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SUPER line up of speakers! FANTASTIC venue! MARVEL at what you will learn! Michigan Golf Business Conference and Vendor Fair COMING SOON!

In this issue: The Definition of Insanity The upcoming election, etc. Sandy Ridge GC beats the heat Schwark: Protect our jobs!


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Personal Insurance • Commercial Insurance • Health Insurance •

TEE-OFF TIMES

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

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Mortgages • Financial Planning


News from the President Were these the dog days of summer? by Bob Koutnik, MGCOA President

While my mind was baking in this summer’s heat, I started to ponder the following thought.  With a long spell of rain forecast, Noah built an ark.  With no rain forecast for what seemed like 40 days and 40 nights what should a golf course owner build?  Best idea I came up with was a Tikki Bar.  In my neck of the woods we were a month without any rain and if not record heat, darn close to it.  This leads to another thought, I wonder if Entegra has a buying program with our electric company.  I sure would like to give our irrigation system a couple of nights off. Our leagues have finished the seasons and I have had more time and experience with the Michigan Golf League Championship program.  I like it more each time I log into it.  The program is well thought out and everything you need is easy to access. GLC state championship is Sept. 23 at Eagle Eye Golf Course in Bath. The 19th Annual Golf Outing and Supplier Field Day on August 9 was a great experience.  The opportunity for us to network with fellow course owners and to let our corporate members know just how much we appreciate them was

priceless.  Put the date in your calendar for the 20th annual event next year, August 8th. Speaking of big turnouts, wow, this year’s Legislative Day was another huge success.  It is great to have all of the allied golf organizations work together to make our Legislators aware of the impact they have on our industry.  If you missed it, make sure you watch for details on next year’s event.   This is a terrific way for you to start building a relationship with your Representative and Senator and I  can’t stress the importance of that enough. So, now on to the Michigan Golf Business Conference and Vendor Fair. This is the best place to find yourself each year. Stay energized for the 2013 season; learn new and important information to make your business more successful. There is no reason not to come. The price is right, the location fantastic and who doesn’t love a chicken dinner!   Got to go, I hear the ducks quacking signaling the start of another Duck Dynasty rerun.   Bob

Board of Directors

Kathy Aznavorian Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center

Larry Moore U.S. Golf Cars

President

Larry Bowden The Natural

Carolyn Olson Elmbrook Golf Course

Ed Clark Sandy Ridge Golf Course

Steve Ramey Chisholm Hills

Jeff Hoag Scott Lake Country Club

Jim Dewling Total Golf Inc.

Dan Rooney Grand Haven Golf Club

Treasurer

Frank Guastella Franklin Golf

Tom Schwark Sycamore Hills

Toni Joers Concord Hills

Jon Scott Gull Lake View

Fred Mawson Corporate Tax Resources

Curtis Wright Copper Hills Golf Course

Bob Koutnik Fox Run Country Club

Vice President

Susan Vanderburg Indian Lake Hills

Past President

Bill Fountain Majestic at Lake Walden

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CALENDAR Sept 23 8th Annual Golf League Championship, Eagle Eye GC, Bath Nov 27-28 Michigan Golf Business Conference and Vendor Fair, Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth

CASH AWARDS FROM MGCOA-ESF $1,500

for the Player Development Leadership Award $1,000

for the Carpe Diem Award Submit your applications. Visit www.mgcoa.org and click on the entry forms If you have a question about the award or the process, call Kate Moore

800-860-8575

WWW.MGCOA.ORG WWW.MGCOA.ORG SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER MAY/JUNE 2012


A special thank you to the Premier Sponsors of our Golf Outing

NGCOA Preferred Suppliers Club Car American Express Entegra ETS – Electronic Transaction System Corp. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. and Allied Insurance

#1

- Spartan Distributors

#1

- TORO #2 - Club Car and US Golf Cars #3

- Flex Checks

#4

- Michigan Section PGA

#4

- U.S. Foods #5 - Maner, Costerisan PC

Pepsi

#6 - Corporate Tax Resources

Toro

#7

MGCOA Corporate Partners Coca-Cola Midwest Golf & Turf US Golf Cars Kapnick Insurance Group Michigan Clubs Fund Spartan Distributors NGCOA Preferred Supplier Group Foresight Group TEE-OFF TIMES

Hole Sponsors

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

- Gantec Inc.

#8 - Midwest Golf and Turf/Club Car/Jacobsen #9 - Visual Business Solutions #10

- TPI Golf, Inc.

#11 - West Michigan Golf Show – Showspan Inc. #12

- Rain Bird Golf

#13

- Froggy’s Ball Service

#14

- Entegra

#14

- Michigan Clubs Fund

#15

- Coca-Cola #16 - Kapnick Insurance Group #17 #18

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US Golf Cars

- Sohn Linen


It never rains on the golf course! Golf Outing Fundraiser is a Major Success As participants drove to Bedford Valley Golf Course on the morning of August 9 th, they were praying

true! Owners and operators joined with suppliers on this traditional day of great golf and fun at the 19th Annual MGCOA Golf Outing and Supplier Field Day held at Bedford Valley Golf Course in Battle Creek. One of the Scott family’s Gull Lake View properties, Bedford Valley is managed by Dean Kolstad and his staff turned out fantastic service to the MGCOA members. The service, course conditions and food were all outstanding, especially the Mahi Mahi preGetting up early proved a winning formula pared by food and beverage for MGCOA board president Bob Koutnik (left) manager Rick Collick. Special whose team took second. Bob drove in from thanks to Jon and Charlie Scott Grayling that morning for the event. and their families for the generthat the adage “it never rains on ous contribution to this important the golf course” would be true. MGCOA fund raiser. And, well, with the exception of a Special thanks to Kapnick Insur10 minute minor sprinkle, it was ance Group for the lunch, the NGCOA

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Preferred Suppliers for the dinner and US Golf Cars for the beverages. Midwest Golf & Turf sponsored a golf car for a hole-in-one and the driving range. Spartan Distributors and E-ZGo was our welcome and registration sponsor, Michigan Clubs Fund took care of the prizes and gift certificates. Let’s not forget the $10,000 Putting Contest, sponsored by TPI Golf. The golfer that qualified to take the $10,000 shot was Matt Fender from US Golf Cars. Better luck next time, Matt. Team Saskatoon, captained by golf director Jerry Palinski, was the big hitters this year scoring a remarkable 54. Second place overall went to the President’s Team, that being the team with MGCOA board President Bob Koutnik. It was a squeaker as they shot a 55. Continued on page 6

WWW.MGCOA.ORG

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012


It never rains on the golf course! Continued from page 5

The first place mixed team came from Kapnick Insurance Group and Jane Radford lead the team to a score of 64. MGCOA executive director Kate Moore dodged the bottom of the leader board this year. This distinction was captured by the team from ShowSpan – The West Michigan Golf Show lead or rather dragged in with a 74. Carolyn Alt’s team captured this auspicious ranking as the “winning losers.” Not to worry. I am sure to do worse next year! A Hole-in-One contest was sponsored by Midwest Golf &Turf. While no one left with a new golf car, all were thrilled to have the chance to go for it. Closest to the Pin contests were sponsored by Allied Insurance Services and the winners were Jim Scott (Gull Lake View), Kelly Turk (Concord Hills Golf Course), Ray Kleinbreil (Sandy Ridge Golf Course) and Mike Kidd (Foresight Design and Printing). Alyson Dobbins from Concord Hills Golf Course was the ladies longest drive winner for the second year in a row while Matt Miner, one of the MGCOA lobbyists took the honor for the men. Sinking the longest putt was Fred Mawson from Corporate Tax Resources. Longest Drive contests were sponsored by Michigan Clubs Fund. The Longest Putt was sponsored by TPI Golf, Inc.. We also want to thank Carolyn Alt from ShowSpan, The West Michigan Golf Show, for donating bottles of water and Coca-Cola for the soft drinks. The MGCOA is very grateful to all of our premier sponsors: Kap-

nick Insurance Company, US Golf Cars, Midwest Golf and Turf, TPI Inc, Spartan Distributors, E-Z-Go, Action Insurance Services, CocaCola, Michigan Clubs Fund and the NGCOA Preferred Supplier Group including TORO, Club Car and Entegra who sponsored everything from registration, putting green,

lunch, dinner, cocktails, trophies, goody bags, hole-in-one contests and more. This golf outing has remained at the same price for the past 11 years because of the support we receive from these companies and corporate member hole sponsors. As first placed mixed team, Kapnick Insurance Group walked away with these Polar Bag cooler totes and gift certificates to GLV proshops.

Team ShowSpan share a toast with their Bubba Mug Coolers.

Food and beverage manager Rick Collick carves the beef for outing attendees. The food was spectacular!

Team members from Concord Hills Golf Course enjoy the after golf festivities.

New corporate members TST Associates Rebecca Tribble and Dave Smith showed off their amazing outdoor furniture. TEE-OFF TIMES

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

Photos continued on page 9

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From the Executive Director The Definition of Insanity by Kate Moore, MGCOA Executive Director

Wasn’t it Einstein that said the Returning for the Tuesday key- evening its mini golf and a pizza definition of insanity is doing the note is Sam Glenn who will give party in the Ratskeller. Day two features Greg Patterson, same thing over and over and ex- you a “Kick in the Attitude.” That voted best speaker at the pecting a new result? Change NGCOA National Conferis good. Change is necessary A N N U A L C O N F E R E N C E & V E N D O R FA I R ence for his enthusiastic and exciting. We have changed presentation on customer things up for the Michigan Golf Nov. 27 - 28, 2012 - Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth loyalty. ZING! Also new on Business Conference and Venday two we are moving the dor Fair for 2012. Don’t call us award banquet to a luncrazy! We are excited to procheon. vide an outstanding line up of This new schedule will speakers, motivating, educaprovide the same amount tional, and challenging. of program content and This year’s event will take networking opportunities place at the Bavarian Inn but with a little rearranging. Lodge in Frankenmuth and That’s right. We wouldn’t will feature a keynote speakwant Einstein to have anyer each day. The excitement thing on us. Registration is begins Tuesday, November th now open at www.mgcoa. 27 with a full day of sesorg. See you in November. sions and the Vendor Fair.

Michigan Golf Business

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WWW.MGCOA.ORG

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012


LISTSERV leads to solution Prompted by a discussion on the LISTSERV regarding employee consumption of alcohol on the premises, MGCOA member Bill Johnson of the Legacy Golf Club (Ottawa Lake) outlined his company policy. The MGCOA sent this to our legal council who came up with a policy

SUBSTANCE ABUSE POLICY We intend to provide a safe and secure work environment for employees. So, the following rules will be strictly enforced. 1. No employee shall be under the influence of alcohol or prohibited drugs or substances on our property, or in our vehicles. Employees may not be under the influence of prohibited drugs off our property while on our business, nor may employees have prohibited drugs in their bodily system. 2. Employees may not possess, use or sell prohibited drugs or substances on or off our property while on our business. 3. Within the boundaries of these rules, employees may drink alcohol in moderation on our property. 4. All persons on our premises, including employees, must be of legal age to drink alcohol. 5. The alcohol in an employee’s bodily system cannot exceed a concentration of 0.04, as it would be measured with either breath or saliva Alcohol Screening Device (ASD), Breath Alcohol Test (BAT), or blood alcohol test. 6. Employees cannot drink alcohol from or on our premises when working or within one hour before working. 7. Employees may not have alcohol on their breath while working and they may not exhibit signs of intoxication on our property, even when not working. 8. Employees cannot be served alcohol when they are off the clock if they are wearing our designated uniform or name tag. 9. Non-exempt employees cannot wait on customers or assist in any work activity when off the clock. 10. Employees are permitted to eat TEE-OFF TIMES

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

that meets state guidelines and can easily be introduced to your employee handbook. Thanks, Bill for participating in LISTSERV and helping out your fellow golf course owners. If you are not connected to the LISTSERV (an MGCOA member benefit) contact the office for instructions.

and drink at our restaurant and bar, as long as they comply with these rules. In fact, many of our employees bring large numbers of golfers and guests to our course and restaurant, and we appreciate that. Employees must remember, however, that when they are off duty, they must abide by the same rules as all of our guests. For example, employees are not to walk behind the bar to get their own drink. 11. Employees are eligible for a discount on food only when they are on duty. There is no employee discount on alcohol for employees. If there is a special, it is not open to employees except to the same extent that it is open to all customers. Any employee violating state or federal laws and/or this policy, in addition to any penalties imposed by any governmental agency, governmental department, or a court is subject to discipline, up to and including discharge. Employees who believe they may have a substance abuse problem are encouraged to seek treatment before it affects their performance.

weight alcohols including methyl or isopropyl alcohol.

Definitions “Prohibited drugs or substances” are (a) drugs or substances whose possession or sale is illegal; and (b) any prescription drugs or substances used in a manner, combination, or quantity contrary to the prescription, without a prescription, or contrary to directions. Any employee who is taking a legal prescription drug or substance has a responsibility to know its potential effect and must notify his or her supervisor of its use if it may impair working ability. “Alcohol” means the intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, ethyl alcohol or other low molecular

Refusal to Undergo Testing Any person who refuses to give written consent, to cooperate with the testing process, or to undergo testing under this policy will not be permitted to continue working for us.

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Reasonable Suspicion Testing If we have a reasonable suspicion that an employee has violated these rules, we may require that the employee undergo testing. “Reasonable suspicion” means that the actions, appearance, or conduct of an employee indicate that the employee has used a controlled or prohibited substance or is under the influence of alcohol based on specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations. A basis for reasonable suspicion could include, but would not be limited to impaired work performance, deteriorating attendance, an accident involving personal injury requiring medical treatment, damage to property occurring due to an employee’s negligence, slurred speech, loss of balance, the odor of alcohol or drugs, mood swings, trembling, disorientation, aggressive behavior, drowsiness, restlessness or hyperactivity.

Searches We reserve the right to search an employee, employee’s work area and property such as purse, satchel, bag, etc., and an employee’s vehicle on our property if we have a reasonable suspicion that this policy may have been violated. Refusal to cooperate in these procedures may result in discipline or discharge.


Matt Fender of US Golf Cars had the privilege of taking the $10,000 putt.

Paul Smeenge (Visual Golf Solutions) shakes hands with Bill Fountain of the Majestic Golf Course, Hartland. This was the 4th year that Paul sponsored a hole at the outing.

We told them that if they got their umbrellas out, it would rain! It did, but only for a few minutes.

Midwest Golf and Turf’s Ronnie Fisher met the golfers as they tried to make a hole in one for a golf car.

The first place team from Saskatoon Golf Course (Alto) took home these awesome coolers in keeping with this year’s prize theme of “cooling off” after the hot summer we have had.

Imagine 12,000 Golfers,

Scheduling trips, booking tee times and buying golf equipment 25th Annual

It’s Our Silver ! y Anniversar TM

DeVos Place, Downtown Grand Rapids

February 8-10, 2013

…with You! The West Michigan Golf Show is the best way to showcase your Golf Course, with thousands of golfers looking to spend their golfing dollars. Your competition will be there, make sure you are there too! www.WestMichiganGolfShow.com for detailed demographics and a complete brochure. Call 1-800-328-6550 now for best booth placement! Or email carolyna@showspan.com. Don’t wait! 9

WWW.MGCOA.ORG

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012


Legislative Bulletin The upcoming election, etc. by Eric Rule, MGCOA Government Affairs Coordinator

DEMOCRATS FILE LAWSUITS ON CHANGES TO PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT BENEFITS Even before Governor Rick Snyder had signed the public act changing the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (M.P.S.E.R.S) by requiring employees to pay for a portion of their benefits, among other changes, union lawyers had already filed a temporary restraining order against the bill. Just recently, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemary Aquilina, ruled that the restraining order had merit and that public school employees would not have to decide by October 26th whether or not to stay in the pension and retiree health care systems. The teacher’s unions that filed the lawsuits attest that this time-frame is far too short, as well as arguing that teachers and other personnel should not be forced to make these changes as they made decisions on joining the system as it was and to change it would not be fair to them. Governor Snyder was asked about the lawsuits when he signed the bill on September 4th, and mentioned that much of his signed legislation is challenged in court and he felt confident it would ultimately be upheld as constitutional. Administration officials are reviewing the judges’ ruling and the parties are expected to meet again in Judge Aquilina’s courtroom on November 28th. SUPREME COURT TO DECIDE IF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND OTHER PROPOSALS TO APPEAR ON BALLOT The Michigan Supreme Court heard oral arguments at the end of August to try and decide if any of four ballot proposals should be allowed on the November ballot. TEE-OFF TIMES

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The four proposals are: Protect our Jobs, which would guarantee collective bargaining rights; the Michigan Alliance for Prosperity, which would require a supermajority in the legislature to raise taxes; Citizens for More Jobs, which would allow more casinos in Michigan; and the People Should Decide, which would require a public vote on a new international border crossing. The critical component that the court is deciding is whether or not any of the language or changes in the various proposals would alter or abrogate the Michigan Constitution. Current law requires that proposals not only include any language that would be put into the Constitution, but any language that would alter or abrogate it. If it is found that a petition or proposal does not meet that standard, it could be denied inclusion on the ballot. Each proposal has their legal groups in full swing on August 30th, arguing mostly about what the definition of alter and abrogate mean in theory and in practice. The collective bargaining issue seemed to be the most controversial, and potentially with the most constitutional changes if adopted. The issue is the only one of the 4 to be certified to be on the ballot. It was decided so by the Michigan Court of Appeals earlier in the year. At least 3 of the justices, including Chief Justice Robert Young, still appeared confused by what abrogating meant after oral testimony was concluded. Solicitor General John Bursch represented the administration in various capacities during three of the cases, and opined that the collective bargaining petition would 10

appear to present problems for the legislature and could cross constitutional boundaries. The Supreme Court ruled that 3 of the 4 ballot proposals they were considering were fit to be decided by voters on the November ballot. The only one that did not get their approval was the effort to build eight new casinos in MI. The judges found that buried in the wording was language that the casinos be guaranteed a liquor license. This did not meet with what the justices saw as constitutional. HOUSE DEMOCRATS STILL FIGHTING IMMEDIATE EFFECT The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled recently that House Republicans handling of immediate effect votes on the floor is not necessarily unconstitutional. Democrats have indicated that they most likely plan to appeal the decision however. At issue is the controversial practice of giving a bill immediate effect by either a voice vote or gaveling down the opposition’s call for a record roll call vote. The Constitution requires that a record roll call vote shall be held at the request of one-fifth of the members present. The court held however, that House procedures, not the Constitution, should dictate how the House determines if one-fifth request a vote. The issue has gained national prominence lately, with disinformation also following the issue. Both Republicans and Democrats have used the procedure for decades, even if it is now just coming to light nationally. Forward your questions or concerns to Eric at: eric@csgmi.com


Legislative Bulletin Proposals crowd November ballot Michigan’s November 6 ballot looks like it’s going to be crowded, with the addition of five proposed constitutional amendments and one legislative referendum. In addition to the presidential and legislative elections, voters will face the most proposals since 1982, when seven also appeared on the ballot. At press time the proposals had not yet been officially approved to appear on the ballot, but the organizations behind each initiative had submitted the required number of signatures to the Bureau of Elections. The Bureau is reviewing the documents for accuracy before certifying them. With each organization turning in extra signatures, it is likely the following proposals will go to voters. PROPOSED REFERENDUM: Emergency Manager Law A referendum to repeal Public Act 4 of 2011, known as the Emergency Manager law, will appear. The 2011 law gave emergency managers greater powers to dissolve contracts and suspend elected officials’ power when handling a financial emergency in a public school district or a unit of local government. Emergency managers have already been appointed in the following places: Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Flint, and Pontiac as well as Detroit Public Schools, Highland Park Schools and the Muskegon Heights School District. The City of Allen Park is undergoing a financial review, a step that could lead to the appointment of an emergency manager. Whether this referendum would actually appear on the ballot was uncertain until the Michigan Supreme Court weighed in on whether the correct font size was used on the heading of the petition to repeal the law. The Supreme Court ruled, after

hearing oral arguments on July 25, that the measure will go to voters. The current law will be suspended pending the outcome of the vote. PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: “25 by 25” This would require utilities to obtain at least 25 percent of their electricity from clean renewable energy sources by 2025. A 2008 law required that at least 10 percent of Michigan’s energy sold be produced from renewable sources by 2015. This proposal would raise that requirement an additional 15% over 10 years. Utility companies have indicated they do not believe the resources exist to meet this new standard. Recent estimates put the cost of a “25 by 25” standard at $10 billion or more, depending on which renewable sources are used. Businesses should expect higher energy bills in the future if this amendment is adopted in November, because renewable energy is significantly more expensive. Rights to Collective Bargaining This would create a new right to collective bargaining. If the amendment is approved, it could invalidate as many as 80 laws that were passed during the 2011-2012 legislative term. Business owners generally believe that employers should be able to make decisions about collective bargaining with employees. We should also be concerned over the impact of overturning these laws – many of which were designed to help control sky-rocketing costs and liabilities for local governments and schools. If cost controlling measures are removed, taxes may be increased on residents, property and businesses. 11

Michigan Quality Home Care Council This would establish the Michigan Quality Home Care Council, which would create a registry of workers from which consumers could choose their care provider, require training of home care providers, and provide limited collective bargaining rights to home help care workers. The state currently has about 50,000 Medicaid recipients receiving assistance support through the home help program. Opponents of the proposal consider this an attempt to force unionization of caregivers and to siphon off money from the state. Public Vote on a New International Crossing This would require a vote of the people before the State of Michigan could construct or finance new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles. This proposal is a response by the Ambassador Bridge Company, owners of the existing, private, Detroit-Windsor span, to the planned New International Trade Crossing between Detroit and Windsor. Governor Rick Snyder, business leaders across the state, and the Canadian government all strongly support the new bridge. 2/3 Majority Vote for Tax Increases This would prohibit the imposition of new or additional taxes or expansion of the base of taxation by the State of Michigan unless approved by a two-thirds majority of members in each chamber of the legislature or by statewide vote of the people. While none of us believe raising taxes should be taken lightly, this would significantly limit the legislature’s ability to control funding and balance the state budget. Reprinted with permission from the Michigan Retailer. WWW.MGCOA.ORG

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012


Legislative Bulletin Protect our jobs

by Tom Schwark, Owner of Sycamore Hills Golf Course in Macomb and chair of the MGCOA Government Affairs Committee

There are going to be many ballot proposals on the ballot in Michigan for this fall’s elections. If any of them pass, except perhaps the tax hike supermajority, it will be bad for the majority of people and businesses in Michigan. However, the worst of all is the “Protect Our Jobs” proposal. If that proposal passes, it will undo many of the laws that our legislature has passed the last two years to bring the state budget under control. It will also enshrine collective bargaining in the constitution forever and make it bulletproof from any existing or future laws to change or modify it. Many government units and school districts are struggling with their budgets. The largest expenses in these budgets are pensions, retiree health care, and employee health care. Michigan has passed many laws the last couple of years which brings these costs down to a manageable level. If this ballot proposal passes, those laws will all be struck down. Then we will be back to the unsustainable expenses that were dragging down Michigan two years ago. The end result would be bankruptcies for municipalities, school districts, and maybe even the state eventually. Either that, or taxes will have to be going up and up to keep up with these burgeoning expenses. Either way, Michigan will be closed for business and in five years we’ll be worse off than Mississippi. The only jobs that “Protect Our Jobs” will protect will be union jobs. Everyone else’s jobs will be in jeopardy. It truly amazes me how greedy unions can be. They are willing to wreck the entire economy for their greater benefit. Of course when they kill the golden goose, their pig’s troughs will eventually run dry and we’re all left up the creek. TEE-OFF TIMES

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

Our state constitution should be a framework for how government operates, not a policy setter. All of the ballot proposals are bad and would be damaging to the people of Michigan if any were to pass. But “Protect Our Jobs” is by far the worst. And, if it passes in Michigan, union groups will be getting it on all

the other state ballets in the future. The United States economy would never be the same. We can only hope the people of the great state of Michigan are wise enough to reject all of these greedy self serving ballot proposals. Maybe the ultimate ballot proposal would be to ban all future ballot proposals.

August 2, 2012 Sycamore Hills Golf Club 48787 North Ave. Macomb, MI 48042 Tom Schwark – President RE: Automatic Renewal of Contracts Dear Mr. Schwark, I read your article on the subject of Automatic Renewal Clauses and want you to know that Sohn Linen Service would support a legislative effort to restrict the use of automatic renewal clauses in contracts or make their use illegal. Unfortunately, the deceptive use of automatic renewal clauses has become common practice for many service vendors. When these clauses are enforced, they create an intimidating and anti-competitive environment. We would like to see the ethics among service vendors brought up to a higher standard. Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help accomplish these goals. Sincerely, Sohn LINEN SERVICE, INC. James L. Sohn – President

Questions about the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare”? Diane Pelak, president and owner of FlexChecks, will be speaking at the Michigan Golf Business Conference, Tuesday, November 27 on the subject. Come with your questions for Diane. FlexChecks provides 12

payroll service, human resource management, automated time and attendance, and flexible benefits administration to businesses of all sizes throughout Michigan and beyond.


The 2012 Awards of Honor and Recognition What greater honor than to be selected by your peers in the golf industry as the recipient of the Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award or the L yle L eeke D istin guished S ervice A ward . Each year since 1996 the honorees have been selected for recognition at the Michigan Golf Business Conference and Vendor Fair. Please take a few minutes and reflect on those individuals you have come in contact with over the years. We are currently accepting nominations for these awards. Please call Kate Moore (800-860-8575) if you know someone who should be considered. You can also email your candidate to kmoore@mgcoa.org. The Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual or individuals who over the span of a lifetime (or career in the golf industry)

has provided steadfast leadership, outstanding service, and continued commitment to the Michigan golf industr y. The award was named for W. Bruce Matthews, a golf course owner and architect, who spread his expertise throughout the fairways of Michigan. Past winners of the prestigious award include W. Bruce Matthews (1996), Everett Kircher, Boyne USA (1997), Bill Howard, Saskatoon Golf Course, Alto (1998), Daryl and Letha Scott, Gull Lake View Golf Course, Augusta (1999), the Kapnick Insurance Company, Adrian (2000), Terry Moore, Grand Rapids (2001), Art McCafferty, Ann Arbor (2002), Estelle Dul, Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center, Plymouth (2003), Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, East Lansing (2004), Jerry Matthews, East Lansing (2005), Rolla Frisinger, Game of Your Life Foundation, Coldwater (2006),

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Ron Otto, Garland Resort (2007), Jack Berry, Northville (2008), The Buick Open (2009), Sara Wold (2010) and the recipient in 2011 was Daryl Kessler. The L yle L eeke D istinguished S erve A ward is named after one of the founders of the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association. Leeke helped create a voice for golf course owners everywhere. The recipient is an individual who has displayed distinguished service to the Association and the golf industry. Past recipients are Lyle Leeke, Old Channel Trail Golf Course, Montague (1996), Cecil McKay, McKay Golf Properties, Lansing (1997), John Dodge, ROI Golf Management, Lansing (1998), Marcia Johnson, Cheshire Hills Golf Course, Allegan (1999), Jeff Hoag, Scott Lake Country Club, ComContinued on page 14

WWW.MGCOA.ORG

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012


Workers Comp: what’s coming down the pipe? The National Council on Compensation Insurance is making changes to their rating plan that will take effect for Michigan on January 1st, 2012. These changes could have a significant effect on policy holders as the new calculation is applied to your policy. The NCCI’s changes to the Experience Rating Plan relate to how your loss experience will affect your premiums. Workers Compensation policies use a “split point” system to give heavier weight to the frequency of losses rather than severity. In essence, losses have been capped to keep larger claims from impacting your premium. This change will double the maximum loss value threshold for the impact of a single claim to your workers compensation policy and will work retroactively on your current history. Due to inflation these adjust-

ments to the threshold should have taken place every couple years but the NCCI has decided to make one significant change to make the correction. The last time these factors were changed was 1991. If your Workers Compensation policy has had any claims over the past 5 years you may see an in-

crease to your premium. Did your agent discuss the impacts that unmanaged claims have on your premiums? If you would like to learn more about these changes and discuss the tools that you can use to avoid having them affect your business moving forward please contact Chris at 248-853-0930.

Members Only Membership in the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association and the National Golf Course Owners Association puts information at your fingertips. Through the NGCOA website, when you log in as a member, you have a wealth of information, tools, and ideas available. As an example, Info Central is full of golf operations and business documents available to help you better your business. The Golf Business Archive will search

articles of relevance to your needs today and in the Bookstore you will find all types of operating manuals, such as 51 Ways to a More Profitable Operation and 51 Ways to Increase Customer Retention, free to members. This website area is reserved exclusively for current MGCOA/ NGCOA members. Need to know your password? Give us a call 800-860-8575. Not a member? Contact Jada Paisley (jpaisley@mgcoa.org) for details and sign up today. There is a wealth of information available to you and so much more.

Honor and Recognition Continued from page 13

stock Park (2000), Jim Scott, Gull Lake View Golf Course, Augusta (2001), Kathy Aznavorian, Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center, Plymouth (2002), Meriam Leeke, Old Channel Trail Golf Course, Montague (2003), Lynn Miller, Indian Lake Hills Golf Course, Eau Claire (2004), Tom Schwark, Sycamore Hills Golf Course, Mt. Clemens (2005), Larry Moore, U.S. Golf Cars, Caledonia (2006), Dave Richards, Resort and Golf Marketing (2007), Bill Fountain, The Majestic at Lake Walden, Hartland (2008), Charlie Scott, Gull Lake View and Chairman of the Educational Support Foundation (2009), Toni Joers (2010), and last year’s recipient was Carolyn Olson, owner of Elmbrook Golf Course in Traverse City. TEE-OFF TIMES

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What’s in your wallet? “Scott Family” Educational Support Foundation offers grants In 1996 the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association created a separate tax exempt foundation with a mission of “providing training, education and professional development for Michigan golf course owners and operators.” The core belief of the MGCOA “Scott Family” Educational Support Foundation (ESF) is that continuing education opportunities are vital to the success of golf course owners and operators. The ESF is committed to the future. In that effort, two grants have been created for owners, operators and their staff. The “Dul Family” Player Development Leadership Award of $1,500 is awarded to the best on-going program that overcomes the non-golfer’s perceived barriers to playing golf such as: time, cost and intimidation. This recognition award will be presented

to the MGCOA member golf course that demonstrates creativity and success in growing the game. The winner of the “John Dodge CARPE DIEM Award” will receive a check from the ESF for $500 $1000. Each candidate must be actively engaged in the day-today operation of the business. An employee of an MGCOA member may receive up to $1,000 award for innovation and initiative in the support and development of the golf business at which they are employed. Examples include new product, service, system or operation, technology, etc. These recognition awards are presented at the Michigan Golf Business Conference and Vendor Fair, taking place this year at the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth (Nov 28 and 29). To apply, visit www.mgcoa.org, on

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the front page, left side, select one of the applications to download, printout, fill in, then mail to MGCOA.

Sandy Mily, owner of Fox Hills Golf in Plymouth, presents Brian O’Neil of Boyne (left) and Jason Guss of Otsego Club (right) with a plaque and $750 grant each for winning the award at the Michigan Golf Business Conference November 30, 2011, Somerset Inn.

WWW.MGCOA.ORG

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012


Top ten reasons for insuring with the Michigan Clubs Fund If you’re not already participating in the MI Clubs Fund, what are you waiting for? Since 1981, the Clubs Fund has an excellent track record of keeping workers’ compensation costs low. With insurance premiums on the rise, now is the time to get a quote from MGCOA’S endorsed workers’ compensation program.

2. Competitive Upfront Pricing The Fund’s premiums are very competitive and they strive to keep to keep insurance premiums low and stable.

Here are the top ten reasons why:

3. Average Return of 50% of Premium You get the underwriting profits rather than an insurance company. Any money that not used to claims and overhead expenses are returned back to the participants. Since inception, the Fund has returned close to $15 million.

1. Industry Specific The program is designed exclusively for golf courses and clubs in Michigan and has resources specialized for your industry. No other industries are eligible to participate.

4. Ownership As a participant, you are an owner. The Clubs Fund is governed by a Board of Trustees who are actual participants and elected by Fund members.

5. Rewards Safety The Fund’s profits are returned back based on your own track record. The fewer claims you have in a given policy year, the more money you get back. 6. Better Service The Fund makes doing business easy by offering personal attention to your needs. By offering online services and claim reporting, you can contact us when it’s most convenient for you. 7. Dedicated Claims Adjusting When a claim occurs, you have an actual person to talk to and walk you through the process. The adjuster knows your industry and provides helpful advice to potentially lower your cost on a claim. 8. Underwriting to Screen Out High Risks The Fund looks at the loss performance of each applicant. Only the best golf courses and clubs are eligible to participate. 9. Safety Resources The Fund has dedicated loss control specialists who are knowledgeable and proactive in helping you improve your own safety performance. 10. Endorsed by the MGCOA One of the key goals of MGCOA is to diligently ensure that members have access to superior coverage and discounts on their insurance programs. With a tremendous track record, the Clubs Fund is structured to be your long term insurance partner providing upfront savings in addition to returning the underwriting profit back. Contact us for more information or go to www.MIClubsFund.org.

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Sandy Ridge Golf Course beats heat Golf courses across the state of Michigan have suffered due to drought and extreme temperatures forcing superintendents to be creative. Last year Sandy Ridge Golf Course in Midland had trouble maintaining their greens quality due to the lack of rain and record high temperatures. This year things have changed. During last fall, Gantec Inc, approached Sandy Ridge’s superintendent, Ray Kleinbriel, about trialling some natural plant-based inputs that were being developed for turfgrass.  Ray applied a dormant application of the Gantec solid and liquid materials to a fairway and when spring came around the results showed thicker and more advanced root systems compared to the control area. These positive results impressed

Ray and owner Ed Clark enough to start a program right away applying GantecPro 6-1-2 Granular Solid

and Blossom Springs Natural Plant Supplement to their 12th and 13th greens. After stunning results less than two months into the program, Sandy Ridge decided to go “greener” and apply Gantec materials to all 18 of their greens on the course. To this day, the 12th and 13th greens are not only vibrant but are the best looking greens on the course according to several regulars. What we are seeing is a fertilizer that strengthens the root system of the plant and enables the greens to be thicker, firmer, and generally

more resilient to heat and stress”, said Ray of the 12th and 13th greens. “By this time last year we had trouble maintaining exceptional greens quality due to the inability to build up a root structure that allows the turf to hold up during drought and heat.” This year, Ray and Ed agree that the course conditions have been better than ever. Gantec’s materials are natural and plant-derived. This is a great option for golf courses that want to better manage their environmental footprint while maintaining an exceptional golf experience. Visit Sandy Ridge and see what having a “greener” golfing experience is all about. Gantec, Inc. is a new corporate member of the MGCOA. You can reach them at 989-859-0282.

Froggy’s offers the best programs to help you achieve the most from your water hazards. Not only will we strive to treat your course with the utmost professionalism, our experience in removing balls from water hazards has taught us how to operate in an efficient, safe and productive manner. Since 1995, we have provided insured services using proven techniques and equipment. We can handle even the toughest water hazards that make our competitors walk away. Froggy’s is the premier ball collection company. Froggy’s offers several options to make your water hazards a profit center! Please call us today to arrange to have Froggy’s harvest your water hazards.

Proud Members of: Al Kidder & Dave Shanholt • 23197 Heaton Vista • Elkhart, IN 46514 Call 574-361-9824 Fax 574-262-5440 17

WWW.MGCOA.ORG

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012


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Michigan Golf Business ANNUAL

The Meet kers Spea

CONFERENCE

&

VENDOR

FAIR

Nov. 27 - 28, 2012 - Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth

Sam Glenn

Attitude RE-CHARGE!

Sam Glenn is known as The Attitude Guy and has become one of the most recognized Authorities on the subject of Attitude today. For the past 15 years Sam Glenn has worked with hundreds of organizations on Training and Development, Peak Performance, Employee Motivation, Staff development, Leadership Training. Great things happen when you adopt a great attitude and apply it daily.

Gregg Patterson

Deliver More “ZINGS” Per Minute

In addition to his ongoing responsibilities at The Beach Club, Gregg is a Senior Associate with Kapoor and Kapoor Hospitality Consultants, where he teaches certification courses in leadership and marketing for an organization consisting of owners/franchisees of limited service hotels in the U.S. under such brands as Clarion, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn, Best Western and others. Gregg also writes a monthly column for Board Room magazine and is the author of Reflections on the Club Experience, an anthology of essays on club cultures and operations.

Lisa Langas

Merchandising Magic

A golf retail consultant, Lisa is the expert in golf and lifestyle merchandising. With 20+ years of retail experience, Lisa has the knowledge, resources, and programs to partner with you and your business. Her philosophy is simple, partner with golf operators who want to do more business with reduced costs, implement proven retail strategies, and invest in and develop a highly trained staff.

Tim Skubick

Another Election Year

Skubick covers the state capitol for a variety of media outlets including 66 radio stations through the Michigan Radio Network. He writes a weekly political column for 22 statewide newspapers and is in high demand on the public speaking circuit around the state. Skubick has done more political broadcasts than any other journalist, print or broadcast, in the state and has been covering Michigan government and politics since 1969. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Broadcast Journalism from Michigan State University.

Diane Pelak

Obamacare 101

President and founder of FlexChecks, providing payroll processing service to clients in Michigan and 17 states. Diane’s business offers full-service payroll processing, online for paperless payroll, flexible benefit administration with full web access for administrators and participants, and web-based timekeeping.

Bruce Dunn

The 3 P’s of Business Planning

Bruce joined Maner Costerisan in 1979 and serves as director of Maner Costerisan’s Education Practice Group and CPA Firm Practice Group. Bruce has served many roles at Maner Costerisan, Director of Audit Services, Director of Quality Control, Vice President, Treasurer, and Immediate Past President.

Jay Eccleton

It’s All About Golf Business

Mike Hughes

State of the Golf Industry

Jay is Director of Golf Operations and Golf Course Superintendent concurrently at The Emerald Golf Course in St. Johns. Jay has created a special class at Michigan State University, Using Golf in Business. His business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit have made him and his golf course successful in this challenging economy. Jay is past president of the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association.

As chief executive officer, Mike Hughes is responsible for all aspects of the operation of the NGCOA and its subsidiaries. Under Hughes’ guidance, the NGCOA has increased its membership from 250 to more than 6,500 worldwide and has become recognized as the leading trade association for owners and operators in the golf industry.

Jeff Hoag

Make Your Golf Course “Course of the Year”

As an active volunteer board member of the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association and the National Golf Course Owners Association, Jeff meets with other exceptional operators to share ideas and solve problems. “We can always improve. If you are not improving, then you are standing still. If you are standing still, the world is moving by you. Don’t stand still!”

...and more! We are finalizing the line-up for a great conference. Complete schedule and registration information at mgcoa.org 19 WWW.MGCOA.ORG SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012


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MGCOA National Golf Course Owners Association Chapter Tee-Off Times is published by the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, editor – Kate Moore. MGCOA offices are located at 603 S. Washington, Suite 303, Lansing, MI 48933. Phone (517) 482-4312, Fax (517) 267-8984. Articles written by outside authors do not necessarily reflect the view or position of the MGCOA. MGCOA’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, not 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.

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