Spring 2023 Tee-Off Times

Page 1

Tee-Off Times www.MichiganGCA.org Vol. 35, No 1 | Spring 2023 Published by the MGCA “The Voice of Michigan Golf Business” The Emerald Golf Course, 2022 MGCA Course of the Year Courses Commit to Registered Apprenticeship Talent Resources in Michigan Legislative Day June 8th In this issue: Make Golf Your Career in Michigan www.MichiganGCA.org

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Three Pillars

This year has already been an amazing one for the Michigan golf industry and the Michigan Golf Course Association. I continue to be privileged to work alongside the MGCA Board of Directors who, along with the MGCA team Jada, Mary and Milt, have the vision to continue to strengthen the “Voice of MI Golf Business”.

Advocacy. Education. Promotion. These three pillars guide the Michigan Golf Course Association with our mission statement. Our dynamic mix of owners, operators and stakeholders care deeply about the success of golf in Michigan. MGCA listens to the needs of our members and acts accordingly.

In 2022 MGCA acted swiftly after identifying a proactive approach to create a pipeline for agronomy. Our Registered Apprenticeship “Golf Course Maintenance Technician” with the U.S. Department of Labor is the result. Many of you have taken the first step to commit as an employer. Growing our agronomy talent pipeline is a strategy that is critical and necessary for the sustainability of our industry.

Within the following pages of the 2023 spring issue, you will find out about resources that help our golf businesses continue to succeed. Workforce development, advocacy efforts, credit card surcharges. Accept this 2023 invitation from me and the Board of Directors to our upcoming Legislative Day, MGCA Annual Golf Outing, and the 2023 MI Golf Business Conference.

If you aren’t a MGCA member yet, make that happen today. Add your voice to the “Voice of Michigan Golf Business.”


June 8

Legislative Day on the Capitol Lawn

August 2

Bedford Valley Golf Course, Battle Creek

November 27-29

MI Golf Business Conference and Vendor Fair Firekeepers Casino and Resort, Battle Creek

Board of Directors

www.MichiganGCA.org SPRING 2023 3
President Jim Dewling Total Golf Inc. Treasurer Bill Mory Meridian Sun Golf Course Past President Gilda Johnson Lake Forest Golf Club Vice President Jim Szilagyi Lynx Golf Course Corey Crowell Indian River Golf Course Bill Fountain Majestic at Lake Walden Bernie Friedrich Boyne Golf Jeff Hoag Scott Lake Country Club Bay Paul Course Logix Tom Schwark Sycamore Hills Chris Sobieck The Mines Golf Course Susan Vanderburg Indian Lake Hills Chris White Fenton Farms
Tee Off Times is published 4 times a year by the Michigan Golf Course Association. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect the views of the MGCA. For information on Tee Off Times please contact us at info@MichiganGCA.org
Michigan Golf Course Association Contact us www.MichiganGCA.org Jada Paisley - jpaisley@MichiganGCA.org Milt Senter - msenter@MichiganGCA.org Mary Brodin - mbrodin@MichiganGCA.org General Mailbox - info@michigangca.org Phone - 517-482-4312 Toll Free - 800-860-8575 Fax - 517-267-8984 www.michigangca.org
TEE-OFF TIMES SPRING 2023 4 A family business since 1933, offers the widest selection of linen to the food and beverage markets in Michigan. Services: Fair Billing No Auto Renewal Simple invoicing Products: Napkins and Tablecloths Round Tablecloths Aprons and Towels Apparel Custom Embroidery Entrance/Logo Mats Facility Hygiene Services Contact us 1-800-292-8689 www.sohnlinen.com Experience the Purple Advantage

MGCA Educational Support Foundation

Award Winners honored at 2022 MI Golf Business Conference

The mission of the MGCA Educational Support Foundation is to ”provide training, education and professional development for Michigan golf course owners and operators.” Help fulfill the mission of the MGCA by supporting our efforts. Both individual and business contributions are tax deductible. You can make your contribution on our website www.michigangca.org, or send in a check payable to the MGCA-Educational Support Foundation.

Starting in 2005 with a grant from the Dul Family of Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center, the Player Development Leadership Award for the past 16 years has provided over $20,000 in grants to golf course owners and operators who developed proven steps to cultivate new golfers and new rounds.

The 2022 Player Development Award was awarded to Chase Kuyers, PGA Professional and owner of Pigeon Creek Golf Course in West Olive for his Women, Wine and Wedges Program. The grant will continue to support Pigeon Creek and golf programming.

Gilda Johnson received the Lyle Leeke Distinguished Service Award. The award is presented to individuals who have displayed distinguished service to the MGCA and the golf industry in the state of Michigan. Owner of Lake Forest Golf Club and a past-president of the MGCA, Johnson continues to serve on the executive committee of the MGCA Board of Directors, is an MGCA Educational Support Foundation trustee as well as a Michigan Clubs Fund Board trustee.

Jim and Chris MacInnes received the Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor is awarded to an individual or organization that over the span of a lifetime has provided steadfast leadership, outstanding service, and continuous commitment to the Michigan golf industry. Jim and Chris took over leadership of the Crystal Mountain family business in 1985 and have each served on the Michigan Travel Commission. Chris currently serves on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) executive committee and chairs the Traverse City Tourism (CVB).

The Dul Family and Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center received the 2022 MGCA Award of Merit. Reserved for significant, measurable, and meaningful work in and for the golf industry, this award has only been presented nine times in the last 26 years by the MGCA.  The Dul family received the Award of Merit in recognition of their long-standing family ownership and management of Fox Hills and their 48-year history of leadership in the golf industry from 1974 to 2022.

www.MichiganGCA.org SPRING 2023 5
Chase Kuyers and Pigeon Creek Team accepting Player Development Award Gilda Johnson awarded Lyle Leeke Distinguished Service Award Jim and Chris MacInnes accepting Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award The Dul Family accepts the 2022 MGCA

Golf Course Businesses Commit to Registered Apprenticeship

In March, The Michigan Golf Course Association (MGCA) announced the signing of Boyne Golf’s Bay Harbor Golf Club and The Highlands at Harbor Springs, Raisin Valley Golf Club, Scott Lake Golf & Practice Center, and The Emerald Golf Course, to Registered Apprenticeship Golf Course Maintenance Technician Program. The five courses join Lynx Golf Course, who was the first course to sign onto the program in the fall 2022.

Through the Registered Apprenticeship program, candidates will further their agronomy education, work alongside field experts to gain on the job learning, and gain a national credential. For employers, the Registered Apprenticeship is a proven talent pipeline solution for Michigan’s $4 billion golf industry that includes almost 800 golf courses and 60,000 workers.

“It gives our interested team members an opportunity to develop and refine skills as golf course maintenance technicians,” said Josh Richter, Senior Vice President-Golf Operations, Boyne Resorts. “It benefits our golf courses to have multi-faceted skills to improve the quality of our turf and be able to further train other team members. We feel it is important as leaders of the golf industry in Michigan to support this program as it is helping us as well.”

Jeff Hoag, General Manager, Scott Lake Golf & Practice Center added, “This is an important beginning to fill our employee needs in the agronomy area.” Possibly have this as a square in the center

Benefits of the Registered Apprenticeship Golf Course Maintenance Technician Program include:

For Employers:

• Immediately fills job openings with motivated workers

• Starts a rapid transfer of knowledge from current to future high-value workers

• Provides flexible, customized training to ensure workers develop the right skills

• Reduces turnover—94% of apprentices stay with the employer after graduation

• Improves access to state and federal resources for talent development

• Fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace

• Improves your bottom line

For Apprentices:

• Provides high quality on-the-job and online career training supported by Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA)

• Mentorship led by industry professionals

• Gain Maintenance Technician skills and competencies

• Earn a progressively increasing wage while training

• Opportunities for career advancement

• Receive a nationally recognized certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor

Visit www.michigangca.org to find out more about Registered Apprenticeship

FAQ on Registered Apprenticeship

Does the mentor have to be the same person for all of the On-Job-Learning?

No, the mentor can be a different person for different competency or topic areas of the defined Work Process during On-Job-Learning. The mentor must be proficient in the competency or topic area the apprentice is training in.

Do we need to have an apprentice in place before “signing on” as a golf course?

No. Golf courses “sign on” to the MGCA Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) to be able to offer the program to their employees. Once a course is a RAP employer apprentices can be added to the program. Of course the best case scenario is to have a candidate that is ready to be enrolled.

Is there an up-front cost for a golf course to offer the Registered Apprenticeship? No.

Since the Michigan golf industry is seasonal, how does that work with the Registered Apprenticeship?

In the case of seasonal occupations, Registered Apprenticeship Programs can be “paused”, to preserve the learning to date, and resumed in the spring.

If our company is awarded Going PRO Talent Funding, how can they be utilized?

The 2023 Going Pro Talent Fund Application process will begin in March. Michigan Works! Agency partners facilitate applications for employers in the competitive process.

Continued on page 8

Make Golf Your Career in Michigan

The excitement and anticipation of another golf season is upon us. With so many new golfers having been introduced to the game over the last few years, conversations have shifted amongst golf course operators. Strategies on customer retention, labor shortages, supply chain issues, technology efficiencies, etc. are different because business needs are different.

The growth of MGCA workforce development initiatives have been a result of the critical need our members have with a shortage of labor. Heard of the expression “There’s no time like the present?” NOW is the time for the Michigan golf industry to showcase the different career paths available to potential job seekers. Let’s show how “Make Golf Your Career” in Michigan can be a reality.

MGCA’s Registered Apprenticeship “Golf Course Maintenance Technician” has gained state and national industry attention. The Registered Apprenticeship is a turnkey proactive approach to retain and recruit employees. MGCA is currently onboarding golf courses and apprentices, and is looking forward to the growth of this talent pipeline. The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity,

Connecting talent with opportunity

Make Golf Your Career is the next part of the Make Golf Your Thing movement! As a collaborative effort of the allied national golf associations, the industry is committed to making the sport more diverse, equitable and inclusive. Now you can list career and job opportunities for job seekers across the golf industry. Creating an employer account is easy and takes less than 10 minutes. Find more information when you visit the NGCOA online Workplace Center at ngcoa.org.

Michigan Works! Agencies, and the U.S. Department of Labor have all been an integral part of assisting our association with streamlining for employers.

On May 19th, MGCA will be participate in Capital Area Michigan Works! MiCareer Quest in the Lansing area. This career fair is by invitation only and features high demand skilled industries in our state. I would love to have you join me in helping 10,000 students (middle to high school) explore additional career paths in the golf industry they may not have considered before. Please reach out to me if you would like to join me. MGCA has also been invited to serve on the Occupation Advisory Council for the Grounds Maintenance Program at MI Career Technical Institute. If you haven’t heard of MCTI there’s a brief overview in this issue.

June 8th, join MGCA and the Michigan Golf Alliance on the Capitol Lawn at the Michigan State Capitol to meet with our elected officials. The 2023 political landscape changed with the 2022 election and there are 67 NEW legislators. As the “Voice of Michigan Golf Business” we need to continue to communicate how golf courses positively impact their surrounding communities. The overall sustainability of our state’s economic health depends on the $4.2 billion economic impact from the golf industry.

Legislative Day 2023

Golf on the Capiol Lawn


on the Turn”

11:30 am-1:30 pm

“Lunch on the Lawn” with Legislators and Staff Members

Register at www.michigangolfalliance.com

Thursday June 6

11:30 - 1:30

www.MichiganGCA.org SPRING 2023 7
Find Your Next Great Hire Using “Make Golf Your Career”
9:30 am Registration/Coffe 10:00 am Welcome/Orientation/Talking points 10:30 am Legislative Visits with Packets

Relationships Matter

A few years ago, I wanted to contract with the Michigan Logo Sign program to advertise Sycamore Hills Golf Club as an attraction on I-94. I-94 has exits for 21 Mile Road and 23 Mile Road. Sycamore Hills Golf Club is located on North Avenue between 21 Mile Road and 23 Mile Road. The problem that I ran into was that Macomb County did not allow “directional signs”. I needed directional signs because Sycamore Hills was not on 21 Mile Road or 23 Mile Road, therefore directional signs were needed at the corners of 21 Mile Road and North Avenue, as well as at the corner of 23 Mile Road and North Avenue. These directional signs were needed so that traffic coming to Sycamore Hills from I-94 knew where to turn once they were on 21 Mile Road or 23 Mile Road.

I had a meeting with the Macomb Township supervisor, and discussed my problem with her. Macomb Township did not have the authority to allow me to put signs in road right-of-ways, but would allow me to put signs on the necessary corners on private property if I had permission of the property owner. The property owner at the corner of 21 Mile Road and North Avenue gave me permission to put up a directional sign, but the owner at the corner of 23 Mile Road and North Avenue would not give me permission.

William Hackel was the sheriff of Macomb County for nearly 30 years. His son, Mark, became the sheriff after his father, and then was elected as County Executive when Macomb County adopted that form of government 10-15 years ago. I developed a good relationship with both of them, and Bill has been a starter at Sycamore Hills for many years now. I told him of my problem with the directional signs and they were able to have the Macomb County Road Commission change their position regarding directional signs. So, I now have my Michigan Logo Signs listing Sycamore Hills Golf Club, as an attraction, for eastbound I-94 at 21 Mile Road and for westbound I-94 at 23 Mile Road.

The Golf Course Maintenance Technician Registered Apprenticeship Program is another example of a government program that can benefit our industry. The MGCA has worked hard to develop this program to train current and prospective employees to eventually become golf course maintenance technicians, and ideally superintendents. This Apprenticeship program has been developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. This training program was created by MGCA with collaborative input from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America as well as the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association. There is a critical shortage of superintendents in our industry which must be addressed immediately. This program will allow the apprentice to learn online and in the field simultaneously. I am going to have Sycamore Hills involved in this program, and will report the developments in the future. I remember an old saying about the three biggest lies, one of which is “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.” The times are changing.

FAQ on Registered Apprenticeship

Continued from page 6

The 2023 reimbursement for Classroom and/or On-JobLearning in a USDOL Registered Apprenticeship Program is $3,500 per apprentice (first year through completion). More information on this funding can be found here: https://www.michigan.gov/leo/bureaus-agencies/wd/ programs-services/going-pro-talent-fund

NOTE: In addition to Going PRO Talent Funds, substantial additional state and federal resources are available to support Registered Apprenticeship Programs in Michi-

gan. Your local Michigan Works! Agency can help identify available funding and eligibility. How does the company manage the Registered Apprenticeship?

The on-job-learning, and related instruction portions of the Registered Apprenticeship Program can be managed through a desktop/mobile application called RAPTOR (WorkHands). WorkHands streamlines the administrative process for the employer, apprentice, and MGCA.

Representative Pauline Wendzel presents proclamation to Tom Schwark.


• Governor: Gretchen Whitmer (Democrat)

• Attorney General: Dana Nessel (Democrat)

• Secretary of State: Jocelyn Benson (Democrat)


• Supreme Court: 4-3 Democrat Majority, Chief Justice Beth Clement

• Governor: Gretchen Whitmer (Democrat)

• Attorney General: Dana Nessel (Democrat)

• House: 110 members (56-54 Democrat majority)

Democrat seat (7)

Republican seat (6)

• Secretary of State: Jocelyn Benson (Democrat)

• 2-year terms

• Supreme Court: 4-3 Democrat Majority, Chief Justice Beth Clement

• 51 new, freshmen members + 2 former senators returned to the House

• Senate: 38 members (20-18 Democrat majority)

• House: 110 members (56-54 Democrat majority)

• 4-year terms

• 2-year terms

• 16 freshmen members

• 51 new, freshmen members + 2 former senators returned to the House

MRA named 99 legislative candidates as Friends of Retail in the 2022 election. Sixty of them won and are serving in the 102nd legislature.

• Senate: 38 members (20-18 Democrat majority)

• 4-year terms

• 16 freshmen members

MRA named 99 legislative candidates as Friends of Retail in the 2022 election. Sixty of them won and are serving in the 102nd legislature.

• U.S. Senate: Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township)

• U.S. Congress: 13 members (7-6 Democrat majority) (Michigan lost another congressional district following 2020 census and redistricting)

• U.S. Senate: Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township)

• U.S. Congress: 13 members (7-6 Democrat majority) (Michigan lost another congressional district following 2020 census and redistricting)

Legislative Service Changes

Democrat seat (20)

Republican seat (18)

Democrat seat (20)

Legislative Service Changes

Redistricting and Proposal 1 changed the legislative landscape going forward - what it means:

Following the passage of Proposal 1 of 2022, Legislators can now serve up to 12 years total. Those 12 years can be served in one chamber or a mix between the two. Previously term-limited lawmakers can run in the future if they have served less than 12 total years. It also changes the dynamics for leadership, committee chairs, and policy work.

Redistricting and Proposal 1 changed the legislative landscape going forward - what it means:

Following the passage of Proposal 1 of 2022, Legislators can now serve up to 12 years total. Those 12 years can be served in one chamber or a mix between the two. Previously term-limited lawmakers can run in the future if they have served less than 12 total years. It also changes the dynamics for leadership, committee chairs, and policy work.

Democrat seat (56)

Republican seat (54)

Thank you to MI Retailers for the use of this graphic. Find the complete 2022 Year-End Legislative Report at https://www.retailers.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Legislative_Report_2022.pdf

Democrat seat (56)

seat (54)

www.MichiganGCA.org SPRING 2023 9
– 11
2022 Year-End Legislative Report
Michigan Congress 13 Seats Total Michigan Senate 38 Seats Total
House of Representatives 110 Seats Total
2022 Year-End Legislative Report – 11
Michigan Congress 13 Seats Total Michigan Senate 38 Seats Total Michigan House of Representatives 110 Seats Total
Democrat seat (7)
seat (6)
seat (18)

Michigan Department of LEO

Let the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity

Assist you with Obtaining and Maintaining Talent as you Prepare for the Upcoming Golf Season

With Michigan’s golf season approaching full swing in just a few short weeks, club managers and owners are likely to scramble to fill a variety of openings with qualified, motivated, and reliable staff. Michigan’s more than 550 golf and country clubs employed more than 20,000 during last year’s season peak, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. 1

The costs, stress, and limited timeframes to recruit, interview, hire, and onboard staff would be a daunting task for anyone. Let the resources of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) help streamline access to and match individuals with the specific skills and abilities needed, support retaining those who may already be employed, and ensure your establishment stays on the fairway this year.

LEO’s Office of Employment and Training includes both The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) and Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) – two bureaus whose core mission is to help businesses obtain and maintain the qualified talent they need by helping individuals address disability-related barriers to employment as well as access career-based training and industry recognized credentials.

In addition to talent, MRS and BSBP provide an array of technical consultation and training services to help businesses navigate various employment-related needs, like disability awareness training, reasonable accommodations, and job retention. Occupational Therapists (OTs) are also available for trainings related to ergonomics and repetitive motion that can help reduce workplace injury and enhance workplace safety and productivity.

Did you know Michigan has a diverse population of talent, even those who are currently receiving training and employment readiness services? According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report issued in February of 2023, 21.3 percent of persons

Continued on page 20

MGCA Invited to Serve on MCTI Grounds Maintenance Occupational Advisory Council

MGCA Invited to Serve on MCTI Grounds Maintenance Occupational Advisory Council

The Michigan Career Technical Institute (MCTI) is a vocational training institution located in Plainwell, Michigan. It is a part of the Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), which is an agency within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

MCTI provides vocational training programs for individuals with disabilities in various fields such as healthcare, culinary arts, hospitality, automotive technology, and construction trades. The Institute offers a supportive and inclusive environment that helps students with disabilities acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the workplace.

The Michigan Career Technical Institute (MCTI) offers a Grounds Maintenance program that provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to work in the field of landscape and grounds maintenance. This program includes classroom instruction as well as hands-on training in areas such as turf management, plant identification and

care, irrigation, equipment operation, safety procedures, and landscape design. Graduates of the program are equipped to work in a variety of settings including golf courses, parks, and private landscaping companies.

Each of the 13 skill training programs at the Michigan Career and Technical Institute has an Occupational Advisory Committee (OAC). The committees are comprised of business representatives in the same field as the training program.

As an OAC member, MGCA will provide input and support to the Grounds Maintenance training program by reviewing the curriculum and examining the skill levels of graduates, placement outcomes, and employer satisfaction with placed graduates. MGCA will also provide valuable guidance with regard to equipment, tools, and technical knowledge required to keep training programs current with industrial standards.

Each OAC completes a Program Advisory Committee Annual Report as part of the school’s effort toward program improvement. The report contains objective evaluative

Continued on page 20

www.MichiganGCA.org SPRING 2023 11

SBAM Advocacy Update


The long-awaited appellate court decision on minimum wage and sick leave mandates was published and as we expected, the Court of Appeals upheld current law. This means that the compromise on minimum wage and sick leave requirements from 2018 stands. The Small Business Association of Michigan and Michigan Golf Course Association were both active in this court action in filing an amicus brief alongside other business organizations to protect small businesses who have seen so many challenges in recent years.

This decision means that many small business owners can breathe a sigh of relief that the state’s minimum wage, which is already indexed to inflation, will not increase further, the tipped wage system remains intact, and businesses with fewer than 50 employees remain exempt from the minimum paid sick leave requirements. Further, paid sick leave requirements will not be increased and extended to contractors as the overturned court decision would have required.

Following the loss in the Court of Appeals, plaintiffs promised an appeal to the Supreme Court. That appeal was just recently filed. At this point, the next decision is in the hands of the state’s highest court. Should they choose not to hear the appeal, the Court of Appeals decision will stand, and the laws governing minimum wage and paid sick leave will not change. SBAM and other business organizations are weighing in, asking the Supreme Court in a legal brief not to hear the appeal. Should the Supreme Court decide to hear the appeal, arguments will likely be scheduled later this year

Learn More: https://www.sbam.org/appellate-court-decision-on-minimum-wage-sick-leave-mandates/


SBAM recently launched a new member service called SBAM Advocacy Champions.

When it comes to having a pro-small business voice, there is no bigger advocate than the Small Business Association of Michigan. But what makes our voice stronger are the individual efforts of small business owners who are willing to use their own voices to help promote the small business agenda.

Here are five ways that you can get involved.

GENERAL ADVOCACY: Communicating your message with legislators and key state leaders plays an important role in supporting a policy environment that helps small businesses thrive.

Media Training: Fine tune your communications skills to learn how to effectively communicate with all types of media.

BOARDS & COMMISSIONS: Identify opportunities for greater engagement and walk you through the process of what it takes to apply and be selected through the Appointments Division in the Office of the Governor.

CANDIDATE SCHOOL PART 1: CAMPAIGNING: You’ll learn how campaigns work, how to get more involved in your local party, how to help your trusted candidates get elected, and decide whether to run for office yourself.

CANDIDATE SCHOOL PART 2: RUNNING FOR OFFICE: This training will give small business owners a better understanding of what it means to run for office, and how to take the next step of becoming a candidate.

Whatever your current level of experience, please take a look at these five ways to get involved, and let us know if we can count on you to be an SBAM Advocacy Champion in one or more of these areas.


MGCA Members are also SBAM and NGCOA Members. Renew or join at www.michigangca.org

NGCOA Advocacy Update

Credit card processing has become one of the most heated issues in the retail industry.

Following Visa and Mastercard’s increasing interchange rates last year, Visa will now limit how merchants can recover this increased cost.

NGCOA recently received information reporting that on April 15, 2023, merchants passing on a surcharge will be limited to 3% versus the current cap of 4%. While surcharging is legal in most states, it is limited or illegal in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

At our recent Golf Business Conference, this topic was discussed during the Mastermind Session. Members discussed many of the pros and cons of adding a convenience fee for customers electing to pay with credit cards versus cash. NGCOA is not offering recommendations for owners and operators but wants to ensure you understand the laws and the impact passing this fee onto your customers will have on your operation.

Legally, no law (except in states where prohibited) prevents you from charging a convenience fee or surcharge. If considering instituting a surcharge, there are procedures you

National Golf Day May 8-10

Advocating on behalf of the golf industry is one of the essential services NGCOA provides our members. NGCOA may lead this work, but the real impact is realized when our members engage directly with civic leaders to promote the tremendous economic and environmental stewardship of industry that provides our communities every day. Please join us IN PERSON in Washington, DC on May 8-10, as we celebrate the 15th annual National Golf Day, organized by the American Golf Industry Coalition.

The Crystal City Doubletree Hotel will be the host hotel for the event. If you have any questions about how to participate in this exciting event with NGCOA, please contact Ronnie Miles, Senior Director of Advocacy, at rmiles@ngcoa.org.

will be required to follow. While the 30-day notification to Visa will no longer be required, you must notify your merchant processor and other card issuers (Mastercard, AMEX, Discover). Failure to comply with this policy can prohibit you from accepting their credit cards.

Credit card processing rates vary widely within our industry, as it does in most. Sometimes this is driven by the industry sector. Golf courses and Country Clubs each have a unique merchant category code. Banks and merchant processors can use these categories to establish a fee range to charge the merchants. We have golf courses reporting rates as low as 2% and as high as 4%. One of the core costs of accepting credit cards is the interchange rates charged by card issuing companies. While these rates are not negotiable between you and your processor, there are negotiable fees charged by your merchant processor. Some of these may require new technology, while others may be changes in the business process you implement.

If you currently pay rates higher than 3%, we encourage you to shop around. With some POS providers now limiting who can enter their network, your choices may be limited.

If you would like assistance reviewing your credit card statements to ensure you are being charged in accordance with your contract, email me at rmiles@ngcoa.org.

New Member Benefit

Golf Business Advocacy Hotline

(843) 471-1300

The Golf Business Advocacy Hotline is open and ready to answer all of your questions. Anyone in your company can call this number to get direct feedback or assistance on public policy issues, government advocacy, and more. If the screen did not automatically prompt the dial, please click this number to connect through your device: (843) 471-1300.

www.MichiganGCA.org SPRING 2023 13

Trained Instructor Publicist

Business Manager

Etiquette Coach


Accomplished Player

Personnel Manager

Junior Golf Mentor


Community Leader

Tournament Director

Financial Consultant

Event Planner


Golf Shop Operator

Rules Authority


Event Coordinator

Skilled Clubfitter


Inventory Manager

Outing Director

Team Captain

Club Repairperson

Master of Ceremonies


Expert Merchandiser


Facility Director

Equipment Consultant

Service Trainer


Food and Beverage Manager


Private Tutor

Promoter of Golf Friend


PGA Professionals have many roles. But just one badge.
more information visit michiganpgagolf.com or contact
The PGA of America
Rights Reserved

ServSafe Training on Location

As you prepare to open for the season, please make the time to ensure your team is ready to provide food and beverage in the best way possible. ServSafe ® is the most respected training and certification source in the industry. The programs are created by and for the food service industry working closely with the regulatory community to ensure compliance with local and national requirements.  The training materials are available online, in person, with video, and expert instructors.

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) offers ServSafe Food Safety Manager and Responsible Alcohol Service programs available to members of the MGCA at a Partner discounted price. Here are the options offered:

ServSafe Food

• Review class, book mailed ahead of class, and exam;  MRLA non-member cost is $195; Partner discount is $155

Review class 8:00 am – 3:00 pm (Detroit class is 9:00 am – 3:00 pm); Exam begins at 3:00 pm

• Book and exam (without class for those who learn better with self-study or cannot be away from the business for the

whole day); MRLA non-member cost is $135; Partner discount is $110

Exam begins at 3:00 pm, arrive by 2:45 pm

• Exam Only (no book, no review class); MRLA non-member cost is $100; Partner discount is $ 85

Exam begins at 3:00 pm, arrive by 2:45 pm

ServSafe Alcohol

• Book and proctored exam:  MRLA non-member price $65; Partner discount is $55

• Online course & exam at ServSafe.com:  regular price $30; MRLA25 in coupon code box $22.50 (purchased directly from servsafe.com)

We also offer a Training-On-Location options for groups of 10 or more for both Food Manager and Alcohol Service; you can open the training to neighboring businesses to meet the minimum requirement.

YOU choose the date, YOU choose the location, WE send the instructor to you, WE provide the training materials ahead of time for you team.

For additional information, please contact MRLA 800968-9668  or hhiner@mrla.org

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Jerry Matthews Lasting Legacy

On November 29, 2022, at the Michigan Golf Business Conference, Dr. Jennifer Owen, PhD, of Michigan State University (MSU) gave a presentation on an ambitious project that is ongoing at the University. In 2018, MSU Associate Professor of Fisheries and Wildlife, Dr. Jen Owen, with support from MSU AgBioResearch, led the effort to convert the MSU Muck Soils Research Farm which had been abandoned in 2012 into an ecological field station. A new name for the property, the Corey Marsh Ecological Research Center (CMERC), was approved in August 2018. This 400-acre property is a center for scientific research in natural resource restoration and management. Its research is the foundation for outreach and education programs designed to help build awareness of better land stewardship practices and the relevance of science to society.

Recently deceased Michigan golf architect, Jerry Matthews, lived across the street from the University property for over fifty-five years. He saw, and was in some ways, an integral part of its history. After Dr. Jen took stewardship of the property, a kinship was born. The concept of an ecological research station struck Jerry as a long-overdue need for Michigan. He was holistically drawn to the goals and objectives that the center was working to achieve.

Conversely, Jerry had much to offer to CMERC. He intimately knew the history of the property. But more importantly, his portfolio of work as an eminent golf architect put him in a position to appreciate the symbiotic relationship between recreation and nature. He understood that the concept of giving homage to our environment is too often theoretical and not always practiced. He always maintained that tougher environmental standards, such as wetland preservation, made him a better architect.

He was also a strong advocate of the “everyman”. Throughout his career, his courses always respected the average golfer and not just the low handicapper. He saw community access to CMERC and the opportunity for everyday families to commune with nature as a real positive.

He also encouraged Dr. Jen to pursue research projects such as proving or disproving the accumulative effects of chemicals in the soil. Armed with a database of years and years of chemical application on the farm station, MSU is in a position to compare the database with present conditions. Jerry saw this as critical information to the golf community who are often confronted with negative publicity about chemical use without corresponding proof of their negative effects over time.

One long-term project that MSU and Dr. Jen were pursuing was to erect an observation tower in the marshland that

would allow people to observe wildlife in their natural environment. The proposed tower would be an ADA-compliant twostory structure offering a 360-degree view of the marsh. Dr. Jen and Jerry would excitedly and frequently get together and share ideas about architectural concepts and locations of this tower. The observation tower became one of the last projects that Jerry would take on.

Upon Jerry’s death, building the tower has now become a high priority. Funds are being raised for the tower with the intent of dedicating it in his name. Preliminary estimates indicate that about $100,000 is needed for the tower to become a reality.

As a renowned Michigan golf course architect, the family would welcome seeing the tower dedicated not just in Jerry’s name, but also to the larger golf community that was his lifeblood. However, additional support is needed by the golf community to make it happen. Michigan State University is suggesting that a plaque(s) could be placed recognizing an individual donor/entity with a donation of $10,000 or more. A $50,000 aggregate donation from the Michigan golf community would earn Michigan golf course owners’ recognition as a patron along with suitable on-site acknowledgement.

Jerry significantly impacted public golf in Michigan. It is fitting that a public structure be erected to celebrate his work as a golf architect, and also give a nod to the natural relationship between golf and nature.

An enormous thank you goes out to those that have already contributed to the project. Other individuals or golf courses that have been impacted by Jerry or otherwise interested in making the tower become a reality can forward donations:

• online using the following link: https://givingto.msu.edu/ gift/?SMID=A11161

• by mail, please mail a check payable to ‘Michigan State University’ and include “A11161” in the memo line to ensure your donation goes to Corey Marsh. Mail to: University Advancement, 535 Chestnut Road, Room 300, East Lansing, MI 48824

• for questions, contact Owenj@msu.edu

Please also visit the website: https://www.canr.msu.edu/ cmerc/Visit/

www.MichiganGCA.org SPRING 2023 17
Left is Dr. Jen Owens and Right is Carol Colein holding the observation tower model

Yearly Insurance Review: Preventing Golf Car Theft

Golf cart theft in Michigan seems to be on the rise. If you talk to your fellow members of the association, you may have heard of the thefts going on.  What can you do to keep your property safe?

As we all know if someone wants something bad enough they will do whatever is necessary.  In addition to having a well-lit area, security camera’s are a good deterrent as well as a key tool in helping to catch anyone that may steal your property. Lastly, installing security cameras may also give you a discount on your business

Other items as you to consider during your yearly review of insuring your golf course may be:

1. General Liability Insurance: This coverage provides coverage for injury or damage that occurs on your property or to your property. Coverages include bodily injury, property damage and libel and slander coverage.

2. Property Insurance: In addition to your clubhouse, you may have other buildings on the course. Many courses have buildings that store carts or mobile equipment that is used for course maintenance. Making sure you are up to date on building values is critical at the time of claim. Construction costs and materials and increased substantially in the last few years.

3. Inland Marine Insurance: The insurance coverers things such as tools and equipment. Items that are mobile and used all around the course and not limited to a specific location.

4. Workers Compensation: Like any business that operates in our state if you have employees you are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This protects the employer from paying out of pocket for both lost wages and medical bills if an employee is injured during working hours.

5. Business Auto Insurance: If your course has any vehicles titled in the business name, you should have a business auto policy. The name of the title of the vehicle and the insurance policy should match.

6. Tees and Greens Insurance: Just like it sounds, this insurance cover damage to your tee boxes, fairways, and greens.

7. Cyber Liability: This covers you incase of a data breach. If you take credit cards for payment, or keep any social security number of your employees or federal identification numbers of vendors on file, your business should consider have a cyber liability policy in place. This can cover costs associated with data breaches on your business. Those costs and include lost income, costs of notifying customers affected by the breach, and costs for recovering compromised data.

8. Employment Practices Liability: This protects you from lawsuits that may be brought by disgruntled employees due to circumstances such as discrimination, wrongful termination, or breach of contract, which are not typically covered by general liability insurance.

At the end of the day you have a business to run. Keeping in touch with your insurance agent and letting them know your concerns when it comes to insurance will help to limit your exposure to any unforeseen claims that could happen to you business

If you aren’t getting an e-newsletter each week, let us know by emailing Mary at: mbrodin@michigangca.org or call us 800-860-8575

www.MichiganGCA.org SPRING 2023 19

Michigan Department of LEO

Continued from page 5 with a disability were employed in 2022 as compared to 65.4 percent without disabilities. And why does that matter?

Well, people with disabilities bring a unique perspective to your workforce. They overcome challenges, whether they are medical, physical, or mental/emotional, as they move through their daily lives. It’s really about finding out what a person’s strengths are and bringing those out with the help of an accommodation.

An accommodation? You are probably thinking that is going to cost your business a fortune. Well, according to the Job Accommodation Network, almost half of all accommodations cost nothing with the remainder typically costing only $500. An accommodation could be a simple schedule

adjustment so a person with diabetes can manage their glucose level. A person with a cognitive impairment may need a reminder checklist to complete the necessary tasks during their scheduled shift.

MRS and BSBP can support the association and its membership navigate each of the areas described above, whether they are current or potential employees. Counselors work with job seekers and employees to identify their skills, abilities, interests, resources, and capabilities, they consider environment and work-related factors that assist them in obtaining or maintaining employment. On the business side of the house, consultants, OTs and rehabilitation specialists work with businesses to identify their needs and develop solutions to assist them in meeting their goals.

MGCA Invited to Serve on MCTI Grounds Maintenance Occupational Advisory Council

Continued from page 5 criteria relevant to program reviews. As part of the OAC, MGCA will also help MCTI remain relevant to the world of work by developing and testing new training programs and by expanding, modifying, or discontinuing existing programs as needed.

MCTI Occupation Advisory Councils plays a critical role in ensuring that the MCTI is providing high-quality career training that meets the needs of both students and employers in Michigan.

Where Employee Safety Adds Up


• $1,106,512 Distributed to participants in 2023

• Members Average a 50% Return of Premium

• Safety Resource Partner

• Request a Quote From Your Agent!

Take the Time to Call Today! miclubsfund.org | administered by RPS Regency | 800.686.6640

MGCA Thanks Golden Passbook Courses 2023

2023 marks the 21st year of the Golden Passbook to Michigan Golf. Along with the MGCA Board of Directors, I would like to thank the courses that contribute to the Golden Passbook fundraiser for the MGCA. Your donation of rounds directly supports the mission of the Michigan Golf Course Association as the “Voice of Michigan Golf Business”.

A-GA-Ming Golf Course, Kewadin

Antrim Dells Golf Club, Ellsworth

Black Lake Golf Club, Onaway

Boulder Pointe Golf Club, Oxford

Boyne Golf, Petoskey

Cedar Creek Golf Course, Battle Creek

Charlevoix Golf and Fitness, Charlevoix

Chemung Hills Country Club, Howell

Clearbrook Golf Club & Restaurant, Saugatuck

College Fields Golf Club, Okemos

Concord Hills Golf Course, Concord

Crooked Creek, Saginaw

Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville

Eagle Eye Golf Club, Bath

Eldorado Golf Course, Mason

Fenton Farms Golf Club, Fenton

Fountains Golf & Banquet Center, Clarkston

Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center, Plymouth

Garland Resort, Lewiston

Glenbrier Golf Course, Perry

Glenkerry Golf Course, Greenville

Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, Acme

Gull Lake View Resort, Augusta

Hawk Hollow Golf Course, Bath Township

Indian Lake Hills Golf Course, Eau Claire

Indian River Golf Club, Indian River

Indian Run Golf Club, Scotts

Interlochen Golf Course, Interlochen

Island Hills Golf Club, Sturgis

Legacy by Arthur Hills Golf Club, Ottawa Lake

Links at Hunters Ridge, Howell

Lynx GC, Otsego

Manistee National Golf & Resort, Manistee

Maple Leaf Golf Course, Linwood

Meridian Sun Golf Club, Haslett

Michaywe - The Pines, Gaylord

Oak Lane Golf Course, Webberville

Oceana Golf Club, Shelby

Pigeon Creek Golf Course, West Olive

Pohlcat Golf Club, Mt. Pleasant

Raisin Valley Golf Club, Tecumseh

Riverside Golf Club, Battle Creek

Riverwood Golf Course, Mt. Pleasant

Saskatoon Golf Club, Alto

Scott Lake Golf & Practice Center, Comstock Park

Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire

Snow Snake Golf and Ski, Harrison

Sugar Loaf Golf Course, Cedar

Swan Valley Golf Course, Saginaw

Sycamore Hills Golf Club, Macomb

The Emerald Golf Course, St. Johns

The Fortress, Frankenmuth

The Legacy at Hastings, Hastings

The Links at Bowen Lake, Gowen

The Medalist Golf Club, Marshall

The Mines Golf Course, Grand Rapids

Thunder Bay Golf Resort, Hillman

Timber Ridge, East Lansing

Timber Trace Golf Club, Pinckney

Treetops Resort, Gaylord

Westwynd Golf Course, Rochester Hills

Woodside Golf Course, Lansing

www.MichiganGCA.org SPRING 2023 21
TEE-OFF TIMES SPRING 2023 22 swing into refreshment ©2022 The Coca-Cola Company. Let us show you how Coca-Cola can help DRIVE your revenue! For Coca-Cola pricing and discounts, please contact Ken Titus: @ 810-569-0187 Kenneth.Titus@glccd.com. PROUD PARTNER
www.MichiganGCA.org SPRING 2023 23 Activate Your 2023 Membership Investment Online https://michigangca.org/online-golf-coursemembership-payment Scan code to complete MGCA Memership Investment gives you more value. Chase Kuyers Pigeon Creek Golf Course Director of Golf / Co- Owner I joined MGCA in 2019 and attended my first MI Golf Business Conference that same year. What stood out was the comradery in course operators and the willingness to help each other grow our businesses!

Tee-Off Times

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Tee-Off Times is published by the Michigan Golf Course Association, editor – Jada Paisley. MGCA offices are located at 1005 Abbot Road, Suite A, East Lansing, MI 48823. Phone (517) 482-4312, Fax (517) 267-8984. Articles written by outside authors do not necessarily reflect the view or position of the MGCA. MGCA’s position on key issues will be clearly stated. Manuscripts are accepted at the approval of the editor who reserves the right to reject or edit. Appearance in the Tee-Off Times does not constitute endorsement of the advertiser, its products or services, nor does Tee-Off Times make any claims or guarantees as to the accuracy or validity of the advertiser’s offer and reserves the right to reject any advertising deemed unsuitable. Advertising rates and other information available upon request.