Education Series Opens with Green Chairman Seminar
HARRISON, N.Y. (March 13, 2018) – The 2019 MGA Green Chairman Seminar hosted over 100 guests at Willow Ridge Country Club on Tuesday, March 12. As part of the MGA Foundation’s Spring Education Series, the event featured industry experts who presented to an engaged crowd of green chairmen, superintendents and club officials.
At the seminar, Fairview Country Club in Greenwich, Conn., was presented with the 13th annual Arthur P. Weber MGA Club Environment Leaders in Golf Award, which was accepted by superintendent Jim Pavonetti. The honor is presented to a club who is distinguished in environmental leadership in golf course maintenance, construction, education and research. The award’s namesake comes from past MGA President Arthur P. Weber, who wrote an Environmental Code of Conduct for golf course maintenance for Old Westbury, his home club, which is still used nearly two decades later. Some of Fairview’s efforts to be more environmentally conscious are the preservation of its diverse wildlife habitats. Also, in 2018 Fairview became one of the first clubs in America to become an official habitat site in the “Monarchs in Rough” program. The program entails the protection of the property’s milkweed, which is an integral part of the monarch butterfly/caterpillar food and egg-laying habitat, and life cycle.
This year’s seminar highlighted presentations from the following industry professionals:
Paul Jacobs – Agronomist, USGA Northeast Region Green Section
LABOR: The Biggest Challenge Facing the Golf Industry | Video
Jacobs discussed the biggest issue in the golf industry… labor. He laid out the dynamics of the labor market, shared potential causes as to why labor is depleting, and offered ideas to help boost staff work ethic in new and unique ways.
Chris Carson – Superintendent, Echo Lake Country Club
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Social Media as a Communications Tool | Video
Carson gave personal and professional insight into the use of social media at Echo Lake and how it can be used to connect with members but can be dangerous if not done properly. Carson, who has been at the Westfield, N.J., club for more than 30 years primarily uses Twitter, saying his mission is to provide information and education while educating club members.
Frank S. Rossi, Ph.D. – Cornell University
Walk Softly and Swing a Big Stick! Assessing Golf Footwear Effects on Putting Surface Performance | Video
Rossi, who has a doctorate in horticulture, gave an expressive analysis of Cornell's research into golf shoes effect on greens. The research pointed in a few directions for which shoes were best for the well-being of greens, but also stated that average spike marks have little effect on the destination of the golf ball.
Dave Oatis – Director, USGA Northeast Region Green Section
The Lightning Round: New Ideas You Can Use to Increase Golfer Satisfaction and Improve Your Course | Video
Oatis closed the seminar and gave a lightning round presentation on the some of the toughest years in golf, which included 2018. He touched on unpredictable weather that plagued the golf season and how local courses encountered a turf problem in 2018 and the most effective ways in combatting it.