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volume 6 issue 1 • spring 2012

INSIDE this issue • The Sigel Brothers are Golden. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 • The CGCOA Recognizes Ted Horton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 • Don’t Miss the CGCOA Reception at GIS . . . . . . . . . 4

Oak Quarry Golf Club Receives Course of the Year Award

• CGCOA Member’s Pledge. . 5 • Harris and Links receive CGCOA For The Good of the Game Award. . . . . . . . . . 6 • Message From the Executive Director. . . . . . . . 7 • Message From the President. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 • Upcoming Events. . . . . . . . . 8 • CourseCo Receives CGCOA Environmental Excellence Award. . . . . . . . . 9 • Leading the Game of Golf in California . . . . . . . . 10


P.O. Box 12083 Orange, CA 92859 PUBLISHED BY

IN THE LOOP GOLF, INC. 1206 Fourth Street Santa Rosa, CA 95404

707.569.8481 DESIGN BY

J HILL DESIGN 707.321.0026 COMMENTS Please write to

The CGCOA is pleased to announce that Oak Quarry Golf Club (Riverside, CA) has earned the coveted distinction as 2011 Course of the Year. CGCOA member Sam Koh, who serves as president of Oak Quarry GC, will accept the honor in the presence of his peers at the upcoming Golf Industry Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Oak Quarry Golf Club, a striking 18hole championship course created by Dr. Gil Morgan and Schmidt-Curley Design, has been ranked Top 5 Golf Club by the Los Angeles Times. It is also ranked nationally by Golf Digest, Golf Link, and Fairways & Greens and the Press Enterprise rated it the No. 1 Best Course in the inland southern California area. Oak Quarry is set in the old Jensen Quarry. Winding the clock back to the 1800s,

the quarry provided the cornerstones and building blocks for downtown Los Angeles. Today, it’s a setting that provides some of the most spectacular views in golf. Golf Digest tagged Oak Quarry as the Yosemite of Golf and its fourteenth hole, El Capitan. According to Koh, Oak Quarry GC is a family-owned facility and operated by some of the best people in the industry. “As president, the most important assignment is to make sure we have the very best people managing the property and at every touch point that our guests experience,” said Koh. “It really is a privilege to be in the golf business, a business that is all about making people smile and helping others have a great time…and if it’s done right, that fun is contagious.” (Continued on page 7)

California Golf Course Owners Association P.O. Box 12083, orange, CA 92859 tel:

951.246.2928 / fax: 951.246.2929 or CGCOA Board Officers President


Owner/Operator Hidden Valley Golf Club

General Manager Pasatiempo Golf Club

Jay Miller

Scott Hoyt

Vice President

Immediate Past President

President Championship Golf Services, Inc. General Manager Tustin Ranch Golf Club

Owner/Operator Stevinson Ranch Golf Course

Steven J. Plummer, CGCS


Eric Jacobsen

Vice President of Golf Properties Castle & Cooke California, Inc.

The Sigel Brothers are Golden

George Kelley

Ed Smilow, Esq., PGM

Interim Executive Director CGCOA Golf Course law Professional Golfers Career College The Legends Golf Club

Board of Directors John K. Abendroth Celtic Golf Management

Bill Aragona

President/General Manager Boulder Creek GCC & Resort

Z. Gordon Davidson

David Kramer

GM/Owner Los Serranos Country Club

Dan McIntyre

General Manager, Western Operations ValleyCrest Golf Course Maintenance

IGM/Meadowbrook Golf Consultant Z. Gordon Davidson & Associates, Inc. Golf & Resort Properties

Emmy Moore-Minister

Kevin Heaney

Dave Nelson

Erinn Hoyt

Lyn Nelson

Executive Director SCGA

Website & Database Manager

Patrick Kemball

Director of Golf Canyon Lake Country Club

Shaw Kobre

Media/Public Relations NCPGA, GCSANC & CGCOA Sales Manager, California Club Car, Inc.

CEO/Executive Director Northern California Golf Association

Dawn Prebula

Senior VP of Development VGM Club

President In The Loop Golf

Honorary Member

Sam Koh

Hollingsworth Enterprises Prior Owner Singing Hills Golf Courses & Resort

Koss International Owner Oak Quarry Golf Club Founder/CEO Intrinsic Agency, LLC

Jerry Hollingsworth

Advisory Board Tom Addis

Executive Director/CEO Southern California Professional Golfers Association

Kimberly Bauer

COO/General Mgr./Regional Director Hospitality Industry Waterhouse, Inc. Creative Hospitality Services

Doug Dahl VP Irrigation Turf Star

Dan Farrar

General Manager Merit Property Management

Tom Isaak CEO/President CourseCo, Inc.

Greg Pieschala

President Valley Crest Golf Course Maintenance

Joe Priddy

Immediate Past President General Manager Santa Maria Country Club

Lon & Rich Records

Target Specialty Products Inc.

Terry A. Selk

Tom Frost

President Tasmark Enterprises— Tourism Marketing

Bob Higgins

Consultant/Golfer Pellucid Corp.

President Tom Frost Golf, Inc. General Manager Saddle Creek Golf Club Castle & Cooke

Ted Horton

Harvey Silverman

How do allied organizations such as the CGCOA sustain themselves during lackluster times? Any allied association leader in California will tell you it hasn’t been easy. Each and every organization in golf has been presented their share of challenges, especially during recent tumultuous times. Yet, the NGCOA’s California Chapter has been fortunate due to the ongoing support of members like Rick and Gary Sigel with Golf Insurance Services, LLC. “Rick, Gary, and the entire staff with Golf Insurance Services really care about the future of golf,” shared CGCOA President Jay Miller, “and they continue to demonstrate their interest year after year through their role as CGCOA Gold Sponsors, for which we are extremely grateful.” When you ask brother’s Rick and Gary about golf, it is obvious that it’s part of their corporate culture evidenced by the hundreds of golf courses they insure. On a daily basis, a good portion of their time is spent educating course owners on ways to prevent insurance claims. They encourage their clients (many who are CGCOA members) to be proactive when it comes to safety which can translate into a cost savings for course operators. In appreciation for their unending support, the CGCOA has plans to recognize Rick and Gary Sigel during the Golf Industry Show in Las Vegas. To learn more about Golf Insurance Services, LLC (an affiliate of the George Peterson Insurance Agency), visit

Shawn Smith

Director of Golf Administration Pebble Beach Company

THC (Ted Horton Consulting)


The CGCOA Recognizes Ted Horton for Years of Dedicated Service to the Association

The California Golf Course Owners Association (CGCOA) recognizes the 11 years of dedicated service from its outgoing Executive Director Ted Horton and will extend their appreciation to him at a special evening reception on Tuesday, February 28 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The gathering will be held during Golf Industry Show week where course owners and superintendents will be on hand to express their appreciation for Ted’s contributions to the CGCOA. During his respected tenure as executive director, Horton “gave his all” for the betterment of the association and its members. The position which was parttime, often required extended hours in order to get the job done. Horton became an expert at multi-tasking, as it wasn’t until just recently that part-time administrative support became available to the CGCOA. Hard work (and successfully juggling several projects at once) became common for Ted. He gave his best, and always in a kind, informed and gentlemanly way. Under Horton’s tenure with the organi-

zation, social media platforms were created, a website totally revamped (and more user-friendly), and a sponsor program was launched. A speakers series which attracted numerous industry experts was put in place and a first-ever growth of the game conference found its footing. Annual meetings and board retreats organized by Horton, gave CGCOA leaders a forum to collaborate, define (and redefine) the association and its goals. Horton had a way of making sure that new members felt welcomed and those who kindly volunteered within the organization were acknowledged for their contributions, big or small. Setting aside networking time pre-orpost meetings was always important to Horton, as it gave members a chance to share what was working at their course or club. While serving as CGCOA executive director, Horton found himself doing double-duty when elected President of the California Alliance for Golf (CAG), a statewide allied organization which he helped found with other colleagues who were concerned about the future of the game and business of golf. To this day CAG continues to take shape and form, defeating negative legislation and protecting key resources (i.e. water) for the golf industry. With Horton’s 40-plus years of solid agronomic experience, he is able to provide insight about turf care management in ways course owners have come to appreciate. Having hosted several major championships throughout his career (in the mid seventies and eighties), Horton has never stopped sharing what he’s learned with others. The game of golf is better because of Ted Horton. 3



Dan Murnan

Gallus Golf

Golf Course Law Ed Smilow

Golf Insurance Services Gary Sigel

Rick Sigel

Golf Now/Golf Mike Loustalot

Greenway Golf George Kelley

Increase Club Profits


Harvey Silverman

Professional Golfers Career College Ed Smilow

Southern California PGA Tom Addis

Tapin Solutions Kyle Thompson

Target Specialties Rich Records

Tustin Ranch/ Championship Golf Steve Plummer

TW Energy Savers John Abendroth

ValleyCrest Golf Course Maintenance Greg Pieschala

VGM Club

Dawn Prebula

National Sponsors Club Car Dave Nelson

Toro/Turf Star

Len Gregory (Turf Star)

Leading the Game of Golf in California

President Jay Miller provides an overview of services and opportunities available through the CGCOA As we begin to launch this program, I am pleased to introduce our inaugural course participants: Poppy Hills GC, Tustin Ranch GC, Los Serranos CC, Pasatiempo GC, Hidden Valley GC, and Stevinson Ranch. (These courses will be listed in green, non-participating courses will be listed in black). An example of a benefit offering: Hidden Valley will slash $5 off green fees plus provide a warmup bucket of balls to the golf member. For CGCOA member courses who choose to participate in this program, please make your checks payable to: CGCOA, and mail to: CGCOA President Jay Miller, Hidden Valley Golf Club, 10 Clubhouse Drive, Norco, CA 92860. Participation fees are as follows: One course ($100), 2-3 courses ($250), 4–7 courses ($500). In your submittal, please also indicate the discount your course is planning to offer. At the beginning of each month offers may be changed and/or updated. and its founder, Johnny Hakim, have kindly agreed to assist the CGCOA. Thus, all CGCOA courses that are participating in the aforementioned program (offering benefits to the golf members), will be highlighted on the’s web site. Johnny has agreed to notify his 40,000 members about our new golf membership program and how to easily purchase this membership online. I anticipated this will drive huge traffic to our site and the web sites of participating courses. This cross-marketing effort should also drive golfers to Greenskeeper.

Savings and Revenue

CGCOA Group Workers Compensation Group Plan: CGCOA members now have a group workers compensation plan in place. Effective Jan 1, 2012, the fully insured plan with AM Best rated A insurance company allows dues paying members up to an additional 20% credit by placing their workers compensation insurance in the CGCOA group plan. Contact Rick Sigel, Gary Sigel, and Greg Twiggs for details. (916) 635-1050 rsigel@ I believe as an organization we must come together to fight California’s runaway train on worker compensation. The plan the Sigel brothers present to us (through Golf Insurance Services and CIG) can help mitigate mounting costs. Please consider contacting them today.

CGCOA Golf Member Program

A new membership is unveiled for golfers. CGCOA courses have the opportunity to contribute $100 to the associations website, where, in turn, we promote your course, have tee times booked directly to your site, and connect a link from your web site to the CGCOA site. This is fueled by golfers who will purchase an annual membership for $39 through our CGCOA website at If they’re already a greenskeeper. org member, the cost is $25. Once a member, these individuals will start receiving discounts (or special offerings) at participating CGCOA courses.

Don’t Miss the CGCOA Reception at the GIS in Las Vegas Please join us for the annual CGCOA reception on Tuesday, February 28 from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm in the Renaissance Ballroom III at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel. Held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show, this reception is an opportunity for chapter members to gather together as we honor outgoing Executive Director Ted Horton for his many years of dedicated service to the association. We will also recognize the contributions of outgoing president George Kelley from Stevinson Ranch, and loyal CGCOA sponsors Rick and Gary Sigel with Golf Insurance Services. The 2011 CGCOA annual award winners will also be

recognized at this reception. They include Sam Koh of Oak Quarry Golf Club, recipient of the Course of the Year Award, Tom Isaak and the team at CourseCo Inc., recipients of the inaugural Community Environmental Award, and Richard Harris, Esq. and Bo Links, Esq., recipients of the inaugural For the Good of the Game Award. It’s also a chance to see old friends and make new ones. Food, drink, and merry entertainment for all. This reception is kindly sponsored by Club Car, ZGolf Food & Beverage Services, Target Specialty Products, Champion Golf Services, Pellucid, Tapin Solutions, VGM Club and Golf Course Law.


org, attracting new members to their organization too. Ultimately, it will help grow our brand and grow the game. If all goes as planned, we project over 4,000 memberships will be sold in 2012. Any questions, or for assistance with sign-up, please contact me direct at (951) 737-1010 or via email at

so you can easily reach out to them whenever the need arises. By supporting this program you’ll discover how our valued sponsors can help improve your bottom line.

Step Up and Help Us Grow the Game of Golf

This season the CGCOA is launching a Growth of the Game initiative and it includes you and your staff. The goal is for every golf course in California to be responsible for bringing at least 12 new players to the game. This could include first-time players or even former players who are ready to dust off theirs clubs and return to the sport. Hidden Valley has already begun on this journey by offering free adult beginner lessons the first and last Saturday of every month. If we can get every course in America to follow this mission, we as a industry can produce 237,000 new golfers a year.

Branding and Promoting the CGCOA

Stand Proud! Please display your new membership certificate in your golf shop. Personally, I am adding the CGCOA logo to my business card and plan to inform our entire staff what the CGCOA is all about…and what we stand for. Our Board of Directors, Committee Members, and Past Presidents are working diligently to make a difference for all of us in the golf industry. So, please join us in sharing our mission, and if your schedule will allow plan to attend our upcoming meetings.

Meetings and Announcements

CGCOA Sponsors

Make a point to visit our web site at as we’ll be posting upcoming meetings, webinars, educational forums, golf events and more. On behalf of the California Golf Course Owners Association’s board of directors, committee chairs, and members who volunteer their time for the betterment of the organization, we wish you the very best in 2012 and we guarantee this year will indeed, be a monumental year for the association.

I am pleased to announce we are forming a new sponsor relations committee (with chair), so that all endorsed sponsors of the CGCOA will have a platform to present their product and/or service directly to member golf courses. Additionally, CGCOA Directors are committed to developing a sponsor notebook that will include: a two-page presentation on each CGCOA sponsor, showcase product and/or services, company history, possible pricing, and detailed contact information

CGCOA Member’s Pledge • We operate our golf facility in an ecologically responsible manner • We provide a quality golf experience at a fair price • We provide outstanding customer service to all golfers • We do not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, age, disability or religion • We provide a safe environment and maintain our courses so as not increase risk of play beyond that which is inherent in the game • We provide advance notice to our customers of any adverse conditions of play

• We encourage all golfers to play deliberately so as not to cause slow play • We provide an opportunity for the game of golf to grow and prosper • We are dedicated to the rich traditions and history of the game of golf • We embrace positive improvements which will make the golf experience more enjoyable for everyone


Harris and Links receive CGCOA For The Good of The Game Award In 2011 CGCOA leaders and its awards committee determined that it was important the organization recognize individuals who are doing extraordinary things to benefit the game and future of golf. Thus, a new award was created, appropriately named: For the Good of the Game.

Co-Honorees Bo Links (left) and Richard Harris with the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance.

Both men have deep roots in California golf. Harris is a member at Gleneagles GC, Sharp Park GC, and Stanford University GC where he played Varsity Golf and was team captain in 1968. An attorney by profession, when Harris isn’t busy volunteering his time in support of public golf, he is assisting clients through his “day job” with the legal firm of Erskine and Tulley. Harris was instrumental in the Save Stanford Golf Course campaign in 2000. He is co-founder of the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance (SFPGA), an organization solidly committed to preserving affordable eco-friendly golf. Co-honoree, Robert D. “Bo” Links is a resident of San Francisco and has practiced law in the city since 1974 and is currently with the legal firm of Slote & Links. He is passionate about the game evidenced by his role as volunteer golf historian for San Francisco city golf courses. He was active in the project to renovate and restore Harding Park GC and has served on the USGA Green Section Committee nearly 20 years. He’s authored two books, Follow the Wind plus Riverbank Tweed & Roadmap Jenkins: Tales From the Caddie Yard. Links was honored by the Alister MacKenzie Society (20072008), earning 1st prize in the international Lido Design Contest, the only two-time winner of such an award. Link’s finest golf endeavor was his key role in cofounding the SFPGA. Together, he and Harris continue to lead a team of dedicated volunteers who are committed to securing necessary funding for an environmentally sensitive restoration of Sharp Park GC. Both men work tirelessly in making sure political leaders and common golfers are well-informed about the issues surrounding Sharp Park as they work to protect its integrity, recreationally and historically. And while some matches have been favorably won (concerning the fate of Sharp Park), both gentlemen will be the first to remind you that they’re still “on the front nine” with a lot more holes that need to be played when it comes to retaining and restoring this precious course. It is for all the reasons above and more, that the CGCOA presents its inaugural For the Good of the Game Award to Mr. Harris and Mr. Links.

First award recipients are Richard H. Harris, Esq., and Robert D. “Bo” Links, Esq., two gentlemen who’ve demonstrated exceptional volunteerism through their advocacy work to help Save Sharp Park, an Alister MacKenzie-designed public golf course (Pacifica, CA) owned by the City and County of San Francisco. They are amazing advocates for affordable public golf of If you would like to learn more about the SFPGA and which Sharp Park is the model course, open to citizens how you can assist in efforts to help “Save Sharp of all ages and ethnicity. Park” please visit 6

Message From the Executive Director Dear Members, As the golf industry is poised to rebound in 2012, our organization is primed to meet the challenge ahead. We have in place strong leadership in a Board of Directors committed to your success. We have the resources necessary to see their vision made a reality. With your continued support and that of our sponsors 2012 can and will be a great year for the CGCOA. As your Executive Director, my efforts will be centered on growing the importance of our organization in the California golf community by: • Increasing our membership in every region of California • Addressing local concerns of every member through local meetings • Increasing member representation through a Board of Directors composed of at least one member from each region • Increasing meeting participation through electronic means such as live video broadcasting, webinars and recorded meetings with website access • Increasing member services through access to preferred providers who have superior products • Developing our website into a vital source of information and driving golfers to your golf course • Developing our newsletter as an informative instrument for your success and delivering the recognition you deserve

• Representing and advocating your point of view in industry forums such as the California Alliance For Golf, supporting the PGA of America in its new Golf 2.0 Initiative, and standing united with the Northern and Southern California Golf Associations, PGA, CMAA, and CGCSA in lobbying efforts in Sacramento • Interacting with the NGCOA to insure local interests are protected on the national level • Administering the benefits of CGCOA membership to insure continued value in being a part of this organization My plans are ambitious. They will take a lot of time and effort. But, with your support, I am pledged to fulfill the CGCOA’s mission to enhance the lives of the golf course owners and operators in California. Fairways and Greens, Ed Smilow Executive Director

Oak Quarry (Continued from front page) Koh was introduced to the game of golf by his dad at a very young age. He understands the importance of growing the game and believes it starts at home, for he too, has introduced his children to the sport and enjoys spending time on the course with them whenever he can. He says it’s time well spent, a way to get to know his kids even better. At the club a variety of membership and player development programs are offered throughout the year for golfers of all skill levels. Koh has served the CGCOA on its board of directors and also in the capacity as vice president. He admits that he’s always been fascinated by the caliber of his fellow CGCOA Members and their genuine willingness to help one another. He believes the collective experience through CGCOA membership has been an invaluable tool.

Koh has served as co-chair of the CGCOA membership committee and the communications committee where he was instrumental in the recent redesign of the CGCOA web site. Due in great part to Koh and Oak Quarry GC the CGCOA was able to produce a Growth of the Game DVD highlighting a variety of best practices. The educational DVD was distributed to CGCOA members and California-based allied golf organizations. Koh understands the importance of lending a hand that expands beyond the CGCOA and the golf industry. He serves as president for the Koh Charitable Foundation which supports numerous not-for-profit organizations. Warmest congratulations to Sam Koh and the entire staff at Oak Quarry Golf Club, recipients of the 2011 CGCOA Course of the Year Award.


Message From the President Dear CGCOA Member, Our association is excited about 2012 as it promises to be of great value to you and your facility. As we plan to fulfill our mission to work together as golf course owners and operators to enhance our lives through our participation in the game of golf your participation is essential to our success.

This year we are introducing a new workers compensation program exclusively for members to band together to decrease workers compensation premiums as they escalate throughout California in 2012. Our relationship with our sponsor and preferred provider Golf Insurance Services will benefit all members who join our group policy. Last year we presented two outstanding educational programs where the leading authorities on current issues provided vital information to members to keep them competitive in our difficult economic environment. In 2012, we will again present two educational programs to keep CGCOA members competitive, reduce costs of operation, increase profitability and provide a quality golf experience to the public. Our Facebook page and newsletter will be revamped this year. Members will be able to access current information and gain valuable resources on issues which concern us all such as ADA compliance, employment law issues, property tax reduction and the latest trends in golf course marketing. We have the great support of our industry sponsors who continue to keep us well advised and keep us prepared for the challenges ahead. Everyone is urged to return their interest in our organization and your business with the respect they deserve. I look forward to serving as your President in this most exciting time when golf rebounds from the doldrums, and once again, becomes a vital economic force here in California.

In 2011, we adopted a set of core values to set us apart from non-member courses. This included a pledge to all golfers who visit our facility a quality experience at affordable prices. Our members will be recognized by the CGCOA brand which our courses can proudly display. In 2012, the association is making an effort to make our brand recognizable to the public by having the CGCOA membership certificate prominently displayed at all member golf courses and driving golfers to member courses through our golf membership program and website advertising.

Save the Date

Golfingly yours, Jay Miller CGCOA President

Upcoming Events Golf & Educational Conferences April 20, 2012

Arrowhead Country Club

3433 Parkside Drive San Bernardino, CA 92404-2409 Agenda to be announced


CourseCo Receives Inaugural CGCOA Environmental Excellence Award Since day one, the CGCOA has encouraged its members to be environmentally proactive at their courses and clubs. In full support of this value the association has added a new award to its annual recognition program, the CGCOA Community Environmental Award. This honor will be presented annually to a CGCOA member facility and/or management company that demonstrates excellence in the area of environmental stewardship. The CGCOA is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2011 Community Environmental Award is CourseCo, Inc., a Northern California-based golf management company. One of the primary goals at CourseCo is to continue to expand sustainable management practices achieved through ongoing education and programs that encourage reducing and recycling products. “One of the more important core principals of our company is our commitment to the environment,” stated Tom Isaak, President of CourseCo, Inc. “Sustainable turfgrass management is an integral aspect of every evaluation, recommendation, and management plan implementation we perform for our clients.” Isaak and his team are well aware that golf courses serve as satisfying habitats for nature evidenced by the fact that 12 CourseCo-managed courses have obtained Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary designation, of which 11 are located within California. In addition to the inaugural CGCOA’s Community Environmental Award, CourseCo’s receives top honors at the Golf Industry Show as the recipient of the GCSAA/ Golf Digest 2011 Environmental Leaders in Golf Award (the national public and overall winner) acknowledging the fine work of Tim Powers, CGCS, at Crystal Springs GC (Burlingame, CA). Still other CourseCo superintendents will receive honors at the chapter level. Over the years CourseCo has elevated citizen awareness on the ecological benefits of golf and its surroundings. They continue to remind golfers and non-golfers alike, that golf & the environment are compatible and that golf & the environment are actually friends. Members of the CourseCo staff have provided educational habitat tours for youth. Additionally, through partnership programs with local schools and broaderbased community programs such as the Oakland Turfgrass Education Initiative (OTEI), CourseCo has enlight-

ened youth on all aspects of turf care management. In some cases it has inspired youth to pursue careers in turf care management. Congratulations to CGCOA Member Tom Isaak and the entire CourseCo team…. true leaders in golf, environment and community.


CGCOA Awards Edition  

The 2012 winter edition of the CGCOA Insider features "The California Golf Course Owners Association Course of the Year" and other award win...