News & Articles

  • 23 Apr 2020 9:56 AM | John MacKenzie

    MGCSA BMPS for Golf Maint COVID 19 ed.pdf

    • MGCSA Golf Course Management BMP and Considerations during the COVID19 Pandemic

      All operations will refer to the OSHA – Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 and Preparing Workplaces of a COVID-19 Outbreak as described by the CDC.

      Green Staff Management

    • ·      Limit the number of staff members inside maintenance facility or building at a given time.
    • ·      Visually checking in/out staff members starting time (no time clocks, key cards, etc.).
    • ·      Working shorter shifts so there is no requirement for lunch breaks (or breaks are staggered, and/or taken outside/inside private vehicles).
    • ·      Conduct staff meeting outdoors or via electronic means, use online resources to schedule start times and tasks for general maintenance such as google docs, etc.
    • ·      Stagger start times for employees assigning specific employee orders and let them know who they follow each day (keep regular each day).
    • ·      Utilize groups texts to stay in touch with employees/assign tasks, and check in frequently if they are working alone on the course.
    • ·      If possible assign tasks where co-workers are able to stay in visual sight of each other if the course is empty for safety.
    • ·      Assign staff members mowers/carts that only they use.
    • ·      Provide PPE to staff/gloves, masks, face shields.
    • ·      Sanitize contact surfaces frequently including; hand tools, door knobs, door openers, restrooms, faucets, light switches, keypads, keyboards, tablets, tables, desks, etc.
    • ·      Provide employees with adequate soap and water and hand sanitizer or wipes and place in prominent places.
    • ·      If an employee is sick or showing signs of the virus, send them home or do not have them come in, even with mild symptoms.
    • On the Course

    • ·      Create signage for all golfers as they enter the facilities with rules adopted on the golf course reducing touch points and employing social distancing.
    • ·      Consider fixing flagstick in the cup via mechanical methods or glue so players don’t have the choice of removing it.
    • ·      Consider creating designated areas for people to stand where people would normally congregate especially on tees and walkways.
    • ·      Use some type of implement (short piece of foam, pvc pipe etc.) to prevent the ball from falling all the way to the bottom of the putting cup and allowing it to be removed more easily (USGA has modified rules during the pandemic for scoring purposes).
    • ·      Remove all bunker rakes, ball washers, scorecard boxes, water coolers, divot boxes, scoops, seed bottles, scorecard/pencil holders/ and other items golfers may normally touch.
    • ·      All practice facility bag stands, chairs and PVC pipes for picking up balls will be removed.
    • ·      All range-balls will be cleaned, with water and soap, after every pick-up prior to making them available for golfers.
    • ·      Discourage golfers from using spent tees on teeing surface. Please use your own tee.
    • ·      Remind golfers to bring their own drinking water; it will not be provided via coolers, fountains, etc.
    • ·      If on course restrooms are to be opened, they should be disinfected regularly, and stocked with adequate soap / sanitizer / disinfectants. Consider installing foot pulls on all doors.

  • 17 Apr 2020 12:06 PM | John MacKenzie
    • [ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today issued Executive Order 20-38, which expands allowable outdoor recreational activities. The changes will allow Minnesotans to continue to enjoy the outdoors close to home while following social distancing guidelines.

      Executive Order 20-38 allows Minnesotans to engage in a range of activities, including golfing, boating, fishing, hunting, and hiking, as long as they follow new outdoor recreation guidelines. These guidelines include maintaining 6-foot social distancing, avoiding crowded areas, and staying close to home.

      It’s important for us to stay active and enjoy the outdoors while preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Walz. “This measure will allow Minnesotans to take advantage of more opportunities to get outside, while still doing their part to keep their neighbors healthy.”

      Under Executive Order 20-38, facilities that may reopen or remain open include:

      • Bait shops for live bait
      • Outdoor shooting ranges and game farms
      • Public and private parks and trails
      • Golf courses and driving ranges
      • Boating and off-highway vehicle services, including:
        • Marina services
        • Dock installation and other lake services
        • Boat and off-highway vehicle sales and repair, by appointment only 

    Campgrounds and dispersed camping, outdoor recreational equipment retail stores, recreational equipment rental, charter boats, launches, and guided fishing remain closed.

    Minnesotans should continue to take part in outdoor activities close to their primary residence. Staying home helps protect Minnesotans from spreading COVID-19 and limits pressure on rural medical facilities and essential supplies. 

    These new provisions will go into effect on Saturday, April 18 at 5:00 am, and will have the full force and effect of law upon approval by the Executive Council.

     Complete Executive Order Here


  • 13 Feb 2020 11:52 AM | John MacKenzie

     LINCOLN, Neb. (February 10, 2020) — Judd Duininck, Duininck Golf, begins his two-year term as the organizations President. Fellow officers also elected to serve on the associations Executive Board. 

    President, Judd Duininck, took office at the GCBAA Winter Meeting, held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show, in Orlando, Florida on January 28, 2020. Former President Pat Karnick, Wadsworth Golf Construction Company, was named immediate past president. Other Executive Officers elected included President-Elect, John McDonald II, McDonald & Sons, Inc.; Vice President, Jon Truttmann, Hunter Industries; Treasurer, Tom Works, Landscapes Unlimited, LLC.; Secretary, Chris Caccavale, Caterpillar Inc. 

    Newly elected serving at their first meeting was Kevin Grieder, Sunbelt Rentals, Inc.; Chris Hill, Course Crafters LLC; Matt Lohmann, Wadsworth Golf Construction Company; Rick Shriver, HARCO Fittings; and Jason Sloan, Frontier Golf. 

    Remaining GCBAA Board of Directors are; Greg Hufner, Total Turf Golf Services, Inc.; Jon O’Donnell, Heritage Links; Manny Pina, Ewing Irrigation; Bob Sylvester, The Toro Company; and Rick Williamson, LASCO Fittings, Inc. 

    About the GCBAA and the GCBAA Foundation The Golf Course Builders Association of America is a non-profit trade association of the world’s foremost golf course builders and leading suppliers to the golf course construction industry. It was founded in the early 1970s, and its members represent all segments of the golf course industry. The GCBAA Foundation is the charitable arm of the GCBAA and a separate, 501(c)(3) organization. The GCBAA’s national executive office is located in Lincoln, Neb. For more information, visit www.gcbaa.org or call (402) 476-4444. 

  • 13 Feb 2020 5:40 AM | John MacKenzie

    By Rob Hubbard

    Minneapolis wants to become something like a sanctuary city for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. But current state law may preclude the city from doing so.

    Sponsored by Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Mpls), HF1255 would allow cities to enact local ordinances regarding pesticides. Specifically, cities could prohibit the use of pesticides lethal to pollinators and require those applying pesticides to affix warning signs to treated areas that pets and children should be kept off for 48 hours.

    What pesticides could be banned under the bill? It would be limited to those deemed lethal to pollinators by the Environmental Protection Agency, which keeps such a list on its website.

    On Tuesday, the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee approved the bill and referred it to the House Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division. It has no Senate companion.

    In 2015, Minneapolis passed a resolution to decrease use of pesticides, and 44 other Minnesota cities have taken similar steps, according to Erin Rupp, founder and executive director of Pollinate Minnesota. The bill would make it possible to regulate certain pesticides at the local level.

    “Our state bee, the rusty patch bumblebee, is endangered,” Rupp said, “and five of Minnesota’s 23 bumblebee species are approaching endangered status. … Pollinators contribute $24 billion to our U.S. economy annually.”

    But Scott Frampton, former president of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association, said the ability to have different pesticide rules for different municipalities would be comparable to having different drivers’ licenses for different cities. Todd Leyse, past president of the Minnesota Pest Management Association, warned that incidences of Lyme disease could rise.

    Russ Henry, a member of the Minneapolis Parks Pesticide Advisory Committee, countered that, “We know that pests are dangerous, but pesticides are also dangerous. … We now know that it’s 100% possible for us to transition to organic management without pesticides for ball fields, golf courses and home landscaping.”

    Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) said knowledge of pesticides has evolved and that state policy should evolve with it. He spoke of “apocalyptic arguments” that the state’s regulatory authority would fall apart with the changes proposed in the bill.

    “Things are falling apart now in our environment and the impacts on pollinators,” he said. “We have to figure out a way to move beyond where we’ve been and the arguments we’ve been using for 30 years about what could or could not happen, and look at what is happening. … I have not supported these bills in the past, but I will support this today because we need to have this discussion.”

    Session Daily is published by the Minnesota House Information Service.

  • 09 Jan 2020 7:54 AM | John MacKenzie

    This important event could determine irrigation water availability for decades to come.  The Legislative Water Commission on Water Policy is considering a Bill to support golf course turf management as an agricultural specialty crop industry, thus bumping the water use category from six, non-essential, to a three, agricultural based.  This would clarify water use priorities during times of drought.  It is very important that golf course superintendents, managers, professionals and green committee/golf committee members participate.  Invite your staff and club officials.  This is a fun and easy event to support. 

    This is a HUGE year for water policy and GOLF IS ON THE MENU!  Please participate.

    Register TODAY and make a difference

  • 02 Jan 2020 6:15 AM | John MacKenzie

     Although only  a member of the MGCSA for eleven years, Roger Stewart CGCS, has been a shining example of the quality individual necessary to receive the Distinguished Service Award. This honor, to be granted at the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Annual Meeting on January 16 during the Northern Green Conference, recognizes Roger for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents profession.

    Roger began his career as a Golf Course Superintendent in 1975 in the Chicago area and held that position at three different clubs before he began his tenure with the TPC Network in 1996, with the construction, grow-in and subsequent golf course maintenance operations of TPC Jasna Polana in Princeton, New Jersey.  Prior to coming to the TPC Network, Roger worked as a Golf Course Superintendent for over 20 years in the Chicago area and then in the Twin Cities in 2008.  Roger retired from the TPC Twin Cities two years ago and continues support of the golf industry as a consultant.

    Distinguished Service award checklist for MGCSA:

    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.

    Roger Stewart CGCS, was nominated by TPC Twin Cities Superintendent Mark Michalski and approved by the MGCSA Board of Directors.

    Roger has achieved the following statistics:

    Terms on the MGCSA BOD = 2 points per term, including officer position, 4 maximum                       4

    Officer Position = 1 point per office elected                                                                                                   4

    Audubon Certification and re-certification = 2 points, 4 maximum                                                            4

    MGCSA Membership =1 point per decade                                                                                                      1

    ESI Award = 2 points maximum                                                                                                                         2

    Support of the University of MN research plots = 2 points, 4 maximum                                                   4

    Support of the GCSAA committee members = 2 points, 4 maximum                                                         4

    GCSAA, MTGF and Allied Association BOD = 1 point per year, 3 maximum                                               3

    Certification 2 points then= 1 per renewal, 5 maximum                                                                                5

    MGCSA event participation = 2 maximum                                                                                                        2

    Civic Community Service points =1 point for each position 3 maximum

    Mentor potential= 1 point per through superintendent class, 3 maximum                                               2

    Any MGCSA, GCSAA or industry Presentations =1 per presentation, 4 maximum                                          4

    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

    Roger Stewart CGCS Running total:                                                                                                              39

    Join your peers on January 16 to hear more about Roger’s illustrious career and celebrate his accomplishments.

    Congratulations Roger on your outstanding career.

  • 08 Dec 2019 2:24 PM | John MacKenzie

    Following seven years of very successful Outreach Education and Exposure Social Golf opportunities, the Board of Directors has “turned the page” on the out-state events.  Beginning immediately, the Outreach and Exposure events will not be offered in the year ahead.  Perhaps it was new social options, a greater workload with fewer staff, too many educational opportunities or the programming simply ran its course.  Regardless, the regional networking venues experienced a dramatic drop in registrations over the past month indicating the need for change.

    And change it will be!  Currently the Arrangement and Education Committees are crafting new member social and educational opportunities.

    One change on the table includes expanding the Don White Match Play to become a regional event with a final Best Ball Tournament held in a central location for the Regional Champion and Consolation flights.  The sections will be based upon the Explore Minnesota Golf Map. 

    Another idea is the creation of a winter match play tournament utilizing Golf Simulation Equipment.  Again, this would be a regional opportunity utilizing the many golf simulators in place across the state.  Please, in an effort to get this idea moving forward, let me know if your course or club has one or more golf simulators that our participating teams could use as they pursue this fun and competitive networking tournament.  Email me at jack@mgcsa.org with your destination details including availability and cost, if any, to the groups playing.  Perhaps as a professional courtesy “off-peak” times could be donated?

    And, as our society becomes more and more reliant and conversant upon internet social platforms, the MGCSA is looking at a new method of sharing webinars, link programing and cloud networking in a Mindful Monday email presentation.  Our group has some very creative members who are already or may in the future, sharing ideas that are working at their courses.  Fun, factual or both, this organization should be taking advantage of the technology at our fingertips today.

    If you have any other ideas that could help the MGCSA support its membership, please reach out the Board of Directors or me, jack@mgcsa.org, and we will consider the feasibility of the proposal.

    A GIANT Thank You goes out to our historical supporting educational and event sponsors for their help in making the Outreach and Exposure program as successful as it had been.

  • 30 Oct 2019 2:19 PM | John MacKenzie


    Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science Online Scholarship

    Five (5) Program Reimbursement Coupons

    $495 Class fee immediately reimbursed upon providing Certificate of Completion

    Administered by


    Funded by

    The Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association

    10050 204th Street North

    Forest Lake, MN 55025

    Phone: (651) 324-8873

    Application Deadline: December 15th


    In order to enhance the educational opportunities of our existing membership/staff and promote the Golf Course Management Industry, the MGCSA is offering a new Reimbursement Program for the Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science Online.  (4) Reimburse coupons will be offered annually to approved applicants who complete the Online program and submit their Certificate of Completion.  Applications will be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee.  All decisions of the committee will be final. Applicants will be notified by December 15th prior to the School’s Registration deadline.   Applicants will still need to register/pay for the Online School as if they were attending on their own.  The Reimbursement check of $495 will be issued to the individual or company paying the initial Class Fee following the completion of the course.


    1.   Applicants must either be a MGCSA member or sponsored by a MGCSA member to apply.

    2.   Completion of the program and providing Certificate of Completion is necessary for reimbursement.

    Criteria for Selection

    1.   (4) Applicants shall be selected based on employment history, recommendations and personal statement essay.

    2.   Financial need is not a factor in the selection

    3.   Any Scholarship Committee member with a conflict of interest must remove him/herself from the process. (family member or current employee applying)

    How To Apply

    Applicants must complete the attached application form and supply the following under one cover:

    1.   Personal Statement Essay

    2.   All applications must be post marked by Dec. 15th of the year submitted.

    3.   Send applications or email to:


    10050 204th Street North

    Forest Lake, MN 55025


    Application Form

    Name                                                                            Date                                              

    Home Address                                                                                                                



    Current MGCSA Membership Classification                                                                 Member Since             Or

    MGCSA Member Sponsor/Employer Signature                                                           

    Phone                                               Email                                                                      

    Work Experience

    Current Employer/Position                                                                                           

    Past Employment History                                                                                             

    Personal Statement

    Attach a one page statement that tells who you are, explains when and how you became involved in Golf Course Management and why you are interested in the Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science.



    10050 204th Street North

    Forest Lake, MN 55025


    2019 MGCSA Great Lakes School Reimburse Coupons.pdf

  • 21 Oct 2019 9:23 AM | John MacKenzie

    Three of 52 elite members selected to attend the premier educational and networking event for assistant golf course superintendents.


    Cary, N.C. (October 17, 2019) – John Deere Golf and Environmental Science, a business unit of Bayer Crop Science, have announced the Green Start Academy class of 2019, including: 

    • ·         Cote Wolcik, 2nd Assistant Superintendent, North Oaks Golf Club
    • ·         Jacob Norquest, Assistant Superintendent, Northland Country Club
    • ·         Peter Braun, 2nd Assistant Superintendent, The Minikahda Club

    “We are so pleased to be able to bring together this group of driven, like-minded individuals as they set the stage for aspiring leaders in golf course management,” said Mike Hirvela, Customer Marketing Manager for Golf, Bayer. “From learning key insights from industry professionals and leaders to creating a strong network of peers and mentors, we hope Green Start Academy can be an important defining moment for young professionals in their careers.”

    Since 2006, the goal for this program has been to help assistant superintendents build a strong foundation for their careers, as well as to support the future of golf courses and the entire industry. Green Start Academy has invited prestigious assistants to the Bayer Development and Training Center in Clayton, N.C., the John Deere Turf Care factory in nearby Fuquay-Varina, N.C., and the John Deere headquarters in Cary, N.C. With topics from career development to budgeting to labor management, the Green Start Academy provides attendees with the education, networking and career insights they need to excel as superintendents and lead our industry into the next decade and beyond.

    “Our 2019 Green Start Academy class has some of the best and brightest assistant superintendents from all over North America, including Cote, Jacob and Peter,” said Manny Gan, director global golf, John Deere. “We are excited to welcome these up-and-coming industry stars to our facilities for an immersive experience. We know that Green Start Academy will offer an opportunity to expand their horizons, meeting with top superintendents and learning more about this diverse and unique history.”

    About Bayer

    Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2017, the Group employed around 99,800 people and had sales of EUR 35.0 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.4 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.5 billion. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

    About John Deere

    Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at www.JohnDeere.com.



  • 10 Oct 2019 11:46 AM | John MacKenzie

    Grants for alternative landscaping equipment

    MPCA is offering approximately $150,000 in grant funding to replace 2-cycle gasoline-powered landscaping and snow removal equipment with electric-powered equipment.

    • Application deadline: November 8, 2019 (4:00 p.m. Central Time)
    • Eligible applicants: Businesses under 500 employees, governmental agencies, educational institutions, tribes, or nongovernmental organizations (e.g., nonprofit or association) with any number of employees. Equipment used near populations sensitive to air pollution, in environmental justice areas, and in communities with higher air pollution will tend to score highest. All equipment being replaced must be scrapped or otherwise rendered inoperable.
    • Maximum grant award: $24,000 with a 50% minimum match.

    Grants can be combined with a small business loan up to $75,000 for capital equipment purchases that help meet or exceed environmental regulations.

    Application materials

    PDF icon Request for proposals (p-f2-27-3a-fy20)

    This document describes the Alternative Landscape Equipment Grant, including information on who may apply for funding, match requirements, activities eligible for funding, and other information that will help applicants submit an application. Applications are due no later than 4:00 pm Central Time on Friday, November 8, 2019.

    File Application form (p-f2-27-3b-fy20)

    File Affidavit of noncollusion (p-f2-27-3d-fy20)

    Additional references

    PDF icon Sample grant agreement (p-f2-27-3c-fy20)

    PDF icon Project evaluation methods (p-f2-27-3e-fy20)

    File Handheld 2-cycle engine emissions calculator (p-sbap5-36)

    During evaluation, the MPCA will determine each applicant’s emissions reductions and cost-effectiveness using this tool.

    Questions and answers

    Applicants must submit all questions to grants.pca@state.mn.us, subject: “Alternative Landscaping Grant Question.”

    Alternative landscaping grant questions and answers

    Grant successes

    More than $173,000 in grants has already helped 66 businesses and organizations switch to electric-powered equipment, such as chainsaws, pole pruners, lawn mowers, string or hedge trimmers, and handheld or backpack blowers. These purchases will reduce annual air emissions by 185 tons of VOCs, 0.6 tons of nitrogen oxide, and 6.5 tons of fine particulates.


    Gas-powered landscaping equipment is a significant source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other air emissions, particularly in urban areas. The average gas-powered push mower emits over 14 pounds of air pollution an hour — the same amount as driving your car 200 miles! These pollutants impact the health of equipment operators and the populated communities they serve.

    Replacing summer or winter 2-cycle gas-powered equipment with electric-powered eliminates localized air pollution and can have the following benefits:

    • Lighter - Easy to use and carry across distances and multiple locations.
    • Powerful - Equal performance to gas in most applications. Often just a 20-minute charge will last for hours.
    • Saves money - No more buying gas. Also less maintenance and lost productivity from being in the shop or from flooding.
    • Safer for employees - Eliminate engine exhaust, reducing odors and respiratory effects; lessen hearing loss; ease cord-pulling and lifting-related injuries; and prevent burns.
    • Community health - Reduce air pollution in urban areas and lessen noise disruptions

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