York of York Golf Management, Soule Park
L-R, Cameron Carr (Championship Golf Services), Michael Lautenbach (City of Anaheim, Anaheim Hills), Greg Knuth (UnderPar)
L-R, Jeff Grant, Danielle Scardino, Greg Rubino of West Coast Turf
1st Annual CGCOA Benefit Golf Tournament a Resounding Success Indian Canyons in Palm Springs Hosts Inaugural Fundraiser Benefitting CAG We don’t need to tell you, the readers of this publication, about the potential fundraising potential of golf tournaments. Hopefully you are regularly hosting events at your course(s) that generate significant revenues for local charities and non-profits, while also providing a nice return to your facility. Oddly, however, like the cobbler with holes in his shoes or the carpenter with absent boards in his fence, the California Golf Course Owners Association had never hosted a fundraising golf tournament. That all changed in Palm Springs in October, when Indian Canyons Golf Resort hosted the 1st Annual CGCOA Benefit Golf Tournament, with 50% of profits going to the California Alliance for Golf (CAG) to support golf industry advocacy efforts. The event, which immediately followed CGCOA’s Annual Meeting, netted $7,092.84, yielding a contribution to CAG in the amount of $3,546.42. In total, CGCOA contributed $4,546.42 to the California Alliance for Golf in 2013. Tournament awards were given to the top three foursomes, and the winning group for the inaugural event was the foursome from West Coast Turf (Danielle Scardino, John Scardino, Greg Rubino, and Jeff Grant). Second place honors went to the foursome of Cameron Carr, Greg Knuth, Michael Lautenbach, and Michael Tebbetts. The third place foursome, from York Golf Management and
Soule Park Golf Course, included Chris Harvey, Tom York, Troy York, and Tyson York. The success of the event was made possible by the generous support of numerous sponsors and raffle prize contributors. Desert Security Services sponsored the drink station; NGCOA was the hospitality bags sponsor; Golf EMS and GolfTranz picked up the golf cart sponsorship; Golf Insurance Services sponsored the awards reception; Southern California Golf Association supported the raffle presentation; Southern California PGA sponsored the longest drive contest; and the tee sponsors were Cinnabar Hills Golf Club, Northern California PGA, Stotz Equipment, Turf Star, UnderPar, and Valley Crest Golf Course Maintenance. The Annual Meeting luncheon was hosted by Northern California Golf Association. Indian Canyons Golf Resort, Greenskeeper. org, Sevillano Links, and Shadow Mountain Golf Club generously donated prizes to the event, and Northern California Golf Reps Association contributed sleeves of golf balls to all participants. This year’s fundraising tournament is planned for late June in Northern California. CGCOA is in the process of selecting a location. Thank you very much to all who contributed to making this a successful event! v
The 15,000 square foot Haggin Super Shop
CGCOA Announces 2013 Awards Recipients Haggin Oaks, Little River Inn, Emmy Moore-Minister, Ted Horton Honored At its Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, the California Golf Course Owners Association presented its annual awards, including Course of the Year, For the Good of the Game, Community Environmental, and the inaugural Ted Horton Distinguished Service Award. The awards were determined following a submission process and review by the CGCOA Awards Committee, and were presented by CGCOA President Steve Plummer, Board Member David Kramer, Advisory Board Member Emmy Moore-Minister and Executive Director Marc Connerly. Two of the recipients were notified in advance of their honors, while the other two, Ted Horton and Emmy Moore-Minister, were kept in the dark and surprised with their recognition on the day of the event. Following are detailed descriptions of the award winners, and their qualifications and accomplishments. v
CGCOA Secretary/Treasurer David Kramer congratulates inaugural â€˜Ted Horton Distinguished Service Awardâ€™ winner Ted Horton.
Terry Stratton of Little River Inn accepts the CGCOA Community Environmental Award with CGCOA Executive Director Marc Connerly
2013 CGCOA For the Good of the Game Award Winner Emmy Moore-Minister
2013 CGCOA Golf Course of the Year: Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, managed by Morton Golf Haggin Oaks Golf Complex (Sacramento, CA) is the worthy recipient of the 2013 CGCOA Golf Course of the Year award. This prestigious honor is given to a golf facility based on specific criteria: a wellmaintained golf course supported by quality golf management services, and a facility that gives back to the community and contributes to the betterment of golf through its outreach and player development programs. Haggin Oaks not only met the criteria, but exceeded it on all levels. Accepting the award on behalf of the Morton Golf team at the 2013 CGCOA Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, CA, was CGCOA Awards Committee Chair Emmy Moore Minister. Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, a busy 36hole municipal facility, owned by the City of Sacramento and managed by Morton Golf, is home to the Arcade Creek Golf Course, Alister MacKenzie Golf Course, plus a popular 24-hour lit range, MacKenzie’s Sports Bar & Grille, and the amazing 15,000 square foot Haggin Oaks Super Shop. Morton Golf sets the framework for success at Haggin Oaks, and also for the three city-owned golf facilities they manage in the Sacramento area. Between all facilities, they manage more than 250 employees. The company is dedicated to friendly customer service and building strong, lasting relationships. Morton Golf is known for providing a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth. Creativity and innovation are encouraged throughout the entire operation. Morton Golf has been a leader in player development programs and was extremely instrumental in the initial development of the industry-wide initiative, Play Golf America. The nationally recognized Saving Strokes Program, which provides golf opportunities for stroke victors, was developed at Haggin Oaks in conjunction with the American Stroke Association (a division of the American Heart Association). Haggin Oaks has been on the forefront of junior golf for decades, as evidenced by their program offerings, which include The
First Tee Jr. Golf Camps, The First Tee After School Programs, Little Linker and Jr. Linker Programs, Tots on the Tee Program, PeeWee Play Leagues and a Girls Play League. They were one of the initial First Tee chapters (which was developed through their flourishing SAY-Golf Program), and today continue to serve as the prime role model for other chapters across the country. The course also provides an array of player development programs for adults; from Welcome to Golf to Get Golf Ready 1 & 2 to women’s programs modeled after the Connecting With Her initiative. They even have an “It’s Okay to Play” golf league for beginners. Player retention is important and special programs are created to encourage students to return to the course and play more golf. At Haggin Oaks, they’ve hosted a variety of events, including the Play Golf America Days (with national recordbreaking attendance), the largest Special Olympics golf tournament, an annual three-day Golf Expo (the largest golf demo day in the country), plus a country music festival and pro-am that attracts 6,000 people and has raised more than $100,000 for charity. And, if you are interested in the new fun-filled sport of Foot Golf, you’ll find it at Haggin Oaks. While the Morton Golf management team and their staff welcome this prestigious CGCOA award, they will add it to their list of other well-deserved honors. From 1963-2013 Morton Golf received more than 260 awards for excellence in golf. The list includes: Golf Digest/Golf World Business Top 100 Golf Shop Operation Award (Haggin Oaks is the only green grass shop in the nation to receive this award every year since its inception, 27 years in a row), Sports Illustrated Merchandiser of the Year, Titleist-FootJoy Worldwide Clubfitter of the Year, Golf Range Association of America “Top 50” Range Facility, GolfWeek Magazine’s “Top 25” Municipal Golf Courses in America, and Sacramento Magazine and Sacramento News & Review have both recognized Haggin Oaks Golf Complex as “The Best Public Course” in Sacramento. Additionally, Haggin Oaks Golf Complex has obtained certification as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary site and are committed leaders in providing course accessibility for golfers with
disabilities. In 2013 alone, through the Morton Golf Foundation more than $175,000 was raised for worthy community-based golf programs. It is for all these reasons that CGCOA recognizes Haggin Oaks Golf Complex and Morton Golf as the 2013 CGCOA Golf Course of the Year.
2013 CGCOA Community Environmental Award: Little River Inn Golf Course & Resort
The California Golf Course Owners Association (CGCOA) is pleased to recognize Little River Inn Golf Course & Resort (LRIGC&R) in Little River, CA, as the worthy recipient of the 2013 CGCOA Community Environmental Award. This award, which recognizes excellence in the area of environmental stewardship and community outreach, was presented to Little River Inn during the 2013 CGCOA Annual Meeting at Indian Canyon Golf Resort (Palm Springs, CA). Terry Stratton, the resort’s dedicated golf course superintendent was on hand to accept the award. This quaint, family-owned, environmentally aware golf course, which prides itself on providing authentic family hospitality for five generations, has been able to avoid using ground water when irrigating. The golf course captures winter rains in reservoirs (through siphons and gravity), moving irrigation water between the reservoirs without the use of electricity. In winter, the crew installs water bars (a speed bump made of gravel) in strategic locations around the gravel cart path network. The technique (borrowed from logging maintenance in the surrounding woods) helps divert rainwater flow off the cart path onto the grass before it can dump into a stream or pond. Each winter, 10 to 12 water bars are temporarily installed and after serving their purpose are removed as spring approaches.
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Continued from page 7 Through the diligent work of GCSANC Member Terry Stratton, the facility has been able to reduce the use of pesticides and continues to seek innovative ways to improve habitat for wildlife. The facility has obtained certification as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary site and the course has participated in the Green Golfer Pledge Program. “We commend the Little River Inn for their commitment to environmental sustainability,” said CGCOA President Steve Plummer, CGCS, “and for the way they have included members of the community and resort guests in the process.” According to Stratton, the staff takes great pride in educating golfers and local residents on the benefits of reusing, reducing and recycling, and over the years has reached out through newsletters, on-site signage, and sustainability day tours. Last April, in conjunction with Earth Day, the resort invited members of the local community to participate in a “Bat Day,” where nature lovers gathered at the course to learn more about these unusual creatures. Event organizers for this community event reached out to schools, nurseries and the local botanical garden to bolster public interest. The event (which was free for adults and children), began with the assembling of nursery bat boxes. Finished products were strategically positioned on the course, and participants were able to take one home if desired. Following the box building, folks listened to an informative presentation from NorCalBats.org, where they were educated on habitat benefits of bats. The day wrapped up with a guided walk through the site’s Audubon Sanctuary while Stratton provided insight about the buffer zones and wildlife corridors. The theme for this year’s Earth Day-related event will be amphibians with “focus on frogs” as the working title. Over the years, other interesting projects spear-headed by Little River Inn include: installing owl boxes at neighboring schools, special outdoor projects with Eagle Scouts, and environmental-themed golf course tours for high school students.
Environmental awards are nothing new for this 11-hole golf course, which happens to be surrounded by 225 acres of woods. According to Stratton, Little River Inn is also a former recipient of the GCSAA Golf Digest Environmental Leaders Award and the overall winner of the GCSAA’s Environmental Leaders in Golf Award. Congratulations to the entire management team and staff at Little River Inn Golf Course & Resort on an honor well-deserved. To learn more about the resort, visit: http://www. littleriverinn.com
2013 CGCOA For the Good of the Game Award: Emmy Moore Minister Each year, the California Golf Course Owners Association presents its For the Good of the Game Award to an individual who has worked tirelessly for a program, initiative or cause that will help shape the future of golf in a positive way. This year’s recipient, Emmy Moore Minister, has done that, and then some, as president of Moore Minister Consulting Group and founder of Doctor’s Orders: Play Golf, a public health education initiative which encourages people to improve their health by participating in the game of golf. Moore Minister has been a friend to golf for more than 20 years and a supporter of the CGCOA for more than a decade. Her professional background is impressive. She served as communications consultant for the Nor Cal PGA for nearly 15 years, while simultaneously serving as media consultant for the Nor Cal Chapter of the GCSAA. Additionally, Moore Minister represents the Nor Cal Golf Reps’ Association, Yoga For Golfers, and Golf MDs.com, among others. Since 2000, she has produced and hosted Voice of the Valley, a Silicon Valleybased cable TV show that often includes discussions on golf-related topics like growth of the game and golf and the environment. She has interviewed such golf greats as Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, Johnny Miller, Fred Couples, Lee
Trevino, Gary Player, Julie Inkster, Paula Creamer, and the late Ken Venturi. Our honoree is also one of the founders and a current board member of the California Alliance for Golf (CAG). She is a member of the Pacific Women’s Golf Association and serves on the board of directors for Women in the Golf Industry. A member of the United States Golf Association and the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance, Moore Minister has been an ongoing supporter of the “Save Sharp Park Golf Course” campaign. She was named an Honorary Member of the Northern California PGA in 2002 - the only woman to receive such a distinction in the Association’s 93-year history. She’s a founding member of the NCPGA Growth of the Game Committee and continues to work closely with the PGA of America on its Golf 2.0 industrywide initiative. Her other honors and achievements include: California Community College Distinguished Alumni Award; WVCC Outstanding Alumni Award; Via Rehabilitation Woman of the Year; ILT Golf Extra Mile Award; Tribute to Women & Industry Award; and the prestigious California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Award. Her government and public affairs background includes serving as Chairperson for the City of Santa Clara Planning Commission and the Santa Clara County Assessment Appeals Board. Additionally, she served on the Santa Clara County Golf Course Guidelines Committee. Moore Minister has ably served on the CGCOA Events, Awards, and Communications Committees, and assists with writing and producing the CGCOA quarterly newsletter. Through the camera’s lens, she has a natural way of capturing the essence of the CGCOA and its members. Friends and colleagues often use the words “enthusiastic” and “ethical” when describing our honoree, and Norm Blandel, YFC National Tournament Director, said that she “is truly one of the finest and highly skilled ambassadors in the golf industry, well-known and recognized throughout the industry for her success in marketing, as well as her ability to assist in the professional and personal development of individuals within the game and business of golf.”
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2013 CGCOA Ted Horton Distinguished Service Award (Inaugural): Ted Horton
The California Golf Course Owners Association (CGCOA), at its Annual Meeting at Indian Canyons Golf Resort in Palm Springs, bestowed Ted Horton, CGCS, with the inaugural CGCOA Ted Horton Distinguished Service Award. Horton was honored for his 47 years of service in the golf industry and specifically for his dedicated service to the CGCOA, where he served as Executive Director from 2001 until 2011. A highly respected co-founder of the CGCOA, Horton was responsible for creating a successful foundation for the association, and worked diligently improving member services while also developing win-win partnership programs with industry vendors.
Horton’s contributions to golf also include his stellar work as a golf course superintendent, consultant, association leader, and at times, a troubleshooter and problem solver. The award, which bears his name, the Ted Horton Distinguished Service Award, is the first honor in the history of the CGCOA that pays tribute in its title to a specific individual. “There is no one more deserving of this award than Ted Horton,” shared CGCOA President Steve Plummer, CGCS. “When our awards committee developed criteria for this special distinction, it was obvious that Ted’s contributions to the CGCOA and the golf industry were exceptional and deserved top recognition.” Horton, a certified golf course superintendent for more than 38 years, was head golf course superintendent at three golf properties in his career: Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York; Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York; and for the Pebble Beach Company, where he served as Vice President for Resource Management, overseeing course maintenance for Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Links at Spanish Bay, Peter Hay Golf Course (all located in Pebble
Beach, CA) and Del Monte Golf Course (Monterey, CA). During that time, he hosted 26 PGA Tour events, two U.S Open Championships, one U.S. Women’s Open Championship, and a U.S. Amateur Championship. Additionally, Horton was a consultant to the City of San Diego and Torrey Pines Golf Course for three years in preparation for the 2008 U.S. Open Championship. Since 2003, he has been Senior Consulting Superintendent to Valley Crest Golf, advising 70+ courses nationally. Currently, he is Honorary Dean of the Golf Academy for Asia Pacific Group, an Asianbased firm dedicated to enhancing the abilities of golf course management and professional golf personnel. Co-founder of the California Alliance of Golf (CAG), Horton served as president from 2007-2011, and today is still deeply involved, serving as an atlarge board member. Ted Horton lives in Canyon Lake with wife, Nancy, and they are the proud parents of two sons and five grandchildren. v
CGCOA Endorses State Senate Candidate Glenn Miller
Indio City Councilman Seeks to Win Seat Representing Coachella Valley Running on a theme of “Shake up Sacramento,” longtime golf industry member and current Indio city councilman Glenn Miller has earned the endorsement of CGCOA for the 28th District State Senate seat. During his years in local politics, Miller, a moderate Republican who spoke at CGCOA’s Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, has earned a reputation for fiscal conservatism, a commitment to public safety, and pro-business policies. Of most importance to CGCOA and its members is the fact that Mr. Miller has a long history in golf and a firm understanding of the issues facing the industry and its stakeholders. As a result, the golf industry has a rare opportunity to have one of their own working under the dome of the Capitol, knowledgeably representing their interests on issues such as water, taxation, regulations and more.
The 28th Senate District is a new district created under California’s redistricting process. The district, with 900,000 residents and no incumbent, encompasses Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, in addition to all the cites of the Coachella Valley and the unincorporated areas of Riverside County down to the City of Blythe on the Arizona border. In a district that is expected to favor a Republican, voters will cast their ballots in the primary election on June 3. The top two vote recipients will square off in the general election on November 4. Golf industry stakeholders statewide are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to see the golf industry represented in the state legislature by supporting Glenn Miller’s campaign (www. glennmiller4statesenate.org), and those living in the 28th Senate District are urged to cast their vote for Glenn on June 3. v
NGCOA’s 3rd Party Tee Time Best Practices With the ongoing controversy and contempt surrounding third-party tee time reselling, CGCOA members are urged to read and follow the best practices established by the National Golf Course Owners Association. While the best practices were developed two years ago, many of you may not have seen the principles, may have forgotten them, or may be new members to CGCOA and NGCOA. The 3rd party tee time best practices were created In response to widespread concerns expressed by golf course operators regarding the role of resellers, defined as any entity other than the golf Course or group of courses that is in the business of providing sales and distribution of tee times, memberships and related services to golfers through intermediary websites or other marketing channels not owned by the golf course. NGCOA on this issue is to provide information and education to its members so that they are aware of the key issues and can act in their best interests. Further, NGCOA encourages golf courses to promote, both individually and/ or in groups, as many sales as possible directly through their own websites, pro shops, call centers, or other outlets. If the golf course, using its own independent judgment, decides
that it is in their business interest to engage the services of a 3rd party reseller, the golf courses should design plans and systems that position these resellers as supporting strategies only, intended to drive incremental business and fill in times of soft demand. If contracting a 3rd Party Tee Time Reseller, the NGCOA recommends that the golf course include each of the following best practices: 1. Signed Written Contract. All agreed upon terms and conditions should be contained in a written document signed by representatives of both parties who have authority to execute binding legal agreements. 2. Term. The term of the agreement should be clearly defined. The golf course should have the right to immediate termination with no penalty for any breach of the agreement by the 3rd party. It is also in the interest of the golf course to incorporate in the agreement the shortest possible notice period for termination without cause. 3. Best Rate Guarantee. The golf course should contract so that their own posted rates and promotions are the best offers at all times, or equivalent to the best available. Any exceptions must require written consent in advance.
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Tee Time Best Practices Continued from page 11
4. Data Ownership. The 3rd party should provide unfiltered access to the golf course of all pertinent customer information, forwarding all such data in whatever form and timing is mutually agreed upon. The golf course acquires ownership of all such data immediately upon receipt. 5. Payment Model. Terms of payment should be clearly defined. The NGCOA recommends a commission based model which calls for a reasonable percentage paid to the 3rd party on tee times actually sold. If a merchant model is used instead (course provides tee time at net rate to 3rd party and then 3rd party sells to golfer at gross rate), then a defined mark up from net to gross rates should be included in the agreement. 6. Auction Model. No auctioning of tee times by the 3rd party should be permitted without the expressed written consent by the golf course. Golf course should in that case still provide a floor below which the round cannot be sold by the 3rd party so that the course preserves its best rate guarantee. 7. URL Ownership. The golf course should own and protect its Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for all its own websites at all times. 8. Search Engine Optimization. To protect the golf course from online golfer searches being diverted away from its own websites, the 3rd party should not use the golf course or related facility names for their own search engine optimization (SEO) without written consent from the golf course. 9. Brand Protection. The 3rd party should only utilize the golf courseâ€™s name, logo, slogans, photographs, images, marks, and promotions for the marketing purposes specified within the contract. The golf course retains the sole right to determine any updated presentation of these marketing properties on the 3rd party website or any other marketing materials. 10. Selective inventory. The golf course should retain the right to offer the 3rd party only that tee time inventory that it deems to be in its own best interest to market through the 3rd party. 11. Loyalty & Membership Programs. Any 3rd party loyalty or membership programs that leverage the customers of the golf course should be fully disclosed within the contract. The golf course should be diligent about protecting itself from any such programs that will be competing with its own loyalty or membership program.
12. Indemnification & Regulatory Compliance. The 3rd party should protect the golf course from all possible liability for taxation and regulatory matters related to the resale of tee times, both state and federal. The 3rd party should be fully compliant with all relevant regulatory standards, including the Privacy Act and PCI compliance. 13. Additional Services. If the 3rd party is offering additional services beyond tee time reselling, all such services and any related fees should be specified in the contract. 14. Price Parity. The golf course retains the sole right to impose price parity (same price for the same product throughout all marketing and distribution channels). 15. Online Links. The 3rd party should be required to fully disclose all proposed links to any other sites, in writing and in advance. 16. Transferability. The 3rd party should not be entitled to sell, give, partner, or transfer by any means its reseller services as they relate to the golf course to any other 3rd party without the express written consent of the golf course. Further, the golf course retains the right to terminate or otherwise adjust the terms and conditions of the agreement upon any type of transfer. 17. Exclusivity. The golf course should retain the right to work with any other 3rd party. 18. Confidentiality. The 3rd party should not be entitled to a confidentiality clause that prevents the golf course from disclosing the terms of the agreement. 19. Proprietary Business Information. The golf course should request reasonable protection for all proprietary business information that may be exposed to the 3rd party as a result of the business relationship. 20. Support Services. The contract should define all of the 3rd party support services to the golf course including IT, customer relations, marketing and consultation. 21. Legal Entity. The contract should define the legal business configuration of the 3rd party and clearly state that the 3rd party will present itself as an entity separate and independent from the golf course. v
Six Rules to Avoid the Legal System
Provided courtesy of Ed Smilow, Golf Course Law, www.golfcourselaw.com After 35 years in the practice of law, I have come to the conclusion that the only ones who prosper from legal controversies are the lawyers. Everyone else loses. Further, over 90 per cent of all Americans have never played golf and probably never will. Therefore, those individuals who make the law and sit on juries are going to be non-golfers. No wonder people who own and operate golf courses rarely get a fair shake. The plaintiff’s lawyers take advantage of this fact by making large frivolous claims, and it is against the economic interest of the defense bar to halt to these claims because they earn their fee defending cases by the hour. Having separated myself from both camps, I can rightfully say that it is up to each and every owner and operator to take matters into their own hands. To accomplish this task, I have developed six simple rules which I call “Ed’s Six Rules to Avoid the Legal System.” These rules are something that should have been taught in the second grade, but now should at least be standard in every college business class.
Rule #1 - THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.Claims of negligence occupy much
of the litigation in our courtrooms today. Simply stated, negligence is the failure to act as a reasonable person under the circumstances. I emphasize the word “reasonable” because the root of the word is “reason,” which means to think. If you think about what you do before you do it, by definition you are acting reasonably. What you should be thinking about in everything you do is whether someone could get hurt as a result of what you are doing or not doing. Reasonable, prudent people take adequate precautions in this situation and minimize potential harm. All employees should be trained to think this way before they do or not do anything.
Rule #2 – GET IT IN WRITING. Most lawsuits are based on the principal of selective memory. One person says it is black and the other says it is white. Lawyers argue about the gray areas. If something is memorialized in writing it either eliminates this problem or makes for more persuasive evidence, which
discourages lawsuits. This rule applies to all aspects of management, from the contracts we enter into to our relationships with our employees, the maintenance of our property, and compliance with governmental standards. The three words to live by are “CYA” or “document, document and document.”
Rule #3 – READ IT BEFORE YOU SIGN IT. Too often people sign-
off on agreements without reading the whole thing. Generally, people look for what they consider key details and pass on the rest of the verbiage. This is extremely dangerous because contracts are usually written by lawyers who put things in contracts for a reason. If someone other than your own lawyer wrote the agreement, you should assume that it was not written for your benefit. Before you obligate yourself to anything, you must read the entire agreement or you will not know what you are really getting yourself into.
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CGCOA Announces “One Shot” Sponsor Program
Members Encouraged to Support CGCOA Sponsors The California Golf Course Owners Association (CGCOA) works much like a team: In order to succeed and prosper, all members of the team must work together. The CGCOA team members include member courses and course operators, sponsors, the CGCOA Board of Directors, Advisory Board members, and staff. Success of the association is dependent on an adequate supply of volunteer Board members and Advisory Board members to craft association policies; an efficient staff to implement the Board’s prescribed policies; an energized and substantial membership base that participates in events and utilizes CGCOA programs; and supportive sponsors to assist with funding and providing knowledge and resources. The contribution of CGCOA’s sponsors to the team cannot be overstated. CGCOA sponsorship income accounted for more than 55% of the organization’s total revenue in 2013, and events and programs such as the 1st Annual Benefit Golf Tournament, Educational Conferences, webinars, and fuel discount program would not be possible without the generous support of CGCOA sponsors.
The CGCOA “One Shot” program asks CGCOA member courses and operators to give a sponsor with whom they are not currently doing business at least “one shot” to submit a bid or proposal or make a presentation describing the sponsor’s products or services. If each CGCOA member course provides just one opportunity to a sponsor, that would result in an average of more than seven new business opportunities for each CGCOA sponsor. The CGCOA “One Shot” sponsor program asks CGCOA member courses and operators to give a sponsor with whom they are not currently doing business at least “one shot” to submit a bid or proposal or make a presentation describing the sponsor’s products or services. If each CGCOA member course provides just one opportunity to a sponsor, that would result in an average of more than seven new business opportunities for each CGCOA sponsor. If you are a CGCOA member course or course operator, you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the list of CGCOA sponsors. From that list, can you find at least one company whose products or services might be of use to your course? v
The following is a list of CGCOA sponsors, the products or services they provide, and their contact information: Wells Fargo Equipment Finance (Equipment financing), Shawn Foy, (515) 210-5174 Golf Insurance Services (Insurance products), Gary Sigel, (866) 729-3831 Target Specialty Products (Agricultural supplies, equipment, products), Steve Mercuri, (310) 490-7983 Valley Crest Golf Course Maintenance (Golf course maintenance), Jeff Kiewel, (520) 425-0104 Championship Golf Services (Golf course management), Steve Plummer, (714) 734-2100 Greenway Golf (Golf course management), George Kelley, (209) 664-6400 Vision Renewable Group (Renewable energy products), (435) 703-8850 John Abendroth (Energy conservation products and services), John Abendroth, (650) 692-6261 CourseCo (Golf course management), Mike Sharp, (707) 763-0335 Enlightened Marketing (Online sales and marketing), Reed Thompson, (650) 549-4532 Flyers Energy (Bulk fuel delivery), Diane Cone, (530) 885-0401, Ext. 2073 GolfTranz (Merchant card processing), Steve Fluke, (877) 202-8021 Greenskeeper.org (Online golf community), Johnny Hakim, (805) 497-9323 Just One (On-course video system and player incentives), David Wertz, (917) 435-5848 Pellucid (Golf industry research and market studies), Harvey Silverman, (650) 362-3229 SCPGA (Golf professionals, education, industry promotion), Tom Addis, (951) 845-4653 Turf Star (Toro products), Doug Dahl, (760) 597-6045 UnderPar (Online golf course marketing), Greg Knuth, (888) 363-1693 Stotz Equipment (John Deere equipment), Andy Means, (951) 377-1092 VGM Club (Group buying club), Dawn Prebula, (866) 620-2774 West Coast Turf (Sod and lawn products), Danielle, (760) 340-7301 Williams + Paddon Architects + Planners (Golf Course Facility Architecture), Tracy Librea-Asunto, (916) 786-8178 Cybergolf (Web site hosting), Dan Murnan, (425) 640-7170 Z Davidson (Golf course realty and appraisals), Z Davidson, (760) 238-7120 Golf Course Law (Golf course legal services), Ed Smilow, (760) 813-7228 Emmy Moore-Minister (Public relations and marketing), Emmy Moore-Minister, (530) 666-6508
Book in Review: Wide Open Fairways
A Journey Across the Landscapes of Modern Golf
In golf, the playing field is also landscape, where nature and the shaping of it conspire to test athletic prowess. Bradley S. Klein, a leading expert on golf course design and economics, finds much to contemplate, and much more to report, in the way these wideopen spaces function as landscapes that inspire us, stimulate our senses, and reveal the special nature of particular places. A mediation on what makes golf courses compelling landscapes, there is also a personal memoir that follows Klein’s unique journey across the golfing terrain, from the Bronx and Long Island suburbia to the American prairie and the Pacific Northwest. Whether discussing Robert Moses and Donald Trump and the making of New York City, or the role of golf in the development of the atomic bomb, or the relevance of Willa Cather to how the game has taken hold in Nebraska Sand Hills, Klein is always looking for the freedom and the meaning of golf’s wide-open spaces. As he searches, he offers a deeply informed and absorbing view of golf courses as cultural markers, linking the game to larger issues of land use, ecology, design, and imagination. An Interview with Dr. Bradley S. Klein: 1. What motivated you to write “Wide Open Fairways: A Journey Across the Landscapes of Modern Golf”? I’ve been writing short essays and columns for 25 years, and I wanted to extend them into longer, more analytical studies of golf – or more particularly, about the landscapes that I think are the most compelling in all of sports – golf courses.
2. What will readers discover in “Wide Open Fairways” that is absent from most other contemporary golf books? I’m a writer by basic disposition, and I think there’s a great tradition of golf writing. In the face of all of these coffee-table pictorials about great golf courses there are precious few detailed accounts of what makes these sports fields so special. The notion that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is only true if you’re reading people who can’t properly express the feelings and power of what these places suggest to you. I’m someone who works off of feelings and sensibilities. My writing is non-technical; I hardly ever take notes about golf courses and have no interest in describing how you play it – or worse yet, how someone else plays it. So I wanted to convey something that I think is missing in all of the literature about golf – the place of these as cultural landmarks, rooted in specific places and ways of life. So I invoke history, fiction, imagination and politics. I spend so much time on the road – 150 days a year, and I’ve been doing it for 20 years – that I thought I had something different to offer golfers. Besides that, I think that golf can be made interesting to non-golfers. In fact, my imagined audience as I write is always the non-golfer, someone who reads and thinks creatively but would normally think golf boring and a waste of time. If I can capture them and draw them in, then I’ve done my job. So I had all of these short essays from various publications sitting around and the task was
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Continued from page 15 to translate them into a sustained idiom with more depth and context than my magazine space allows me. So I situate these accounts, whether it’s the Nebraska Sand Hills and Willa Cather’s fictional accounts about the struggles of life on the prairie; or the role of the Los Alamos, New Mexico golf course in the development of the atomic bomb; or the way flooding affects golf in Minot, North Dakota. 3. This book is more than a chronicling of compelling golf landscapes, it is also a memoir. What prompted you to share your personal journey in this particular piece of work? The immediate occasion for this book was my father’s death in May 2011. I literally started it the day after he died and finished it a year later, on the night before his unveiling – the Jewish ritual of showing the gravestone. The first part of the book is a very personal account of what it was like growing up with a mentally ill dad. He wasn’t wacko crazy, just not quite “there” and unable to focus on our needs as kids growing up. I had a powerful but sad relationship with him, and it took a very long time for him to see that I was there as his son. Along the way, I found golf as a refuge; thus the attraction of getting out of the house early in the day and exploring the freedom that “wide open space” afforded me. So the book starts off there, in a sad but weirdly comic way. And it ends with a chapter describing how I was able to
create my own golf course, so to speak, through a municipal project in the town where we now live in Connecticut, where we got Pete Dye to design a course for $1 that we spent nine years building. So the book, while personal, also is a public account of how golf can provide a refuge. And in this I doubt I am alone. I’m sure many others have shared in the sense of freedom and joy that golf provides. What I tried to do in this book was explain that sense of freedom – something you can’t get from a picture of a beautiful golf course. 4. This certainly isn’t the first book that you’ve written. What other meaningful golf books have you written and/or published. Well, they were meaningful to me. I’ll let others decide if they had any meaning for them. My first collection of short essays, called “Rough Meditations,” came out in 1997 and in an expanded edition in 2006. I also spent three years writing a very detailed biography, “Discovering Donald Ross” that won the USGA International Book Award for 2001 and was reissued in an expanded edition in 2011. Along the way I also wrote a club history, “Desert Forest Golf Club: the First 40 Years” (2004), that is actually a history of golf in Arizona. And another club history about “Sebonack” (2009), which manages to convey a good bit of the history of golf course design on Long Island. These last two projects involved
very close work with a skilled graphics designer, Carol Haralson, who has the considerable virtue of knowing nothing about golf – until now. We seem to work well together and I’m looking forward to working with her again on another project.
Rule #5 – TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.
Rule #6 – IF ALL ELSE FAILS, CALL ED. If you thought before you
About the Author Bradley S. Klein is architecture editor of Golfweek magazine and runs its national golf course rating system. He is a former PGA Tour caddie and has been inducted into the International Caddie Hall of Fame. He lectures widely to professional trade groups throughout the U.S. and overseas on topics of golf design, the golf development industry, and golf course operations and maintenance. Golf course owners and operators continue to appreciate his keen insight about the golf course industry−its past and future. Dr. Klein received rave reviews from his riveting keynote presentation at the 2012 CGCOA Annual Meeting at Half Moon Bay Golf Links, Half Moon Bay, CA. Wide Open Fairways: A Journey Across the Landscapes of Modern Golf is available through University of Nebraska Press: http://www. nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/WideOpen- Fairways,675729.aspx or at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon. com/Wide-Open-Fair ways-JourneyLandscapes/dp/0803240376 v
Six Rules to Avoid the Legal System Continued from page 13
Rule #4 – IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND, ASK. Many people
make the mistake of agreeing to things they do not thoroughly understand out of fear of appearing stupid. The stupid thing is to agree to something you don’t understand. Most documents today are written and reviewed by lawyers. The law places a meaning on each word and lay people are not supposed to be able to understand the words. An effort is being made to put contracts into plain, understandable language, but this is not always the case. It is best to ask exactly what something means ahead of time, and then ask that the explanation be put in writing as well. If someone won’t agree to do so, then you know something is not right. Take the time and get it in writing even if you have to do it yourself.
In this day and age, it has become a habit to pass the buck. This always comes at a cost. Some people have adopted the attitude that if something goes wrong they can blame somebody else, submit it to their insurance carrier or give it to their attorney to handle. Not! With every claim, you run the risk of either increased premiums or cancellation of insurance. Attorneys charge a lot of money to handle what you should have handled in the first place. Learn to take responsibility for what goes on in your business. Audit your business practices, empower your employees to solve problems rather than create them, and become visible and accountable for day to day operations. Sometimes, with a little customer service or employee relations, not legal principle, a problem can go away.
acted, got it in writing, read before you signed, understood everything, and tried to solve it yourself, and the problem still persists, call the best attorney you can. Usually the problem won’t go away if you just ignore it. In California there are as many as 300,000 lawyers. In selecting an attorney, you generally get what you pay for, so don’t just choose the one that charges the least. Get the best. Your livelihood depends upon the ability of your lawyer to understand your business, the golf industry, and the best way to get you out and keep you out of the legal system. You can reach Ed Smilow of Golf Course Law at firstname.lastname@example.org or 714-813-7228. CGCOA members receive a free initial consultation and ongoing services at reduced rates. v
Southern California Golf Association Update
Courtesy of Craig Kessler, SCGA Governmental Affairs Director The National Weather Service’s formal prediction on this winter’s precipitation for “below normal rainfall in Southern California and the Central Coast” has, unfortunately, thus far proven remarkably accurate. Unless things change dramatically very soon, this will be the 3rd consecutive season in which the moisture levels fail to meet historic expectations. Last season was the 6th driest on record; January and February 2013 were the driest on record in Los Angeles. The Colorado River’s flow into Lake Mead, a flow that brings Southern California a significant portion of our annual share, particularly San Diego County, has been below historic averages for 10 of the past 13 years. Scientists have now concluded that the period of Southern California’s great population growth coincided with the end stages of the Little Ice Age that began around 1300 and would appear to now be over – a period of moisture well above average. We may well be entering a period of extended below average yields, and at just the moment when the population of Southern California is expected to add 4.5 million souls between now and 2020. That is the frame for the “water updates” that follow. San Diego We are in end-game with respect to crafting and then bringing back to full Council (the Natural Resources & Culture Committee has already approved) the amendments to that city’s Drought Restrictions Ordinance necessary to create in San Diego the same “Alternate Means of Compliance” mechanism employed by Los Angeles to give the golf industry the ability to comply with all levels of possible watering restrictions while in complete control of its own irrigation schedules and practices. We are also working with San Diego Public Utilities on the development of a separate set of administrative “Guidelines” to govern their application. We have secured the support of every necessary level in the process to date – San Diego Public Utilities, City Council Water Policy Stakeholder Task Force, Natural Resources & Culture Committee, and the normative environmental community. If all goes well, and I’m very optimistic on that count, we’ll have provided the necessary measure of protection the 92 golf courses in San Diego County are going to need in the coming year given the ongoing rain shortfall.
Coachella Valley The industry has taken some recent hits in the Desert media regarding what the Desert Sun in particular has characterized as a significant draw-down of the enormous aquifer that sustains agriculture, golf, businesses and residences in the Coachella Valley. While the “hit” has been exaggerated in the press accounts – the aquifer has actually been replenished in each of the last 3 years – the overarching focus of the stories has merit. Golf courses in the Lower Desert make disproportionate use of groundwater to irrigate, and for that reason, the Coachella Valley Water District’s long-range strategic plan is to wean as many golf courses as possible off groundwater sources in favor of recycled and canal blended sources. The media have suggested that CVWD has been lax in executing the “plan” and golf courses have been dragging their feet as well. Both accusations are half-truths at best; however, the industry responded by scheduling a meeting with the Desert Sun Editorial Board, cultivating that newspaper’s environmental writer, and establishing a formal “Coachella Valley Golf Industry Water Conservation Task Force” akin to the extant ones in San Diego and Los Angeles to work with CVWD on the central elements of the “plan” – and report amply upon the progress of that “work,” of course. The task has proven considerably easier in the Desert than it was in either Los Angeles or San Diego. The HiLo Chapter of the GCSAA has been including CVWD regulators in their meetings and affairs/ presentations for years; unlike San Diego or LA, relations are already up close and personal. Water Bond Prodded in part by Governor Brown, the Legislature continues to tinker with various iterations of a 2014 Water Bond – something that the Southern California golf industry is in desperate need of and the voters are extremely leery of. Between now and 2016 there are a whole host of existing water projects and initiatives that will simply cease for lack of ongoing funding. Add that to the fact that California needs a whole host of additional initiatives if the state is to have any chance of getting on a path of real water sustainability/stability, and we are looking at a brick wall of epic proportions, not to mention a continued over-reliance on water rates/fees to finance desperately needed infrastructure
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Learn How to Avoid Tax Traps in Upcoming Telephone Town Hall Meetings California golf course owners and operators are invited to join a Telephone Town Hall meeting to discuss “How to Avoid Tax Traps.” The Telephone Town Hall will be held twice; first on Tuesday, February 4, at 10:00 a.m., and again on Wednesday, February 19, at 2:00 p.m. Each call is scheduled to last one hour.
The event will be co-hosted by California Board of Equalization Member George Runner and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). To participate, please register in advance at www.ca.gov/townhall or call (916) 445-3032. v
Continued from page 17 improvements. Those rates are already escalating well out of proportion to the game’s corresponding capacity to recapture them through normative business means. Unabated, they could prove fatal in more cases than we’d care to consider. TopGolf The City of El Segundo has pulled the trigger on transforming its Lakes @ El Segundo 9-hole executive course cum driving range into a 9-hole executive course cum TopGolf entertainment complex. The SCGA did not weigh in on whether this was a wise or unwise decision; however, after the fact the SCGA did weigh in heavily on those golf-centric principles and values that we thought ought to be part of that new entertainment universe. And I might add, weighed in quite forcefully and successfully. In brief, when TopGolf opens in October 2015 the following points are in the lease agreement approved by the El Segundo City Council: • Protection of the integrity of the footprint during the redesign/rebuild of the 9-hole course with a greater goal of designing it so that it reaches the yardage threshold necessary (1,500 yards) to qualify for a USGA Course/Slope Rating; • Accommodation of extant award-winning junior programs and player development programs; • A junior golfer discount program; • A resident, senior and military discount program on a cumulative basis; • Free of charge access to high school and middle school golf teams; • Accommodation of core golfers who want simply to practice their games without “Topgolfing,” (i.e., a discount card/key program); • A commitment to providing access/support to SCPGA and SCGA for “growth of the game” initiatives (introducing the myriad of nongolfers a TopGolf facility attracts to normative golf) and club membership opportunities; and
• A community oversight board/committee to ensure that the points above are honored and to receive public input during the planning and construction phases of the ambitious project. Given that this will be TopGolf’s 1st California facility, our afterthe-fact intervention has both improved the product from a golf perspective and put the industry’s allied associations/organizations in position to parlay TopGolf in California into an engine of growing the game by reaching the demographic that TopGolf everywhere else typically attracts – the 18- 34 year old crowd. Miscellaneous At the October 16 meeting of the California Alliance For Golf, the President of the new Southern California Municipal Golf Association, Michael Lautenbach, was elected to the Board of Directors along with Bill Johnson of the Club Managers Association. CAG is continuing to vet candidates and firms for the membership development/administrative/lobbying functions it wants to outsource to paid staff/firms; the plan is to have this finalized during the 1st quarter of 2014. For those who follow such matters, it would appear that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has decided to go in a different direction with his Recreation and Parks Department. Longtime General Manager Jon Mukri has been named Interim Manager of the Transportation Department; the permanent position will be filled through a national search. Michael Schull has been named Interim General Manager of the Parks Department; no announcements about succession have been made. Given that Global Golf Advisors (Henry DeLozier) is set to undertake an ambitious consulting arrangement with the city in an effort to perform a major overhaul of its golf business/strategic practices, the vacuum may well create the conditions necessary for real change. v