News & Articles

  • 09 Oct 2019 4:36 PM | John MacKenzie

    2019 MGA Rebholz Award Recipient

    Dr. Brian Horgan

    Sponsored by the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association

    *The Rebholz Award was created by the Minnesota Golf Association to honor individuals who through their actions have exemplified the spirit of the game at its highest level and who have made a substantial contribution to the game either in Minnesota or on a national or international level.

             Following the retirement of Dr. Don White,  2013 MGA Rebholz Award recipient, Dr. Brian Horgan was retained by the University of Minnesota to continue a very successful turfgrass studies and extension program.  Unlike Dr. White’s great influence upon golf in Minnesota, the education of some of the best superintendents in the state as well as the development of a viable and produced turfgrass, Horgan, whose scientific focus was on nutrient fate, established the UMN as one of the finest turfgrass research stations in the United States.

             Almost immediately after he was retained, Horgan partnered with the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association to sell the idea of creating a world renown turf research, outreach and education center upon a lightly used twelve acre plot located just north of the St. Paul Campus to the UMN administration.  With support from industry, Dr. Horgan managed the funding, design, establishment and on-going operation of the TROE Center.  This destination includes a 50,000 square foot USGA and “push-up” style putting green, a lysimeter soil measurement system, a rain off shelter for growing drought tolerant turf species, National Turfgrass Evaluation Program turf plots and a small grove of trees for evaluating turf/tree competition trials. 

             Beyond establishing the UMN TROE Center as a “one of a kind” acclaimed world-class turfgrass research facility that has served the golf course industry since 2004, Horgan also helped develop an expansive postgraduate program.  The phrase, “build it and they will come” is much more appropriate at the TROE Center than on a film set.  With the decline in demand for golf course superintendents, Horgan realized that to perpetuate turf studies at the UMN TROE Center, a program for postgraduate education needed to be established.  For almost two decades, through skilled recruitment, Horgan has set the UMN as a mecca for turf academia graduating many individuals with Masters and Doctor degrees.  Currently, the TROE Center hosts several post-doctoral positions, as well as over a dozen individuals who are expanding upon their fields of specific research.   

             The establishment of a research facility completed, Horgan went on to pursue expanding the program through an idea that eventually became “The Science of the Green”.  The concept focused on the business of golf course management from agronomics to economics utilizing various colleges of discipline within the UMN and would include the reconstruction of the University of Minnesota’s Les Bolstad golf course into an active research facility.  Proposed studies would include: environmental stewardship, speed of play, pathogen management, player experience, water conservation and the economies of golf going into the future.

             Although the UMN administration was interested in the opportunity, other programs took precedence and the idea was reduced in size and land development eliminated.  However, the idea did warrant enough attention from the USGA to partner with the UMN pursuing a five year commitment to study the sustainability of the game of golf.  The Science of the Green lives on today.

             And, as if this wasn’t enough, Horgan was a major driver in the creation of the UMN’s partnership with Stanford University, The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund.  Together, this group established the Natural Capitol Project which aimed to integrate the values of nature into decisions affecting the environment and human well-being.  Golf courses have a role to play in this expansive project.

             As Minnesota’s turf guru, Horgan also spread himself locally, regionally, nationally and internationally via many, many published studies, articles and videos, as well as becoming an “in demand” conference presenter throughout the golf industry.  Dr. Brian Horgan’s name is synonymous to Minnesota Turfgrass Research.  His career took off during the development of social media.  Utilizing this opportunity as a springboard to promote golf and turf, Horgan developed the many avenues of social outreach at the UMN for the betterment of the game.

             For almost two decades Horgan was a known commodity at the Capitol in St. Paul and Washington DC,  as well as among our state agencies.  One issue of direct impact upon golf course turf management was his involvement in the creation of a sound phosphorous fertilizer law in 2005 that exempted golf courses from over regulation.  Brian was also a stalwart partner in the creation of the four volume series of MGCSA Golf Course BMP manuals. 

             A regular face at the table when it came to environmental issues, nutrient fate and water conservation, Horgan was a willing supporter of Minnesota golf’s goal of sustainability and stewardship in publications, extension education and professional presentations.  The game could not have had a better ambassador and we have been proud to have the leadership of Dr. Brian Horgan for eighteen years.

             Although his recent acceptance as the chairperson for the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences in the Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will physically place Brian in another state, the MGCSA and Minnesota golf will always consider Dr. Horgan “our own”.

    Congratulations Dr. Horgan upon your grand achievement as the 2019 Rebholz Award Recipient.   We are very proud of you and your accomplishments.

  • 19 Sep 2019 8:42 AM | John MacKenzie

    In an effort to make the Distinguished Service Award meaningful to the recipient and the Association, in 2018 the 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 November 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 acquired.  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 Association BOD or committee role = 1 point per 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 superintendent class, 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.

  • 13 Sep 2019 11:02 AM | John MacKenzie

    (Lenexa, Kan., Thursday, September 12, 2019) – At an event in Washington, D.C., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Department of the Army Assistant Secretary for Civil Works R.D. James announced that the agencies are repealing a 2015 rule that impermissibly expanded the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. The agencies are also recodifying the longstanding and familiar regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 Rule—ending a regulatory patchwork that required implementing two competing Clean Water Act regulations, which has created regulatory uncertainty across the United States.

    “Today, EPA and the Department of the Army finalized a rule to repeal the previous administration’s overreach in the federal regulation of U.S. waters and recodify the longstanding and familiar regulatory text that previously existed,” said Administrator Wheeler. “Today’s Step 1 action fulfills a key promise of President Trump and sets the stage for Step 2 – a new WOTUS definition that will provide greater regulatory certainty for farmers, landowners, home builders, and developers nationwide.”

    “Today, Administrator Wheeler and I signed a final rule that repeals the 2015 Rule and restores the previous regulatory regime exactly how it existed prior to finalization of the 2015 Rule,” said Assistant Secretary James. “Before this final rule, a patchwork of regulations existed across the country as a result of various judicial decisions enjoining the 2015 Rule. This final rule reestablishes national consistency across the country by returning all jurisdictions to the longstanding regulatory framework that existed prior to the 2015 Rule, which is more familiar to the agencies, States, Tribes, local governments, regulated entities, and the public while the agencies engage in a second rulemaking to revise the definition of ‘waters of the United States.’”

    “By repealing this rule and redefining ‘waters of the U.S.’, we’ll provide greater regulatory certainty and clarity to our nation’s landowners, farmers, and businesses,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford. “In doing so, we’re able to help our agricultural community be economically successful, while we continue our work together to protect the quality of our waters for generations to come.”

    Today’s rule is the first step in a two-step rulemaking process to define the scope of “waters of the United States” that are regulated under the Clean Water Act. Step 1 provides regulatory certainty as to the definition of “waters of the United States” following years of litigation surrounding the 2015 Rule. The two federal district courts that have reviewed the merits of the 2015 Rule found that the rule suffered from certain errors and issued orders remanding the 2015 Rule back to the agencies. Multiple other federal district courts have preliminarily enjoined the 2015 Rule pending a decision on the merits of the rule. In this action, EPA and the Army jointly conclude that multiple substantive and procedural errors warrant a repeal of the 2015 Rule. For example, the 2015 Rule:

    • Did not implement the legal limits on the scope of the agencies’ authority under the Clean Water Act as intended by Congress and reflected in Supreme Court cases.
    • Failed to adequately recognize, preserve, and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of states to manage their own land and water resources.
    • Approached the limits of the agencies’ constitutional and statutory authority absent a clear statement from Congress.
    • Suffered from certain procedural errors and a lack of adequate record support as it relates to the 2015 Rule’s distance-based limitations.

    With this final repeal, the agencies will implement the pre-2015 regulations, which are currently in place in more than half of the states, informed by applicable agency guidance documents and consistent with Supreme Court decisions and longstanding agency practice. The final rule takes effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    In December 2018, EPA and the Army proposed a new definition—Step 2—that would clearly define where federal jurisdiction begins and ends in accordance with the Clean Water Act and Supreme Court precedent. In the proposal, the agencies provide a clear definition of the difference between federally regulated waterways and those waters that rightfully remain solely under state authority.

    Additional information is available at: http://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule.


    The final Step 1 rule follows President Trump’s Executive Order 13778, “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.” Section 1 of the Executive Order states that “[i]t is in the national interest to ensure that the Nation’s navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of Congress and the States under the Constitution.” The Executive Order also directs the EPA and the Department of the Army to review the 2015 Rule for consistency with the policy outlined in Section 1 of the order and to issue a proposed rule rescinding or revising the 2015 Rule as appropriate and consistent with law.


  • 10 Sep 2019 3:35 PM | John MacKenzie

    The North Dakota State University student is among 19 selected to receive scholarships as they pursue degrees in turf management and related fields.
    September 9, 2019 

    GCM staff

    Chad Blank, a student at North Dakota State University, is the winner of the Mendenhall Award — a $6,000 scholarship — the top honor in GCSAA’s 2019 Scholars Competition, which recognizes outstanding college students planning careers in golf course management.

    Originally from Miltona, Minn., Blank grew up surrounded by the golf industry. He learned about overseeing a golf course by assisting his parents, Thomas and Patrice Blank, who own and operate Lake Miltona Golf Club in Alexandria, Minn. The experience sparked Blank’s interest, and he decided to follow a similar career path.

    Blank graduated from Alexandria Area High School in 2016 and attended business school at the University of Minnesota. When he realized his passion for turfgrass management and a desire for a more specific degree, he transferred to North Dakota State University, where he is majoring in horticulture with an emphasis in sports and urban turfgrass management. He is minoring in economics.

    Blank has interned for Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., and The Maidstone Club in East Hampton, N.Y. He conducted routine daily maintenance and improvement projects, taught seasonal workers, and gained hands-on experience with championship conditioning. In July 2019, Blank interned with the USGA in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    “Winning the Mendenhall Award means everything to me,” Blank says. “It is humbling to know this benefits the next generation of golf course managers and that there is a focus on assisting students. This will inspire me to become a more active member.”

    The GCSAA Scholars Competition is primarily funded by the Robert Trent Jones Endowment and is administered by the Environmental Institute for Golf, GCSAA’s philanthropic organization.

    Scholars Competition scholarships range from $500 to $6,000. Applicants must be enrolled in a recognized undergraduate program in a major field related to turf management, have completed at least 24 credit hours or the equivalent of one year of full-time study in the appropriate major, and be a member of GCSAA. Selection criteria for the program include academic excellence, work experience, extracurricular activities and potential to become a leading professional in the golf course management industry.

    The top award in the Scholars Competition is named for the late Chet Mendenhall, who was a charter member of GCSAA, a past president (1948) and a recipient of the association’s Distinguished Service Award (1986).

    Daniel Allison of Greenville, Pa., who attends Penn State University, received the second-place award of $3,000, known as the MacCurrach Award. It is named in honor of the late Allan MacCurrach, who became the PGA Tour’s first staff agronomist in 1974 and was the winner of GCSAA’s Distinguished Service Award in 1997. The PGA Tour funds the MacCurrach Award.

    Along with their scholarships, Blank and Allison will each receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2020 Golf Industry Show, Jan. 25-30 in Orlando.

    “GCSAA is committed to supporting our student members’ ventures in golf course management,” says Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “We wish each student much success in the pursuit of their education and future careers.”

    GCSAA 2019 Scholars Competition scholarship winners

    Mendenhall Award winner, $6,000
    Chad T. Blank
    Miltona, Minn.
    North Dakota State University

    MacCurrach Award winner, $3,000
    Daniel R. Allison
    Greenville, Pa.
    Penn State University

    Ambassador Award winner, $2,000
    Ismael R. Herruzo Delgado
    Michigan State University

    Scholars Award winner, $2,500
    Jason L. Dutton
    Manhattan, Kan.
    Kansas State University

    Scholars Award winner, $2,000
    Cody Sanders
    Gaithersburg, Md.
    Penn State University

    Scholars Award winners, $1,500
    Paul J. Baich
    Hamburg, N.Y.
    Penn State University

    Matthew A. Becker
    Savage, Minn.
    North Dakota State University

    Ethan D. Brackey
    Lexington, Minn.
    Rutgers University

    Scholars Award winners, $1,000
    Alexander C. Scott
    Richland, Mich.
    Rutgers University

    Spencer H. Hoffman
    Coloma, Mich.
    Penn State University

    Timothy P. Missimer
    Dayton, Ohio
    Clark State Community College (Springfield, Ohio)

    Merit Award winners, $750
    Ryan Caughey
    Marshfield, Mass.
    University of Massachusetts Amherst

    Kevan McDonald
    Dunkirk, N.Y.
    Penn State University

    Hattie E. Spies
    Muscatine, Iowa
    Iowa State University

    Nicholas K. Worley
    Birch Run, Mich.
    Michigan State University

    Merit Award winners, $500
    Ernesto Alvarez-Guzman
    College of the Desert (Palm Desert, Calif.)

    Austin W. Northern
    Colorado Springs, Colo.
    Colorado State University

    Vikas K. Pandey
    Penn State University

    Cameron K. Wyatt
    Michigan State University

    Read more: https://www.gcmonline.com/course/environment/news/gcsaa-scholars-competition-2019#ixzz5z9lDV9YO

  • 21 Aug 2019 9:37 AM | John MacKenzie

    Minnesota's minimum-wage rates will be adjusted for inflation beginning Jan. 1, 2020, to $10 an hour for large employers and $8.15 an hour for other state minimum wages.

    The current large-employer minimum wage, $9.86, will increase by 14 cents to $10. Other state minimum wages, including the small-employer, youth and training wages, as well as the summer work travel exchange visitor program wage, which are all currently $8.04, will increase by 11 cents to $8.15.

    As of Jan. 1, 2020:

    • Large employers must pay at least $10 an hour when the employer's annual gross revenues are $500,000 or more.
    • Small employers must pay at least $8.15 an hour when the employer's annual gross revenues are less than $500,000.
    • The training wage rate, $8.15 an hour, may be paid to employees younger than 20 years of age for the first 90 consecutive days of employment.
    • The youth wage rate, $8.15 an hour, may be paid to employees younger than 18 years of age.

    For 2020, an estimated 206,000 jobs will pay the $10 or $8.15 state minimum-wage rates. These rates will not apply to work performed in the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, which have higher minimum-wage rates.

    Projected number of minimum-wage jobs, 2020

    Jobs in state of Minnesota (not including Minneapolis and St. Paul)

    • Total jobs, 2020 = 2,425,000
    • Minimum-wage jobs, 2020 ($10 and $8.15) = 206,000 (8.5%)

    Note:  All figures are projections. Jobs include hourly and salaried jobs. Workers are counted once for each job they hold. Projections by Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry using Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development wage detail data.

  • 21 Aug 2019 5:17 AM | John MacKenzie

    By Dr. Chase Straw

    A practical option for mapping fairway soil moisture for improved irrigation decisions at your golf course

    Golf course superintendents often irrigate fairways based on feel. Despite sometimes adjusting percent run-times of individual heads to account for perceived dry and wet areas, “blanket” applications are typical. Using objective data to create soil moisture maps of your golf course’s fairways, as well as taking advantage of valve-in-head control (if applicable), could significantly reduce water consumption by programming your irrigation system to match soil moisture variability. This would involve assigning each irrigation head to a soil moisture class, as a result of their surrounding soil moisture values, and then creating a program for each class to irrigate together. “Dry” classes would get irrigated more frequently, “wet” classes would get irrigated less frequently, and an entire fairway will almost never get completely irrigated during one irrigation session. This process fits under the concept of “site-specific irrigation” or “precision irrigation.”

    In an effort to entice the utilization of soil moisture maps for improved irrigation decisions, and to allow for hands-on experience with mapping technologies, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association (MGCSA) have collaborated to create a practical strategy for golf courses to map fairway soil moisture themselves. The University has prepared a detailed protocol that outlines step-by-step instructions to collect georeferenced soil moisture data with a GPS-equipped soil moisture meter (FieldScout TDR 350), which can then be used to create fairway soil moisture maps and irrigation zones with free mapping software. The protocol is estimated to take one person 2-3 days to complete an entire 18-hole golf course. Superintendents, staff members, interns, local high school golfers, etc. would all be capable of completing the protocol.

    The protocol is available to everyone and is applicable at any golf course. It can be downloaded for free HERE.

    Thank you to the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association for their support developing the soil moisture mapping protocol.

    Chase Straw (cstraw@umn.edu) is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Minnesota.

  • 16 Aug 2019 6:18 AM | John MacKenzie

    Written By:  Jeremy P. Millsop | Aug 13th 2019, Brainerd Dispatch

    For 21 years, Matt McKinnon has walked, driven and bulldozed over the acres that make up Cragun’s Legacy Courses.

    As the head superintendent of the Legacy Courses, McKinnon has seen big events, big storms and perfect afternoons.

    The husband of Shelly and father of Austin and Blake took time away from a busy August schedule to tell us about preparing for a huge event in the CRMC Brainerd Lake Tour Showcase and much more.

    Q: The CRMC Brainerd Lake Tour Showcase is fast approaching Aug. 19-22, do you and your staff do anything special to the course for that event?

    MM: Generally, August is a busy month with a lot of events but three events we have are the PGA Juniors, Pro Am and Korn Ferry Tour. With these events it does trigger some special maintenance that we do not do every day.

    We do start rolling greens more consistently for smooth, faster greens. This year, with the showcase, we will be adjusting some of our height of cuts for certain areas of the golf course. We will also be doing some evening maintenance to provide a higher quality playing surface.

    Q: Why are the Legacy Courses at Cragun’s a good spot to host a Korn Ferry Tour Event?

    MM: The 36 holes at Cragun’s Legacy Courses made this decision easier. We are able to host The Showcase on The Dutch Course, while keeping Bobby’s open for the resort guests, members, and general public players. The large clubhouse, patio overlooking the course and large parking area will allow us to host an event of this size. We will have the post tournament banquet in The Event Pavilion and allow for guests to spend the entire day at the course, without ever leaving the property. 

    Q: Do you believe the Legacy Courses are challenging enough for that level of golf?

    MM: I feel that the golf course is challenging enough for the Showcase. We have many greens on the Dutch course with undulations and tough pin areas that can be used for the event. We also have many forced carry holes.

    Q: Can you make the course more difficult and would that be a wise thing to do considering it will go back to public play after the event?

    MM: I feel we can make the course more difficult just by pin and tee placement. The rest of it will come with the speed of the greens. Since we are a resort public golf course, we spend a lot of time each day making sure we do not have pins in the wrong area for general play.

    Q: You’ve been at Cragun’s for 21 years. You’ve seen the course grow into itself, what has surprised you most about the two championship courses?

    MM: I think the course matures a little bit each year. Since I started working here in 1998, we have seen our fair share of storms in the summer. The storm of 2015 I feel was an eye-opening experience. After losing a couple thousand trees, the course just matured from the sunlight that it had not seen before. That really surprised me. Now today you would not even know that the golf course had a major storm four years ago. I feel the course really changed for the better. I love hearing that people had a great experience playing here. It does make me feel proud to be a part of making this place great.

    Q: Is there a spot on the property or a golf hole that you enjoy more than the rest?

    MM: My favorite area of the two courses is on the back of Bobby course. I think the views are great especially coming into 13 through 18. I like the shaping of the course, taking into consideration the surrounding landscape and tying it all together, so it looks very natural.

    Q: While the golf season is half over, it’s never too late to educate golfers on proper course etiquette. What are some things you wish the golfing public would know to make your life easier?

    MM: We spend a lot of time on divots and ball marks. They are a constant battle on the course all season, but the two times of the year that is the hardest is the spring and late fall. Due to the cooler weather and soil temperatures it takes a lot longer for them to heal up than any other time of the year. If you take a divot and it does not explode apart you should just place it back down and step on it as it will heal itself a lot quicker than seed and soil.

    Q: At this point in the golf season what are a course superintendent’s biggest concerns?

    MM: For myself this year is the showcase event. This event is very important to me to do a great job and hopefully see the area get more recognition for all the great golf courses. The weather in August drives me crazy as a lot of things can change a golf course in a matter of hours. With the typical August heat and humidity, you could develop disease or get the heavy rains that we sometimes see that can wreck your day with bunker washouts to flooding.

    Staffing is another concern going in to this time of the year. It is hard to find staff to maintain the golf course. I am very fortunate to have a lot of hard-working and dedicated staff return year after year to make this place great. The last three years we have been using international students to help maintain the course. Without these students, it would be a struggle to get things done. It takes a small army to maintain the Legacy Courses.

    Q: Can you go out and enjoy a round of golf at Cragun’s or does it turn into a nit picking session about things you would want to fix or change?

    MM: Honestly, I have a hard time golfing at the Legacy. I spend a lot of time here all year and to come back to golf is more like work to me. I try to play with my family at other courses. I really love the game, but as I get older and only have so much time in a day, I would rather spend it with family.

    Q: What are some of the more challenging aspects of your job?

    MM: Managing maintenance of the course around play. We only mow 100% of the course twice a week ahead of play. So, when the rain comes, or an all course shotgun is scheduled sometimes things do not get mowed. I like consistency in maintenance, I feel it is where quality comes from.

    *Q: How much has course management changed since you started at Cragun’s? Has science and technology made your job any easier?

    MM: Staffing and budget has probably made the biggest change for us as it is hard to find staff. We have made some changes with how we maintain the course and have had to become more efficient at what we do. Every year, we must re-evaluate how we do things to get better at what we do. Growth regulators have helped us manage the courses a lot different over the years. If it was not for them, we could not mow the course only twice a week. Wetting agents have also made our job easier as this golf course is built on sand. Wetting agents have given us the ability to provide a firm surface without having to dry out the course completely.

    Q: The idea for another course at Cragun’s has been mumbled about for a few years now. You were part of Bobby’s Legacy construction and the reconstruction of a few holes. Are you up for another course?

    MM: I started working here six months after the Dutch Course was started, so I have seen the whole place from the dirt moving onto the finishing of the courses. At this point they have me busy with other areas of the property. In a few years if they decided to go ahead with another course, I would like to be part of that.

    Q: In your opinion, when’s the best time to be out on the golf course -- early in the morning or in the afternoon?

    MM: I really like the early mornings on the course. You don’t have to worry about being in the golfer’s way and you can look at anything you need to. In the morning, with the dew on the turf, you can tell a lot about the course. On the other hand, I prefer to play golf in the afternoon

    Q: It was always joked about that when winter came around Scott Hoffmann could always be found ice fishing. How do you unwind from a long, busy golf season?

    MM: I really like hanging out with my family. Most days in the summer I maybe get a couple of hours to see my family so come winter we are always together when we have the chance. I like working on projects around home as it takes my mind away from the course even in the winter. Surprisingly there is stress/concern about the course in the winter.

  • 12 Aug 2019 1:18 PM | John MacKenzie

    Plaisted Companies, Inc

    Elk River, MN:  Plaisted Companies, Inc. is excited to announce that they have awarded three scholarships, one student of which, will be attending Penn State this coming fall.  Cole Petrick of Benson, Minnesota, was awarded a $1,500 scholarship towards his education at Penn State University.  Petrick is attending Penn State and hopes to obtain a major in Golf Course Turfgrass Management. 

    Petrick ranked 30 out of 49 students in his class, was captain of his football team and lettered in both football and golf.  He was awarded the 6-year award, Academic Silver Award and the Academic Silver Team Award for football.  He also competed at the state level for Clay Target.  Cole is an avid volunteer at his church, youth football clinics and youth golf clinics and has participated in multiple food drives. 

    When we asked Cole why he thought he deserved this scholarship, his response was “I want to do more than just graduate and get a job.  I want to help improve the game of golf for everyone.”  We know he’ll do big things with his future career as a Golf Course Superintendent! 

    The Plaisted Companies Scholars program awarded a total of $3,000 in 2019 and plans to do so every year moving forward. 

    About Plaisted Companies, Inc.:  Plaisted Companies, Inc. was founded in 1990 by Todd Plaisted.  We supply the finest sand and gravel products in our Elk River mining reserve supply area golf courses and athletic fields with the finest quality construction sands and maintenance products in the region.  With over 120 full-time employees, Plaisted Companies is known for our legendary customer service, offering a professional, friendly and honest experience.


  • 08 Aug 2019 3:44 PM | John MacKenzie

    By Conrad Engstrom at Golf Course Trades

    Replacing a legend is hard.

    Lucian Greeninger faces that challenge this year, becoming the new golf and grounds superintendent at Madden’s On Gull Lake. The 54-year-old Greeninger replaced Scott Hoffmann, who was Madden’s for over 40 years and designed The Classic golf course at Madden’s.

    “There are some pretty big shoes to fill,” Greeninger said. “I really did not come in to change anything. This is very much a learning year for me.”

    Hoffmann is still around. He can be found playing The Classic at Madden’s from time to time and has been giving Greeninger advice on how to operate not only the golf but the resorts.

    “The golf courses I feel real comfortable with,” he said. “There’s certain things on the property that aren’t quite on my radar and (Hoffmann) has been a big help.”

    Growing up, Greeninger thought he wanted to study to be an electrician. However, he worked at Wayzata Country Club in high school and fell in love with aeration and golf course construction.

    Instead of pursuing a career as an electrician, Greeinger went to Michigan State for their turf program for a career in golf. He interned at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska in 1987, four years before they were poised to host the 1991 US Open.

    From there, he got in touch with Mike Morley. Morley has designed some Brainerd lakes area courses including in The Preserve in Pequot Lakes and Golden Eagle Golf Club in Fifty Lakes.

    Greeninger worked at Golden Eagle and constructed it from the ground up. He moved up to Fifty Lakes through his connection with Morely.

    Golden Eagle opened in 2001, but Greeninger started construction in 1999. He later became the superintendent at Golden Eagle, a title he held until last fall.

    The transition to Madden’s has been a little challenging for Greeninger. The other properties and golf courses he’s worked at in the past are ones he built from scratch.

    “I knew everything in the ground, I can picture the drainage and aeration,” he said about what it’s been like at Madden’s compared to Golden Eagle. “(Madden’s) has the three and a half courses, plus all the resort property where I know very little.”

    The returning staff at Madden’s made it easier for Greeninger to start. Assistants on the East and West Courses at Madden’s as well as crews at the resorts and a separate crew at The Classic made for a lot of new people to meet.

    Greeninger and his wife live in Crosslake and he hopes that Madden’s will be his last job before he rides into retirement. He wanted the challenge of being superintendent at Madden’s and is taking it on head first.

    “I’m looking forward to taking care of whatever Madden’s wants to me to do for the next 12 years,” he said.

    One of the factors for hiring Greeninger as superintendent was his construction experience on golf courses. That experience helps with any remodeling that may need to be on any of the three courses at Madden’s if necessary.

    “I’m learning something new on the property everyday,” he said. “That’s been the goal through the winter.”

  • 08 Aug 2019 12:34 PM | John MacKenzie

    Accepting online submissions for the 11th annual professional development program for superintendents

    GREENSBORO, N.C., USA, July 30, 2019 –  Applications for the 2019 Syngenta Business Institute (SBI) program are due Aug. 13. Golf course superintendents can apply online to attend the popular professional development program.

    During the three-day program, faculty from the nationally ranked Wake Forest University School of Business will focus on key topics, such as financial management, navigating generational and cultural differences, leadership skills, effective communication and negotiation tactics.

    “Since its inception, more than 250 superintendents have graduated from SBI, where they gained important business management skills and closely networked with other superintendents,” said Stephanie Schwenke, turf market manager for Syngenta. “We’re excited to offer this program to a new group of superintendents this year and see how they use the lessons they learn at SBI to grow their leadership skills.”

    The program will be held Dec. 3-6, 2019, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Approximately 25 superintendents will be selected to attend from those who apply on or before Aug. 13, 2019.


    "People told me about the Syngenta Business Institute before, but it was even better than I expected,” said KD Davis, CGCS at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas, Texas, who attended SBI in 2018. “Usually these events are focused on managing turf, but this gave us tools to become better leaders. It’s worth every effort to apply and is a great investment of your time."

    To apply for SBI by Aug. 13, visit GreenCastOnline.com/SBI. Superintendents can also contact their local Syngenta territory manager for more information. To be considered, candidates must fill out an application, which includes a short essay on why they should be selected to attend SBI. Selected participants will be notified in October.

    Join the conversation on Twitter with @SyngentaTurfby using #SBI19.

    About Syngenta

    Syngenta is one of the world’s leading agriculture companies. Our ambition is to help safely feed the world while taking care of the planet. We aim to improve the sustainability, quality and safety of agriculture with world class science and innovative crop solutions. Our technologies enable millions of farmers around the world to make better use of limited agricultural resources. With 28,000 people in more than 90 countries we are working to transform how crops are grown. Through partnerships, collaboration and The Good Growth Plan we are committed to improving farm productivity, rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more visit www.syngenta.com and www.goodgrowthplan.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Syngenta and www.twitter.com/SyngentaUS.

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