Saturday, March 4, 2017

GCSAA provides emergency relief for members affected by natural disasters

Members who meet the criteria for personal loss are eligible for assistance
How quickly things change. From 2011 to late 2016, California was mired in a historic drought that brought many hardships to local communities and golf courses. In five quick months, the state has gone from record dry to record rain and snowfall throughout most parts of the state. As they say, "when it rains it pours".
In light of the recent flooding throughout the state, the damaged spillway at Oroville Dam and the potential for increased flooding this spring due to runoff from the Sierra Nevada mountains, I wanted to use this blog to remind you that GCSAA does provide an emergency relief fund for members during times of natural disaster. While it cannot be used at the facility level, GCSAA members who meet the below criteria for personal loss would be eligible for assistance.
The purpose of the fund is to provide financial assistance to GCSAA members who suffer personal loss or medical hardship.
  • Any GCSAA member is eligible for this assistance.
  • The amount of the assistance provided shall differ by situation up to a maximum of $2,500 per claim.
Initially, GCSAA will provide financial assistance (intended to assist with clothing, food and shelter) to members who contact us (via phone or email) and whose daily lives are altered by the effects of the event and who meet ANY of the following criteria:
  • Had to relocate/evacuate (whether they are staying with family, friends or in a motel) from their homes and were not able to immediately return following the event due to damage.
  • Remained in their homes, but lost basic necessities such as electricity, water, etc. for a period greater than 48 hours, which lead to unexpected financial burden.
  • Are employed at a golf course that sustains substantial damage and may not be a source of employment going forward.
Note: These members will not be required to provide us with any documentation or invoices other than a verbal or email explanation of costs incurred and verification on our end that they are within the affected area.
Our goal is to provide financial assistance as quickly as possible.
Once our members have had an opportunity to truly assess their long-term situation, in terms of personal loss and employment status, we will make available the entire $2,500 following more closely the aforementioned criteria.
Those in need of assistance can contact Scott Woodhead at GCSAA at 800-472-7878 or
While we hope that this is one benefit our members never need to use, it is available to those in need should the circumstance arise.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Best Management Practices provide a framework for a sustainable approach to golf course management

GCSAA releases online resource at Golf Industry Show
GCSAA rolled out its newly developed Best Management Practices (BMPs) digital template at the annual Golf Industry Show (GIS) in Orlando on Feb. 9. 

The template, funded by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and PGA TOUR will provide golf course superintendents, facility owners and managers, golfers, communities and government agencies with a framework for a sustainable approach to golf course management. 

As the golf industry continues to face critical issues such as water management, nutrient management, pest management, energy efficiency, wildlife preservation and continued pressure from government agencies and activist groups to reduce inputs, the implementation of agronomic and environmental BMPs will be key to the future of successful and profitable golf course operations. 

The template is flexible, allowing states to implement their own BMPs taking into account state specific regulations and environmental concerns.  BMP’s provide the following:

  • Professional Commitment:  BMPs solidify superintendents’ role as agronomic experts and environmental stewards. The implementation of BMPs on the ground demonstrates superintendents’ and their facilities’ dedication to responsible resource management, which in turn, reflects positively on the entire industry. 
  • Community:  By identifying management practices and expectations, BMPs clarify how golf facilities are contributing to the well-being of the community. With clear guidelines, golf course superintendents can improve communication and goodwill within their communities and with the general public.
  • Partnerships:  The development of a BMP program allows interested parties (golf course superintendents, owners, golfers, communities and government agencies) the opportunity to solve long-standing environmental, regulatory and business concerns for the benefit of all. By proactively working with local and state agencies, golf course superintendents are able to communicate management challenges, build trust with legislators and regulators, identify contradictory or confusing regulations, and promote the responsible use of resources.
  • Cost Savings:  Resource conservation is the cornerstone of the development of a BMP program. Facilities that adopt best management practices on the ground realize cost savings associated with using less water, applying less fertilizer and pesticides, reducing managed turf and improving the allocation of other resources.
  • Knowledge:  BMP programs offer golf course superintendents documented support for short- and long-term resource planning, implementation of new management practices and solutions to agronomic challenges. Based on turfgrass management research and collaboration with state and local agencies, BMP programs give superintendents and facilities another tool to strengthen their role as environmental stewards.
  • Growth of the Game:  Shared knowledge about the environment, collaboration and open communication are all essential to establishing a connection with golfers and attracting new players to the game. BMP programs give golfers a better understanding of what golf course superintendents are doing on the course, and why they are doing it – especially in terms of broader environmental issues such as water management and drought planning.
  • Risk Management:  BMP programs that incorporate environmental regulatory compliance, safety and environmental protection practices often help reduce regulatory risks including fines, closures and possible litigation.
For more information on GCSAA’s goal of implementing BMPs in all 50 states by 2020, visit the website at