News & Articles

  • 06 Mar 2019 6:03 PM | John MacKenzie

    The Hazeltine National turfgrass team is looking for 30-40 volunteers for this summer’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. The event will take place June 17th-June 23rd. If you had the opportunity to be part of the 2016 Ryder Cup, or if you missed out, the KPMG Championship is another excellent chance to be part of a Major Championship in Minnesota.

    Given this Championship takes place in the busy summer months, we will be accepting applications for shared positions. Please note the two questions regarding this on the application. If you do plan to share a position, we ask that each individual be from the same facility and also that each person fill out their own application.

    Everyone on the Hazeltine turfgrass team looks forward to having many of our Minnesota colleagues take part in this wonderful Championship week.

    Should you have any questions, please feel free to email me at ctritabaugh@hngc.com

     Link to application

    Best Regards,

    Chris Tritabaugh

    Golf Course Superintendent

  • 06 Mar 2019 6:38 AM | John MacKenzie

    Do you care about hiring 16 and 17 year olds?

    On February 7th, 2019, House File Number 790 was introduced in the State of Minnesota House of Representatives. Why does this matter to you?

    • ·       This house file will provide clarification to 16 and 17 year-old employees to operate push lawn mowers, self-propelled lawn mowers, ride-on lawn mowers, lawn trimmers, and weed cutters that are not currently permitted. These 16 and 17 year-old minors may then lawfully operate or assist in the operation of these machines.
    • ·       The efforts made by the MGCSA in attending the Minnesota Day on the Hill have already impacted the initiative with the addition of a companion author in the Senate with Senate File 1805 for House File Number 790 on February 28th, 2019.
    • ·       House File 790 authors are: Franson; Layman and Brand
    • ·       Senate File 1805 Authors are: Hall; Anderson, B; Bigham; Pratt; Cwodzinski
    • The files are going to Committee but NEED YOUR SUPPORT to be heard and passed.

    Please phone your legislators in the House and Senate (typically you will leave a voice message as they are very busy, however their staff will weigh the calls) tell them you are a constituent and ask for their support of House File 790 or Senate File 1805.

    Helpful links:  Who Represents Me?

    Legislator Roster

  • 18 Feb 2019 8:20 AM | John MacKenzie

    Monarchs in the Rough Program Goes Local


    The monarch butterfly is a North American icon, but the butterfly’s population has declined by more than 90 percent over the last two decades. To combat this decline and the decline of other key pollinators, Audubon International and Environmental Defense Fund have teamed up to create Monarchs in the Rough, a program that partners with golf courses to restore pollinator habitat in out-of-play areas. We are working to create essential habitat for butterflies and increase awareness of the golf sector’s contribution to the monarch conservation challenge. Join our efforts to support the monarch butterfly and help the golf community be a part of the pollinator solution.

    Monarchs in the Rough is a partnership between Audubon International and Environmental Defense Fund. The program connects and supports superintendents and other golf course staff as they plan, install, and manage habitat projects for the monarch butterfly on their courses. Monarchs in the Rough provides regionally-appropriate milkweed seed to golf courses – enough to establish about one acre of high-quality monarch habitat when planted with a native pollinator seed mix.

    Monarchs in the Rough also offers signage, posters, and technical guidance to golf course managers as they install and manage habitat, and as they communicate with course members about their effort to save the monarch.

    By joining Monarchs in the Rough, golf courses can do their part to prevent further monarch losses while gaining recognition as an environmental leader and connecting with their communities in new ways.

    There are hundreds of courses gearing up for it nationwide, but just twelve Minnesota courses have joined in. We need more involved! Here’s a list of the Minnesota courses joining this great cause to date.

    Somerby Golf Club                          Wildflower Golf Course

    Green Lea Golf Course                   The Wilderness at Fortune Bay

    Enger Park Golf Course                  Minnesota Valley Country Club

    Legends Club                                    The Ponds at Battle Creek

    Keller Golf Course                           Meadowbrook Golf Course

    Braemar Golf Course                      New Richmond Golf Club

  • 01 Feb 2019 4:42 AM | John MacKenzie

    Sub-zero temps kill emerald ash borer

    You probably didn’t jump for joy when sub-zero air burned your cheeks this morning. And with good reason: these temperatures, ranging from -20° F in the metro to -40° F in northern Minnesota, pose a danger to us. But there is a silver lining: we can expect this cold to kill a significant portion of emerald ash borers (EAB) in the state.

    Emerald ash borer larvae overwinter under the bark of ash trees. Their larvae use one of Mother Nature’s more fascinating mechanisms to supercool: they generate chemicals to prevent their tiny bodies from freezing at the normal freezing point. It’s similar to the effect of salty compounds on winter roads. Still, they can—and do—freeze when temperatures reach the extreme lows we’ve seen across Minnesota in the past few days.

    “When temps get to -30° F, 70-90 percent of larvae may be frozen,” says Rob Venette, a USDA Forest Service research biologist. “[But] the precise relationship between cold and EAB mortality changes a bit from year to year.”

    The last Polar Vortex, in January 2014, offers a good example. The air temperature in the Twin Cities fell to -23° F that year. Samples taken from cut logs and standing trees that had been outdoors during the winter showed 60-70 percent of larvae had been killed in most locations, Venette says.

    So, this year’s Polar Vortex is good news for ash in Minnesota!

    In case you’re wondering: the extreme cold doesn’t have much of an effect on Minnesota’s native forest pests. They are well adapted to our cold winter temperatures. The eastern larch beetle, for example, can survive down to -56° F as larvae and -43° F as adults. In addition, many adult larch beetles overwinter under the snow line, which insulates them against low air temperatures. The eastern larch beetle has wiped out hundreds of thousands of acres of tamarack in Minnesota over nearly two decades, but it will take more than cold to stop it.

    While the cold won’t do much for our tamarack, it will help our ash. So, the next time you step outdoors and feel your eyelashes freeze, remember your suffering is not in vain.

    The Forest Health Team

  • 26 Jan 2019 6:23 AM | John MacKenzie

    The MGCSA won second place last year and sent five students to the GLSTGS.  Thanks for participating

    We're awarding scholarship and research grants to the GCSA Chapters with the most members to visit us at GIS 2019!
    1st Place
    2nd Place
    3rd Place
    We'll announce the winners after the final day of GIS 2019!
    Get authoritative answers to your toughest turf questions!
    Wednesday, February 6
    9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    Dr. Brandon Horvath, University of Tennessee
    Dr. Patrick McCullough, University of Georgia
    2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
    Dr. Jim Kerns, North Carolina State University
    Dr. Jim Brosnan, University of Tennessee
    Thursday, February 7
    9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    Dr. Matt Elmore, Rutgers University
    Dr. Dave McCall, Virginia Tech
  • 21 Jan 2019 2:02 PM | John MacKenzie

    The Don White Memorial Two Man Match Play Championship

    Contact Jack to register for this event jack@mgcsa.org

    Deadline to register is April 21st, 2019


    1.  The Don White Memorial Two Man Team Match Play event is an ongoing single-elimination tournament, with first round consolation bracket, in which two teams play match play (best ball net, aka Four Ball Match Play), during each round.  The winning team advances to the next round.  All players must be active members of the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association.
    2.  Each player plays their own ball from tee to green. The player with the lowest net score on a given hole wins that hole for his team. The match is won by the team that is leading by a number of holes greater than the number of holes remaining to be played. (e.g., 4 up with 3 holes to play – known as winning 4 &3).
    3.  The stipulated round is 18 holes; however, if both teams agree in advance, the stipulated round may be adjusted to 9-holes. This does not apply to the Championship match, which must be 18 holes.
    4.  If the match is even after the last hole, the match continues until a winner is decided. Handicap strokes remain the same for playoff holes.  In the event of darkness approaching for a tied match, teams may agree to a closest-to-the-hole chip-off or a coin flip to decide the outcome.
    5.  USGA Rules apply - Four Ball Match Play: a.  http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rule- 30/#30-3 b. Decisions:  http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-30/#30-3/1


    1.    You must be able to produce a verifiable handicap upon request from your playing opponents. If you are unable to produce a verifiable handicap, your opponents have the right to require you to play as a “0”.
    2.    Identify your USGA handicap index.  Max handicap for an individual is 24 for this competition.
    3.    Work with the Pro Shop to find your course handicap according to course and tees being played for the match.
    4.    Take 80% of the course handicap. (i.e., max competition handicap is 19, once 80% is applied)
    5.    Handicap strokes are allocated as net strokes from the lowest handicap player in the match per USGA guidelines 9-4a (iii) (i.e., lowest handicap plays with no strokes).
    6.    Ask the Pro Shop to prepare a card with dots on the appropriate holes for the match. Please let the Pro Shop know that this is a Two-Man Best Ball Match (Four Ball) when making your tee time so they can prepare the card in advance.


    1. The winners of each round shall advance to the next round. The brackets will be displayed on the mgcsa.org website.

    2. After completing your match: a. Send an e-mail or text with a picture of the signed scorecard and date of your match. Please include a picture of the winning team so we can post on website:

                        Jack MacKenzie at jack@mgcsa.org


    1.  Individual entry fee (for prizes): $25.00

    Team Entry: $50

    PRIZES & AWARDS: (Presented at Annual Meeting)

                    1st place team  - 50% split purse based on participation

                    2nd place team – 30% split purse based on participation

                    Consolation Bracket Champion – 20% split purse based on participation 

                   Prize amounts will be paid out in Visa gift cards.


    1.   It is the responsibility of the players to arrange their own matches, including the scheduling of tee times and course location.  You may not play at your home course. In the event of one player being absent at the starting time, a side may be represented by a single player. If the second player joins during the match, they must join between holes. See http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-decisions.html#!rule-30,30-3.

    2.   Please schedule your next match as soon as both winning teams are known.

    It is your responsibility to touch base with your opponents.

    3.   If a match schedule cannot be mutually agreed upon by the participants, assuming both teams made a good effort to find a mutually agreeable time, both teams will be removed from the event. The main goal is to complete the final match prior to September 30th.

    4.   You can only change your partner before the start of the first round match. Once you play the first round, you cannot switch partners. If the event your partner is unable to play after the first round, you must compete as an individual.

    5.     The final round for 2019 will be hosted by Brandon Schindele at Edina Country Club.


    Round 1: 31 Days

    May 1st

     May 31st

    Round 2: 30 Days

             June 1st

      June 30th

    Round 3: 31 Days

     July 1st

          July 31st

    Round 4: 30 Days

          August 1th

        August 30th

    Championship : 30 Days

       September 1st

    September 30th

    SCORE CARDS: Please fill in your score card completely!

    ● Record each player’s gross and net score on every hole (put “x” if the player picked up).

    ● Circle the winning score for each hole.

    ● Clearly mark on the front of the card the match play score (for example “Newton/Wilson d. Manning/Roethlisberger, 2 & 1”).

    ● Sign, attest, and date your card.

    MGCSA Two Man Match Play Rules 2019 - Final.pdf
  • 09 Jan 2019 7:50 AM | John MacKenzie

    40 Year MGCSA Member to be Honored on January 17th at the Annual Meeting

    The MGCSA’s Distinguished Service Award (DSA) is an award presented to an individual who has made an outstanding or significant contribution to the advancement of the golf course superintendent’s profession, preferably in Minnesota and/or the surrounding area.  This contribution is usually the result of behaviors over a significant period of time, and takes a true dedication to our industry, its initiatives, and its vitality.  Perhaps no one exemplifies these attributes, or the meaning of service to one’s industry, better than the 2018 recipient of the DSA award, Rick Fredericksen, CGCS at Woodhill Country Club. 

    Rick’s career has spanned 40 years as a member of the MGCSA, which includes, not one, but two separate stints as an active participant on the MGCSA Board of Directors, with a rise to president of the association each time.  During his first stint on the Board from 1986-1992, Rick helped improve research, developed an environmental awareness program and pushed our association to another level of professionalism.  It was during his second stint on the board from 1999-2003 that Rick was at the forefront of supporting a new turfgrass science professor, Dr. Brian Horgan, and enhancing the already strong relationship with the University of Minnesota.  In the process Rick helped secure funding and in-kind contributions that would translate into the UMN Turfgrass Research Outreach and Education Center, a permanent and nationally renowned research site and teaching facility for turfgrass science.

    According to Dr. Horgan, Rick inspired and encouraged the 2002 MGCSA BOD to pursue the TROE Center concept with a confident appreciation that the UMN could emulate the Penn State research program and apply the information learned locally upon area golf courses.  Brian also expressed Rick’s assertive attitude of pushing the envelope in turf management, always seeking a better management plan.  Furthermore, Frederickson was and is to this day, according to Dr. Horgan, looking to improve the sustainability of golf courses and embrace environmental stewardship wherever possible, including the incorporation of pollinator habitat, watershed enhancements and implementation of EIQ (Environmental Impact Quotient), and thus reduce amounts of pesticide use based upon toxicity.

    Along with this service on the MGCSA board and support of the UMN, Rick has continued his passion for the industry at Woodhill Country Club, where he has been superintendent since 1990.  Appreciating the importance of environmental stewardship, Rick pursued and established the private facility as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) golf course in 1996, and continues to uphold these standards for environmental stewardship.  He has also hosted numerous MGA and MGCSA events, as well as one USGA event, during his tenure at Woodhill.  In support of his strong environmental advocacy, Rick has shared the good story of golf courses at numerous allied association meetings and also as a guest speaker recently at the Minnesota Pollinator Summit.  Throughout his career he has continued to work closely with club members and Dr. Brain Horgan at the U of M on many environmental projects and initiatives.

    If Rick’s commitment and legacy on the Board and at Woodhill are not enough to distinguish him, he has also spent 11 years on the Long Lake Volunteer Fire Department, including one year as Chief; using his background as an EMT to help others in need and to fight fires.  He has also been traveling down to Augusta, Georgia for many years to volunteer for the Masters tournament.  He not only volunteers his time during the week of the tournament in the spring, but also goes down there for a week in the fall to help out with overseeding.

    Rick’s dedication to this industry is well documented.  He has managed to have a long successful career at a prominent club, while still finding time to donate his time and be an active member of the MGCSA, for this, the association is forever grateful.  Perhaps most impressive, however, is that Rick has managed to do all of this while being a family man.  Rick’s wife, Jackie, whom he met in college (and who he credits with keeping him enrolled at Penn State) and their two daughters, Jodi and Sandy, along with two granddaughters keep Rick busy and fulfilled.  Behind a lot of successful superintendents are usually an impactful wife and family, and Rick’s family undoubtedly has been a big influence during his distinguished career.

    The level of commitment, dedication and time it takes to receive the DSA is no small feat, but perhaps there has never been a more obvious or deserving recipient than our 2019 winner, Rick Fredericksen, CGCS.  On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire MGCSA membership, we would like to congratulate Rick Fredericksen for being the 2019 Distinguished Service Award winner.

  • 03 Jan 2019 11:32 AM | John MacKenzie

    The Plaisted Companies Scholars Program is an achievement-based scholarship program.  Students are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact in their schools and communities. Three Plaisted Companies Scholars will be selected each year to receive a $500 to $1,500 scholarship. The Plaisted Companies Scholars Foundation proudly supports students graduating or attending in the 2018-2019 academic school year to apply here until March 15, 2019. Plaisted Companies, Inc. will dedicate $3,000 total per year towards our scholarship program.

    Eligibility Requirements

    We will be rewarding graduating high school seniors or eligible college students in the fields of, but not limited to:

    • Golf Course Superintendents
    • Truck Drivers
    • Diesel Mechanics
    • Heavy Equipment Operators
    • Current high school (or home-schooled) student attending a school in Minnesota who will graduate during the 2018-2019 academic school year
    • U.S. Citizens based on the guidelines utilized by the U.S. Department of Education for

    Federal Financial Aid eligibility

    • Will receive or have received a high school diploma during current academic year
    • Planning to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution

    Applicants may not be:

    • International students
    • Temporary residents

    Before you Apply

    We advise reading the information below before you start your application, so you can be fully prepared. High school seniors may apply here through March 15th, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. Central.

    Important Items to Gather

    • A high school transcript – There is no need to upload, email, mail, fax, or submit in any other fashion, a copy of your transcript. While completing the application, you will be asked to type in your specific grades since your freshman year and their course levels. Having your transcript nearby will help you fill in this information.
    • A list of school and non-school related clubs and organizations in which you have participated since your freshman year as well as any corresponding leadership positions.
    • A list of honors and awards that you received when participating in school and nonschool-related clubs and organizations and the level of each award (local, state, regional, or National/International) since your freshman year.
    • A list of volunteer organizations with which you have served, and the number of hours served with each, plus any awards and honors that you have received for your participation since freshman year.
    • A list of employment during school and during the summer.

    Collecting this information will help you complete the online application. We do not request nor accept any supplemental information, including high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, essays, personal statements, head shots, or any other items outside of the online application. Any item mailed, emailed, or faxed to Plaisted Companies will be recycled.

    Get Started

    Fill out the application below! We look forward to learning more about you.

    Need Help?

    Scholarship Application_2018.pdf

  • 02 Jan 2019 4:44 PM | John MacKenzie

    Columbia Golf Course project will protect local neighborhoods, Mississippi River

    MINNEAPOLIS The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) announced today that it has been awarded $800,000 from the Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources (BWSR) to address water quality and flooding issues in Northeast Minneapolis.

    The funds, which come from the state’s Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, will be used to install a series of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) at the Columbia Golf Course in Northeast Minneapolis. The improvements will capture and treat stormwater from 600-acres that drain to and through the golf course, protecting the nearby Mississippi River from polluted runoff. In combination with other improvements planned for the area, the practices will also help to mitigate flooding.

    A large portion of Northeast Minneapolis drains through the Columbia Golf Course, and this new green infrastructure will benefit the entire community,” said MWMO Executive Director Doug Snyder. “The project will help protect the golf course and the surrounding neighborhoods from flooding, as well as reduce pollutant loading to the Mississippi River and improve habitat by adding native vegetation.”

    The golf course improvements are part of a larger Northeast Stormwater Management Initiative being led jointly by the MWMO, the City of Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The initiative will address local stormwater issues by modifying the city’s stormwater infrastructure, adding regional stormwater BMPs, and integrating new green infrastructure in portions of Northeast Minneapolis and Columbia Heights.

    The golf course BMPs have the potential to remove an estimated average of 100 pounds of total phosphorus (TP) and 20 tons of total suspended solids (TSS) each year, keeping these pollutants out of the Mississippi River. Up to 6.7 million cubic feet of stormwater could be infiltrated.

    The golf course improvements are expected to begin construction in mid-2020. More information can be found at mwmo.org/northeast, where residents can also sign up to receive email updates.

    Media Contact

    Nick Busse, Communications Principal Mississippi Watershed Management Organization Direct: 612-746-4974

    About the MWMO

    The MWMO is a public organization that partners to protect and improve water and habitat in our urban watershed. We invest in people and infrastructure to support clean water, and provide knowledge, scientific data and expertise to help manage our vital water resources. mwmo.org

    About the Minnesota Clean Water Fund

    Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008 to:

    •   protect, enhance, and restore wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat;

    •   preserve arts and cultural heritage;

    •   support parks and trails; and

    •   protect, enhance, and restore lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater.

      The Clean Water Fund receives 33 percent of the sales tax revenue generated by the Legacy Amendment. More information about the Clean Water Fund is available here.

  • 02 Nov 2018 6:11 AM | John MacKenzie

    More than 60 solar panels are up and running at Ramsey County's The Ponds at Battle Creek Golf Course, the latest step by the county to power its entire park system with renewable energy. 

    By  Greg Stanley Star Tribune

    Ramsey County will unveil the government's first solar panel park at Ponds at Battle Creek Golf Course in Maplewood. The county has installed 64 panels along the course, the first step to having all of its parks buildings and facilities powered entirely by renewable energy by 2025.

    More than 60 solar panels are up and running at Ramsey County’s The Ponds at Battle Creek Golf Course, the latest step by the county to power its entire park system with renewable energy.

    The photovoltaic panels, which will produce enough energy to power the Maplewood golf course and its clubhouse, were built and installed at no cost to the county. Instead, Ramsey County will pay the vendor, iDeal Energy, for the first 12 years of power generated at the site. After 12 years, the county will own the panels and the power generated outright.

    The county will still see immediate savings, because the energy costs of the panels will be less than what the county is currently paying Xcel Energy, said Ryan Ries, project manager for the Parks and Recreation Department.

    “It’s still a win for us,” he said.

    The panels are expected to save the county more than $240,000 in energy costs over 40 years. They will cut about 119,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions every year, said Parks Director Mark McCabe — the equivalent, he added, of 6,000 gallons of gasoline.

    The county recently installed 124 solar panels on top of the Parks Department’s administration building in Maplewood. The panels, while not quite enough to cover all energy needs of the building, offset most of the costs.

    The panels at the golf course and the administration building will give the county real-time data on the savings, costs, challenges and benefits of using solar power, McCabe said.

    “These are basically two pilot programs that will give us the data we need for a much bigger push,” he said.

    Ramsey County’s goal is to have all nine county parks entirely powered by renewable energy within the next seven years.

    Some of the parks, including Lake Owasso County Park in Shoreview, will be retrofitted with solar panels in the near future. All future parks will be built to produce at least as much energy on site as they consume.

    The county’s biggest challenge will be cutting the amount of energy sucked up at its 11 ice arenas.

    Ice rinks are one of the county’s biggest energy users, accounting for about 85 percent of the energy costs of the entire Parks Department.

    County officials want to cut 35 percent of energy use at the arenas. The county is methodically renovating each of the buildings to install LED lights and more efficient heating and cooling systems.

    The county also has to switch out the refrigeration system beneath each sheet of ice because the ozone-depleting gas R-22, which the county is currently using, will be banned from production by 2020. A switch will be made to a more environmentally friendly ammonia-based coolant, Ries said.

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