Monday, October 10, 2016

Northern California Golf Association to host Assistant Superintendent Boot Camp

Event scheduled for Oct. 24-25 at Poppy Hills Golf Course

The Northern California Golf Association (NCGA) "Big Iron" Assistant Superintendent Boot Camp will be hosted at the Poppy Hills Golf Course in Monterey, Calif. Oct. 24-25.

The two-day event is packed with speakers who will address many of the latest agronomic, managerial and career development trends in the golf industry.

Poppy Hills superintendent Matt Muhlenbruch has assembled a lineup of speakers including Steve Argo, regional vice president of operations for KemperSports; Dean Mosdell, Ph.D., regional tech manager for Syngenta; Kevin Rendueles, Northern California regional service manager for Turfstar; Justin Sims, superintendent of The Alotian Club in Roland, Ark.; Joel Simmons, founder of Earthworks; Armen Suny, search executive at Kopplin and Kuebler and yours truly.

The boot camp also features a welcome dinner on Oct. 24, equipment demos from Jacobsen, John Deere and Toro, and golf following the morning seminars on Oct. 25.

Cost of the event is $85 per person and includes lunch and dinner Oct. 24, breakfast on Oct. 25 and all seminars. A special $170 package is available for those needing lodging and includes all of the above plus one-night lodging at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. There is an additional fee of $25 for the golf (walking) on Oct. 25.

More information and registration is available at the NCGA website. Find information on Poppy Hills, NCGA's home facility. I look forward to seeing many of our Central California, Northern California and Sierra Nevada assistant superintendents at the event.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

University of California Riverside hosts annual Turfgrass and Landscape Research Field Day

More than 150 golf and landscape professionals on hand to learn about research activities in California

The University of California Riverside (UCR) Turfgrass and Landscape Program held their 2016 Research Field Day in Riverside, CA. on Sept. 15. More than 150 golf and landscape professionals attended the event including superintendents from the Hi-Lo Desert, Northern California, San Diego and Southern California GCSA chapters.

Steve Ries discussing Zoysiagrass

Headed by Dr. Jim Baird, CE Specialist at UCR; the day provided an overview of UCR's research efforts and featured numerous field tours through areas designed to study water and salinity management issues on turf and landscape. The UCR program, funded in part by the California Turfgrass and Landscape Foundation (CTLF), provides the only university-based turf research in the state of California.

Highlights of the day included the improvement of bermudagrass, kikuyugrass and zoysiagrass for winter color retention and drought tolerance, postemergence control of crabgrass in tall fescue, evaluation of products for salinity alleviation, evaluation of turfgrass species and cultivars under deficit irrigation, evaluation of groundcovers, growth regulators for bermudagrass, kikuyugrass and seashore paspalum management and a trade show featuring numerous industry vendors.

Field plots at the UCR Turfgrass Research Facility

Of special interest this year were field trials on Indemnify, a next-generation nematicide that controls key nematodes and has been effective against the Pacific Shoot-Gall Nematode Anguina Pacificae. Anguina Pacificae can have a devastating effect on putting surfaces, particularly on courses located in the Monterey Peninsula area. Bayer announced the federal registration of the product in June and hopes are that it will be registered in California for use in the summer of 2017.

On behalf of the California GCSA Chapters, thanks to Dr. Baird and his team for a research program that meets the interest and continuing needs of the golf industry.  To learn more about the field day or to view the yearly reports, visit the University of California Riverside's turfgrass page or donate to the program by visiting the California Turfgrass and Landscape Foundation website.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Lakes Country Club director of operations Jim Schmid running for Coachella Valley Water District board of directors

Hi-Lo and California GCSA board member seeks four-year term in Division Two

On Aug. 4, GCSAA Class A superintendent Jim Schmid announced his candidacy for the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) board of directors. Schmid, who serves as the director of operations for The Lakes Country Club in Palm Desert, Calif, will seek a four-year term in Division Two running against incumbent Ed Pack and two other candidates.

A resident of Palm Desert with his wife Gaby and daughters Scarlet and Stephanie, Schmid is committed to serving the residents and businesses located in Division Two. “We are facing serious water issues in the Coachella Valley,” said Schmid. “Rising costs, accessibility issues and increased regulation at the state level threaten the water needs of the valley. The cornerstone of my campaign is making sure we have a safe, resilient and affordable water supply.”

A current board of director for the Hi-Lo Desert and California GCSA as well as a member of the Coachella Valley Golf and Water Task Force, Schmid has taken on a leadership role for the golf industry and its water conservation efforts in the greater Palm Springs area. The valley is home to 121 golf courses representing roughly 14 percent of California’s total.

While the valley sits atop a vast aquifer and receives deliveries of Colorado River water, industry; particularly agriculture, golf and tourism have come under media scrutiny concerning use. The Coachella Valley Golf and Water Task Force has set a goal of reducing their total water footprint 10 percent below 2010 levels by 2021.

“Golf has gotten off to a slow start in terms of reaching our reduction goal,” said Schmid. “However, we are working diligently on conservation efforts including switching to non-potable water sources and making funds available to facilities who participate in turf reductions programs. Since January of 2015, 94 acres of turf have been removed at 14 local facilities saving approximately 580 acre-feet of water. Additionally, the CVWD just received a $1 million WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency grant that will further assist courses in this endeavor.”

The California golf industry is well aware of the importance of Schmid’s campaign and is working to assist on the campaign trail. “One of the golf industry’s own has taken the courageous step of standing for election to the governing board of the water agency that serves more golf courses than any other single water agency in the nation,” stated Craig Kessler, director of government affairs for the Southern California Golf Association. “For the industry to fail to reward that courage would be unconscionable; to fail to take advantage of the opportunity would be unforgivable.”

While golf is certainly a critical component of conservation in the valley, Schmid is well aware that it is going to take a team effort to reduce overall use as the valley continues to grow and expand.  “Agriculture, commerce, tourism and resident’s all play an important role in conservation moving forward,” said Schmid.  “By working together we can develop a water management plan that is achievable, equitable and provides for continued economic growth in the valley.”

For more information on Schmid or to donate to his campaign, visit his website.

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

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  More information is also available at

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.