Spring into Action! Courses are getting ready for 2020
In this issue: MGCA new president Gilda Johnson checks in Award winners recognized Schwark: Is there a place for the â€œCommon Senseâ€? Party?
Mark Runchey, Director of Golf, Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center, Plymouth. Photo courtesy of Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center.
Early Spring Predicted by GILDA JOHNSON, MGCA President Though I am no Punxsutawney Phil, I predict that an early Spring is ahead of us. The golf business has its challenges but, t h a n k f u l l y, w e enjoy the benefit of our winter reprieve, an opportunity to evaluate, plan, tweak our business for the upcoming season. We discuss ways to improve the products and services we offer, diversify our revenue streams, cut costs, improve our training to name a few. Like in all businesses, unique challenges present themselves every year, many that are out of our direct control. Managing the controllable factors, making incremental progress, and having a plan are key to succeed in the competitive market for our customer’s time and money. I have yet to find a handbook, a text book, or a class that present the ins and outs of a successful golf business. I am thankful to have found something much better; the collective experience of the over 300+ owners and operators that make up the MGCA. Many have been in
the golf business for 30+ years, some much less. No matter, every operator’s individual perspective helps shed new light on solving problems; bringing new ideas to help all of us run our business a little bit better. I encourage you to join us at MGCA sponsored events, be it at Legislative Day, the Golf Outing, at our Annual Conference, or at our newly announced round table discussions, MGCA Coffee Connections. Let
Tee Off Times is published 4 times a year by the Michigan Golf Course Association. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect the views of the MGCA. For information on Tee Off Times please contact us at info@MichiganGCA.org
2020 be the year that with harness the collective knowledge of our membership for the good of the golf business. Within the Tee Off Times, you will find a new Question and Answer section, as well as an invitation to share your thoughts on a topic that is relevant to the industry. We want to hear, and learn from you. Your voice is important. Thank you for being a part of the MGCA, we look forward to a great year.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS March 12 MGCA Coffee Connections at Chisholm Hills, Lansing 1:30-3:00 pm FREE to MGCA Members. June 4 Legislative Day on the Lawn, Capitol Lawn, Lansing July 15 MGCA Annual Golf Outing at Stoatin Brae Golf Course, Augusta July 19 Ladies Day’ with Patti Butcher, LPGA at The Lynx, Otsego September 10 MGCA Coffee Connections, Lansing, 1:30 pm-3:00 pm FREE to MGCA Members September 27 Michigan Golf League Championship, Eagle Eye Golf Course, Bath November 30 - December 2 MI Golf Business Conference and Vendor Show, Firekeepers Casino and Hotel, Battle Creek
Board of Directors President
Kathy Aznavorian Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center
Jeff Hoag Scott Lake Country Club
Bill Mory Meridian Sun Golf Course
Tom Schwark Sycamore Hills
Corey Crowell Indian River Golf Course
Toni Joers Concord Hills
Bay Paul Course Logix
Jim Szilagyi The Lynx Golf Club
Bernie Friedrich Boyne USA
Bob Koutnik Fox Run Country Club
Steve Ramey Chisholm Hills
Susan Vanderburg Indian Lake Hills
Gilda Johnson Lake Forest Golf Club
Jon Scott Gull Lake View
Jim Dewling Total Golf Inc.
Bill Fountain Majestic at Lake Walden
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 2020 Michigan. TEE-OFF TIMES SPRING
Napkins and Tablecloths Round Tablecloths Aprons and Towels Apparel Custom Embroidery Entrance/Logo Mats Facility Hygiene Services
MGCA Announces 2019 Award Winners
shows have aired regionally and locally. Ferris State University’s Professional Golf Management Program was honored with the Award of Merit. This award is reserved for significant, measurable and meaningful work in and for the golf industry and beyond. The Professional Golf Management program at Ferris is iconic in Michigan where it was founded in 1975 as the first of its kind sanctioned by the PGA of America. The program has significant outreach in the golf industry, provides a home to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and is a national leader in training and educating of future golf professionals. Detroit Golf Club was honored as the 2019 Golf Course of the Year. This award honors a member course in good standing that has demonstrated exceptional quality of the golf course, exceptional quality of ownership and management, outstanding contribution to its community and significant contribution to the game. Founded in 1899, Detroit Golf Club has evolved (Clockwise) Representatives from for over a century into a Ferris State University’s PGM Program; Bob Koutnick, Lyle Leeke graceful, challenging and Distinguished Service Award, picturesque property with with wife Geri; Detroit Golf Club’s Derek Jacques, General Manager history and pedigree at and Jake Mendoza, Superintenevery turn. From humble dent; Janina Jacobs, Lifetime Achievement Award. beginnings as a six-hole course, the now 36-hole facility is a symbol of renovation and resurgence in Detroit as evidenced by the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club bringing the PGA TOUR back to Michigan.
Bob Koutnik, owner of Fox Run Country Club in Grayling, Janina Jacobs, golf journalist and advocate, the Ferris State University’s Professional Golf Management Program and Detroit Golf Club were announced today as 2019 Award Winners by the Michigan Golf Course Association (MGCA). The winners were introduced and celebrated at the MGCA Awards Banquet on the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 3, during the 2019 Michigan Golf Business Conference and Vendor Fair at the Soaring Eagle Resort in Mt. Pleasant. Giving back to the industry is what Bob Koutnik accomplishes each day. He was the recipient of the Lyle Leeke Distinguished Service Award. This award is presented to an individual who has displayed distinguished service to the MGCA and the golf industry in the state of Michigan. A catalyst for Patriot Golf Day in Michigan and recipient of the first Patriot Golf Award from the Michigan Section PGA, Koutnik volunteers his time with the Michigan PGA as well as the Michigan Golf Course Association. He has served on the MGCA Board of Directors for over a dozen years most recently as president of the board of directors, and continuously gives back to the industry in Michigan and his community. Janina Jacobs received the Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award. It is presented to an individual or organization that over the span of a lifetime has provided steadfast leadership, outstanding service and continuous commitment to the Michigan golf industry. Jacobs is a multi-media consultant specializing in golf, business, music, nutrition, fitness, community and women’s issues. As a freelance writer her work has appeared in international, national, regional, and local publications, and as a television host and producer her
If you would like to honor an individual, business or golf course by nominating them for one of these prestigious awards, you can do so at any time. Visit www.michigangca.org for the application process or simply call Jada Paisley at 800-860-8575 for details. Each of these awards is open to all members of the association in addition to the Player Development Leadership Award. 5
Ways to Lower Your SUTA Tax Rate — may be eligible. To reduce the likelihood of terminating employees for poor performance, give them the resources they need to succeed, including proper tools and training.
Because the State Unemployment Tax Act — or SUTA — tax is mandatory, you may think you have no control over your SUTA rate. But to some extent, you do. The first thing to remember is that each state sets its own criteria for state unemployment tax, and rates vary by employer. Typically, new employers are assigned a standard “new employer” rate. Over time, they receive an “experience rating,” which can be higher or lower than the new employer rate. The experience rating mainly depends on how many former employees have drawn unemployment benefits on the employer’s account. The more benefits claimed on an employer’s account, the higher its SUTA tax rate. Other determinants may include whether the employer is in the construction industry and the employer’s payroll size.
3. Use independent contractors. You can avoid unemployment claims by legally hiring independent contractors instead of employees. If you decide to take this route, ensure all mandatory requirements for independent contractor status are met, including the Internal Revenue Service’s “right-to-control” test and applicable state tests. 4. Contest dubious unemployment claims. Dubious unemployment claims may involve former employees providing the state workforce agency with false information to obtain benefits or filing a claim even though they were rightfully terminated for gross misconduct. Before you fight an unemployment claim, consult with an unemployment benefits expert to gauge the strength of your case. Also, make sure you have supporting documents to back up your version of events. 5. Make voluntary contributions. Many states allow employers with an experience rating to voluntarily make a “buydown” payment, which cancels all or part of the benefits charged to their account, thereby reducing their SUTA tax rate.
You may be powerless against some of these influencers — such as your business’s age and industry — but there are other ways to lower your SUTA rate. Here are five tactics.
More tips • Consider alternatives to layoffs, such as reducing employees’ work hours via your state’s work-sharing program.
1. Hire only when needed. Letting employees go because you don’t need them anymore likely renders them eligible for unemployment benefits. If they file for unemployment benefits, your SUTA rate is likely to increase. So, make sure you truly need an employee before hiring him or her.
• Offer departing employees a solid severance package as well as outplacement services to help them quickly find a job. This way, they will be less inclined to rely on unemployment benefits.
2. Help your employees succeed. Employees terminated for gross misconduct typically do not qualify for unemployment benefits. However, employees fired for poor performance — such as due to lack of skills TEE-OFF TIMES
This information is provided by MGCA member FlexChecks Inc. 6
The Power of Connection by JADA PAISLEY, Exexutive Director As I reflect on the past year and focus on the coming year, I’m reminded how quickly time passes. I, like you, am wondering how it is possible that we are in another decade. So much is evolving, yet so much remains the same. Along with the rest of the world, technology and consumer trends are ever changing in the golf industry. How do we create that personal touch that makes our industry stand out in the world of sports and hospitality? It’s not a secret that when a business makes the customer experience more personal, a loyal customer may be created. I’m continually amazed by the unique stories I have heard from golf courses about how they have created that connection. Each golf facility is as unique as the customers they serve. As an association, there are a lot of comparisons to be made to the golf industry. While the golfer is your customer, our customer is you, the member. Connecting with you and serving you as our member is MGCA’s priority. While we can work for and with you, your opportunity as a member doesn’t stop there. Take the initiative to network at events with your golf industry peers and reach out to your fellow members through the MGCA and NGCOA member portals. Not sure how? Give us a call to help. The MGCA staff wants to reach you, the member, to help build that personal customized member experience. What are you looking for in your membership? We want to start this decade with a clear vision of what our members want
Michigan Golf Course Association
www.MichiganGCA.org Jada Paisley - jpaisley@MichiganGCA.org Kate Moore - kmoore@MichiganGCA.org Milt Senter - msenter@MichiganGCA.org Mary Brodin - mbrodin@MichiganGCA.org General Mailbox - firstname.lastname@example.org Phone - 517-482-4312 Toll Free - 800-860-8575 Fax - 517-267-8984
and need. Like you and your golf business we endeavor to make the personal connection with you. I’d love to hear from you.
Some ways to connect with your peers through the MGCA (left to right) Annual Awards banquets; MGCA Golf Outings; Michigan Golf Business Conference and Vendor Fair.
Corporate Member Profile
Access the Latest Technology without a Major Overhaul The industry’s first and only solution that lets you add IC Rotors and Valves, as well as IC CONNECT™, onto your existing Rain Bird Satellite System. Whether you’re expanding your course or looking for a cost-effective way to renovate with minimum disruption to play, Rain Bird is the only irrigation provider with a true integrated solution to upgrade your current system. With the Integrated Control Interface Plus (ICI+) you can upgrade your Rain Bird Satellite System to the latest IC System™ technology without a complete overhaul. In addition, Rain Bird helps make your renovation even easier through its new financing program. From product
upgrades to complete irrigation system renovations, Rain Bird Financial Solutions can customize a program that meets all of your irrigation and owner requirements. For nearly seven decades, irrigation has been Rain Bird’s only focus. When you partner with Rain Bird and Rain Bird Financial Solutions, you can expect that we know golf course irrigation, and we understand how to make it work to your advantage.
Smart Buy Program: All MGCA member golf courses, including private, semi-private, and municipal courses, are eligible to receive a 1.5% rebate on all Rain Bird Golf Irrigation products. To learn more, contact your local Michigan Rain Bird distributor representative at SiteOne Golf today! • Western Michigan 844-425-8057 • Eastern Michigan 844-431-1686
Get Your Free “Guide to Running a Successful Golf Outing” New for 2020 is the latest edition of “A Guide to Run- Bureaus as well as to all golf courses in the state. ning a Successful Golf Outing.” This handy little booklet The MGCA is a non-profit trade association which is published every three years by the is “ The Voice of Michigan Golf A Guide to Running a Michigan Golf Course Association. Business.” Golf course owners and The purpose of the guide is to help operators who belong to the Asyour event planners: sociation truly care about the golf • Raise funds industry and its future in Michigan. • Assure participants have an enWe encourage planners to choose joyable experience a member course when planning • Make life easier for the event their next golf outing. We provide planner and the golf course opthem with a complete listing of all erator MGCA members, including locaThe “Guide” includes step by step tion and contact information. instructions to planning an event These guides are available to from selecting a course, finalizing a MGCA members for the cost of budget, working with volunteers and shipping and handling (approximatethe all-important awards and prizes. ly $10 for 25 Guides but no limit on The MGCA distributes the book your order amount). Just give us a call to all state legislators, members of and we will send them your way. This Meeting Professional International, is only one of the many features and Michigan Golf Course Owners Association Michigan Society of Association Exbenefits of being a member of the ecutives, & Convention and Visitors MGCA. 800-860-8575
Successful Golf Outing
Treetops Resort Michigan’s Most Spectacular Resort Jones Masterpiece #6
“What is your golf course’s policy on the use of Personal Devices (such as cell phones, iPads) while on the job?”
This is what we state in our employee handbook: “Cell phones and texting devices are expected to be used on lunch and other breaks only. Emergency calls are an exception. Use of cell phones on work time will result in having to leave your phone in your car or in a secure place designated by your supervisor.” (36 hole course in Kent County)
dents and allow them to do their homework while working as long as the customers are their priority. This normally occurs during our Spring start-up and Fall slow down times. Cell phone use is allowed; however, again, we require that the customer is their priority.” Cart Washer – “Our cart washer has to leave their phone in the pro shop. We normally employ 16 year olds and have found that they spend too much time on their phones versus washing the carts.”
“Every person upon hire is walked through our personal use of personal phones. We recognize that so many people are connected through their phones. The use of their devices cannot interfere with their duties. They cannot use their phones when operating machinery.” (27 hole course in Kent County)
Grounds Staff – “We allow them to have their cell phones. We have long term older employees and do not have any issues.” “I also want to note that we communicate with our staffs via their cell phones as we do not provide other communication devices with the exception of the business phone in the pro shop. So if a staff member is on the beer cart and is rolling in for an order or product that is not on the cart they can call in and it will be ready for them or if a sprinkler pops up in the middle of the day our grounds staff will call us. Our enforcement is just a discussion if I or another staff member observes an issue. I only have 6 – 7 employees so it’s handled more casually here.” (18 hole course in Berrien County)
“This is a hard one because most people are used to looking at their phone. I allow stagg to have their phone on them while working. They may look at it in the break room or out of sight of customers. If there is an issue with an employee using their phone too much then I deal with it on a one on one basis. This worked great in 2019.” (9 hole course in Kalamazoo County) Pro shop – “We allow the use of Personal Devices during our slow times. We employ local college stu-
The National Golf Course Owners Association Releases: Beware of Barter: The Ins and Outs of Trading Your Tee Times
In a 62-page guide released today, the NGCOA has pulled back the curtain to reveal data, reviews, and narratives every golf course owner or operator should know about bartering tee times away for golf management software (GMS) technology, and tee time distribution services. “Our market sentiment study in 2018 revealed the industry has a very complicated, love-hate relationship with the barter method of compensation for technology and tee time distribution,” said Jay Karen, NGCOA’s CEO. “We firmly believe the barter economy is allowing for deep, unnecessary and erroneous discounting of golf, as well as aggressive disintermediation with customers that golf courses have worked decades to cultivate. Through this resource, we are attempting to answer important questions about a questionable practice.” The guide begins with a definition and discussion of barter; its chapters then cover: • Calculating the Cost of Barter • Price Elasticity and Golf • Rate Integrity and Parity Protecting Your Brand • Is the Technology Worth the Cost? • The Hospitality Handbook The guide also explores various case studies and best practices. Research included academic studies, case histories, and expert observations and analysis; the findings have developed over the years, not only through a recent member survey, but through discussions with GMS providers and Online Tee Time Agents (OTTAs), and general industry awareness. Karen continued, “When the supply-and-demand realities of our industry are already causing historic TEE-OFF TIMES
challenges, we feel it’s important for course operators to fully understand this practice and seek alternative ways to work with GMS and OTTA companies. The resource is an important reminder that course opera-
tors are ultimately in control of the conversation and the terms.” Some of the most valuable parts of this study include hearing from course operators who quit bartering, and the positive impact seen to their bottom lines. Contact the NGCOA for your copy at ngcoa.org.
Corporate Member Profile
Driven by Service US Golf Cars has been serving West Michigan and beyond since 1989 as a Club Car distributor. As a leader in the Golf and Utility Vehicle industry, we specialize in sales, service, rentals and parts. Initially focused on golf courses, US Golf cars has since expanded; adding commercial utility, personal use transportation, and preowned vehicles. US Golf Cars is driven by the desire to provide superior performance and quality customer service which has been the
Welcome new MGCA members Flushing Valley Golf and Country Club, Flushing
driving force behind our company for over 30 years. Great service begins and ends with experienced and friendly professionals. This
is why we have put so much time and consideration into selecting the best people to join our team.
email@example.com www.usgolfcars.com 616-891-6991
Fountains Golf and Banquet Center, Clarkston Franklin Hills Country Club, Franklin Pigeon Creek Golf Course, West Olive Stonegate Golf Club, Twin Lake Wolf Creek Golf Club, Adrian
Get Creative and Get People Golfing Starting back in 2005 with a grant from the Dul Family, the Player Development Leadership Award has for the past 15 years provided over $20,000 in grants to golf course owners and operators who developed proven steps to cultivate new golfers and new rounds. These on-going programs overcome the nongolfer’s perceived barriers to playing golf and/or encourage golfers to play more. The award(s) are presented to MGCA members that demonstrate creativity and success in growing the game. At the 2019 Michigan Golf Business Conference two programs were each awarded a $750 grant to continue their work. Nic Thompson, director of golf at Hartland Glen Golf Course in Hartland and Carolyn Olson, owner of Elmbrook Golf Course in Traverse City were both on hand to receive the recognition. Hartland Glen’s junior golf program was started over ten years ago and has enjoyed leading over 125 junior golfers through instruction and practice. This program accommodates ages 5 – 17 in unique age groups and concludes with a players “tournament.” Elmbrook Golf Course developed a program to bring
women to the game through a nontraditional method. Partnering with a local radio host in Traverse City, the course promoted the program where women had a one-hour lesson with the teaching professional, a short golf scramble and then dinner at the clubhouse provided by a local Traverse City restaurant. Win, win! Each year the Scott Family Educational Support Foundation reviews dozens of applications for these grants. If you would like to be considered, visit the MGCA website for details. Watch for the entry deadline is in the fall. To be considered, an MGCA member’s program must include actual playing opportunities, not just golf lessons. The following criteria will also be considered when reviewing and judging the entries: • Background - How did you develop the program and how long has it been in existence? • Goals - What is the goal of your program? Who is your target customer? • Innovation - What is innovative about your development program? • Impact - How do you measure its impact or success? 11
From tees to greens and fairways in-between Brian Herndon covers clubhouses, golf carts, mowers, inventory, liquor and more. Call today for your free quote! (248) 486-4160 | firstname.lastname@example.org 23200 Pontiac Trail, Ste. B, South Lyon
+30,000 Michigan Golfers to receive “Handicomp Golf Handicap System” for FREE by STEWART HEALEY, President, Handicomp Handicomp counts many Michigan courses as League Courses; these are courses that offer our Golf League Network management application to their leagues. Since 2005 the service has grown and this year will easily serve over 30,000 Michigan league golfers; that’s a pretty big number! An interesting thing about individual leagues is they’re picky about their handicap system. For example, a course with 20 leagues may have some that use a “league score only” version of the HGHS, others that use a custom handicap (best 3 of 5 is popular), some that use a home brewed system or none at all, and there may be one that chooses to use the new WHS. The Golf League Network provides this flexibility, which is great for courses and their leagues, but it doesn’t deliver commonality (a standard per se) across all leagues at a course or across all leagues at all courses. This is where we’re stepping in. Without replacing a league’s self-determination (they can still choose the handicap system they want within their league) we will be providing the HGHS (formerly Recreational Golf Handicap System) at the start of the golf season to all League Course golfers and subs in 2020 for FREE. This way if golfers from separate leagues using different handicaps want to
play a match, they will have free access to the HGHS system as their standard. Effectively, a Michigan GLN league player will have two handicaps; their league handicap and their HGHS handicap. Stated simply, a golfer’s league handicap is most always setup to use scores shot only within league play, whereas the HGHS will use their league scores and any other scores they choose to post outside of league play. This then creates a nice standard across leagues and courses which is great for golfers who play matches (even for fun) with golfers from outside their league. And, an awesome benefit for courses is they will be able to get a listing of all their league golfers HGHS “standardized handicaps” on demand via the Golf Handicap Network admin landing page or through the admin function on the Golf Mobile Network (cell phone application). Operationally, owners and administrators don’t have to do a thing… just enjoy the year and take credit for the HGHS as another golfer service offered through your course. Handicomp is a Preferred Vendor of the Michigan Golf Course Association and the Golf League Network and HGHS are Handicomp services that support the MGCA Golf League Championship. The HGHS is a portable handicap system that delivers results similar to the WHS.
Why join the MGCA? Education Online Learning Environmental Action
Discounts / Purchasing Programs
Have a Voice
Employee Benefits & Insurance Advocacy
Three Great Associations
for one Membership Investment! 13
Legislative Bulletin by MICAH BABCOCK, Director of Government Operations, SBAM MANDATORY OVERTIME THRESHOLD The proposal is to increase the mandatory overtime threshold to $55,000 or more. The federal government just implemented a significant increase in this threshold from around $23,000 to $35,568. Raising the number to over $55,000 will not only make Michigan less competitive with other states, it will hurt small businesses more than large employers. Flexibility in hours and schedule is a key factor that small businesses use to attract the best talent. A high mandatory overtime threshold will require many small employers to manage hours differently, removing flexibility in the days/hours worked by their employees. While this has merely been a proposed rule by the Whitmer Administration, the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity is still working to solidify what the number may be and what requirements this law may have with it.
2020: Ever Changing and Challenging With the first two months of Lansing politics getting off to a hectic start for the 2020 year, the political process is getting back into legislative action with the budget discussions taking center stage. While the Legislature and Governor did come to an agreement on a budget last year, tensions remain high between the Executive and Legislative branches of government. PURE MICHIGAN With the Governor’s veto of the Pure Michigan program in last year’s budget, the MEDC just recently made their last expenditure out of the program. While discussions of running a supplemental budget is in conversations to review and possibly restore important funding such as a the Pure Michigan program for the remainder of the year, it may be hard for the Legislative and Executive to negotiate through their stalemate on the backs of another budget and presidential election. In the recent weeks the Governor introduced her new 2020 proposed budget which does has a line item for the Pure Michigan program but would be scaled back dramatically from $37.5 million to just $15 million.
MINIMUM WAGE/PAID SICK LEAVE AND THE MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT As many of you may remember the Michigan Legislature went through the process of adopting and amending two citizen initiated petitions in the last lame duck session on new mandates for paid sick leave and increasing the minimum wage. While the Supreme Court did hear arguments in July, in mid-December the court came out in a 4-3 decision that they would opt to not weigh in on the consitutionality of the legislature’s move to pass and change these two initiated petitions. Moving forward from this the road isn’t as clear. With the decision no longer being in front of the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel could release an opinion on the constitutionality of these laws stating that the actions the Legislature took to amend the proposals was unconstitutional and therefore the original, non-amended laws would be binding on the state agencies in which enforce these laws. While there has been no conversation of this happening, the future of these laws could be subject to change.
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. 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
As with all legislative initiates and laws, these policies are subject to change, especially with the system of ever changing laws through our judicial system. If you ever have any questions, comments, or just want to talk about what’s happening in Lansing reach out to Micah Babcock, Director of Government Operations for the Small Business Association of Michigan at email@example.com or at 517482-8788.
Total $ Savings & Rebates over $4,028 per year!!! Jeff Hoag Scott Lake Country Club TEE-OFF TIMES
Legislative Editorial by TOM SCHWARK, Owner of Sycamore Hills Golf Course in Macomb party. Maybe our political system will generate a third party made up of moderates from both parties. The Moderate party, or the Realistic party, or the Common Sense party. Then again, maybe moderation will be the end result of a standoff between the two extremes, as neither extreme will be able to pass legislation supporting their views. The United States is a free and democratic country. Free speech allows all individuals to express their thoughts without the fear of punishment by the government or the other extreme. However, the other side of “free speech” is respect and tolerance even if one does not agree with what is being said. I believe that some of the most dangerous people to our society are those who try to shut down the voice of those who oppose their thoughts. Therefore, I believe that respect and tolerance will be key to our country continuing to move forward into a healthy and prosperous future. My hope and dream is that we will always remain the United States. We continue to be one of the greatest nations on earth, and, God willing, we will remain the same for generations to come.
Where is a Voice for Moderation?
The far left and the far right are both very vocal. The far right espouses antitaxation, smaller government, capitalism, right to life, gun rights, religious freedom, and limited immigration. The far left espouses gun control, open borders, opposition to fossil fuels, climate change, women’s right of choice, and socialism such as Medicare for all, free college tuition and much higher taxes to support all of these government programs. Both extremes are entrenched in their opinions and ideologies and there is nothing either extreme can say that will change the thoughts of the other side. Unfortunately, both sides are intolerant, and trying to tear the other side down. At times, it feels like another civil war is brewing. Now, of course, there are some Americans that are extremely liberal and some that are extremely conservative, The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors but I believe that the vast majority of Americans are mostly and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the MGCA or its board of directors. moderate. Yes, some are more liberal while others are more conservative; however their overall views are tempered by realism. Take for example, immigration. The extreme right will say close the borders. Don’t let any foreigners come into our country. The extreme left will say open our borders to anyone and everyone. I believe the majority of Americans would disagree with both of these extreme ideas and their beliefs fall somewhere in the middle. After all, through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the United You are invited and States became a world class power thanks to the encouraged to attend arrival of millions of hard working immigrants who came to America for the opportunity for Michigan’s “Golf on success for themselves and their families. I bethe Lawn” annual lieve similar arguments can be made for taxalegislative day event. tion, gun rights, religious freedom, and freedom Please watch your of choice versus right to life. email for upcoming So, where do we go from here? We know that information and neither the far right nor the far left will change their ideas, and they will probably become more registration. entrenched with time. However, I strongly feel the far left is hurting the Democratic Party as much as the far right has hurt the Republican
THURSDAY, JUNE 4
“Golf on the Lawn” Legislative Day
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.
ÂŠ2017 The PGA of America All Rights Reserved
For more information visit michiganpgagolf.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Optimizing Your Content On Michigan.org Michigan is home to more than 650 public golf courses with breathtaking views and stunning forested backdrops. From annual magazine rankings to People’s Choice awards, you can find Michigan courses ranked among America’s best. Our goal is to attract visitors from near and far to book their tee time in Michigan. With help from the industry, you can help promote Michigan as a top golf destination by submitting your golf course content to the Travel Michigan website, michigan.org.
is always an opportunity to promote your content through michigan.org. This service is completely free of cost and there are no limits on how much content you can post. To submit a property listing, event or deal, create an account at extranet.michigan.org. Having this account will allow you to log in anytime to make changes or updates to your postings. For questions regarding property listings: Bonnie Fink Partnership & Travel Web Coordinator email@example.com For questions regarding events and deals/packages: Amanda Munson Departmental Technician of Travel Michigan firstname.lastname@example.org
Each year millions of travelers visit michgian.org to plan their golf vacations. By posting your unique golf properties, events and deals or package to michigan.org, it will give visitors the boost to visit and experience the many spectacular golf courses and resorts in Michigan. From promoting your golf course and new amenities on your property to sharing upcoming stay and play packages or public events, there
For a step-by-step guide on how to upload your content, view our Industry Extranet Guide at https://puremi.ch/31KQ6Yw. To learn more, visit michigan.org/industry.
Why does the MGCA exist? Why are we here? Dear volunteer board member and committee member, you have a career, a family, a social life. You also volunteer in your community. And then you step up and volunteer to serve the Michigan Golf Course Association. 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. 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!
The short answer is “to promote and preserve the best interests of the Michigan golf industry.” That’s what the mission statement says, written over 40 years ago. That mission hasn’t changed. We are grateful to our members and our industry partners for making the MGCA the “voice of Michigan golf business.” “Being in the golf business straps all of us for our valuable time and resources. As our business demands more of my time, I have had to make strategic decisions where my best return on investment will be. There is no greater value as a course owner than being a member of the MGCA. The return on my membership is way more than the discounts and rebates we receive from our great partnerships”. Bill Fountain Operating Partner of the Majestic Golf Course Hartland
Jada Paisley Executive Director 17
Yamahaâ€™s Exclusive Distributor says Thanks
Yamaha is Cart of the Year for the third straight year and Golf Cars Plus won the President Award for the best distributor in Yamaha. Golf Cars Plus is proud to be the exclusive Yamaha Golf Car distributor in Michigan and a partner of the Michigan Golf Course Association. Representing the most innovative and fastest growing brand in the industry is exciting but does come with challenges. We continue to strive to meet these challenges headon through education and collaboration with our golf course partners and customers. At Golf Cars Plus, we believe it is not just about selling a product or service, but creating an experience that makes the operations of a golf course as pleasant as the game itself. Today, Golf Cars Plus and Yamaha are proud of our strong team of partners including the NGCOA, the National Golf Foundation, the GCSAA, CMAA, LPGA Women Who Play, LPGA USGA Girls Golf, the Davis Love Foundation, Folds of Honor, The First Tee, multiple PGA sections, and the International Light Transportation Vehicle Association. We would like to thank Michigan golf courses for their continued patronage as we continue to find new and interesting way to better the golf course experience. We look forward to the future of upgrading more and more golf courses to the Golf Cars Plus and Yamaha experience.
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Detroit Golf Club named 2019 Michigan Golf Course of the Year Founded in 1899, Detroit Golf Club has evolved for over a century into a graceful, challenging and picturesque property with history and pedigree at every turn. Accolades have been many over the years, and the latest is its selection as the 2019 Michigan Golf Course of the Year by the Michigan Golf Course Association (MGCA). “What better golf course to represent our industry than Detroit Golf Club,” Jada Paisley, executive director of the MGCA said in making the announcement. “The quality of the course and the excellence of the management team outshone other contenders for this recognition.” From humble beginnings as a six-hole course, the now 36hole footprint stands in Detroit as a symbol of renovation and resurgence in the City of Detroit. The 2019 inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club brought a PGA TOUR event back to Michigan. Over the past decade, DGC presidents strategized on how to make the course tournament worthy and it paid off with a tournament that drew rave reviews.
In addition to championship golf, the club’s amenities include an aquatics center, athletic facilities, children’s amenities, casual dining options and more. Over the years improvements have been made to the golf course grounds, but with a strong desire to preserve the unique history of the club and its courses. DGC, one of Michigan’s original great golf courses, added to its history with the nationally televised Rocket Mortgage Classic and the PGA TOUR showcasing a grand part of Michigan golf. “Detroit Golf Club put us back on the map,” said then MGCA Board President Robert Koutnik of Fox Run Country Club in Grayling. “Hundreds of thousands of golfers and golf fans got a glimpse at our great state and city because of Detroit Golf Club. We’re back!”
“We are both proud and humbled to have been selected Golf Course of the Year,” said Derek Jacques, chief operating officer for Detroit Golf Club. “That’s two major wins for DGC and Detroit in one year.” The MGCA Course of the Year Award honors a member course that meets four criteria: exceptional quality of the course; exceptional quality of ownership and management; outstanding contribution to its community; and significant contribution to the game. Detroit Golf Club’s history is immersed in the tradition of the game and the fabric of Detroit. The clubhouse, designed by Albert Kahn in 1916, continues to welcome a wide crosssection of individuals, families, business leaders and more to a beautiful setting and a broad range of activities for all ages. DGC features two signature golf courses designed by architect Donald Ross, the legend behind many of North America’s premier courses.
Nominate a Course The Course of the Year Award winner comes from MGCA’s membership and makes an outstanding contribution to the game of golf in their markets as well as being a model operation to their peers. Would you like to recommend a member golf course to receive the honor of being the Michigan Golf Course of the Year? Please submit a brief summary of how the course meets the four cirteria: quality of the course, quality of the ownership and management, outstanding contribution to the community, and contribution to the game. The MGCA office will contact the nominee for more information. Submit your nominations to email@example.com 19
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National Golf Day set for May 6th in Washington DC WE ARE GOLF coalition is “taking golf to the hill” as the “Golf plays a substantial role in stimulating the American game’s leading associations and industry partners engage in economy, as the industry impacts $58.7 billion in annual the 13th annual National Golf Day will be held Wednesday, wage income,” says Steve Mona, executive director of We May 6 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Are Golf. “In addition to the nearly 24 million U.S. golfers, National Golf Day celebrates the game’s $84.1 billion a record-high 14.9 million are ‘very interested’ in playing economy, nearly $4 billion the game, further cementing why C E L E B R A T E annual charitable impact and it is vital to advocate on behalf of many environmental and fitness golf ’s interests with our country’s benefits. Industry leaders will lawmakers.” meet with Members of Congress, To join the conversation, use the Executive Branch and federal #NationalGolfDay and tag MAY 6 agencies to discuss golf ’s 15,000 @wearegolf on Facebook, Twitter, diverse businesses, two million jobs impacted, tax revenue Instagram and LinkedIn to show your support for the creation and tourism value. golf industry. To attend, visit wearegolf.org and click on Returning in 2020, golf industry leaders will arrive #NationalGolfDay Monday, May 4th to participate in a community service WE ARE GOLF illustrates the industry’s health and initiative on the National Mall the morning of Tuesday, May wellness benefits, its unparalleled charitable giving and its 5th. The project will focus on beautification, preservation environmental sustainability initiatives. It advocates for the and helping the National Park Service with turf deferred growth of the game through various initiatives, programs maintenance. More details will be available soon. and making the game more accessible.
National Golf Day
Fine Tune Your Leadership’s Safety Responsibilities With the busy season upon us, now’s a great time to establish and reinforce your safety policies and procedures. While some are standard management policies, others draw from common work methods from years past. One of the most important safety ideas is that a business’s Team Leaders, Supervisors and/or Department Managers know and practice their safety responsibilities.
However, they need to be responsible for the training that employees get on a day-to-day basis. Think of it this way – what if you supervised digging on a construction site, don’t you want someone that knows how to properly operate a back hoe? If they weren’t, would you guide them toward correct training? Would you train them yourself? 4. Enforce all safety rules and lead by example. There isn’t a more simple way to say it. Employees will not follow safety rules that supervisors don’t follow. Furthermore, if supervisors don’t follow the safety rules, there is little recourse for the supervisor to modify behavior when needed. This goes for ALL safety rules – MIOSHA policies, lifting standards, seat belts, personal protective equipment. Supervisors MUST enforce the rules and lead by example. Upper management must also be prepared to enforce safety rules on the supervisory staff. Establishing these basic standards can make your
All Supervisors and Department Managers Must: company’s safety program be truly effective and cost saving. Inspect and Maintain their area(s) of control in a hazard free condition at all times. A safe working environment is of paramount importance in any safety effort. A supervisor should be responsible for documented safety and operational inspections that are designed to identify and eliminate unsafe conditions and behaviors. 1. Investigate All Incidents of Loss or Near Loss and Document them on an incident report form. Since a supervisory person has control over their work area and the employees that work in it – standard safety logic has always dictated that that they do the investigation of all losses, or near losses, that occur within their area of control. Remember, “near loss” = “near miss.”
The MGCA’s member owned self-insured fund actively works with members on these strategies and more. As owners, members of the Michigan Clubs Self Insurance Fund have been rewarded with millions in profit returns, resulting from fewer claims. . For more information on managing your safety program and the benefits of being a member of the MGCA’s endorsed workers’ compensation program, contact Regency Group at 800-686-6640 by e-mail at email@example.com. In addition, you can also ask your independent insurance agent to contact us for more information and to obtain a proposal on this money saving program.
2. Stand Accountable for the Losses That Occur Within Their Area of Control. Supervisor accountability is one of the primary foundations of basic business. Safety management should be no different! A supervisor is responsible for daily work hours, production, quality and many other standard management issues – why not safety issues? 3. Train or be responsible for All Safety Training That Employees Receive. A supervisor doesn’t need to speak every word of safety training that an employee receives. TEE-OFF TIMES
NGCOA Offers GM and Cadillac Fleet Discounts to MGCA Members by DAVE BARTON, NGCOA Director of Programs The NGCOA, through the NGCOA Smart Buy Marketplace, offers MGCA members significant GM factory-direct fleet discounts (off dealer invoice) for all new 2020 Cadillac and GM (Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC) products. This special offer covers the purchase or lease of all ordered and in-dealership stock. It also provides your club start-of-model-year pricing assurance, extended powertrain warranty of up to 5 years or 100,000 miles, priority order processing and factory build and final dealer delivery. General Motors (NYSE:GM) is committed to delivering safer, better and more sustainable ways for people to get around. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Cadillac, Chevrolet, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, Maven, its personal mobil-
ity brand, and Cruise, its autonomous vehicle ride-sharing company, can be found at www.GM.com. Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring distinctive design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com. To begin your GM/Cadillac journey please log-in to the NGCOA Smart Buy Marketplace, (https:// accelerate.ngcoa.org/corporate-partnerships/ smart-buy-marketplace) and select the GM/ Cadillac program and follow the steps for program registration. Then, visit the General Motors website to determine the best vehicle for your needs, and take a trip to your GM Business Elite Dealer (gmc.com/business-elite-dealer) with the documents you competed during registration, proof of your active NGCOA membership, and personal identification. For additional information, please contact Dave Barton, PGA - NGCOA Director of Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 843-471-2765.
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MGCA Thanks Golden Passbook Courses If it weren’t for the support of our Golden Passbook to Golf courses, we couldn’t do what we do. The Golden Passbook is the only discount type golf book in the State of Michigan that directly funds the promotion, education and advocacy for the industry’s owners and operators. This is the 18th year for the Golden Passbook from the Michigan Golf Course Association. The Board of Directors of the Michigan Golf Course Association thanks these businesses for their support by providing rounds for our 2020 book. A-GA-Ming Golf Course, Kewadin Antrim Dells Golf Club, Ellsworth Boulder Pointe Golf Club, Oxford Boyne U S A Resorts, Boyne Falls Branson Bay Golf Course, Mason Bucks Run Golf Club, Mt. Pleasant Cedar Creek Golf Course, Battle Creek Charlevoix Golf and Fitness, Charlevoix Chemung Hills, Chelsea Chisholm Hills Golf Club, Lansing Clearbrook Golf Club & Restaurant, Saugatuck College Fields Golf Club, Okemos Concord Hills Golf Course, Concord Crooked Creek Golf Course, Saginaw Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville Eagle Eye Golf Course, Bath Eldorado Golf Course, Mason Eldorado Golf Course, Cadillac Elmbrook Golf Club, Traverse City Fenton Farms Golf Club, Fenton Fox Hills Golf Club, Plymouth Fox Run Country Club, Grayling Garland Resort, Lewiston George Young Recreation Complex, Iron River Glenbrier Golf Course, Perry Glenkerry Golf Course, Greenville
Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, Acme Gull Lake View Golf , Augusta Hastings Country Club, Hastings Hawk Hollow Golf Course, Bath Township Hemlock Golf Club, Ludington Hidden River Golf & Casting Club, Brutus Indian Lake Hills Golf, Eau Claire Indian River Golf Club, Indian River Indian Run Golf Course, Scotts Island Hills Golf Club, Sturgis Lake Forest Golf Club, Ann Arbor Legacy by Arthur Hills Golf Club, Ottawa Lake Lynx GC, Otsego Majestic at Lake Walden, Hartland Manistee National Golf & Resort, Manistee Maple Leaf Golf Course, Linwood Meridian Sun Golf Club, Haslett Michaywe - The Pines, Gaylord Oak Lane Golf Course, Webberville Old Channel Trail Golf Course, Montague Pohlcat Golf Club, Mt. Pleasant Raisin Valley Golf Club, Tecumseh Ravines Golf Club, Saugatuck Red Hawk Golf Club, East Tawas Riverside Golf Club, Battle Creek Riverwood Golf Course, Mt. Pleasant Salem Hills Golf Course, Northville 25
Sandy Ridge Golf Course, Midland Saskatoon Golf Club, Alto Scenic Golf & Country Club, Pigeon Scott Lake Golf & Practice Center, Comstock Park Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire Sugar Loaf Golf Course, Cedar Sundance Golf Club, Kewadin Swan Valley Golf Course, Saginaw Sycamore Hills Golf Club, Macomb The Emerald Golf Course, St. Johns The Fortress, Frankenmuth The Inn at St. John’s, Plymouth The Jewel Golf Course, Mackinac Island The Legacy at Hastings, Hastings The Medalist Golf Club, Marshall The Quest, Houghton Lake The Rock Golf Course, Drummond Island Thornapple Pointe Golf Club, Grand Rapids Thunder Bay Golf Resort, Hillman Timber Ridge Golf Club, East Lansing Timber Trace Golf Club, Pinckney Treetops Resort, Gaylord Ubly Heights Country Club, Ubly Verona Hills Golf Club, Bad Axe Westwynd Golf Course, Rochester Hills Whispering Pines Golf Club, Pinckney Woodside Golf Course, Lansing www.MichiganGCA.ORG
• Michigan Clubs Fund dividends workers compensation program can save you 50% • Entegra Procurement Services saves you 7% to 10% plus quarterly rebates • Coca Cola has discounts and rebates • Club Car partners with ClubProcure as the exclusive cart provider. Rebates available. • ClubProcure Club membership is reduced by up to $250 annually • MGCA pays your membership into the Small Business Association of Michigan & NGCOA • TORO/Spartan distributors saves you hundreds, if not thousands on equipment • NGCOA Smart Buy Program savings • Up to $400 Direct TV Savings (or MORE when converting from another provider) • Yamaha Golf Cart rebates • Credit Card Processing will save significant $$ and hassle
• MIGolfLeague.com, an internet based golf league management system through GolfLeagueNetwork.com (GLN) • Golf League Championship for GLN golfers • Player Development Leadership grant ($1,500) for programs focused on golfer retention and promotion • Golden 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
Resources • • • • • • •
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 MGCA represents approximately 1/3 of all golf courses in Michigan Created strategic partnerships with SBAM, NGCOA and ClubProcure so members will be able to maximize their membership investments
visit MichiganGCA.org and click on
Golfer Retention and Promotion
• • • •
“Guide to a Successful Golf Outing” booklet is available for members to attract and retain outing business “Tee Off Times” quarterly newsletter Bi-Monthly e-news 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 Michigan Golf Business Call Center: 800-860-8575
1005 Abbot Road Suite A East Lansing, MI 48823 (517) 482-4312 800-860-8575 MichiganGCA.org jpaisley@MichiganGCA.org 26
• • • • • •
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 Brochure of Golf Industry economic impact 122419
Michigan Golf Course Association Membership Application Business/Golf Course Name _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Contact ____________________________________________________________
Address ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ City _____________________________________________________________
( ) Telephone _____________________________________________________
( ) Fax _____________________________________________________
Toll Free __________________________________________________
(required) e-mail ________________________________________________________
Web Site www. ________________________________________________________________________________
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, university golf operations, and courses owned or operated by resorts in conjunction with real estate developments. Annual dues investment is based on your size of operation.
9 holes ................................$190.00
Multiple Courses ..........$635.00
Management Companies... $635.00
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: www.MichiganGCA.org - 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: www.MichiganGCA.org e-mail: jpaisley@MichiganGCA.org or mbrodin@MichiganGCA.org 27
122419 SPRING 2020
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID LANSING, MI PERMIT NO 1096
1005 Abbot Road Suite A East Lansing, MI 48823 (517) 482-4312 www.MichiganGCA.org
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, nor does Tee-Off Times make any claims or guarantees as to the accuracy or validity of the advertiser’s offer and reserves the right to reject any advertising deemed unsuitable. Advertising rates and other information available upon request.
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The Spring 2020 issue of the Michigan Golf Course Association's Tee-Off Times publication.