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President’s Message


Letter from the CGCSA


Meeting Schedule


From the Field




Winchester Highlights


Tournament Winners


Rounds 4 Research


This month we were scheduled to visit Chico and Tom Horseman at Bidwell Park Golf Course. Unfortunately we had to reschedule this event as many of our members were tending their own courses through the 112° tempature that hit us just before the event. Tom has been a member of the Sierra Nevada GCSA since 2005. He actually started in the golf industry in his home town of Marion, Indiana. His

home was located on the Shady Hills Golf Course and at 13 he started working for the superintendent, Jim Joines doing all sorts of things. Tom became so interested in the business that he went through the Rutgers Turf Program while continuing his work at Shady Hills and was then hired by American Golf and transferred to the Chicago area. In 2003 he had the opportunity to transfer to California’s northern city of Chico to

Bidwell Park. Tom has remained at Bidwell for 10 years now. Soon after arriving in Chico Tom met his wife Nicole and they now have three beautiful children, Agnes 10, Audry 3, and Andrew who is now 1. Tom is a busy man with the job and young family but finds time for family travel, fishing, and of course a little golf. Which with a (Continued on page 6)



Dates to Remember

July 8, 2013 2013 Scholarship & Research Tournament Rancho Murieta C.C.

Sierra Nevada GCSA An Affiliate Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America

Before we know it, it will be time for the chapter’s Scholarship and Research Tournament. This year’s tournament is scheduled on July 8th at Rancho Murieta Country Club. We thank Rich Scholes, our host superintendent, for offering us his fine facility for this special event. Once again Syngenta and Joe Ballmer helped

purchase our tee prizes, Mid Cal Tractor and Sal Sorbello will be sponsoring the breakfast. Also thank you to all the golf industry suppliers who paid for equipment displays, donated items for the live auction, sponsored meals and for those who sponsored tee signs and games on the course. Superintendents, we also want to thank you in

advance for attending, bringing guests and bringing some great prizes for the raffle. This year’s donations have already exceeded what we have done in the past. Thank you! The money raised from this tournament goes to Scholarships, Turfgrass Research, (Continued on page 7)

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Fore Your Information EDITOR Jeremy Payne Winchester C.C.


OFFICE SNGCSA 5322 N. Leonard Clovis, CA 93619 559-298-6262 Fax# 559-298-6957 PRESIDENT Jeremy Payne Winchester C.C. 530-878-9099

VICE PRESIDENT Jesse Seguin Lincoln Hills Golf Course 916-434-7200

SECRETARY/TREASURER Bob Franco Micke Grove Golf Links 209-598-0564

PAST PRESIDENT Jeff Couwenhoven Resort at Squaw Creek 916-771-7370

DIRECTORS Dave Bermudez Del Rio Golf & Country Club 209-341-2413 Scott McCullough The Ridge Golf Course 530-888-7122 ext 2 Kurtis Wolford Cherry Island Golf Course 916-991-7659 Rob Williams Stockton Golf & C.C. 209-462-6734

Affiliate Representatives Dave Wilber Sierra Pacific Turf Supply 916-630-7600 Pete Bowman Jacobsen West 916-396-9394

FORE YOUR INFORMATION Published by the Sierra Nevada Golf Course Superintendents Association

Jeremy Payne Winchester Country Club

If anyone ever asks me, “What is the best thing you like about being in the golf industry?” without hesitation I can always answer that’s it’s the people and the collaboration and support amongst fellow superintendents. Isn’t it amazing that we work in

one of the few industries where we are all competitors, yet practically any superintendent will do all they can, often going far out of their way, to help and support a fellow superintendent. Our own association manager claims that’s the primary reason she got roped into working with us and why she’s enjoyed every minute of the many years she’s been working with us. And it’s nearly the entire reason I got involved in our local superintendent associations to begin with. It’s all about the people. And what better place to interact with our industry people than our monthly association meetings? Let’s be honest…the golf



is fun, seeing someone else’s course is enlightening, the hour or so of education a plus, the food good (sometimes great!), but it’s really the social time and the half a day or more of being around dozens of conversations about golf and local and current issues that really make attending a meeting worth its weight in gold. You just can’t get that kind of information and conversation without sitting in your office making several phone calls or stringing out some e-mails over the course of several days. Speaking of those e-mail chains, I’ve been a part of a couple of them and (Continued on page 3)

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they’re great. Other local sups share pictures, ask for advice on personnel, budget and agronomic issues and usually somebody has been there, done that and we all get to benefit from not having to reinvent the wheel. I’ve always wished we could find a way to share this information with everyone, without bombarding everyone’s e-mail inboxes. I like online discussion forums, but know they have their flaws. This collaboration outside our monthly meetings is what makes our association great, and we’d like to find a way to make it happen more often and to the benefit of all. My inbox, as well as any board member’s I’m sure, is open to these communications as well as to ideas on how we could work together to do this better. So next time you’re beating your head against the wall about some-

thing that’s challenging (and more than likely frustrating) you on your course, don’t look at the next meeting invitation as junk mail, and the idea of a day away from your course as a burden you just can’t afford. Consider the meeting cost money well spent and bring your concerns, and your experience to help others with theirs, to the meeting and enjoy yourself. I can guarantee the interactions you’ll get if you participate are worth more to your course, your sanity, and the club’s bottom line than the meeting expense on your budget or your absence from the course for a day. See you at the next meeting!


Welcome New Members Allen Lee Club Car Affiliate Member Corbett Rankin Mid Cal Tractor Affiliate Member Gary Otto John Deere Landscape Affiliate Member

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Letter from the California GCSA President Jason Green First off, I would like to introduce our recently elected officers: Jim Alwine is our Vice President, Vince Zellefrow has stepped up to be our Secretary/Treasurer, Michael Swing is the immediate Past President and I am honored to be elected President. Brian Sullivan, Stu Rowland, Jeremy Payne, Jim Ferrin, and Jon Christensen are the Superintendent Board Members representing their respective Chapters. Jim Culley and Manny Pina are our Affiliate Representatives. Irene Cline, Kim Milne, Barb Mikel, Cyndy Neal, and Carey Sandland are the Executive Secretaries who operate our associations on a daily basis. Last but definitely not least, Jeff Jensen is our GCSAA Field Staff Representative. All of us are committed to re-tool and advance the State Association to better meet the need of Superintendent’s throughout California. What is the current status of the CGCSA? Frankly, we are at a crossroad. The fact that the State Association was duplicating the efforts of many Chapters, coupled with the recent down turn in the economy that made sponsorship dollars scarce and decreased Superintendent participation. Everyone is feeling the pinch and Clubs are not funding superintendent’s to attend events like they used to. Superintendents are maintaining visibility at their courses and not taking time off to participate in local and State events. Bottom-line, the State needs to adjust to modern times. What does the State do well? The Board evaluated every aspect of our Association and it was clear that there were four main items that we need to focus our attention on, in no particular order: 1. GIS California Hospitality Room. This has been a successful event promoting camaraderie and allowing Superintendents and Affiliates throughout the State to get together once a year. It should be noted that

the CA Room stands on its own thanks to sponsorship dollars. 2. Government Relations. We presently have a sweetheart of a deal with our lobbyist, Capital Partners. They have kept us informed of all the potential bills and laws that affect the golf course industry. This has proven invaluable as we navigate the waters of this litigious society. It should also be noted that Jim Ferrin, Jim Alwine, and Stu Rowland have spearheaded the Government Relations committee and help us digest the massive amount of information that they see weekly. 3. Align ourselves with California Alliance for Golf (CAG), CAG members include NCGA, SCGA, NCPGA, SCPGA, and CGCOA just to name a few. CAG is beginning to gain traction and has the potential to be a very strong voice as a State Association as opposed to six separate Chapters. 4. Voting Block. The voting block gives us a unified voice at the GCSAA elections. With all of this said, the Board wants to keep the Association alive and focus on these four key points moving forward. It is important to preserve the Association in order to keep our non-profit status. As you know, the State is not handing these out freely and would be a shame to loose it. Currently the Board is going through the budget with a fine-tooth comb to reduce it down to the bare minimum needed to accomplish the goals discussed earlier. We are also exploring the viability of our web-

page and how we can make it a simple central hub for the 6 individual chapters and have it be self-sustaining. Finally, another goal of ours is to facilitate and create a master calendar for all allied California Associations to help facilitate event planning. As we chart this new path for the association, I ask for your cooperation and understanding as our goal is to make the State Chapter much stronger and more relevant to all of our members. If you have any questions and/or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly or one of the Board Members. Sincerely,

Jason Green President, California Golf Course Superintendents Association Office (408) 258-4901 Cell: (408) 687-1814 E-mail:

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MEETING SCHEDULE July 8, 2013 Rancho Murieta C.C.

November 2013 Stockton Golf & C.C.

Annual Scholarship & Research Tournament

Annual Election Meeting

Host Superintendent Rich Scholes

Host Superintendent Rob Williams

August 5, 2013 Spring Creek C.C. Tri Chapter Event

December 2013 Annual Holiday Event Location to be determined

Hosted by Central California Chapter Host Superintendent Phil Brown

January 2014 No Meeting Currently Scheduled

September, 16, 2013 Nakoma Golf Resort President’s Cup Tournament

February 3-7, 2014 GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show Orlando, FL

Host Superintendent Jason Klemesrud

October 2013 To Be Announced If you are interested in hosting a meeting email Jeremy Payne at or Dave Wilber at

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TOM HORSMAN SUPERINTENDENT CONTINUED handicap of 8 is probably a little more than once in a while. Tom loves the job and the people he works with. As a working Tom Horsman superintenBidwell Park G.C. dent he says he is a “jack of all trades” which provides the variety Tom likes about being a superintendent.

Bidwell Park G.C. was originally founded in 1920. It is one of northern California’s original Municipal Golf Courses. With the natural setting of the park which surrounds it the natural beauty provides an amazing destination. Late last year Bidwell entered into a long term lease agreement with the City of Chico for the operation of the golf course. BPGCI is a mutual benefit non-profit corporation that was formed with it’s sole mission to provide and promote broad based opportunities for people of all ages and ability to increase and enhance equal access of recreational benefits, and to promote the public



awareness of the healthful reward of the game of golf. It also is established to serve as a valuable community asset for the residents of Chico. Empire Golf was hired to provide professional management for the day to day operation of the facility. They are compensated on a fee basis, and with the lease in place the corporation takes the proceeds and reinvests toward the ongoing maintenance and improvements of the course and its accompanying amenities. We will look forward to seeing Tom , his crew, and the members of Bidwell Park G.C. in the near future once this event is rescheduled.

Bidwell Park Golf Course

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E-mail: V.M.: (800) 543-0630 Box#2417 Mob: (530) 864-6443

HELENA CHEMICAL COMPANY 3155 Southgate Lane Chico, Ca 95928 Bus: (530) 342-4786 (800) 554-5703 Fax: (530) 343-9047

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2013 SCHOLARSHIP & RESEARCH Personal and Professional Development Program, and our Benevolence Fund. The Personal & Professional Development Program (PDP) is to assist in furthering the careers and improving the mental and physical health and life satisfaction of our association members. The PDP is a benefit available to all members in good standing with the association, who find and can demonstrate a financial need for assistance in reaching a goal that would improve their life or career. As an association of busy, hardworking professionals, we understand that finding either the time or money to put toward life-improving activities


outside of work can be extremely challenging. This program aims to assist in lessening the financial burden of taking part in activities such that our members can find their way toward leading a happier and more productive work and home life. Benevolence fund monies are distributed by majority Board of Directors vote to any charitable cause presented and approved by the Board. Examples may include but are not limited to: disaster relief, and to any disabled or distressed member. We know that these programs are very important to our members and that this tournament is the only fund raising efforts that help



Dave Bermudez Del Rio Country Club

provide the funds for these programs. Therefore it is extremely important that we make this as successful as possible and the support from everyone lets us know that our members understand this.

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The 2013 Rounds 4 Jeff Jensen Research auction is right around the corner and we still are in need of donations from Sierra Nevada GCSA facilities. The first auction is scheduled for June 6-16 in conjunction with the U.S. Open and the second auction is scheduled for Aug. 1-11 revolving around the PGA Championship. As you may be aware, the

Rounds 4 Research program was designed to address a critical shortage in turfgrass research funding by auctioning donated rounds of golf online. The program is administered by the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) and presented in partnership with Toro. EIFG is the philanthropic organization of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. Rounds 4 Research allows GCSAA chapters and turfgrass

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foundations to participate as fundraising partners with 80% of the proceeds from the auctioned rounds going back to those organizations. In this way, these organizations can direct the proceeds to specific projects that will have the most significant impact in their local areas. The remaining 20% of the proceeds go to operating costs involved with the management and marketing of the program. In addition to research, chapters may use funds for advocacy, education, scholarships and environmental programs. is the online auction platform assisting (Continued on page 9)

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Rounds 4 Research. has a database of 650,000 active users. In addition to the marketing assistance being provided by the USGA and PGA of America, Rounds 4 Research is being promoted through social media, press releases and various allied golf organizations with a specific focus on state golf associations who have the most direct access to golfers. To donate a round, please visit www.rounds4research.comand click on the donate button in the upper right hand corner. Fill out the facility, contact, donation information, description, re-

demption and proceeds blocks. Make sure to indicate the chapter or foundation you want the funds to go to. You may also put restrictions on the rounds in this area including days, times, attire, etc. Download a course photo and logo and then send in a certificate to EIFG or they can create one for you. The entire process takes approximately 10 minutes and you will be assisting your chapter in raising funds for important research and education. If you have any questions concerning the program, please don’t hesitate to contact me at or follow me on Twitter @GCSAA_SW.

Enjoy the great spring weather and I hope to see you at an upcoming event.

The SNGCSA is now on Facebook and Twitter. Check it out!

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Kurtis Wolford Cherry Island G.C.

Communication is the big C word. It rules our life. Without it, or without being effective at it, things would never get done. For superintendents we have so many different facets to our job we need to be effective communicators. Growing grass is only a piece of the puzzle that is our jobs. We have our staffs, proshops, members, boards, owners, etc., that all need to be communicated with effectively. That’s a lot of people to keep in the loop. What I hope to do in this article is to give you some ideas about communication and on how to improve and be an effective communicator. It is not only important in our

work lives but it is even more important at home. Something I learned from my mom and dad who have been married for over 50 years is communication rules the house, even if its good or bad. Communication is such a complex subject there are college majors on it. We have so many different forms of communication: Verbal, Written, and Non-verbal. Something that I have noticed is how we communicate through the ever-evolving technology. Ten years ago who would have known that texting would be a very effective way to communicate. Our kids will probably be communicating some new way very soon. Social media, emails, and texting will be old. It will probably be video messages or holographic messages. Who knows? Verbal communication Verbal communication, or speaking, can also employ visual aids and non-verbal elements to support what you are trying to convey. Types of verbal communication include speeches, presentations,

discussions, face to face speaking, etc. When you are communicating be aware of your body language and tone. They play a significant role and have a huge impact on who you are trying to communicate with. Its not always about what you are saying but how you are saying it. This type of communication also garners immediate feedback. Non-verbal communication Non-verbal communication is the process of conveying meaning in the form of non-word messages. Research shows that the majority of our communication is nonverbal, also known as body language. Some of non-verbal communication includes gestures, body language or posture, facial expression, and eye contact. We even communicate through what we wear. This is called object communication. It includes clothing, hairstyles, architecture, symbols, and graphics. Written communication Written communication uses the written word. Communicating through writing is essential in the modern world and is becoming ever (Continued on page 11)

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COMMUNICATION more so as we participate in what is now commonly called the information age. It is the most common form of business communication. The information age has changed the way in which we communicate and placed an increasing emphasis on written versus verbal communications. Your need to develop good writing skills is only highlighted by the fact that we live in the information age. We communicate with words to convey instructions or information. Communication should be complete, concise, clear, concrete, correct, considerate, and courteous. Communication should answer basic questions like who, what, when, and where to be relevant. This is all easy stuff that we all learned in school but most of us forget about the nuts and bolts of writing.



How to be a better communicator. Pay attention to body language: Most of what is communicated is non-verbal. Watch out for crossed arms, wandering eyes, shuffling feet and clicking pens. Pick up verbal cues from those you are speaking with, and pay close attention to what you are saying with your body. I was told to use your hands and eyes when speaking to public groups. Listen: Communication is a two way street. Listening is as important as communicating. Listen more than you talk. Listening to and understanding your audience is huge aspects of being an effective communicator. Be concise: Don't use 100 words to say something you can say in 50. It's


easy to become enamored with your own voice, but this may cause you to drone on and lessen your effectiveness as a communicator. Have a point: Don't speak for the sake of speaking. Have a point— especially when you're trying to be persuasive or explain something. Use proper language: The use of proper language and grammar is the biggie. These are the bases for effective written communication Hopefully this will help everyone be a better communicator. Writing this article has served as a refresher for me on what I need to do to be a better communicator.

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Mike Stieler (above) won the State Golf Championship for the 4th consecutive year, posting a 77 for the day.

In May, Jeremy Payne, superintendent at Winchester Country Club, hosted a joint venture meeting with the California GCSA. On Monday there was a full day of education which highlighted several top notch speakers that included Dr. James Baird who updated the group on research projects that he has completed, projects that are presently ongoing, and projects that he has coming up. We also heard from Mike McPherson of Lake Solutions who spoke on eco-friendly lake and pond management ideas for water bodies common to golf courses. Sean Tully, Superintendent and Historian of Meadow Club in Fairfax, shared ideas on "Celebrating Your Golf Course's History". With the 30+ superintendents in the group it was a very interesting topic. Also on the agenda was superintendent Doug Ayres of Corral De Tierra. Doug was a national finalist for Turfnet's 2009 Superintendent of the Year. He highlighted his successful unique, economic and efficient projects that he has completed at his course. We also had updates from Jim Ferrin on California Government Relations. Jason Green, newly elected President of the California GCSA, spoke for a few minutes on changes to the state association. On Tuesday the 2013 California Golf Championship was held. We want to thank the staff at Winchester Country Club for providing a wonderful venue and the ValleyCrest Maintenance team for their support of our event.

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Steve Byrne,, of TMT Enterprises, won 1st Place Gross for Affiliates with a score of 75 for the day

The 1st Place Net Affiliate Trophy was won by Mitch Frazier from Turf Star.

Steven McVey won the 1st Place Net Superintendent trophy which was presented to him by the host Jeremy Payne.

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Jim Culley (above) won 2nd Place Gross for Affiliates and Ryan Bentley (right) won 2nd Place Gross for Superintendents Sierra Nevada took the chapter team championship and was represented by (from left), Ram Sena, Greg Naffz, Steve Byrne, and Steven McVey.

Tournament Winners Superintendent

Sean O’Brian

Gross 1st Place Mike Stieler, CGCS 2nd Place Ryan Bentley 3rd Place Ram Sena

Net 1st Place Steven McVey 2nd Place Sean O’Brien 3rd Place Colby Gunsch Affiliate

Colby Gunsch

Gross 1st Place Steve Byrne 2nd Place Jim Culley 3rd Place Taylor Hubbard Below is Jim Alwine with Justin Fowler. At right Ram Sena and Kyle Dykstra, CGCS

Rodney Muller and Kurtis Wolford have a chance to catch up. As always these events are the perfect time to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones. At left Jason Green and Ryan Bentley. At right is Mitch Frazier with Bill Hamilton, CGCS

Net 1st Place Greg Naffz 2nd Place Tim Texeira 3rd Place Ron Barts

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For Information please contact Michael Scully 209-575-9680 or Irene Cline 559-298-6262

5322 N. Leonard Ave. Clovis, CA 93619

May June 2013  

BiMonthly Publication

May June 2013  

BiMonthly Publication