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Shoulder to Shoulder Paisley takes the tee as Moore putts out

In this issue: “Golf on the Lawn” Recap League Women’s Day a great success MGCA announces new credit card program


Patron Contribution Thank you for supporting golf industry education

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SUMMER 2018

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Michigan Golf Course Association 1005 Abbot Road, Suite A East Lansing, MI 48823 800-860-8575 Fax: 517-267-8984 www.MichiganGCA.org 2


Worth the Wait by BILL FOUNTAIN, MGCA President The older we get it seems that Spring arrives later and Fall arrives earlier. In many ways the first part of 2018 seemed to be harsh on many fronts. We had golf in February, none in March and we all know how April went. But as I write this on May 25th, its 83 degrees outside and I cannot remember a Spring where the lilacs and honeysuckle have smelled so sweet. The grass is growing out of it’s mind and pollen fills the air as Memorial Day approaches. Yesterday I took a drive around the course just to enjoy its beauty. We are all fortunate to have a business where Mother Nature is our palate and she brings us her best just when we need it. Then I stopped and picked up a dandelion.

stowaways, but brought on purpose for their medicinal benefits. That dandelion lays on my desk as the phone rings for weekend tee times. Life is good and our business is great. The 2018 season is on its way and it was worth the wait.

History of Dandelions in North America The dandelion is originally native to China, but has now spread throughout the northern hemisphere. As history tells it, dandelions have been spreading throughout North America since 1620. Dandelions probably arrived in North America on the Mayflower—not as

Be sure to check with the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association for eradication tips. And speaking of another type of weed we will be dealing with soon, read Tom Schwark’s take on page 8.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS WEDNESDAY, JULY 18

25th Annual Golf Outing and Supplier Field Day NEW LOCATION: Stoatin Brae, Augusta

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 Golf League Championship Easgle Eye, Bath

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26 - 28 Golf Business Conference Somerset Inn, Troy

Board of Directors President

Vice President

Treasurer

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

www.MichiganGCA.ORG

SUMMER 2018


MGCA Announces New Credit Card Program A year ago the Michigan Golf Course Association joined thousands of customers who use the credit card processing solutions of our strategic partner Michigan Retailers Association. We are now excited to bring that same program to you. Whether you’ve been in business for years or are just starting out, they have a merchant processing solution that’s just right for you. From e-commerce to mobile processing and everything you could need, I know our colleagues at Michigan Retailers will give you the best options and service available. Check out the flyer in this issue of the Tee Off Times and give them a call. We have been very happy with the service and are confident you will be, too.

TEE-OFF TIMES

SUMMER 2018

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Kate Moore retires as Executive Director It is with mixed emotions that I will step down as executive director this September. Having announced to the board of directors last fall that this will be my last season, I am grateful for having had this opportunity to have a part in guiding and growing the MGCA over the past 20 years. Leading this association through 2 decades has been the most satisfying experience of my career, and I consider it to have been an honor and a privilege. The MGCA has been strategically preparing for this transition over the past year. Jada Paisley, associate director, has been with us for 11 years and will take the lead

US. With my husband Bob, I have already been to over half. More time with my grandsons is also high on the list and a trip to my Irish homeland with my son is in the works. I am grateful for your friendship and support all these years and look forward to watching the MGCA flourish.

Kate and Bob enjoy “rails to trails” biking along with their camping.

as of September 1. Milt Senter will stay on as special projects coordinator, and a new administrative /events coordinator will be hired this summer. I will remain on retainer to publish the Tee Off Times as well as work on other limited projects. I am confident that, with such a solid team set to pick up the reins, the future of the MGCA seems brighter than ever. When I started with the MGCA twenty years ago, we had less than 100 members, and while the association had been around a long time, I was the first staff member. The outstanding group of volunteer board members who started the association in 1976 worked hard to create a foundation in Michigan that is the basis of our Association’s success. The MGCA has become one of the premier state golf associations in the country, and I would like to thank all the members for their continued support, enthusiasm, dedication and passion that made this possible. I am certain our members, allied partners, volunteers and donors, are committed to ensure that the association will continue year after year to raise the bar for awareness of the golf industry in our state. Both hard work and support have created a vital and flourishing association for golf course owners, operators and suppliers. With my new time off, I intend to continue my pursuit of visiting every National Park in the continental

(above) Kate and her family at Easter 2017.

“The MGCA has become one of the Premier state golf associations... passion made that possible.”

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www.MichiganGCA.ORG

SUMMER 2018


Michigan Poised for a Golf Boom by SARA WOLD, President, GAM and 2010 Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient The Michigan Golf Alliance is comprised of statewide organizations working together to grow the game of golf in Michigan. The Golf Association of Michigan, Greater Michigan Club Managers Association, Michigan Golf Course Association, Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association, Michigan Section PGA, Michigan Turfgrass Association, and the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program have programs in place to provide a wide range of benefits for all Michigan citizens. These benefits include recreation and health, employment opportunities, youth programs, charity, championship and competitive golf, legislative action, technology development, tourism and hospitality, and environmental stewardship and habitat preservation. Collectively, the Alliance hosted Legislative Day. We

visited Michigan Legislators to discuss relevant issues and enjoyed ‘Lunch on the Lawn” of the Capitol Building together. It was a fun way to get our message across and develop mutual understanding and respect. Each organization has programs in place that will improve the golfing experience for everyone. Michigan has “mom and pop” courses to world renowned clubs and resorts that have hosted major championships and international competitions. The Club Managers provide education to ensure efficient and successful club operations. The Michigan Golf Course Association provides education for owners and operators and monitors and influences legislative activity. The clubs and courses are working hard to provide affordable and fun events for their members and customers. The successful League Championship involving over 30,000 golfers is a prime example. The Superintendents are using new technology and scientific knowledge to streamline and enhance the maintenance and condition of their courses. Turfgrass Research, primarily at MSU, has drastically improved the grasses, fertilizers, pesticides, equipment, and procedures. Current and future research will bring improvements we can only hope for and imagine. The Michigan Section PGA conducts the Drive, Chip and Putt Program that has us glued to the TV on Sunday before the Masters. It has stimulated interest in golf in millions of people and along with the Junior League Program, has encouraged more young people to learn the game. They are also encouraging diversity in their organization and programs to broaden the reach of golf world-wide. The Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) has a full range of Championships for amateurs from juniors to super seniors and elite golfers to recreational players. The Youth on Course program fills the gap between youth learning to play and actually getting out to the golf course and playing. The youngsters pay $5 and the GAM Foundation pays the remainder to play at courses participating in the program. It is a win, win for the youth, their families, and the golf courses. People are starting to golf at a younger age; there are golf toys for babies. People are playing longer, well into their 80s. In addition, there are a number of First Tee Programs and LPGA-UAGA Girls Golf Programs scattered around the state. The golf community is world-wide and multi-generational. Thanks to these active and effective golf organizations, Michigan is ready to lead the way to embrace an ever growing number of golfers.

BALLOT PROPOSAL TO WATCH 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. The last scheduled wage increase tied to the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act of 2014 took place this January. The state’s board of Licensing and Regulatory affairs says any future adjustments will not exceed 3.5 percent and will be established by the state treasurer based on the unemployment rate and the Consumer Price Index. A group called One Fair Wage of Michigan has proposed raising the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2022, and to $12 an hour by 2024 for tipped workers. In September, the group received approval to begin collecting signatures to put the issue before voters in Nov. 2018. The golf industry has always relied on youth workers and seniors to round out our seasonal business. With an increase in minimum wage to this degree, it simply means we will be unable to hire as many. It’s a lose lose proposition. TEE-OFF TIMES

SUMMER 2018

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Michigan Members Attend WEAREGOLF’s National Golf Day in Washington DC The coalition of the game’s leading associations and industry partners hosted its 11 th annual National Golf Day on April 24-25, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. In attendance from Michigan were Kate Moore, MGCA executive director, Kathy Aznavorian, owner of Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center (Plymouth), John Fulling, superintendent at Kalamazoo Country Club and GCSAA board member and Jeff Sweet, general manager of Bucks Run Golf Course (Mt. Pleasant) National Golf Day celebrates the game’s nearly $84.1 billion economy, nearly $4 billion annual charitable impact and many environmental and fitness benefits. More than 300 industry leaders met with Members of Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies across 230 meetings on April 25 to discuss golf’s 15,000-plus diverse businesses, two million jobs impacted, tax revenue creation and tourism value. Golf industry leaders arrived Monday, April 23 to participate in the second annual Community Service Project on the National Mall the morning of Tuesday, April 24. The project featured 175 participants across 18 projects focused on beautification, preservation and helping the National Park Service with turf deferred maintenance.  “Working on the Capitol Mall gave me such a feeling of patriotism; coming together as an industry to beautify our Nation’s Capital was truly a great experience,” said Moore. The National Golf Course Owners Association had 31 members who attended National Golf Day with many participating in the Community Service Project. After 11 years holding this annual event, our industry is gaining visibility and momentum.

(Above) Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center’s owner Kathy Aznavorian donned the yellow vest and helped lay sod. Aznavorian is on the Michigan and National boards of directors. (Below, l-r) MGCA Executive Director Kate Moore worked with her counterpart from New England Elaine Gebhardt; Jeff Sweet, Busks Run Golf Course (Mt. Pleasant) with Fox News’ Brett Baier, keynote speaker; Aznavorian and Moore ready for the day; Sweet, Moore and Aznavorian visited Senator Tim Walberg.

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www.MichiganGCA.ORG

SUMMER 2018


Legislative Bulletin by TOM SCHWARK, Owner of Sycamore Hills Golf Course in Macomb Republicans Should Legalize Marijuana, But Will They?

don’t and the proposal is on the fall ballot, it will bring out a lot of liberal voters who generally are democrats. Several special elections that have occurred since Trump won the Presidency in 2016 have gone the democrats way. Traditionally, the party that is out of power after the Presidential election, have always won back some seats that they had lost previously. With Trump being as controversial as he has been, history is likely to repeat itself. This can also happen in Michigan. The golf industry, and business in general, has benefited from a healthy business climate in Michigan thanks to a republican governor and legislature. Our state senate, led by Arlan Meekhof, has discussed legalizing marijuana. They have even proposed a state income tax cut, tied to the legalization of marijuana. However, Tom Leanord, the speaker of the house, has been adamantly against legalizing marijuana. Maybe it’s because he wants to run for attorney general in Michigan, and feels legalizing marijuana would harm his chances for winning the attorney general nomination. Since it appears very likely that marijuana is going to be legalized as a recreational drug, the legislature should be sensible and make the best of a situation that is inevitable. That way, future changes to tweak marijuana laws are easier to accomplish, and it may help republicans to continue to retain control of our state government.

The proposal to legalize marijuana has enough signatures to be put on a state wide ballot this fall. Opinion polls show that the ballot will easily be approved by voters. There are two very good reasons for the Michigan legislature to legalize marijuana before June 5. The Committee to Keep Pot out of Neighborhoods and Schools is a political action committee initially formed to fight the ballot proposal to legalize marijuana. However, when it became clear that the proposal had enough signatures to be on the November ballot, the committee changed its stance. They now want the legislature to legalize marijuana. If the Michigan legislature legalizes marijuana, they will be able to control the regulation of the marijuana industry. The will also be able to change or amend the law in the future with a simple majority of votes. If the Michigan legislature fails to pass a law legalizing marijuana, and the ballot proposal passed in the fall, the state constitution is amended. Then to amend the state constitution in the future requires a super majority of the vote of the legislature which is always very unlikely. The other reason the Michigan legislature should pass a law to legalize marijuana is because if they

I’ve Got Music Music can be your customer’s first impression of your establishment. Your service and products are important, of course, but music can support and shape your business by setting an atmosphere and a pace of life. Streaming music in your restaurant, snack bar or proshop isn’t free. Federal copyright law requires you to secure the proper licensing rights to play music in your business.

2. It’s not just about the legal risk you assume if it’s not licensed; songwriters simply deserve to be paid for their work. A songwriter’s creative work is protected through royalties that come from establishments that play those works either as live performances or recorded versions. 3. It’s easy to obtain and maintain a music license.    There are several companies that make it easy to obtain a license to play a wide variety of music. Check out https://pandora.moodmedia.com/licensing or https://cloudcovermusic.com/ or even BMI www.bmi. com/ede. The cost for these services is relatively the same for the basic service at @$30 per month. The annual fee is generally based on the size of your establishment and the frequency of the music performed.

Three things you need to be aware of… 1. No matter how accessible music is these days, you still have to have a license if you plan to play music publicly. Yes we live in the electronic age where we can listen to anything, anytime we choose. But in a business, it is different. The songwriters need to get paid and this happens when you get a proper license. TEE-OFF TIMES

SUMMER 2018

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Promote, Protect and Preserve – Michigan’s Legislative Day The golf economy begins with the golf facilities themselves, and with other core industries that produce goods and services used to operate facilities and to play the game. With a $4.2 billion dollar economic impact, members of the Michigan Golf Alliance took that message to every state legislative office on June 7th’s annual “Golf on the Capitol Lawn.” The Michigan Golf Alliance, comprised of the leaders of Michigan golf industry associations came together to create a dynamic event to promote the game and the business of golf. Following a successful National Golf Day event in April, the leaders of the Michigan Golf Alliance met with members and legislators for a day filled with information and advocacy. Nearly 400 gathered under the big tent in front of the Capitol steps for “lunch on the turn”, an opportunity for legislators and their constituents to discuss the issues of golf business and connect with one another. Taxes, tourism funding and the environment were top on the list. The highlight of the day was when Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley presented Governor Snyder’s proclamation that June is Michigan Golf Month (#MichiganGolfMonth). “With Governor Snyder’s proclamation of June as MICHIGAN GOLF MONTH, we showcased to the legislators what an important business our industry is to the state. With so many more golf courses than most states, Michigan truly is a leader in golf business,” said Tom Schwark, chairman of government affairs for the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association and owner of Sycamore Hills Golf Course in Macomb. Michigan Section PGA professionals offered a swing analysis for the legislators and their staff throughout the afternoon as well as putting tips. US Golf Cars (a Club Car distributor) along with Spartan Distributors (a TORO distributor) brought equipment to demonstrate the major investments the industry makes. Beverage partner Coca Cola provided beverages throughout the day. Lansing’s Foresight Group supported the Alliance by providing all collateral materials.

MGCA president Bill Fountain (3rd from left) has lunch with legislator.

Michigan Golf Alliance presidents receive special tribute from Lt. Governor Calley.

Legislators get a lesson from MIPGA.

MGCA Government Affairs chair Tom Schwark displays proclamation presented by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley the June is #michigangolfmonth.

Hundreds gather under the tent for lunch and lobbying. 9

www.MichiganGCA.ORG

SUMMER 2018


BALLOT PROPOSAL TO WATCH Paid Sick Leave – “MI Time to Care” The Michigan Golf Course Association asked our state representatives to please take action to avoid a ballot proposal of this type.

imum of one hour of paid earned sick time for every 30 hours worked, but shall not be entitled to use more 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. While this policy is aimed at improving employee benefits, businesses which have been affected by similar proposals around the country have had difficulty dealing with the cost of the bill and as a result employees don’t see the results proponents of paid sick leave initiatives hope for. The initiative is not flexible enough to accommodate for the limitations of smaller businesses which the majority of golf courses in Michigan are, and would require these businesses to pay employees money they don’t have for labor they don’t receive in return. If passed it may result in reduction of other benefits, among other negative impacts which this initiative could have on our businesses.

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 min-

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SUMMER 2018

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Skills Clinic and 9-Hole Best Ball The inaugural League Women’s Day golf event was held Sunday, May 20th at the Emerald Golf Course in St. Johns. The event was designed to give golfers a few skills clinics along with a competitive golf experience. Patti Butcher, owner and operator of Patti Butcher Golf Enterprises, is the 2010 LPGA National Golf Professional of the Year and two-time LPGA Midwest Teacher of the Year (2002, 2006) conducted the clinics, one on the course through play and one afterwards during awards and appetizers. Twice named to Golf Digest’s list of the “50 Best Women Teachers in America,” Butcher started the nationally ranked women’s program at Grand Valley State University and served as the Division II representative for the NCAA Golf Committee. She specializes in oncourse instruction and working with students of all skill levels to meet their scoring goals. League Women’s Day was a nine hole two person best ball. Patti did a skills clinic on one of the par 3’s after the ladies teed off but before they putt. Katie Eccleton, Director of Golf Operations at The Emerald, was very pleased with the event. As a golf course operator Katie thought the timing was good, having it in the afternoon in the spring. “Would even love to have had more instruction; keep it at 9 holes and then have some instruction beforehand as well as on a hole” as another way to engage with the golfer. Playing just nine holes allow time for the clinics and time for the golfers to mingle with the instructor. With the event shotgun at 1:00pm, the golfers came early to have lunch and some played an additional 9, adding incremental revenue to the golf course. The staff at the MGCA will be finetuning this event idea and will send it out to our members later this summer. We want to thank our premier sponsors for their support.

1. Participants listen as Kate Moore explains the scoring and announces the days winners. 2. Prizes were awarded for longest drive, closest to the pin and net champions-with a few door prizes thrown in. 3. Smiling faces from one of the foursomes-including our host Katie Eccleton, manager of The Emerald (far left). 4. Patti Butcher demonstrates proper short game technique.

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SUMMER 2018


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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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Summer 2018 Tee-Off Times  

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

Summer 2018 Tee-Off Times  

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

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