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Jeff Hoag, Owner and Operator, Scott Lake Country Club Tourism conference “Seasonal Operator of the Year�... and then some!

In this issue: Koutnik responds to PGA / GolfNow initiative Michigan Golf Business Awards 2011 Liquor License knowhow Property Tax Phase-Out details

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News from the President ListServ gives members loud voice! by Bob Koutnik, MGCOA President

Welcome to the 2012 season. Let’s get started by taking control of our customer. I am sharing this correspondence with you regarding the 3rd party issue earlier this year and look inside the Tee Off Times for more on how to control your marketing power. If you are a follower of the NGCOA’s ListServ (if not, you should be) then you recently saw a rather heated thread on the proposed deal between the PGA and Golf Now. In case you missed it I will give a brief summary.

At the PGA Merchandise Show, the PGA planned to announce a joint deal with Golf Now to market tee times with the proceeds to be split between the PGA, PGA Sections, something called the PGA Interactive Committee, the PGA Golf Professional (thru a commission paid to get the golf clubs they work for to sign up their tee times), Golf Now (a third party tee time reseller), and the host club. Word leaked out just before the scheduled announcement and a PGA member that is also a course

owner heard about it and sounded the alarm. ListServ lit up with details as they became available and the resulting firestorm caused the PGA to cancel the agreement. Without a vigilant course owner that brought the issue to light and the NGCOA’s ListServ to spread the word, the deal would have been signed and who knows what road the industry would be on today. The following is a letter I sent to PGA President Allen Wronowski. Continued on page 16

From the ListServ…it’s that simple to find answers to your questions!> From: pkelly <pkelly@> gcoa@neptune.serv To: ngcoa_ngcoa <n 2012 3:10 pm Sent: Thu, Feb 23, orecards Sc a] co [ng Subject:

th semi-private club wi We are an 18 hole yone an n Ca s per year. approx 24,000 round go ld ou sh I rds oreca tell me how many sc Thanks. ? on as se r pe gh throu Paul Kelly al ad Golf Profession Director of Golf / He Glendenning Golf 120 Gabriel Road 1A5 St. John’s, NL A1H gg nin en nd gle w. ww

Paul, Sell some advertising on your cards to help pay for the cards, order 20,000, use some of them as advertising by dropping them off at ho tels, restaurants and such. We bu y 25,000 for our 27 hole course. Sell spo ts on the card for $800 and give them $400 in golf gift cards. Comes pretty clo se to paying for all of the cards (We have a custom sized card with tear off s at the end for data collection). Jeff Hoag Scott Lake Country Clu b Comstock Park, Michig an

What do you need to know or have to share with your fellow members? Set up a separate email account, such as gmail or yahoo to use just for the LISTSERV. This will be an easy filter or create a separate folder and set up a rule in your email program to separate out the ListServ items. A member exclusive benefit.

Board of Directors

Kathy Aznavorian Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center

Carolyn Olson Elmbrook Golf Course


Larry Bowden The Natural

Steve Ramey Chisholm Hills

Ed Clark Sandy Ridge Golf Course

Dave Richards Resort & Golf Marketing Services

Jeff Hoag Scott Lake Country Club

Jim Dewling Total Golf Inc.

Dan Rooney Grand Haven Golf Club


Frank Guastella Franklin Golf

Tom Schwark Sycamore Hills

Toni Joers Concord Hills

Jon Scott Gull Lake View

Larry Moore U.S. Golf Cars

Curtis Wright Copper Hills Golf Course

Bob Koutnik Fox Run Country Club

Vice President

Susan Vanderburg Indian Lake Hills

Past President

Bill Fountain Majestic at Lake Walden




The Digital Space Caution...Caution...Caution by Bay Paul, President of Course Logix

If any 3rd party website asks you to send an eblast out to your customers on their behalf , RUN. This is called email harvesting, and is highly frowned upon and not recommended by experts in the email/ marketing business. Your database is “GOLD” which is why you need to protect it. There is a new 3rd party company out there asking golf courses to give them their database. Not in a direct way but in an indirect way. So don’t be lured into thinking this offering is in your advantage. Here is their deal. You eblast your current customers and tell them to visit this 3rd party’s website to get your course’s deal. In order for your customers to see the deal, they need to give their



email address on the 3 rd parties website. Once they sign up on the 3rd party site, the golfer “Your Customer” can purchase the deal at a

ing any kind of relationship with a 3rd party that asks you to promote their website to your customers. 3 rd parties exist because they already have a huge database which they can use to expose new golfers to your course, and not expose your customers to their website. There are quality 3rd party resellers that DO and CAN benefit your business. There is a place for this type of business strategy. If you are unsure and need guidance, ask someone that is in the know. For more “Best Practices”, please visit the NGCOA website below: images/clients/NGCOA/attach/ BestPractice_ThirdPartyResellers.pdf

“Your database is “GOLD” which is why you need to protect it.” discount, and access other courses deals. The 3rd party will split the revenue with the course. Here’s the catch… You are giving away your email database. You have spent years growing your email database, and you are basically handing over your customer database to a 3rd party. The 3rd party would own the database, which is why we highly recommend not form-


From the Executive Director Michigan Golf Business Annual Awards 2011 by Kate Moore, MGCOA Executive Director

Scott Lake Country Club is Course of the Year

standing service to the Michigan golf community. Kesler’s contributions to the golfing community Scott Lake Countr y Club in include the construction of the Comstock Park has been selectPGA headquarters, golf courses ed Michigan Golf Course Owners including The Falcon, Hawk Hollow, Eagle Eye, and the new Woodside Golf Course plus the provision of the First Tee of Lansing infrastructure. This all confirmed his nomination as a lifelong champion of the industry. Mr. Kelser received t h e a w a rd a t t h e Michigan Golf BusiThe Hoags, owners of Scott Lake Country Club in ness Conference, held Comstock Park, took home the big win for Golf Course at the Somerset Inn in of the Year. Troy on November 30. Association’s Golf Course of the He attended the event with his famYear for 2011. With a long list of accomplishments, along with community contributions and exceptional management, owners Jeff and Paul Hoag’s golf course took the limelight this year. Once you play it, you will find yourself wanting to return again. Scott Lake Country Club is really “Scott Lake – where golf is fun!” Scott Lake Country Club has a long heritage Daryl Kelser receives Lifetime Achievement of providing quality golf at afford- Award from MGCOA Board President able pricing with great hospitality Koutnik as son looks on. for almost 50 years. The property ily and general manager Alex Coss. Kesler has been an active member was recognized at the Michigan Golf Business Conference and Ven- of the Association and an advodor Fair, Wednesday, November 30, cate for golf business both locally and statewide. The Michigan Golf 2011 at the Somerset Inn in Troy. Course Owners Association is loEagle Eye Golf Course cated in Lansing and serves as the “voice of Michigan golf business.”

Owner Honored

Dar yl Kesler, owner of Hawk Hollow Golf Properties in the Lansing area received the “Br uce Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award” in recognition of his out-

Elmbr ook Golf Course Owner Honored

Carolyn Olson, owner of Elmbrook Golf Course in Traverse City, 5

is the recipient of the Lyle Leeke Distinguished Service Award. Ms. Olson was recognized at the Michigan Golf Business Conference and Vendor Fair on Wednesday, Nov. 30. Fifteen years ago the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association decided to work to fulfill the needs of supporting the education and development of the golf course owner and operator. The Scott Family Educational Support Foundation was formed. Since its inception, Carolyn Olson, owner of Elmbrook Golf Course in Traverse City has been a trustee of the Foundation. Combined with her continued commitment to the MG-

Carolyn Olson Embrook (right) receives award from last year’s recipient Toni Joers.

COA through participation on the Board of Directors, Olson has been selected to receive the Lyle Leeke Distinguished Service Award. Olson has been an active member of the Association and an advocate for golf business both locally and statewide. The Michigan Golf Course Owners Association is located in Lansing and serves as the “voice of Michigan golf business.”

MSU Team receives Award of Merit

The Michigan State University’s “Turf Team” received the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association’s Continued on page 10 WWW.MGCOA.ORG


Michigan Golf Hall of Fame Inductees Two player-designers, an ace and a never-on-Sunday veteran DEXTER -- Rick Smith, Larry Mancour and Jack Seltzer, all PGA professionals, and Grand Rapids senior amateur Jack Van Ess, who vowed to his parents that he never would play on Sunday, will be inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame on May 20 at Michigan State’s University Club. The Michigan Golf Foundation also will present a special award to MSU’s Turf Team from the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences for its outstanding work in improving the quality of golf course turf statewide and internationally. For more information on this year’s induction ceremony, contact Loretta Larkin at or (248) 719-0650.

CORRECTION The Educational Support Foundation’s “Carpe Diem Award” program thanks Paul Beaupre of Plum Brook Golf Club, Sterling Heights for his contribution. The name of the golf course was misstated in the March enews.




Guest Columnist Liquor License knowhow by Andrew Deloney, Michigan Liquor Control Commission

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) prides itself on being a high performance agency excelling in economic development, revenue generation and public safety. Holding a license to sell alcoholic beverages can be considered an important component of being competitive and profitable within the hospitality/ golf industry. That is why when the MLCC was approached to provide some frequently asked questions (FAQs) we jumped at the opportunity to help! So here it is, the list of FAQs that every licensed golf course should know: Q. How old do my employees have to be to sell/serve alcoholic beverages? What about selling from the beverage cart? A. Many young people work at golf courses over the summer months and it would be important to remind the golf course owners that they must comply with 436.1707(6) which states that the seller/server must be 18 years or older to sell alcohol. Q. Can I allow patrons to bring alcohol onto the course? A. In most cases, no, according to MCL 436.1913. Q. Can I give away alcohol at a golf outing? A. No. Under MCL 436.2025, section 1025(1), a vendor shall not give away any alcoholic liquor of any kind or description at any time in connection with his or her business, except manufacturers for consumption on the premises only. Q. Can I have roving golf carts and sell alcohol from the carts? A. Yes, if the licensee receives an

additional bar permit in accordance with administrative rule R 436.1023. Q. “If I buy a drink in the clubhouse, may I take it out on the golf course”? A. It depends on the circumstances. If the licensee has received an outdoor service permit for the entire golf course, or simply for a deck attached to the clubhouse, they may allow the drink to be removed from the clubhouse to that licensed area. However, if they simply licensed the clubhouse premises, they may not remove the

drink from the clubhouse premises under MCL 436.2021. An advisable course of action would be to seek an outdoor service permit that allows consumption outdoors in accordance with administrative rule R 436.1419. For any questions please contact the MLCC office at 866-813-0011. For more information about the MLCC, please visit www.michigan. gov/lcc. Follow us on Twitter www., “Like” us on Facebook.

Developing an Effective Employee Safety Awareness Program Keeping you in the Know from Kapnick Insurance Group “Maintaining a safe environment for employees and customers” tops most business owner’s lists of priorities. Loss prevention and mitigation often reflect themselves in lower premium costs and lower uninsurable losses – that’s the dollar part of it. More importantly there is a human side of it: Safety. It’s one thing for management to be concerned with the personal safety of its employees and customers …but that concern doesn’t do much good unless that need for safety is transmitted to employees at all levels. This may sound simple enough, but is often more difficult to facilitate in reality. What does it take? Three things to start: understanding, commitment, communication. You need to begin by understanding what aspects of your business could be potentially 7

hazardous for an employee or customer. Do your employees have access to, and regularly use, the proper personal protective equipment? Does your establishment serve food, and therefore have a grill and fryer, making a fire a possibility? Do the chemicals used in the treatment of greens and fairways create a chemical hazard threat? You should ask yourself these, and other critical questions, to determine where your focus on safety should begin. Next you must make a commitment to making safety a priority for your grounds, clubhouse, employees and guests. Make safety a prominent part of your “corporate culture” and follow through on programs long-term (in other words, it’s not enough to hold one safety meeting and Continued on page 10 WWW.MGCOA.ORG


Legislative Bulletin Details of personal property tax phase-out announced by Eric Rule, MGCOA Government Affairs Coordinator

After more than a year of hints and what ifs from both the administration and various interest groups and legislators, we now have our most complete picture developing of what a personal property tax (PPT) repeal would look like. This week, Governor Rick Snyder’s office, along with key legislators involved, unveiled a blueprint for reform. The strategy involves a ten-year time period for the phase-out, and would include both industrial and some commercial components of the tax. One key figure that features prominently in the plan sets a threshold for property tax relief at the $40,000 level. Specifically, businesses with industrial and commercial property valued at or below $40,000 would no longer have to pay property tax on it. According to the details released, starting in 2016, businesses with industrial personal property would eliminate the last of the 10 years they are required to pay personal property tax on it, and pay only the last 9 years. In 2017, this would change to the last 8 years, and so on until in 2025; there would be no personal property tax liability. It is important to note however, that all commercial personal property above $40,000 and all utility personal property would continue to pay the full tax. Interestingly, the plan would not include any PPT relief for large retailers. Senator Nofs (R-Battle Creek), who is part of the team putting the plan together, mentioned that larger retailers already received significant relief when the change was made from the Michigan Business Tax to the Corporate TEE-OFF TIMES


income tax. He indicated that the plan would still exempt between 60% to 75% of commercial personal property however. One of the most contentious aspects of any plan to phase-out the personal property tax has always been how to pay for it. Municipalities have always said that any reduction in the tax would hurt them most, as they rely on the tax for a large portion of their funding. This plan appears to take that into consideration and relies on expiring business tax credits to replace the revenue that would be lost from the phase-out. The locals don’t seem to be content with this explanation however, and they have indicated that they will still be seeking a constitutional amendment guaranteeing replacement revenue if the PPT is repealed. Yearly, the tax raises about $900 million for local governments and $300 million for schools. At this time, the bills appear to be in the drafting process with the Legislative Service Bureau, and should be ready for introduction at or around the end of the month. O.R.R. RECOMMENDS GETTING RID OF HUNDREDS OF RULES Whereas government commissions usually meet to decide what new rules to craft and put in place, the Workplace Safety Rules Commission last week recommended 334 workplace safety rules to do away with as they exceed federal standards. The commission also found another 611 rules that are obsolete or unnecessary. The commission is part of Governor Snyder’s efforts to reduce regulations on businesses in the 8

state. Just last year, the Snyder administration also supported and signed into law a bill that would not allow a state department from promulgating and enforcing a state specific law on ergonomics. STATE HOUSE BACK UP TO FULL STRENGTH The February 28th Republican Primary allowed Mitt Romney to pick up some more delegates with a win in his home state. It also featured two special elections to fill vacant house seats in the 51st and the 29th districts. The 51st district, which is in Genesee County and includes Grand Blanc, was vacant due to the successful recall of former Rep. Paul Scott. Genesee Commissioner Joe Graves successfully captured the seat, at least for the time being. His Democrat opponent Steven Losey finished a couple thousand votes behind him during a Republican presidential primary and has said he will run again in November when the seat is up during the general election. The 29th district in Oakland County that includes Auburn Hills, has been vacant since former Rep. Tim Melton decided to leave during his term for an educational lobbying job in D.C. Oakland County Commissioner Tim Greimel crushed his Republican opponent, garnering 77% of the vote. With such a convincing victory, it appears very likely that Greimel will also be victorious in November. Forward your questions or concerns to Eric at: errule@mgcoa.ord

Legislative Bulletin Are your property taxes too high?

by Tom Schwark, Owner of Sycamore Hills Golf Course in Macomb and chair of the MGCOA Government Affairs Committee

If your property taxes are higher than your net income, the answer is yes. If this is true for just one year, but last year was better again, maybe not. But, if it has been true for the last several years, then by all means, your property taxes are too high, and you can very likely get them reduced. Let’s do the math. Assuming

your tax rate is 40 mils, this means you are paying 4% of your taxable value each year in property taxes. This rate is probably high for outstate golf courses, but the point will be the same. If your assessed value is the same as your

taxable value, the tax assessor determines the market value of your golf course to be double the assessed value. This means you are paying 2% of the value of your course every year in property taxes. If your taxable value is less than your assessed value, then you are paying less than 2% of the market value in property taxes. If you’re paying less than 40 mils on your property tax, then once again you’re paying less than 2% of the market value of your course in property taxes. My point is that if you are making less net income than your property taxes, then your net income is less than 2% of the market value of your golf course as determined by your local tax assessor, and you have a good case for getting your property taxes reduced. Can you appeal your property taxes on your own? Certainly! I appealed our property taxes successfully in the mid 1990’s. I determined the assessed value of my golf course compared to the assessed value of all the other golf courses in my community and found on a per hole basis, our golf course was assessed at a higher rate. The Tax Appeal Board reduced my assessment to be in line with the other golf courses in my community. However, this situation is different and much more difficult. The value of a golf course, like any business, is largely determined by how much net income it generates. Each industry, like the golf industry has a capitalization factor that determines the value of a business based on its net income.

“Can you appeal your property taxes on your own? Certainly!”

MGCOA lobbyist joins Capitol Strategies Group recent role was serving as Chief of Staff to Senate Majority Leader Michael D. Bishop. At CSG, Steve Japinga manages day to day operations, including monitoring legislation, strategic planning, issue management, coalition building, PAC management, and political grassroots development. His focus is in healthcare, insurance, higher education, tax policy, appropriations, economic development, environment, and state department procurement. Eric Rule will ser ve as senior lobbyist. Rule has been working with and representing the MGCOA for over Top left Dan Farhat, President; top right Matt Miner, seven years and will CEO; bottom left Eric Rule, Senior Lobbyist; bottom continue as lobbyist right Steve Japinga, Managing Director. and government affairs including as staff assistant to coordinator. “Eric’s understanding the attorney general and then as of our industry and his ability manager of governmental relations to carr y our message to the for the Michigan State Medical Capitol has be demonstrated Society. Matthew Miner co-founded and we are very pleased to be Capitol Strategies Group with Mr. able to retain not only Eric’s Farhat after successfully directing continued service but also that the Michigan Senate Republican of his new colleagues,” said Tom C a m p a i g n C o m m i t t e e t o i t s Schwark, chairman of the MGCOA largest majority in the Michigan government affairs committee and Senate since 1948. Matt’s most the Michigan Golf Alliance. Kate Moore, executive director of the MGCOA announces that lobbyist Eric Rule has joined Capitol Strategies Group, a full service firm located next to the Capitol. Dan Farhat, president, is one of Lansing’s leading lobbyists. His legislative career spans more than 20 years in the state of Michigan,


Continued on page 10 WWW.MGCOA.ORG


Golf Business Annual Awards ’11 Continued from page 5

“Award of Merit.” This award re c o g n i z e s t h e o u t s t a n d i n g work of the “Turf Team” who

do it. The “Turf Team” has covered every aspect of golf course management from basic agronomic practices and financial management to the most detailed best management practices to improve daily playability, making the game more fun for everyone. Michigan State University has trained more golf turf professionals and educators Congratulations to the MSU Turf Team for receiving than any other instituthe MGCOA Award of Merit for their century long tion. Following a “time commitment to the development and implementation line” presentation by of exemplary turf management. Dr. Kevin Frank, the wrote the book on golf course award was accepted on behalf management, both figuratively of the team by Dr. James Kells, and literally. Their collective Chair of the Department of Crop contribution to the game of golf and Soil Science. Attending with is vast, having defined virtually Drs. Kells and Frank was Dr. Trey everything we do and how we Rogers and Dr. Paul Rieke.

Employee Safety Awareness Program Continued from page 7

then sit back and feel you’ve done your job. Keeping safety awareness on the top of employees’ minds is an ongoing process that you must commit to). Finally, you will need to provide consistent communication to your employees regarding safety matters. While individual topics are important, equally important is the fact that something is being communicated on a regular basis. This will support the priority you place on safety overall. What kind of communication is effective for a successful safety awareness program? A well-written and comprehensive safety manual for employees, regular safety meetings, articles in employee newsletters, workplace posters, payroll stuffers – to name a few.

Property taxes high? Continued from page 9

A tax appeal professional would be much more adept at handling this tax appeal than someone like me. The whole tax appeal process in a situation like this can take 3 or 4 years. The good news is that if the appeal is successful, you will get tax relief from when the appeal started, which means partial refunds of property taxes that were paid since the appeal began. It also means that going forward, your property taxes will be based on a much lower assessed value. The bad news is the tax appeal professional will get 1/3 of the savings during the appeal period, but it is well worth it. If you are interested in discussing your property taxes with a tax appeal professional, but not sure where to start, call Kate or Jada at the MGCOA office and they will be able to direct you to the proper person. If you have had some lean years, now is a great time to do it, before it’s too late. TEE-OFF TIMES



Presidential candidate visits Chisholm Hills Mitt Romney stopped off for a visit and presentation to supporters held at Lansing’s Chisholm Hills Golf Course. Approximately

400 attended the event hosted by owner Steve Ramey for a breakfast meeting of the Ingham County Lincoln Republicans.

Interview by Jason Colthorp, Lansing’s Channel 10 News

(L to R) Rachel Ramey, Facility Coordinator, Mitt Romney, Steve Ramey, Owner, and Julie VanHorn, Secretary.


Chisholm Hills is an 18 hole golf course built in the mid ’50s. The course was redesigned in 1997 and a banquet facility was added in 2004.






Michigan’s Seasonal Operator of the Year ...and then some! At the Governors Conference on Tourism this March, Jeff Hoag was honored as “The Seasonal Operator of the Year.” This distinction recognizes an operator in a seasonal business in Michigan such as skiing, golf, marinas, etc., who goes above and beyond normal job responsibilities. Normal responsibilities… now that is hard to define in Hoag terms. In addition to operating the 27 hole golf course day in and day out, Jeff makes time to sit on the board of directors for not only the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, but also the National GCOA. Jeff is vice president of the MGCOA and

also co chairs the Michigan Golf League Championship program for the Association. In a special year of recognition

year as a place where golfers go to have fun, was named the NGCOA’s 2012 Course of the Year. “We give our customers an affordable place to play, enjoy each other’s company and maybe create a memory,” said co-owner Jeff Hoag. As much as course conditions, Scott Lake, which hosts approximately 46,000 rounds per year, puts a premium on hospitality. “We know most of our customers by name, and we do our best to figure out a way to say yes,” Hoag said. “If someone doesn’t have fun at Scott Lake, it must have been because of their golf game or their partner,” Hoag joked. The Michigan Golf Course Owners Association congratulates Jeff Hoag and Scott Lake Country Club on 50 years of superior operation and wishes them the best in the next 50!

“If someone doesn’t have fun at Scott Lake, it must have been because of their golf game or their partner,” Hoag joked. and tribute, the NGCOA awarded Jeff with the “Don Rossi Award” for his steadfast contribution to the Association and to the golf industry nationally. Jeff had been awarded the prestigious “Lyle Leeke Distinguished Service Award” from the MGCOA in 2000 for his dedication to our state’s golf industry. And in case you haven’t heard, Scott Lake Country Club, which is celebrating its 50th

Michigan Golf League Championship Program wins national award League golfers have more fun!

LAS VEGAS, NV (Feb, 29, 2012) The National Golf Course Owners Association presented the 2012 Player Development national award The Michigan Golf Course Owners Association’s Michigan Golf League Championship (MI GLC). Since its first full year of operation, the MI GLC has grown exponentially. 2012 will see the 8th Annual Golf League Championship, the “Championship for Everyone,” open to league golfers in the state of Michigan who participate in the MGCOA’s league management system. Any golf course in the state can utilize this feature-rich program, with MGCOA member courses receiving special benefits. The MI GLC is for any golf league, male, female or mixed, student or senior. “This is the simplest, quickest, most accurate and affordable way to manage golf leagues. I have played in and helped manage golf leagues for over thirty years and this systems works. The golf course owner and the golf league player get up-to date information, statistics, schedule, standings, news, pairings, handicaps, and too much more to mention,” says Jeff Hoag, Scott Lake Country Club, Comstock Park (Owner / League Admin / League Golfer). Leagues can be of any combination of players. The Michigan “Golf League Championship” is an exclusive product of the MGCOA. 13



Maintenance tips for your golf cars Here are some tips on electric golf car maintenance. These tips will help thwart some of our more frequent, preventable service requests. 1.) Periodically run a stream of water over the batteries to remove debris and dilute any acid that may come out of the vent caps during a charging session or golf round.   2.)  Protect battery cables and terminals by applying a liberal amount of ‘battery terminal protector’ on the connections.  Be sure to coat the battery hold-downs and/ or “J” bolts as well. This also applies to gas carts. 3.) When watering batteries on golf cars, it is recommended that this maintenance is performed prior to the golf car being put in to use. A golf car that is charged right

after watering is prone to have ex- ments. Often this will damage cessive water and acid boil out of the appearance and sometimes the battery set. This can lead to the performance of the cart.  A excessive corrosion of wiring and frame supports, and also cause acid stains on concrete floors.   3.) Grease points.  Certain makes and models have various grease inserts to lubricate crucial front-end parts.  This prevents frontend bushings, kingpins, tie-rod ends and other components from excessive wear.   4.) Cleaning.  It is un- Golfers prepare for another great MGCOA Golf necessar y to pressure Outing and Supplier Field Day. Save the date wash every part of a golf for this year’s event: Aug 9, Bedford Valley Golf Course, Battle Creek. car; the undercarriage is the only location where pres- garden hose and tap water is sure washing is recommended recommended. ‘Windex’ is not – not engine/battery compart- recommended on windshields to clean them.  This contains ammonia, which interacts with the plastic polymers on the windshield, changing the composition of the plastic creating a ‘haze’ appearance that will not go away. Check with your manufacturer for cleaning products available. Good luck and have a great 2012 season. US Golf Cars Inc., located in Caledonia, is a long standing corporate partner of the MGCOA. For more information, visit

MGCOA Corporate Partners are invited to submit articles for the Tee-Off Times. Please contact Kate Moore if you are interested at: TEE-OFF TIMES



Setting a New Course If ever operators needed an example of how the business world and golf are still viable partners, they need look no further than Foresight Group. Owner Bill Christofferson and partner Scott Mossberger decided to use their love of the game as a vehicle to boost employee morale and enhance customer relations when

it didn’t inhibit the true roll of golf balls. Meanwhile, each hole had to be strategically placed so guests of the business can get a tour when they enter the building. “This golf course has been a real hit with our customers, vendors and prospects,” Christofferson says. “To me, it shows that golf is a game that resonates with so many people. People of all ages love the game, and it really is a great customer relations tool as well as an employee benefit.” In fact, at the grand opening of the new facility, an 81-year-old staff member enjoyed the course so much that she bought a set of clubs and has been taking lessons. Her goal is to play a round (l-r) Bill Christofferson and Scott Mossberger (owners) play with her boss in June. along with MGCOA’s sales rep Mike Kidd. Until then, Christofthey set about remodeling a 1940s- ferson is using the course to era building that now serves as enhance camaraderie among the corporate office of the Lan- customers and employees. The sing, Michigan-based printer. The company has already hosted end result: a 9-hole putting course two tournaments on the indoor that winds its way throughout the course, and employees are taking 7,000-square-foot space. part in on-site golf leagues until “It was an impromptu, one-night the outdoor golf season starts. decision and about $1,000 invest- At the completion of the league ment that resulted in a par-30 schedule, Christofferson plans course that’s the biggest hit of to take golfers to a local MGCOA the whole building,” says Christ- member course for an outing, a offerson, whose printing group move that brings the golf/busipublishes the “Golden Passbook to ness connection full circle. Michigan Golf” and “Tee Off Times” “Golf and business have been for the Michigan Golf Course Own- going hand-in-hand for years,” ers Association (MGCOA). Christofferson says. “This is just Though the decision to build another way of showing that’s the layout that’s been dubbed the still the case. Maybe a minia“Original Inks Course” came easily, ture case of this, but still it’s it required a fair amount of plan- golf and business.”    —Jeff Barr ning. The contractor had to design special tools to create the cups, © 2012. Article reprinted with which are cut into the floor at a permission of Golf Business, the regulation size, and the carpet had official publication of the National to be carefully selected to ensure Golf Course Owners Association. 15

Golf Day at the Capitol The Michigan Golf Alliance is once again hosting Michigan Golf Day at the Capitol for members and legislators. The event will take place Wednesday, June 13 in downtown Lansing. There is no charge for members of the Alliance to attend. The Michigan Golf Alliance will put together a great program to facilitate golf industry representatives in introducing themselves and informing the Legislators and their staff of who we are and what our industry brings to the State of Michigan. We can’t overstate the importance of this day. The schedule will include Senate and House office visits, a keynote speaker, & “lunch on the turn” provided by Eagle Eye Golf Course. All Legislators will be invited to the luncheon with their constituents. That personal contact can be invaluable. Putting a face to an issue can contribute to the Legislators’ involvement and propel our organizations to a leadership position on issues. This is a critical part of our advocacy efforts with elected representatives. Remember, only Legislators can introduce legislation. Find out more about the legislative process. Come to Michigan Golf Day at the Capitol, Wednesday, June 13. Let’s make the voice of Michigan golf business that much louder. Watch for notices on registration but save the date now. OTHER DATES TO SAVE: AUGUST 9th 19th Annual Golf Outing and Supplier Field Day Bedford Valley GC, Battle Creek NOVEMBER 27th -28th Michigan Golf Business Conference Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth WWW.MGCOA.ORG


Continued from page 3

Allen Wronowski, PGA President The PGA of America Allen,

golf course owner in Michigan. ber of the PGA, NGCOA, MGCOA, and a As for complete disclosure, I am a mem ect with Golf Now. Your to proceed with the proposed joint proj not ded deci has d Boar PGA the sed I am plea bles me, however. “The PGA on of that deal contains a line that trou recent email announcing the suspensi web enabled tee sheets are risks of using the database marketing and Board acknowledges that the benefits and subject.” this of resources to improve an understanding not clearly understood and will dedicate ram they came up with is a like the PGA Board still thinks this prog Not understood by whom? It sounds y is. Golf course owners have don’t seem to grasp how good it reall terrific idea and golf course owners just the PGA has. Most course ownsome time now, probably longer than been using database marketing for quite of sales presentations like end ect and have been on the receiving ers have attended seminars on this subj de the merits for ourselves. deci to med and we are well enough infor llers rese y part 3rd r othe and ’s Now Golf tee times. Problem is tee times something up they needed, which was To make this deal with you had to put t should be controlled by asse se owner and the distribution of this are an asset that belongs to the cour PGA Pro in an effort to get the to ntive er by offering a financial ince own the ss bypa to pted attem You . them day that there will be several PGA I think since this has seen the light of courses signed up. Just a hunch but employee entering a course n to include immediate dismissal for any Professional’s contracts being re-writte g away an asset that is ainin ent of ownership. In my opinion, barg into such an agreement without the cons reproach. What hapnd beyo s ethic used to stand for integrity and PGA The al. ethic not just is s your not pened?

courses may view them as a cancer llers as a good business partner; other Some courses may view 3rd party rese do business with, which is their to want de who they want or don’t deci can er own se cour Any stry. indu to the they are signing up for and on with a reseller, they know the program right as an owner. When an owner signs reseller. In your proposed the sale of their tee time asset with the that they will be sharing the revenue from Professional, The 3rd party PGA with: The PGA, The PGA Sections, The deal that same revenue would be shared e and The Course Owner. reseller, The PGA Interactive Committe be fed Notice, there are a lot of hands out to revany sees t asse the of er before the own more ness busi any e mad pon Grou Has enue. pon Grou money than they have made for themselves? se The skin in the game belongs to the cour and owner, not the PGA or the reseller no deal that tries put up an owners asthe set should ever be agreed to without the from ent cons and ent lvem owners invo kind the is this think t don’ I g. nnin begi of relationship you want to develop with the people that you expect to hire your members. Bob Koutnik President, Michigan Golf Course Owners Association PGA Member since 1989 Owner, Fox Run Country Club, Grayling, Michigan

Dear Bob, Thank you for your email regarding The PGA and Third Party Resellers. We received many thoughtful responses on the topic and want you to know that your opinions played a large role in your Board’s decision on Wednesday, Feb. 8. We will continue to listen to you on this topic and others like it as it is our calling to serve you and act in the best interest of the overall membership. As stated, we plan to engage facility owners and operators on a common approach to this practice that would enhance our efforts to grow participation in golf and revenues at our facilities, and want your voice to be part of the process. Please be sure to visit the information page that we have established on , and encourage fellow members to weigh-in on the topic by emailing us at Very Respectfully, Allen Wronowski, PGA President The PGA of America




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Tee-Off Times


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MGCOA National Golf Course Owners Association Chapter Tee-Off Times is published by the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, editor – Kate Moore. MGCOA offices are located at 603 S. Washington, Suite 303, Lansing, MI 48933. Phone (517) 482-4312, Fax (517) 267-8984. Articles written by outside authors do not necessarily reflect the view or position of the MGCOA. MGCOA’s position on key issues will be clearly stated. Manuscripts are accepted at the approval of the editor who reserves the right to reject or edit. Appearance in the Tee-Off Times does not constitute endorsement of the advertiser, its products or services, not does Tee-Off Times make any claims or guarantees as to the accuracy or validity of the advertiser’s offer and reserves the right to reject any advertising deemed unsuitable. Advertising rates and other information available upon request.




Mar/Apr 2012 Tee-Off Times  

The March/April 2012 issue of Tee-Off Times, the official publication of the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association.