November december final 2016 final

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Hole Notes The Official Publication of the MGCSA

Dave Kazmierczak CGCS MGCSA President Vol. 51, No. 10 November December 2016

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Thank You 2016 Annual MGCSA Sponsors Platinum Podium and Event Sponsor

Gold Tee Prize and Event Sponsors

Silver Tee Sign Sponsor

Superior Turf Services, Inc.

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An old school problem meets a new age solution.

January 10-12 Northern Green Minneapolis Convention Center January 12 MGCSA Annual Meeting Room 102 ABC 12:30 PM January 25 Southern Outreach and Education Mankato Golf Club Host Fred Taylor

From the Ryder Cup to the local scramble, we’ve got you covered.

Learn more at

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January 29 Shop Tours Bunker Hills, Victory Links and TPC Twin Cities Hosts Brad Hable, Curt Conkright and Roger Stewart CGCS January 30 Northern Outreach and Education Moorhead CC Host Ryan Inglis


Vol. 51, No. 10 November December 2016

Feature Articles: The Trouble With Oak Trees

by Beth Berlin UMN Educator Horticultural Science

Above All Else, Family First, A Presidential Review By Jack MacKenzie CGCS An Insider’s Perspective, President Dave Kazmierczak By Adam Lesmeister Thankful For A Job You Love



by Dr. Bob Milligan

by Various Internet Sources

Love Them, Hate Them, Golf Cart History

Monthly Columns: Presidential Perspective pages Dave Kazmierczak, CGCS In Bounds Jack MacKenzie, CGCS

6 - 8

pages 10 - 13

Within the Leather pages 54 - 60 This Month’s Guest: Mike Brower

Cover Shot:

President Dave Kazmierczak CGCS successfully guides the MGCSA through another successful year Affiliate Spotlight: Club Car Minnesota

pages 14 - 19 pages

20 - 27


28 - 31


32 - 37


38 - 44

The Trouble With Oak Trees Pages 14 - 19 More Great Content: Picture Spread: Assistant Pro Forum



Picture Spread: EM TORO Tour



Picture Spread: Northern Outreach



Picture Spread: The MEGA

pages 48 - 49

Architectural Perspectives In The Leather pages 58 - 62 Hole Notes (ISSN 108-27994) is digitally published monthly except bimonthly in November/December and January/February by the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association, 10050 204th Street North, Forest Lake, MN 55025. Jack MacKenzie CGCS publisher. Please send any address changes, articles for publication, Page 5 advertising and concerns to

Presidential Perspective by Dave Kazmierczak CGCS, Superintendent at Prestwick Golf Club

The year 2016 for golf in Minnesota will more than likely be remembered as one of the most fascinating, unique, exciting and memorable years ever for the state and all of the people associated with the game that we love and earn a living because of.

only noteworthy event for members of the MGCSA. It was simply the crown jewel of what overall tuned out to be a pretty darn good year.

Before I start alerting you to some of those highlights, in case you had missed them, let me first say how proud I am to have served you as President of the MGCSA in 2016. While it was a job that I took seriously, I never felt that The primary reason for all of there were any grave or harrowing that excitement was the 2016 Ryder experiences that negatively Cup held at Hazeltine National impacted me or the association. Golf Club, an event that had never While we as an association and at been approached in the state as far the board level dealt with serious as size and magnitude of event, matters at times, none were so serious as too lose sleep over. and will never been seen again Service to the MGCSA is both in the near future. However large that event was, and what it meant challenging and rewarding. It can be tedious, it can be joyful. Service to members of the MGCSA who participated in the procurement to the MGCSA is an excellent opportunity to help, guide, form of the tournament, attended the tournament or just watched it on relationships, carry out duties and above all advance our profession television- it certainly was not the

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not just in the eyes of our members but every Minnesotan. I thank you all for that opportunity, and hope that I served you well. Five years ago Jack MacKenzie was hired as our executive director and soon thereafter the mantra of Advocacy, Education and Outreach was adopted. Jack’s first year in the job was my first year on the board. I have seen him grow and flourish in the job, under the strong leadership of past and current board members, and embrace the notion of advocacy, education and outreach. This year the MGCSA held 10 outreach events, touching every corner of the state of Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. The MGCSA funded three direct member research trials at the University of Minnesota and continued to provide members with seminars and events throughout the year. Perhaps the most important of the three directives, however,

is advocacy and that is where the MGCSA really shined in 2016. Through Jack’s diligence and relation building, the MGCSA has been able to make headway in the area of establishing an understanding with the state government on water rights issues. We have made headway in the establishment of golf course maintenance BMP’s. We have forged stronger relationships with groups associated with golf such as the MGA, CMAA and Minnesota section of the PGA and non-golf groups such as the Bee Squad and the Fresh Water Society. These relationships have proved instrumental in the defense of our golf courses, our jobs and our abilities to do our jobs and will continue to be needed in the future. A shining example of this was a bill introduced late in the legislative session banning the use of all but one chemistry of insecticides on golf courses. Had we not had the relationships established to alert of

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us of the bill slated for a quick vote, not dispatched Jack to the capital to advocate for our profession, there is a chance it could have gotten traction, thus hindering our jobs today. This example is a microcosm of where the MGCSA stands today. We have come a long way from 2011. We stand today as an example for other golf associations to follow. We have achieved and reached the goals set forth by the board after the inaugural retreat in 2013 and surpassed them. We have increased membership value tenfold, whether the general membership realizes it or not. However, as the example illustrates, we must remain diligent and keep striving to expand upon the ideas of Outreach, Education and Advocacy- especially advocacy. To do this we need strong leadership from the board level, but we also need participation from the membership as a whole. We need all the golf courses to be on board with us, not 60% as we have currently.

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We need all of you to realize the benefits of what the MGCSA is doing. Finally, we need all of our members to understand that this does not just happen with rhetoric and hope. It takes commitment, and it takes funding, to produce the undertaking that the MGCSA has set forth to accomplish. So with that message I once again thank you, the membership for the opportunity to lead this association. I leave it in the capable hands of the Erin McManus, Brandon Schindele and Matt Rostal. I trust in the abilities of Jack MacKenzie completely and thoroughly. I am asking the membership to understand their responsibilities as members of the association. Understand what is being done on their behalf and ultimately become as strong an advocate for the MGCSA as the MGCSA has become for them. Thank you for your support during my term as President

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5/17/2016 8:43:30 AM

In Bounds by Jack MacKenzie, CGCS

If you are not seated at the table, your are going to be on the menu, Scottie Hines CGCS and past president MGCSA. Having been an active golf advocate for the last several years, I can attest to this wisdom. Making a mark in the hard mountainside of bureaucracy is all about persistence, professionalism, creating partnerships and maintaining relationships. It is almost like a romantic relationship only with different goals. The hard work invested over the last six years appears to be showing a return in enhanced dialogue with local water districts, state agencies and our legislatures. 2016 will go down in the books as a season of solid gains brought about by the MGCSA. Although the bureaucratic process is slow, together we are making

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an impact and moving forward. Highlights from 2016 include: DNR discussions in Grand Rapids that led to relaxed threats of water permit suspension in cases of drought at Pokegama Golf Course. Through consistent messaging and strong support from the MNPGA, your association assisted in the development of a water management plan that satisfied the local hydrologist’s concerns and averted the potential for a loss of water permit. DNR discussions, with heavy support from Sam Bauer and the UMN throughout the year, were conducted in St. Paul to continue the dialogue of environmental BMP and drought management implementation in exchange for assurances of water access. Currently, and with help from the MGA lobbyist Doug Carnival, language has been crafted to promote individual golf destinations

from a category six, non-essential water appropriator, to category three agricultural producers, with the implementation of DNR approved environmental stewardship practices. MDA discussions involved historical mercury use and tracking those courses that had applied the legal fungicides in the past. Through considerate dialogue, the golf industry once again requested the creation of industry BMPs to elevate the perception of golf as a viable business in the Ag industry. These discussions have reinvigorated an effort to, with the support of the UMN, craft stewardship policies acceptable by golf and endorsed by the MDA. Testimony and support of the MDA legislative request to reduce the pesticide recertification and license law mandating courses to only be licensed in category A&E and no more as they were professionally redundant and expensive in time and financial resources. This

amendment will save golf courses and employees money and time. The MGCSA gave testimony at an April Legislative Committee session that prevented an amended law that would have removed 90 percent of insecticides from golf course applications. Golf course professionals were held high and recognized for their responsible pesticide use and dedication to the state and the state’s wealth of natural resources. With the support of allied golf associations: the CMAA, MNPGA and MGA, the MGCSA held their first Day On The Hill campaign educating Representatives and Senators of the “great story” of golf responsible resource use and the idea that golf courses are a communities’ largest rain garden. Touting an economic impact of 2.3 billion dollars and 35,000 jobs to the state economy annually, the delegation presented a strong endorsement of the golf industry. Following professional

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conversations, the legislature heard about the challenges golf is facing regarding water regulations and the category six designations. The 2017 Day on The Hill is scheduled for March 9th. This year it is hoped that the golf industry will offer a bill to protect individual course water permits through BMP and drought management agreements with the DNR. The MGCSA supported and sponsored the UMN Arboretum’s 2016 Pollinator Conference. Woodhill Superintendent Rick Frederickson CGCS gave an inspiring presentation on the benefits his and other golf courses offer our pollinators. The MGCSA pursued partnerships with the UMN and GCSAA to conduct a Ryder Cup Week billboard campaign at three locations near the nexus of the big event. These displays were seen by several hundreds of thousands locally and even went viral for a while on the twitter feed.

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The MGCSA maintained its presence upon several agency committees including the Pesticide Management Review Committee, the NE Groundwater Strategic Planning Committee, the Thresholds for Negative Impacts to Surface Waters Committee and an interagency discussing Stormwater Reuse. The MGCSA also continues to attend the Legislative Water Commission meetings as well as relevant Freshwater Society and Isaac Walton League conferences. And to add to my to do list, I pursued and was approved as the associations Registered Lobbyist. This designation makes “golf” a prominent placeholder in the legislature’s directory. In a few minutes I am traveling into St. Paul for an Environmental Initiative 2017 Legislative Review. There I will do the “glad hand” and continue to promote our key strategies. Two days ago I attended the last Legislative Water

Commission meeting of the year as an opportunity to again, meet and greet the shakers at the Capital. Golf was mentioned twice, both times in a very good light, during the course of testimony given on the topic of Stormwater Reuse. And beginning in early January, the 2017 MGCSA advocacy campaign

begins at the DNR Roundtable Session where I will rub elbows with both friend and foe celebrating the accomplishments of the golf industry and assuring the naysayers of our industries’ stewardship goals.

All Hands On Deck!!!

The golf industry needs your professional support on March 9th during the 2017 Day on the Hill Campaign. Hosted with the help of our allied Associations the CMAA, MGA and MNPGA, this fun, educational and inspirational event allows direct interaction with your legislatures. This year we are pursuing an amendment of the water appropriation policy changing “golf” from a category six, non-essential user, to a category three protected agricultural user with the implementation of DNR/UMN approved BMP and drought management practices. Your support is critical.

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The Trouble With Oak Trees By Beth Berlin, Extension Educator UMN Horticulture Department

Over last summer a number of people expressed concerns about their oak trees. Oak trees are known to be majestic and long living, but some people are noticing that leaves are browning and even prematurely dropping leaves. There are several issues oak trees can face that can cause your oak tree to decline. Anthracnose, bur oak blight, or oak wilt all can cause issues with oaks.

to the tree. Premature dropping of leaves is another symptom of anthracnose.

Typically anthracnose will not cause severe damage and the tree will be able to survive. However, due to other stresses, such as drought, the anthracnose may prevent enough photosynthesis for the tree to survive. To minimize the chance of reoccurrence and repeated Oak anthracnose is caused by stress to the tree, dispose of the leaves once they drop by burning the fungus Discula quercina, and them or disposing of them in a relives on infected twigs and leaves. The fungus spores are able to move fuse. around readily throughout the tree with splashing water and cause in Bur Oak Blight is a more sefection more broadly throughout rious leaf blight disease but it only the entire tree. In addition, high hu- impacts bur oaks. True identificamidity creates ideal conditions for tion of the tree should be done. the spores to multiply and spread. Symptoms of bur oak blight apSymptoms can include misshaped pear in late July or August. Infected leaves with black spots or blotches leaves have purple-brown lesions that can expand, turn brown, and along the mid-vein and large latdry out. Anthracnose can also cause eral veins on the underside of the leaf and shoot die back which result leaf, which later become visible on in clusters of dead leaves clinging the topside of the leaf. This leads Page 14

Symptoms of Anthracnose can include misshaped leaves with black spots or blotches that can expand, turn brown, and dry out. PHOTO: Credit: M. Grabowski, University Of Minnesota

to large, wedge-shaped areas of chlorosis and necrosis, yellowing and death of tissue. The infection continues and causes large areas of the leaf to die, eventually giving a wilted or scorched appearance. Over time, the infected trees may die because the tree is stressed and now is susceptible to secondary invaders such as insects. Management may include injections of the fungicide

propiconazole in late May or early June. However confirmation of bur oak blight should be done through a laboratory test before any treatment is done. Oak wilt is caused by a nonnative fungus Certocystis fagecearum. Oak wilt spreads most commonly through root grafts of similar species, but can also spread above Page 15

ground by oak sap beetles that carry accomplished by not pruning oaks the fungus from tree to tree. during the months of April, May, and June. Risk level drops to low The red oak group, including from July through October, but the the Northern Pin, Red, Black, and best time to prune oaks is NovemScarlet are highly susceptible to ber through March since the fungal infection. Oak wilt in red oaks can pathogen and the insects are not acbe identified by rapid wilting from tive. the top of the tree down. It infects a few branches at a time, and leaves To help ensure the health and will begin to drop rapidly. Leaves vigor of all trees, watering, mulchthat drop may be brown, green, or a ing, and proper pruning are all imcombination. portant steps a landowner can do. Trees need approximately one-gallon of water per every inch of DBH Once symptoms first appear, the red oak will generally wilt com- (diameter at breast height) per week. pletely in two to six weeks. White Mulching helps maintain a more oak group, including bur, white, consistent, cooler soil temperature and bicolor, are also susceptible at a and even moisture. Proper pruning lower level. This group of oaks can helps remove dead, damaged, and sometimes live with the disease for diseased branches as well as allows a long time before dying. This gives for more air movement in a tree canopy. the tree owner the opportunity to have the tree treated by a tree care professional. One insect pest that has seen a spike in population and is causing Preventing the spread of oak some significant damage in Central wilt by root grafts is difficult; stop- Minnesota, specifically the Morriping the spread of fungus through son and Crow Wing County area, is the roots requires the use of a methe two-lined chestnut borer. chanical vibratory plow with a fivefoot blade. Minimizing the spread The two-lined chestnut borer, over land by insects can best be Agrilus bilineatus, is a native insect Page 16

that attacks stressed or weakened oak trees. The borer seems to prefer red oaks, which can cause confusion because red oaks are the species most susceptible to oak wilt as well. According to Andy McGuire, DNR Forester based out of the Little Falls Area Office, “Environmental factors are the biggest issue but it’s hard to find just one reason why it is so prevalent this year. It could still stem from the years of drought we had three to four years ago.”

Typically the first visible signs

occur in mid-July, with sparse, small, or discolored leaves. This is followed by die back, usually from the top of the tree down. There is a saying “dead, red, and green”, indicating the pattern of loss in the tree from the top down. The leaves on infected branches will uniformly turn red-brown but remain on the tree for several weeks. Leaves on non-infected branches will remain perfectly green. This is key, as trees infected with oak wilt will first show the bronze, red-brown discoloration from the tip or margin of

A healthy bur oak in the middle of an oak wilt infection center impacting northern red oaks, Wabasha County. photo credit UMN Page 17

the leaf, while the rest of the leaf still remains green for a little while. Also, leaves on trees infected with oak wilt will begin to drop, even when some are still partially green. Unfortunately management is difficult, especially in woodlots.

to remove the trees, it should not be done April through July; rather, wait until winter to minimize compaction and also disease. It is also important to confirm the damage is caused by the two-lined chestnut borer versus oak wilt. Management is different. High value trees within someone’s Best practices are to minimize yard can be treated with a systemic any stress your oak trees may be insecticide; however first efforts under. Andy McGuire, DNR Forshould be cultural such as waterester, recommends waiting a year or ing in drought, reducing compactwo to remove the trees if planning tion, mulching, and proper prunon using it for firewood, because it ing. Treatment using a systemic would require several years of con- insecticide is only recommended tinuous infestation to completely if the tree is in the initial stages of kill the tree. If a landowner decides decline with less than 40% canopy

Birch trees use deep super cooling

Two-lined chestnut borer adult beetles have a black thorax, legs and abdomen with two yellow lines. Photo credit Robert Haack, USDA Forest Service. Page 18

loss. Systemic products containing imidacloprid or dinotefuron can be used, however a certified arborist should be consulted as application method and timing is critical. Always read, follow, and apply any insecticide according to the label. Remember, maintaining good plant health is your best management plan against two-lined chestnut borer. As always, it is important to not transport firewood throughout the state and across state lines. Although it may seem harmless, in-

sects and disease will be hitch-hikers and humans end up causing the spread of such unwanted pests or disease into other parts of the state. There can be many other causes to your oak tree’s decline. Do some research and investigate your trees closely. For more information on health issues with oak trees visit Beth Berlin Extension Educator, Horticulture (320) 255-6169

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Above All Else, “Family First

A Visit with MGCSA President D

Superintendent Dave Kazmierczak CGCS is captain of his course at work and king of his castle when he is home

Nineteen years later, an older, wiser, Dave Kazmierczak CGCS reflects upon his tenor as Minnesota Golf Course Superintendent Association President, his career in the turf industry and, of most importance to him, his family. Advancements, challenges, acceptance and flexibility have become common in the MGCSA President’s life in work, play and more significantly, his family dynamics. Not unlike many in the golf course management industry, in 1988 Dave began his turf career as a seasonal summer staff worker at his local golf course while he pursued a Journalism Degree at South Dakota State University. Brookings Country Club may have provided Kazmierczak a taste of his future, but writing was his youthful passion and, following graduation, he headed to Granite Falls Minnesota to be the Sports Editor of their small weekly newspaper. What led him to Granite Falls was ultimately what led him away from

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David Kazmierczak CGCS By Jack MacKenzie

Granite Falls after 10 months, and also completely out of the Journalism field. While at Brookings in 1988 he met his future wife Denise, who hailed from Granite Falls Minnesota. Upon graduation, that relationship helped land him the job while Denise had one more year left to graduate in Brookings. Upon graduation, she was offered a job in Engineering in Kansas City and in a span of 12 days, she graduated, they were married and moved. Unfortunately, the family move didn’t offer Dave many newspaper openings to apply his vocational skills. After two months of searching, Denise indicated Dave needed a job- any job. Answering a newspaper add for a seasonal position at Hallbrook Country Club, Dave came to the conclusion after the 1991 season that turf was his future. This decision was driven by one person in particular, assistant super- Surrounded by family during the holidays, Dave is a happy family man all year long intendent at the time Chris Mock, who encouraged and helped fuel the passion for golf course maintePage 21

nance. Hallbrook itself also contributed as the operation of a high-end million dollar private club was quite a bit different than his experience at Brookings CC. Dave enrolled in turf classes at Kansas State University January of 1992, committed to an intense 135-minute drive, both

ways, three times each week, while being employed part time at HCC during his first semester. Dave concluded his education in December of 1993. Upon graduation Dave moved on to the home course of Tom Watson, the Kansas City Country Club, for a 12-month tenure as second assistant. This move was followed by a return to Hallbrook as they sought his skills as their first assistant. Besides advancement to an aspired management position at Hallbrook, the Kazmierczak family grew in 1994 with the birth of son Kyle. Life was moving forward at a comfortable pace with anticipation of life in the central US in a major metropolitan area. Family expansion At the helm of his management center, Kazmierczak is and career growth

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proud of his crew and accomplishments.

were expected and in no time Dave learned he was to be a father of twins. However, 1997 was to be a year of change and challenge for Dave and Denise as they welcomed daughters Allison and Susan into the fold, ten weeks premature and Son Kyle, right, enjoys summer employment working with his with special needs. father at Prestwick Golf Club Adult careers, three line of work on hold and entered children, two of which needed extra into several years of “family first” help, and relatives back in Minnededicated fatherhood, as a stay at sota, made the direction clear and home Dad for his son and daughsoon the tight knit clan moved to the ters. A position, Dave has openly Twin Cities, where family and help said, was the most memorable and awaited. As the kids grew up, their most often challenging job he has extended family would be pillars of ever held. support, however the Kazmierczak Throughout this time, turf was gang would be locked into their new never far from Dave’s mind. He lifestyle and location in Woodbury. continued to dabble in the industry A job awaited Denise, but local working part time cutting cups and golf course management opportusometimes applying chemistries nities were slow to come by. Folupon the local track, Prestwick Golf lowing much consideration and a Club. His reversed role as full-time brief assistant tenure at Mississippi parent and part-time golf course Dunes Gold Course, Dave put his employee shaped the way he was to Page 23

manage his life both on and off the course. It also impacted his staff management style, work is work and family is family. In what easily falls under the heading of the right place at the right time the superintendent job at Prestwick where Dave was toiling part-time opened up. With his daughters settled into a comfortable and less demanding routine, Kazmierczak pursued the superintendent position at the privately owned, publicly operated Prestwick Golf Club. Although the competition was stiff, Dave hit it off with owner David Mooty who appreciated Dave’s drive and interest in managing a course near his family. So began the career of Superin-

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tendent Dave Kazmierczak and father of three growing children. Life expanded, more responsibilities, a new house (coincidentally just down the street and already fitted with the built-in accessories necessary for special needs children) and a solid marriage. Family first, profession second and living life as it happens has provided Dave a wealth of rewards. Your basic homebodies due to the specific requirements of their daughters, Dave and Denise have grown to be steadfast elements in their neighborhood as they developed into and continue to be the “go-to� destination for Halloween and Super Bowl parties and other gatherings. A pair of HUGE foot-

ball and sports aficionados, Dave the evidence of aging and competiand son Kyle share the passion of tive sports related injuries, Dave adsideline father/son fans. This fervor mits that physical labor isn’t as easy follows Dave into his career as well. as it had been even as recently as a Following five years of super- few years ago. And for that reason, intendent experience, Kazmierczak he relies upon his dedicated and resourceful staff members. “I treat sought and achieved Certification through the Golf Course Superinmy people well and expect them to perform. The key is to find an inditendents Association in 2005. The vidual’s motivator and then focus on distinction of CGCS is like having an advanced degree for a golf course superintendent. It requires a combination of experience, on-course evaluation, a completed portfolio and examination, and continuing education, and that can take up to a year to complete. Since knowing of its availability, Dave has always wanted to pursue the higher goal. Goal orientation is just one example of Dave’s passion for his industry and management style. A hands-on manager, he is active in the day-to-day operation Flanked by key staff members Adam Lesmeister, left, and of Prestwick Golf Club. Alexandro Leon, right. Three professionals who respect and However, and considering admire each other. Page 25

that element. This is my method of being a good manager.” His primary staff of Equipment Manager Chad Braun, First Assistant Adam Lesmeister and Second Assistant Alexandro “Hondo” Leon, appreciate his willingness to provide them the freedom to manage according to their own personal styles. Dave in turn is proud of the product they produce especially considering their moderate budget and constant time restraints. Their “esprit de corps” is quite evident. Prestwick reflects their combined professionalism as a well-maintained and premier course in the metropolitan area. Not surprisingly, Dave has perpetuated his own professional Equipment Manager Chad Braun, enjoys his professional relationship with Dave and the style during his tenure as President freedom to manage “his” shop and equipment. of the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association. An involved President, he appreciates allowing the Board to make decisions and carry out the MGCSA’s visions of advocacy, research and education. These goals have been paramount throughout his term on the Board of Directors. Since being elected in 2012, Dave has witnessed and been part of the amazing number of achievements the MGCSA has accomplished especially in the game of state bureaucracy and advocacy. Although disappointed that there isn’t a recognized BMP platform that would assure golf courses access to water even during times of drought, President Kazmierczak is cognizant that political maneuvering takes both time and dedication. He is hopeful that the process will net industry protection in the near future. To Page 26

that end, Dave encourages future Boards to maintain continuity and never take anything for granted. According to Dave, 2016 has been a great year full of advances in advocacy, premier Ryder Cup experiences from both a personal and professional level and he has been proud of his ability to guide and advance the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association. All this, as well as maintaining his positions as, a prominent superintendent managing a preeminent course,a mentor to his staff, a major entity in the neighborhood and of most importance, an active father to a maturing family. Even with all the opportunities Dave has participated in, he has kept true to his mantra, “Above all else, family first.�

A dedicated sports fan, Dave Kazmierczak CGCS is as passionate on and off the field as he is about his family, friends, employees and the golf course he manages. Page 27

An Insiders Perspective: My Boss, My Friend, MGCSA President Dave Kazmierczak CGCS Adam Lesmeister, Assistant Superintendent Prestwick Golf Club

I was a young, fairly green assistant superintendent of two years at a country club in Texas. I was working on completely different surfaces than that of Minnesota, trying to get my wife and myself back home closer to the people we love, and the place we love. It was January 2013, that’s when I first met Dave Kazmierczak, CGCS via a phone interview for a recent assistant vacancy he was looking to fill. As many of you know, Dave is a large man in stature with a voice to go with it. Needless to say, there was some minor intimidation when we first spoke. That feeling lasted no more than fifteen seconds as we immediately connected over normal conversation, unlike that of an interview I was initially expecting. We went on to talk for the better part of an hour with most of that time filled with dialogue having nothing to do with the job. Page 28

Within minutes, I knew I was talking with a man that truly loves what he does. After a few more minutes I realized this is a guy that I could work for and spend 60 hours a week with if need be. I think a lot of people see Dave as someone who is hard to approach and tough to read at first glance. Well, I hate to blow his cover, but he’s not. Over the past four summers, Dave and I have formed a great relationship both on and off of the golf course. Whether it be formulating agronomic and daily operational plans on the golf course, or shooting hoops at Stillwater High School on Wednesday nights. We’ve been on multiple golf trips to Northern Minnesota with a group of his friends that I now consider my friends. He has invited my wife and I to his beautiful home many times and have gotten to know his family very well. Being able to have that kind of

relationship with your boss that you work with 40 plus hours a week is something that I value and hope to carry on.

“working to live” doesn’t mean that he isn’t in it heart and soul at the golf course. He knows how to get the job done at a high level, have a little fun while doing so, and leav While attending the Mega ing it all at work when it’s all said Seminar this year, there were two and done. One of the most important speakers with a combined industry things I’ve learned from Dave in the experience of almost 100 years that past four years is to not allow things have realized the imout of my control portance of a work/life to stress me out. balance. They were our Give it your best very own Roger Steweffort, help others art, CGCS TPC Twin to succeed, and Cities and Bill Spence leave it all at the from The Country Club shop door on the at Brookline outside of way out. No matBoston. They shared ter what happens their experiences on on the course how we can’t let our whether it be enwork lives destroy our vironmentally, personal lives and relaeconomically, or tionships; we must be even politically, able to find that time Dave has always through a renovation been able to keep or summer heat to get a cool head, act away and share time with your fam- accordingly, and let it go at the end ily and friends. Something Dave of the day. has been doing for over 16 years at Prestwick. I have favorite quote that I hear at least once a week from Dave. It Dave has always been a work usually comes after I’ve been runto live guy. And just because he is ning around the course after the Page 29

crew has left for the day. Thinking over 10 years. “He’s understanding, accommodating, and knowledgeto myself that there isn’t enough time in the day to fix what needs able, and he doesn’t BS ya. He’s to be fixed or do what needs to be willing to give people chances and done. “Tomorrow’s another day.” help them to succeed.” Dave alWhy stress out over something that ways has, and always will have his any normal golfer wouldn’t notice demands for us on the golf course. unless you point at it? That’s the He expects the best results and way that many of us are wired and it doesn’t settle for anything less. But can be a really great trait. Probably he understands exactly what your something that many Superintenstrengths and weaknesses are, gives dents are looking for when hiring. you the knowledge and materials to Too many times we get caught up in perfecting things that only professionals like us would notice and it can really wear you down throughout the course of A pair of “East-siders”, Alexandro Leon, left, and Adam Lesmeister a summer. having fun at their club. Both are strong supporters of Kazmierczak. That’s where you need Dave to keep you sane. succeed, and tells you exactly what he’s thinking. He is always willing to give someone an opportunity to I asked my “Assistant-inCrime” Alexandro Leon what he succeed and grow. Whether it be likes so much about Dave, consider- a rookie on the grounds crew or a ing he has been working for him for technician searching for knowledge. Page 30

Dave and our Equipment Manager Chad Braun have been working together for over 18 years, even before Dave had the superintendent job, working part time at the club. The program that they have put together at the maintenance facility is the most efficient and professional that I have ever been a part of. Now, I’ve never met a Superintendent and Equipment Manger that agree on everything, and I probably never will. But the respect and trust that they have in each other allows them both to focus on their own specific tasks and not worrying about what the other is doing. Dave has made a career of surrounding himself with successful people. That’s what successful people do. Having that ability to trust others around you allows you to be more relaxed and stress free. And who doesn’t want to work with and for a guy that is stress free? Dave has figured out the perfect recipe for running an efficient and successful golf course operation and it shows every day at Prestwick Golf Club. I love my job and everything that goes with it. Its people, and more importantly, good bosses and men-

tors that make what we do so much easier and enjoyable. I believe that many of us have had bad employers and influences in our careers that have put a negative influence on our day to day lives that push us away from what we think we love. Dave is a great boss, mentor, and most of all, a great friend. He absolutely loves what he does. He loves the people that he works with, the members that he works for, and the game that he treasures. I feel blessed to be able to work with a man that has been so involved in our association for so many years. I have realized how truly important it is to give back and to serve the group of peers that our strong association is made up of. Nothing gets done by yourself. You need a group of great people and friends to work together to make a difference. I saw firsthand how time consuming being the President of the association is. That being said, I want to end by thanking Dave. Not only for serving as our President this past year, but for being a great role model as well as a great mentor and friend. Page 31

Thankfulness for a Job You Love By Dr. Bob Milligan

People are often encouraged to be thankful for having a job. I think having a job is far too low a bar and far to narrow. Employees should be able to be thankful for having a job they love!

to be engaged and passionate in their work. Do what you can do, have done, and often enjoy doing but do not have time to do

Examples include tasks such as line trimming, bunker raking, cup cutting, service chores and mowing. In some ways, this is the most difficult group to engage in golf course success. You have likely been executing these tasks for a long time, often starting when you were still in We begin with the three reasons you school. hire additional workers, and then discuss a major need for each group These tasks are routine for you. to love their job. The three reasons You have no memory of how you learned them or whether you strugare to: • do what you can do, have done, gled at first. Training and continuous improvement are the keys to and often enjoy doing but do not engagement for this group. have time to do. • do what you are not good at. • do what you are not capable of Here are some things you must recognize to have a great continuous doing. We look at each and a key for each improvement training program: Additionally, owners - you - should be extremely thankful for all members of your workforce - owners, family members, and employees. In this article, we address why you need your workforce and how you can help them have a job they love.

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Assistants Pro Forum Foley United Tour Host Jim Letourneau

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• You must have a carefully planned training program for those learning these tasks. The plan should include: * The needed quality assurance tools - checklists, SOPS, activity flows - to ensure that every step is included in the training and as a reference for the worker. * The training process focuses on enabling the worker to succeed. A common process is built around prepare-tell-show-do-review. * There is a recognition that the owner may not be the best trainer for many tasks. Training must be Page 34

done by the best trainer. The best trainer may be you, another owner or supervisor, or a person presently engaged in the task. * You must recognize that success in the tasks requires more than simply knowing the steps for the task. Also important are: * Understanding WHY the task is important to the success of the farm or other business. * Understanding WHY this process is used on this farm/business. * Mastering the task. Mastery requires knowing the task, having complete confidence that one can

complete the task exactly correctly every time, and practicing the task correctly. The journey from knowing to mastery requires encouragement and positive redirection, and sometimes negative feedback from the supervisor and/or trainer. • You must recognize the importance of continuous improvement. Your breadth of knowledge of the task and the context of task performance enabled you to continually improve your performance. Those you hire will most likely not have this breadth of knowledge and context. You must provide opportunities for continuous improvement and growth to enable those working to continue to believe they are masters at their work.

with the strengths to excel in those tasks and functions. A great challenge with this group is in the hiring process, especially position definition and selection. The challenge with weaknesses is that they are WEAKNESSES - blind spots. Assistance may be required from within or outside the family or business to develop the position description and to define the competencies required in a great hire.

Challenges can continue into selection. We all have a bias toward hiring people who are like us. In this situation, at least with respect to strengths, we are hiring people who are different from us. You will need to strengthen and focus the selection process including interview quesDo what you are not good at tions to determine the applicants I am a big proponent of the strength who have the strengths and other traits to excel in these tasks and movement. This requires a recogfunctions. nition that each of us has strengths (and weaknesses) and that we are Often we dislike tasks that we are most productive and developing when we focus on our strengths. As not good at and think everyone owners and superintendents recog- would also. It is important to recognize that all positions have the ponize those tasks and functions that they can do but do not build on their tential to be exciting for those with the strengths to succeed in that posistrengths, people should be hired Page 35

tionship with them that includes: • Clear expectations of the outDo what you are not capable of do- comes they will produce - perforing mance expectations. • An open relationship where As the golf course operation grows, you and they can ask questions, positions are required to do tasks even stupid questions, and provide and functions that the superintenfeedback dent does not have the capability to • A willingness of the employee do. Selection is also crucial here; to let you know when he or she however, let’s focus on another cru- needs help, has made a mistake, or cial requirement. has failed. tion.

A key here is the relationship you develop with this individual. The relationship must be one of openness, ability to communicate, and trust. You may not always understand what these employees are doing so you need to have a great rela-

You may not always understand everything these workforce members are doing, but you must have complete trust that they are working in the best interest of the golf course. Note that partners typically fall into this category.

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* Liquid & Granular Fertilizers * Organic Fertilizers * Post Patent Pesticides * Aerification Tines & Bedknifes * Natural & Artificial Turf grooming equipment.

POGO Page 36

A final note: We have identified a key to success for each of our three employees need areas. The reality is that all three are crucial to every workforce member. Great training, careful selection, and strong relationships will enable workforce members to be able to be thankful that they have a job THEY LOVE. Contact Bob at: 651 647-0495

The membership of the MGCSA gratefully acknowledges Dr. Bob Mulligan and his supportive leadership articles.

Mark Your Calendar Tommy Bahamas February 8, 2017 The National Page 37

Love Them, Hate Them:

The Short History Of Golf Cars

manufactures (including Victor Reportedly, first use of a moAdding Machines and Sears and torized cart on a golf course was by JK Wadley of Texarkana, Texas/ Roebuck) producing various modArkansas, who saw a three-wheeled els. Most were electric.[4] electric cart being used in Los AnMerle Wilgeles to liams of Long transport Beach, Calisenior fornia was citizens to an early inthe gronovator of cery store. the electric Later, he golf cart. He purchased started with a cart and knowledge found that gained from it worked production of poorly on a electric cars golf course. [1] The due to World The Walker Executive Golf Car circa 1957 photo War II gasofirst electric wicipedia line rationgolf cart was custom made in 1932, but did not ing. In 1951, his Marketeer Company began production of an electric gain widespread acceptance.[2] In the 1930’s until the 1950’s the most golf cart in Redlands, California. EZ-Go began producing golf cars in widespread use of golf carts were for those with disabilities who could 1954, Cushman in 1955, Club Car in 1958, Taylor-Dunn in 1961, Harnot walk far.[3] By the mid 1950’s ley-Davidson in 1963, Yamaha Golf the golf cart had gained wide acceptance with golfers, with several Car in 1979 and CT&T in 2002. Page 38

Equipment Managers Forum TORO Host Jeff Drake

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Max Walker created the first gasoline-powered golf cart, “The Walker Executive,” in 1957. This three-wheeled vehicle was shaped with a Vespa-style front end and, like any golf cart, carried two passengers and bags. Along with the rising popularity of golf carts, the number of golf cart-related injuries has increased significantly over the last decade. A study conducted by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, found that the number of golf cart-related injuries rose 132% during the 17-year study period. According to the study, published in the July 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, there were an estimated 148,000 golf cart-related injuries between 1990 and 2006, Page 40

1932—The first electric golf cart is custom-made, but doesn’t catch on quite yet. For the next 15-20 years, electric carts and cars are mainly created for people with disabilities. 1940s and 50s—Merle Williams, having gained experience with electric vehicles working for the Marketeer company during the gasoline rationing in World War II, creates the first commercially available electric golf cart. At the time, Marketeer’s primary audience was women, meant to use the electric vehicles during grocery shopping. 1951—Marketeer produces the first electric golf carts in Redlands, California. 1954—E-Z-GO and LEKTRO companies begin building golf carts. The first E-Z-GO ran on a 36-volt battery. 1955—Cushman begins manufacturing golf carts. 1957—Max Walker creates the first gasoline-powered golf cart. He calls it “The Walker Executive.” 1958—Club Car begins manufacturing golf carts. 1960s—Club Car introduces the first golf cart with a steering wheel. 1970s—The 70s were a big decade for golf carts. Gaspowered golf carts begin to gain market share, continuing through the 80s and until present day. Up until the 70s, most golf carts had three wheels and tiller steering. In this decade, a design of four wheels and a steering wheel took over prominence. The vehicles also begin to find uses off the golf course, which would eventually lead to the wide array of shuttle, hauling, utility and neighborhood options we enjoy today. 1979—Club Car modifies its standard golf cart with a rear cargo box, creating the brand’s first utility vehicle. 1986—Yamaha unveils what it calls the Neighborhood Electrical Vehicle (NEV), meant for transport around residential city streets. 1990s—Large corporations buy two major golf car companies. Now, Ingersoll Rand owns Club Car, and Textron Inc. owns E-Z-GO and Cushman. Both companies create their vehicles at the home of the Masters Tournament, Augusta, Georgia. 2000s—Golf carts and utility vehicles expand into even more industries, becoming ubiquitous in hundreds of settings.

1961 cartoon. A sign of times to come? Photo wikipedia

ranging from an estimated 5,770 cases in 1990 to approximately 13,411 cases in 2006. More than 30% of golf cart-related injuries involved children under the age of 16.[5] The most common type of injury was soft tissue damage, usually just bruises, followed by fractures, constituting 22.3% of the cases, and lacerations, accounting for 15.5% of injuries.[6] Other types of injuries include concussions, internal injuries, subdural hematoma, spinal cord injury, or acute respiratory compromise. While rare, a few cases had severe outcomes: four

fatalities, two paraplegic, and one quadriplegic injuries have been documented.[7] Some of the main causes of injury related to golf cart accidents included cart overturn, falling/jumping from a moving golf cart, collision with another vehicle or stationary object, struck/run over by a cart and getting into or out of a cart. Out of all these, falling or jumping from a golf cart was the most common cause of injury for both adults and children.[8] One contributing reason is that current golf cart safety features are insufficient to prevent passenger falls

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A ToAsT, In ApprecIATIon of Your BusIness.

Here’s To You.

At Par Aide, we’d like to raise a paper cup to you, our valued customer. Because it’s your unyielding dedication to the course that inspires us to keep building the industry’s most innovative products. So from Par Aide, we salute all you do. Cheers.

Wherever golf is played.


Par aide is a Proud sPonsor of MCCsa, GCsaa, The firsT Tee and The Wee one foundaTion.

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or ejection.[10] Golf carts moving at speeds as low as 11 miles per hour (18 km/h) could readily eject a passenger during a turn. Furthermore, rear-facing golf cart seats are associated with high rates of passenger ejection, and most golf carts do not have brakes on all four wheels (typically brakes are only on the rear axle wheels, thus extremely limiting their braking power).[8][11]

the golfer to stand upright, be supported, and swing using both hands. [10][11]

One of the most exciting developments in golf cart technology is the GolfBoard, a golf cart that is inspired by the skateboard. The GolfBoard is driven by front and back gear boxes providing power to all four wheels. The golfer controls the cart in a standing upright position as Golf cart injuries are also common- if riding skateboard, leaning left or ly found in desert areas (i.e. Johnson right to make turns. The GolfBoard Valley). Driving golf carts on dirt has been well received by the golftrails, along drop off cliffs, down ing community as it speeds up play rocky trails that should only be tra- and according to the manufacturers, versed using 4-wheel-drive vehicles, has up to 75% less impact on turf can all lead to injuries. than traditional golf carts. In 2014 Adaptive golf carts New technology such as the SoloRider, an adaptive golf cart designed for a single user, is allowing disabled persons access to the golf course and the game itself. The cart’s seat swivels around, extends to an upright position, and allows

Wishful thinking??? Page 43

the GolfBoard was voted the Best New Product at the PGA Show.[12] References 1 Golfer Follows Ball In Car Run By Electricity”, May 1932, Popular Mechanics article bottom of page 801 2 “Electric Auto as Caddy Serves Crippled Player” Popular Mechanics, August 1930, bottom of pg. 199 3 “Golfers Mobilize” Popular Mechanics, April 1956, p. 103 4 Newswise: First National Study to Examine Golf Cart-Related Injuries Retrieved on June 11, 2008. 5 
a b c Watson, Daniel S. et al. Golf Cart-Related Injuries in the U.S. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, issue 35 (2008): pp. 55–9 6 Kelly, Edward, G. Major Injuries Occurring During Use of a Golf Cart. South Hills Orthopaedic Surgery Associates, Pittsburgh (1996). pp. 519–21 7 Seluga, Kristopher J., et al. Low Speed Passenger Ejection Restraint Effectiveness. Accident and Analysis Prevention, Stamford (2005). pp. 801–6 8 Seluga, Kristopher J., et al. Braking Hazards of Golf Cars and Low Speed Vehicles. Accident Analysis and Prevention, Stamford (2006). pp. 1151–1156 9 10 “Ability Magazine: Golf Access” (2011)”. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 11 citEcar 12 Golf Assessor Page 44

Northern Outreach and Education Northland Country Club Host Jake Ryan

Series Education Sponsor: Frost Inc.

TerraMax inc.

Maximizing Earth’s Potential

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Northern Green: If You Think You Know “Expo” Think Again The green industry education and trade show set for January 10-12, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center will now be known simply as “Northern Green.” The refreshed name highlights changes in store for the largest green industry show in the northern region in order to ensure it remains interesting and relevant for future generations. Among industry stakeholders, the shortened brand “Northern Green” was confirmed as one with which the green industry resonates very strongly, and when paired with a new tag line “where outdoor pros connect + grow,” establishes a reinvigorated event brand. The refreshed brand also includes new visual components, complete with a new logo. The event will continue to serve outdoor environment professionals who need a personal and professional recharge. The event offers a value-driven platform for education, innovation, and community. The reimagined show advances growth and elevates the industry’s ability to deliver experiential outdoor spaces that enhance people’s lives. Our uncommon blend of diverse industry expertise encourages high quality learning, showcases dynamic product offerings, and welcomes fun and fluid opportunities to connect. What’s new for 2017? • A new schedule: Tuesday – Thursday • New registration packages/options • Multiple keynote speakers intended to inspire • Interactive trade show elements including more campfire experiences, a hardscape building contest, and an innovation and inspiration theater • Revised education opportunities including day long master classes, CEO premium content, an interactive track and much more… • Comedy and pizza night featuring a national headlining comedian

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• There will also be little surprises around every corner from music, to lighting, and beyond! “Northern Green has been a leading conference in our region for 13 years, and we want to ensure it remains a must-attend event for years to come,” said MNLA Past President Heidi Heiland. “The new name and look and exciting new elements will reflect our rapidly changing industry and it all begins in 2017!” So, take out your pen, pencil, phone or iPad and mark your calendar for the newly rebranded Northern Green, January 10-12, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, because something new is coming and you won’t want to miss it!

Register HERE for the Northern Green

Two Keynotes in 2017! January 11, 2017: Eric Chester



Chester’s passion and relevant content will blow you away.

Eric Chester

Eric Chester is a leading voice and a trusted source in the global dialogue on employee engagement and building a world-class workplace culture. Eric has an esteemed history of helping thousands of business leaders create passionate teams throughout their organizations from the emerging generation to those approaching retirement. He has authored four books for employers and co-authored seven others preparing youth for this thing called “work.” His most recent book, titled “On Fire at Work: How Legendary Leaders Ignite Passion in Their People without Burning Them Out,” will be THE definitive resource business leaders and managers on every level in every industry will turn to for highly applicable and very relevant ideas and strategies for developing a world class workplace culture that engages employees and improves performance and retention.


January 12, 2017: Dr. Jermaine Davis Davis’ high-energy message will motivate you to organizational excellence with teamwork, leadership and communication.

Dr. Jermaine Davis

As an award-winning communications professor and leadership expert, Dr. Jermaine helps teams, associations and organizations thrive and succeed through his highly requested and interactive presentations. Dr. Jermaine helps leaders and frontline employees increase their morale, motivation and momentum by teaching them how-to build a healthy work climate and culture through proactive communication, cooperation and collaboration. Prestigious organizations like 3M, American Express, Best Buy, Boston Scientific, Caterpillar, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Medtronic, Prudential, Wells Fargo, and West Point Military Academy regularly seek out Dr. Jermaine’s expertise in the areas of leadership, employee engagement, motivation, teamwork, and overcoming workplace burnout.


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The M

The Minika Host Jeff Thank You Syng Fergu A

Page Page4848


ahda Club Johnson u Sponsors genta uson ADS

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Affiliate Spotlight:

The humble beginnings of Club Car began in the mid 1950’s in Dallas, Texas when Landreath Machine began manufacturing some of the first golf cars. A few years later Bill Stevens, an Augusta, Georgia resident, purchased the rights to the golf car from Landreath Machine and moved the company to Augusta. With only a few employees, Mr. Stevens began manufacturing golf cars with an eye on growing the business. Despite improvements to the product and industry firsts, such as a golf car with an

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actual steering wheel in the 1960’s, growth in the business was still slow for Club Car. Eventually, Mr. Stevens was bought out as the company continued to manufacture golf cars albeit for just a very small percentage of the market.

into a world class manufacturer of golf cars and utility vehicles. In 1980 a stylish new golf car known as the DS model was released. This car along with the introduction of a four-cycle gas engine car, rack and pinion steering and other innovations brought Club 1978 was a pivotal year for Car dramatic market share growth Club Car when eight executives as the DS model proved successful and managers from the rival across and remained a customer favorite town, E-Z-Go, purchased the com- for decades through several redepany from Johns Manville. These signs and improvements upon the new owners liked many features original model. The 1980’s also that Club Car offered and were insaw the introduction of the comtent on transforming the small com- pany’s first dedicated utility vehicle, pany with single digit market share the Carryall II, giving the company

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a presence in the growing turf maintenance market. As the company continued to grow it also would go through several more ownership changes over the years until Ingersoll Rand, the company that still owns Club Car to this day, purchased it in 1995. Since that time, Club Car has continued with a history of innovation and growth including the Precedent model introduction in 2004 bringing a new level of styling and comfort to the industry, the

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Visage mobile information system to enhance the golfer experience, the redesign of the industry leading Carryall utility vehicle lineup and introduction of the first connected car, the i3, allowing operators greater control and visibility of their fleet operations. Through all of this growth Club Car produced its one millionth vehicle in 2001, its two millionth vehicle in 2010 and with over 40 base models serving the needs of golf, transportation and cargo carrying is well on its way to three million vehicles.

Supporting the needs of customers is key and Club Car provides quick, reliable service through a worldwide dealer network of over 600 locations combined with branch or factory direct sales in key markets to better serve the needs of customers. For over fifty years the desire to produce innovative, quality products has proven successful for this once small company and that same desire will continue to serve customers new and old for many years to come.

Contact: Andy Hockmuth (952) 913-7414 Drew Ekstrom (612) 360-4791 Club Car, LLC

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Within the Leather by Mike Brower, Suerintendent at Minnesota Valley Country Club

A Renaissance of Classic Golf Courses

The right length of holes can always be adopted; after that the character of the course depends upon the building of the putting greens. Putting greens to a golf course are what the face is to a portrait. The clothes the subject wears, the background, whether scenery or draperies–are simply accessories; the face tells the story and determines the character and quality of the portrait –whether good or bad. Charles Blair McDonald – Scotland’s Gift - Golf

really needs is a couple of good chain saws.” The others echoed that same message. Original design intent and strategy had been lost through countless tree planting efforts (blunders) over the years.

What was a turning, twisting, par five hole to begin your round, had become a straight away hole, most memorable for the trees which affected much of the shot strategy. That theme repeated itself throughout the golf course. Lost in the forest were the acres of fairways and bunkers which became obsolete. Club leadership When we interviewed Golf and memberships in general Course Architects with the are much more accepting of goal of completing a Master tree removals in recent years, Plan for Minnesota Valley especially when they’re properly two years ago, one of them educated on the merits of didn’t get any further than returning to the original design the first green when he intent. That’s our job; educating, stated ”What this course motivating and leading them

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there. The architects were all pleasantly surprised by the fact that our green sites were obviously original and intact. They also had much to say about the state of our bunkers

years completed restorations, and I’m happy to say that day will arrive here next fall beginning August first.

and the possibilities for them. A rage in golf has been the arrival of superior bunker sand and internal drainage systems like Better Billy, a much easier sell to golfers than anything else. Many of you have in recent

tree removal to open fairway corridors, we’ll be reconstructing all bunkers complete with Better Billy and Ohio Best sand. We’ll also be completing a fair

In addition to significant

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amount of modifications to greens including restoring square fronts and lost corners, and reducing a handful of the most severe slopes. We’re excited to be working with Golf Course Architect Bill Bergin, who was selected to complete the Master Plan for the golf course.

on! What more could we ask for in a career? Sure, most of us would love to someday in our careers design and build a golf course. But I’m more than satisfied with sustaining, improving and restoring a classic. Duty calls, and we’re blessed and poised to be here at the right time. This also goes for those managing courses As Superintendents, we’re now reaching 20, 30, 40 and 50 fortunate to be involved in years of age. This is not only the golf course management at era of classic restorations, but this place in time……the also an opportunity to sustain era of restorations. We have and improve more modern day entered a time when countless courses. There’s a duty there as golf courses throughout the well! Maintenance is only one country have or will return to of our responsibilities. A greater their roots. Most of us have good will come from the way we taken up a keen interest in sustain, improve, and restore the golf course architecture and design intent of the courses we studied it very closely. Those manage. of us whose professional lives have been spent The Face of the Portraitlargely on old classic layouts, have dug deep The three Golf Course into McDonald, Ross, Superintendent’s who preceded Tillinghast, Banks, me here at Minnesota Valley, Raynor, the list goes John Daly 1924-1931, Frank PagePage 56


Chellis 1932-1963, and Larry Mueller 1964-2001, must have had a great appreciation for the original design of the golf course. The putting greens have largely been untouched. Thank you!! One can compare aerial photographs of Minnesota Valley’s greens from 1934 to present day, and see they remain the same as the day Seth Raynor and Charles Barton laid them out. Credit needs to be given as well to the construction crew of Ivar Daly, his son John (first Supt.), and others who worked hard to create something very special! The greens these men designed and constructed offer great variety, yet were built with a slower ball roll speed in mind. Generally built as tilted planes and ranging in size from 4,300 to 7,600 square feet, ten of them have a considerable amount of surface with slopes of 4-7 %. As you can imagine, it’s a significant challenge achieving today’s desired ball roll speed while also providing

fair pin placement locations on daily basis. Add an annual average of 29,000 rounds, and it’s easy to understand why it’s smart to soften some of the most severe slopes and add square footage where possible. In all, we’ll increase square footage on greens by over 20,000 square feet. Those special Raynor nuances like kick-in slopes, false fronts, slippery edges, and squared corners will be more prevalent and function as they were intended. The full portraits will come alive again. The BackgroundSustaining the other features on the canvas is also our role. Back to those trees, nearly countless numbers that have altered the portrait, planted with good intentions have you…… by countless committees, boards, club managers, contractors, architects and yes, Page 57 Page 57

superintendents. We all make mistakes, and without considerable experience planting and growing trees, it’s difficult at best to succeed. And with an advanced knowledge of plant science, we all

all of those seeding ash next to playing surfaces? Who removed that bold and original fairway bunker on the inside of the dogleg and replaced it with a forest of park grade trees? It doesn’t really matter now. What

appreciate the magnificence of trees, especially the great specimens which dot the landscape. But for goodness gracious sakes, who planted

matters is providing adequate sunlight to the grass, reducing the amount of plant debris littering the playing surfaces, and restoring the original shot strategy to the course. With over

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1500 mature trees now on our property, we have our work cut out. What those architects didn’t completely realize when they first walked the course here, is that we’d already removed over 200 trees in the few years prior to their walks. That effort continues, with the removal number around 400, with a couple hundred or more to come. The first trees to go were Ash and evergreens. When the Emerald Ash Borer arrived in Minnesota in 2009, we embarked upon a complete evaluation of the management of our ash population, which then totaled 223. Roughly a third of those were seeding ash. We placed each of the ash trees in one of three value categories, low, moderate, or high value, with an initial goal to remove all low value ash. That portion of the work is completed and we’re now removing many of the moderate value ash trees. Our total number of ash will be

under 100 soon. The higher value ones which remain will continue to be preventatively treated on an annual basis for the borer. Our tree removals have more recently focused on providing more sunlight to playing surfaces, opening the original fairway corridors, and in turn creating original shot strategy. AccessoriesFrom year one, Minnesota Valley always had over 90 bunkers. That’s plenty, and on the high end for Raynor golf courses. There are many outstanding Raynor golf courses with 70 or fewer bunkers. One small, deep bunker placed correctly can provide a great challenge to the finest players, a fine example being the Strath bunker on a par-three template Eden. The number of bunkers Page 59

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here will reduce to around 74, from the current 92, with all of the reduction occurring green side. We’ve all heard of a “sympathetic restoration” right? As we evaluated the future for the course, we discussed what this meant. We determined it was a method of fitting the modern day game with the classic golf course design features. Clearly with how the game has evolved and the number of rounds played now, a sympathetic restoration made sense for us to a certain degree. At the same time, we felt it was paramount to not damage our Raynor footprint, and actually strengthen it where possible. Many of our green sites didn’t offer alternative entry routes to greens and were generally over bunkered, making it a difficult and slow course to play for higher handicap players. Consideration of maintenance practices also played a part in decisions at

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green sites, as did up front and future costs associated with the maintenance of Ohio Best white sand. The cost of the white sand is high, and it won’t last forever. The most strategic green side bunkers were kept in the plan, as were ones deemed bold and/or more historic. The template holes will remain forever at The Valley, the two Redan (a three shot and a four shot), two Biarritz (a three shot and a four shot), Short, Eden, Prized Dogleg, and Road holes. In summary, keep those chain saws sharp and ready, and revel in the joy of our place in this time. No real lover of golf with artistic understanding would undertake to measure the quality or fascination of a golf hole by a yard stick, any more than a critic of poetry would attempt to measure the supreme sentiment expressed in a poem by the same method. Charles Blair McDonald