Friday, August 19, 2016

Allied golf organizations hold fundraiser to support Arizona Golf Industry Economic Impact Study


Study to estimate contribution of the golf industry to the state economy

The Cactus & Pine GCSA and the Country Club at DC Ranch held a golf tournament on Aug. 15 in Scottsdale, Ariz., to raise funds for the Arizona Golf Industry Economic Impact Study. (Special thanks to Kyle Draper, CCM/COO; Dick Hyland, PGA director of golf; Bill Kostes, Class A superintendent.)

In a collaborative effort, the Cactus & Pine, Greater Southwest CMAA and the Southwest Section PGA have secured the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension to oversee the research project that will estimate the contribution of the golf industry to the Arizona economy. The last study was conducted in 2004 and found that Arizona’s more than 300 golf facilities had a total economic output of $3.4 billion and employed nearly 54,000 people accounting for $1.4 billion in wages.

One hundred and twenty players participated in the tournament and $5,000 was raised for the study which has an estimated completion date of December 2016.

“I cannot overstate the importance of this study to the golf industry,” said Rory Van Poucke, Cactus & Pine GCSA president and Apache Sun Golf Club general manager\Class A superintendent. “Golf is such a major contributor to the economy and the study assists in telling our story to the media and policymakers in Arizona.”

The study will include information on golf facility revenue by areas of business (greens fees, cart fees, membership fees, range fees, merchandise, food & beverage, etc.), golf facility expenses (payroll, maintenance costs, capital investments, taxes) golf-related spending, charitable contributions, total employment, golf-generated taxes and an environmental report that will culminate with a total economic impact (indirect, direct and induced) attributable to the Arizona golf industry.

“I’d like to thank everyone who came out to support the event at The Country Club at DC Ranch and to those organizations who previously donated,” said Carmella Ruggiero, Cactus & Pine GCSA executive director. “Raising funds for projects like the study is a challenge, especially as we did not want to exploit our relationships with our already tenured and dedicated sponsors. We still have a way to go, but with the support and commitments we have received, it’s becoming more achievable.”

Along with the Cactus and Pine ($6,000) and Greater Southwest CMAA ($5,000), other major contributors to the study include Antigua ($2,500), Arizona Country Club
($2,500), Arizona Women’s Golf Association ($2,000), Apache Sun Golf Club ($500), Communication Links ($500), Johnson Ranch Golf Club ($1,000), OB Sports ($2,500), Paradise Valley Country Club ($500), The Estancia Club ($1,000), The Mirabel Club ($1,000), The Thunderbirds ($5,000) and Troon Golf ($5,000).

Verbal commitments have also been received from Desert Mountain, Grayhawk Golf Club, Southwest Section PGA and The Country Club at DC Ranch.

For questions or to donate to this study that will benefit everyone within the Arizona golf industry, please contact Carmella Ruggiero with the Cactus & Pine GCSA at 480-609-6778 or email carmella@cactusandpine.com.

Pictured on the right is Desert Mountain director of agronomy Shawn Emerson presenting the 1st place prize to the DC Ranch team at the Arizona Golf Industry Economic Impact Study Fundraiser. 


Monday, August 1, 2016

Support turfgrass research in California by joining the California Turfgrass and Landscape Foundation



The California Turfgrass and Landscape Foundation (CTLF) is seeking members to help support critical turfgrass research in California. 

I urge you to consider supporting the organizations efforts throughout the state.  CTLF was formed in 2011 and the foundation has made terrific strides in raising funds for important research projects. 

A large portion of those funds have gone to Dr. Jim Baird at UC Riverside.  Over $100,000 has been distributed annually with additional amounts coming from groups like the Metropolitan Water District to support conservation research.  It takes in excess of $200,000 per year to fund Dr. Baird’s graduate program and without further support, he will continue to be at risk of losing research and extension positions. 

Dr. Baird and his team are working hard to meet the evolving needs of both the golf and landscape industry.  With California still in the midst of a severe drought, there is some new and cutting-edge research addressing water and salinity management issues.  Examples include best management practices for turf under drought restrictions, effects of fungicides and wetting agents on drought stress, evaluation of products for alleviation of salinity and drought stress and the evaluation of natural and hybrid turf for water conservation. 

Without CTLF’s financial backing, some of these research projects would not be undertaken.  In addition to Dr. Baird’s work, CTLF has established relationships with Dr. Jim Kerns and Lee Butler of North Carolina State University for turfgrass diagnosis services as well as Dr. Doug Soldat from the University of Wisconsin and Dr. Bill Kreuser of the University of Nebraska who will assist with soil management issues and testing (those not covered by Pace Turf/Dr. Larry Stowell). 

Research plots at last September's UC Riverside Turfgrass & Landscape Field Day

Annual dues are $250 and your membership will help support projects crucial to the golf industry.  Invoices are available by contacting Executive Director Bruce Williams, CGCS, at bruce@williamsgolfconsulting.com.  More information is also available at www.catlf.org.

We appreciate your consideration and thank those that have already contributed including our local GCSAA chapters, PGA sections and regional golf associations. 

Sierra Nevada GCSA raises funds for scholarships and turfgrass research

$13,500 awarded to students seeking to start or further their college education

Members and guests of the Sierra Nevada Golf Course Superintendents Association gathered at Sierra View Country Club in Roseville, Calif., for the association’s annual Scholarship & Research Golf Tournament.

The event raises funds for students seeking to start or further their college education as well as dollars for advancing turfgrass research in California. Kyle Dykstra, CGCS, was the host superintendent of the event which featured 120 participants from around the region.

“The Scholarship & Research Tournament is our most important event of the year,” said Sierra Nevada GCSA President Kurtis Wolford, who also serves as the Class A superintendent at Cherry Island Golf Course in Elverta, Calif. “To be able to assist young people in reaching their goals through higher education is something that our association and members are very proud of.”

Pictured on the left is Sierra Nevada GCSA President Kurtis Wolford with turf student from Cal Poly during the Sierra Nevada GCSA S&R Tournament.  $13,500 in scholarships were awarded to deserving students. 

Nine scholarships totaling $13,500 were awarded. Scholarship winners included: Lauren Bermudez, Jonathan DeLallo, Christopher Jones, Joseph Kurung, Hayley McIntyre, Tanner McVey, Nick Niles, Zachery Plum and Kelsi Stieler.

“These students represent our future leaders and our association is thrilled we can contribute to their education,” said Sierra Nevada board member and tournament chair Dave Bermudez, Class A superintendent at Del Rio Country Club in Modesto, Calif. “Whether it’s the turfgrass industry or another professional endeavor, we know the scholarship recipients will put the money to good use.”

In addition to the scholarships, funds were raised for turfgrass research which will provide golf facilities throughout California with assistance in providing quality playing conditions, reducing water use and reducing chemical inputs.


The Sierra Nevada Golf CourseSuperintendents Association is established to enhance the profession and promote the growth of golf through quality education and networking opportunities for members.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Southern Nevada superintendent Rohret to be enshrined in Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame

Induction ceremony to take place Oct. 28 at PGA TOUR’s Shriner’s Hospitals for Children Open

The Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame recently announced that longtime Southern Nevada superintendent Bill Rohret, CGCS, will be inducted as part of the Hall’s 2016 class.

Rohret is one of four inductees who will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame at the Oct. 28 induction ceremony at TPC Summerlin in Summerlin, Nev., a date that coincides with the playing of the PGA TOUR’s Shriner’s Hospitals for Children Open. Other inductees include long drive pioneer Mike Dunaway (1955-2014), real estate developer and philanthropist Irwin Molasky and PGA TOUR player and former Las Vegas resident Dean Wilson.

The Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame celebrates and brings awareness to players, administrators, benefactors, groups, instructors, teams, and other worthy golfers who have served the game of golf in Las Vegas in a positive and meaningful way, whether through performance on the course, volunteerism, financial support, promotion, or other dedicated service.

A 41-year lifetime member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Rohret has held superintendent positions in Southern Nevada at the former Desert Rose Golf Club, Stallion Mountain Country Club, Angel Park Golf Club and The Legacy Golf Club.

Now semi-retired, Rohret serves as a spray tech at Highland Falls Golf Club in Summerlin while mentoring and providing education and assistance to many superintendents around the Las Vegas Valley.

“This was totally unexpected,” said Rohret. “To be honored by your peers in the golf industry is always humbling and to go into the Hall of Fame with Dean, Irwin and the late Mike Dunaway is very special. They have all contributed so much to the local golf community.”

Bill Rohret, CGCS - 2016 Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame Inductee

“What stands out about the induction of Bill in the 2016 class of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame is how active the Southern Nevada Golf Course Superintendents Association was in the process,” said Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame President Brian Hurlburt. “They took the time to send letters and make sure he was nominated. Our committee looked at that and realized if his peers believe he should be inducted then he is extremely deserving. It is nice to have another superintendent become enshrined in the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame because the profession as a whole does so much for the sport.”

Bill got his first superintendent position in 1973 at Cedar Crest Country Club in Columbus Junction, Iowa, and moved to Las Vegas in the late 1980’s as golf course construction was taking off in the area.

He served as president of the Southern Nevada Golf Course Superintendents Association (SNGCSA) from 1989-1990 and became a GCSAA certified golf course superintendent (CGCS) in 1990. He willingly volunteered his time throughout the years to assist the association in reaching its goals.

While Bill’s agronomic expertise and background speak for themselves, it’s been his willingness to help others that has stood out. “I’ve known Bill for over 13 years and he has assisted me on numerous occasions,” said Dale Hahn, CGCS, director of golf course maintenance at TPC Summerlin and current president of the SNGCSA. “Whether it's borrowing a piece of equipment or giving advice on turf problems, Bill is always there for his fellow superintendents.”

Bill’s off the course accomplishments are even more impressive. He and his wife Dian volunteer their time with Special Olympics Nevada coaching a number of sports including basketball, track and golf. In 2008, Bill was named Special Olympics Nevada Coach of the Year. Over the past decade, the Special Olympics golf program at Angel Park Golf Club has grown from eight athletes to over 40.

Bill and Dian were also awarded the 2013 Citizens of the Year Award by the Southern Nevada PGA Chapter. The award is annually given by the chapter to those individuals who provide exemplary efforts within their community.

Bill is the father of two grown children, James and Nicole and has been married to Dian for 37 years. “I have to thank my family for providing support over all these years,” said Rohret. “Being a superintendent is a time-consuming endeavor and being able to share this honor with them means everything.”

“I’ve been blessed to be part of the Las Vegas golf community for nearly 30 years and to be elected to the Hall of Fame is surreal,” said Rohret. “I’d like to thank the election committee and all of those in the industry that supported my inclusion into this special fraternity.”

For more information on the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame and the 2016 class of inductees, visit the website.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Cactus & Pine GCSA hosts inaugural Water Summit at Desert Mountain

Summit focuses on the golf industries efficient use of water, sustainability efforts and the future of the game in Arizona

The Cactus & Pine GCSA inaugural Water Summit was held on June 21 at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz. The summit was organized to provide Arizona politicians, government agencies, leading water experts and municipalities and allied golf organizations with an overview of the golf industries efficient use of water, sustainability efforts, water supply and demand, the upcoming release of the Arizona Golf Industry Economic Impact Study, community outreach and the future of the game in the state.

“It’s important that the golf industry educate our water providers, public, and particularly our politicians on the sustainability efforts that the industry has undertaken,” said Rory Van Poucke, Cactus & Pine GCSA president and general manager/Class A superintendent of Apache Sun Golf Club. “With increased government regulations, increased operating costs and expectations for the proper use of natural resources, it’s paramount that they understand the issues and difficulties that our industry is facing now and in the future.”

Speakers included Rick Amalfi of Aquatics Consulting, golf course architect Gary Brawley of Gary Brawley Golf Design, Paul Brown, Ph.D., of the University of Arizona, Class A superintendent Rob Collins on Paradise Valley Country Club, Desert Mountain director of agronomy Shawn Emerson, Warren Gorowitz of Ewing Irrigation, Ronald Klawitter of the Salt River Project, Blaine Miller of APS, Hunter Moore from the Office of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, golf course superintendent Nathan Nuemann, Troon vice president of agronomy Dave Nicholls, Pam Pickard of the Central Arizona Project, golf course architect Andy Staples of Staples Golf Design, Jeff Tannler of the Arizona Department of Water, Brian Whitlark of the USGA, Ian Williams of Rain Bird and golf course superintendent Jonathan Williams of Sewailo Golf Club.

The featured speaker was Moore, who serves as the natural resource policy advisor for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. Moore focused on current and future water use as well as challenges that Arizona will face in regards to potential cutbacks in the near future.
Pictured from the left is Cactus & Pine GCSA Executive Director Carmella Ruggiero, Cactus & Pine GCSA President Rory Van Poucke, Hunter Moore from the office of Governor Doug Ducey and Desert Mountain director of agronomy Shawn Emerson.
“In my opinion, the Phoenix/Scottsdale area is the premier golf destination in the country,” said Desert Mountain director of agronomy Shawn Emerson, who also served as host for the day’s activities. “The game is critical to tourism and the health of our communities who rely on golf to create jobs and consumer spending. Education, projects like the economic impact study and continued community outreach will protect our industry and ensure a bright future for the game in Arizona.”

The event was attended by 104 participants including staff members from the offices of Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and Sen. John McCain, staff members from the office of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and numerous policymakers from local municipalities, state agencies and water districts including the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Arizona Fish and Game, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, Arizona Public Service, Central Arizona Project, Office of Pest Management – Aquatics Division, Salt River Project and Scottsdale Water.

“Our association’s goal is to educate our members and represent the turf and golf industry in Arizona,” said Cactus & Pine GCSA Executive Director Carmella Ruggiero who organized the event at Desert Mountain. “Events like the summit and town hall meeting that was held in 2015 give us the opportunity to showcase our industry and convey our message to our water providers and policymakers in the state.”

For more information on the association, visit the Cactus and Pine website.

Pictured from left is Cactus & Pine GCSA President Rory Van Poucke, Central Arizona Project Past President and current board member Pam Pickard and Desert Mountain director of agronomy Shawn Emerson. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Golf Industry makes visit to the California State Capitol



The California Alliance for Golf (CAG), the unified voice for the golf industry in California, visited the California State Capitol in Sacramento on April 27. 

The delegation was made up of representatives from the California GCSA, Englander Knabe & Allen, GCSAA, Moore Minister Communications, Northern California PGA and the Southern California Golf Association.   

The California GCSA and GCSAA were represented by Jim Ferrin, CGCS at Sun City Roseville and CAG secretary; former GCSAA President and CAG board member Bruce Williams of Bruce Williams Golf Consulting; Kurtis Wolford, Sierra Nevada GCSA President and Class A Superintendent at Cherry Island Golf Course and I. 

The group met with Keali’i Bright, Deputy Secretary to Natural Resources Agency; John Casey, Communications Director to Speaker Anthony Rendon; Kip Lipper, Office of Pro Tempore; Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, Assemblyman Phil Ting, Josh White, Legislative Director for Minority Leader Chad Mayes and key staff members of Governor Jerry Brown. 

Topics included a current overview of Governor Brown’s emergency drought declarations as well as the possible easing of those restrictions in the coming weeks due to ample snowfall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the State Water Resources Control Board’s continuing changes to the state’s Model Water Efficiency Landscape Ordinance (MWELO), growth of the game and youth initiatives in the state with a particular focus on the SCGA’s Youth on Course Program, golf’s efficient use of water in the state (less than one percent of the total fresh water), the industries outreach efforts with local government agencies and municipalities and an ask on the industries behalf for a resolution proclaiming a Golf Day in California. 

Additionally, the delegation held in depth discussion on the economic impact of the game. The state’s nearly 900 courses have a total impact of more than $13 billion, employ 128,000 creating $4.1 billion in wages and contributes nearly $365 million to charitable causes. 

The event marked the first of two yearly visits by CAG to the State Capitol. For more information on the organization and its efforts, visit www.cagolf.org.   

Pictured are members of the California Alliance for Golf at the State Capitol in Sacramento, CA during CAG’s Legislative Day