Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Southwest region still in need of grassroots ambassadors

The GCSAA Grassroots Ambassador program is off to a successful start with 89 members now advocating GCSAA policies and initiatives at the local, regional and national level.  

For those of you who are not aware of the grassroots program, it was established at the 2014 Golf Industry Show and matches a GCSAA member with all 535 members of Congress (by 2018), allowing members to establish strong and beneficial relationships with elected policymakers and represent golf on issues that are important to the industry.  

Class A, SM and C members are eligible to serve as an ambassador and appointments are for a two-year period.  Ambassadors are required to perform the following activities during the two-year period:

  • Attend more than 50% of events on ambassador engagement calendar.
  • Build and maintain positive relationships with assigned policymaker, and keep abreast of, and advocate, GCSAA policy statements and initiatives.
  • Regularly review GCSAA publications, action alerts and updates on GCSAA Government Relations Online.
  • Respond to GCSAA action alerts in a timely manner and engage colleagues to participate in such efforts to the extent required or necessary. In this role, a GCSAA grassroots ambassador must be able to represent GCSAA as a whole and the advancement of its members and the golf industry in general. 
  • Meet personally with assigned policymaker or his or her key staff at least twice each year using these options:
    1. Attend one August recess activity while policymaker is in the district.
    2. Visit policymaker in his or her district office.
    3. Visit policymaker in his or her Capitol Hill office.
    4. Host the policymaker at a golf course.
    5. Invite assigned policymaker to attend chapter meeting or other GCSAA affiliated function.
  • Attend GCSAA Advocacy Boot Camp if attending the Golf Industry Show, if it fits in with personal schedule.
  • Promptly report to the GCSAA government relations department all actions and outcomes tied to ongoing advocacy efforts.
  • Include government relations and advocacy information in your chapter newsletter or chapter websites, as appropriate.  
  • Provide bi-annual government relations updates at chapter meetings.                 

There are a number of congressional deistricts in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada still in need of qualified ambassadors.  You may only represent the district in which your facility is located.  All GCSAA ambassadors will receive the training and resources needed to become a successful advocate for the game. 
For more information on the program, or to check on availability in your area, please contact me at jjensen@gcsaa.org , Kaelyn Seymour at kseymour@gcsaa.org or visit the website at http://cqrcengage.com/gcsaa/Ambassadors. 

Becoming a grassroots ambassador is a great way for you to enhance your overall skill set and advocate on behalf of the game you love. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Enter your canine friend to be crowned 2015 Dog of the Year

The 12th Annual Lebanon Turf Dog Days of Golf Calendar will be accepting entries for its 2015 edition through Aug. 1, 2014. 

The Dog Days of Golf Calendar is a superintendent favorite and gives your golf course canine the opportunity to be crowned 2015 Dog of the Year.  The winning dog will garner $3,000 for the affiliated chapter he/she represents, $500 for the superintendent and a $1,000 donation will be made to the Train a Dog Save a Warrior program.  Additionally, anyone who submits a photo will receive a gift from LebanonTurf.  


Entering is easy:  Submit your high-resolution images to lebturfdogcalendar@gcsaa.org with the following information:
  • Complete contact information for dog’s owner
  • Dog’s name, age and breed
  • Complete contact information for the golf course superintendent
  • Facility name and location
  • Photographer’s name
Recommended tips for taking photos include shots of your dog playing or working on the golf course, seasonal photos, use of colors and horizontal shots as they fit the calendar format better than vertical shots.  

Please make sure your images are high-resolution and a minimum size of 1.0 MB. Multiple images will be accepted. The winner will be voted on at the 2015 Golf Industry Show in San Antonio and the calendar will accompany the November 2014 issue of GCM magazine.

The Southwest region was represented by a trio of dogs last year including, Lance from Del Rio Golf & Country Club in Modesto, Calif. (Class A superintendent Dave Bermudez) and Honey and Tessa from The Journey at Pechanga in Temecula, Calif. (Class A superintendent John Martinez). 

If you have any questions concerning calendar submissions, please contact Cynthia Andrews at Lebanon Turf at 800-532-0090, ext. 253.

Thank you to Lebanon Turf for supporting golf course superintendents and their chapters through the Dog Days of Golf Calendar for more than a decade. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Recent announcements expedite the need for a well written drought emergency plan

The California State Water Resources Control Board recently issued letters to thousands of junior water rights holders on the American, Feather, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Yuba rivers, as well as numerous small streams, to cease pumping water from those sources.  

This curtailment notice for junior right holders is rare, hasn’t occurred since 1977 and will have a negative effect on golf courses throughout the greater Sacramento area and Central Valley.  Courses will have to rely on backup sources of water and reduce their use in nearly all cases. To date, the state has issued over 4,200 water diversion notices throughout that particular area.  

While this curtailment notice has been expected for months, it reinforces the need for golf courses to have an effective drought emergency plan in place to deal with future water right curtailments (possibly including senior and riparian rights holders by June 25) and mandated cutbacks (25-50 percent in some areas) from other water sources.  

As a superintendent, you may be asking yourself, “Where do I begin?”  The answer is - you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are numerous sources and materials available that will help put your plan into place fast and effectively.  

While I have numerous plans from GCSAA chapters, superintendents and other reliable resources, I often cite the work done by Pat Gross, director of the Southwest Region of the USGA Green Section.  Pat has assembled a step-by-step guide to determine in advance precisely how much water needs to be reduced to satisfy a 10, 20, 30, or >40 percent mandate and develop a strategy to accomplish these goals. 

Below are the five steps that Pat recommends in his emergency drought plan:
  1. Secure an accurate map of the property
  2. Determine the size of turf and landscape areas
  3. Determine how much water is used annually to irrigate the golf course 
  4. Develop a prioritized list for irrigation scheduling
  5. Determine how much water must be reduced for each drought emergency level and where the reductions will be applied
The entire plan, including information on communicating it to key stakeholders, is available online at http://www.gcsanc.com/education/water-issues/gross-developing-7-12-131/.  If you have any problems accessing the file online or would like to view other drought emergency plans throughout the country, please contact me at jjensen@gcsaa.org and I will forward you PDFs of the appropriate materials. Also, make sure to check out the USGA's new water website at www.usga.org/water. The site went live on June 13 and contains some great information and resources for superintendents. 

As the hot and dry summer wears on, many of you may be required to have these plans in place by your local or regional water district/municipality and they are a great tool when working with water regulators.