MINNESOTA GOLF COURSESUPERINTENDENTS ASSOCIATION

News & Articles

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  • 21 Jul 2021 12:16 PM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Late Friday afternoon, July 16, the Minnesota DNR sent notices to Minnesota cities instructing them to assemble water conservation actions that will result in daily water use that is no greater than 150% of January averages.  Public water suppliers (municipalities), are calculating water use reductions based on one or more activities including reducing the daily water window, shutting off city irrigation and other systems, complete outdoor water bans, car washes, pools, etc. 

    If you use municipal water, it is suggested that you discuss your Best Management Plans with your city administrators to deflect any concerns over irrigating the golf course.  It may be wise to create a drought management plan to indicate your continued environmental stewardship.

    Helpful information relevant to the current drought can be found here:

    Guidelines for Suspension of Surface Waters Appropriation Permits

    Best Management Practices Water-Use Efficiency/Conservation Plan for Minnesota Golf Courses

    USGA Information on Drought Contingency Planning

    drought_plan_matrix.pdf

    The MGCSA will be hosting two informal Zoom Meetings on Monday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 28 between 10:00 and 11:30 in the morning.  You are invited to join your peers and talk about the challenges you are facing upon your course.  Please use the following links:

    Monday, July 26 Drought Management discussion

    Wednesday, July 28 Drought Management discussion


  • 24 Jun 2021 9:38 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Great interview with Sally Jones, Superintendent at Benson Golf Club, shortly following the US Women's Open at The Olympic Club.  McGuiness on Tap.

    062321 Sally Jones w KMOT.mp3

    and a link to:

    Tiny Moving Part, Life Jacket, filmed at Benson Golf Club

    Thanks for presenting our Chapter and industry so very well Sally.  You Rock the golf course management world!

  • 24 Jun 2021 9:24 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Turf and grounds professionals in Minnesota and beyond have benefited greatly from innovative research funded by the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation. Since 2001, we have donated over $1.75 million to the University of Minnesota (this is over $88,000 per year!); this funding has helped build strong applied research programs focused on turf and landscape management. The ongoing support from the MTGF has given these research programs a foundation from which to seek larger grants that generate new approaches to landscape management that help sustain our industry. Unfortunately, this past year has created a challenge for the MTGF as our primary revenue sources, Northern Green, which is a joint effort between MTGF and the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association, was not held in person and therefore did not generate sufficient income from which to make our annual donations for research. 

    We need your help.

    To continue our important role in support of turf and grounds research, we are asking for donations from individual MTGF members. And, if you are on your Board, consider making a donation from your Association. In a normal year, you would’ve contributed to our efforts by attending the Northern Green, where you would have learned from leading horticultural educators, visited with vendors on the impressive trade show floor, and networked with your fellow green industry professionals. This year, you can have a positive impact by making a donation to help the MTGF continue our mission of funding research, outreach, and education for the turf and grounds professionals.

    We hope you see this as an investment, one that will bring great returns in the form of new knowledge, more sustainable practices, and forward-looking approaches to maintain green spaces.

    As a member of one of the seven allied associations, you are already a member of the MTGF. There are no membership fees associated with being a member or vendor member. However, you have received the full benefits through the mission of the MTGF. The MTGF Board is made up of two individuals from each of the seven allied associations plus two vendor members. 

    The seven MTGF allied associations are:
        + Minnesota Association of Cemeteries (MAC)
        + Minnesota Educational Facilities Management Professionals (MASMS)
        + Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents' Association (MGCSA)
        + Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association (MPSTMA)
        + Minnesota Society of Arboriculture (MSA)
        + Minnesota Sod Producers (MTA)
        + Minnesota Turf Seed Council (MTSC)

    Funding provided by the MTGF through your participation has been able to leverage millions of more dollars for turf and grounds research. 

    The ramification was felt when the MTGF had to decide to put a hold on research grant funding for 2021 in hopes that we can return to normal in time for the 2022 funding season. 

    The Green Industry as a whole has been rewarded year after year through the research dollars granted by the MTGF and we are now asking for extra help for 2021 to be able to continue this same success. Please visit the MTGF website (www.mtgf.org/donations) where you can find additional information on how you can donate to additional turf and grounds research in 2021.

    Thank you for your consideration.                                                                                    Please donate today!

  • 22 Jun 2021 1:54 PM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Editorial comment:

    The following is an actual e-conversation that took place on June 17th.  The names have been changed; however, you could easily interject your course name, your name, your owner, your municipality, green committee chair, president, Mayor etc.  The response is well articulated and a strong case for all the advocacy work our association has been doing for the last decade.  While we may not have achieved our goal of access to water through efficiency and conservation efforts, the industry continues to be a part of the discussion.

    Good morning Carl,

    Could you please call me.  I spoke with Lou yesterday about Bushwood CC.  If you haven’t already done so, could you please minimize or stop any watering of the fairways and water the greens as needed.  Also, wondering how your well is doing?  Thanks so much for your help and cooperation!  Have a great day!!!  Judge

    Hello Judge,

    The risk level of what you’ve suggested is catastrophic.  The fine turf surfaces of creeping bentgrass greens, tees and fairways are not nearly as drought tolerant in comparison to a traditional home lawn of kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass.  When you compound the physical damage inflicted by walking, golf car traffic, golf play, maintenance equipment, the plants can be severely damaged or altogether killed.  23 acres of fairways would require 1,500 lbs of seed to reestablish.  That may not seem like much, but at $12 per pound for the cost for seed alone, the expense to reestablish adds up quickly.  Now factor in the potential for $1.3 million in lost revenue (as golfers tend to refuse playing on dead turf) for being closed for a year to reestablish the course, I’m not sure the Country Club can bear the expense? (hypothetical question). 

    Quite frankly, the threat of water permits being suspended altogether are exactly why our industry has been petitioning to reclassify golf courses from category 6 non-essential users into a classification of it’s own, with at least some water assurances during times water permits are canceled.

    Rather than me writing a 15-page email on the subject of water conversation on the golf course, I will point you to our State’s Best Management Practices handbook as developed through the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association and numerous industry and institutional contributors.  The methodologies explained are well employed at Bushwood, including hand watering, use of wetting agents, use of soil moisture sensors, night time programming, raising mowing heights, decreasing frequency of mowing, etc.

    BMP: Golf Course Efficiency and Conservation Manual in 2018

    In the meantime, Bushwood Country Club will suspend irrigation of all non-essential/out-of-play areas (actually most already are) including the clubhouse lawn.  We’ve already reduced water on rough by 30-50%, so we can allocate the available water time window to apply the necessary water onto the fine turf surfaces. 

    I am available for additional discussion at your convenience.

    Yours in Service,

    Carl S


  • 18 Jun 2021 8:17 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Rich Spring Superintendent Jimmy Johnson: In the

    New tee boxes coming to Rich Spring Golf Club in Cold

    John Lieser

    Special to the Times

    The year was 1961. The Soviets built a wall dividing East and West Berlin and the Bay of Pigs Invasion ushered Fidel Castro into dictatorial power in Cuba. Freedom Riders traveled throughout the South to test and promote integration measures; many were assaulted and beaten.

    The first lasers are developed. “West Side Story” was a smash hit film. Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22” was published. The average cost of a new car was $2,850.

    It was also the year I graduated from high school and the Rich Spring Golf Club opened. 

    More:Lieser: Pro golf tournaments return to Minnesota this summer

    For the last 32 years Jimmy Johnson, 57, has been the course superintendent at this Tim Murphy-designed course located in Cold Spring that serves a population of 4,284. After being a starter at the sensational Section 8AAA tournament on June 2 when Alexandria eked out a one-shot victory over Moorhead on the 18th hole, I played the course from the championship blue tees the 8AAA participants played and sat down to talk to Johnson about his tenure at the 18-hole layout.

    Johnson grew up in Spicer and learned how to play golf at Little Crow Country Club, which opened in 1969. He graduated from New London-Spicer High School in 1981, and attended the University of Minnesota; he graduated with a degree in agronomy and ultimately became interested in turf management and its companion job to become a golf course superintendent.

    The first question I asked was how his job has changed in the past three decades. For Johnson, the most notable changes have been enhanced water conservation and irrigation practices, revamped mowing patterns for fairways and greens, and the judicious use of chemicals as dictated by guidelines from the United States Golf Association to ensure the course is friendlier to the environment.

    Another advanced change has been in the use of computers and their numerous applications that monitor a golf course’s condition. Even drones are coming into the picture. The job today requires many new skills for a course superintendent which were unheard of in the 1990s.

    While playing the course, I counted seven new tee boxes being constructed. As Johnson stated: “We started a master plan five years ago which concentrated on three main areas, ‘the play it forward’ idea, to incorporate the use of the granite outcroppings which dot the course, and focus on making the course more playable and enjoyable for our membership. The seven silver tees, which will stretch the course to 6,014 yards, will support that playable factor for our senior members and should be completed by the end of June.”

    More:Golf courses look for some normalcy in COVID-19 outbreak

    In conclusion, Johnson was encouraged about the future growth of the member club.  He said: “We have been busy during last year’s pandemic season and this year the course has continued to do a brisk business. We are an evolving golf course and similar to players getting better, we and our 14 staff members who work on the course, will strive to make the course more user friendly, better conditioned, and pleasurable to play for all our 230 members.”


  • 09 Jun 2021 5:46 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    For Chapters Receiving Donated Funds, Education is an Overwhelming Priority

    PHILADELPHIA (June 8, 2021) — One consistent and overwhelming theme rings true among local Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) chapters on the receiving end of donations totaling $25,000 – made possible through the FMC Professional Solutions Give Back to Local Chapters program. They strive to “give back” with their Give Back.

    While a handful of chapters out of 30 are still determining how they will use their 2021 FMC Give Back donation checks, many of the chapters have big plans for the donated funds. The top 30 chapters earned awards from $250 to $5,000, distributed after participating in 2021 Golf Industry Show activities tied to FMC’s Kalida™ Fungicide launch earlier this year.

    “We truly appreciate those companies that see value in the local chapters and try to help them out,” said Carolinas GCSA Executive Director Tim Kreger. The Carolinas GCSA plans to fund an additional scholarship this year with the $1,000 Give Back check they received from FMC.  

    Like the Carolinas GCSA, local chapters impacted by the extra funds earned in the Give Back program overwhelmingly plan to apply the donations primarily towards education initiatives in the form of scholarships, training, seminar hosting and workshops for their members or turf students. A few are building full-scale educational events to take place later in 2021 or in 2022, now that Covid-19 restrictions are easing in many parts of the country.

    “Thanks to FMC’s support of the Minnesota GCSA, we will use this unexpected money to support scholarships to attend the Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science online educational courses. Each year, the MGCSA sponsors up to five individuals who complete the ten-week program. It is a win-win for the industry and the student. The Give Back to Local Chapters program helps make this opportunity possible," said Minnesota GCSA Executive Director Jack MacKenzie.

    As superintendents need to have such a broad knowledge base and multidisciplinary approach to their work in an industry with continuous advancements in management practices, plant science, regulations and even equipment, it is easy to see why so many chapters look to foster education and choose to spend any extra funds on it.

    “We want our members to thrive, and education is an investment in their success.  Our industry is constantly evolving, and continuing education is critical to keeping current with the latest research advancements, best management practices, regulations and product releases,” said GCSA of New Jersey Executive Director Maureen Sharples.

    One admirable non-education use of an FMC Give Back donation is being implemented by the Utah GSCA chapter. “We have allocated our funds to our local Riley L. Stottern Benevolent Fund.  The goal of the fund is to do as much good as possible for all Utah GCSA members and their immediate families who may be burdened by a serious illness, a death or other hardship. The money is greatly appreciated and will help our members in need,” said Utah GCSA Chapter Executive Natalie Barker.

    “We strive to support local chapters who can benefit in various ways from the support,” said FMC golf and lawn care market manager Evan Parenti. “To see the FMC donations fostering educational initiatives is especially rewarding as that knowledge only makes the industry better and stronger.”

    Don Hearn, executive director of the New England GCSA, said that his chapter is looking to highlight the work of superintendents and points out what all of these efforts are really about – the game of golf. “We plan to use the funds to assist with the production costs of a video highlighting the work of superintendents who help make golf an enjoyable experience for those who play the game.”

    The FMC Give Back to Local Chapters initiative was driven by FMC True Champions, a program launched in spring 2019. A key feature of the program is to support industry associations such as GCSAA chapters, We Are Golf and RISE. Superintendents can enroll for free, and FMC will track purchases of qualified products throughout the season and then submit their “give back” donation directly to their local GCSAA chapter. Qualified products include Fame™ SC, Rayora™ and Kalida™ fungicides. Through August 2021, a percentage of sales of those products will be donated to local GCSAA chapters.

    FMC True Champions

    The FMC True Champions program is a source for golf course superintendents and managers to access valuable Product Rewards and Product Assurances. It also has a third pillar, Industry Support, that highlights industry initiatives and associations like GCSAA, We Are Golf and RISE. 

    About FMC

    FMC Corporation, an agricultural sciences company, provides innovative solutions to customers around the world with a robust product portfolio fueled by a market-driven discovery and development pipeline in crop protection, plant health, and professional pest and turf management. FMC Corporation employs approximately 6,400 employees around the globe. To learn more, please visit www.fmc.com.

    Always read and follow all label directions, precautions and restrictions for use. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states. FMC, the FMC logo, Fame SC, Rayora, Kalida and True Champions are trademarks or service marks of FMC Corporation or an affiliate. © 2021 FMC Corporation. All rights reserved.

     


  • 01 Jun 2021 9:40 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    (Atlanta, Georgia) - Duininck Golf Construction – Duininck Golf promotes Sam Duininck as Director of Business Development and establishes an office in Atlanta as part of its strategic growth plan.

    Duininck Golf, one of the most recognized golf course builders in the United States, recently announced the promotion of Sam Duininck to Director of Business Development and opening a new office in Atlanta, GA.  These moves follow a successful year for Duininck Golf in 2020 and align with the company’s strategic growth plan and core values to promote from within.

    From humble beginnings in 1926, Duininck Companies started as a heavy civil construction company in Prinsburg, MN and has grown into a family-owned business that has completed projects across the United States with now, many of the 4th generation family members involvement. Duininck Golf was brought to life in the early 90’s and today is one of the most recognized golf course builders in the country with expertise in new construction, course remodeling and irrigation system installation. “As a family-owned company, we’ve always believed that developing young talent and promoting from within is paramount to our success,” said Judd Duininck, General Manager of Duininck Golf and President of the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA). “Sam has been in the field working on projects the last several years and this experience will be invaluable in his new role.” Offices in Minnesota, Texas, and now Atlanta, GA allows Duininck to leverage its expertise in all facets of golf course construction with expanded regional resources to provide uncompromised service and attention to detail to its growing list of clients.

    “One of Duininck Golfs core values is Mind the Gap. We must have the mindset of continual improvement along with striving daily to be the best in our industry,” added Judd Duininck.  “We at Duininck Golf are excited about Sam’s new position. With Sam’s experience in the field and his passion for customer service this new role aligns with the Duininck value of servant leadership.”

    “It’s an honor to take on these new responsibilities and I am excited to help expand the Duininck Golf footprint and serve Georgia and the southeast,” said Sam Duininck.  I’ve spent the last several years in the field and look forward to working closely with golf course superintendents, architects, consultants, and other industry professionals.”  Sam Duininck earned a BA degree in marketing and an MBA from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.

     

     


  • 23 May 2021 6:24 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    This is a reminder that the University of Wisconsin - Madison Turfgrass Program will begin offering 1 and 2-year Turfgrass Management programs in the Fall of 2021. The 1- and 2-year certificates will be run through UW-Madison's Farm and Industry Short Course and offer a hands-on, in-person degree led by UW-Madison turfgrass professors Doug Soldat and Paul Koch. This program will benefit all those interested in a career in turfgrass management but may be particularly attractive for non-traditional students or those students already employed in the turfgrass industry but looking for career advancement.

    Significant financial aid will be available for students enrolled in the program, including completely FREE tuition for those Wisconsin residents whose annual household income is less than $60,000 through the FISC Tuition Promise. More information on financial aid and the FISC Tuition Promise can be found at the FISC website (https://fisc.cals.wisc.edu/financial-support/).

    We ask that you distribute this notification among your staff and print and post the attached flier in the breakroom. Even though classes don't start until fall, there are some important deadlines coming up this summer to be aware of:

    • Last date to enroll for fall semester:  September 15th, 2021
    • Last date to secure financial aid: July 29th, 2021
    • First day of class for the fall semester: November 1st, 2021
    • Last day of class for the spring semester: March 11th, 2022

    Much more information on the new 1 and 2-year programs, including costs and the class schedule, can be found at the UW Turf Program's website (https://turf.wisc.edu/academics/). To enroll in the program for Fall 2021, please visit the Farm and Industry Short Course enrollment site (https://fisc.cals.wisc.edu/apply-now/).

    Doug and Paul will be hosting a Zoom discussion with interested students and employers of interested students to briefly introduce the program and answer any questions. The session will be held at noon central time on June 7th. Click on this link to register: https://forms.gle/U4aqmyeTGspFWKPd6



  • 05 May 2021 10:02 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    (AVONDALE, Louisiana.) – TPC Louisiana –Minnesota Golf Course Superintendent Association Affiliate member, Duininck Golf completes third phase of golf course improvements at acclaimed TPC Louisiana in the suburbs of New Orleans.

    Designed by renowned golf course architect Pete Dye, in conjunction with PGA Tour player Steve Elkington and Louisiana native Kelly Gibson, TPC Louisiana garnered high accolades when it debuted in 2004 and remains one of the top daily fee golf courses in the State of Louisiana. Host of the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans played this year April 22-25, TPC Louisiana is highly regarded for its high-quality turf conditions and provides a stern test of skills with the 18-hole, undulating putting greens and more than 100 bunkers. The course plays from 5,121 yards to 7,400 yards and water comes into play on several holes, including the signature 18th with water along the entire length of the right side of the hole making for an unforgettable finish to a round. In an effort to maintain TPC Louisiana’s stature in the New Orleans market, TPC Network embarked on a three-phase improvement plan to address areas of the course that had lost its original character and restore the layout to the standards of a tour course.

    A member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program and the Audubon Golf Trail, TPC Louisiana is in an area well known for long rainy seasons and wet conditions. TPC Louisiana also has the unique and challenging opportunity of being built alongside the wetlands of the Mississippi River Delta affording stunning scenery, but frequently saturated soil conditions add limits to playability after sustaining heavy rains.

    The TPC Network initially engaged Duininck Golf in late 2018 to undertake phase one golf course improvements that included updating irrigations heads, a new pump station, and new irrigation controllers. Phase two improvements, which included a complete re-grass and renovations of the formal bunkers were completed in spring of 2020. During this phase, organic material was stripped off all fairways and greens surfaces. The fairways were then replaced with new celebration sod and the greens were sprigged to TifEagle. In October 2020 through the spring of 2021, Duininck Golf, alongside PGA architect Leslie Claytor and course superintendent Brandon Reese completed the third phase of work consisting of improvements to drainage in waste areas along with new bunkers and new bunker sand. Course wide improvements included a total renovation to the irrigation system, renovations to the bunkers, fairways, greens, and lastly the waste areas. “Working in Louisiana presents challenges due to the wet climate, but we are happy to know that the improvements have been well received”, said Ahren Habicht of Duininck Golf.

    “The course improvements that took place over the last few years has been well received by the club, the tour, and the players from the most recent 2021 Zurich Classic. It was a great opportunity to see the results of our work shine on one of the biggest stages”, said Judd Duininck of Duininck Golf.

    Media Contact                                                                                                Sam Duininck                                                                                                  404-895-6716                                                                                             sam.duininck@duininck.com


  • 08 Apr 2021 6:40 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    A letter to the MGCSA BOD from Dr. Frank Plachecki  Interim Dean, Academic Affairs:

    Dear Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association,

    As you would imagine, Covid has caused great damage to our college.  Enrollments are down significantly, and the budget is in bad shape.  We are working an aggressive strategy to return to financial sustainability.

    Enrollments for the Turf program, and other programs as well, have been low for several years running.  Our leadership team, in partnership with the budget committee, has made recommendations to suspend ( put on pause ) these programs until we have the funds to properly invest in them.

    Turf is one of these targeted programs.

    Current students will finish, and students who are near finishing from previous years will receive the opportunity to finish. 

    Marlin and Travis are re-designing the program to include an on-line component to boost enrollments.  And of course any ideas you might have are always needed.

    Thank you for your leadership and support of our college.


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