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Champions for Golf Michigan Golf Alliance receives national award

In this issue: New: MGCA Member Forum MGCA President Gilda Johnson checks in on 2021 2020 Award winners recognized

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Starting on a New Trajectory by GILDA JOHNSON, MGCA President

2021 Season Begins Planning for the start of a new season feels different to me this year. Last night I was reviewing plans from previous seasons, and truly it was difficult for me to differentiate one year from the previous. The past five plus years, it felt like the golf business was navigating around the same orbit, fending off third party discounters, adapting/disguising golf so it would feel more attractive to the younger generations, battling for survival. Yes, 2020 was a very difficult year, a year that we would not like to repeat, but it was that year the golf was finally kicked out of its orbit, and onto a new trajectory. A trajectory of growth, fueled by increased demand, as so many new people connected or reconnected with the game. It is very different to plan for a season starting in a position of relative strength; we are more objectively looking at the business we want to book, our pricing models, and tightTee 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

ening our operating policies. Virtual Forums, free to members. We As an association, the MGCA is encourage you to invite your staff to also starting the 2021 year stronger. participate, as our goal is to provide The events of 2020 made our vi- educational content that is relevant sion more clear, our resolve to make to the owner/operator as well as all sure that the voice of your supporting of the golf course “It is very different to plan staff. operator is heard for a season starting in In January, the n e v e r s t r o n g e r. a position of relative M G C A w a s re c Golf course operaognized by the tors must always strength...” NGCOA, for the be in the primary outstanding collabposition to influence the narrative of orative work with the Michigan Golf policies that affect how our businesses Alliance. The Michigan Golf Alliare run; our legislative initiatives will ance, chaired by Tom Schwark, was continue to be at the forefront of our awarded the Champions Award, an efforts this year. We are thankful of award that recognizes entities which our partnership with the SBAM, have succeeded in working on behalf and the relationships that Jada Pai- of a group of owners – locally, regionsely, MGCA’s executive director, has ally, nationally or internationally – and cultivated in Lansing. Education of have garnered significant victory for it’s our members will continue to drive members. NGCOA Board of Direcour agenda in 2021. Many of you par- tors selected Stoatin Brae Golf Course ticipated in our virtual Michigan Golf as the 2021 Jemsek National Course Business Conference. With the dedi- of the Year. Congratulations to Starla cation and creativity of the MGCA Scott, Charlie Scott, and Bill Johnson. staff, and the support of our corpoLastly, thank you for being a memrate sponsors, the conference was a ber. Those of you who have yet to great success. The speed networking join, we hope to add you to our list of and open sessions were a highlight, as member courses. The Michigan Golf so many of us were able to connect Course Association is dedicated to the and share ideas from the comfort of success of our industry. Best of luck our offices or homes. Look out for our this season.

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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

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Susan Vanderburg Indian Lake Hills

Bernie Friedrich Boyne USA

Bob Koutnik Fox Run Country Club

Gilda Johnson Lake Forest Golf Club

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Michigan Golf Alliance Earns Award from National Golf Course Owners Association EAST LANSING – The 2020 pandemic efforts of the Paisley said. “It was a tremendous example of teamwork Michigan Golf Alliance have been recognized with the for all the golf courses and the golfers in our state, as Champion Award by the National Golf Course well as a great industry that benefits Michigan in so Owners Association (NGCOA). many important ways beyond its $4.2 billion in “Each year the NGCOA recognizes those that economic impact.” have helped preserve the tradition of the game Alliance members include the Michigan while embracing the challenges and opportuniGolf Course Association, the Golf Association ties of the golf business, and it’s wonderful that of Michigan, the Michigan Section PGA, the they see the same thing we see – that the teamMichigan Golf Course Superintendents Associawork of the Alliance on behalf of the Michigan golf tion, and the Greater Michigan Club Management industry truly exemplified those Association. Although the Michithings,” said Jada Paisley, execugan Turfgrass Foundation (MTF) tive director of the Michigan Golf could not be part of the governCourse Association (MGCA). ment advocacy due to its non-profThe NGCOA’s Champion Award it status, Paisley said the Alliance is bestowed upon individuals or would like to recognize the MTF entities that have succeeded in for information the group collects working on behalf of a group of and continues to provide regarding owners and have garnered signifiturf research. cant victory for its members. “It’s always a special time when The Michigan Golf Alliance, a “Golf On The Lawn” is the annual legislative day meet we recognize those who have up of golf industry representatives and the legislature. cooperative body of five state golf achieved excellence within our inassociations formed in 2008, worked and lobbied on behalf dustry,” said Steve Graybill, President of the NGCOA of the golf industry in 2020 communicating with govern- Board of Directors in announcing several NGCOA ment officials through the pandemic to clarify industry awards earlier this week. needs, safety protocols and executive order compliance. “Each year, we choose from a pool of deserving nomi“The Alliance stepped up and led the way when the pan- nees; this year was no exception, and we’re delighted with demic response was changing dramatically day-by-day,” this year’s winners.”


It doesn’t matter what kind of golf course you run, membership in MGCA and NGCOA is for you.


Owners and operators of golf courses throughout the U.S.—from those who run 9-hole facilities in rural locations to owners of the largest golf course portfolios in the most popular golf destinations—look to the National Golf Course Owners Association for business-critical information, relevant and timely education, professional and meaningful networking, and crucial advocacy for advancing their business interests. The NGCOA is the only trade association dedicated exclusively to golf course owners and operators. While diverse in its makeup, the association offers information and inspiration on how to operate golf facilities as efficiently and profitably as possible. Your membership in the MGCA automatically joins you to the NGCOA, no extra investment.

Feb 23, March 23, April 27, May 25, June 22 MGCA Member Forum July 28 Annual MGCA Golf Outing and Supplier Field Day, Stoatin Brae, Augusta Fall date TBD Golf League Championship, Eagle Eye Golf Course, Bath Nov 29 through Dec 1 MGCA Golf Business Conference




What you need to think about before reopening your business GENERAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING Under the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), employers must provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to employees regardless of the size of business. Employers with more than ten employees and whose establishments are not classified as a partially exempt industry must record work-related injuries and illnesses using OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301. CDC guidance on Preparing your Small Business and Employees for the Effects of COVID-19. • Encouraging your employees to stay home if they feel sick • Using cough and sneeze etiquette • Practicing hand hygiene SBAM has put together the Small Business Owner’s Guide to Getting Back to Work Safely. Visit SBAM.org/ covid-19-resources.

As Michigan gets back to work, it is crucial to maintain a safe work environment for your employees and for any members of the public that you may encounter. Business owners are also required to have a written preparedness and response plan. Develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, consistent with recommendations in Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, developed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Such plan must be available at company headquarters or the worksite. Visit SBAM’s website and review the guide and checklist to help guide you through the creation of a preparedness plan and getting back to work safely. Please check SBAM.org regularly as we will update it with new guidance from the State of Michigan and CDC. As a member of the MGCA, you are also a member of SBAM and have access to these tools. SBAM has also written a COVID-19 Response & Preparedness Template. Visit SBAM.org to download the template.

Stoatin Brae Golf Course Named Golf Course of the Year “Stoatin Brae is unique, beautiful and part of a special family-owned resort that serves and gives back to Michigan golf and its golfers,” Paisley said. “The Scott family is so deserving and having their course selected nationally confirms how fortunate we are to have such a wonderful family, golf course and resort in our state.” Stoatin Brae was recognized at the NGCOA’s Golf Business Conference held this past January. Visit golfbusiness.com to see all the award winners. “It’s always a special time when we recognize those who have achieved excellence at their facility,” said Steve Graybill, President of the NGCOA Board of Directors. “Each year, we choose from a pool of deserving nominees; this year was no exception, and we’re delighted with this year’s winner.”

EAST LANSING – The Stoatin Brae Golf Course at Gull Lake View Golf and Resort in Augusta, Mich., has been named the National Golf Course of the Year by the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA). “Each year the NGCOA recognizes those that have helped preserve the tradition of the game while embracing the challenges and opportunities of the golf business, and it’s wonderful that they agree with us that Stoatin Brae is very deserving at the national level,” Jada Paisley, executive director of the Michigan Golf Course Association (MGCA) said in announcing the honor today. The MGCA named Stoatin Brae the Michigan Golf Course of the Year in October and as a regional winner it was then considered for the NGCOA honor known officially as the Jemsek National Golf Course of the Year. TEE-OFF TIMES



Opening Doors by JADA PAISLEY, Exexutive Director It seems as though it’s a simple concept: you open a door and walk through it. However, what happens when you cross the threshold? Do you get to choose the path, or is that path chosen for you? After you open the first door, where is the next one? It’s a lot like the “choose your own adventure” books I loved as an early reader. The choices I made determined the ending in the book. As we know from our personal history, sometimes the first path we take is chosen for us. So then what? Likely we look for the next open door. As a golf course operator, when you are looking to open a door that is closed to you, where do you turn? Turn to the Michigan Golf Course Association. Whether you are looking to connect with your peers, have legal or human resources questions or maybe are looking for a corporate member to provide a product, we are here for our members and our door is always open. In 2021 the MGCA will continue to open doors for our members. We know that connecting each of you with education and peer networking are two of the top desires of our membership base. February 23 was our first MGCA Member Forum on “Preventing Accidents at Your Course.” The Michigan Clubs Fund’s Safety and Loss Prevention expert spoke on real life incidents and ways to minimize risk for your golf course. We hope you took advantage of this session and participate in these free member sessions in the future. They are a door to information and education.


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 - info@michigangca.org Phone - 517-482-4312 Toll Free - 800-860-8575 Fax - 517-267-8984

I have heard from a lot of our members on how the MGCA can help the owners and operators. What door can the MGCA help you open? Let us know.

Welcome new Members American Dunes Golf Club Atlas Valley Country Club Bay Meadows Family Golf LLC Bent Pine Golf Club Brookshire Golf Club Brookside Golf Course Bushwood Golf Club Calderone Golf Club Candlestone Golf &Resort Cedar Chase Golf Course

Fountains Golf & Banquet Center Franklin Hills Country Club Green Acres Golf Course Holly Meadows Golf Course Lakeland Hills Golf Club Lakewood On The Green Ledge Meadows Golf Course Links at Whitmore Lake

Moss Ridge Golf Club & Banquet Center Oceana Golf Club Ontonagon Golf Course Otsego Resort Piegeon Creek Golf Course Pine Grove Country Club Red Fox Run Golf Course Sauganash Country Club Stonegate Golf Club The Hills of Lenawee Golf Club 7

The Moors Golf Club The Ridge Golf Course, Inc. The Timber’s Golf Club Tomac Woods Golf Course Washtenaw Golf Club Wawonowin Country Club



Corporate Member Profile

Find a Game Find A Game helps public and private courses increase yield, profitably, and customer loyalty through recurring-revenue programs and community-building features that make it easier for friends to play golf at your course. Our Premier Golfer Program (PGP) is a customized, subscription-based offering that bundles under-utilized assets like your driving range, clinics, and twilight tee times into a program that brings golfers back to your facility again and again. PGPs have proven to generate over $400,000 a year per course at more than 200 courses around the country. We firmly believe it is more powerful to receive an invitation to play golf than have to find a game on your own

so we also give participating courses an app—branded to them—with 3 exclusive features no other golf app offers that puts golfers in a position to receive an invite from their friends or groups they’ve opted into: 1. Availability Grid. Golfers can share with their friends when they’re looking to play over the next 2 weeks— before they book a tee time.




Lee Blaylock, Founder of Find a Game 415-810-6911

2. Groups Directory. Operators or golfers can create groups and associations that help like-minded golfers easily find each other. 3. Chat. Coupled with the Availability Grid and the Groups Directory, the chat feature makes it as simple as possible for golfers to “find a game” at your course and book a tee time with the app.

Lessons to be Learned from a Data Breach by DAVID PAPP, Manager, Information Technology, Michigan Retailers Association Recently MRA was helping a member merchant that suffered a data breach, and learning about what happened to them gives us an opportunity to learn and be aware of potential threats. There are very important points that we learned from this breach: 1) Be wary of links or attachments in emails – even if it comes from someone you know or is in your contacts list! DON’T CLICK ON A LINK OR ATTACHMENT UNLESS YOU ARE 100% SURE IT IS LEGIT, AND YOU ARE EXPECTING IT! 2.) Be aware of what you keep in your email. Especially if you receive sensitive data (credit card or payment info, HIPAA, SSNs, etc…). IF YOU DO HAVE CREDIT CARD, ACH, OR SSN INFO IN YOUR EMAIL, please reach out to your technology manager to discuss how it is received and how we can reduce risk associated with those items. This includes that data in any form (in an email, in an attachment, in a scanned file). So, what happened to the merchant? One of their employees received an email from a known contact in their email, asking to click on a link. It came from the actual email account of the person that they knew. Unfortunately, that person’s email account had been hacked/taken over by the bad guys. Once the user had been phished, the bad guys were able to take over the employee’s email account. At that point the bad guys have a few goals.

First, they can send out phishing emails to everybody in the newly taken over email account. This allows them to gain access to more victims. Second, they start to download all email from the server. Inbox, Sent, Trash, custom folders, everything they can get their hands on. They can then review the emails for sensitive data and use or sell that data, or blackmail the user or company. Back to the story of our merchant, it turns out the compromised email account belonged to someone who received payment information. So now the company must notify credit card holders of the breach, causing reputational damage to the company. On top of that, the company has to hire forensic experts, lawyers, and other experts to deal with the aftermath of the data breach. I also feel for the employee whose account was breached. Imagine how you would feel having all of your email out there in the hands of the bad guys! And having to talk to the forensic investigators about what you have in your email and why! As always if you have any questions about the legitimacy of an email, call the sender on the phone and confirm if it is legit or not. Note however, that in the case described above, it did come from a legitimate email account that had been taken over. The only way to prevent that would be to check with the sender. Take time to review and clean out your email, and make sure to check all folders, not just your inbox. Don’t hold on to emails with sensitive data if it is no longer needed. If sensitive data needs to be retained, see about archiving it offline.

New MGCA Member Benefit: Member Forum

participating in, contact Jada at: jpaisley@michigangca.org. Add these dates to your calendar for the upcoming M GCA Member Virtual Forums: March 23, April 27, May 25, June 22

Available only to MGCA members, these sessions will cover a wide variety of topics for your golf course operations. Topics to be covered include insurance, operations, marketing, technology and more. The first of these sessions, “Prevent accidents at your golf course” took place on Feb. 23 and featured Mike Lorms, loss prevention specialist with the MGCA’s Clubs Fund insurance program. This new member benefit will provide an education component that is important to the golf course’s operational success. Each MGCA Member Virtual Forum will be no longer than an hour. Additionally participants will have the chance to virtually network with their peers on the presented topic. If you have a topic you’d be interested in learning about and







MGCA Educational Support Foundation Announces 2020 Award Winners Starting back in 2005 with a grant from the Dul Fam- any kid’s interests. ily of Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center (Plymouth), “I am a “thumbs up” on the Chasin’ Birdies Junior Camp. the Player Development Leadership In my opinion, Chase is using golf not Award has for the past 15 years provided only as the conduit to get the kids exover $20,000 in grants to golf course posed to golf, but also as a way to get kids owners and operators who developed off the couch and moving,” states Frank proven steps to cultivate new golfers and Guastella, Educational Support Foundanew rounds. These on-going programs tion trustee and one of the grant judges. overcome the non-golfer’s perceived “We have found that the movement patbarriers to playing golf and/or encourterns of kids of today are not what they age golfers to play more. The award is used to be in past generations because presented to an MGCA member that they are not going out and playing games demonstrates creativity and success in like leap frog, hop scotch, etc. Their acgrowing the game. Chase Kuyers, PGA, tivities are more passive, thus they do not co-owner and director of golf at Pigeon possess the athletic skills of past generaCreek Golf Course, West Olive is this tions. By incorporating other physical acyear’s recipient. Chase’s program “Chasin’ tivities such as we saw in Chase’s camp, Birdies Junior Camp” (www.chasinbirdwe start to improve the athleticism of the ies.org) exemplifies the goal. The camp student and thus it helps them in picking was created with the thought of kids beup the basics of the golf swing.” coming leaders and creating friendships Jenny Foster of Lake Forest Golf Club, through outdoor activities that focus Ann Arbor for the program “Where on patience, concentration and respect. Friends Gather” and Lowell Weaver, ownChase and his team worked to replicated er of The Medalist Golf Course in Marthe way they grew up… playing outside. And not just shall for his program “GPS Food Ordering and Delivery Continued on page 15 golf. Other sports and activities were tied in to cover

One More Day

Sitting in his office and looking at the calendar for the year 2020, Chris White of Fenton Farms Golf Course had a plan. According to schedule, the golf course would close to golfers on October 15. It had been a good year, a busy year, an unexpected year. Chris was ready to wrap up and start planning for 2021. One way to prepare for the next year for Chris has always been to attend the Michigan Golf Business Conference. This year would be no different… well maybe a little different. The Michigan Golf Business Conference would be VIRTUAL. As a member of the MGCA’s “Voice” committee, Chris learned that just because the event would not take place at a hotel and therefore not require food, beverages, meeting space, etc. it didn’t make the conference less expensive to execute. Now there was the added expense of the “virtual facilitator,” among other unexpected things. The Educational Support Foundation is the non profit arm of the Continued on page 15


Fenton Farm owners get ready to tee it up “one more day.” L-R; Christopher White, Kathleen White, Dennis White, Bill Wonfor. www.MichiganGCA.org


Legislative Bulletin by BRIAN CALLEY, President, Small Business Association of Michigan

Michigan’s Economic Recovery Will Only be as Strong as its Small Business Recovery 2020 wreaked havoc on small business owners who faced both a public heath crisis and an economic crisis. And even as vaccine distribution has started, small businesses will be dealing with serious consequences for an extended period of time. In many ways, the coming years will be a time of rebuilding, reinventing and adjusting to a post-pandemic environment that could look very different than before. If there was a bright spot in the year, it was seeing how so many small business owners were able to adapt and innovate to survive. It should not be a surprise to anyone because that is what entrepreneurs do. Still, the weight, stress and sometimes insurmountable challenges have taken a toll. The first priority of the Small Business Association of Michigan is and must remain the survival of small businesses in the near and long-term future—especially those in industries most impacted by the pandemic and the government response to the pandemic. This work is both urgent and important. It will include constant assessment, advocacy and a cycle of feedback to state and federal leaders about the state of small business.

Looking ahead to the transition into a post-COVID era, it will be important for us to understand how lingering changes in practices, regulations, consumer preferences and operating environments impact businesses, both in a positive and negative way. There are some businesses that will be well positioned to capitalize and benefit from the changes that lie ahead. Others will face complete financial ruin. We need to be prepared for both, because there is no guarantee that things will return to how they were. We know that there is a tremendous amount of goodwill for small business owners. In a recent Detroit Regional Chamber poll, 58 percent of Michiganders said that helping small businesses recover is “by far” the most important post-COVID priority. This is for good reason. Small businesses are the economic infrastructure for our local communities. Having a business community so vested in our state is critical to the health of our economy. Small business owners treat Michigan like their home because it literally is home. Everyone holding political office says that they are prosmall business. More than ever, 2021 needs to be the year where the words of policy makers match their actions. From regulations and taxes to economic development and workforce development, we must insist that small businesses be made a priority. Our recovery as a state will only be as strong as the recovery of our small businesses.

Advocates for Golf The NGCOA protects and advances golf courses’ business interests through an array of education, resources and engagement at the federal, regulatory, state and legal levels. They keep you aware of industry-related changes and challenges, and provide interpretation and suggestions for action. Information, resources and programs help golf course owners and operators address the myriad health, safety and business challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic. Contact the NGCOA with your questions or concerns by emailing Ronnie Miles rmiles@ngcoa.org or calling (843) 881-9956.




Legislative Editorial by TOM SCHWARK, Owner of Sycamore Hills Golf Course in Macomb will be able to go into the office, but many will not work in the office five days a week. Some days will be spent working online from home. Shopping online may not increase from last year, but it will continue to grow from 2019 due to ease and convenience. Online doctor visits will continue to grow, especially for seniors. SBAM, and other organizations, also want to try to ensure that economies will not shut down again in the future. The Great Barrington Declaration was signed by thousands of doctors and scientists in 2020 stating that shutting down the world’s economies due to the coronavirus was wrong. It was extremely expensive for governments due to the financial aid given to people and businesses for economic recovery. It was also very unhealthy and stressful for people to be locked down and isolated. We will eventually find out about additional child and spouse abuse that occurred during this period. Automobile accidents and murders have increased drastically during this period. Children and young adults have struggled with not being in school, scholastically and socially, and they have experienced increased depression and suicidal thoughts. A high price has been paid indeed. The Great Barrington Declaration instead suggests that only the truly vulnerable should have been isolated. They were the people most likely to be at risk for the coronavirus. We likely would have reached herd immunity much sooner. This is not an irresponsible idea. Sweden never had a lockdown, and only minimal restrictions. South Korea did not have lock-downs, but they relied more on massive testing and contact tracing. South Dakota also had minimal restrictions. Precedents have been set that show that lockdowns are not necessary. As I write this, it all seems like a distant dream. It was less than one year ago that we could do all of these things anytime. I, for one, hope that I never experience another lockdown or “pause” in my lifetime. I also do not want to wear a mask again this summer. I believe we all are suffering from coronavirus fatigue, especially here in Michigan.

2021 Legislative Priorities

Government Affairs has always been important for the MGCA as we think of our association as “the voice of Michigan’s golf business.” In fact it’s part of our mission statement. In February the Government Affairs Committee met to determine how we would continue to: monitor, engage, advocate with government leaders legislation that is in the best interest of our members, with support of SBAM. We closely align ourselves with the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM). They advocate for all small businesses, including the golf industry. Therefore, their legislative priorities closely align with our legislative priorities. Besides reopening Michigan completely, SBAM is also working towards property tax relief for small businesses for 2020, especially those businesses that were closed for much of the year. They are also trying to get the State of Michigan to contribute to the unemployment fund that is now currently running low on funds. This will help Michigan’s small businesses who have to pay unemployment taxes to replenish the unemployment fund. This will save our businesses money if there is not an additional surcharge. These are all items that would help the golf industry. MGCA aligns with SBAM on reopening the economy as we know many of our members have restaurants and banquet facilities that have been affected. Other priorities in addition to economic health and economic impact of golf in Michigan are: Taxes, Regulatory Compliance, Wages and Labor . The Government Affairs Committee agreed that these were all important to keep a watchful eye and have input on how they impact the seasonal business of golf. The golf industry was fortunate that it is an outdoor sport, and therefore deemed “safe” by the powers that be. However, it is imperative that all businesses reopen in the state and the nation for a complete economic recovery. If sectors of the economy are not allowed to reopen this year, the golf boom we all enjoyed in 2020 will not be sustainable indefinitely. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those Even when the economy completely reopens, there will still of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy be some changes from the way things were. Office workers or position of the MGCA or its Board of Directors. 13



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

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For more information visit michiganpgagolf.com or contact khelm@michiganpga.com




One More Day

ESF 2020 Award Winners

MGCA, charged with creation and execution of the conference and seminars as well as distribution of grants. Normally there would be a fundraiser at the conference to help support the ESF, but that couldn’t happen this year. A plan was hatched by Chris to add one more day to the 2020 season. Tuesday, November 3rd was chosen. This day would be a fundraiser for the Foundation. All golf revenue collected that day would be donated to the ESF. “The truth is, it only cost me my time,” states White. And that of his staff who helped make the day run smoothly, even after they had punched out for the year, so to speak. The customers who came out to play that day were happy to participate and knew what Fenton Farms was up to, raising money for a cause important to Chris and his fellow golf course owners and operators. The ESF and the MGCA is grateful for to Fenton Farms and Chris’s One More Day. “I saw a need and knew how I could help.”

System” both received recognition and grants from the Michigan Golf Course Association’s Educational Support Foundation. The John Dodge Carpe Diem Award which they both received demonstrates the passion, knowledge, and creativity of the individuals who are employed at Michigan golf courses. John Dodge, former MGCA president and longtime golf course owner for whom this award is named, believed in and supported the entrepreneurial spirit found, sometimes, in unlikely places. Dodge believed in looking within an organization to find the talent and creativity to make a business something more than ordinary. This grant was created with that in mind. Unique and innovative products, programs or services that make your golf course stand out are considered. The winners were announced as part of the MGCA Golf Business Conference held last December.

Continued from page 11

Continued from page 11

Passbook Continues to be Golden for the MGCA Over the past 19 years the Michigan Golf Course Association has benefitted from the generosity of our members who have donated rounds of golf for the creation of the Golden Passbook to Michigan Golf. Without the Golden Passbook the Michigan golf industry would not have risen to the level of advocacy and legislative recognition it now enjoys and is tantamount to the success of our industry. The Golden Passbook was created as a funding mechanism for the promotion, education and advocacy of the golf industry and specifically for the golf course owner and operator. As coordinator for the Passbook for the past 8 seasons, I want to say how grateful I am for this contribution and look forward to another successful Golden Passbook season.


Milton Senter Special Projects Coordinator



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Volunteers do not Necessarily have the time, they have the Heart A house without a foundation will collapse. The committees of the MGCA are the foundation on which our association is built. These volunteers, in addition to the Board of Directors, insure your association is purposeful, diligent and contemporary. The MGCA thanks these golf course owners, operators and staff for providing their insight and knowledge to our purpose.

“Vision”‌ ‌Committee Charged with r‌ eviewing‌‌technology‌and its application for owners, operators and staff as it relates to the MGCA’s communication with these segment groups. Board Liasons: Bay Paul and Gilda Johnson Katie Eccleton, The Emerald, St. Johns Corey Amendt, Eagle Eye Golf Course, Bath Alexis Mily, Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center, Plymouth Alicia Kolenda, Golden Sands Golf Course, Silver Lake

Government Affairs Committee Charged with oversight and review of issues and initiatives as related to State government, policy and legislation and the golf industry. Tom Schwark (Chair), Sycamore Hills, Macomb Paul Scott, Raddrick Farms, Ann Arbor Kathy Aznavorian, Fox Hills Golf and Banquet, Plymouth Bob Koutnik, Fox Run Country Club, Grayling Bill Fountain, The Majestic, Hartland Matt Golden, St. Ives Golf Club, Stanwood Matt Cottone, Twin Lakes, Oakland Sam Cottone, Twin Lakes, Oakland Joe Tignanelli, Westwynd Golf Club, Rochester Jim Scholle, Yamaha Golf Cars Plus, Plainwell Patty McCarthy, McCarthy Golf, Chelsea

“Voice” Committee Reviews topics set by the ESF, and assists in the marketing of the Michigan Golf Business Conference. The committee’s goal is to reach all levels of operators from beginner, intermediate, and more advanced and insure that value is delivered to all. Board Liason: Gilda Johnson Chris White, Fenton Farms, Fenton Luke Thode, Eagle Eye Golf Course, Bath Shane Riley, Scott Lake, Comstock Park Jennifer Aznavorian, Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center, Plymouth Top: Long time chair of the Government Affairs Committee Tom Schwark (Sycamore Hills Golf Course, Macomb) with then Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley;

Educational Support Foundation Establishes the curriculum and content of the Michigan Golf Business Conference as well as other education opportunities for the Michigan golf industry to include seminars and member forums. Brenda Velandra (Chair), Raisin Valley Golf Course, Tecumseh Bill Mory (Vice Chair), Meridian Sun, Haslett Frank Guastella, Franklin Golf, St. Clair Bill Johnson, Gull Lake View, Augusta Gilda Johnson, Lake Forest Golf Club, Ann Arbor Tom Schwark, Sycamore Hills, Macomb Steve Tanner, The Majestic, Hartland Toni Joers, Concord Hills Golf Course, Concord Jay Eccleton, The Emerald Golf Course, St. Johns

Bottom: Jay Eccleton (ESF Committee) and wife Katie Eccleton (Vision Committee) help host the Michigan Golf Business Conference.







An ounce of prevention pays off…

A look at the most common causes of severe workers’ compensation claims for your industry Possible Controls

This year has presented us with many challenges. One thing that it has allowed us to do was to review some of the common losses that occurred over the past year and hopefully learn how to prevent such incidents from occurring. While we do not have a crystal ball for incidents that have yet to occur, performing an in-depth analysis on what losses the golf course industry has experienced may help prevent these in the future for your golf course operation. Endorsed by the MCGA, the Michigan Clubs Self-Insurance Fund has provided information on actual claims from four different organizations. Their analysis explored these incidents on the factors of probability versus severity, or the likelihood of a particular task/incident happening and resultant outcome if the task/action were to turn into an incident. A scenario is placed around this with the actual claim’s costs involved. The indirect cost of replacing this person, lost productivity, as well as other costs that may be associated indirectly from a claim are not factored in. Upon the review of the incidents, we challenge you to take your own actions to prevent this incident, and we provided a few of our own recommendations. The goal in drafting this is for you to step outside of your day to day work and see how you can plan with an ounce of prevention to stop an incident from occurring.

(1) Provide training to employees before they embark on new areas of the property. (2) Conduct regular mechanical inspections of the utility vehicles. (3) Designate certain high-hazard areas of the courses off-limits to vehicle traffic.

Risk Matrix level: YELLOW Chainsaw. Incident

In the middle of the golf season, a forty-one-year-old maintenance worker was asked to trim a tree that had some dead branches. Not only was it becoming an eyesore from the first tees, but it looked as if heavy wind could potentially cause it to fall on someone. The maintenance employee fired up his chainsaw and began to cut branches. He found a knot in part of the tree and it caused a kickback, causing the chainsaw to come in contact with his leg. Very fortunately, the resulting laceration was minor. The total incurred claim cost is $657. Possible Controls

(1) When using a chainsaw, mandate protective chaps. (2) Provide training to all employees about the dangers of chainsaws and how to use them safely. (3) Consider hiring a third-party to perform chainsaw operations.

Risk Matrix level: GREEN Walking on wet/slippery terrain.

Risk Matrix level: RED Golf cart/utility vehicle


On a rainy day in July, a thirty-seven-year-old groundskeeper was walking around and gathering up tools and equipment. The weather would make it a slow day. As she ventured from the clubhouse to the parking lot, she slipped on the wet stairs. She fell on her backside and cushioned the blow with her left hand. Both a finger and her tailbone sustained fractures. The total incurred claim cost is $7,738.


One autumn day, a twenty-two-year-old college student working part-time for the club was operating a utility vehicle to assist with fall clean-up duties. She was driving in a part of the course she does not typically frequent, and she did not know about a hidden bunker. When she noticed the bunker and slammed on the brakes too late, the cart flipped over two times before settling to a stop. The employee suffered a knee fracture as a result of this incident. The total incurred claim cost is $31,637. 19



Possible Controls

Possible Controls

(1) Install non-slip traction control on the stairs. (2) In inclement weather, encourage the use of ramps and low slopes rather than stairs. (3) Examine employee footwear to ensure they offer appropriate traction.

(1) Install a guard on the bench grinder and implement regular equipment inspections. (2) Provide training to all employees who use the bench grinder on how to do so safely and properly. (3) Relocate the oily rags and place them in a covered receptacle.

Risk Matrix level: GREEN / YELLOW Sharpening lawn mower blades.


Keeping you and your employees safe is the Michigan Clubs Fund’s top priority. The Fund and MGCA continue to work together to keep your industry informed on the actual risks and costs associated with claims. Before the busy season begins, now is the time to review your own risks with an eye toward that ounce of prevention that could prevent injuries and keep your workers’ compensation costs from increasing.


As part of his preventive maintenance program, a maintenance employee was sharpening lawn mower blades using a bench grinder. On his second blade, he slipped and caught his hand in the rotating wheel. He received five stitches and the total incurred claim cost is $1,500. This incident includes that fact that there was also a property hazard. There was no guarding on the bench grinder and sparks flew onto a nearby receptacle full of oily rags. This caused a small fire that was extinguished immediately, however, not before damaging a finished wall and some fixtures. These additional costs are not included in the figure above.

About the MI Clubs Fund

Established in 1983, the Fund is a member-owned workers’ compensation program. It provides its members with a long term solution to controlling their costs. The fund provides an average of 50% return on your premium and has a number of free resources to help members improve upon their current safety program.

Congratulations to fund members!

Over 1M will be returned to members on April 1.

Where Employee Safety Adds Up $


• $1,024,378 Distributed to participants in 2021 • Members Average a 50% Return of Premium • Safety Resource Partner

• Request a Quote From Your Agent! Take the Time to Call Today!

miclubsfund.org | administered by RPS Regency | 800.686.6640 TEE-OFF TIMES



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 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 19th 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 2021 book.

*New This Year A-GA-Ming Golf Course, Kewadin Antrim Dells Golf Club, Ellsworth *Black Lake Golf Club, Onaway Boulder Pointe Golf Club, Oxford Boyne Golf, Petoskey Bucks Run Golf Club, Mt. Pleasant Cedar Creek Golf Course, Battle Creek Charlevoix Golf and Fitness, Charlevoix Chemung Hills Country Club, Howell Clearbrook Golf Club & Restaurant, Saugatuck College Fields Golf Club, Okemos Concord Hills Golf Course, Concord Crooked Creek, Saginaw Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville Eagle Eye Golf Club, Bath Eldorado Golf Course, Mason Elmbrook Golf Course, Traverse City Fenton Farms Golf Club, Fenton *Fountains Golf & Banquet Center, Clarkston Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center, 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 Resort, Augusta *Hartland Glen Golf Course, Hartland Hawk Hollow Golf Course, Bath Township Hemlock Golf Club, Ludington Indian Lake Hills Golf Course, Eau Claire Indian River Golf Club, Indian River Indian Run Golf Club, Scotts *Interlochen Golf Course, Interlochen Island Hills Golf Club, Sturgis Lake Forest Golf Club, Ann Arbor Legacy by Arthur Hills Golf Club, Ottawa Lake *Links at Hunters Ridge, Howell Lynx GC, Otsego *Macatawa Golf Club, Holland 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 *Pigeon Creek Golf Course, West Olive Pohlcat Golf Club, Mt. Pleasant Raisin Valley Golf Club, Tecumseh Ravines, Saugatuck Red Hawk Golf Club, East Tawas Riverside Golf Club, Battle Creek 21

Riverwood Golf Course, Mt. Pleasant Sandy Ridge Golf Course, Midland Saskatoon Golf Club, Alto 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 Golf Course, Plymouth The Jewel Golf Course, Mackinac Island The Legacy at Hastings, Hastings The Links At Bowen Lake, Gowen The Majestic at Lake Walden, Hartland The Medalist Golf Club, Marshall The Quest Golf Club, Houghton Lake The Rock Golf Course, Drummond Island Thornapple Pointe Golf Club, Grand Rapids Thunder Bay Golf Resort, Hillman Timber Ridge, East Lansing Timber Trace Golf Club, Pinckney Treetops Resort, Gaylord Westwynd Golf Course, Rochester Hills Woodside Golf Course, Lansing www.MichiganGCA.org


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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, 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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Winter 2020 Tee-Off Times  

The Spring 2021 issue of the Michigan Golf Course Association's Tee-Off Times publication.

Winter 2020 Tee-Off Times  

The Spring 2021 issue of the Michigan Golf Course Association's Tee-Off Times publication.

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