News & Articles

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  • 06 Aug 2020 5:58 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Excerpt taken from MDA Nitrogen Application Fact Sheet:

    There are a number of reasons why the rule focuses on agricultural areas and not urban areas. First, only a small percentage of the nitrogen fertilizer sold in Minnesota is applied to lawns, golf courses and parks. The MDA estimates that 94 – 95% of the nitrogen sold is applied to agricultural crops. The rate of nitrogen application to lawns is only 25% of the rates normally used on corn and other high nitrogen using crops. Second, the fact that nitrate leaching from fertilizer applied to lawns can range from low to very low. Lawns are perennial and have a dense root structure, so nitrate leaching losses are very similar to agricultural perennial crops and native prairie. Third, most of the concerns related to lawns are related to phosphorus rather than nitrogen. Unneeded phosphorus inputs were drastically reduced (80 – 85%) when the MN Phosphorus Lawn Fertilizer Law was passed in 2005. As part of that law, it is illegal to apply any fertilizer on impervious surfaces. The Phosphorus Lawn Fertilizer Law greatly reduces the risk of nitrogen entering storm water and other surface water bodies.

    For more information visit this site from the MDA.

  • 16 Jul 2020 5:57 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Improving Water Quality in Como Lake

    Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) was awarded a $1.76 million grant in 2016 through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ Targeted Watershed Program (TWP) funded by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment for work in the Como and McCarrons sub-watersheds.

    CRWD, in partnership with the City of Saint Paul, identified locations for stormwater treatment practices within the 450-acre Como Regional Park. Cleaning up the water that runs off the park land before it reaches Como Lake is a critical component of improving water quality in the lake.

    The Challenge

    The biggest challenge facing Como Lake today is too much phosphorus, a pollutant carried directly to the lake through runoff in storm drains. Phosphorus comes from decaying organic matter like leaves, grass clippings, pet waste, and soil. Over time, high levels of phosphorus — three times higher than Minnesota standards — have led to algae blooms that choke the oxygen from the lake, leading to fish kills and strong odors mid-summer.

    Como Lake is part of Como Regional Park and is surrounded by an urban landscape. Storm water drains from the roads, rooftops, parking lots, and sidewalks and flows into Como Lake, carrying pollutants like phosphorus. In this developed urban landscape there are limited opportunities to capture and clean runoff before it reaches Como Lake.

    The Solution

    CRWD and the City of Saint Paul assessed Como Regional Park to identify sites to strategically manage stormwater runoff. Sites were prioritized based on their ability to treat runoff before it reaches Como Lake and the availability of suitable land. Stormwater Best Management Practices at two locations within the Como Golf Course were selected, the fairway of Hole 7 and the stormwater pond between Holes 3 and 11.

    Hole 7 Fairway

    An existing storm sewer pipe near the fairway of Hole 7 captures runoff from 63-acres of land including the zoo and surrounding neighborhood. Water from the pipe will be diverted to an infiltration basin, similar to a large rain garden, and an underground infiltration system. Polluted rainwater will fill the basin and any excess water will flow into a series of underground pipes with thousand of holes in them to allow the water to soak into the ground. Native plants in the basin will soak up water, provide pollinator habitat, and enhance the beauty of the area. The water is cleaned as it moves through the soil, removing pollutants that would have otherwise ended up in Como Lake.

    Northwest Pond

    Water from 150-acres of land within the Cities of Saint Paul, Roseville, and Falcon Heights drains to a stormwater pond between Holes 3 and 11. An iron-enhanced sand filter will be added along the eastern edge of the pond to remove dissolved phosphorus, a pollutant in the water that fuels algae growth. Iron filings mixed into sand create a bond with phosphorus, removing it from the water before it enters Como Lake.

    A smart control system added at the pond’s overflow outlet will help control the level of the pond to optimize the effects of the iron-enhanced sand filter and reduce flooding on the course.


    The improvements are estimated to treat over 1.7 million gallons of water and prevent 55.1 pounds of phosphorus from entering Como Lake each year.

    Watch the project in progress!

  • 13 Jul 2020 9:56 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    PALM BEACH GARDENS and PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (July 8, 2020) - The PGA of America, Ryder Cup Europe and the PGA Tour jointly announced today that both the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup have been rescheduled and will now be played one year later than originally planned.

    The 43rd Ryder Cup, scheduled for September 22-27, at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, has been rescheduled for September 21-26, 2021. Likewise, the Presidents Cup, initially slated for September 30-October 3, 2021, at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, will now be played September 19-25, 2022.

    Following the announcement by the PGA, Hazeltine National Golf Club president Bob Fafinski notified the membership that the 2028 Ryder Cup scheduled for Hazeltine National would be pushed to 2029.

    The decision to reschedule the Ryder Cup was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in conjunction with the state of Wisconsin and Sheboygan County, with the health and well-being of all involved as the top priority.

    Read the complete Ryder Cup announcement here.

  • 25 Jun 2020 5:31 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Below please find an extensive review of the most recent Minnesota Pandemic Related Guidelines that could impact your operations.

    Tom Ryan, ED and CEO of the Minnesota Golf Association has summarized the relevant materials in the update as follows:

    1. P2 – Facility Access and Cleaning Par. 6; bullets 1,2 ......
      1. Bullets 1 and 2. The old language read:  Remove or close off, to the extent possible, objects that could be frequently touched and that are not essential to safety, such as drinking fountains, water coolers, ball washers, rakes, or squeegees.  Take measures to reduce the need to touch fixed items that cannot be removed; for example, leaving gates ajar or raising golf cups and requiring golfers to leave the flag stick in the hole.
      2. Bullet 1. The new language reads: Minimize touching shared items and encourage hand washing/hand sanitizing.

    Without mention of rakes, water coolers, leaving the flagstick in the hole, etc., it opens up the opportunity for facilities to make decisions on how they want to proceed.

    1. P3 – Events, Guiding and Instruction Par. 2; bullets 5,6 ......
      1. The old language  “....staggered start/multiple points of departure....” is eliminated. This is clarified later.
      2. The old language read: Spectators are prohibited.
      3. The new language reads: Spectators must maintain social distancing, not exceed group gathering limits, and are strongly encouraged to wear a manufactured or homemade cloth face covering per MDH guidance. 

    Spectators will now be allowed at PGA Section, MGA, and MPGA events.....along with any other events that typically draw spectators.

    1. P3 – Events, Guiding and Instruction Par. 2; Examples; Bullet 2 ......
      1. The old language indicating what was allowed read: A golf tournament with staggered tee times, single-household cart use, and a virtual (rather than in-person) awards ceremony.
      2. The new language indicating what is allowed reads: A golf tournament with staggered tee times or a shotgun start and a virtual or otherwise modified awards ceremony to address group-size limits.

    This confirms our ability to run shotguns as we communicated yesterday, while also opening up awards ceremonies.

    1. P4 – Equipment Rentals Par. 1; Bullet 4 ...
      1. This involves the number of riders on a cart....this did not change for now.

    outdoor-guidelines_06242020 2.pdf

  • 28 Apr 2020 8:49 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Back2Golf Tool Box

    GCSAA knows your lives and businesses have been affected by the global COVID-19 Pandemic. While there is no lack of general information about the virus and its widespread impact, we wanted to provide you with resources specific to golf and business operations to assist you as golfers get back on the course. Check back as resources will be added regularly. 

    Link to GCSAA Back2Golf Resources for more information

  • 27 Apr 2020 8:56 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Beginning April 28th and running for five weeks, the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association will begin a series of no-travel coffee breaks from 10:00 to 11:00 am on Tuesdays to keep the membership up-to-date on current issues.  Using the technology of on-line meetings, the MGCSA will be hosting, with support from the GCSAA, hour long and moderated chat sessions. 

    The events will be regional in nature but open to any member from any local across the area.  Topics will include CV-19 practices and challenges, weather crisis, insect and disease activity, staff management and practically anything the participants wish to talk about.  Please view the events section of the home page for your regional “date” and get the opportunity into your calendar. 

    April 28:          Southeast Region

    May 5:             Southwest Region

    May 12:           Northeast Region

    May 19:           Northwest Region

    May 26:           Metro Area

    Simple and to the point, these sessions could prove a new avenue for networking among your peers without any travel.  If the response to this initiative is favorable more opportunities will be added.

  • 23 Apr 2020 9:59 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Sample MGCSA posting for players 


    • Golfers will be directly responsible for their allowance to play golf in Minnesota.  Please follow all safety protocols, on and off of this property, and keep golf from being restricted by state mandate.
    • You are required to maintain a social distance of at least 6-feet or two club lengths between yourself and the next person in front and behind you.
    • No direct contact is permitted with any golf course personnel.
    • After conducting your transaction, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap & water for at least 20-seconds.
    • No handshakes or other forms of touching is permitted before, during, or after play with any other persons on the golf course.
    • If you brought your own water bottle or towel do not share either with any others on the golf course.
    • All persons are not permitted to congregate in any areas and will be required to leave the golf course after their play to eliminate gatherings.
    • Management reserves the right at any moment to limit play or close-off sections of the golf course, including the short-game area or driving range, should players not comply with social distancing guidelines described above and/or other recommendations noted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
    • Always cover coughing or sneezing with a tissue then throw such in the trash and wash your hands, if no tissue is available then cough into your elbow.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • If you are feeling ill depart the premises immediately, and if you are having difficulty breathing seek medical care.

    Thank you for your cooperation

  • 23 Apr 2020 9:56 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    MGCSA BMPS for Golf Maint COVID 19 ed.pdf

    • MGCSA Golf Course Management BMP and Considerations during the COVID19 Pandemic

      All operations will refer to the OSHA – Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 and Preparing Workplaces of a COVID-19 Outbreak as described by the CDC.

      Green Staff Management

    • ·      Limit the number of staff members inside maintenance facility or building at a given time.
    • ·      Visually checking in/out staff members starting time (no time clocks, key cards, etc.).
    • ·      Working shorter shifts so there is no requirement for lunch breaks (or breaks are staggered, and/or taken outside/inside private vehicles).
    • ·      Conduct staff meeting outdoors or via electronic means, use online resources to schedule start times and tasks for general maintenance such as google docs, etc.
    • ·      Stagger start times for employees assigning specific employee orders and let them know who they follow each day (keep regular each day).
    • ·      Utilize groups texts to stay in touch with employees/assign tasks, and check in frequently if they are working alone on the course.
    • ·      If possible assign tasks where co-workers are able to stay in visual sight of each other if the course is empty for safety.
    • ·      Assign staff members mowers/carts that only they use.
    • ·      Provide PPE to staff/gloves, masks, face shields.
    • ·      Sanitize contact surfaces frequently including; hand tools, door knobs, door openers, restrooms, faucets, light switches, keypads, keyboards, tablets, tables, desks, etc.
    • ·      Provide employees with adequate soap and water and hand sanitizer or wipes and place in prominent places.
    • ·      If an employee is sick or showing signs of the virus, send them home or do not have them come in, even with mild symptoms.
    • On the Course

    • ·      Create signage for all golfers as they enter the facilities with rules adopted on the golf course reducing touch points and employing social distancing.
    • ·      Consider fixing flagstick in the cup via mechanical methods or glue so players don’t have the choice of removing it.
    • ·      Consider creating designated areas for people to stand where people would normally congregate especially on tees and walkways.
    • ·      Use some type of implement (short piece of foam, pvc pipe etc.) to prevent the ball from falling all the way to the bottom of the putting cup and allowing it to be removed more easily (USGA has modified rules during the pandemic for scoring purposes).
    • ·      Remove all bunker rakes, ball washers, scorecard boxes, water coolers, divot boxes, scoops, seed bottles, scorecard/pencil holders/ and other items golfers may normally touch.
    • ·      All practice facility bag stands, chairs and PVC pipes for picking up balls will be removed.
    • ·      All range-balls will be cleaned, with water and soap, after every pick-up prior to making them available for golfers.
    • ·      Discourage golfers from using spent tees on teeing surface. Please use your own tee.
    • ·      Remind golfers to bring their own drinking water; it will not be provided via coolers, fountains, etc.
    • ·      If on course restrooms are to be opened, they should be disinfected regularly, and stocked with adequate soap / sanitizer / disinfectants. Consider installing foot pulls on all doors.

  • 17 Apr 2020 12:06 PM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)
    • [ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today issued Executive Order 20-38, which expands allowable outdoor recreational activities. The changes will allow Minnesotans to continue to enjoy the outdoors close to home while following social distancing guidelines.

      Executive Order 20-38 allows Minnesotans to engage in a range of activities, including golfing, boating, fishing, hunting, and hiking, as long as they follow new outdoor recreation guidelines. These guidelines include maintaining 6-foot social distancing, avoiding crowded areas, and staying close to home.

      It’s important for us to stay active and enjoy the outdoors while preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Walz. “This measure will allow Minnesotans to take advantage of more opportunities to get outside, while still doing their part to keep their neighbors healthy.”

      Under Executive Order 20-38, facilities that may reopen or remain open include:

      • Bait shops for live bait
      • Outdoor shooting ranges and game farms
      • Public and private parks and trails
      • Golf courses and driving ranges
      • Boating and off-highway vehicle services, including:
        • Marina services
        • Dock installation and other lake services
        • Boat and off-highway vehicle sales and repair, by appointment only 

    Campgrounds and dispersed camping, outdoor recreational equipment retail stores, recreational equipment rental, charter boats, launches, and guided fishing remain closed.

    Minnesotans should continue to take part in outdoor activities close to their primary residence. Staying home helps protect Minnesotans from spreading COVID-19 and limits pressure on rural medical facilities and essential supplies. 

    These new provisions will go into effect on Saturday, April 18 at 5:00 am, and will have the full force and effect of law upon approval by the Executive Council.

     Complete Executive Order Here


  • 13 Feb 2020 11:52 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

     LINCOLN, Neb. (February 10, 2020) — Judd Duininck, Duininck Golf, begins his two-year term as the organizations President. Fellow officers also elected to serve on the associations Executive Board. 

    President, Judd Duininck, took office at the GCBAA Winter Meeting, held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show, in Orlando, Florida on January 28, 2020. Former President Pat Karnick, Wadsworth Golf Construction Company, was named immediate past president. Other Executive Officers elected included President-Elect, John McDonald II, McDonald & Sons, Inc.; Vice President, Jon Truttmann, Hunter Industries; Treasurer, Tom Works, Landscapes Unlimited, LLC.; Secretary, Chris Caccavale, Caterpillar Inc. 

    Newly elected serving at their first meeting was Kevin Grieder, Sunbelt Rentals, Inc.; Chris Hill, Course Crafters LLC; Matt Lohmann, Wadsworth Golf Construction Company; Rick Shriver, HARCO Fittings; and Jason Sloan, Frontier Golf. 

    Remaining GCBAA Board of Directors are; Greg Hufner, Total Turf Golf Services, Inc.; Jon O’Donnell, Heritage Links; Manny Pina, Ewing Irrigation; Bob Sylvester, The Toro Company; and Rick Williamson, LASCO Fittings, Inc. 

    About the GCBAA and the GCBAA Foundation The Golf Course Builders Association of America is a non-profit trade association of the world’s foremost golf course builders and leading suppliers to the golf course construction industry. It was founded in the early 1970s, and its members represent all segments of the golf course industry. The GCBAA Foundation is the charitable arm of the GCBAA and a separate, 501(c)(3) organization. The GCBAA’s national executive office is located in Lincoln, Neb. For more information, visit www.gcbaa.org or call (402) 476-4444. 

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