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Serving Those who Serve Military golf league wins Player Development Leadership award

In this issue: The Majestic at Lake Walden is Golf Course of the Year NEW: Member Spotlight 2018 Ballot proposals‌ what are we in for? Military golf league at Treetops Golf Resort, Gaylord

From tees to greens & fairways in-between Yep, Lauren McDowell covers Business Contact me today for your free quote!

Lauren McDowell 38800 Garfield Rd. Ste. 100, Clinton Twp (586) 846-2230 TEE-OFF TIMES



MGCA, a Fresh Start by BILL FOUNTAIN, MGCA President Many of you may be curious about our new name, Michigan Golf Course Association. Here is a summary of why your Board of Directors made this decision. As we all know, the golf business has changed tremendously over the past 15 years. When you look back to how we operated, maintained and staffed our courses in 2003 vs. 2018, today’s operations are a lot different. The way we operate each course’s department has all evolved, some for the better, some for the worse. If we could have predicted how our operations have evolved, we may have done several things differently. This is exactly where our golf course association is today. Our members, the actual golf facilities, are the same. A member of the MGCA is the golf course, not an individual. However, who is operating the course on a daily basis and making decisions at the course has changed significantly. Some features and benefits that

the MGCA provided to our membership in 2003 are less or no longer relevant today. The major change to the name takes out the word owner with the thought to being more inclusive. Your Board of Directors has visited this issue of whom the MGCA represents and what our future looks like; this has been a topic of discussion for over 5 years. The Board of Directors is in the process of redefining the future of the MGCA. We have been meeting and will continue to develop educational programs and services that provide opportunities for your golf course to continue to be successful. We will be asking you for input thru surveys and we are always looking for your thoughts and ideas. This is a fresh start of a wonderful association that needs your ideas to steer us toward a successful future. Let’s hope for an early spring! Membership Pricing for 2018 The golf industry needs a break. And you need to be a member. Win. Win.

9 hole golf courses Investment: $175 18 hole golf courses Investment: $350 27 hole golf courses Investment: $450 36 hole golf courses Investment: $450 45 hole golf courses Investment: $575 54 hole golf courses Investment: $575 63 hole golf courses Investment: $575 72 hole golf courses Investment: $575 Multi-Course operators Investment: $575 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

Bay Paul Course Logix

Jon Scott Gull Lake View

Toni Joers Concord Hills Larry Moore U.S. Golf Cars

Steve Ramey Chisholm Hills

Jim Szilagyi The Lynx Golf Club

Tom Schwark Sycamore Hills

Susan Vanderburg Indian Lake Hills

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

Jeff Hoag Scott Lake Country Club

Carolyn Olson Elmbrook Golf Course 3



2018March Tee Off Times ad.pdf





4:37 PM



The Legacy at Hastings

Clockwise: The Legacvy clubhouse; Korin Ayers; The Legacy logo.

other golf course owners and managers who use the applications I quickly came to realize that this software is what our course needed. First, I’m very excited for us to become a League Course through the Golf League Network and manage our leagues and present our champions with the option to go to the MGCA Golf League Championship Tournament at the end of the season. Secondly, we sponsor many outings at our course and are excited for the opportunity to better manage these events through the Golf Tournament Network application… maybe even try some live scoring. Our primarily goal is we want all our golfers to receive a fair handicap through a system we can trust. The Recreational Golf Handicapping System as offered through the Golf Handicap Network is the application that meets our needs, we’re very excited to start using it to improve our golfers experience at the Legacy. Not to be outdone, the fact that our golfers will be able to see their League, Tournament and Handicapping information through the Golf Mobile Network smart phone application sealed the deal. We’re very excited about our new opportunity with Handicomp and the new features and benefits it will bring to the Legacy at Hastings and our golfers!

The Legacy at Hastings has been serving the Hastings community since 1921. Previously known as the Hastings Country Club the course ownership changed in November 2017 and with that came our new name, The Legacy at Hastings. The new ownership has a deep love for the game of golf, and specifically this course and an even greater love and sense of responsibility to the community it serves. We feel that the Legacy at Hastings is our contribution to Barry County and its future generations of golfers. The course has been a proud member of the Michigan Golf Course Association and benefited from many of their services. When attending the MGCA conference fall of 2017, we investigated the Handicomp program, focusing on the additional benefits and features we’d be able to offer our golfers. Historically, we’ve managed our leagues or outings with a variety of software programs or manually, our handicapping service was an older system that had limited benefits for our golfers. Simply said, we needed something better for our golfers. We currently have 8 leagues, a few mini tournaments throughout the week and several outings throughout the year, with plans of expanding each of these areas. At the MGCA conference last Fall I learned about the MGCA’s Golf League Championship and the software applications that support it; primarily the Golf League Network, Golf Handicap Network and Golf Tournament Network.  After discussing Handicomp with

Korin Ayers, General Manager The Legacy at Hastings 5



Michigan Golf Journal Welcome to the Michigan Golf Journal. Tom Lang, long time golf writer in Michigan, introduced the Michigan Golf Journal in January. This online magazine, hopes to become the premier source of golf information and feature stories in the Great Lakes State. With golf disappearing from sports traditional media outlets, Tom’s focus on Michigan golf is welcomed. He has firsthand knowledge having been a golf writer for two large newspapers in Michigan these past 25 years. The intention of the Michigan Golf Journal is to reverse the trend and bring fun, interesting, informative and factual pieces once a month all year long, focused on Michigan golf news. Topics will include travel and new courses to play, course and resort reviews, women, military and youth in golf, to name just a few. “Golf is the greatest sport I know. And I say that in the same breath as admitting I’ve never been all

that grrat at playing golf – but I love it for the way it brings people together from all walks of life – and because it is a sport you can play for life.” Tom Lang.

Email Tom at if you have a great story or for more information on this new, exciting magazine.

Your Industry’s Self-Insured Workers’ Compensation Fund Returning Millions Back To Members Over $18 Million since 1983 • Workers’ Compensation Insurance with a 50% Average Premium Return • Safety & Loss Prevention Services • Competitive Up-Front Pricing • Get a Quote From Your Current Agent




MGCA announces new event League Women’s Day May 20th Two person best ball event

To further the mission of getting more golfers to play more golf and to focus on the fastest growing segment of our industry, the Michigan Golf Course Associations Golf League Championship program is introducing a new event. “Top teacher, Patti Butcher, will dispel commonly held myths about the golf swing, freeing you up to improve immediately!” Women can sign up now for the MI Golf League Championship’s Inaugural League Women’s Day at the Emerald Golf Course, St. Johns, Sunday, May 20, 2018. Check in starts at noon with a 1:00pm shotgun. Have your customers grab a partner and come out for a fun day of golf. This new event includes 9 holes of golf (play your own ball; not a scramble) scored by the Golf League Network, skills clinics facilitated by renowned golf instructor Patti Butcher. Playing contests with great prizes and a reception with plenty of hors d’oevres (cash bar) at the conclusion. $55 per player in two person teams. All golfers

Patti Butcher

must be registered in the MI Golf League Network. The MGCA is excited to announce our sponsors for this event: Boyne USA, Crystal Mountain Resort, Treetops Resort, Scott Lake Golf and Practice Center, Forest Dunes Golf and Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center. Thank you.

New for Members

a supplier referral? • Ask for food and beverage ideas, event and outing ideas, and general business practices. These are just a few ideas! Go to FACEBOOK and search “Michigan Golf Course Association” and ask to join. Answer a few questions and Jada will accept you. This page is for golf course members only; no corporate or supplier members.

Michigan Golf Course Association is a closed group for our members that work at or own a golf course. Start a conversation with your peers in these suggested areas: • Looking to network with fellow operators in your area? • Looking for


Contact Michigan Golf Course Association

Join the MGCA Private Facebook Page Today

Kate Moore

Milt Senter

Jada Paisley

General Mailbox

Phone - 517-482-4312 Fax - 517-267-8984

Toll Free - 800-860-8575 7



MiGCSA Elections Daniel P. Dingman, the Class A Golf Course Superintendent at Birmingham Country Club in Birmingham has been elected as the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association (MiGCSA) Chapter President for 2018. The MiGSCA held its 10 th annual meeting and elections on Wednesday January 3rd at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing during the Michigan Turfgrass Conference. Other officers elected to the MiGSCA board include Vice President Jeff Sweet, CGCS from Bucks Run Golf Club in Mt. Pleasant. And Rob Steger, CGCS from Saginaw Country Club. The election marked the end of board service for Past President (2016) Justin Bickel Superintendent

at The Dream, Nightmare and Westbranch Country Club in Westbranch. Our deepest gratitude for his service to our industry. New members elected to the board include Doug Hoeh from Treetops Resort, Scott Pulaski from Walloon Lake Country Club, Andrew Dalton from Metamora Golf & Country Club and Ryan Moore from Forrest Lake Country Club. The MiGCSA is “dedicated to providing value to our members through programs and services that enhance and promote our profession.” The MiGCSA has more than 700 Members in Michigan and is managed by Adam Ikamas, CGCS Executive Director, who can be contacted at, 1-888-3-MiGCSA.

Corporate Member Profile

Russell & Schrader Insurance

On behalf of my team at Russell & Schrader Insurance, I, Joe Daly, would like to say “Hello and Thank You!” for welcoming us into the Michigan Golf Course Association. Here at RSI, we specialize in a number of different insurance risks, but we LOVE our golf courses. We have introduced our PRIME Golf Program, an in-depth risk evaluation process that allows us to identify gaps in coverage and find the most competitive pricing for your golf courses insurance needs. As an independent insurance agency, we have the unique ability to shop your coverages through a number of different carriers. This process allows us to focus on working for our clients, and not one particular company. As a former golf course general manager, and developer of the PRIME Golf Program, I have expeTEE-OFF TIMES


Joe Daly

rience working on both sides of the counter. Understanding the day to day operations, knowing where the most risk comes from, and knowing the golf industry have all helped me become a reliable source for Golf Course Risk Management. Not only do I work with both property and liability insurance, I am a Certified Authority with Workers Compensation. 8

Long story short, I understand Michigan’s Workers Compensation ins and outs, which I feel is a big asset to companies. We would love an opportunity to work with your course, so give us a call at 517-543-1740 to speak with me. Don’t be surprised to see me stop in your clubhouse this season! I look forward to meeting you!

Dul Family Player Development Leadership Award Winner

Military Golf League at Treetops Veterans get special coaching from Treetops professionals.

nations across the world trying to take that freedom from us. Fast forward to 2017 and the idea that was germinating in PGA Director of Golf Kevin McKinley’s brain became a reality thanks to a grant from the Otsego County Community Foundation. The idea was to create a league (not free but inexpensive) that allowed our veterans, actives and their spouses to enjoy a night of golf or golf instruction in a non-intimidating environment and the results blew our minds. Using the PGA Junior League format, we formed 4 teams of 10 or 11 players (this grew to 12 – 14 players by the season’s end). We allowed them to play 9 hole matches on each of our award winning courses every other Wednesday between Memorial Day and Labor Day giving them the ability to earn points for their teams. On alternating weeks, they received a clinic on a different topic from PGA Director of Instruction Joe Charles. Each player received a team shirt and they proudly wore it even on instruction nights. Countless comments about the league have helped us quickly realize that we have a winner here. The program has helped our military men and women both physically and mentally and we’d love to share the idea with other courses.

When PGA Junior League originated approximately 6 years ago, Treetops was all in with what has become the best junior golf initiative introduced in my 22 years on the golf industry. We formed 4 teams here at Treetops and created our own league and it has flourished year after year and the area is now seeing the fruit of this labor as evidenced by the Gaylord High School Golf Team being ranked in the Top 5 in the state with many team members being graduates of our league. The Scramble/Match Play format is extremely conducive to introducing new players to the game while not boring those that are a little Kevin McKinley receives award from more seasoned, it’s Kathy Dul Aznavorian at the Michigan the perfect balance. Golf Business Conference last November. Thus, I knew that this format would work for a cross section of adults as well, at the time, I just didn’t know which cross section that would be. Over the last 10 years, we’ve supported military initiatives at Treetops whole heartedly in the form of an annual event drawing over 50 actives and veterans of the military to Treetops to experience the weekend of a lifetime with their friends and family. This weekend is great and we continue to do it but what was missing was the consistent interaction with whom we consider our nations heroes; Those that have put themselves in harms way for our ability to live and work in a free country despite many 9



Spartan Distributors Introduce ELiTE

E-Z-GO ELiTE Groundbreaking advancement in Golf Car technology E-Z-GO has partnered with Samsung SDI to create a groundbreaking advancement in golf car technology – a golf car powered by Samsung SDI lithium cells. The same batteries that already safely and reliably power electric cars,  equipment, and appliances will now be powering fleets of golf cars. ELiTE Series vehicles provides the lowest operating costs the industry has ever seen.

costs and have your vehicle work all day long without recharging. 5-Year Warranty You won’t have any repair costs for repairs under warranty for five years. E-Z-GO believes in the reliable and enduring performance of the ELiTE Series vehicles so much that every model comes with a five-year, unlimited-amp-hour warranty.


Lighter Vehicles and Turf Protection Simply put: the old, lead batteries weigh 328lbs, and the new, lithium ones weigh 49lbs. And not only that, the new batteries are half the size as the old ones. As a result, ELiTE vehicles weigh hundreds of pounds less and create more room. This takes a huge load off of your turf!

Zero-Maintenance Batteries Samsung SDI lithium batteries don’t require the labor involved with watering, terminal post checkups and cleaning like lead acid batteries. Hate maintaining your battery? This vehicle is for you. Cost-Saving Efficiency ELiTE series vehicles have Samsung lithium cells loaded into a single battery pack. These batteries use less energy, charge in half the time, and require less out-of-wall power than leading lead acid batteries. That means you can dramatically cut energy



Eco-Friendly The lithium battery is a greener, zero-emissions technology that lasts longer and also protects the Earth by using less energy.


MGCA Recognizes Long Term Corporate Members Starting my 20th year with the MGCA I have been thinking about

the people and companies that have been with me on this exciting and rewarding journey. Last year we recognized Kapnick Insurance Company, the Golf Association of Michigan, and US Golf Cars. This year we add seven to this list of Outstanding Corporate Members. What a tribute to our association that these companies would support us for going on 2 decades. We are grateful. These organizations have helped us grow, given us guidance, contributed to the definition of who we are and will continue to see us into the future. The MGCA has great respect and appreciation for our corporate members and partners and we want to recognize them for their long-term commitment.

Kate Moore with Carolyn Alt

Thank you! Kate Moore Executive Director Stu Healey

Kevin Helm

Carolyn Alt, Showspan Stu Healey, Handicomp Kevin Helm, The Michigan Section PGA Jim Hartman, Oetzel-Hartman Group Kris Early, Spartan Distributors Jill Wilde, Entegra Procurement Bob Goodrich, (not pictured) Goodrich Quality Theater

Jim Hartman

Kris Early

Jill Wilde 11



Fore! Is Your Course Design Putting Golfers at Risk? A half second. That’s the time someone 100 feet away has to react to an errant drive coming their way. Now imagine that customer is just getting to their cart, not yet on the course, not expecting to need to be aware of a shanked tee-shot from #1. The ball is struck and it’s already too late for “fore”! Of course the golfer on the tee box bears some responsibility, but an argument will be made that the design of the hole and the location of the carts was improper. You might have a problem. Whether sculpting your course to take advantages of the natural landscape, introducing features to add interest, or performing regular maintenance; the safety of your golfers need to be your priority. While a golfer’s “assumption of risk” is a common defense when accidents happen, this does not relieve ownership of its duty to maintain the safety standards that golfers and the courts expect. The number one rule is that if you become aware of a potentially dangerous condition, it should be corrected immediately! An accident involving a known hazard is no longer an “accident”. To take the next steps as you prepare your course

for the busy season, consider these suggestions to make liability claim prevention a priority: Errant Ball Hazards • Monitor parking or other non-playing areas located near practice areas and golf holes for the occurrence of errant golf balls. If errant golf balls are identified as a concern, then steps should be taken to either warn people of the hazard or otherwise manage the risk. This may include: modifying the hole design (e.g., reorienting tee boxes or regrading terrain), incorporating landscaping (e.g., adding trees or shrubbery or lengthening rough) or installing protective measures (e.g., screens or fencing). Golf Carts • Ensure that all golf carts conform to the American National Standard for Golf Cars - Safety and Performance Specifications, ANSI/ILTVA Z130.1-2012. • Remove improperly functioning or damaged carts until they have been repaired. • Perform a safety survey periodically and identify areas where possible hazards exist and golf carts should be disallowed. Continued on page 16

Youth on Course Builds on 1st Year Success Youth on Course exceeded expectations in its first year of existence in Michigan with 2,613 young golfers registered for the program and 63 participating courses in 2017. The GAM Foundation 501 © 3 believes year two will see the program grow by leaps and bounds. Golf course owners, parents and young golfers alike have given Youth on Course rave reviews. Youth on Course helps to grow the game of



golf and helps golf courses develop a new and loyal customer base. It is a win-win for the golf course and the young golfer. Youth on Course provides youth ages 6-18 with the opportunity to play golf for $5 or less at participating courses; participating courses are reimbursed for the remainder of their junior green fee by the GAM Foundation. You are not being asked to donate tee times because the GAM Foundation subsidizes the difference between the $5 the YOC player pays and your junior rate. A big THANK YOU to the 63 courses already participating in Youth on Course! If you are not already on board, please consider becoming a Youth on Course facility in 2018. The more courses that participate, the more opportunity for Youth on Course golfers to play. Benefits to your course include filling unused tee times; receiving adult rates from parents who accompany their YOC golfers; sales of snacks and beverages; and developing a loyal customer for life. For the Youth on Course registration form or contact Susan Smiley at the Golf Association of Michigan for more information about the program email Susan at 12

Golf Course of the Year Award Having a beautiful golf course is not all it takes to earn the distinction of Golf Course of the Year. The MGCA Course of the Year Award honors a member meeting four criteria: exceptional quality of the course; exceptional quality of ownership and management; outstanding contribution to its community; and significant contribution to the game. The MAJESTIC AT LAKE WALDEN is a 27 hole Jerry Matthews design located on some of the most beautiful property in Michigan. “Majestic” is truly a great description for this course. Matthews and Mother Nature have indeed ensured that you will want to come back time after time. It’s a championship golf course open to the public in 1994, set in a Northern Michigan environment - less than 1 hour from downtown Detroit. Breathtaking views and abundant

Managing partner Bill Fountain is flanked by golf director Steve Tannar and superintendent Justin Peckens.

partner and developer at The Majestic. When you go to extremes it’s legitimate to use words like “extraordinary” and “exemplary” when describing your experience at the Majestic. Operating partner Bill Fountain, along with golf professional Steve Tannar and superintendent Justin Peckens lead a team dedicated to their community. “Give them a little sugar” is one of the mantras of Bill Fountain. The main word here is “give” and the team at the Majestic finds themselves giving back to the community in many, many unique ways. Fundraisers for the community, the Michigan Golf League Championship, golf balls falling from the sky from helicopters, turkeys being traded for golf rounds, whatever it takes the Majestic gives to the community, the Association and the customer. No other business gives back to the community the way golf does and the Majestic is a leader in this regard. The Majestic is the Michigan Golf Course Association’s Golf Course of the Year.

The Majestic staff, owners and families joined together to celebrate.

wildlife can be found amongst mature hardwoods, meadows and land surrounding Lake Walden. “We try to do things for our guests that are unexpected and out of the ordinary,” said the late John Dodge,

The Orca Report: Power in Numbers

Providing Golf Course Operators with Business Boosting Performance Data A lot has changed since the “tee sheet” was actually made of paper. Mike Loustalot and his team have spent the better part of 30 years paving a digital path for modern tee sheets, point-of-sale and tee time marketing systems. They also helped create the model, technology, and sales and marketing strategies that became Now they have turned their penchant for innovation into a commitment to becoming the leading provider of trusted and validated data for golf course owners and operators with The Orca Report.

“Every golf course operator needs to know that pricing decisions are being made based on fact, not fiction,” said Loustalot. “The best way to do this is by comparisons based on trusted data collected electronically and validated from the tee sheet.” Similar to the hotel industry’s STAR Report, The ORCA Report produces a series of detailed reports driven from individual golf course data to use as a management tool. The reports rely on four Key Performance Indicators, an acronym of Continued on page 18




Legislative Update by TONY STAMAS, Vice President of Government Relations, Small Business Association of Michigan As is becoming increasingly evident 2018 is going to be a very active election year in Michigan. People are already starting to see adds for our open Governor’s race and may be hearing from those interested in the U.S. Senate seat that is up for election. Beyond that, candidates are working hard to secure nominations for the open positions of Attorney General and Secretary of State. Michigan will see two Supreme Court members seeking election along with 14 seats in Congress, all 110 seats in the House of Representatives and Michigan’s 38 State Senate seats. As if that were not enough, a wide variety of groups is looking to place ballot proposals before the legislature. If they have sufficient signatures, the Legislature must decide whether to adopt the proposal as presented or voters will decide their fate in the November 2018 elections. Below is a short synopsis of the proposals being consider:

stop the “revolving door” from legislator to lobbyist, requiring at least 2 years before moving from the legislature or a high level executive position to become a lobbyist. This proposal also subjects the governor and legislature to the Freedom of Information Act, and puts Michigan’s budget on a two-year cycle. Marijuana Legalization – “Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol” This ballot initiative looks to end marijuana prohibition in Michigan and look to put in place a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed like alcohol. Minimum Wage of $12.00 – “One Fair Wage” This initiative looks to boost Michigan’s minimum wage to $12 an hour gradually by 2022 and to phase out the lower wage for tipped workers until reaching the actual minimum wage in 2024. Redistricting – “Voters Not Politicians” This ballot initiative looks to end gerrymandering before 2021 when the next election maps are redrawn. If passed, this would amend Michigan’s constitution to put in place an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to choose district lines, not partisan politicians. This Commission would consist

Part-Time Legislature – “Clean Michigan Government” Ballot proposal introduced by Candidate for Governor Brian Calley limits Michigan’s legislative session to no more than 90 days a year which must be served consecutively, but allows the Governor to call session in case of an emergency. This proposal cuts legislator’s pay to approx. $30,000/year, and looks to

Continued on page 24

Michigan’s PLDS Law on the Ropes by STEVE YENCICH, President of Yencich & Associates each chamber’s Education Committee and either can be called up for votes on the floor of the House or the Senate. If passed and sent to the Governor’s desk there’s little doubt he would sign either bill, and that would be that. But the threat doesn’t end there. People forget that there were provisions in the law that allowed districts to waive the PLDS mandate if they met the State’s definition of “Year Round School.” Over a period of years, the Department of Education gradually came to define a Year Round School as any school with a summer break of six weeks or less. At that point, the floodgates opened up. Over 120 of Michigan’s roughly 900 schools districts have already successfully filed for waivers. Many have been Intermediate School Districts

When the law requiring all public schools to open after Labor Day passed in 2005, most tourism stakeholders were elated. For many, there was a feeling of mission accomplished. We’d won PLDS in spite of the fact we went up against opponents who had wellover a million dollars in their PACs. However, that may have been the wrong way to view the victory. In the legislative process, no battle is ever completely over. School administrators have been working to overturn the law ever since, and they’ve done a good job. Both the House (HB 5157) and Senate (SB 271) have introduced bills that in effect, repeal the PLDS statute. Both bills have already been voted out of TEE-OFF TIMES


Continued on page 16


Legislative Bulletin by TOM SCHWARK, Owner of Sycamore Hills Golf Course in Macomb

National Golf Day... You Can Make a Difference!

impact on northern Michigan resorts. They have a difficult time filling positions if these workers are not available. Another issue that can have a major negative impact on the golf industry is the Clean Water Rule written by the EPA. The Clean Water Act gave federal jurisdiction over only those waters that were considered navigable. The Clean Water Rule would extend federal jurisdiction to all other waters, such as ponds, ditches, and creeks, which previously had only been under state and local control. The Clean Water Rule has been put on hold, for the time being, but it has not been eliminated. This is important for the golf industry, as well as many other industries. There are many other issues that can have a negative impact on the golf industry such as minimum wage, family leave time, and health care. Size matters in Washington D.C. The more people that go makes a big difference in the perception of the golf industry. Make an effort to send someone from your golf course. You will be able to speak with your elected representatives and develop a relationship with them. It will benefit you and our entire golf industry.

The golf industry is descending on Washington D.C. on April 25 this year to advocate for the game of golf. We Are Golf is hosting National Golf Day for the 11th year. We Are Golf is a coalition of the World Golf Foundation, the PGA, the PGA Tour, the USGA, the NGCOA, the Club Managers Association, the GCSAA, and the Golf Manufacturers Council. Other allied golf associations will be represented including the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the Golf Course Builders Association, and the LPGA.

The purpose of National Golf Day is twofold. The first purpose is two educate our elected representatives about the significance and benefits of the golf industry in the United States. Golf has a $176 billion total economic impact in the U.S., and it provides nearly 2 million jobs. Golf is also very beneficial for the environment. Golf provides 2 million acres of green space in the U.S. Golf reduces water pollution as the turf acts as a filter as rain water soaks into the ground. Turf contains micro organisms that feed off pollutants and purify the water. Golf reduces air pollution as the grass and trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. Golf reduces soil erosion as the turf absorbs water and reduces runoff into lakes, streams, and rivers. Another benefit of the golf industry You are invited and is the exercise and fresh air that golf encouraged to attend provides for its players. Many people, Michigan’s “Golf on including children, are not getting nearly the Lawn” annual enough exercise, and golf is a fun way to get outside and be active. legislative day event. The second purpose of National Please watch your Golf Day is to discuss issues with our email for upcoming elected representatives that can have information and a positive or negative impact on the golf industry. One issue is the H-2B registration. Returning Worker Exemption. This issue does not affect most of our golf courses, but it does have a significant


“Golf on the Lawn” Legislative Day




Course Design Putting Golfers at Risk? Continued from page 12

aged according to the degree of risk that they pose. This may involve isolating the tree from people or objects using landscaping or other barriers, pruning defective branches, providing physical support with cables and braces, or removing the tree. Trees should be regularly reassessed to see whether the corrective actions undertaken have been sufficient, or if further actions are necessary. The program should be appropriately documented and coordinated with a certified arborist.

Paths • Fill in holes and uneven surface variations. Paving stones, bricks, and tiles should be properly bedded. Rocks, exposed tree roots, low hanging branches, and tripping hazards should be corrected or circumvented. • Post signs throughout the facility that promote safe golf cart operation and the proper direction of travel. Bumps, drains, bridges, stumps, tight curves and other hazards should be clearly marked. • Check cart paths each morning and after storms for loose debris and standing water. • Ensure that bridges and ramps used by golf carts are free of defects and have rub rails at the same height as the center of the tires. The containment rail should be at least 16 inches above the surface. • Confirm that warning signs are posted wherever cart paths cross roads. Speed humps or other speed reduction measures should be incorporated on roadways that cross active course areas.

Lightning • Warn golfers of anticipated lightning hazards at the course. • Maintain course structures in lightning-prone areas and clearly identify those that are unsafe during a thunderstorm. • Refer to the requirements of NFPA 780, Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems. In short, a shelter should have a raised, non-conductive floor and be equipped with at least one lightning rod and grounding system that will intercept lightning and safely direct it to the ground. There are different design options available for different structures. The systems should be regularly maintained to ensure that there is continuity between the elements of the protection system.

Fertilizer and Pesticide Use • Provide proper notice in areas of pesticide or lawn care chemical applications in accordance with the EPA. • Calibrate application equipment to ensure that the proper amount of chemical is dispensed.

To go further, it’s not a bad idea to invite your Agent out for a round and ask if they have any suggestions to improve course safety. Most importantly, whether by signage or verbally, communicate safety as often as possible to your employees and customers. The more proactive you are about player safety, the less time you will spend being reactive to incidents on your course! Course owners interested in learning more about Keystone’s golf course program should call 888-8925860 or email to be put in touch with a local Keystone agent. About Merchants Insurance Group and Keystone: Merchants has been providing coverage for almost 100 years, writing specialty insurance for public golf courses for more than a decade. They target small to medium-sized public or daily fee courses that can include retail “pro shops” and restaurants.  Keystone strengthens agencies with industry expertise, relationships, and additional resources that help them better safeguard livelihoods, bolster businesses, and fortify communities – all while allowing them to remain independently owned and operated. By working with us, customers get the best of both worlds – national resources; locally sourced.

Tree Hazards • Establish a tree maintenance program to manage tree-related hazards (e.g., falling trees or limbs, or low clearance on paths) on the grounds of the facility. Hazardous conditions should be man-

PLDS Law on the Ropes Continued from page 14

which cover all schools in their area. Most waivers approved have been downstate metropolitan and suburban districts which contain the largest segment of Michigan’s in-state leisure-travel market. Unfortunately for PLDS supporters, unless legislation is introduced and enacted into law to stop waivers, we’ll see the defacto repeal of a law supported by 70% of Michigan voters. Last August, the Michigan Lodging & Tourism Association polled voters and found that 75% supported empowering local voters to determine when schools in their district start. Time will tell where this issue goes in coming months, but it will take some heavy lifting on the part of PLDS supporters if the law is to survive. TEE-OFF TIMES



Intersecting Industries – Golf & Wine! It’s not a surprise why Michigan’s golf and wine tourism industries complement each other. Both appeal to a similar demographic of visitors, they’re often located in the state’s most beautiful locations, and let’s face it – they’re both fun! Making the most of these intersecting industries is a pleasure. Partnerships and packages make crosspromotion easy! Consider creating a package deal with a winery in your region to leverage each other’s customers and create memorable experiences for those visiting the area. May is Michigan Wine Month, and wineries near you will be doing additional promotion. Make the most of this shoulder month and drive additional traffic to your business with a Wine Month package! For more information about Michigan wineries, visit Contact Jenelle Jagmin,, 517-284-5790 for assistance in locating wineries near you. 2018 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship Partners with Michigan Wineries This May, Michigan will welcome the 2018 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship to Benton Harbor. This event is proudly serving Michigan wine at the Makers Trail 19th Hole attraction. To provide a VIP

guest experience, these tickets provide access to the grounds of Harbor Shores, as well as access to the exclusive Makers Trail Pavilion. The Pavilion includes an upgraded viewing experience next to the 16th green and 17th tee, with a private cash bar serving local beer, wine and spirits from the Makers Trail. Upon arrival, each individual daily ticket holder will receive four (4) $5.00 vouchers for use towards the purchase of snacks and beverages including those from Domaine Berrien Cellars, Hickory Creek Winery and Lemon Creek Winery.  Thank you, Senior PGA for supporting local businesses, including Michigan wineries! More information and tickets are on sale at

Member Savings Fellow golf course owners and operators, while being a member of the state’s golf business association is important for many reasons, here are some to put right into your pocket. I have been a member of the MGCA for decades and the benefits are real and tangible. The modest membership dues expense covers both the Michigan GCA and the National Golf Course Owners Association. Our MGCA staff works hard to bring real value to our members, value that you can put in the bank. Here is how it works for us at Scott Lake Country Club (Comstock Park):

Coca Cola Rebate $432 Entegra Rebate $268 VGM Club Rebate $2,436 MI Clubs Fund $892 Total $ Savings & Rebates over $4,028 per year!!! Jeff Hoag Scott Lake Country Club




Golf League Network League Course of the Year Congratulations to Bill Howard and Saskatoon Golf Club for winning the 2017 Golf League Network “League Course of the Year” award. A participant since the first year League Courses were recognized (2010); Saskatoon was an early adopter of the Golf League Network. Still, 2017 was a banner year as their number of participating leagues grew 17% and their number of league

Joan and Bill Howard, owners

Farm to Table at Fenton Farms

The Orca Report

At Fenton Farms Golf Club, we embrace local!! Our menu is filled with seasonal locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey and dairy items. The herbs used in our signature dishes, and mint for our Mojitos, are grown right on property. We offer beer and wine from our hometown breweries and vineyards. Breads and desserts from bakeries just down the street. Our menu consists of local beef, pork, fish and fowl whenever possible. We limit the amount of processed foods, which can be challenging, but rewarding as well. Michigan has so many wonderful resources to offer. We showcase these resources on our menu entrees and specials. As a restaurant adopting the farm to table concept, you must be willing to change up your menu seasonally. As a chef, I need to go the extra mile and do my homework. That means going to the source, checking out the farms, talking to the growers. Additionally, this involves communicating to our guests the source of the foods prepared while developing a bridge of awareness between our local farms, our kitchen and our dining tables. To all of us at Fenton Farms Golf Club, the farm to table movement means having a mutually beneficial relationship with our customers and local businesses that establishes lasting relationships. Ultimately, the goal is to provide the freshest, safest, environmentally friendly and best tasting culinary creations possible. The bottom line…having a healthier and better tasting menu to be enjoyed after a fabulous round of golf!!!

Continued from page 13

ORCA: Occupancy – number of rounds sold as a percentage of capacity; Revenue per Available Round – revenue as a percentage of capacity; Channel Mix – where rounds come from; and Average Rate per Round – the average rate based on daily sales. “The ORCA Report helps our managers drive more greens fee revenue,” said Phil Green, Principal and COO of OB Sports, a leading golf course management company. “We use it for many things from adjusting barter relationships to fine-tuning pricing strategies. It’s based on factual performance data across a competitive set of golf courses. This gives us a very valuable perspective. The ORCA Report is a game-changer and long overdue.” To ensure longtime competitors play nice, confidentially is key. ORCA only reports on aggregate golf course data and applies strict privacy standards. The more courses confidentially share data with ORCA, the more powerful the tool becomes. In just a few months, nearly 500 golf courses in the Southwest, Northwest and Midwest rely on ORCA. “We learn more every day and are eager to help the golf course owner and operator make better, data-driven decisions,” said Loustalot. All members of the Michigan Golf Course Association are entitled to a FREE report. Upgrades to more detailed reports are available at minimal prices. To learn more visit: or contact Mike Loustalot

Cheers! Kathleen Smith Food & Beverage Director/Executive Chef TEE-OFF TIMES


golfers grew 30%; both remarkable numbers considering how well they’ve done in the past. The simple lesson we take from Saskatoon is that no matter how well you’re doing, there’s always room to grow! And for information on how you can join the fastest growing player development program contact Jason Snow at 616-457-9581 x927 to join the Golf League Network.



Fair Billing No Auto Renewal Simple invoicing

Experience the Purple Advantage A family business since 1933, offers the widest selection of linen to the food and beverage markets in Michigan.

Contact us




Napkins and Tablecloths Round Tablecloths Aprons and Towels Apparel Custom Embroidery Entrance/Logo Mats Facility Hygiene Services




Historical Michigan Tax Tribunal Success No upfront Tribunal filing or other fees for members 50+ Settlements and Tribunal Decisions 2016, 2017

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 48304




Spring Cleaning It’s that time of year again! Hopefully rested up from the winter break. Many of you have taken in workshops, seminars and online education on what can improve your operations for the 2018 season.

• Farm to Table is fantastic, make sure your local suppliers adhere to all of the Health Safety/Handling requirements established by the various government entities

Here’s a few pointers from some of our suppliers at Entegra:

• Utilize your food distributors kitchen for menu planning/costing

• Buying the least expensive item/product doesn’t always equate to saving money long term

• Discuss drop size and payment options to potentially add savings on your food costs

• Inventory done on paper? Most food distributors have mobile/online ordering that also includes inventory management support

These are just a few ideas to think about for the upcoming year. We gather and access information from the hundreds of suppliers within our network. These suppliers sell and support thousands of customers daily and have gathered invaluable data on trends to help improve your business.

• Source china/stemware/silverware that fits multiple uses/dishes • Take advantage of glassware buy-back programs

We hope you have a great 2018 and let us know how we can help improve your business! For more information on Entegra Select, contact Jill Wilde at 813.994.4680 or email her at

• Review your uniform/linen agreements: how much are you paying in fees outside of the cost per item?


y o u r


c o u r s e


Let us advertise to over 200,000 households in Michigan for you!

Simply provide an exclusive offer to your course for Farm Bureau members and we’ll market it year round.

Call (517) 323-6552 to learn more about FREE advertising! 21







MGCA Members - Thank You for your business in 2017! We look forward to DRIVING beverage profit FORE! You this season! Not selling Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola zero sugar, Dasani, Smartwater, Powerade, Vitaminwater, Gold Peak Tea, Minute Maid Juices, Core Power or Monster? Call Stefanie Lutz @ 734-397-6210, to have our local Market Development Manager contact you to help you increase your total profit. 23



Legislative Update Continued from page 14

than 72 hours of paid earned sick time a year unless the employer selects higher. Sick time shall carry over from year to year, but a small business is not required to permit an employee to use more than 40 hours of paid sick time and 32 hours of unpaid earned sick time in a single year.

of 13 Michigan voters who are randomly selected from a group whom applies. The breakdown of the group would be four Republicans, four Democrats, and five independent voters with no party affiliation. Paid Sick Leave – “MI Time to Care” This initiative would guarantee that all working people in Michigan have access to sick leave. This leave includes personal or family health needs, purposes related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and school meetings needed as a result of a child’s disability or health issues. Employees of a small business under this initiative would be able to accrue a minimum of one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours worked, but not allowed to use more than 40 hours of paid earned sick time a year unless the employer allows a higher limit. If an employee of small business accrues more than 40 hours of earned sick time in a calendar year, the employee is entitled to use up to an additional 32 hours of unpaid earned sick time in that year. Employees of small business are entitled to use paid earned sick time prior to using unpaid earned sick time. All other employees shall accrue a minimum of one hour of paid earned sick time for every 30 hours worked, but shall not be entitled to use more



Repeal Prevailing Wage – “Protecting Michigan Taxpayers” Repeal Michigan’s law that requires workers on state-financed building projects to be paid higher wages based on local union contracts. Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan Proposal to make Michigan reach 30% renewable energy prior to 2030 Promote the Vote – Recently approved by the Board of Canvassers to begin signature collections. Proposal aims to implement new voting reforms including no-reason absentee voting, the preservation of straight-ticket voting, allowing for voter registration by mail up to 15 days before an election, automatic voter registration, and providing for election audits among others.


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




National Golf Day April 25 Executive Branch and federal agencies to discuss golf’s 15,000-plus diverse businesses, two million jobs impacted, tax revenue creation and tourism value. Returning for 2018, golf industry leaders will arrive Monday, April 23 to Steve Mona, CEO of World Golf participate in a community Foundation service initiative on the National Mall the morning of Tuesday, April 24. The project will focus on beautification, preservation and helping the National Park Service with turf deferred maintenance. More details will be available soon. “With one in 75 U.S. jobs impacted by golf, the industry plays a significant role in stimulating our economy nationwide,” says Steve Mona, CEO of World Golf Foundation, administrator of WE ARE GOLF. “Last year, a record 2.5 million people tried golf for the first time, further cementing why it is vital to share golf’s interests with our country’s lawmakers, showcasing the game’s many economic, charitable and fitness benefits.” For registration information visit .

WE ARE GOLF – a coalition of the game’s leading associations and industry partners announced the 11th annual National Golf Day will be held Wednesday, April 25 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. National Golf Day celebrates the game’s nearly $70 billion economy (updated data available in April 2018), nearly $4 billion annual charitable impact and many environmental and fitness benefits. Industry leaders will meet with Members of Congress, the


National Golf Day APRIL 25

Professional Golf Planners of America, LLC


Cer�fied Golf Tournament Consultants Cer�fied Golf Tournament Planners Golf Ball launch Cannons Onsite Sub-Contrac�ng Golf Course Staffing Na�onal & Regional Sponsorship Programs

Professional Golf Planners of America, LLC (PGPA) is a For-Profit Golf Event Consul�ng Company offering Chari�es, Businesses and Private clients customized golf events uniquely designed to meet their needs. Whether it’s raising money for a worthy cause or planning a fun filled day of golf for your employees, clients or suppliers. PGPA “takes the STRESS out and puts the FUN back into your event”. TOLL FREE NUMBER: 855-711-PGPA TEE-OFF TIMES



Michigan Golf Course 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 ..................................$175.00

18 holes............................$350.00


27 holes.................................$450.00

36 holes............................$450.00


45 holes.................................$575.00

54 holes............................$575.00


63 holes.................................$575.00

Multiple Courses . ..........$575.00

Management Companies...... $575.00

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, Amex or Discover

Account # ___________________________________________________________________

Exp. Date ____________________________

Name on Card _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Signature ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Complete the credit card information or make check payable to MGCA and send to: Michigan Golf Course Association 1005 Abbot, Suite A, East Lansing, MI 48823 Phone: (517) 482-4312 Toll Free: (800) 860-8575 Fax: (517) 267-8984 website: e-mail: 27


121517 SPRING 2018

Tee-Off Times


1005 Abbot Road Suite A East Lansing, MI 48823 (517) 482-4312

Address Service Requested

Tee-Off Times is published by the Michigan Golf Course Association, editor – Kate Moore. MGCA offices are located at 1005 Abbot Road, Suite A, East Lansing, MI 48823. Phone (517) 482-4312, Fax (517) 267-8984. Articles written by outside authors do not necessarily reflect the view or position of the MGCA. MGCA’s position on key issues will be clearly stated. Manuscripts are accepted at the approval of the editor who reserves the right to reject or edit. Appearance in the Tee-Off Times does not constitute endorsement of the advertiser, its products or services, 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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487 West Division Street Sparta, MI 49345

1050 North Opdyke Road Auburn Hills, MI 48326


Spring 2018 Tee-Off Times  

The Spring 2018 issue of the Michigan Golf Course Association's Tee-Off Times publication.

Spring 2018 Tee-Off Times  

The Spring 2018 issue of the Michigan Golf Course Association's Tee-Off Times publication.