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.
GCSAA Back2Golf Resources
Many GCSAA members have had their lives impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The GCSAA Disaster Relief Fund is now providing financial assistance to those affected by the crisis.
GCSAA will provide up to $500 to members who have experienced the loss of their jobs, layoffs or have been unable to work due to the effects of COVID-19. Funds can be used for items such as, but not limited, to groceries, medication, fuel, personal bills and childcare.
Any GCSAA member is eligible for this assistance, excluding the Friend of the Golf Course Superintendent classification.
GCSAA's goal is to provide financial assistance as quickly as possible.
Donations made to the fund are an opportunity for those in the golf industry to directly assist their peers and are tax deductible. The fund is administered through GCSAA's philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf. You can donate today at https://environmental-institute-for-golf.snwbll.com/disaster-relief-fund-giving-portal or by texting Disaster to 785-693-2593 and following the link in the response.
Visit https://www.gcsaa.org/about-gcsaa/gcsaa-disaster-relief-fund for more information.
In response to yesterday’s Stay at Home Order issued by the Ohio Governor’s office and Ohio’s Department of Health, we have been seeking clarification on whether golf courses can remain open for play. Today, we received confirmation that golf courses may remain open for play under Section 5, Part C of the Stay at Home Order, as long as they can comply with Social Distancing Requirements as outlined in Section 15.
To view the Stay at Home Order in its entirety, click here.
Social distancing requirements as outlined by the Director’s Stay at Home Order include:
Maintaining a distance of at least six feet between individuals
Having hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers
Implementing separate hours for elderly and vulnerable customers
Posting online whether a facility is open and how to best reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely (applicable to tee time reservations and checking in)
Additionally, maintenance for golf courses can proceed under Section 12, Part K as they are providing services necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of an Essential Activity as previously outlined (Section 5, Part C).
While we are pleased to be able to provide a bit of clarity to this situation, please do not take this as an endorsement or requirement for courses to open. We believe that a course should make its own decision as to whether or not they would like to operate during these uncertain times. Courses should only open for play if they are certain that they can provide a safe environment for their employees and customers by complying with the social distancing requirements and proper sanitation of their equipment and common areas.
If you would like additional clarification regarding the Stay at Home Order as it relates to your business, we would encourage you to contact your counsel or local health department.
We hope that you will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of your health and the health of your employees, customers, friends, and family.
Be safe out there!
Well, that was quick! I must admit, I was a little apprehensive about serving as the Central Ohio GCSA’s President. When I joined the board in 2014, I had full intentions of being involved and serving our association’s board as a committee member that was willing to do whatever was needed. Then, two years in, President Carl Wittenauer and Vice President Mike Takach looked at me in a board meeting and said “you're next….are you up for it??”. My response was yes, but in my mind I was thinking this was crazy. I was somewhat new to my job and still had a lot to tackle at my property which included several larger projects, furthermore, my wife and I just had our first son (life is just too busy to do this right now….right?). But deep down I knew that these were just excuses that I was making for myself to try to avoid something I was a little unsure of.
I was always told that if there was something that you were uncomfortable with, public speaking in this case, continue to expose yourself to it. And sure enough, that was the case, as time went on the uncertainty disappeared. So in the end, I'm the one that really benefited from this commitment in so many ways. The apprehension of public speaking was the biggest hurdle, the rest was a cake walk. Our association has been led by years of great leaders and we are currently run by a board of passionate members, so all I really had to do was steer the proverbial ship.
I feel like I’m leaving the association in at the very least the same condition that I received it, if not even a little improved. We have made some slight tweaks over the last couple of years that I hope have added to members' experiences. I am also confident that the association is being turned over to somebody that will do great work. This isn’t the first time that Chris Allender has taken over for me, but if it’s anything like the first, I think Central Ohio GCSA can expect big things.
Although it flew by, the last two years were great and I’d like to thank everybody for their support, words of encouragement and the opportunity to serve the association. I look forward to continuing to serve the board, but now as a member of a very prestigious group (of which I’m very PROUD to be a part of)....Central Ohio GCSA Past President!
Superintendent, The Links at Groveport
Past President, COGCSA
As I have touched on in the past, and I know nearly all of you would agree, our industry is built on a strong community. Although it has evolved with society over the years, it is still one of the most important features of our industry. Whether if it’s the vendor/user, fellow superintendents, sports turf/golf or student/superintendent the relationship is always composed of one key trait...sharing. Sharing of issues, methods, solutions, mistakes, you name it, we’re always learning from one another.
The evolution has taken us from face to face encounters at association meetings, phone calls and/or visits to a more technological approach that includes the internet and social media. Although I think we all understand the value of the interaction on a personal level, our schedules (both work and personal) have become jam packed, so social media and the internet have become a big part of maintaining that community.
Last fall it seemed as though we were going to lose one of our key industry leaders when it comes to relationships. Brian Laurent reluctantly decided to walk away from his position with the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation, one that he excelled in. The one thing most of us took for granted with Brian, was how he treated everybody not only as professionals but also as friends. In addition, he is extremely creative and passionate about all forms of media and has been very innovative when it comes to strengthening our professional image and our industry’s future.
Fortunately, we won’t have to worry about that lacking from our industry as he just couldn’t walk away from the relationships he has built and the industry/game he has grown up with. Brian’s new venture, Ohio Superintendent Network, will help maintain that strong community of sharing and lead our industry in the right direction with education and content that will help make all of us better professionals. As with anything, you will only get out of it what you put into it. So participate at whatever level you’d like, at minimum I suggest being an observer by subscribing.
However, I would encourage all of you to participate when called upon, not only do we owe it to Brian, but by sharing you will make each of us better professionals/people and continue to strengthen our community of sharing.
And finally, the cherry on the top (at the very least in my opinion), Brian will continue as Executive Director of the Central Ohio GCSA. So if you haven’t already, check out OSN at www.ohiosuperintendentnetwork.com. And on behalf of the Central Ohio GCSA I’d like to wish Brian the best of luck with his new…“job”.
Written by Shane Conroy, GCSAA Great Lakes Field Staff
Members continue to be the focus of GCSAA. In fact the first portion of the GCSAA mission statement reads: ‘GCSAA is dedicated to serving our members’. With that in mind, GCSAA has teamed with Meridian One, out of Alexandria, VA, which specializes in providing associations, chambers and other member organizations with best in class savings programs for their members. Meridian One has a family of affinity programs, which provide services and attractive discounts to GCSAA members and their families. By leveraging the buying power of GCSAA members, Meridian One is able to offer programs which allow members to reduce their business expenses.
Through Meridian One, GCSAA members can receive instant savings on products and services from UPS, the UPS Store, Lenovo, Office Depot, Avis, Budget and Member Freight.
GCSAA has also partnered with Hays Companies to bring options in health, vision, dental and other insurance offerings to GCSAA members. Hays is a leading national insurance and financial services organization, which is providing a variety of supplemental product and service offerings exclusively to GCSAA members. Additionally, GCSAA members receive discounts at TireBuyer, UniFirst and select Columbia Sportswear products. To see all of the GCSAA member discount offerings, please click here.
Another exciting recent announcement included the debut of the GCSAA Podcast. The podcast will be produced monthly and will feature pertinent association and industry content. Some of the information you can expect to hear will include information on educational offerings, updates on new and upcoming GCSAA programs, human interest stories, including interviews with some of the biggest names in golf course management, and content from golf events across the globe. Scott Hollister, editor-in-chief of GCSAA’s Golf Course Management magazine is the host of the podcast.
This first episode debuted in early October, with Scott Hollister opening the episode with an interview with GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans. Additional content on the episode included information on the Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards, and interviews with GCSAA members who were selected to volunteer at the 2019 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris.
“We are very excited to have another way to communicate with our 18,000 members,” Evans said. “However, the GCSAA Podcast also gives us the opportunity to share all the good things happening in the golf course management industry with a wider audience.”
Recent episodes included industry leader Matt Shaffer, an update on GCSAA’s new First Green program, an interview with Ohio’s own Lawrence Powell of the Powell family who received GCSAA’s 2019 top honor: the Old Tom Morris Award.
Ohio’s five affiliated chapters of the GCSAA have combined to partner with FOX Sports Ohio’s popular golf show, The Golf Zone with Jimmy Hanlin, to highlight the role of the golf course superintendent.
The collaborative effort was made possible by the GCSAA’s outreach grant, where matching funds are available for programs focused on increasing awareness of the superintendent profession. The Golf Zone airs live from 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm on FOX Sports Ohio and is accessible to 5.4 million subscribers in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York.
This Sunday, May 22, the new segment titled, The Superintendent Report, will make its debut and will continue every Sunday through October. In the first episode, GCSAA director and superintendent at Westfield Country Club, Mark Jordan will appear in studio to discuss his recent visit to Washington D.C. for National Golf Day as well as Ohio Turfgrass Week which is May 22-29.
Over the next 20 weeks, the segment will be utilized to promote the golf course superintendent, the environmental benefits of golf courses, unique locations and much more. Guests will appear live in studio, by phone or in some cases, segments will be pre-recorded to give viewers an inside look at the role of the golf course superintendent.
Written by Dr. Jay Hobgood, The Ohio State University
After a warmer than normal March the weather pattern will shift back to a cooler pattern at the beginning of April. An upper level trough over eastern North America will produce northwesterly flow for much of the first two weeks of April. The northwesterly flow will bring cooler air from Canada. As weather systems move from west to east across the U.S., we will get some warm days, but on average the temperature will be slightly cooler than normal for April. Northwesterly flow tends to bring drier air. Several storms systems will bring significant rain during the month, but the precipitation is likely to be slightly below normal for April.