#56 - Course Conditions - Fall 2022

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These are the people and companies that supported your association in 2022. Please consider their support this early order season. Thank You To Our Industry Partners PLEASE SUPPORT THOSE WHO SUPPORT YOU COURSE Biannual Publication of the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association FALL 2022 ISSUE Conditions TAKE YOUR SAVINGS TO THE NEXT LEVEL Purchase in October for the BEST savings of the year. The Early Order Period runs Oct. 1 – Dec. 8, 2022. ENHANCED Plan It Your Way Rebate Earn up to an additional 12% on Posterity®, Secure® and Daconil® brand fungicides and Acelepryn®, Ference® and Provaunt® WDG insecticides. NEW Ference Volume Pricing Save more with volume pricing on eight brands including Ference and Acelepryn TAKE YOUR SAVINGS TO THE NEXT LEVEL Purchase in October for the BEST savings of the year. The Early Order Period runs Oct. 1 – Dec. 8, 2022. ENHANCED Plan It Your Way Rebate Earn up to an additional 12% on Posterity®, Secure® and Daconil® brand fungicides and Acelepryn®, Ference® and Provaunt® WDG insecticides. NEW Ference Volume Pricing Save more with volume pricing on eight brands including Ference and Acelepryn
Two major pests. One complete solution. Set a new benchmark in white grub and ABW control. Introducing the unrivaled insect control of Tetrino™, the one insecticide solution that does the work of many by controlling not only white grub and annual bluegrass weevil but also a wide range of other turf-damaging pests. With flexible application timing, it even allows you to take a preventive or early curative approach to your pest management. Up your game with the new broad-spectrum control and fast-acting flexibility of Tetrino. Learn how Tetrino can up your game against white grub and ABW at es.bayer.us/Tetrino ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL INSTRUCTIONS Bayer Environmental Science, a Division of Bayer CropScience LP, 5000 CentreGreen Way, Suite 400, Cary NC 27513. For additional product information, call toll-free 1-800-331-2867 www.environmentalscience.bayer.us. Not all products are registered in all states. Bayer, the Bayer Cross and Tetrino are trademarks of Bayer. ©2021 Bayer CropScience LP
These are the people and companies that supported your association in 2022. Please consider their support this early order season. Thank You To Our Industry Partners PLEASE SUPPORT THOSE WHO SUPPORT YOU COURSE Biannual Publication of the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association FALL 2022 ISSUE Conditions
Two major pests. One complete solution. Set a new benchmark in white grub and ABW control. Introducing the unrivaled insect control of Tetrino™, the one insecticide solution that does the work of many by controlling not only white grub and annual bluegrass weevil but also a wide range of other turf-damaging pests. With flexible application timing, it even allows you to take a preventive or early curative approach to your pest management. Up your game with the new broad-spectrum control and fast-acting flexibility of Tetrino. Learn how Tetrino can up your game against white grub and ABW at es.bayer.us/Tetrino ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL INSTRUCTIONS Bayer Environmental Science, a Division of Bayer CropScience LP, 5000 CentreGreen Way, Suite 400, Cary NC 27513. For additional product information, call toll-free 1-800-331-2867 www.environmentalscience.bayer.us. Not all products are registered in all states. Bayer, the Bayer Cross and Tetrino are trademarks of Bayer. ©2021 Bayer CropScience LP
3Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue 4 MiGCSA Board of Directors 5 President’s Perspective 6 The new MiStory Video Profile Series 9 Welcome Eric Schutman, Syngenta Territory Manager 13 The 2022 MiGCSA State Championship 16 MGCA Announces Registered Apprenticeship 18 Hancock Turfgrass Research Center Gains Certification 20 The Northern & Wee One Fundraiser at Arcadia Bluffs 22 Life is better with a bow in your hand 26 2023 GCSSA Conference and Tradeshow 28 A Message from MTF 34 The 2022 Tuck Tate Shootout 36 WinterTurf Data CollectionWe Need Your Help! 40 Partner Profile - Stephen Lord 46 The Problem with Caring Too Much 48 Legislators Learn About Golf’s Impact From Allied Associations 51 The First Green at Lyon Oaks 54 A Perfect Trio 59 2022 Western Golf Day Fundraiser 60 Big Event Fundraiser 62 Association Update Contents A new 3-way formulation, Surmise® SpeedPro XT delivers savage burndown with fast, visible results. And its 90+ day residual helps reduce your labor costs. Unleash the beast for swift, relentless weed and grass control in walkways, hardscapes, fencerows, edging and more. Learn more at primesource-albaugh.com New from Prime Source! Get quick, non-selective burndown and at least 90 days of residual control. THE SOURCE MATTERS ©2022 Albaugh, LLC. Prime Source, the water drop logo and Surmise are registered trademarks of Albaugh, LLC. Always read and follow label Precautions and Directions For Use. this herbicide is an absolute beast. PS10122 Prime Source Half Page 8.5 x 5.5 bleed 8.75 x 5.75 MiGCSA Surmise SpeedProXT 1 PS10122_MiGCSA_SSPXT_Half1.indd 1 8/4/22 3:40 PM
I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone’s game. It’s called an eraser. - Arnold Palmer 4 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org COURSE Conditions Course Conditions is published 2 times a year by the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect the views of the MiCGSA. For more information on Course Conditions or the MiGCSA please contact us at info@migca.org, 1-888-3-MiGCSA or 316 Glencarin Dr. NE, Rockford, MI 49341. PRESIDENT RYAN MOORE Greater Detroit-Class A Forest Lake C.C. VICE PRESIDENT DOUG HOEH Northern-Class A Treetops Resort SECRETARY/ JESSE SHAVER TREASURER Western-Class A Gull Lake C.C. PAST PRESIDENT DOUG WARE Greater Detroit-Class A City of Livonia ADAM GARR Detroit-Class A Winfield United Professional KEVIN RISCH Mid-Class B Saginaw C.C SKIP CONNOLLY Western-Class A The Mines G.C. BOARD OF DIRECTORS COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE JESSE SHAVER Gull Lake C.C. Chairman CRAIG MCKINLEY Buck’s Run Golf Club JARED MILNER Meadowbrook C.C. BRETT ROBERTS Target Specialty Products COLLIN ROMANICK Blythefield C.C. Profile interviews conducted by Greg Johnson, Greg Johnson Media L.L.C. TOM SCHALL, CGCS Oakland University ROB STEGER, CGCS Red Run Golf Club MICAH WISE Site One JOE ETTAWAGESHIK Lochenheath Golf Club ANDY DALTON Atlas Valley EQUIPMENT MANAGER LIAISON BEN BEARD Western-Class EM American Dunes G.C. SCOTT PULASKI Northern-Class A Walloon Lake C.C. CRAIG MCKINLEY Mid-Class A Buck’s Run Golf Club GENE DAVIS Northern-Class A Elk Rapids Golf Club ROSS MILLER, CGCS Detroit-Class A Country Club of Detroit JARED MILNER Detroit-Class A Meadowbrook C.C. ASSISTANT LIAISON KYLE SCHIERLINGER Forest Lake C.C.


With the signs of leaves just starting to turn and football season upon us, I am definitely ready to see fall. Much like every golf season 2022 takes us from excitement and energy starting the year to an almost empty tank come the end of summer. Fall is the rejuvenation where the end of the year finish line is insight, with irrigation blowouts and fall turf winterization right around the corner. Take a deep breath, we made it! Special thank you to yours and my maintenance staffs, who grinded their way through the years challenges right beside us.

Whether you tackled traditional weather challenges, increased play, or renovation challenges; this year may be known best for its supply chain issues. This global hurdle has hit close to home, and I do not know one facility out there that did not experience the challenges of delays and availability of products, equipment, and supplies. I do want to thank our many IP’s with being at the forefront of these issues. Their honesty and integrity in how they continue to try and handle supply and demand, in many cases alternatives, to our needs has been important. Although like many we are waiting on a piece or two of equipment; we all will get through this together.

Focusing on more positive momentum through the fall, The MiGCSA State Championship at the newly restored Atlas Valley is was a great success. Right in behind that, The Western Golf Day Fundraiser at Egypt Valley C.C. was one of the largest turnouts in many years. The Big Event is sold out at the newly renovated Red Run Golf Club, then the MI-OH Matches at Orchard Lake and the Assistant Superintendent Championship at Oak Pointe. A big thank you to Andrew Dalton, Jeff Holmes, CGCS, Rob Steger, CGCS, Aaron McMaster and Christian Koval for hosting these great events at their respective courses. Lots of excitement from the registrants to visit and enjoy all the hard work and effort put into these facilities.

Finally, I cannot thank the MiGCSA Membership enough for allowing me to serve this year as President and the 6 years on a Board of Directors with truly some of the most amazing individuals. The experience of being involved has given me a much wider perspective of our industry and a vision of a great future for all that are a part of it. “We” - the MiGCSA - continue to revamp our events and programs and you can expect some more really great things coming to the association and its members in the near future!




In2022 the MiGCSA Communications Committee decided to allocate chapter resources to more video content and less print. This is only the second issue of 2022 and will be the last of this year. We plan to do a spring and fall issue with somewhere between 10 and 12 video profiles on members, projects, personal stories, and profiles. These are posted to the all-new migcsa.org website and to our you tube channel.

We kicked the series off with our 2022 President Ryan Moore at Forest Lake Country Club. A day in the life as Ryan took our videographer around the course dealing with the multitude of items that pop up every day for all our members. Ryan did a great job of giving us a taste of what it takes to keep a club like Forest Lake running at such a high level every day.

The third video featured Kevin Peck in his first year as a Golf Course Superintendent with a complete construction project thrown in at the Inn at St. Johns. The all-new Raymond Hearn design will be open next year for play. Kevin gives a detailed tour of the construction and his efforts to keep the project on track.

Coming soon, the fourth in the MiStory series heads to Port Huron to chat with John

Nowakowski, CGCS at Port Huron Golf Club along with his Assistant Superintendent and son Lewis. John’s wife Martha joins in as well to talk about John’s upcoming retirement, his long tenure and involvement in Metro Detroit and his tips for the next generation coming into the business.

The second video was a full morning at the PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club. Golf Course Superintendent Jake Mendoza gave us an inside look at the preparations for this Tour stop in Detroit. This highlighted the many MiGCSA volunteers who help make the event possible every year for the best players in the word.

Keep an eye on the You Tube channel and the website for our future videos including Andy Dalton at Atlas Valley, Andy Gianino at Cascade Hills, Ben Beard at American Dunes, Scott Pulaski at Walloon Lake also see the features on the Western Fundraiser, The Big Event and the 2022 State Championship.

If you have a story to tell or think there is one we should know about let us know by sending an email to info@migcsa.org.

6 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org

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7Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue YOUR
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ERIC SCHUTMAN, Syngenta Territory Manager

Are you married, if so how long and what is your spouse’s name?

• I am married to my beautiful wife, Zahara. We were married in April 2021. We have known each other since college. We both went to rival schools in North Carolina. I went to NC State and she went to UNC.

Do you have any children? What are their names and ages?

• We do not have any children and are not planning on having kids. We do have a dog son, Oakley. His nickname is Bug, because he is friendly to every living thing including bugs. He is 2.5 years old.

Where do you live now? Where did you grow up?

• We live in Ann Arbor. I have lived here for 9 years and moved from North Carolina where I lived for about 17 years. I grew up in the Quad Cities in Iowa and moved to NC with my family when I was 11.

Where and what year did you receive your education?

• I have a BS in turfgrass science from NC State University and graduated in December 2008.

What is your background story before taking on this role, work, life, etc?

• I have been with Syngenta for a little over 9 years where I have been the Northern Aquatics territory manager. Working with lake and pond applicators around the Northeast and Midwest states. My background is turf… I started working golf course maintenance when I was 17 and have a huge passion for golf. I enjoyed working all aspects of golf courses. I had the privilege of working a golf course renovation during my internship in NC. I really enjoyed getting the perspective on how the course is built from the ground up and what it takes to build a solid foundation. After I graduated from NC State I got involved in the lawn care industry and worked for a national company for 2 years. Ultimately, I found out that my passion was talking and working directly with people. I knew I wanted to get into sales because of my passion of working with different personalities, my love for the entire turf industry, and thinking I could offer solutions to challenges in turf. I also thought I was pretty good at selling fungicide packages to homeowners

9Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue

in lawn care. I was an intern/developmental rep working with Syngenta when I started my sales career. After 2 years as a sales support rep, I stepped into the aquatics territory with Syngenta. After 9 years, I am very pleased and excited to step back into turf, lawn, and golf courses.

• I spend my free time with my wife, who is also my best friend. We enjoy being lazy at home, going to Disneyland, and playing with our pup. I also enjoy playing as much golf as possible in my free time.

What are some of your hobbies?

• My hobbies are golf and spending time with my wife and pup. I have played golf in a lot of states and Michigan is my favorite place to play. I have had the opportunity to play some beautiful and of course challenging courses.

What are your goals for Syngenta in Michigan?

• My goals for Syngenta in Michigan turf are to develop relationships and friendships in the turf industry here. I’d like to understand what challenges superintendents are facing annually and how Syngenta and myself can offer solutions to these challenges here in Michigan.

10 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org


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12 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org Enhance Root Health and Promote the Uptake of Nutrients Mycorrhizae Pro CONTAINS NON-PLANT FOOD INGREDIENTS SOIL AMENDING GUARANTEED ANALYSIS ACTIVE INGREDIENTS 0.2% Mycorrhizal fungi: Rhizophagus irregularis................................................ 5 x 104 propagules/mL INERT INGREDIENTS (OTHER INGREDIENTS) Deionized water and agar...............................................................................99.8% Purpose: To enhance root growth and aid in the uptake of nutrients. EXPIRATION DATE 2 years from date of manufacture printed on the container. PRECAUTIONS Do not eat, drink, or smoke when handling this product. • Avoid getting in eyes or on skin. Use safety glasses with side shields (or goggles) and water repellent gloves when handling this product. • Do not contaminate water during application or when cleaning equipment. CAUTION Read entire label before using this product and follow all Handling and Use Precautions. FOR PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY FIRST AID If on skin: Remove contaminate clothing and wash with soap and water. Consult a physician if any irritation persists. If in eyes: Rinse with clean water for 15 minutes. Remove contact lenses after the first 5 minutes and continue to rinse. Seek medical attention if irritation persists. LIQUID FOLIAR & SOIL ADDITIVES ® 10/13/2021 3:31:53 PM www.harrells.com | 800.282.8007 Employee -Owned Mycorrhizae Pro enhances root health and aids in the uptake of nutrients. Part of the Harrell’s Bio-MAX® line, Mycorrhizae Pro soil additive is a concentrated liquid Mycorrhizae formula of rhizophagus irregularis about this product or other agronomic solutions, contact your Harrell’s rep. ANDY GILROY SE MI agilroy@harrells.com (586)
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STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Dan Subina, Superintendent at Salem Hills who shot a net 66 to win. Congratulations to both of our individual winners! The best 1 of 4 net game was won by the team of Brett Roberts, Tyler Cooper, Scott Mincher & Joshua Shaw with a net 56. The long drive was won by Josha Shaw. The closest to the pins were won by Scott Mincher (2), Mike Gianopolos & Craig Kooienga. The longest putt was won by Bryan Bloomensaat.

MiGCSA Class A Member Andy Dalton hosted the 15th annual State Championship, the MiGCSA Major, on September 15th at Atlas Valley G.C. in Grand Blanc. This event is not just for those competing for the trophy there is also a 1 of 4 net team event so everyone can get in the game. The course was really in remarkable condition thanks to the great work by Andy and his staff.

The 2022 event was well contested with very few rounds in the 70’s on a tough layout and set up. In the end the 2020 & 2021 Champion defended his title, Josh Shaw, Superintendent at Inverness C.C. in Chelsea with a 70 edging out Craig Kooienga who shot 71 and Mike Gianopoulos who both shot 72. The low net champion was

With this win Josh will be heading to the Michigan Open in 2023 thanks to the exemption offered thanks to the Michigan PGA. Thank you to our 2022 Industry Partners for making events like these possible.

13Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue
2022 Champion Josh Shaw with Past President Doug Ware Low Net Champion Dan Sabina Our Host Andy Dalton
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June 2, 2022. EAST LANSING, MI – The Michigan Golf Course Association, in coordination with the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity and U.S. Department of Labor, announced the creation of a new apprenticeship program: Golf Course Maintenance Technician, today at The Lynx Golf Course in Otsego, MI

Through this Registered Apprenticeship program, interested candidates can further their agronomy education, work alongside field experts to gain on the job learning, and gain a national occupation credential.

“There are nearly 800 golf courses in Michigan. MGCA knows how important golf is to Michiganders and tourists. To keep our courses in top-notch condition, we must get more people involved in the art and science of agronomy to consider job opportunities at golf courses. This registered apprenticeship program opens the door to help golf courses increase their workforce and offer advanced career opportunities,” said Jada Paisley, Executive Director, Michigan Golf Course Association.

Interested candidates will receive access to online content supported by Golf Course Superintendents Association of American (GCSAA). MGCA received collaborative input from GCSAA, MiGCSA, and Michigan Turfgrass Foundation in designing the “Golf Course Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship.”

“There has arguably never been a better time to get into the golf course management profession. There are opportunities at every level and this apprenticeship is just another example of that. We’re happy to work with the MGCA, MiGCSA and MTF to provide this new resource for our members and provide an additional avenue for individuals to get involved in the industry,” said Shelia Finney, Senior Director, Member Programs at GCSAA.

“The need for qualified people in the golf industry is critical. The turf programs around the country are trying to keep up, but it is clear there is a more immediate need to help facilities equip their employees on staff with the information they need to grow into a more managerial position,” added Adam Ikamas, Executive Director of Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association. “This program will help fill that need for so many courses around the state that simply have no other options right now. Hopefully, this can provide an avenue for loyal and dedicated staff members or new hires with some agronomy background to further their education and possibly pursue a career in the golf industry.”

To learn more about the Golf Course Maintenance Technician apprenticeship visit www.michigangca.org

As the “Voice of Michigan Golf Business” the MGCA mission statement is to promote and preserve the best interest of the Michigan golf industry. MGCA members are owners and operators of golf courses in Michigan.

16 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org
MGCA ANNOUNCES REGISTERED APPRENTICESHIP New Golf Course Maintenance Technician registered apprenticeship announced
Jada Paisley, Ex. Dir, MGCA; Russ Davis, USDOL; Jim Szilagyi, GM/Owner, Lynx GC; (back) Scott Jedele, MI Dept of LEO; Cindy Whittum, MI Dept LEO; Tiffany Clawson, US DOL; Bill Eitel, Superintendent, Lynx GC; Michelle Krcatovich, West MI Works!
17Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue Dist ri bu tor cr edit available af ter June 3 0, 2023 PERIOD 1 Se p. 12 – Oc t. 31, 202 2 1 PERIOD 2 Nov. 1 – D ec 9, 2022 2 YOUR SOLUTION FOR POA SEEDHEAD SUPPRESSION Must register between September 12 and December 9, 2022. Previous registrants do not need to re-register for 2023. Valid e-mail address required for eligibility. For specific application rates, directions, mixing instructions and precautions, read the product label.Please visit www.nufarm.com/usturf to download a full label. ©2020 Nufarm. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Anuew™ is a trademark of Nufarm. Proxy® is a registered trademark of Bayer. ANUEW™ // SAVE $21 PER PACK Through Nufarm’s Edge Rewards Program During Period One purchase 32 or more packs REGISTER ONLINE TO QUALIFY NUFARMREWARDS.COM Seedhead suppression is a real science. Achieve top suppression results using Anuew™ Plant Growth Regulator. Anuew can widen the application window for a seedhead suppression and relieve the pressure of a perfectly timed Proxy® application. DON’T LET SEEDHEADS STAND IN THE WAY

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program (MTESP) recognizes the Hancock Turfgrass Research Center for its efforts to ensure environmental stewardship and enhance wildlife habitats. MTESP is a voluntary program that helps Michigan’s turfgrass industry learn best management practices that reduce environmental risks.

“Hancock Turfgrass Research Center has gone above and beyond environmental compliance requirements to prevent pollution, protect water resources, and conserve energy—all of which benefit the environment,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “By implementing best management practices, and conducting energy audits, they are saving money, protecting natural resources, and reducing their carbon footprint. MDARD is proud to be associated with this unique partnership among state agencies, Michigan State University (MSU), and industry stakeholders. As additional properties work to attain certification, it provides a solid foundation for success.”

To date, 182 properties statewide have begun participating in the MTESP, 47 have met the certification criteria, and 668 modules have been completed. MTESP requires regulatory compliance and implementation of practices that prevent pollution, reduce energy and waste, and protect water resources.

“The Hancock Center at Michigan State is the hub for so many impactful turf research projects. We are very proud


CERTIFICATION in Environmental


to have the Hancock Center as a certified facility,” said MTESP Director Adam Ikamas. “Congratulations to Jesse Sholl and his entire crew on this achievement. We hope more and more turf facilities log into the website at mtesp. org and start the process of certification, many find they are much closer than they thought.”

To become certified in the MTESP, organizations must complete 11 modules relating to facilities, maintenance, and operation practices. Properties that complete all required items in the MTESP modules can be evaluated for certification in the program.

This program is intended to organize efforts of state agencies, MSU, and environmental advocacy groups to advance the turfgrass industry’s environmental stewardship and recognize environmental achievements. The program was developed at MSU with support from the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, Michigan golf Course Superintendents Association, Golf Association of Michigan, Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, Michigan PGA Section, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Michigan Water Stewardship Program provides the base funding to develop and operate the program.

For more information about the MTESP, visit www.mtesp. org, Twitter @MTESP, and Facebook.com/MTESP, or contact Adam Ikamas at adam@mtesp.org.

18 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org
Jim Johnson, Director Environmental Stewardship Division, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development with Hancock Turf Research Center Manager Jesse Sholl.
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The 2022 Wee One & Northern Fundraiser at Arcadia Bluffs was the largest event the MiGCSA has ever hosted. With a sold out 144 players on Sunday for the first ever Wee One Foundation Fundraiser at Arcadia Bluffs on the South Course and sold out 224 registered to play the Bluffs on Monday. The Sunday evening event raised more than $30,000 for the Wee One Foundation! The proceeds from all the 2022 MiGCSA Fundraisers will help fund scholarships, MiGCSA cares, turf related donations, turf research and the MSU turf club.

Thank you to every single attendee and especially to our fundraiser sponsors, hole sponsors and industry partners listed above for making this event possible.

Thank you to Make the Turn Marketing for covering these events and for the video recaps to our youtube channel.

We are planning a slightly earlier 3:00/3:30 shotgun on the South in 2023. The Wee One format was a four person scramble but each hole was played as 8 somes with a maximum two putt on every green, this was well received by the participants and will be the same format next year. We welcome any feedback on these events to continue to improve.

Mark your calendars for the first Monday in June 6/5/23 for the Bluffs with the South Course on the Sunday before 6/4/23.

Thank you to Host MiGCSA Members Jim Bluck, CGCS, Director of Agronomy, Matt Morley, Bluffs Course Superintendent, Cody Kuhn, South Course Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents Zach Redman & Jeremy Eggman.

Also special thanks to PGA Professionals Bill Shriver, COO, Zack Chapin, Vice President of Operations, Chris Sivier, Director of Golf, Aric Zuberbier, Bluffs Course & Dustin Darling, South Course, Director of Food & Beverage Cameron Cosby, Taylor Andrews, Groups Coordinator & Becky Andrews Director of Lodge Operations.

Finally, a very special thank you to Mr. Richard Postma, owner of Arcadia Bluffs, for his support of this event and of our industry!


The Wee One Fundraiser, South Course

Thank you to our 2022 Wee One Fundraiser Sponsors

Dinner Sponsor: Leibold Irrigation

Platinum Sponsors: BASF, Bayer, Syngenta, Revels, Red Run C.C., Spartan Distributors, Site One, Harrell’s & GLT Outdoors.

Gold Sponsors: Baker Vehicle, Helena, Michael Kuhn & Associates, Inc., Nufarm, Target Specialty & WinField.

Silver Sponsors: Turf Ventures, David Herman, Advanced Turf Solutions, EZ-GO, Earthworks, FMC, PBI Gordon, Standard Golf & Rain Bird

20 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org

Olivia Stoll with her first ever hole in one on #9!

The winning scramble team of Josh Teitsma, Scott Goniwiecha, Mike Gianopoulous and Matt Pauli shot 58, second place was Kevin Frank, Zach Redman, Shawn Watson and Zack Peterson with a score of 59 in a scorecard playoff over the third-place team of David Radaj, Paul Bastron, Mark Petitgoue and Nicholas Baker with a 59.

Closest to the pin #5 –Aaron McMaster Closest to the pin #8 –Logan May Closest to the pin #16 –Andrew Gilroy Longest putt –Elliott Hammon!!!

Longest drive –Crosby Duckman

The Northern Fundraiser, Bluffs Course

Thank you Northern Fundraiser Hole Sponsors

#1 – Standard Golf & GAM #2 – Syngenta #3 – Golf Cars Plus #4 – Rhino Seed #5 – Revels #6 – BASF & Helena #7 – Harrell’s #8 – EZGO #9 – MSU Turf Team #10 – Target Specialty Products & Nufarm

#11 – Baker Vehicle #12 – Bio Health #13 – Site One Golf #14 – UA Local 85 & GLT #15 – Porous Pave #16 – Spartan Distributors #17 – Bayer #18 – Matt LaFontaine Automotive & Trimax/Timber Wolf

The winning scramble team of Jim Stoll, Stacy Slobodnick-Stoll, Olivia Stoll and Thomas Sieggreen shot 56, second place was Chad Kuzawa, Tony Bevolo, Clay Payne, and Noah Pier with a score of 58 over the third-place team from the GAM of Kyle Wolfe, John Beecroft, Joan Garety & John Holden with a 64.

Closest to the pin #2 – Craig Kooienga #4 – Rhino Seed raffle winners – Matt Suzio & Jeremy Lapratt Closest to the pin #6 – Doorlag (sp?) Closest to the pin #13 – Todd Genske Longest drive #15 – Jim Stoll Longest putt #16 – Clay Payne Closest to the pin #17 – Dave Radaj Skins $90 each Eagle 3 on #3 – Jim Stoll, Stacy Slobodnick -Stoll, Olivia Stoll and Thomas Sieggreen Eagle 3 on #5 – Jim Stoll, Stacy Slobodnick -Stoll, Olivia Stoll and Thomas Sieggreen Birdie 2 on #6 – David Radaj, Paul Bastron, Mark Petitgoue and Nicholas Baker HOLE IN ONE by Olivia Stoll, her first, on #9

21Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue
GCSAA Board Member Steve Hammon talks about his son Elliot and the help provided his family from the Wee One Foundation.


For most people archery is strictly for hunting purposes, but for me and thousands of others, archery is a hobby, a lifestyle, a form of meditation, and even a career for some. I first picked up a bow around the age of seven. I was introduced to the sport on a “bring your child to work day,” where they had set up a small target range. At the time, my mother worked in the archery industry for The Bohning Company, a manufacturer of vanes, adhesives and other archery products. Our local 4H archery coach also happened to live right next door to us, so I had seen older kids shooting next door, but didn’t take much interest until I tried it at my mom’s work.

After this first encounter, I joined the local 4H club, along with my older sister. We would practice in our back yard with mom and dad giving us pointers. My dad was a bit of a bowhunter already, and my mom eventually picked up a bow of her own. It became a sort of family affair. We started going to local 4H tournaments and were lucky enough to represent our county at the State 4H Tournament a number of times. I developed several lifelong friendships through my time in 4H and while attending the various archery events.

From my time in 4H and throughout high school, my summers consisted of shooting almost every weeknight for practice, and then traveling to 4H club tournaments on

weekends. In the summer I could practice in our backyard and in the winters our archery club would practice in the school gym. While I had great success from a young age shooting in tournaments, my main drive and passion for the sport, at that time, was bow hunting. I loved being outdoors. Having the skill of archery just extended the hunting season. Archery season in Michigan starts the first of October and doesn’t end until the end of December, while rifle season only lasts a couple of weeks. After I graduated highschool in 2014, I was too old to participate in 4H archery any longer. I still had the passion to hunt but now I was only shooting my bow a couple times a year. Usually a week or two before the hunting season started I’d shoot a few rounds just to make sure everything was still dialed in from the year before.

There are primarily two types of competitive archery. The first and most common is target archery. In target archery, the archer shoots at a circular paper bullseye, much like what you see in the Olympics. These targets are usually set at a specific predetermined distance, i.e. 20, 50 or 100 yards. The second type of archery is 3D archery. In this type, the archer uses 3 Dimensional targets that are generally in the shape of an animal to more closely resemble a hunting situation. A 3D course target is not set at any standard distance and it is up to the archer to determine the distance and make any necessary adjustments. I was introduced to target archery first. As I

22 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org
2022 total archery challenge with friends and archery pro John Dudley

grew and got better, I was then introduced to 3D archery, which I preferred because of the resemblance to hunting, as well as for the additional challenge it presented.

In 2019 a friend of mine asked if I would like to go to an archery event called the “Total Archery Challenge” (TAC). TAC is a national 3D event hosted at a number of ski resorts throughout the country. The Michigan event was previously held at Boyne Mountain but recently moved to Crystal Mountain in 2022 due to construction at Boyne. I decided to give it a shot and started looking into the event and watching videos from previous years. I then started shooting often again, preparing for the event. The Total Archery Challenge is a “just for fun’’ event to test your skills. The shots are often at a severe angle up or down the ski hill and often are at distances of 100+ yards. I ended up going to the event and had an absolute blast. Preparing for and attending the event re-sparked my passion for archery again - beyond the “just for hunting” mindset. After the event, I found myself shooting almost every night in my backyard or at my friend’s house. I began shooting weekly on a league at a local 3D course, and I even picked up a bow for my wife (Kaitlyn) and got her to start shooting with me. We enjoy our Wednesday “date night” out shooting our bows.

In the spring of ‘22 I bought a second bow specifically for competition shooting and joined a more competitive league. My wife, once again, joined me and we had a great time shooting together, meeting new people and making new friends. My passion for the sport was reinvigorated and I wanted to start shooting tournaments again. Since then, I have shot in a handful of tournaments and have placed very well for my first year returning to competitive shooting.

Archery to me and many others is a great form of meditation. It teaches focus and patience while calming the mind at the same time. Archery is something that anyone can participate in. It is something that can be taken to a serious level, or something that you can do in your backyard as much or as little as you like. With practice and repetition you can see quick results, as you will often see improvement with each shot. It is very satisfying when you see yourself get better and hit closer and closer to the bullseye, becoming more accurate each time.

This past year I have gained a number of friends who have been incredibly helpful in getting me back into tournament archery. I have also built a great relationship with my local archery shop, FPS Archery in Cadillac MI. They have all been incredibly welcoming to somebody coming back into the sport after being out of it for a while. The archery community as a whole is

23Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue
My first win at the age of 8 ASA 3D 2022 state championship Giraffe target at the Rinehart 100

My wife Kaitlyn at her first Total Archery Challenge

My wife and I at total archery challenge

a great community to be around, as the majority of the people are very kind and helpful. They all are very willing to help anybody who is interested, in order to grow the sport that they love.

My most memorable and favorite archery milestone will forever be my most recent one. On my oldest daughter’s birthday, September 5th, she (Raegan) turned 3 years old and my gift to her was her very first bow. She has been asking for one for the past couple months after watching me shoot almost every night. On the evening of her birthday we went out to the backyard and she was so excited to be flinging her first few arrows! The smile on my face was instant and could not be wiped off.

Events such as the Total Archery Challenge and the Rinehart 100, which I attended for the first time this August, are both great events for all to enjoy. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or an archer shooting nowhere other than your backyard, these are both events that can be a ton of fun! The Rinehart 100 was an awesome event as there was a Safari themed course that had a lot of targets I have never seen before, such as an elephant, giraffe, hippo, and many dinosaurs. This theme kept it fun for shooters of all ages, and there were archers of all skill levels!

If you have never shot a bow before, I strongly encourage you to head on over to your local archery shop and give

My daughter on her birthday with her first bow

it a shot. Whether you are into hunting or not, I think that it is something that a lot of people could enjoy. I have thoroughly enjoyed introducing my wife and daughter to archery and love the time we spend together shooting. Archery can be enjoyed alone, with your family, or with friends. For these reasons, I believe “life is better with a bow in your hand.”

24 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org OFF COURSE
Gods country ministries benefit shoot 2022


Octoberis always a welcomed month on the calendar. After another tough year – Mother Nature, rounds, labor – all the credit to you and your team for getting to this point. Golf doesn’t exist without your hard work, dedication, and commitment, and soon the snow mold app will be down, and the irrigation system will be put to bed.

As you begin your focus on the 2023 season, I hope you will include the 2023 GCSAA Conference and Tradeshow (CTS) in your plans. There are a lot of changes in store from previous shows which will only enhance your experience in Orlando.

Beginning with Monday each day of the event encompasses its own theme. Kicking off the event, Monday’s theme is Champions on the Course. With three different ways to earn education points on the day, there is something for everyone. Whether it’s seminars and power hours, specific topic tracks or the ever-popular facility learning tours – of which, eight will take place on Monday – it’s your choice on how you’ll want to earn and learn. To wrap things up Monday evening, a reception at Aquatica Beach is set for you to enjoy time with friends and colleagues.

Looking ahead, and building off Monday’s education, Tuesday’s Immersive Education theme offers additional opportunities for you and your team to earn education points and bring real solutions back to your facility. Along with the fourteen educational tracks, there are additional seminar and power hours, along with six facility learning tours. Cap off Tuesday with exhibitor events and spend time with your friends and the industry partners who provide the products and services that keep your facility running.

Wednesday: Discovering Innovation. Where else can you start your day off with a Sunrise Celebration and see the latest innovations in the industry? The 2023 tradeshow floor will allow you to:

• Discover the solutions you are looking for from the hundreds of exhibitors who will be in Orlando

• Make the connections with industry partners for the products and services you need

• Save money with show-only specials to stretch your budget

• Visit the BMP Resource Center for info and vendors offerings sustainable solutions

• Enjoy education and prodcut launches on the spectacular grass stage

Thursday: It’s all about celebrating you. The show floor turns interactive. Test it! Spray it! Grind it! Drive it! Cut it! Win it! during Super Thursday at the trade show.

• Demo exhibitors’ products and services

• Learn grinder best practices presented by SIP grinders

• Test your skills with competitions like cup cutting, blade changing, mower obstacle course and more

• Improve your ‘app’titude with app education presented to Connected Clubs

• Win big with giveaways of products and other prizes throughout a fun-filled afternoon to wrap up the week!

And as always, don’t forget to about the special events including:

• HEALTH IN ACTION 5K  to benefit the GCSAA Foundation.

• SILENT AUCTION great deals for a good cause.

• GCSAA Annual Meeting, be there Thursday morning.

26 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org
2023 GCSAA
Shane Conroy
27Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue OR CW - Half Page Ad

A Message From

Anothersummer season has past us by and once again….where did the time go? This year saw a return to normal…sort of. Like many of you I experienced being stretched with responsibilities and expectations - with fewer staff and often without critical items. Coming out of the pandemic is certainly good news and golf has had significant upsides despite of it. Play and new players were abundant, and it brought more liveliness and energy to the industry. Keeping up with the demand for golf affected the entire industry and the golf superintendent is no exception. Playing conditions are the key to successful courses many superintendents discovered hiring staff members and finding the sweet spot on the wage scale was a job in its own. No matter the difficulties, it seems we all find a way and this year is now in the books.

There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, there are no limits.

The MTF also experienced tight timelines and the necessity to allow the Board of Directors to perform their real-life jobs. Meetings were limited to combination virtual/in person and those were held whenever possible with consideration to everyone’s hectic schedules. That said, the Foundation has continued with its mission to support the MSU Turf Team and the MSU Turf Program and this year has produced significant items of interest.

At the GAM Annual Meeting held at Eagle Eye Golf Club in Lansing the GAM kindly acknowledged the MSU Turf Team and in particular retired Professor Dr. Jim Crum and Dr. David Smitley (who officially retired the day of the event) for their years of service to the industry as well as Dr. Joe Vargas who will soon be stepping down after more than 50 years of teaching and research at Michigan State University. The Endowed Chair for Dr. Vargas at MSU is a vital part of the MSU Turf program and MSU has assigned an Associate Director of Development to work with the MTF to engage with potential individuals and companies that would like to ensure the MSU Turf Program will always have a place at MSU.

— Michael Phelps, Olympic swimmer Dr. Vargas Dr. Smitley Dr. Brian Horgan
28 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org

After the completion of TeeTimes4 Turf online golf auction in May - the MTF hosted the Lafontaine Golf Event for Graduate Students at Coyote Preserve Golf Club in June. This event contributes to the MTF Graduate Student Fund and is critical to funding the Graduate Students for the MSU Turf Team.

Landscaping, Turf Ventures, Helena, Jon Maddern, Target Specialty Products, John Kirtland, Harrell’s, Spartan Distributors, Michael Kuhn & Associates, Nutrien, NuFarm, Site One, MGCA, Dr. Paul Rieke, Herman & Associates, Osburn Industries, C.W. Golf Architecture and Bayer.

The MSU/MTF Field Day held in August was well attended and provided an opportunity for the MSU Turf Team to reveal some research findings, newly developed plots and thought-provoking turf concepts including the Hydroponic Green studies by Dr. Nikolai and Establishment of Bluegrasses on Plastic by Dr. Rogers.

Left to Right: Megan Gendjar, Payton Perkinson, Ryan Bearss, Jake Kilby, Jackie Guevara, Mike Rabe

In attendance was Plant, Soils and Microbial Sciences Chairperson – Dr. Brian Horgan. Brian was also a key part of winning team of Horgan, Nancy Dykema, Steve Forest and Dr. Kevin Frank. Loaded with talent everywhere - scientific proficiencies, architectural awareness, multi winner of the MiGCSA Championship … and Nancy hitting from the forward tees – it was certain everyone else was playing for second place.

The afternoon sessions included a trip to the MSU Athletic Turf Fields by our host Andy Flynn who is responsible for the turf at Spartan Stadium and all other athletic fields at the campus of Michigan State University. A grateful thank you to Andy and his complete tour of the facilities.

The event has annually contributed $7,000 - $10,000 to the MTFGSF and would not be possible with out the support our sponsors: LaFontaine Motors, MiGCSA, D&B

Nancy Dykema/Dr. Brian Horgan/Steve Forrest/ Dr. Kevin Frank
29Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue

MTF Annual Turf Conference

Registration for the upcoming conference (January 10 –12, 2023) at Soaring Eagle in Mt. Pleasant is now available online. Last years conference was well received, and we are pleased to have the event the second week in January this year. More information on speakers, subjects and cost of the conference can be found at the MTF Website. Membership

discounts will be applied to this years conference so if you have not renewed your membership, please take moment to do so prior to registration.

Leading up to the conference we will have the election of officers which will once again be held online. Our current incumbents are all running for re-election and include:

Tour of MSU Athletic Fields Hydroponic Green 2022 - Turf Center II Field Day 2022 - Dr. Rogers Hydroponic Green 2022Turf Center Field Day 2022 - Dr. Nikolai Field Day 2022 - Spartan Stadium LaFontaine OutingChair Dan Mausolf Field Day 2022Registration signage Field Day 2022 Spartan Stadium Group photo -
30 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org

Matt Gaver – Representing: Western Michigan Section – MiGCSA

Brad Lazroff – Representing: Cemetery, Parks and Sod Producers

Dan Mausolf – Representing: Lawn Maintenance

Adam Palmatier – Representing: Commercial Turfgrass Suppliers

The Board of Directors are also pleased to welcome new Board Member Mitch Hooten from the West Michigan Whitecaps. Mitch was selected to represent Sports and Commercial Turf and will replace Paul Kuhna who will be leaving the board of directors.

The conference is also when MSU Students are awarded their scholarships and the Foundation is pleased to include a new scholarship for MSU students. Shanty Creek Resort

requested and has developed an award described as the Superintendents As Executive Award (SAE Award). This scholarship award is geared for those in the Turf Program at MSU who may be interested in seeking positions within the golf industry that encompass the entire operations related to the management of facilities. The MTF is grateful to the Shanty Creek Resort and their interest in the MSU Turf Program and wishes the best to all students applying for scholarship funding.

In closing, enjoy the upcoming months ahead.

There will be lots to do come next spring and a new batch of problems are a certainty.

But for now – the season is in the books and you can have that extra coffee as the frost delay determines your next step.

By the way – when will the frost delay be over?

31Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue

Getting out ahead—that’s how you win in this game. And stocking up on the right supplies at the right time gives you the competitive edge in this business. At SiteOne ® , we have all the turf maintenance products you need, including top agronomic brands like LESCO ® . And if you stock up on game-changing products from SiteOne today, we’ll throw a few of these special offers in there, too.


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Contact Your


This long-time northern event is named after C.E. Tuck Tate, founding member of the Northern Michigan Turfgrass Managers Association (NMTMA) which was one of the four original Michigan Chapters. During the first two years of the NMTMA, Tuck coordinated communication to the members with a monthly newsletter. He continued editing, publishing, and mailing the monthly newsletter of the Northern Michigan Turf Managers Association for eighteen years, until the format was changed in 1990. Tate continued to support the newsletter as an assistant editor from that time.

The Tuck Tate Championship was originally played in 1985 at Frankfort Golf Course. This event continued as an individual low gross event until 2019 at True North Golf Club. Seeing the need to breathe some new life into this event the format was changed post COVID to a two-person team event. The Tuck Tate Shootout was launched this year on August 30th at Treetops Resort on the par 3 Threetops course.

The event started with a 9 hole qualification to determine the 10 teams who would be entered into the shootout. This was a best ball event and all the teams who shot 31 or better made it into the shootout after lunch. At 12:30 all 10 teams in the shootout, along with the teams who did not make it as spectators went to #1 tee. The shootout was set for 6 holes, two teams would be eliminated on holes #1, #2 & #3, then one team per hole on #7, #8 & #9. There were some really terrific shots executed by every player on each hole. In the end the team of host Superintendent Tim Matty and Dr. Kevin Frank walked away with the title winning on #9 over the team of Nicholas Shaw & Jon Siler. Congratulations to all the winners on a great day.

Special thanks to MiGCSA Vice President Doug Hoeh for hosting along with all of the MiGCSA Members at Treetops Drew Boike, Mark Lauret, Tim Matty and Michael “Stubby” Nielsen.

34 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org
35Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue Qualifier Winners: 1st place score of 27 Gene Davis & Andrew Butterfield, 2nd place score of 29 Tim Matty & Dr. Kevin Frank, 3rd place score of 29 Nicholas Shaw & Jon Siler. Closest to the pins: #1 – Dough Hoeh, #2 – Drew Daugherty, #3 – Doug Hoeh, #4 – Dave Paluk, #5 – Doug Hoeh, #6 – Tim Matty, #7 – Drew Daugherty, #8 – Brian Klebba, #9 – Gene Davis.

WinterTurf Data CollectionWe Need Your Help!

Golf course superintendents around the world

helped collect data last season for our WinterTurf Research Project (https://winterturf.umn.edu/); we truly appreciate all the assistance these superintendents provided. In Michigan we had six golf courses with the sensor package in place. These sensors placed on one green tracked soil temperature, moisture, and gases. Thanks to the following Michigan superintendents for hosting the sensors:

Doug Hoeh, Treetops Resort

Scott Pulaski, Walloon Lake CC

Jim Bluck, Arcadia Bluffs

Ryan Moore, Forest Lake CC

Eric Davey, Prestwick Village Golf Club

Drew Paxton, Spring Lake CC

In addition to the sensor package, once again this winter we are looking for golf course superintendents to collect data throughout the winter. We need golf courses in addition to the courses that have the sensors in place. Last winter the following Michigan superintendents collected data throughout the winter:

Victor Morales-Rios, Leslie Park Golf Course

Craig Moore, Marquette CC

Zachary Gascoyne, El Dorado Golf Course

Jared Milner, Meadowbrook CC

Justin Peckens, The Majestic

Ryan Moore, Forest Lake CC

Scott Pulaski, Walloon Lake CC

Eric Davey, Prestwick Village CC

Map of golf courses participating in previous WinterTurf data collection efforts.

36 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org

Goal of the project

We are collecting data on winter stress injury to help develop solutions to this serious problem that affects so many golf courses in northern regions all over the world. As part of our plan to find solutions, we need to collect data at as many sites as possible to capture all the most likely factors that are involved in winter injury.

Why participate again?

We hope those of you who did it in the past will consider continuing another year. Information from a single golf course in multiple years will help to strengthen our data set. The data collection process will be like last year with a few improvements based on suggestions from superintendents.

Why participate for the first time?

What are we asking you to do?

We are asking you to monitor 1-3 greens on your golf course throughout the winter. This will include taking some photos and notes about the green going into winter, then measuring snow depth on the green and making some general observations each week during the winter, and finally doing a final assessment after winter.

We also hope to recruit new golf courses because the amount of data needed is substantial for our project to be successful. Last year, we had 8 courses in Michigan submit a complete set of data. Although it’s a big goal, this year I’d love to see at least 50 superintendents in Michigan do this. We’ve worked for years to get this $8 million research project off the ground-we hope you will see the value of taking part in this important collaboration. If you haven’t joined, please consider it for this year. Search for #WinterTurf on Twitter and read participants’ tweets from last year and their experiences as inspiration. As one of the superintendents commented last year “The weekly survey was easy and smooth.”

We would appreciate any help you can provide to get the word out by forwarding this information to colleagues or promoting our #WinterTurf tweets (https://twitter.com/MSUTurf, https://twitter.com/ UMNTurf) through social media.

38 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org
Winter stress damage at a poorly drained site. Photo by Kevin Frank.

Does it matter if I use covers?

No! We want data on all types of greens under all kinds of management practices, including covers.

How to sign up?

The process is the same whether you helped collect data last year or are new this year: please complete the survey linked below and we will email you with further instructions when data collection starts later this year.

Sign up to be part of the WinterTurf data collection: https://z.umn.edu/interest-survey

If you would like more information, visit our Be a part of the WinterTurf project! (https://winterturf.umn.edu/ data-collection) webpage. Please contact our grant coordinator at the University of Minnesota, Kristine Moncada, at monc0003@umn.edu if you have questions.

39Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue

Stephen Lord is a sales representative with Advanced Turf Solutions and in December he will mark two years with the company. He joined Advanced Turf after several years working on stadium turf in professional baseball, first with the Texas Rangers and then the Cincinnati Reds. He and his wife Katie, who have been married for 12 years and live in Grand Ledge, have two children, a son Breslin, 9, and a daughter Sophie, 3. Lord, 38, has two bachelor’s degrees from Michigan State University, one in turf management and the other in general management. He’s a rather obvious lifelong Spartans fan with his son’s namesake derived from the basketball arena at MSU - Breslin Center.


1 HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE GOLF BUSINESS? I worked three years at Garland Lodge & Golf Resort in Lewiston on the golf course maintenance crew during college. It’s near where I grew up in Mio. I played golf, baseball and basketball and I was a 2002 graduate of Mio AuSable High School.

2 CAN YOU SHARE AN INTERESTING STORY FROM YOUR CAREER? One of the coolest things was an event we pulled off in Cincinnati. It was on the Fourth of July weekend and part of the Reds’ 150th anniversary celebration. We had a day game on the Fourth, then by 7 a.m. on the fifth we landed three Vietnam era helicopters on the outfield with protection flooring in place. About 25,000 people took the tour of the helicopters and it concluded that night with at concert at 9 p.m. where several thousand people were on the field. We had the helicopters back out the next morning at 7 a.m. so we could get ready for a 1 p.m. game and we pulled it off. With the helicopters a concern for the grass, the larger concern was the movement their rotors cause to our loose dirt surfaces like the warning track and infield surface. It was a super unique event and it turned out really cool, and the field looked good, too.

3 WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ARE THE BIGGEST ISSUES FACING SUPERINTENDENTS TODAY? The big one right now is dependable labor. The labor market has been so tough since COVID. Everyone wants to save money. I like to save time. I think if we can find better applications to save on how often things need to be done, which saves money and labor, it could be a big help. Everybody has great products, and I do talk about what separates us from the others, but long term they need help finding better ways to better use labor and be more efficient.

40 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org PARTNER PROFILE - STEPHEN LORD


That they continue to be reliable supportive partners and run great events we can support. There are a lot of great products, but it’s more about building relationships, finding value in what we are able to provide on the support side. MiGCSA puts together great events. I find it enthralling that they get such great turnouts. They provide value in our networking both with vendors as well with each other through the statewide network.

5 DO YOU HAVE AN EMBARRASING CAREER MOMENT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE? It’s not embarrassing necessarily, but my biggest failure agronomically was when I was working in Cincinnati. No matter how well we programmed it, every year Grey Leaf Spot would take a percentage of our perennial rye grass in the outfield. The worst year we lost 25 to 30 percent leaf

tissue in the first few weeks of August. That was unacceptable to me. It eventually led us to a conversion to Kentucky bluegrass and the club now has a stronger, more sustainable surface as a result.

6 WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE TO DECISION MAKERS WHEN DOING BUSINESS? A lot of people get hung up on cost and put an emphasis on the cheapest price. I may not always be the cheapest guy, but I bring plenty of other things to the field with my agronomic background. The cheapest is not always the best service, especially to help them long term. I try to build with the clients a total package they can sustain. I mean, we have a network of reps in our company who have seen all kind of things and helped a lot of people. Let us share that knowledge and experience with you. Don’t get hung up on price.



able to enjoy the successes that work above and beyond expectations. Helping clients find success even when they are facing a labor shortage has been a big one for me this year. Using great products at the wrong time doesn’t help. I try to get the right products in people’s hands at the right time. If they are succeeding you are succeeding and that is a great feeling.


ARE YOU ON THE ROAD? Over 200 days pretty easily. It’s five days a week most of the time, and I let folks in the areas where I’m going know when I’m in their area in case something comes up and they need to see me. I like to have a firsthand look at things, and I have an 18-month-old truck with 80,000 miles on it already. I get out there. If somebody needs something I find a way to get it in their hands and go above and beyond what our operations teams can deliver.


In general I will put our grass seed mixes/blends up against anybody else in the state. We spend a ton of time and effort to evaluate and build our blends for ultimate success. A lot of technology and effort is pushed into improving genetics and our clients see the results that our manufacturers have developed.

10 WHAT IS YOUR BEST SUCCESS STORY? In my current role on the golf side I’m still working on that, but on the

41Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue

stadium side where they’ve hosted concerts or events, I have experience there I’m able to share. Our Foliar Pak line of products has helped field managers to mitigate the damage of major events and repair fields after events. These products deliver exceptional recovery and it’s been great to see how Field Managers and other stakeholders have been satisfied with speed of recovery.

11 HOW MANY CONFERENCES AND EDUCATIONAL EVENTS DO YOU ATTEND PER YEAR? Up to a dozen a year, maybe more for various associations. I’m a Certified Sports Field Manager (CSFM) through the Sports Field Managers Association (SFMA), and I think it’s always important to network and get to know people. It comes back to building relationships and providing professional support.


I’m hoping the labor market shakes out a bit. I see GPS in spraying units and robotic mowing as real game changers. My hope is in 10 years the mowing technology will be more feasible for most clubs. I don’t want it to replace people but certainly to help improve conditions and reallocate that labor. That would be a major help with the labor shortage.

13 DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SALES STOP? The coolest place is at MSU. The turf manager there has an office out at Spartan Stadium. As a lifelong Spartan fan I still get a big kick out of being there.

14 WHO WAS YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCE IN PERSONAL LIFE? My dad had a great impact on me. He was one of those people who really emphasized getting outdoors and playing sports. He wasn’t a golfer, but an avid hunter and fisherman and at the core of it is the one who got me outside from the start. That’s one thing we want to instill in our children, get outside, get exercise. An active lifestyle is a happy lifestyle and leads to success and discipline.

15 WHO WAS YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCE IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE? There are two who have meant a lot to me. Dennis Klein, who I first worked for in baseball at AAA-Round Rock Express, minor league affiliate with the Houston Astros. He is with the Texas Rangers now and I worked for them for eight seasons as his assistant before getting my shot in Cincinnati. Dennis put a ton of trust in me with his surface and always joked, “he gave me the keys to the

car. I just had to keep it out of the ditch.” The other was Harry Helsel, a sales representative with Advanced Turf. He was one of the first reps in our company and agronomically we were a good match as far as how we build things in a turf program. He was a confidant to me in Cincinnati and a big reason I’m with Advanced Turf Solutions now.

16 WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GOLF COURSE TO PLAY? I don’t have one favorite. I play a couple of places around town on the west side of Lansing. I play about 10 to 15 rounds a year on my own. I played high school golf, but I tell people I’m a bad golfer don’t expect I will ever be good at it. I don’t have the motivation to go to the range and practice or work at it. A good day for me is breaking 90. The most fun I’ve had playing in the last year was a round at Ravines (Saugatuck). I played fantastic on the back nine and it made me feel good. It was a beautiful course, beautiful location and it had fantastic conditions.


I’m a big foodie. I won’t say picky eater, but I’m food obsessed and really care about what I serve people. A small part of me would like to open a smoke

42 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org

house barbecue place. I’ve always been attuned to the culinary side of things. I worked in food prep in high school and loved doing it. I’m an experimental cook. I’m looking for that perfect mix and perfect flavor. I’d be doing that if I wasn’t in turf.


I grew up with David Duval, Tiger Woods and then Phil (Mickelson) era. My current favorite is Rory. I love watching him play, but I’m also a die-hard Tiger fan. The electricity he brought to the sport and what he has done for it is amazing. I’ll always support Rory, but Tiger is always going to be No. 1.

19 DO YOU HAVE A NICKNAME AND IS THERE A STORY BEHIND IT? I kind of collect them wherever I go, but they don’t really stick. In Cincinnati they called me Sod Lord with my name. I’ve also went by The Big Man while in Texas. I’m 6-4 and about 230, so it kind of fits. Some of the Northern Ohio guys also tell me I look like Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals quarterback), so they call me that from time to time.

20 HAVE YOU EVER HAD A HOLE IN ONE? No, but the closest I ever got was in the very first year I played golf when I was growing up. There was this nine-hole course we played and the seventh hole was a par 3, 155 yards or so over water. I had old persimmon woods and old junk irons, late 80s clubs, garage sale clubs. I might have been in the eighth grade. Anyway, playing with friends on that seventh hole I hit a 3-wood from 155, and it was a screamer that skipped three times off the


water and skipped across the green and hit the stick. It had just enough on it at the stick to bounce back about three inches. I’m glad it didn’t go in. I don’t think I would want to tell people my hole-in-one is a 3-wood from 155 yards that skipped three times on a pond.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING OUTSIDE OF WORK? I recently picked up fishing with my son. I also love to kayak, boating, swimming, and anything outdoors.

IF YOU COULD TRAVEL TO ANY TIME IN GOLF WHEN WOULD IT BE AND WHY? I wouldn’t mind going back and watching the great Tiger years, but also go back to when Arnie and Jack would fight it out in tournaments. I think those were both exceptional times in the history of golf.

44 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org PARTNER PROFILE
THINGS PEOPLE MAY NOT5 KNOW ABOUT ME 1. I’m A Twin 2. 1st MLB Groundskeeper to obtain Certified Sports Field Manager Designation 3. Hosted two World Series and 1 MLB All-Star Game 4. I’ve overseen programs and care of Sports Fields of All Major Sports Grass Types: Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, Paspalum in Texas, Perennial Ryegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Tall Fescue (Youth Academy) in Cincinnati 5. Once took 6 stitches after Spectating a game of Yard Jenga (with 2x4 lumber)
45Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue @AdvancedTurfwww.advancedturf.com Joe Singles Territory: Central and Southeastern Michigan Cell: 248.697.7182 Email: jsingles@advancedturf.com Dan Shemon Territory: Southeastern Michigan Cell: 248.640.4439 Email: dshemon@advancedturf.com Brad Fry Territory: Southwestern Michigan Cell: 269.308.9652 Email: bfry@advancedturf.com Secure more than just products this early order season. Now is the time to lock in 2022 pricing, save with discounts and rebates, earn rewards, utilize extended payment terms, and secure inventory early for exclusive ATS brands while saving even more on manufacturer early order programs. Stop by one of our Michigan locations, or ask your rep to learn more! 37702 Enterprise Court Farmington Hills, MI 48331 248.341.3521 4123 Vance Rd Traverse City, MI 49685 231.943.8343 Farmington Hills Traverse City Eric Denoyer Territory: Northern Michigan Cell: 231.645.2933 Email: edenoyer@advancedturf.com Chad Miller Territory: Southeastern Michigan Cell: 260.602.1104 Email: cmiller@advancedturf.com Unlock Your EOP Dashboard Scan the QR Code or visit the following website address for the latest manufacturer Early Order Programs: advancedturf.com/early-order-programs


Are you a golf course superintendent?

sIs it what you are?

Or is it who you are?

If there’s one trait I think most superintendents share, it’s that they take certain aspects of the job extremely personally. They care, perhaps too much at times. And for good reason—a golf course superintendent is a literal caretaker of the property. So when Mother Nature takes a swing with bad weather, an employee widens out a fairway accidentally, or the pro shop sneaks a twosome off the back nine early in the morning, it’s hard not to take it personal.

It’s your job to care.

When you care as much as superintendents do, everything can start feeling like a personal attack. Look no further than Twitter or Facebook. There are a lot of well-meaning superintendents who post things on social media when the frustration boils over. Divot shaming paying members. Carts parked on collars. Equipment in the pond. They’re posting these things because they care, and because they know their audience (also superintendents) can relate to their struggle.

You care, almost to a fault. Which makes it extremely difficult to separate the superintendent profession from the superintendent lifestyle. But when the job becomes your identity, that’s when it can also become a problem. Let’s see if that’s become the case.

Answer these questions honestly:

• How many of your goals are tied to your career?

• Are you you always trying to “do more with less”?

• How much do you think about the golf course when you’re not there?

• When’s the last time you got a good night’s sleep?

• Are you self-medicating due to job stress?

• Does poor course etiquette feel like a personal attack?

• Will the whole place fall apart if you’re not there?

• How does your current Twitter bio reflect who you are? Did you list your job before your family and outside interests?

Has the superintendent profession become your identity? Is your selfworth these days tied to the results of the stimpmeter, an “attaboy” from a member in the locker room, or a random good review on GolfNow? The sheer hours required to produce a championship-caliber golf course, and the effort required to maintain those conditions day after day, already puts you in a position to not have much of a life outside of work during the season. When that happens, work begins to become the measuring stick for our successes and failures.

Success isn’t always guaranteed, despite the hours and the effort. Our society puts a value on tying hard work to success. We work harder. We put in more hours. We should always succeed, right? Not the case in this profession! In this job, you can do everything right and still feel like a failure at times. It’s the challenge of managing a living playing surface expected to be perfect every day.

The success of the product is ultimately in the hands of the weather and the stability of your club’s infrastructure, and that’s not something that can ever be controlled—only managed to a point. Extreme events such as flooding, drought, and winter kill always have the final say, no matter how many hours you put in. Unpredictable events such as the pump house going down, equipment breakdowns, or building fires are also beyond your control.

In 2013, I wrote a blog post that went viral, entitled “The Cost of Being Super” (find it here). What you may not know, is that when I wrote that, I was standing at a literal crossroads in my life. My career was in a total upswing, while my family life had become an absolute disaster. I was becoming a great superintendent, but I was also a crappy husband and a ghost of a father.

I’m not sure how or when it happened, but being a superintendent had become my identity. I convinced myself that the golf course needed

46 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org

me more than my family did.And so, I missed Ella’s first steps. I wasn’t there for Lila’s first bike ride without training wheels. I stopped reading to my kids to answer a phone call from my GM about empty ball washers at 7PM. One year, I even got up from the Christmas dinner table to go into work and snow-blow greens.

People still ask me why I left my job as a superintendent. The truth is, I left because I cared too much, and I cared too much about the wrong things. I’m not going to tell you to care less. I know that you can’t. But if you feel like your job has become your whole identity, there are some good first steps you can start taking today.

Take the personal element out of the professional element at work. Don’t let the little things work you up. For example, don’t shame your membership about poor etiquette over social media. Spend that energy on educating them on proper technique instead. And should that lesson fall on deaf ears, then just clean up the mess and move on. Realize that they’re paying customers, and at the end of the day, you’re the one getting paid to clean up after them.

Find a way to have fun again at work. Remember what attracted you to this industry in the first place. Embrace the things you love about this job the most, and do them. Start as soon as tomorrow. (Give me a sunrise, a coffee,

some music, and a cup cutter any day of the week!)

I encourage you to focus on finding activities outside of work that bring you joy. Let your talents be what define you. Make use of the gifts you’ve been given. Stimulate different parts of your brain, outside of the parts dedicated to golf course maintenance. Start measuring your success outside of work, and never, ever let that damn stimpmeter measure your self-worth.

Be more than just a golf course superintendent. Be you. The turf will never love you back, no matter how much you care.

47Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue
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Legislators Learn About GOLF’S IMPACT

LANSING – State Rep. Paulene Wendzel said she had no idea of the impact of the golf industry in Michigan before she started her career in politics.

In fact, she didn’t play the game until it was suggested to her that it was a great way to get to know people in politics.

“Honestly, it’s where you can spend four or five hours with a person and really get to know them, so golf has helped me politically, and I found out I loved it,” Wendzel, R-Watervliet, said. “Then I learned about the Senior PGA (Championship) which we just had in our district at Harbor Shores Golf Club and I found out what just that one tournament alone does for the community.”

Wendzel expanded her golf education Tuesday as the Michigan golf industry presented the Michigan Golf Day at the Capitol event.

The Michigan Golf Course Association (MGCA), the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association (MiGCSA), the Michigan Section PGA, the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) and the Greater Michigan Club Management Association, which form the Michigan Golf Alliance, convened with legislators and staff members on the lawn of the state Capitol, and also visited the offices of each legislator.

For almost 15 years course owners, operators and superintendents have gathered each spring to voice a cooperative message. To mark the day, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed that “June is Michigan Golf Month,” and Wendzel presented the proclamation Tuesday.

“The Senior PGA had great impact,” Wendzel said. “The restaurants when I talked to them last week, sold out of food, the bars were out of alcohol and you couldn’t get a hotel room for miles. Big crowds came and it was great.”

The executive directors, presidents and members of the allied organizations in the Michigan Golf Alliance presented other areas of impact to Wendzel and other legislators including the impact on tourism, employment in the state, and the industry’s positive effect on the environment.

“The Michigan Golf Alliance created this event to facilitate golf industry representatives introducing themselves and informing the legislators and their staff on who we are and what our industry brings to the state,” Jada Paisley, executive director of the MGCA said. “I can’t overstate the importance of this day in delivering the message to our government leaders.”

The message from the Michigan Golf Alliance includes industry facts like $4.2 billion in annual economic impact in Michigan, over 60,000 people employed by golf courses in the state. $1.4 billion in wages paid and over 150,000 acres of managed green space and wetlands that provide wildlife habitats.

Wendzel said she has involved her family members in playing the game, too.

“My brothers-in-law, my dad, we are getting the whole family playing the game,” she said. “It’s great and it does some great things for the community, too. Whenever I tell people in Lansing where I’m from (southwest Michigan) they’re like, ‘oh, you’re the area with all the good golf courses,’ and I say I definitely am.”

FROM ALLIED ASSOCIATIONS 48 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org
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I’vebeen in the business for 20+ years and have a tendency to get bored with the monotony of the daily grind of mowing, changing cups, mowing rough, etc. I look for new things to stimulate my brain and change the normal routine.

Recently, I embarked on GCSAA’s Assistant Certification Program and to fulfill one of the requirements, I had the option of hosting a First Green Field Trip. Some of you may be aware of the program and others may not. This program is not new and has been around for 20+ years. In a nutshell, the field trip turns a golf course into a STEM Learning Lab for a day by hosting a group of kids between 4th-12th grade. Lyon Oaks is the second facility in the state to host this event behind Pine Lake Country Club and Terry Poley who hosted the event in 2019 pre-Covid.

What started out as an idea to host one field trip quickly turned into two. The first step in the process required finding a school that would be willing to venture to a golf course for an educational opportunity. After sending out numerous emails and cold calling a few schools, there was no response.

My wife is a teacher in a district so I reached out to one of her former supervisors who is now a counselor at Cranbrook. After one night of deliberation, her 6th grade teachers unanimously said “yes” to the field trip. While I was working the Cranbrook angle, my supervisor, Shayne Skolnik, had also reached out to a

51Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue

number of schools. Low and behold to both of us, the day after Cranbrook said “yes,” the 5th grade class at Heritage Elementary in Huron Valley also said “yes.”

With 2 schools in-line for the field trip, the next step was to line up dates and presenters. The first field trip was set for Friday April 22 and the second, Thursday May 12.

April 22 turned out to be a cool spring day for Cranbrook. With intermittent clouds and sun, the students were treated to 4 labs: Cool Tools on the Green, Soils, Math of an Irregular Shape and Water Conservation. Each lab was 30 minutes long with a 5 minute rotation. Cool Tools on the Green was led by Ryan Moore, Bret Roberts and Lyon Oaks’ Park Supervisor, Aaron Bush. Here the students learned how to change a cup, use a moisture meter, climb on equipment and how to putt. Next, they moved on to Soils, taught by Paul Giordano. Once the students had their fill of soils, they were then treated to Math of an Irregular Shape taught by Dar Howard. Here the students learned how to use a tape measure, measuring wheel and how to find the area and volume of the driving range bunker. And the final lab was Water Conservation on the Golf Course taught by Chad Kempf and Tom Schemmel where students learned about evapotranspiration, how a superintendent uses a central irrigation controller and finally they were treated to hand watering via a 1-inch hose. Once all the students had been through each lab, we reconvened on the patio where Shane Conroy rallied the students with some important questions from the day, we passed out treats and drinks and then they were on their way.

May 12 quickly approached and it turned out to be a beautiful spring day at Lyon Oaks. The program was very similar for this second field trip when we hosted Heritage Elementary from Huron Valley Schools. The students were exposed to 4 labs that included Putting Lessons on the putting green taught by Lyon Oaks’ Park Supervisor, Aaron Bush where the students learned how to putt and proper etiquette on a putting green. Paul Giordano and Soils was next where the students learned about different particle sizes of sand, silt and clay and the importance of different soils as proper growing medium. From there the students learned about Birds of Michigan led by Theresa Celesta and Benjamin Prowse of Oakland County Parks and Recreation who had the chance to use binoculars and field guides to identify birds on the property while also having the opportunity to dress up like birds and understand the

predator/prey relationship. To round out the lessons, the students were treated to Cool Tools on the Green hosted by Jeff Monnette, Parks Crew Chief at White Lake Oaks Golf Course. The students were tasked with changing a cup, using a soil probe, looking at various grasses using a macroscope and climbing on equipment that, we as professionals take for granted everyday. Once the lessons concluded, again we reconvened on the patio, said our farewells and sent them off with snacks, drinks and a grab bag

Both of the field trips were a huge success. All of the feedback was positive, and fortunately, both schools want to come back next year. Each field trip was about 2 and half hours long which turned out to be the right length for us. For future events, we may extend that to incorporate lunch or add another lesson. For, Cranbrook, the teachers dictated a lot of what we discussed and presented, whereas Heritage, let us do what we wanted to do. We found that it was easy to teach about golf since we were able to utilize our park supervisor who is a PGA Professional. The cool tools on the green were also very easy to teach since those are tools and equipment that we use day-in and day-out. The snacks, drinks and grab bags were a huge hit since most kids and adults love free stuff. Logistics is a huge part of hosting any kind of event. We are fortunate at Lyon Oaks that the routing and logistics turned out to be very simple. From the entrance, to the bathroom locations, to the golf course, it flowed extremely well.

I’m sure there are some questions and thoughts that you’ve been asking yourself while reading the article. First and foremost, why did you host a FirstGreen field trip? How do I pick which lessons to present? How do I find teachers for each lesson? And another thought that might be running through your head is, I don’t have enough time or the proper facility to host this type of event.

I decided to host this field trip after completing GCSAA’s Assistant Certification Program. Having been in the business for 20 + years, out of boredom, curiosity, or both, the wheels were set in motion. There is not a day that goes by that I regret hosting these field trips and I don’t look back at those days and think of all of the work on the course that was not completed. Hosting was extremely rewarding and one of the best decisions I’ve made while working on a golf course. It’s exciting to see the authenticity of excitement that resonates from a 5th or 6th grader while climbing on a fairway mower

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or tractor for the first time in his or her life. To see the joy in their eyes while putting on real grass and getting their hands dirty while learning about soil is gratifying and enjoyable.

I believe everyone should host one of these events because it is rewarding and fun. The best place to start is GCSAA’s website and reach out to Shane Conroy, who is a great resource. It turned out that picking lessons was fairly simple by looking at the website and utilizing the tools that we use everyday on the golf course. As for finding teachers for each lesson, reach out to industry partners, other superintendent’s and your golf pro or supervisor. I’ve always known we were in a great industry and sometimes it’s taken for granted but, when I reached out to people requesting help, the answer was a resounding yes. And quite honestly, the field trips would not have been as successful without the help.

For those of you thinking you don’t have enough time or resources to host this event, I disagree. We all get wrapped up into the day-to-day and month-to-month operations of the golf course. There is and always will be something that isn’t complete or could be done better at the end of every day no matter whether you work 8 hours a day or 16. You won’t remember the time Timmy set a tee marker in the wrong location or when Sally mis-raked a bunker but you’ll remember the excitement and enthusiasm of a middle-school child. This is an event that you will remember for the rest of your life, I guarantee it.

There are many thanks to go around and if I forget anyone, my apologies. This event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Shayne Skolnik, Lyon Oaks Maintenance Staff, Paul Giordano, Ryan Moore, Bret Roberts, Dar Howard, Chad Kempf, Tom Schemmel, Aaron Bush, Jeff Monnette, Shane Conroy and Adam Ikamas.

53Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue

Realistic Expectations, Job Satisfaction, and Operational Standards: A PERFECT TRIO

The original post was a result of my observations during 24 months immediately following my retirement from the position of General Manager / Director of Golf Operations in August 2016.  It was a response to my fear that the golf industry will lose many professional and hard working individuals in the near future.  This loss, which will cost the industry billions of dollars, is almost imminent. Think replacements can be hired at no increased cost?  Good Luck!  There is plenty of information out there.  This commentary I believe is pertinent to any industry that has “pretended” not to take operational resources away from a department.  I say pretended because we seem to be in denial that todays dollar is the same as yesterdays.  If we are not increasing budgets, at a minimum, to the percent increase in the cost of goods which supply that operation, then reducing operational standards equally must follow.  For failure to increase a budget, by a minimum of a well thought out percentage, is reducing it.

Operating to an unobtainable standard is disheartening.  Job satisfaction of a majority of golf course superintendents appears moderate to low at best.  The common attitude at mid-level to low-end golf facilities seems to mirror a beat dog.  But what is striking is that these individuals love what they do! They live for their jobs, they love the people, the nature, the challenge!!  These are good hardworking people that are simply disillusioned.  They once believed they could do a good job, but now it is failure after failure. It is not they they are failing at any given task in front of them, its more of an existential failure. A perceived failure against foggy and unclear goals. Usually people keep goals vague to avoid failure, but this is an example of ensuring it. The failure is primarily as a result of not being able to meet expectations that haven’t been defined from the beginning!

So it seems that there exists a disconnect between resources and expectations. As resources have flatlined, expectations have stayed the same. We could do a better job outlining standards and that would alleviate much undue suffering on the behalf of management.  I believe operational standards would improve job satisfaction, help prioritize labor and capital, improve communication, and clarify expectations.

Expectations, as they seem to me, are predictions regarding a future experience.  They seem complicated and possibly influenced by motivations derived from an individuals personality, past experiences, and fantasies of future experiences.  I was reading about expectations and came across something really interesting.  “Expectations are premeditated resentments,” repeats John A. Johnson PhD in Psychology Today.  Wow, I never saw expectations in such a damaging light until I read that.  I am not sure what to do with that just yet, I’m kinda processing it.

54 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org

There seems to be an identity crisis in golf.  Not all clubs or courses are in the process of finding their identity.  There are many clubs that for a variety of reasons are doing well, I feel that is due much to the successful management of customer or member expectations and a clear vision of what they are and what they are not.  The struggle as it pertains to the others is that they are living beyond their means, in some fantasy of what they think they “should be” and without much justification of why.

How did we end up this way? Modern golf facilities are tied tightly to a very historic model. Instead of honestly examining what society wants from us, we stuck to a model that was built during a different era and served a different purpose. Unless we want to try and reinstitute some of those old networking and local business loyalties, we may want to reconsider our function and model ourselves to align with it.

Not too long ago, we experienced something amazing in the golf world, posh facilities for the middle class. For the first time in human history, could the working class have the experience that was once left for only the wealthiest and well-to-do in communities. Country clubs became accessible to people of most socio-economic cultures.  Much of that due to a booming real estate and development market that was positioning itself for catastrophe, but thats a whole other conversation. Anyhow..........

Country clubs were popping up like starbucks, and everyone was jamming.  Flower Beds, grand structures, lavish locker rooms, high end food and drink, man... things were good.  We had money to spend and we could write off dues.  Then, with the passing of the Clinton tax bill, that changed, but all was ok, a majority was making enough money that this wasn’t going to affect much just yet.

March 10, 2008 the Dow Jones drops 20%, and things changed.  In the aftermath of the boom, we were left

reeling.  Many dropped their club memberships, some changed their membership status.  Whatever the case, “do more with less” became the favorite saying at club board meetings.  Not sure they could afford club dues and feeling pressure, some seemed to look for reasons to be dissatisfied, others noticed diminished amenities or perks that they once enjoyed but now went without due to a reduction in club membership dues.

Those that were left holding the tab (paying dues) at the club table seemed to have been told that dues would stay the same and nothing would change.  We seemed frozen by fear that telling the truth would result in losing what members remained.  What seems self evident is that a facility cannot function on less revenue and perform to the same standard.  I am not suggesting that people are not “justified” in the disappointment of missed expectations.  I think that is part of being human.

The part that I think is missing is the contraction that would organically take place if nature were to take over.  If we were to build these places again, would they be as complicated and expensive?  To really consider what this would mean, I think looking at how clubs became what they are today is important to understand what the need to become tomorrow.  What certain clubs will become in the future may be different from what they were.  This means eliminations or reductions of certain services and the addition of others.

Lets consider a brief history........A group of people get together and they decide they want to play golf. How much will it cost and are they willing to pay for that privilege?  If the answer was yes, farm land is purchased, usually near the train, with a house to change clothes, awesome.  Maybe then we need a person to clean the house, tend to things a bit, all in favor?  Great.  Next we decide it would be nice to have lemonade on the porch after, we may need electricity....another vote.  My point is, clubs became what people were

55Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue

willing to divide up and pay for; not a build it and see, they were indeed a pure creation.

Fast forward and we have a perception of what the country clubs are.  What clubs are, is not based so much on what we want them to be to us as much as what they have historically been.  When what people want or use the club for changes, a contraction of sorts should logically follow.  The available resources are pooled and they are allocated to the new want or use.  We have to prioritize and focus on what is of the most value and let go of those things that are of little value and importance.  When budgets flatline and the cost of goods and labor increases, something has to give.  Are we having those difficult discussions of what operationally needs to change?  And by change, I mean go away or reduce!

Why is change so difficult for us?  The difficulty lies in the execution of the cessation of an amenity.  People are loss adversed, which means that we would rather not lose, than to acquire the equivalent gain.  The emotional cost associated with loss is much greater than the gain of equal

amounts.  The taking of things away, even menu items, really freaks people out and all types of catastrophes are imagined.  Take for example facilities where fine dining is the attempt by the food and beverage department.  In order to provide the service associated with fine dining, food minimums were put in place to ensure the revenue was sufficient.  Food and Beverage minimums are contentious subjects at many meetings, yet facilities didn’t seem to want to take the necessary steps to eliminate or reduce the minimums, you see, the minimums are only necessary to provide a “type” of service.  Any perceived reduction in service would be viewed as a loss, even though the reality may be a better experience overall.  The corner gas station does an ok job feeding people and getting them a cold drink and you don’t have to spend a certain amount if you want to get gas.

The real trick to job satisfaction seems to include the creation of realistic expectations.  I’ve read many mission statements that include ridiculousness such as “consistently exceeding customer or member expectations.”  That seems to be pure rubbish and is only meant to deflate hard working individuals.  Its no wonder that employees feel dejected and unappreciated, they can’t possibly be considered a high performer without sacrificing their personal life by working oneself to death.  One cannot exceed expectations without creating through the process a new higher standard, especially when you have a reoccurring customer as in our industry.  To exceed expectations every time is just not possible because the expectations will increase beyond what we are capable of doing.  One doesn’t walk away from a great experience expecting less next time, it just doesn’t work that way.

If we care about our employees and want healthy working environments, we are left with the question of how to encourage realistic expectations.  I believe establishing written operational standards that are based on fact is one of the greatest ways to help achieve these expectations.  Lets take the grounds department as an example.

The reduction of labor, chemicals, capital expenditures and overtime, are all things that impact the product that a golf course superintendent can  consistently provide.  Establishing operational standards based on the current resources that are realistic and include things like the difficult labor market, are essential to raising job satisfaction scores in golf.  The labor market is tough and turnover is high.  High turnover

56 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org

means more training hours, more money, less productivity and less efficiency.  What your labor dollar provided yesterday is not today.  Knowing how often you can mow rough with the given equipment of a certain age is important.  Most facilities only maintain enough equipment to mow all rough twice per week.  When a property receives 5 inches of rain in five days, and the directive is no overtime, all involved understand and can feel good that they are doing the best they can with what they have to work with.

There are some essential things to keep in mind when creating standards.  When considering standards we have to be realistic regarding labor.  Labor is never 100% efficient and the work is not carried out in the most productive manner.  People stop to talk to other people, they get distracted, they make mistakes and have to go back to a previous task.  Putting a manger in a position to treat people like slaves because the expectation is that labor will perform at 100% all the time is unfair.  Maintenance standards are achieved by tasks carried out by human beings and they need to be allowed to behave like humans if realistic expectations are the goal.   Wages also need to be considered.  Labor purchased at $8.50 an hour is not the same as labor at $17.00 an hour.  If you can’t afford high quality conscientious labor, throw the ball washers away......actually, never mind just throw the damn ball washers away.

It is also important to understand your equipment situation when writing standards.  If the bunker raking machine is breaking down and takes four hours in repair for ever hour it is running, well you may not be able to get them done four times per week.  In fact, you may want to just consider a bunker a hazard and allow life to happen.  To the previous point, writing standards can help in making capital purchase decisions and can also aid in discussions considering things like intermediate rough cuts or out of play areas.  The working environment can also be addressed in these documents.  Unless the facility janitor visits the maintenance buildings, then time to make a clean healthy working environment needs to be allotted.  The environment that people work out of can affect their mood and motivation.  Clean, well lit areas are often overlooked in the grounds departments.  I will refrain from addressing the impact of lighting on mood and productivity out of respect for brevity, suffice it to say I think a visit to the maintenance facility would be something.

Written operational standards establish priorities and remove any guesswork.  Without agreed upon priorities, the individual tasked with the responsibility of stewarding a golf course feels an enormous pressure to complete everything.  There are an infinite number of tasks to complete on a golf course.  On any given day, everywhere a superintendent looks, you can see tasks that have been left undone.  Any good superintendent will engage in the exercise of firing themselves every day, and when things are left with a sense of incompletion, it is difficult to feel good about calling it a day.  I always told my Green Committee that they could fire me at any time and to any dismay, I would invite them to ride around with me.....”I will show you a hundred reasons.”  To that end and now speaking to the frustrated overworked individual.....if not for your decision makers, do this for yourself, so that you can go home at the end of a working day... not at night, at the end of a typical workday and feel good that you are doing the best you can with the resources given unto you, and go home....and enjoy your family and friends.  We go around this rock on time, and your family and friends will be the ones who miss you the most.

57Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue
Written standards aid in equipment assessment
58 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org Helena is your full-service turf management partner. In addition to supplying all of your plant protectant needs, we offer a wide range of innovative products, course mapping and nutrient analysis. Helena also provides a complete line of granular fertilizers, liquid nutritionals, bio-stimulants, wetting agents, herbicides, adjuvants and more. To achieve the quality you desire, contact your local Helena representative or visit HelenaProfessional.com. Always read and follow label directions. Helena is a registered trademark of Helena Holding Company. © 2020 Helena Holding Company. HPG0520P Adam Palmatier (616) 340-9557 PalmatierA@HelenaAgri.com Michael Leach (517) 257-9263 LeachM@HelenaAgri.com

2022 Western Golf Day FUNDRAISER

fall day in Western Michigan was in store for the 115 MiGCSA Members and friends took part in the 2022 Western Golf Day Fundraiser at Egypt Valley Country Club on Tuesday September 27th. This event is the second of the three fundraisers the MiGCSA has every year. All of the proceeds from these events go to fund the future of our industry by the way of scholarships, philanthropic causes related to turf and funding turf research.


A very special thank you to our Hole Sponsors Revels, Standard Golf, The Golf Association of Michigan, Golf Cars Plus, Rhino Seed, Syngenta, Harrell’s, BASF, EZGO, Baker Vehicle, Spartan Distributors, Target Specialty Products, Site One Golf, Bio Health Systems, GLT Outdoors, Porous Pave, Bayer, Nufarm, Helena, Matt LaFontaine Automotive & Trimax/Timber Wolf Turf. Special thanks to beverage sponsor: David Herman & Associates.

59Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue
Our host and Past MiGCSA President Jeff Holmes, CGCS The 2022 Champions - Clayton Simmons, Brian Roberts, Brett Roberts & Casey Swan

Thank you to Golf Course Superintendent Jeff Holmes, CGCS, Kevin Thielke, Aaron Kahny, Craig Hoffman and Kevin Vulpetti. Also special thanks to PGA Professional Mike McGonigal, Mike Pangle, Director of Food & Beverage, Ben Stinson, Executive Chef and Kyle Lundy, General Manager along with the members of Egypt Valley Country Club.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Long Drive – Blake Thomasma Longest Putt – Craig Hoffman

Closest to the pins – Rod Leversee, Dylan Barry, Josh Teitsma & Don Underwood


1st place – Brett Roberts, Brian Roberts, Clayton Simmons & Casey Swan

2nd place – Kent Turner, Dylan Barry, Shawn Pranger & Corey Parmalee

3rd place – Josh Teitsam, Kevin Haack, Jason Schweieters & Patrick Tighe


The 53rd annual Big Event was hosted by MiGCSA Past President Rob Steger, CGCS at Red Run Golf Club on Monday October 3rd. This event is the last of the three fundraisers the MiGCSA has every year. The proceeds from these events help fund scholarships, donations, and philanthropic turf

60 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org

related interests like the Wee One Foundation, Turf Research and the MSU Turf Club.

A very special thank you to our Hole Sponsors Revels, American Mulch Producers, Standard Golf, The Golf Association of Michigan, Golf Cars Plus, Rhino Seed, Syngenta, Harrell’s, BASF, EZGO, Baker Vehicle, Spartan Distributors, Target Specialty Products, Site One Golf, Bio Health Systems, GLT Outdoors, Porous Pave, Bayer, Nufarm, Helena, Matt LaFontaine Automotive & Trimax/Timber Wolf Turf.

Special thanks to beverage sponsor: David Herman & Associates.


Closest to the pins were won by Kyler Schierlinger, Eric Davey, Allen Saville & Bob Badovinac. The longest drive went to Tom Jones and the longest putt was made by team Hultz.

Winning Scramble Teams:

1st place – Eric Davey, Hayden Clements, Thomas DuBuc and Jeremy Strock 2nd place – Andrew Gilroy, Nick Johnson, Maggie Gdula and Terry Poley 3rd place – Jarred Barley, Greg Hodges, Doug Rusieki and Jamie Wilson

Thank you to Host MiGCSA members Rob Steger, CGCS, Allen Saville, Ian Feguson, Austin LaVoie and their crew!

Very special thanks to COO Joe Marini for his efforts to make this one of the most memorable Big Events we have ever had.

Thank you to Red Run Board President Bryan Proctor, PGA Professional’s Wally Sierakowski, Steve Naelon, Cody Haughton, Jacob Connell & Kelly Kuhlman. Golf Shop Manager Michelle Thommes, Golf Services Manager Scott Coleman, Assistant Golf Services Manager Josh Kuczeski and Patrick McGaughey the Golf Course Liaison. Thank you to Executive Chef Joseph Nixon, Catering Director Tina Famie, F&B Director’s Cedric Dowery & Bonnie Nixon and Assistant F&B Manager Kevin Wiles.

61Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue
2022 Champions Thomas DuBuc, Hayden Clements and Eric Davey



is a funny thing, when you have momentum, it seems easy, but it is so hard to start. Where do you start? How do you start? How do you continue? How do you deal with setbacks? It seems that not long ago many golf courses in Michigan were trying to start, then COVID hit and what was a perceived setback became a momentum boost!

Record rounds and revenue for the last two years but no where to be able to spend the new income to improve the facility. Equipment is years out from delivery, fertilizer prices skyrocketing, parts for repairs sometimes hard to find. All of this has led to a spotlight on the ingenuity of the Golf Course Superintendent. It became our time to shine, and we did!

So, as we settle into an economic downturn that is likely to reduce the expendable income of golfers around the world how do we maintain this momentum? Is it a return to the race to the bottom on pricing? Cut expenses on your way to profitability? The old doing more with less concept, which is all it is, a concept. You can only do less with less, our members are good, but they are not magicians. These sorts of concepts lead to very poor results. Often the shortcomings from these decisions land on the Superintendent’s desk. This has led to another pandemic, a pandemic of mental health among our members. I say it to anyone who will ever listen, no matter what the condition of the course is in there is no one who cares more deeply than the Golf Course Superintendent at that facility. No one, not the owner, not the pro, not the staff, no one cares more. Hopefully you read the article from Adam Garr in this issue on the problem with Caring Too Much in this issue.

So, what is the answer to this for our members and the decision makers at golf courses? Too often it is to take on more to get the job done, stay later, work more hours because you do not have the staff or budget. Too often this is what we do, we get it done, we make it happen. This is one of the hallmarks of what we do, but at what cost?

I think Erwin McKone is on to something in his article in this issue on Realistic Expectations. “Expectations, as they seem to me, are predictions regarding a future experience. They seem complicated and possibly influenced by motivations derived from an individual’s

personality, past experiences, and fantasies of future experiences. I was reading about expectations and came across something really interesting. “Expectations are premeditated resentments,” repeats John A. Johnson PhD in Psychology Today.”

Very often I think the expectations do not line up with the resources, this is a toxic mix. But with proper communication it can become a life saver, very literally. What do your members/owner/GM expect? Are they getting what they pay for? What are their expectations? What are yours? Do they align? Can you do it with what you are provided?

As we head into this offseason and start looking towards continuing to build momentum into 2023 it is a great time to have a frank and honest discussion about expectations. They best thing you can do is have them written out and agreed upon. If the budget for maintenance is not going up, then the expectation can not be the same as last year. Especially in this time of high costs and inflation, not only does it need to go up, but it needs to go up a lot just to do what you did in 2022! Unless the expectation is for the conditions of the course to decline, which is actually ok, I know blasphemy right?

If you do not have the resources to keep the course at the level of expectations and this has been communicated to the people who make these decisions, then you must try to let those things go. If you do not, then you are building momentum in the opposite direction for your mental health and wellbeing. I know this is easy for me to say sitting at my computer, it has been more than a decade since I was an active Superintendent but that actually helps me look back. I have also seen up close may different operations across the spectrum from the absolute pinnacle to those doing their best magic tricks.

Please help yourself this winter by having a blunt conversation with whomever needs to hear it. This is not about your passion or care, it is about setting boundaries on your life and having a clear road map of expectations. Be well my friends, my cell phone is always open to a call from any member about any topic at any time.

62 Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association | www.migcsa.org ASSOCIATION UPDATE
63Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue Your soil has never seen anything like this! You can try the brand new REACTION technology in Turf Fuel’s Vertical™ and Mic Drop™ products. University researched and field proven to build awesome roots and give turf the power to beat drought stress! Contact your local Target Specialty Products representative for more details and for great ways to save during #EOP22 (10/1-12/31)

487 West Division Street Sparta, MI 49345

487 West Division Street Sparta, MI 49345

1050 North Opdyke Road Auburn Hills, MI 48326

1050 North Opdyke Road Auburn Hills, MI 48326

800 822 2216


800 822 2216


63Course Conditions | Fall 2022 Issue Your soil has never seen anything like this! You can try the brand new REACTION technology in Turf Fuel’s Vertical™ and Mic Drop™ products. University researched and field proven to build awesome roots and give turf the power to beat drought stress! Contact your local Target Specialty Products representative for more details and for great ways to save during #EOP22 (10/1-12/31)

West Division Street Sparta, MI 49345


Sparta, MI 49345

1050 North Opdyke Road Auburn Hills, MI 48326

North Opdyke Road Auburn Hills, MI 48326

822 2216

822 2216

Division Street
www.spartandistributors.com @SyngentaTurf #GreenTrust365 To learn more on how to reclaim your turf, visit GreenCastOnline.com or contact: Eric Schutman | 248-392-8446 | eric.schutman@syngenta.com All photos are either the property of Syngenta or are used with permission. © 2022 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. Acelepryn®, Daconil®, Ference®, GreenTrust®, Posterity®, Provaunt®, the Alliance Frame and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Secure® is a registered trademark of Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha, LTD. All other trademarks are the property of their respective third-party owners. Savings Made Easy! Quickly see how your savings can stack up using our online calculators. GreenTrust365.com/Calculators syng_8059_1_102_Eric_Schutman_GT365_Golf_RepLink_Ad_final.indd 1 @SyngentaTurf #GreenTrust365 To learn more on how to reclaim your turf, visit GreenCastOnline.com or contact: Eric Schutman | 248-392-8446 | eric.schutman@syngenta.com All photos are either the property of Syngenta or are used with permission. © 2022 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. Acelepryn®, Daconil®, Ference®, GreenTrust®, Posterity®, Provaunt®, the Alliance Frame and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Secure® is a registered trademark of Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha, LTD. All other trademarks are the property of their respective third-party owners. Savings Made Easy! Quickly see how your savings can stack up using our online calculators. GreenTrust365.com/Calculators syng_8059_1_102_Eric_Schutman_GT365_Golf_RepLink_Ad_final.indd 1 SAVE w/ 1/2” BLEEDS = PDF for 2 Up IMPO
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