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  • 05 Nov 2020 8:04 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    5 Benefits From Northern Green Going Virtual

    Posted by Northern Green

    Even in an industry where every year is different, 2020 has been exceptional. Despite our hope to hold an in-person event in January, Northern Green is going online. How are you dealing with that news? Are you grieving the opportunities you’ll miss by not being face-to-face with your green industry friends and business partners? Or maybe you’re relieved that you won’t have to decide whether to travel in these strange times, whether to shake hands or not, wear a mask or not, or make a myriad of other decisions that were once much easier. Or maybe you feel a little of both.

    Let’s face it: change can be tough. Even good change. It can involve denial, anger, bargaining and depression before you finally reach acceptance. But sometimes, when we’re lucky, change simply makes life better.

    That’s the case when it comes to this year’s Northern Green event. Here are five ways that you will benefit from Northern Green going digital, and becoming more accessible than ever before.

    1. More is better when it comes to your team. By going digital, we’re making it even more affordable for you to give more of your team access to Northern Green. That makes it easier, more effective and more efficient to create real positive change and growth based on what you learn at the event. You’ll be able to inspire buy-in for new ideas you want to put to work in your company by participating in sessions as a team, and you can build a plan to make it happen together with the employees who will execute it.
    2. More is better, times two when it comes to education. Three paths are better than one. When you’re in-person at Northern Green, you must choose between educational sessions that run at the same time throughout the event. When you attend Northern Green Virtual, you can experience one session during the scheduled time, then circle back to attend the other two sessions in your spare time later that day, in your pajamas that night, or anytime that’s convenient for you.
    3. More is better when it comes to best practice sharing. We’ve always believed in the power of industry professionals learning from each other, and Northern Green has always attracted the industry’s best. With the tools available to us in this digital environment, attendees will have the opportunity to share what is working and not working in their businesses with each other. They’ll be able to use the chat and Q&A features during the education sessions, participate in coffee chat discussions on the topics that matter most to them and to their employees, and learn from each other.
    4. More is better with all your vendors in one place at one time. The Northern Green experience will remain the same in that it offers excellent content, relevant resources, exhibits and networking opportunities, but the medium has evolved for enhanced online interaction. We miss face to face and are sure you do too! So, we made sure that you will be able to visit with vendors online using either video or text chat. Whatever your preference, you won’t want to miss learning about all the new products and services available from vendors in 2021! It’s a one stop online shopping experience to kick off 2021.
    5. You’re in charge. Northern Green Virtual will provide the opportunity for you and your team to take advantage of the training, tools and professional connections the event provides. We encourage you to create an education plan for yourself and your employees. All those who participate get the chance for professional development, and the resulting growth will benefit your organization and customers too.

    In the meantime, as we work to finalize this year’s educational line-up, we’re also working on a guide to Northern Green Virtual that will help you make the most of the education, people, tools and technology it will offer. We can’t wait to join you for the best education yet at Northern Green Virtual, January 11-14, 2021!

  • 21 Oct 2020 3:05 PM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)
    • In an effort to make the Distinguished Service Award meaningful to the recipient and the Association, the 2018 Awards Committee created the following set of guidelines. Any member can be nominated, but greatest consideration will be given to those who have distinguished themselves supporting the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association.

      Date for submission is December 15th.  The required point total necessary to be considered for the MGCSA Distinguished Service Award can be a combination of any of the

      following. The minimum number of points necessary for the DSA Award is 25.

      The Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame nominee must have previously attained the MGCSA DSA

      Award and fulfilled an additional 15 points beyond those previously ac- quired. DSA recipients prior to the establishment of the new criteria will require 15 additional points in any category based on Committee suggestion.

      The Board of Directors and Awards Committee will be responsible for final decisions.

                  Terms on the MGCSA BOD = 2 points per term, including officer position, 4 maximum
                  Officer Position = 1 point per office elected
                  Audubon Certification and re-certification = 2 points, 4  maximum
                  ESI Award = 2 points maximum
                  Support of the University of MN research plots = 2 points, 4 maximum
                  Support of the GCSAA committee members = 2 points, 4  maximum
                  GCSAA, MTGF and Allied BOD or committee role = 1 point/year, 3 maximum
                  MGCSA Membership =1 point per decade
                  Certification 2 points then= 1 per renewal, 5 maximum
                  MGCSA event participation = 2 maximum
                  Civic Community Service points =1 point for each position 3 maximum
                  Mentor potential = 1 point per professional through Class A or B, 3 maximum
                  Any MGCSA, GCSAA or industry Presentations =1 per presentation, 4 maximum
                  Any MGCSA, GCSAA or industry articles written =1 per article, 3 maximum
                  Completion of any MGCSA Environmental Initiative Packet = 3 points per packet
                  Contribution to golf that can’t be anticipated = 5 points maximum
                  *** The Committee can assign any number of points to those individuals who do not have access to this point system due to placement in our industry. For example, educators and affiliate members.

    Please provide your nomination to the Awards Committee through jack@ mgcsa.org. Include a list of nominee accomplishments and statement of recommendation. The award will be presented at the Annual Meeting during the Service Award presentation.

  • 20 Oct 2020 6:15 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Cool-Season Golf Edition is set for January 11th – April 2nd, 2021. 

     Any investment in quality continuing education opportunities benefits employees and employers alike. The 2021 Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science: Cool-Season Golf Edition is designed to help meet the continuing education needs of any individual or organization. This 12-week program aims to provide participants with thorough and practical continuing education in turfgrass management. The course is directed by 12 turfgrass scientists and educators from 5 Land-Grant Universities and other organizations. We are very pleased to be offering this on the Greenkeeper University platform this year. 

    Turfgrasses are a resource in our urban community environments and best management practices are aligned with environmental, economic & societal priorities. The Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science provides participants with the science-based principles needed to effectively manage turf for recreation, sport, aesthetics and environmental protection. The Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science is a quality training opportunity for: 

    - Practitioners that establish and maintain turfgrass for golf courses 

    - Technical representatives from industry (suppliers of equipment, plant protectants, fertilizer, etc.) 

    - Those new to the industry - wanting to get trained and off to a great start 

    - Those with experience in the industry - to review/update their knowledge and practices 

    Students will have access to the course and materials at their convenience during the 12-week period via moodle class management system. The fee for the course is $550, which includes supplemental materials and a certificate after successful completion of the program. Visit this link to register: greenkeeperapp.com 

    Early registration is encouraged and pre-registration is required. 

    For Further Information: Contact Sam Bauer. Email: sam@bauerturf.com Phone: 904-271-0250. 

  • 08 Oct 2020 12:24 PM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Conference Comes to You Early Bird Registration Giveaway

    Thanks to golf industry suppliers rallying in support,Conference Comes to You – the MGCSA Cohort and Carolinas GCSA’s online education conference – will now give away an additional $10,000 in cash to early registrants. A total of 40 prizes, ranging from $100 to $1,000 will be given away over two drawings, on October 16 and October 30. This is in addition to $30,000 in cash prizes to be drawn on December 21 after the conference ends.

    Attendees will earn one entry in the Early Bird registration giveaway for every seminar they take. For example, someone who registers for three classes before October 16 will have three entries in that drawing and three in the October 30 drawing. They will also be eligible for three entries in the end-of-show drawing.

    “Obviously, this is a great incentive for golf course superintendents and other industry members to sign up immediately,” Carolinas GCSA executive director Tim Kreger says. “They already have access to first-class education at a fair price, but if they register now, they can also get three bites at a cherry that has grown to $40,000.”

    Even so, Kreger says the most significant element of it all is in the sheer volume of support from industry partners and sponsors. To date, nearly three dozen companies have pledged financial backing for Conference Comes to You, which offers 30 distinct seminars over 30 days starting November 2. The online conference takes the place of the traditional MGCSA MEGA Seminar, cancelled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    “We were incredibly grateful to those companies willing to help us get such a new venture off the ground so quickly,” Kreger says. “But honestly, the fact that so many companies keep coming forward offering to help, has been overwhelming. It speaks to why this industry is so resilient.”

    Growing corporate support is mirrored by growing support from superintendent chapters across the U.S. and overseas. Now 40 individual chapters have signed on as official partners of Conference Comes to You, earning their members discounted registration fees. For their participation, those chapters will receive a portion of every seminar fee paid for by one of their members. Recently Canada joined the international contingent when the Ontario Golf Superintendent’s Association signed on.

    For full details on the Early Bird registration giveaway and to register for seminars, visit www.conferencecomestoyou.org.Early Bird registration sponsors include Ewing/Rain Bird, FMC, Frost, Inc., Radius Sports Group and STEC.

    For more information, call Carolinas GCSA executive director, Tim Kreger, at (800) 476-4272.

  • 25 Sep 2020 10:34 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    This fall, Minnesota GCSA is proud to partner with the Carolinas GCSA in an online conference to satisfy members’ ongoing education needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Known as Conference Comes to You, the program will deliver 30 distinct seminars scheduled - one a day - over 30 weekdays, starting November 2. There will be a one-week break over Thanksgiving.

    Using a tailored Zoom platform, the two-hour seminars will be presented live each day at 1 pm EST by some of the leading researchers, scientists and experts in their field. All seminars will carry GCSAA education points and, where applicable in participating states, many will carry pesticide credits.

    As official partners with the Carolinas GCSA in this effort, Minnesota GCSA members will receive designated member pricing for every seminar, discounted from $70 to $40.

    In addition to first-class education, our members will also be eligible to share in $30,000 worth of cash giveaways. A total of 82 prizes – ranging from $100 to $2,500 - will be drawn, live on the Carolinas GCSA Facebook page at 1 pm EST on December 21. Each seminar you take qualifies you for one entry. The more seminars you take, the more chances you have to win. To validate your entry, you must watch a series of brief messages from our Industry Partners.

    Our chapter benefits from your participation. A portion of each registration fee paid for by Minnesota GCSA member, will come back to the chapter. So, the more seminars you take, the more our chapter “wins.” Registration and complete conference information is available beginning at 10 am EST Friday, September 25 through a purpose-built website –


    To date, more than three dozen chapters like ours, plus BIGGA, the British International Golf Greenkeepers Association, have become official Conference Comes to You partners. 

    “This platform benefits everyone involved, and the more people who participate the more benefit there will be for everyone,” Carolinas GCSA president, Brian Stiehler, CGCS, MG from Highlands Country Club in Highlands, NC, says. “We see many visitors from across the country and overseas at our traditional Conference and Show each year. So, in these extraordinary times, when we can’t be face to face, it made sense for our conference to go ‘see’ them.”

    For more information: Tim Kreger, Carolinas GCSA Executive Director          (800) 476-4272

  • 17 Aug 2020 9:11 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    From the Minnesota Department of Agriculture:

    Minnesotans should be on the lookout for the insect and report any findings

    St. Paul, MN: The European chafer beetle (Amphimallon majale), an insect that can cause major damage to turf grass, has been found for the first time in Minnesota.

    A resident of south Minneapolis first noticed large swarms of beetles in their yard at dusk and reported the find to a University of Minnesota Extension entomologist who suspected the beetles were European chafers and reported them to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). The MDA worked with the United States Department of Agriculture to confirm the identity of the insect since it had never been found in Minnesota before.

    The European chafer beetle was discovered in the United States in 1940 in New York state and is currently found in the northeastern U. S., as well as Michigan and Wisconsin.

    The grub of the European chafer can cause more damage to turf than Japanese beetles because it spends a longer portion of the summer feeding on turf. However, adults do not eat at all, so they do not defoliate other plants like Japanese beetles are known to do. Home lawns, golf courses, and turf growers could be significantly impacted if the European chafer beetle becomes established in Minnesota.

    The adult insects are about a half-inch long and tannish in color. They are similar to the “June bugs” commonly found in Minnesota in early summer but are generally a bit smaller and lighter in color. The beetles emerge from the soil between mid-June and early July and are active on warm evenings for several hours just before and after sunset. The white grubs can range from ¼-inch to 1-inch long with a dark brown head and noticeable legs.

    Since this is the first reported discovery of the European chafer beetle in Minnesota, the MDA would like to better understand where this insect may be in the state and how big of an issue this is to homeowners, golf courses, and turf growers. Minnesotans can report suspected European chafer to the MDA’s Arrest the Pest line at arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us or 1-888-545-6684. Before making a report, please capture the insect, take a picture, and put the insect in a container or plastic bag and place it in the freezer. The MDA will contact you if the specimen is needed for confirmation.

    More information on the European chafer can be found here.

  • 06 Aug 2020 5:58 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Excerpt taken from MDA Nitrogen Application Fact Sheet:

    There are a number of reasons why the rule focuses on agricultural areas and not urban areas. First, only a small percentage of the nitrogen fertilizer sold in Minnesota is applied to lawns, golf courses and parks. The MDA estimates that 94 – 95% of the nitrogen sold is applied to agricultural crops. The rate of nitrogen application to lawns is only 25% of the rates normally used on corn and other high nitrogen using crops. Second, the fact that nitrate leaching from fertilizer applied to lawns can range from low to very low. Lawns are perennial and have a dense root structure, so nitrate leaching losses are very similar to agricultural perennial crops and native prairie. Third, most of the concerns related to lawns are related to phosphorus rather than nitrogen. Unneeded phosphorus inputs were drastically reduced (80 – 85%) when the MN Phosphorus Lawn Fertilizer Law was passed in 2005. As part of that law, it is illegal to apply any fertilizer on impervious surfaces. The Phosphorus Lawn Fertilizer Law greatly reduces the risk of nitrogen entering storm water and other surface water bodies.

    For more information visit this site from the MDA.

  • 16 Jul 2020 5:57 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Improving Water Quality in Como Lake

    Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) was awarded a $1.76 million grant in 2016 through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ Targeted Watershed Program (TWP) funded by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment for work in the Como and McCarrons sub-watersheds.

    CRWD, in partnership with the City of Saint Paul, identified locations for stormwater treatment practices within the 450-acre Como Regional Park. Cleaning up the water that runs off the park land before it reaches Como Lake is a critical component of improving water quality in the lake.

    The Challenge

    The biggest challenge facing Como Lake today is too much phosphorus, a pollutant carried directly to the lake through runoff in storm drains. Phosphorus comes from decaying organic matter like leaves, grass clippings, pet waste, and soil. Over time, high levels of phosphorus — three times higher than Minnesota standards — have led to algae blooms that choke the oxygen from the lake, leading to fish kills and strong odors mid-summer.

    Como Lake is part of Como Regional Park and is surrounded by an urban landscape. Storm water drains from the roads, rooftops, parking lots, and sidewalks and flows into Como Lake, carrying pollutants like phosphorus. In this developed urban landscape there are limited opportunities to capture and clean runoff before it reaches Como Lake.

    The Solution

    CRWD and the City of Saint Paul assessed Como Regional Park to identify sites to strategically manage stormwater runoff. Sites were prioritized based on their ability to treat runoff before it reaches Como Lake and the availability of suitable land. Stormwater Best Management Practices at two locations within the Como Golf Course were selected, the fairway of Hole 7 and the stormwater pond between Holes 3 and 11.

    Hole 7 Fairway

    An existing storm sewer pipe near the fairway of Hole 7 captures runoff from 63-acres of land including the zoo and surrounding neighborhood. Water from the pipe will be diverted to an infiltration basin, similar to a large rain garden, and an underground infiltration system. Polluted rainwater will fill the basin and any excess water will flow into a series of underground pipes with thousand of holes in them to allow the water to soak into the ground. Native plants in the basin will soak up water, provide pollinator habitat, and enhance the beauty of the area. The water is cleaned as it moves through the soil, removing pollutants that would have otherwise ended up in Como Lake.

    Northwest Pond

    Water from 150-acres of land within the Cities of Saint Paul, Roseville, and Falcon Heights drains to a stormwater pond between Holes 3 and 11. An iron-enhanced sand filter will be added along the eastern edge of the pond to remove dissolved phosphorus, a pollutant in the water that fuels algae growth. Iron filings mixed into sand create a bond with phosphorus, removing it from the water before it enters Como Lake.

    A smart control system added at the pond’s overflow outlet will help control the level of the pond to optimize the effects of the iron-enhanced sand filter and reduce flooding on the course.


    The improvements are estimated to treat over 1.7 million gallons of water and prevent 55.1 pounds of phosphorus from entering Como Lake each year.

    Watch the project in progress!

  • 13 Jul 2020 9:56 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    PALM BEACH GARDENS and PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (July 8, 2020) - The PGA of America, Ryder Cup Europe and the PGA Tour jointly announced today that both the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup have been rescheduled and will now be played one year later than originally planned.

    The 43rd Ryder Cup, scheduled for September 22-27, at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, has been rescheduled for September 21-26, 2021. Likewise, the Presidents Cup, initially slated for September 30-October 3, 2021, at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, will now be played September 19-25, 2022.

    Following the announcement by the PGA, Hazeltine National Golf Club president Bob Fafinski notified the membership that the 2028 Ryder Cup scheduled for Hazeltine National would be pushed to 2029.

    The decision to reschedule the Ryder Cup was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in conjunction with the state of Wisconsin and Sheboygan County, with the health and well-being of all involved as the top priority.

    Read the complete Ryder Cup announcement here.

  • 25 Jun 2020 5:31 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Below please find an extensive review of the most recent Minnesota Pandemic Related Guidelines that could impact your operations.

    Tom Ryan, ED and CEO of the Minnesota Golf Association has summarized the relevant materials in the update as follows:

    1. P2 – Facility Access and Cleaning Par. 6; bullets 1,2 ......
      1. Bullets 1 and 2. The old language read:  Remove or close off, to the extent possible, objects that could be frequently touched and that are not essential to safety, such as drinking fountains, water coolers, ball washers, rakes, or squeegees.  Take measures to reduce the need to touch fixed items that cannot be removed; for example, leaving gates ajar or raising golf cups and requiring golfers to leave the flag stick in the hole.
      2. Bullet 1. The new language reads: Minimize touching shared items and encourage hand washing/hand sanitizing.

    Without mention of rakes, water coolers, leaving the flagstick in the hole, etc., it opens up the opportunity for facilities to make decisions on how they want to proceed.

    1. P3 – Events, Guiding and Instruction Par. 2; bullets 5,6 ......
      1. The old language  “....staggered start/multiple points of departure....” is eliminated. This is clarified later.
      2. The old language read: Spectators are prohibited.
      3. The new language reads: Spectators must maintain social distancing, not exceed group gathering limits, and are strongly encouraged to wear a manufactured or homemade cloth face covering per MDH guidance. 

    Spectators will now be allowed at PGA Section, MGA, and MPGA events.....along with any other events that typically draw spectators.

    1. P3 – Events, Guiding and Instruction Par. 2; Examples; Bullet 2 ......
      1. The old language indicating what was allowed read: A golf tournament with staggered tee times, single-household cart use, and a virtual (rather than in-person) awards ceremony.
      2. The new language indicating what is allowed reads: A golf tournament with staggered tee times or a shotgun start and a virtual or otherwise modified awards ceremony to address group-size limits.

    This confirms our ability to run shotguns as we communicated yesterday, while also opening up awards ceremonies.

    1. P4 – Equipment Rentals Par. 1; Bullet 4 ...
      1. This involves the number of riders on a cart....this did not change for now.

    outdoor-guidelines_06242020 2.pdf

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