News & Articles

  • 08 Oct 2020 12:24 PM | John MacKenzie

    Conference Comes to You Early Bird Registration Giveaway

    Thanks to golf industry suppliers rallying in support,Conference Comes to You – the MGCSA Cohort and Carolinas GCSA’s online education conference – will now give away an additional $10,000 in cash to early registrants. A total of 40 prizes, ranging from $100 to $1,000 will be given away over two drawings, on October 16 and October 30. This is in addition to $30,000 in cash prizes to be drawn on December 21 after the conference ends.

    Attendees will earn one entry in the Early Bird registration giveaway for every seminar they take. For example, someone who registers for three classes before October 16 will have three entries in that drawing and three in the October 30 drawing. They will also be eligible for three entries in the end-of-show drawing.

    “Obviously, this is a great incentive for golf course superintendents and other industry members to sign up immediately,” Carolinas GCSA executive director Tim Kreger says. “They already have access to first-class education at a fair price, but if they register now, they can also get three bites at a cherry that has grown to $40,000.”

    Even so, Kreger says the most significant element of it all is in the sheer volume of support from industry partners and sponsors. To date, nearly three dozen companies have pledged financial backing for Conference Comes to You, which offers 30 distinct seminars over 30 days starting November 2. The online conference takes the place of the traditional MGCSA MEGA Seminar, cancelled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    “We were incredibly grateful to those companies willing to help us get such a new venture off the ground so quickly,” Kreger says. “But honestly, the fact that so many companies keep coming forward offering to help, has been overwhelming. It speaks to why this industry is so resilient.”

    Growing corporate support is mirrored by growing support from superintendent chapters across the U.S. and overseas. Now 40 individual chapters have signed on as official partners of Conference Comes to You, earning their members discounted registration fees. For their participation, those chapters will receive a portion of every seminar fee paid for by one of their members. Recently Canada joined the international contingent when the Ontario Golf Superintendent’s Association signed on.

    For full details on the Early Bird registration giveaway and to register for seminars, visit www.conferencecomestoyou.org.Early Bird registration sponsors include Ewing/Rain Bird, FMC, Frost, Inc., Radius Sports Group and STEC.

    For more information, call Carolinas GCSA executive director, Tim Kreger, at (800) 476-4272.

  • 25 Sep 2020 10:34 AM | John MacKenzie

    This fall, Minnesota GCSA is proud to partner with the Carolinas GCSA in an online conference to satisfy members’ ongoing education needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Known as Conference Comes to You, the program will deliver 30 distinct seminars scheduled - one a day - over 30 weekdays, starting November 2. There will be a one-week break over Thanksgiving.

    Using a tailored Zoom platform, the two-hour seminars will be presented live each day at 1 pm EST by some of the leading researchers, scientists and experts in their field. All seminars will carry GCSAA education points and, where applicable in participating states, many will carry pesticide credits.

    As official partners with the Carolinas GCSA in this effort, Minnesota GCSA members will receive designated member pricing for every seminar, discounted from $70 to $40.

    In addition to first-class education, our members will also be eligible to share in $30,000 worth of cash giveaways. A total of 82 prizes – ranging from $100 to $2,500 - will be drawn, live on the Carolinas GCSA Facebook page at 1 pm EST on December 21. Each seminar you take qualifies you for one entry. The more seminars you take, the more chances you have to win. To validate your entry, you must watch a series of brief messages from our Industry Partners.

    Our chapter benefits from your participation. A portion of each registration fee paid for by Minnesota GCSA member, will come back to the chapter. So, the more seminars you take, the more our chapter “wins.” Registration and complete conference information is available beginning at 10 am EST Friday, September 25 through a purpose-built website –


    To date, more than three dozen chapters like ours, plus BIGGA, the British International Golf Greenkeepers Association, have become official Conference Comes to You partners. 

    “This platform benefits everyone involved, and the more people who participate the more benefit there will be for everyone,” Carolinas GCSA president, Brian Stiehler, CGCS, MG from Highlands Country Club in Highlands, NC, says. “We see many visitors from across the country and overseas at our traditional Conference and Show each year. So, in these extraordinary times, when we can’t be face to face, it made sense for our conference to go ‘see’ them.”

    For more information: Tim Kreger, Carolinas GCSA Executive Director          (800) 476-4272

  • 17 Aug 2020 9:11 AM | John MacKenzie

    From the Minnesota Department of Agriculture:

    Minnesotans should be on the lookout for the insect and report any findings

    St. Paul, MN: The European chafer beetle (Amphimallon majale), an insect that can cause major damage to turf grass, has been found for the first time in Minnesota.

    A resident of south Minneapolis first noticed large swarms of beetles in their yard at dusk and reported the find to a University of Minnesota Extension entomologist who suspected the beetles were European chafers and reported them to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). The MDA worked with the United States Department of Agriculture to confirm the identity of the insect since it had never been found in Minnesota before.

    The European chafer beetle was discovered in the United States in 1940 in New York state and is currently found in the northeastern U. S., as well as Michigan and Wisconsin.

    The grub of the European chafer can cause more damage to turf than Japanese beetles because it spends a longer portion of the summer feeding on turf. However, adults do not eat at all, so they do not defoliate other plants like Japanese beetles are known to do. Home lawns, golf courses, and turf growers could be significantly impacted if the European chafer beetle becomes established in Minnesota.

    The adult insects are about a half-inch long and tannish in color. They are similar to the “June bugs” commonly found in Minnesota in early summer but are generally a bit smaller and lighter in color. The beetles emerge from the soil between mid-June and early July and are active on warm evenings for several hours just before and after sunset. The white grubs can range from ¼-inch to 1-inch long with a dark brown head and noticeable legs.

    Since this is the first reported discovery of the European chafer beetle in Minnesota, the MDA would like to better understand where this insect may be in the state and how big of an issue this is to homeowners, golf courses, and turf growers. Minnesotans can report suspected European chafer to the MDA’s Arrest the Pest line at arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us or 1-888-545-6684. Before making a report, please capture the insect, take a picture, and put the insect in a container or plastic bag and place it in the freezer. The MDA will contact you if the specimen is needed for confirmation.

    More information on the European chafer can be found here.

  • 06 Aug 2020 5:58 AM | John MacKenzie

    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 | John MacKenzie

    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 | John MacKenzie

    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 | John MacKenzie

    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 | John MacKenzie

    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 | John MacKenzie

    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 | John MacKenzie

    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

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