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Learning Never Stops There Are Mentors All Around Us.

In this issue: Belvedere Golf Club is Course of the Year Award winners and more Youth on Course is a winner Golf course owner Tom Schwark mentors NGCOA’s CEO Jay Karen on the business of golf.

The Mentor and Role Model by BILL FOUNTAIN, MGCOA President noun an experienced and trusted adviser. A role model is a person whose behavi or, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people. We’ve all had, or if you are fortunate still have, several mentors or role models in your life. When I was starting my career in the golf business, I was blessed with several mentors who took me under their wing, shared their wealth of knowledge with me and allowed my mind to blossom. I was like a sponge and could not get enough of the success of those around me. I was amazed that the outcome of a similar project mentored by different individuals could be successful taking very different approaches. The important thing is that there is not one right or wrong mentoring method. Recognize and value the time these mentors take to teach you and offer their expertise. With that said, to whom are you a mentor or role model in your life? If you are like me, you may not even think of yourself

as a mentor. But don’t kid yourself. We have the ability to make a big impression on those team members you work with on a daily basis. I’m tired of hearing about this or that generation and how they are different from our generation’s work ethic. We as golf course owners and operators have the position, ability and responsibility to be a role model for our current and future work force. I am going to make a concerted effort this year to become a better role model for my team. If I expect the best from them, I should show them the best I can be. Mentors show up in all facets of life. A parent, spouse, sibling, pastor, coach, teacher, partner, colleague or friend. We all need mentors and role models. As a small gratitude, I’m going to take a few minutes each day to send one of my mentors a quick note and thank them for taking their time with me. It’s the least I can do. Bill Fountain is the managing partner of The Majestic at lake Walden Golf Course in Hartland.

Membership pricing for 2017 The golf industry needs a break. And you need to be a member. Win. Win.

9 hole golf courses Investment: $156 18 hole golf courses Investment: $312 27 hole golf courses Investment: $416 36 hole golf courses Investment: $416 45 hole golf courses Investment: $520 54 hole golf courses Investment: $520 63 hole golf courses Investment: $520 72 hole golf courses Investment: $520 Multi-Course operators Investment: $520 Questions about membership or pricing, call Kate Moore


Board of Directors President

Vice President


Past President

Kathy Aznavorian Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center

Bernie Friedrich Boyne USA

Carolyn Olson Elmbrook Golf Course

Jim Szilagyi The Lynx Golf Club

Toni Joers Concord Hills Fred Mawson Corporate Tax Resources

Steve Ramey Chisholm Hills

Susan Vanderburg Indian Lake Hills

Larry Moore U.S. Golf Cars

Jon Scott Gull Lake View

Bill Fountain Majestic at Lake Walden

Ed Clark Sandy Ridge Golf Course Jim Dewling Total Golf Inc.



Bob Koutnik Fox Run Country Club

Gilda Johnson Lake Forest Golf Club

Tom Schwark Sycamore Hills


Jeff Hoag Scott Lake Country Club

Thank You! by KATE MOORE, MGCOA Executive Director Dear volunteer board member and committee member, You have a career, a family, a social life. You volunteer in your community, at your church and for clubs. And then you step up and volunteer to serve the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association on top of that. Your willingness to serve is noted, appreciated and praised. I hope you know we value your time and input. Thank you for taking the time to govern our organization. You have brought your passion, intellect, insight, experience and resources to the table and we are better for it. Thanks for teaching us, counseling us and holding us accountable. We are the organization we are today because of the tools you have given us.

Bob Koutnik (owner of Fox Run Country Club in Grayling) and Bill Fountain (managing partner of the Majestic in Hartland) have been volunteers for the MGCOA for many years. Currently they are vice president and president of the board, respectively. They are pictured here at the “Golf on the Lawn” event at our state’s capitol.

[If you are reading this and ready to join one of our committees, please give me a call. We’d love to have you and we need you!] nance time you could save. Driven by a zero-emissions, greener battery technology, ELiTE Series vehicles protect the earth by using less energy. Since our lithium batteries last longer, they spend more time efficiently driving your fleet and less time in the recycling process. With cost-saving efficiency, consistent performance, zero maintenance and eco-friendly technology, there’s a lot to recommend the ELiTE Series vehicles from E-Z-GO®. (Information provided by E-Z-GO®)

The new E-Z-GO® ELiTE™ (Electric Lithium TEchnology) Series is a giant step forward when it comes to high-efficiency and zero-maintenance battery power. By pairing this technology with an unprecedented five-year, unlimited-amp-hour warranty, ELiTE Series vehicles give you the lowest operating costs the industry has ever seen. ELiTE Series vehicles are powered by Samsung® lithium cells loaded into a single battery pack. By tapping into this cutting-edge technology, they use less energy and require less out-of-wall power to charge than leading lead acid competitors. They also charge in half the time. That means you can dramatically cut energy costs and enjoy the extra revenue that comes from all-day uptime. For many courses, the most noticeable difference of lithium technology is a reliable power source that doesn’t fade over time. Whether it’s a new vehicle or a five-year-old vehicle, the ELiTE Series will give your golfers all the acceleration and hill-climbing power they could want. ELiTE Series lithium batteries don’t require the labor involved with watering, terminal post checkups and cleaning like lead acid batteries do. Do the math, and you’ll be surprised how much mainteTEE-OFF TIMES



Pure Michigan Launches New Website, Golf Marketing Campaign by DAVE LORENZ, Vice President Travel Michigan the personalization aspects of the site will also begin to be rolled out. But in the meantime please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team with any questions, concerns or feedback. We look forward to working with you to promote Michigan’s golf opportunities in 2017.

In 2017, Pure Michigan started the new year with a brand new website. You will still find that your trip begins at, but this new site allows for a better user experience, more personalization, extended integration with social media assets and an overall experience more aligned with the Pure Michigan brand. This is part of an ongoing initiative to evolve the Pure Michigan campaign into activity, or interestbased marketing, in addition to its traditional marketing strategies. Golf is a perfect example, and is one of the six passion areas we are dedicating additional marketing and PR resources to in 2017. I encourage you to visit to see how we are highlighting his critical leisure travel activity. New for this year, the golf marketing campaign features targeted digital efforts in markets including Dallas and Atlanta as well as regional and in-state markets. Golf will be highlighted in pre-roll video on sites including, we will serve up targeted display ads on desktop and mobile sending people to and we will reach key audiences, including younger golfers, on Facebook and Instagram. I encourage you to visit and review the property listing for your course or resort. It is more critical than ever that we provide potential travelers with the most up-to-date information possible. You can review the Industry Extranet Guide on to get step-by-step directions on creating or updating your property page on the new site. New features for property listings include an easy-to-use dashboard, updated navigation structure, larger flexibility with file uploads, a responsive design, and options for TripAdvisor and Social Media links. You are also able to manage property pages, event listings and deals & packages all from one centralized dashboard. Please note this launch is the first phase of what is a work in progress. We anticipate there will be many adjustments made in the coming weeks and months as we utilize new technology and better understand the site users’ needs. Content still to come includes additional videos, new social media feeds and original content as well as additional tools available to trip planners on the site. Over the next few months

How to Participate in the Pure Michigan Golf Marketing Campaign

Add YOUR golf course’s Packages and Deals and Events to – Information on how to add events, packages and deals can be found at – Please note that in order for your event to be included in social media promotion, the Travel Michigan Radio Show, the consumer eNewsletter, and other PR and marketing opportunities it must be available on the events calendar.

Engage with Pure Michigan’s golf social media efforts by following and using the hashtag: #puremichigangolf

Submit your high resolution golf media photos to Michelle Grinnell ( for possible inclusion on the golf gallery of the Pure Michigan online photo gallery ( – Photos must include location, appropriate photo credits and permission to provide to media upon request.

Participate in relevant, monthly, golf-specific Twitter chats hosted by Pure Michigan. Contact Nick Nerbonne ( for more details.

Questions on other ways to participate? Call the MGCOA office at 800-860-8575

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MGCOA members - Thank You for your business this year!! What a great summer season we have had in Michigan!! We look forward to great things ahead!!

Not selling Coke? Let us show you how to increase your profits. Call Stefanie Lutz 734-397-6210

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Save these dates on your 2017 calendar. We hope to see you soon!

Wed., April 12 / 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. / Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center / Plymouth

Education Seminar: “New Technologies”: Seminar will focus on smart phone applications for your course, social media and search engine optimization along with all pertinent technologies for your use. Start the season with the right tools! Call today to register. Only $25 for MGCOA members (non-members $45)

Thur., June 8 / 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. / Lansing

Legislative Day on the Capital Lawn: Join your fellow members of the Michigan Golf Alliance to spread the word about the golf industry in our state. Attendance is free to all members ($35 to non-members). Call the MGCOA to register or watch for notices for online registration.

Wed., July 19 / Gull Lake View / Augusta MI

MGCOA 24th Annual Golf Outing and Supplier Field Day **PLEASE NOTE NEW MONTH** Call the MGCOA to register or watch for notices for online registration.

Sun., September 24 / 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. / Eagle Eye Golf Course / Bath

Golf League Championship: Got leagues? They should be in the Golf League Network. If you are not registered in the network, give us a call for more information. Last year’s championship was sold out and we expect another great year.

Nov 27–29 / Fire Keepers Casino / Battle Creek

Michigan Golf Business Conference: The best place all year to meet your peers, catch up with what is new in our industry and get a jump on being a better operator. Call the MGCOA to register or watch for notices for online registration.

Call the MGCOA at 800-860-8575 for more information or to register for any of these events Watch for eblasts on these events as they approach. Not getting eblasts from us? Email Jada at to get on the list. And like us on Facebook




As a member of the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association (MGCOA) you are also a member of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM). With this membership comes the opportunity to utilize a wide variety of benefits designed to save you time and money. Some of these include discounts at places you instantly recognize like Office Depot, FedEx and Davenport University. Others provide helpful information like access to free human resources assistance, ERISA compliance and navigating the intricacies of how the Affordable Care Act and

at SBAM constantly monitors issues affecting small business so you don’t have to. SBAM also helps to give you and other small business owners a voice in the democratic process by connecting members with influential policymakers.  You can help protect your small business and help bolster Michigan’s entrepreneurs by getting involved today. 

Spend more time running your business by maximizing your SBAM membership. Visit for a complete list of available services, or contact Ken Root at (800) 362-5461 or to discuss what SBAM can do for you!

seasonal employees intersect. Interested in updating your merchant services? SBAM has a Michigan-based partner that we recommend. Need help managing your finances? Check out SBAM Pulse! SBAM also offers access to health insurance and related services so that you can keep yourself, your family and your employees covered.

SBAM has an easy way for you to contact your elected officials. TAKE ACTION NOW and voice your support for small business by:

SBAM and its members recognize that political action is essential in promoting and protecting an environment where private enterprises can exist and grow. The Small Biz PACs are critical components to a successful advocacy program. The PACs provide necessary funds to promote issues and candidates that support small business in Michigan. 

You have a business to run, so the team SPRING 2017

Contacting your legislators

Examining voting records   

Locating your elected officials

Tracking key issues

Learning about elections

SBAM is the only statewide and state-based association that focuses solely on serving the needs of Michigan’s small business community. When small businesses band together through the Small Business Association of Michigan, they achieve more than they could on their own.

You can help protect your small business and help bolster Michigan’s entrepreneurs by getting involved today.



Kate Moore receives Paul Porter Award from National

Her tenure is also highlighted by the creation of The MGCOA’s executive director Kate Moore received accolades at the 2017 NGCOA Golf Business the Michigan Golf Alliance, whose formation has led Conference held in February in Orlando. From pub- to the annual Golf Day on the Lawn, a key endeavor lishing and lobbying to events and membership toward building relationships between the golf community and state legislators. support, Kate Moore does it all “She’s been an exceptional for the Michigan Golf Course steward of both the MGCOA and Owners Association. NGCOA,” said Jeff Hoag, general Since beginning as its execumanager of Michigan’s Scott tive director in 1999, Moore has Lake Golf. “Kate’s always been steadily grown its membership creative in trying to tie the two base by more than 200 percent, organizations together.” due in large part to the myriad of programs and services she’s Paul Porter Award implemented since her arrival. The Paul Porter Award was esUnder her guidance, the MGtablished to recognize an NGCOA COA established the Golden Passbook—a wildly successful Moore received the award at the NGCOA annual member who left an enduring program that quickly became awards banquet in February from NGCOA presi- mark on a chapter or international affiliate through the highest level a model for fellow state asso- dent Rock Lucas (l.) and CEO Jay Karen (r.) of commitment, service and leadership. The honor was ciations to follow—and also helped jumpstart the organization’s golf league program, a new way for given posthumously to Porter, the late CEO of Poppy Michigan course owners to create and retain new Holding, Inc. and the Northern California Golf Assoc., who passed away in September of 2006. customers and their loyalty.

Belvedere Golf Club Named 2016 Michigan Golf Course of the Year

general manger. “This recognition is a tribute to our wonderful staff which has taken great pride in the vision we maintain here at Belvedere.”

Belvedere Golf Club, a centennial golf course in Northern Michigan, has been named the 2016 Golf Course of the Year by the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association (MGCOA). Belvedere Golf Club was established in 1925 opened in 1927. It has been host to the Michigan Amateur Championship a record 40 times. A twenty year primary sponsor of the Charlevoix Junior Golf Program, Belvedere is a nationally recognized top 15 junior program according to the AJGA (American Junior Golf Association.)  Belvedere has financed/sent over 140 local kids to the Ferris State University Golf Camp with full scholarships. Belvedere supports all Charlevoix Athletic programs & began the first ever Charlevoix girls golf team in 2014.  The girls call Belvedere their “home course” & after only three years, they made it to the state championship this year. And Belvedere is Tom Watson’s third favorite golf club in the U.S. (behind Augusta & Pebble Beach) he is still a member of Belvedere. Now that’s saying something. “In a state that is full of great golf facilities, to be recognized by our golf course owners association, is very humbling and an honor,” said David Gray, TEE-OFF TIMES


Belvedere Golf Club, located in the resort town of Charlevoix, Michigan, is one of the most historic & renowned golf clubs that you can play in the state of Michigan. Head golf professional Dennis “Marty” Joy II, PGA states “Belvedere Golf Club offers a golf experience that is different from most of today’s modern Northern Michigan golf courses.” “Minimalist” is the best way to describe the 18 hole semi-private championship course in Charlevoix, which offers a fun and fast playing challenge for all levels of players. 9

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The CTR team has extensive knowledge and experience in reducing property tax assessments for golf courses as well as other commercial properties, returning tax savings over $7 million to taxpayers annually. Let us provide a “no cost no obligation” review of your property. 231-421-3787




Real Estate Tax Appeals Abatements Incentives

Outstanding Corporate Member Award Golf Association of Michigan + Kapnick Insurance Group + US Golf Cars Inc Distinguished above the rest by their dedication to the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association and their collaboration with the MGCOA for its continued success, the MGCOA recognizes and thanks these organizations for having partnered with us for over 20 years. Starting my 19th year with the MGCOA I have been thinking about the people and companies that have been with me on this exciting and rewarding journey. It really got me thinking about who was here before me and is still standing by our side, supporting the Association and the hard work we do. There are three organizations that were here to welcome me when I started are still members today. The MGCOA has great respect and appreciation for our corporate members and partners and wants to recognize these three for their long-term commitment of over 20 years. Special thanks to David Graham of the Golf Association of Michigan, Larry Moore of US Golf Cars and Mark Arbaugh of Kapnick Insurance Company.

Kate is pictured with US Golf Cars owner and longtime MGCOA board member Larry Moore

Post Labor Day School Start Explained Schools have to start after labor day unless they are granted a waiver from the Michigan Department of Education. For those of us who support the post labor day start, we have been concerned about the growing number of these waivers that have been approved. What is your position? Let Kate Moore know at It doesn’t look like there has been a change in who can be approved but there continues to be an increase in the number of schools being approved. The exceptions are: a bona fide year-round school or program*; an International Baccalaureate program; an ISD aligning its programs or services with a constituent district’s schedule if that constituent district begins school before Labor Day; and a public school that operates all of grades 6 to 12 at one site and that, “…aligns its high school curriculum with advanced placement courses as the capstone of the curriculum…”. “The superintendent of public instruction shall establish standards for determining a bona fide yearround school or program for the purposes of this subsection.” “HB 5193 would codify MDE’s current practice for issuing waivers to schools wishing to start before

Back to School Labor Day. Currently, districts that meet one of the exemptions, the year-round school exemption being the most widely used, must apply to MDE for approval. This bill would make that process automatic. Unfortunately, the legislation would not make it any easier for schools to qualify for the exemption and the legislature is unlikely to do anything to address Michigan’s Labor day start law” It seems as if the current superintendent is very open to granting these waivers. The intent was for the waivers to allow schools to explore a yearlong calendar but it appears a flexible standard is being used. 11



The New Normal Golf Event Congratulations to Jeff Hoag and Scott Lake for winning the Golf League Network “League Course of the Year” award for 2016. As a leader within the MGCOA, Jeff has been great to work with. But as expressed by his golfers, it’s his work at Scott Lake that consistently puts him at the top of our game.

• Provide scoring via the Golf Mobile Network application so golfers can post scores on their phone and see real-time results • Show results real-time on large screen TV’s in the club house (the TV’s are probably already there) • Send thank-you’s via email to event participants inviting them back again to play • Know that golfers will take the event with them on their cell phones and show others how they fared, thereby promoting your course forever after the fact • Use your newly expanded database to market future events and anything and everything else about your course The great thing about the above is that it can be easily done as the MGCOA has expanded its initiative with Handicomp. So, in addition to the Golf League Network it now partners in the promotion of the Golf Registration Network, Golf Tournament Network, and Golf Mobile Network.

Scott Lake Country Club is “League Course of the Year”. Pictured her are (l-r) Director of Golf Shane Riley, Owner Jeff Hoag, Proshop Manager Tyler McPherson.

Scott Lake’s success with the Golf League Network as reflected within the MGCOA and its member clubs has not gone unnoticed. Golf course owners associations in Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania have embraced the same model. These organizations provide a stronger foundation and increased confidence in the Golf League Network and are more reason every course in Michigan should fully investigate and embrace the GLN and MGCOA Golf League Championship. However, let’s not stop at leagues and cast our eyes toward tournaments and outings. Most often when a course hosts an event the routine is to print scorecards (maybe), put signs on carts, send the golfers off, feed them, and send them home. Is this as good as it gets? Maybe, or how about this? • Provide a registration link for an event that can be put in an email or on a web page (your webpage) o Collect event monies through online registration and have them deposited into your or the event’s PayPal account o Collect golfer demographics (emails) and build your database for future communications

So, what does this mean? • If you’re a League Course with one active league in the system you receive the Golf Tournament Network at no charge, which includes big screen TV results o Note: the GTN is also free through handicapping with the GAM • The only cost to use registrations is that PayPal, the MGCOA and Handicomp share in 3.9% of the registration fees (plus 55 cents per transaction) • Event scoring through the Golf Mobile Network is available at no extra charge So, raise the bar and step into the future with a low cost, feature rich system and be great for those who elect to play in an event at your course. Finally, for course owners in Michigan… If you haven’t done so already, please invite ALL your outside leagues to use the Golf League Network application. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the number of those who are pleased to be asked and choose to use it. Further information can be found online at

• Have online registrants automatically be added to your golf event TEE-OFF TIMES



“Bucket List” Golf Raffle helps your Association To provide lecture, symposium and continuing education opportunities to members of the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, to students in golf-related fields, and other interested parties, the MGCOA-ESF raffle is a win win for everyone. Proceeds from the raffle will assist in providing grants such as the John Dodge Carpe Diem Award and in the recruitment of speakers for the Michigan Golf Business Conference. Funding will also go to provide

awards and grants that recognize and promote player development and retention. Your participation is greatly appreciated and will give the Educational Support Foundation a boost for continued service to the golf industry. Purchase your raffle tickets for only $20 at www. or call the office today. The drawing will be held Monday, June 12th . You could win a Free Foursome with cart fee included and no restrictions at one of 16 “bucket list” courses including NGCOA Golf Course of the Year Forest Dunes. Purchase tickets for yourself, your staff or your best customers. When they win, you’re the hero! Only $20 per ticket and only 1,000 tickets will be sold. Check out the flyer on page 25 for a complete list of courses.

Michigan Wines Bring Value to Your Business • May is Michigan Wine Month! Celebrate your season opening with additional promotion by our brand Michigan Wines. Tag us @michiganwines so that we can help promote your business during Michigan Wine Month.

What does your golf course have in common with Michigan wineries? Both often start as small, family run businesses, employ creative and innovative design and marketing for growth, and are inextricably connected to the great lands of Michigan. Michigan golf courses and wineries both welcome warm, carefree months where people can spend their dollars on tourism, recreation and enjoyment. Both industries welcome a similar demographic of loyal fans and have worked hard to capture their repeat business. Incorporating Michigan wines into your business makes good sense and will help set you apart as a business that is ahead of the curve. Here are a few suggestions to make the move to Michigan wine: • Contact your distributor and tell them you are ready to put Michigan wines on the menu. They should be able to help make recommendations. If you want to see a greater selection on their list – tell them! • Market your decision. Michiganders love to support businesses that support local. • Does your club host events? Michigan wine tastings make for great events. • Advertise in the annual touring guide Michigan Wine Country Magazine to expose your business to our shared demographic of patrons.

In fact, tag us anytime on social media with your menu or events when you are serving MI wine and we are happy share the good news. Cheers! We wish you and your business a happy and healthy upcoming season. For more information about opportunities with Michigan wines, contact Jenelle Jagmin, MI Grape & Wine Industry Council, (517) 284-5790. 13






Springtime Insurance Checkup by KEN JANSEN In the golf industry, winters always seem to last forever. But despite our position on the calendar, spring openers are really just around the corner. You’ll soon have your hands full with course prep, mechanical fix-ups, maintenance and bringing your course out of hibernation. But don’t neglect a once-over of your insurance needs and current coverages. Springtime means unsettled weather patterns that can wreak havoc on your plans. Tis the season for ice storms, heavy late snows and high winds. Winter is rough on irrigation systems, even with thorough winterization procedures. Winter kill of ornamental trees and shrubs, as well as frost heaving of paved surfaces can result in some significant repair work. Water damage from sewer backups can also cause extensive damage. And the thing know1:06 you Tee Off Timesis, ad you spring won’t 2017.pdfoften 1 3/8/17 PM have many of these problems until it’s time to launch.

Making sure your insurance coverage is up to snuff now can save you significant time, trouble and money should Mother Nature throw you a curve. Your course and its operations should be adequately covered, yet not over-insured. And that’s always a challenge. A great insurance agency, one that specializes in the golf industry, knows what you’re up against and can help you mitigate risks while minimizing costs. Making sure your coverage is up to the task requires the knowledge and foresight of an experienced agent to make sure you have just what you need, when you need it. Ken Jansen is President of Insurance with Lake Michigan Insurance Agency, a subsidiary of Lake Michigan Credit Union, and specializes in golf industry risk management.




State of the State Report by TONY STAMAS, Vice President of Government Relations, Small Business Association of Michigan is expected to be substantial Trump administration efforts in this area. In particular, he implored the federal government to invest in a long discussed upgrade to the Soo Locks. In the area of talent, the governor looked toward the educational system and how it can better integrate jobs with Michigan workers. He referenced a commission he has appointed on education and the need to have stronger career connections at all levels. He also connected this effort with the forthcoming 21st Century Economy Commission, which is looking at job growth opportunities and challenges in our state. The governor expressed the need to continue to build Michigan into a state where young people want to stay and have a career, and into a place that’s attractive to young people from out of state. With respect to the issue of legacy costs, the governor cited the estimated $14 billion in unfunded liabilities. He called on the legislators, local governments and local workers to help work with him in crafting solutions. To that end, he appointed a committee from these respective worlds to work toward a proposed solution. On Feb. 8 Gov. Snyder’s Budget proposal was introduced to the members of the House and Senate. As mentioned in his State-of-the-State Address, reducing long term legacy costs are a recurrent theme for the Administration. To that end, the governor recommends a lowering of the presumed rate of investment return on state retirement funds from 8 to 7.5 percent. Its estimated this will cost the state $50 million but lowers long term risk. He also proposed a deposit into the state’s budget stabilization fund of 260 million, which will put just over a billion dollars in the state’s reserves. Addressing the Flint water crisis remains a priority, as seen in the recommended allocation of nearly 50 million. The largest items in the budget continue to be for the areas of Health Care/Social Services and Education. The entire budget is just over 56 Billion dollars. The next step is the Legislatures review and changes which culminates in a budget agreement. The last 6 years, the Governor and Republican Legislature has taken pride in this occurring by late May or early June (the State’s budget year starts on October 1). Members of both the House and Senate have proposed reductions (elimination) of the State’s income tax. Governor Snyder did not include that concept in his initial budget and this will be a central point of discussion in the upcoming debate.

The 2017 Michigan Legislative year kicked off with two annual events that always set the tone for the year’s legislative debate. Gov. Snyder delivered his 7th State-of-the-State address on Tue., Jan. 17. While touching on a myriad of issues, his vision for the upcoming year focused on three specific areas: infrastructure, talent and legacy costs in health care and retirement. He noted the ongoing funding increase for our roads and bridges (over $1 billion dollars) but referenced how those additional revenues still don’t meet the need in those areas let alone address the need to repair and replace underground sewer and water lines (most evidenced by the crisis in Flint.) The governor identified several infrastructure priorities including the concept of integrated asset management between local governments and the state, as well as the creation of a state infrastructure council to coordinate projects. Although he didn’t propose a full solution to the state’s infrastructure problems he did encourage coordination with what

National Golf Day WE ARE GOLF, a coalition of golf’s leading organizations, will host its 10th annual National Golf Day on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. “We look forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of National Golf Day by educating our country’s lawmakers about the game’s significant impact,” said Steve Mona, Chief Executive Officer of World Golf Foundation, administrator of WE ARE GOLF. We are optimistic about the momentum for golf in 2017 and also pleased with the strides our industry has made on Capitol Hill in the last decade to ensure that golf’s interests are effectively represented.” – MGCOA members sign up at and join Kate Moore and government affairs chair Tom Schwark in Washington. TEE-OFF TIMES



Make America Great Again LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN by Tom Schwark, Owner of Sycamore Hills Golf Course in Macomb A sea change is coming. The in 600 feet of any navigable waterway. That would stock market has taken off since have been a nightmare for golf courses, farmers, the election, blowing past 19,000, and developers. Overzealous regulations regardand hovering just below the ing emissions, overtime, payroll, employee rules 20,000 plateau, as of this writ- and others will all be scaled back. ing. Consumer confidence is at its I was disappointed with the Republican Party highest point since 2004. Donald and George W. Bush during his administration Trump has single-handedly jump and I thought their weakness was part of the reastarted the American economy out of the doldrums. son we ended up in the Great Recession of 2008, I had always much preferred Trump over Hillary, al- which led to the election of Barack Obama. Now though I was not a big fan of Trump. I have said in I feel with Donald Trump that the growth of the this column, in the past, that I thought he was a loud American economy will be reminiscent of the Ronmouth bully. However, since the election, he has ald Reagan years. Trump will also change the way toned down his rhetoric and softened his opinion the federal government conducts its business. on some controversial subjects such as immigration He is challenging defense contractors to be more and the Mexican border wall. Hopefully, he will dial competitive with their pricing. He is, also, chaldown the tweets as well. lenging the pharmaceutical industry to be more Actually, I have come to admire and respect competitive with their pricing as well as bringing Donald Trump. You have to give him high kudos their production back to America. So, yes, I feel for his ability to sense the frustration of the “si- very optimistic about America’s prospects over lent majority” and to convince them that he can the next four years. American industries will proshelp them better their lives and fortunes. He is per including our golf industry. A sea change is transforming the auto industry. Ford has can- coming, indeed. celed plans for a new automobile plant in Mexico, and instead will produce those cars in Michigan. Fiat Chrysler is expanding its Jeep production in Toledo. Manufacturing employment in the auto industry will never recover to what it once was, because of automation and robotics, but any improvement is a step in the right direction. I expect we will see similar trends in many other industries as well. Regulatory relief will be another huge You are invited and factor in stimulating the American encouraged to attend economy. The previous administration imposed an incredible amount of new Michigan’s “Golf on regulations on our society to the point the Lawn” annual of overburdening the economy. That legislative day event. was the biggest reason our economy Please watch your was only growing 1-2% for the past eight years. The Trump administration email for upcoming will reverse many of these regulations information and as soon as possible. For example, the registration. EPA was trying to expand the Clean Water Act to regulate every ditch and pond in the country when it was only intended to regulate those areas with-


“Golf on the Lawn” Legislative Day






Better Team = Better Results.

Plant and Soil Testing

Wetland/sensitive Area Management

Clubhouse Landscape Services

Hazard Tree Liability Assessment

Asset Management/Irrigation & Drainage Mapping/ Tree Inventories

Pest & Disease Identification, Monitoring, Prevention, & Management

Storm Damage Mitigation, Response, & Clean Up

Tree & Shrub Pruning, Removals, & Planting

Cabling, Bracing, & Lightning Protection

Tree and Shrub Fertilization

CONTACT ME TO LEARN MORE: Ben Cavey | Regional Manager | 330-391-8274 | TEE-OFF TIMES



Youth On Course Brings Affordable Golf to Juniors The Golf Association of Michigan’s GAM Foundation (the 501 c3 arm of GAM) is launching Youth on Course in the state of Michigan for 2017. This program, which originated with the Northern California Golf Association and is spreading rapidly to other states, provides youth with access to life-changing opportunities through golf. YOC subsidizes rounds to ensure that Youth on Course members – many who have come from First Tee programs and other junior golf programs around the state – ages 6-18 pay $5 or less to play golf at participating facilities like yours. This ensures that your course does not lose money because YOC subsidizes the difference between the $5 the YOC player pays and your junior rate. So many young people find a passion for golf through the First Tee, Midnight Golf and other ju-

nior programs but are not able to afford to take the next step by actually getting out onto the course. YOC helps those young players feed that passion and become lifelong golfers. Many courses including Forest Akers, Michaywe Pines, Centennial Acres, and Elmbrook GC have already signed on to be a part of this great initiative. To make YOC successful, we need many more courses from around the entire state to participate. The benefits to your course include filling unused tee times, often receiving adult rates from parents who bring their YOC children to the course and developing a young and loyal customer. For more information about Youth on Course or to find out how your course can participate, contact Susan Smiley at the Golf Association of Michigan

Golf tournaments are money makers For the charity or association and for the golf course.

Look at any weekday on the tee sheet and the regular income won’t compare with a day that has a tournament scheduled. But it takes a lot of time and energy to market your course to those local groups that wish to raise funds for this cause or that. We are from the Golf Tournament Association of America (GTAA) and we can help you. What we do is manage golf events for groups that have no earthly idea how to manage a golf event or for those that are seeing dwindling results. Your course is terrific on “day of event” matters, but we both know that “day of event” is only 10% of what it takes to be a successful event. The other 90% involves recruiting golfers, selling sponsors, arranging for unique contests, and basic “care and feeding” of the tournament committee. Most courses don’t have the staff to do that. That is where we come in.

Partner with a GTAA Tournament Consultant and we’ll help you grow your tournament business. Here in Michigan there are two GTAA Consultants you can call on; our contact information is listed below. Give us a call and let’s boost your business starting today! For West & NW Michigan: Christopher Werner Werner Media Group, LLC (dba Member MGCOA For East & SE Michigan: Anthony (Tony) Comperchio Professional Golf Planners of America, LLC




Your Industry’s Self-Insured Workers’ Compensation Fund

Returning Millions Back To Members Over $16.7 Million since 1983 • Workers’ Compensation Insurance with a 50% Average Premium Return • Safety & Loss Prevention Services • Competitive Up-Front Pricing




Custom insurance & risk management programs


Unique coverages for golf courses & country clubs Industry experts for 40+ years Strong relationships with top-rated golf industry markets Competitive pricing


888.263.4656 | Adrian • Troy • Ann Arbor TEE-OFF TIMES



“Bucket List” To Michigan Golf Raffle 1 Foursome Absolutely FREE at one of these “Bucket List” courses. PLUS a $50 Gift Card at that location.

• $20 Per Ticket • 13 Winners • Drawing to be held on June 12, 2017 • Only 1,000 Tickets will be sold Grab your favorite 3 golf buddies and each buy a ticket to improve your chance of winning. Go to to purchase your raffle ticket or send a check to: MGCOA-ESF 603 S. Washington Lansing, MI 48933 Attn: Bucket List Raffle

Forest Dunes Bay Harbor Shepherd’s Hollow Pilgrim’s Run Eagle Eye Black Lake The Legend or Cedar River at Shanty Creek The Smith Signature at Treetops (with Bonus Three Tops Golf Course) The Jones Masterpiece at Treetops The Bear The Gailes at Lakewood Shores A-Ga-Ming Sundance The Arthur Hills at Boyne Highlands

ace Call to Pl er Your Ord575 800-860-8 Sponsored by: The MGCOA and The Educational Support Foundation Michigan Raffle License # R40312






Historical Michigan Tax Tribunal Success No upfront Tribunal filing or other fees for members

Small, large, daily fee, private country clubs all clients professionally serviced Success rate 95% Solely contingent fee

Other property tax appeals, athletic clubs industrial, office buildings, bowling/restaurant, banquet centers, mobile home parks, retail, multi-family, private residential

Property tax reductions up to 70% of assessed taxes


“Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible ... Everyone does it, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.” Justice Learned Hand, U.S. Court of Appeals

Call 248-546-7600 or email for no obligation evaluation and information. 74 West Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48034 TEE-OFF TIMES



Trained Instructor Publicist Business Manager Etiquette Coach Inspirationalist Accomplished Player Personnel Manager Junior Golf Mentor Motivator Community Leader Tournament Director Financial Consultant Event Planner Innovator Golf Shop Operator Rules Authority Clinician Event Coordinator Skilled Clubfitter Humanitarian Inventory Manager Outing Director Team Captain Club Repairperson Master of Ceremonies Competitor Expert Merchandiser Handicapper Facility Director Equipment Consultant Service Trainer Fundraiser Food and Beverage Manager Counselor Private Tutor Promoter of Golf

PGA Professionals have many roles. But just one badge.


Š2017 The PGA of America All Rights Reserved

For more information visit or contact




JW Turf is proud to add Buffalo Turbine and Salsco to our growing line of Allied Equipment.  








Real Money

Association Initiatives

• Michigan Clubs Fund dividends workers compensation program could save you 40-50% • Entegra Procurement Services saves you 7% to 10% plus quarterly rebates • Coca Cola has discounts and rebates • Club Car/ US Golf Cars saves you hundreds, if not thousands on golf cars • VGM Club membership is reduced by up to $250 annually • MGCOA pays your $195 membership into the Small Business Association of Michigan • TORO/Spartan distributors saves you hundreds, if not thousands on equipment • NGCOA Smart Buy Program savings • Deep discounts for members at • No-cost desktop review that normally would be a $500 non-refundable fee from Corporate Tax Resources • Receive 15 percent off Verifone and Ingenico Terminal Equipment and Peripherals and will have their terminal conversion and training fees waived by JetPay

• Create, produce and promote the Golden Passbooks to Michigan Golf to fund the association’s legislative advocacy • Always striving to educate the golf operator to ensure their business grows through the Educational Support Foundation • MGCOA represents approximately 1/3 of all golf courses in Michigan • Created strategic partnerships with SBAM, NGCOA and VGM Club so members will be able to maximize their membership investments • Partnered with 4 other state/regional golf owner/operator associations to for the Northern Golf Alliance for the purpose of securing deep discounts and benefits for our members

Resources • “Guide to a Successful Golf Outing” booklet is available for members to attract and retain outing business. • “Tee Off Times” quarterly newsletter • Bi-Monthly enews to members on new opportunities, education, information • Michigan Golf Business Conference and Vendor Fair • Education Programs, Events and Webinars • Golf Outing and Supplier Field Day • We are your golf business call center

Golfer Retention and Promotion •, an internet based golf league management system through (GLN) • available FREE to all Golf League Network courses • Golf League Championship for GLN golfers • Player Development Leadership grant ($1,500) for programs focused on golfer retention and promotion • Golden and Platinum Passbooks to Golf bring new golfers to participants facilities • John Dodge Carpe Diem Award ($1,000) annual grant available to members’ staff for creative and innovative business enhancement



Legislative Action • Lobby for Michigan Golf Industry • Manage the Michigan Golf Alliance, a collaboration of Michigan golf associations • Bi-Weekly legislative newsletters • Has a seat on the Michigan Water Task Force • Attends legislative meetings and monitors, evaluates and fights for the Michigan Golf Industry at the Capitol • Property Tax and Service Tax analysis and legislative initiatives • Brochure of Golf Industry economic impact



Michigan Golf Course Owners Association Membership Application Business/Golf Course Name _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Contact ____________________________________________________________

Title ________________________________________________

Address ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ City _____________________________________________________________

( ) Telephone _____________________________________________________ Toll Free __________________________________________________

State ____________________

Zip ________________________

( ) Fax _____________________________________________________

e-mail (required) ________________________________________________________

www. Web Site ________________________________________________________________________________

Number of Holes ________________

Please check the category that applies. All golf course memberships include membership in the National Golf Course Owners Association and the Small Business Association of Michigan and are open to owners and operators of privately held golf courses (both public and private), lessors of golf facilities who operate on a for-profit basis and courses owned or operated by resorts in conjunction with real estate developments. Annual dues investment is based on your size of operation.



Daily Fee

9 holes ..................................$156.00

18 holes............................$312.00


27 holes.................................$416.00

36 holes............................$416.00


45 holes.................................$520.00

54 holes............................$520.00


63 holes.................................$520.00

Multiple Courses . ..........$520.00

Management Companies...... $520.00

Note: Membership dues are not deductible as a charitable contribution. However, your dues may be deductible as an “ordinary and necessary” business expense with the exception of 35% which is not deductible as it relates to our lobbying and legislative expenditures. Pay online: - click on the “membership” link at the top of the page.

Payment Method Check Enclosed

VISA, MC or Discover

Account # ___________________________________________________________________

Exp. Date ____________________________

Name on Card _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Signature ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Complete the credit card information or make check payable to MGCOA and send to: Michigan Golf Course Owners Association 603 South Washington Avenue, Suite 303, Lansing, MI 48933 Phone: (517) 482-4312 Toll Free: (800) 860-8575 Fax: (517) 267-8984 website: e-mail: 27


112316 SPRING 2017

Tee-Off Times


603 South Washington Avenue Suite 303 Lansing, MI 48933 (517) 482-4312 Address Service Requested

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.

We’re supplying all your golf course needs.

487 West Division Street Sparta, MI 49345

1050 North Opdyke Road Auburn Hills, MI 48326


Spring 2017 Tee-Off Times  

The Spring 2017 issue of the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association's Tee-Off Times publication.

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