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From the TurfNet NewsDesk

  • John Reitman
    In response to rising Covid cases fueled by the Omicron variant, California has extended its mask mandate one month until Feb. 15.
    Scheduled for Feb. 5-10, this year's GCSAA Conference and Trade Show falls within that window. 
    The state requires masks for everyone regardless of vaccination status in all indoor spaces, such as bars, restaurants, retail outlets and convention centers. That applies to large indoor events of more than 500 people, such as the GCSAA show, scheduled for the San Diego Convention Center. 
    All attendees, exhibitors, speakers and instructors also will be required to present either proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR test 48 hours before an event or a negative antigen test 24 hours prior to an event.
  • The Topgolf facility in El Segundo, California, will be the first to open with an adjoining golf course when it opens in April. Photos courtesy of Patrick Gertner After contracted growth in the game for much of the past two decades, it now is generally accepted that it will take some innovative thinking if the positive momentum golf has enjoyed since the onset of the pandemic is going to continue into the future.
    That includes taking steps to grow the game at the grassroots level and competing head-to-head with other leisure and entertainment activities.
    The City of El Segundo, California and Topgolf are teaming up to accomplish just that by building a beginner-friendly golf course and entertainment complex next to each other in Los Angeles County.
    The renovated municipal Lakes Course at El Segundo and the adjacent Topgolf facility are scheduled to  open in April about a mile south of Los Angeles International Airport. The 10-hole course will stretch just 950 yards, with the longest hole coming in at about 150 yards. Multiple teeing areas ensure the facility will accommodate players of all skill levels, said new Lakes Course superintendent Patrick Gertner.
    "Every level of golfer and non-golfer can have fun here," Gertner said. "You can tee the ball at almost 50 yards out on every hole and almost nudge it up there with a putter."
    Gertner is a longtime industry veteran, who cut his teeth at clubs on the East Coast before following his kids to the West Coast five years ago in the latter half of his career.
    "I was an East Coast guy," he said. "Then, all my kids moved west, so I followed them."
    A 1984 graduate of Penn State's two-year turf program, Gertner prepped at Pine Valley before spending the next 28 years at clubs in New York and Rhode Island. If Penn State professor Joe Duich, Ph.D., had told him he would spend the end of his career managing a 25-acre short course tied to a golf entertainment complex, well, the response would have been predictable.
    "I never would have believed it. No way," Gertner said. "I thought I would take over a private club in my 20s or 30s and stay until retirement, but it never works out that way. My career has taken many turns. You have to be flexible, because you never know what's coming next."
    The new Lakes Course and the Topgolf facility will have more in common than proximity. 

    The Lakes at El Segundo will feature Pure Distinction creeping bentgrass greens when it opens in April. "We're a mile from the airport, and there is a surfer atmosphere in El Segundo," Gertner said. "Music will be piped through all the time. There will be parking for 480 cars. I expect it will be a popular place to bring friends, girlfriends, wife and kids, eat chicken wings and have fun.
    "We don't expect a stream of low handicappers in line at the first tee, but hopefully the people we do attract turn into regular golfers in due time."
    According to the City of El Segundo website, The Lakes opened in 1994. The new course will have holes ranging from 60 to 150 yards. New, regulation-size greens were seeded in August with Pure Distinction creeping bentgrass and will be maintained at about a tenth of an inch. Tees and fairways will be maintained at about a half-inch and only 11 bunkers dot the layout. Both sides of the facility are scheduled to open in April.
    "We were a little behind. We should have seeded a week earlier," Gertner said. "We could open now. It's ready.
    "This is a fun job, and this should be a lot of fun when we open."
    For the past two years, golf courses everywhere have been busy. Really busy. But for most of the previous two decades, the game's popularity has been on a steep decline. The hope is that a short golf course that is fun and fast to play coupled with a state-of-the-art golf entertainment complex will complement each other and bring more people into the game. Golfers on the last hole will see their shot on the Toptracer shot-tracking system, just like the pros on tour. And guests at Topgolf will be able to watch players come in on the 10th hole courtesy of a camera on the tee.
    "It's going to be fun, and it's different," Gertner said. "We just want people to come and have fun. It's going to be a different experience than an 18-hole municipal golf course. This will be music, short holes, you'll have a putter in your hand much of the time. It will be dramatic."
    The project has not been without its challenges. The labor crunch has made it difficult to find help, supply chain issues have made finding equipment and parts a problem, and proximity to the airport has been a cause for extreme oversight. The site has many utilities run through it. There is a fuel line to LAX and there is an adjacent recycled water plant. 
    "We are the first customer off their pipeline," Gertner said. "There are a lot of easements running through the property. When we were digging, if we had hit that fuel line that goes to LAX, the whole world would have heard about this project by now."
  • The GCSAA Conference and Trade Show is scheduled for Feb. 5-10 at the San Diego Convention Center. Photo courtesy of San Diego Convention Center The GCSAA Conference and Trade Show is not the only mega-event in Southern California in the next few weeks. While the GCSAA show is scheduled for Feb. 5-10 in San Diego, the NFL is tentatively scheduled to bring its circus to Southern California on Feb. 13 when the Super Bowl comes to Los Angeles, or more exactly Inglewood.
    You might ask how something as grandiose as the Super Bowl can be "tentatively" scheduled when it is only five weeks out. The answer is because the NFL makes a habit of having a Plan B (or C, D and E) for the Super Bowl in place every year. It's just that the NFL's preparedness plan never has been of public interest - until now.
    According to the league office, the NFL is in talks with several teams about stadium availability should spiking Covid numbers and constricting protocols in Los Angeles County threaten the event. 
    The NFL deserves credit for doing what is necessary to ensure the world's largest sporting event goes off without a hitch, or at least with as few hitches as possible.
    "We plan on playing Super Bowl LVI as scheduled at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement released by the league. "As part of our standard contingency planning process that we conduct for all regular and postseason games, we have contacted several clubs to inquire about stadium availability in the event we cannot play the Super Bowl as scheduled due to weather-related issues or unforeseen circumstances. Our planning process for the Super Bowl in Los Angeles is ahead of schedule and we look forward to hosting the Super Bowl there to culminate another fantastic NFL season for our fans and clubs."
    There has been a spike in Covid cases across California, including Los Angeles County, due mostly to the Omicron variant. Other noteworthy events in the L.A. area, including the Grammy Awards, scheduled for Jan. 16, and the Critics Choice Awards (Jan. 9) already have been postponed.
    Among the alternate sites being discussed is AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The stadium last hosted a Super Bowl in 2011, but was the site of the 2021 Rose Bowl that was moved from its traditional home in Pasadena due to Covid restrictions in Los Angeles County.
    Current Covid restrictions in California require attendees to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test for entry into any indoor event of 1,000 people or more. Masks are required of everyone at such events regardless of vaccination status. Those restrictions were extended this week through Feb. 15 at which time they can be relaxed or extended.
    The GCSAA already has said there is no contingency to bring its show to an alternative site, meaning the show will go on as scheduled in-person in San Diego, or it will be shelved in place of a virtual event that already is scheduled for later in February. The association deserves credit for having a back-up plan should the show be canceled due to Covid as well as serving the needs of those who are unable or unwilling to meet in person. But if the NFL can bring its three-ring circus to an alternate location at the 11th hour, a decision that would include re-ticketing for more than 70,000 attendees, the GCSAA should be able to do something similar.
    According to the association, the show is too large for a Plan B and any alternative site that is large enough for its event already is booked. The fact is, however, the show is a shadow of the record-setting 2008 Golf Industry Show that attracted more than 25,000 attendees to Orlando. Although the show has been evolving since 2008 when the owners and club managers were part of the mix, the overall trend has been a downward turn that includes fewer attendees, vendors and floor space. 
    Attendance in Orlando in 2020 - just as Covid was entering the vernacular - was less than 12,000, and rented booth space has declined by about one-third since 2008. 
    There are many cities and venues we all would have scoffed at years ago that today probably would make suitable stand-ins for the GCSAA show, and maintaining communications with several of them on an annual basis likely could help alleviate some of the uncertainty surrounding this year's show and might lead to newfound locations for a regular or rotational host.
    If the NFL is ready to move the Super Bowl at a moment's notice, doing the same with a trade show, while difficult, cannot be impossible.
  • The Golf Preservations team loads a trailer with donated goods to be delivered to tornado survivors in western Kentucky. Photos courtesy of Samson Bailey The worst of times can bring out the best in people.
    That has never been more evident than in the days following a series of tornadoes that ripped through western Kentucky on Dec. 10, destroying hopes, lives and entire communities on a 200-plus-mile path of destruction that is blamed for more than 70 deaths and billions in damage. 
    Within days of the tornado touching down, Samson Bailey, owner of Golf Preservations, and his wife, DeAnna, got busy at their company's eastern Kentucky headquarters in Middlesboro, collecting donations for folks in places like Mayfield and Bowling Green more than 350 miles away. They parked a company trailer at Middlesboro High School, where DeAnna teaches children with special needs. Pretty soon, that trailer was filled to the doors with everything from bottled water, soap, cleaning products and diapers to canned goods and clothing.
    "It was more than 10,000 pounds," Bailey said. "We weighed it on the (weigh station) scales on the way over, and we were almost over the limit."
    Eastern Kentucky is hardly an affluent place, but wealth in these parts often is measured more by how much one gives rather than how much one has. Many of the donations Bailey hauled six hours across the state literally came off the backs of their donors. Others gave what little cash they could afford. In all, Golf Preservations collected more than $1,000 in cash donations.

    Don Carrol (center) helps unload the trailer after arriving in western Kentucky. "People were donating clothes out of their closets. For some people, that is easier than giving money," Bailey said. "We had people come up on bicycles and give us $5 then go on about their day. It was probably the only $5 they had in their pockets. One girl had a spare tire on her car, and she brought supplies five times in two days. That gives you an idea of how much people here wanted to help."
    In the months preceding the tornadoes in western Kentucky, Bailey had spent several months in the Northeast working on more than a half-dozen golf course drainage projects before returning home on Dec. 10. He awoke the following morning to several text messages from friends and clients from out of state asking if he was OK. "I had just come home, and didn't even know what they were talking about until I looked it up on my phone," Bailey said. 
    When he saw the devastation, he knew his family had to help. DeAnna put a notice on Facebook on Dec. 11 telling people their trailer was at the high school, and the donations soon started coming in.
    "We knew with it being so close to Christmas that nothing was going to happen quickly for these people," he said.
    Bailey assigned two employees to help manage the collection process, and DeAnna's grandfather, Don Carrol, also volunteered, helping pack the trailer and unload it again after the six-hour drive across the state.
    After making the drive, Bailey found some areas inaccessible and other areas where volunteers were overwhelmed. School gymnasiums and churches had been set up with folding tables flush with donated items.
    "It was like a department store," Bailey said. "Everything was on tables and people just went up and down the aisles taking whatever they needed."

    The haul from donations in Middlesboro weighed in at about 10,000 pounds. Bailey and his team made three stops, finally settling on a church in Sharpe, Kentucky, to unload their haul.
    There two volunteers put out a call for help, and soon there were another 10 people to unload the trailer. Other Good Samaritans dropping off donations stepped in to help unload, too.
    "It was packed tight," Bailey said. "We had no room to spare. When the doors opened stuff started falling out. We brought more in that delivery than that church had received in several days. There were people helping unload from age 4 to age 85. It was neat that so many people were willing to help."
    Much of Golf Preservations' heavy equipment is still out on job sites where it is being used on drainage projects. Bailey said he plans to return to western Kentucky for some heavy lifting when that equipment returns home over the winter. 
    The true heroes, he said, are folks like those in Middlesboro who had little or nothing to give, but still managed to help others in their time of need.
    "There are still a lot of good people out there," he said. "A lot of people wanted to give, but didn't know how to get it out there."
  • As Covid cases climb thanks to a new variant of the virus, one golf course superintendents association has postponed its show until spring while another has pulled the plug entirely and will transition to a virtual conference.
    Originally scheduled for January, the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association's BTME show has been postponed until March 20-24. BTME 2022 will be March 22-24, with Continue to Learn taking place from March 20-23.
    Attendees who have signed up for the show automatically will be registered for the new dates. Continue to Learn bookings will also be carried over and BIGGA will be in contact with everyone who has booked a place on the education program to discuss arrangements further.
    While BIGGA hopes its show makes a comeback in the spring, the Canadian Golf Course Management Conference will pivot to a virtual event due to concerns around Covid.
    The virtual event will be held Feb. 22-24, and will include a trade show where attendees will be able to browse the "booths" and chat with exhibitors in real time. 
    More details with an updated schedule and registration information will be available soon.
    All hotel reservations made as part of the room block at The Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel will be canceled without penalty by the hotel in the coming days and the hotel will send out email notifications. Refunds also are being processed for all exhibitors.
  • Even an ongoing global health crisis in the middle of December cannot dampen thoughts of the upcoming holidays. But anyone who believes it feels more like Groundhog Day than Christmas, well, they're not alone.
    In the 1993 film of the same name, TV weatherman Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to cover Groundhog Day (right), and relives the day repeatedly after becoming entangled in a time loop. After nearly two years of a seemingly endless pandemic, new virus variants, varying protocols, a virtual Golf Industry Show in 2021 and the news of vaccine cards and now a mandatory masking policy in California that could extend into the upcoming GCSAA Conference and Trade Show, it feels like 2020 is coming around again on New Year's Day.
    With Covid outbreaks on the rise across the state and concerns surrounding the new Omicron variant, the California Department of Public Health announced a statewide indoor mask mandate that went into effect Dec. 15 and will run at least through Jan. 15. It could be discontinued at that time, or extended if cases continue to climb. Several counties across the state, such as Los Angeles and many in the San Francisco Bay area, already had mask mandates in place. San Diego did not. 
    Statewide protocols already require proof of vaccination for large indoor events of more than 1,000 people, or a negative Covid test and masking for the unvaccinated. That includes the upcoming GCSAA conference, set for Feb. 5-10 at the San Diego Convention Center. If the indoor mask mandate that went into effect Dec. 15 is continued beyond the January expiration date, conference attendees also will be required to wear masks at the conference, regardless of vaccination status.

    A statewide indoor mask mandate in California went into effect Dec. 15, including at the convention center (background), site of the 2022 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show. Photo courtesy of San Diego Convention Center In light of California's new protocols, the GCSAA's plans still include an in-person show, which already include proof of a vaccination or negative test, said GCSAA media relations manager Mike Strauss. It also will mean masks indoors if the latest order remains in place, according to convention center staff.
    "On an ongoing basis, our San Diego Convention Center team monitors public health guidance, provides updates to meeting planners and communicates requirements via our website," said Maran Dougherty, executive director of marketing and communications for the San Diego Convention Center Corp. "Meeting planners then communicate applicable protocols to exhibitors, attendees and contractors for their licensed areas of the building. Our Convention Center team monitors compliance among our employees and business partners, and we work collaboratively with meeting planners to help identify ways of implementing protocols for their events."
    The news brought mixed reviews from many superintendents.
    Brian Boyer, superintendent at Cinnabar Hills Golf Club in San Jose, California, plans to attend, but is concerned about the recent spike in Covid cases in Southern California.
    "I'm not opposed to wearing masks, it's a safety concern," Boyer said. "We're seeing an uptick, mostly in Southern California, so I'm a little nervous."
    Fred Gehrisch, superintendent at Highland Falls Country Club in Highlands, North Carolina, checked off several reasons for electing to stay home rather than attend the 2022 show, including Covid concerns and a growing homeless situation across downtown San Diego.
    He noted the success of the recent Carolinas GCSA Conference and Trade Show in Myrtle Beach and how despite the overall absence of masks there appears to be no outbreaks linked to the event.
    "The minute (HFCC assistant superintendent) Josh (Cantrell) told me I would be required to show vaccine cards everywhere I go is when I decided I wasn't going," Gehrisch said. 
    "I'm not anti-vax, and my decision has nothing to do with the GCSAA other than location. If it stays like this I might never go back (to San Diego). If the show was in Orlando? I'd be on my way."
    Paul Hallock, superintendent at SaddleBrooke in Tucson, Arizona, plans to attend the conference in San Diego, but understands those who decide not to.
    "I have not booked a hotel or flight, but I plan on going," Hallock said. "I don't see anything negative about being asked for a vaccination card or wearing a mask, but I get it that some people are against that."
  • Water coolers are gone for good at Heritage Oaks Golf Course in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Covid might have been an impetus to remove some accessories from golf courses, but economics and other factors provided an excuse to keep some off forever, or at least for the foreseeable future.
    Nearly two decades later, the tragic story of Nils Beeman has not been forgotten. Beeman was the 15-year-old Phoenix high school golfer whose death in 2003 was linked to contaminated water in a golf course water cooler.
    Back then, Charlie Fultz was a golf course superintendent in Virginia more than 2,000 miles away, but he still remembers when that tragedy rocked the golf world. So, it is understandable that Fultz was pretty happy when water coolers disappeared from municipal Heritage Oaks Golf Course in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 2020 as many superintendents were told to limit golfer touch points in response to the pandemic. 
    He was even happier when water coolers did not make the cut as some of those accessories started to come back into play.
    "When we reopened, a hotbed discussion was water coolers," said Fultz, director of golf course operations at Heritage Oaks. "That (Beeman) story always scared me. I can't believe that has not happened more. As acting general manager and superintendent, the city came to me and said 'tell us what you want and what you don't. 
    "We sell bottled water in the pro shop. That eliminates cross contamination, so water coolers went away."
    Golf cars at Heritage Oaks have ball washers already attached arrived at Heritage Oaks, the washers that once were on every hole also never came back.

    Ball washers are a thing of the past at Cinnabar Hills Golf Club in San Jose, California. Although bunker rakes were reintroduced for golfer use, it was not in pre-covid numbers.
    "We must have had five in each bunker. It was absurd," Fultz said. "We put one in each bunker. It's not like golfers use them anyway. Our rakes even say on the handle to put them back in the bunker. They never do it, and we all laugh at it."
    Paul Hallock also removed ball washers from the SaddleBrooke Golf Course in Tucson, Arizona. The next new armada of golf cars will have ball washers attached, so washers on the course are a thing of the past. Their long-term demise is due more to economics than a virus.
    "They were trash anway," Hallock said. "We're not going to spend $16,000 to replace them. They are staying off, and there is no plan to bring them back. We didn't make that decision because of Covid, but Covid put us over the edge."
    Brian Boyer, superintendent at Cinnabar Hills Golf Club in San Jose, California also put the ball washers away permanently. He also has adopted a new view toward bunker rakes.
    "We removed the ball washers for good," Boyer said. "What's the point? They are gone permanently.
    "Bunker rakes are back, and that has been a plus for us. If I have a rake out there, I don't feel guilty about us not (raking bunkers). They had the option, and there's about a 50-50 chance of them raking."
    Although ball ejectors and pool noodles are pretty much gone from many golf courses, several superintendents reported that golfers still are putting with the flags in.
    "More than 50 percent of our golfers leave them in," Boyer said. "I was surprised to see that."
  • The new GSV Series plastic and brass valves from Rain Bird include numerous advanced features designed to enhance durability and provide an additional option for golf course superintendents in lightning-prone regions, those who use reclaimed water and those who need water pressure regulation.
    The GSV Series valves can withstand up to 25kV of surge. A pre-installed PRS-DIAL regulates and maintains constant outlet pressure between 15 and 100 psi while reducing the effects of water hammer. A waterproof dial cartridge eliminates fogging and binding.
    Three plastic models with NPT or BSP thread options and one red brass model with BSP threads only are available. All GSV models feature a chlorine-resistant diaphragm that protects the valves against harsh chemicals and reclaimed water.
    "Valves are the heart of any irrigation system," said Altan Tolan, product manager for Rain Bird Golf. "On a golf course, a valve failure can have significant repercussions and require additional money and labor to repair. That's why we built our new GSV Series Valves with a collection of upgrades that ensure optimum reliability, performance and peace of mind."
    The Scrubber mechanism on plastic models encapsulates a stainless steel screen to dislodge grit and plant material protecting the valve from debris. Built-in filtration on the GBS25 solenoid and the adapter offer two additional levels of debris protection. An extra purple flow-control handle (handle cover for brass model) is included for use with non-potable water.
  • At The Alotian Club in Roland, Arkansas, Justin Sims is having difficulty securing rental equipment for course-improvement projects. Photo by The Alotian Club A shortage of parts and equipment as a result of supply chain disruptions, a volatile fertilizer market that is blowing up budgets, record play, labor challenges and no slowing down of golfer demands have combined to create a perfect storm for the golf industry and have left many superintendents scrambling for answers 
    "There is real volatility in the market." said Chris Reverie, superintendent at Allentown Municipal Golf Course in Pennsylvania. "I'm seeing shortages in 30-gallon drums, totes and even plastic container caps for case product. Even better, the glue to apply the product label. 
    "Where will we stand in 2022? We're seeing weekly price increases, products not available and timelines for orders placed now could arrive somewhere between late summer to fall next year."
    A recent story in The New York Times as well as a post on the Lebanon Turf blog by Chris Gray, golf channel manager for Lebanon's fertilizer segment, went a long way in explaining the upheaval in the fertilizer market. Among the many issues facing that industry are disruptions to urea supplies by manufacturers in Russia and China. It should come as no shock that manufacturers in those countries, according to the Times, have scaled back exports to meet the needs for their own growers. As a result, according to Lebanon, prices have nearly tripled for some urea products just since last year.
    China has done the same with phosphate, limiting exports to ensure growers there have enough supply. The communist dictatorship is the world's leading producer of phosphate and so many other products on which the U.S. and world economies have become so reliant.
    "I would say that this early order in October must rank as one of the largest orders placed by superintendents. I know I was among them. The question was what will 2022 look like?" Reverie said.
    "The fear of not having the product for the 2022 season is real and we reacted. This is the largest early order I have ever placed. The goal was to secure our pricing and product availability by putting the orders in. This plan failed. The availability of raw materials has brought companies coming back to us with updated pricing on orders already placed.
    "How do we budget for that? It's well known the cost of phosphate had doubled. We're always trying to do more with less but this was unexpected. How do you design a turf program, budget for the season and already be over budget while we're still in 2021?"

    Pipe and parts for mowers are hard to come by at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas in Irving, Texas. Photo by TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas Shortages and higher prices have affected several markets.
    In the wake of a winter storm that ravaged Texas in February, Anthony Williams' team at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas in Irving, took down thousands of damaged trees, but struggled with what to do with them once they were on the ground.
    "Trees, shrubs, 4,337 is how many we had to take down," Williams said. "After dropping those big oak trees, I was going to buy a log splitter. We were going to use (wood) around the resort. We were going to sell some for charity, so I ordered a log splitter at the end of May. The latest update, they tell me now, is it may be January before I can get something that you used to go and pick it up in person."
    The same scenario is occurring at The Alotian Club in Roland, Arkansas, where Justin Sims is director of grounds and facilities. 
    "We are continuing to see several supply chain disruptions," Sims said. "There have been very long lead times on parts, drainage supplies, seed and various other items. Equipment lead times are the longest I've ever seen, but what might be even stranger is the inability to find rental equipment. There are so many construction projects, homes being built and infrastructure investments that it is becoming more difficult by the day to find rental equipment."
    A shortage of repair parts for mechanized equipment has affected the day-to-day operations at TPC Four Seasons where Williams and his team have more than 100 total acres of rough spread over 36 holes. He typically runs six rough mowers to keep that amount of acreage under control. But the current times are anything but typical.
    "At one point, we had five (rough mowers) waiting for parts and one out mowing," he said. "The owners asked 'What do we do?' They were supposed to be replaced last year, but because of Covid they deferred capital layout. Now, what I see is a dominoes effect. We were not able to mow rough on our normal rotation, which meant we ran the sweeper for two golf courses way more than ever. Now, we're into leaf season and that one sweeper is beginning to have issues because it is toward the end of its life cycle. In our industry, it's more than one part. There is a chain reaction."
    In some cases, superintendents have had to get creative to find what they need from non-traditional sources.
    "Last week, a 10-inch mainline broke on the Member Course. None of our pipe suppliers could supply 10-inch, high-pressure pipe," Williams said. "I eventually found it 60 miles down the road and had to put a credit card down to get it in order to put a mainline in in a timely fashion. I've lost track of how much stuff we have back ordered, and people look at you like 'well, there's nothing we can do.' "
  • In an exercise of how to confront bad legislation, the Southern California Golf Association has launched a public relations campaign in response to a proposed law that threatens municipal golf across the state.
    Assembly Bill 672, labeled the Public Golf Endangerment Act by the SCGA, provides $50 million in developer subsidies to redevelop California’s municipal golf courses into housing complexes. According to the SCGA, municipal golf courses comprise 22 percent of the state's supply and host 45 percent of all play throughout California.
    The SCGA Government Affairs web site offers a laundry list of resources to help educate residents on the issues and convince them to contact their legislators in opposition to the proposed law.
    It also serves as a template for other state associations to use to push back against proposed legislation that could negatively impact the golf business.
    The site includes statistics and facts about the benefits of golf, updates to the proposed legislation, a search engine to help California residents find their legislators and sample form letters that users can copy or download to send to them.
    AB 672, introduced in February by Cristina Garcia, who represents California's 58th district in Los Angeles County, targets municipal golf courses as potential sites for affordable housing units and open space, died in committee in April. However, the bill has been amended as of September 1 with changes, including an influx of public assistance and the elimination of certain zoning requirements. In a state starved for affordable housing, these changes likely will have mass appeal in California when the proposed legislation reappears in session in January as a two-year bill.
    Initially, the bill proposed removing the state's municipal golf courses from the protections provided by the Park Preservation Act, Surplus Land Act, California Environmental Quality Control Act, and local zoning prerogatives – all for the purpose of redeveloping them into housing tracts.
    The newest version of AB 672 makes available $50 million from the state's general fund "to provide grants to cities, counties, and cities and counties to incentivize making publicly owned golf courses in densely populated areas available for housing and publicly accessible open space," the bill states. The most recent iteration of the bill also removed zoning requirements and the need for an environmental impact statement in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.
    Initially, AB 672 was referred to the Assembly's Housing and Community Development Committee and Local Government Committee, but did not meet the April 30 deadline to pass through both, and died in committee.
  • The recipients of the TurfNet Jerry Coldiron Positivity Awards for 2021 are Michael and Jenna Breuer and family of Bandon, Oregon, Paul and Kristie Hurst of St. Louis, Missouri, and Jack Percival of London, England.
    The Jerry Coldiron Positivity Awards are given annually to recognize individuals within the golf turf industry who live lives of joy, caring, sharing and compassion for others… or who have experienced personal hardship due to illness, natural events or job loss… or who do something special for the natural world. They are presented in memory of Jerry Coldiron, CGCS, a career golf course superintendent, salesperson, TurfNet member and friend to many who passed away suddenly in 2017 at age 60.

    Michael and Jenna Breuer and family
    Michael Breuer, assistant superintendent on the Pacific Dunes course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (Bandon, OR), and his wife Jenna were happily expecting their third child in September, 2020. Life took a cruel twist when their newborn son, Grady, was found to have Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and resultant impaired brain function from oxygen deprivation. Grady was flown to Seattle Children's Hospital where he underwent several open heart surgeries during his first few days of life. After a year of additional surgeries, feeding and oxygen tubes, cardiac arrest events, steroids, seizures, cerebral palsy diagnosis, lifeflights and ICU stays, Michael and Jenna (and their two other children, Kasen and Emma) celebrated Grady's first birthday on September 30.
    Michael Breuer with week-old Grady. Michael chronicled Grady's journey on Twitter, which was both heartbreaking and inspirational for many who followed. Nearly every post was tagged with #Gradystrong and #neverquit. He tweeted on Dec 2, 2020: "Thank you will never be enough for the love and support my family and I have received through Grady’s journey. To the turf/ag industry, you are the best group of people and make me proud to be a part of it. Others following, you renew my faith in mankind. God bless you all."

    Tough year for Grady and family, but they persevered. Below, father/son bonding.

    The Breuer family on a train ride this past weekend. #Gradystrong.
    Sean Reehoorn of Aldarra Golf Club in Sammamish, WA, summed up the feelings of many in the turf industry with his tweet in July: "Love this kid. Sharing your story has helped many of us in the turf world stay grounded and positive when an alternative was the easier way out. My wife and I are expecting our first child in 9+ weeks. Your journey and openness in sharing it has altered my perspective and experience tremendously. Thank you."

    Paul and Kristie Hurst
    Not long after Covid-19 took hold in early 2020 and the world as we knew it ground to a halt, Paul and Kristie Hurst took their Midlife acoustic duo talents to Twitter for a series of nightly Covid Sessions from their kitchen, with Paul on guitar and vocals and Kristie on vocals and an occasional dance move. Six weeks later John Reitman profiled them in a TurfNet news piece here.

    The May 15, 2020 Covid Session featured a shoutout to John Reitman and Kevin Ross. The Covid Sessions sputtered out at 50 as the realization dawned that Covid was here to stay for a while, but was quickly replaced by more music with dedications, hat and other swag exchanges, Lyla the dog and a few beers and cocktails intermingled among the shenanigans. It was all spontaneous, light-hearted and FUN... just what all of us needed then and continue to now as this pandemic drags on.

    As a former superintendent and now a co-owner of GreensPro, a St. Louis-based turf supply house, Paul launched a 15-part "So You Want To Be A Sales Guy" video series this year. Casual and humorous but to the point, the videos provided insight into what seems to be a bottomless career sponge for absorbing superintendent "retirees" or refugees: turf sales. And the vids point out that it's a whole lot more than riding around in a truck and writing orders.

    Certainly none of this TurfTwitter entertainment was planned. Rather, it evolved from their love of music, performing, people in general and the turf industry in particular. Paul and Kristie were invited to play at the recent Carolinas GCSA Conference and Show in Myrtle Beach, which turned out to be a transcendent experience for them after 18 months or so of little interpersonal contact. "The Carolinas show reinforced for me that genuine goodness in people is still there," Paul said.
    Jack Percival
    The Coldiron Awards take a trip across the pond this year to recognize the efforts of Jack Percival, course manager at Chipstead Golf Club in Surrey, southeast England and the driving force behind Percy's Homeless Hub, an outreach program for the homeless in Croydon, South London.
    Percival's promotion to course manager (superintendent) at Chipstead earlier this year was the culmination of a rapid career path that had the unfortunate beginnings of six months spent on the streets of Croydon at age 17. Now 26, Percival credits the golf industry with helping him pull himself up by the bootstraps and get his life in order. He was profiled in several news articles (National Club Golfer, Golf Business News) in 2019 after receiving the BIGGA Outstanding Contribution of the Year award that year... for which he received a standing ovation at the 2019 BTME presentation.
    Jack's journey in turf started as a mechanic greenkeeper at a 9-hole course in Forest Hill, South London, before taking the deputy course manager job at Chipstead. During that time he never forgot his time on the streets.
    His efforts to help the homeless started simply with giving sandwiches to the hungry.  One Christmas Eve he took the bus to Croydon with a satchel of soup and sandwiches to provide a bit of Christmas cheer for those in need. The next year he put out a plea for help and ended up galvanizing an entire community, collecting van loads of food, personal hygiene items and clothing, organizing volunteers and managing logistics. Percy's Homeless Hub was born.
    It has grown from there. This year a fourth Big Feed event is planned for December 18. An Amazon wish list has been created to facilitate donations of needed items. 
    "Over the last three years we have been able to donate to the homeless of Croydon thousands of life-saving essentials and everyday items we take for granted," Percival posted on Twitter. "On December 18th we will be handing out hot meals, hot drinks, packs of everyday essentials, sleeping bags... and have opportunities for 1:1 chats with a nurse and even haircuts."
    Percy's Homeless Hub has even provided hotel rooms — when finances allow — for homeless individuals to have a hot bath and a comfortable night's sleep in a warm bed.

    Susan Coldiron, Jerry's wife, said: "Our family would like to congratulate all three winners of the Jerry Coldiron Positivity Award this year. Jerry will always be remembered for his keen ability to spread cheer and provide optimism and encouragement to everyone, even during the most difficult of times. Each of these deserving winners exemplify the positive outlook and values that make this award such a special recognition in Jerry’s honor. We would also like to thank TurfNet for helping us to continue Jerry’s legacy of paying it forward." 
    The recipients of the awards in 2018 were:
    Marcos "Mike" Morales of the Buccaneer Golf Club in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands John and Peggy Colo, Jupiter Hills Golf Club, Tequesta, Florida Adam and Erin Engle, Lake Shore Yacht and Golf Club, Cicero, NY John and Nick Paquette, Indian Hills Country Club, Northport, NY The 2019 awards were presented  to Tenia Workman, executive director of the Georgia GCSA, and posthumously to Tom Morris, CGCS, 20-year member of the TurfNet hockey team who passed away at age 61 in February 2017.
    The award program was placed on hiatus in 2020 due to the Covid lockdown.
    The recipients of this year's awards will all receive a $1,000 stipend to spend as they please.

    Peter McCormick and Dave Wilber remember Jerry Coldiron in this podcast.
  • A team of women from the golf industry volunteered at the Olympic Club in San Francisco to help the team there prepare for this year's U.S. Open. Photo by Elizabeth Guertal, Ph.D., via Twitter Since the inception of the game of golf, women have worked to gain an even footing with their male counterparts. That ongoing struggle does not just take place on the course; it also occurs off it in the golf shop and the maintenance facility.
    Golf course superintendents are innovators who take pride in how they produce a great product under increasingly trying circumstances. Women in the industry want the same thing - to be recognized and respected for their ability to do the job the same as any man. It really is that simple.
    Just how long have women collectively been getting the short end of the stick when it comes to golf? Tracing the roots of the game is no easy task, but the answer to that question might be much longer than you previously thought.
    The game in its current form dates at least to 16th century Europe. Some historians, however, believe golf got its start in early Rome in a game called paganica. If we are to believe that, it stands to reason that as Romans were conquering foreign lands, they swatted feather-filled balls with curved sticks along the way, and in the process, some say, brought what is now known as golf to Europe. If the game of golf and its earliest iterations are indeed more than 2,000 years old, it is entirely possible the game owes as much to Caesar Augustus as it does Old Tom Morris.
    More recently, many of the game's stakeholders have worked to promote the role of women across the game of golf and the business of golf. There is no question that positive strides have been made, especially in maintenance. There are more women working in golf course maintenance than ever before. Career-development seminars specifically for women at industry education conferences are now the norm, and there was even an entire team of women who volunteered at this year's U.S. Open at the Olympic Club thanks to the efforts of Troy Flanagan, director of golf maintenance at the San Francisco classic. There are many men throughout the industry who understand the value of women on their teams and are steadfastly dedicated to mentoring them and promoting their careers. But there is still much work to be done.
    Just how much work remains to be done was illustrated by what was intended to be a good-natured post on social media by a woman working in the business. Miranda Robinson, assistant superintendent at Cordova Bay Golf Course in Victoria, British Columbia, has been outspoken in her efforts to lift up her colleagues across the industry. Recently, Robinson addressed the plight facing women in golf in a recent post to social media that took a jab at many of the issues she and other women face while working on a golf course. The post struck a chord with many as it generated a significant amount of feedback.
    "I was just sort of kidding with that," Robinson said. "I was surprised. I had no idea it would get that much attention."
    The reality is the way some view the role of women in golf has nothing to do with golf at all, and everything to do with how they view women in any setting. And that is much more difficult to change.
    During the past several years, as career development for women has come to the forefront, many have admitted that they owe a great deal to the men who have mentored them or otherwise influenced their careers. But it is the other men they have encountered along the way, the colleagues who work to undermine careers, fellow superintendents who shun their female counterparts at industry events, golfers who mistake them for beverage cart operators or those who do worse. They're all still out there. The women who have to deal with them won't mention them publicly, because they do not want to be labeled as troublemakers, or that person, or do anything that will compromise their careers. Plenty have told us that off the record.
    That the role of women in golf continues to be a topic in the 21st century is both stunning and disappointing.
    When Syngenta held its Ladies Leading Turf event at the 2020 GIS in Orlando, there were less than a half-dozen men in the mostly packed room. By the time everyone in attendance adjourned to the hospitality room for free food and drink, that room already was packed largely by those who ignored the symposium, but showed up for beer and appetizers. It included university professors, superintendents and association big-wigs.
    Opportunity lost.
    The path to equality across the industry for women only can be won course by course, club by club, fox hole by fox hole, because that is all that is within our control. Initiatives without buy-in are pointless. 
    We have seen over the past 20 years with all the grow-the-game programs that have come . . . and gone . . . how fruitless official industry initiatives can be. The greatest minds in the game got together and for years pumped out one idea after another that were designed to attract new players, convince existing golfers to play more and to speed up pace of play. All were met with varying degrees of success, or lack of it. The reality is, it does not matter whether a plan designed to increase rounds played or make the business more accessible to women works at a golf course down the road, on the other side of town or across the country. What matters is whether it works for you.
    All women want is professional respect and recognition afforded their male counterparts. But hey, Rome wasn't built in a day. In actuality, it took 800 years, and we don't have that kind of time.
  • In what might be the most important Carolinas GCSA Conference and Trade Show in its 60-year history, nearly 1,800 people attended this year's event, the first in two years.
    This year's show attracted 1,784 attendees. Although this year's event trailed the record 2,020 people in attendance at the 2019 show, this year's show, held Nov. 15-17 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, was significant in that it was first major in-person show in the golf industry since the 2020 Golf Industry Show in Orlando.
    "For once, we didn't break any records. But by any numerical measure – attendance, exhibitor support, overall participation, you name it – it was still a hugely successful show," said Carolinas GCSA executive director Tim Kreger. "Most importantly though, we brought people together again, face to face, and they loved it. We all loved it. From start to finish, the atmosphere was incredible."
    Last year's in-person show was replaced by an online alternative, Conference Comes to You. Selling more than 2,200 seminar seats, Conference Comes to You was among a host of innovations and adaptations that enabled the association to get through the peak of the pandemic without tapping into financial reserves.
    "None of what happened last year and what happened at the show this year would be possible if there was a weak link in the chain," Kreger said. "Where we are today as an association is because our members, our industry partners and our researchers are in synch, and totally get the idea that real success is a collaborative effort. And that's not new in the Carolinas, it has been the culture all along. We are extremely grateful."
    A total of 192 vendors occupied 377 trade show booths and 1,341 seminar seats were filled in the education program.
    Next year's Carolinas GCSA Conference and Trade Show is scheduled for Nov. 14-16 in Myrtle Beach.
    - Compiled from reports. Photo courtesy of Trent Bouts.
  • Some golf courses have been so busy in the recent past that even fivesomes are welcome. File photo by John Reitman Could the golf renaissance that has resurrected the game since early 2020 finally be winding down?
    Time will tell. 
    According to Golf Datatech, rounds played across the country were down in October 1.8 percent, compared with the same month in 2020, which brought record rounds to golf courses across the country. That might not sound like much, especially since golfers were turning out in record numbers a year ago, but the October numbers signalled the fourth consecutive month of decreasing rounds played.
    Year-over-year rounds played were down 8 percent in September, 7 percent in August and 4 percent in July. Stopping that fall was a whopping 0.4 percent climb in play in June.
    As the numbers are trending in the wrong direction, one industry analyst believes this year continues to be filled with good news for golf.
    "(This is an) expected correction from an unusual baseline year," said Jim Koppenhaver of Pellucid Corp. "I've been surprised that the deficit vs. last year is as shallow" as it's been."
    For the year, rounds played still are up 7 percent for the first 10 months of the year. But all of that is a long way from the good news in May that included an 18 percent year-over-year increase in rounds played for the month and cumulative gains of 33 percent covering the first five months of the year. In May, 40 states showed an increase in rounds played. In October, a total of 33 states showed a decrease in rounds. 
    Despite the recent downturn, Koppenhaver expects year-to-date rounds to hang on and outpace last year once data for the final two months of the year becomes available.
    "The more interesting fact is that we're currently projecting that '21 will beat '20 for the year so basically the gains we got in, primarily Q2, have been strong enough to keep a positive balance even in the face of the declines since July," he said. "Things are looking pretty rosy for '21 from where I sit."
    With two consecutive years of dramatic increases in play, is there any indication whether that good news will continue in 2022, or will golf begin a retraction to pre-Covid norms?
    "There's really nothing reliable or consistent in our information and insights arsenal," Kooppenhaver said. "I had forecast that this year would give back about 50 percent of last year's gains, and it turns out that we're going to beat last year, so that speaks to the fact that I don't have any unique knowledge on this subject. I'm encouraged that, A: we retained the elevated rounds, and B: that golf revenue also moved up slightly, posting a better increase than the rounds alone. I think part of the contribution this year was continuing Covid concerns and restrictions. And who knows where that will be in '22?"
  • With so many challenges and hurdles since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we thought everyone could use a dose of good news as the holiday season approaches. 
    Thanksgiving is more than a day on which people stuff themselves with turkey and dressing, watch football and take a tryptophan-induced nap. It is day for giving thanks for our many blessings.
    Since early 2020, people have been struggling with mental issues, separation anxiety, loneliness, stress related to job security and financial uncertainty as well as physical health stress related to the virus. Add to that supply issues and personnel shortages in the service industry that add the uncertainty of being able to secure necessary goods and services in a timely manner, and it adds up to a powder keg ready to blow. Still, several people we spoke with did not hesitate to say they still have much to be thankful for in 2021. We have some of their responses here.
    Bryan Unruh
    University of Florida, Pace, Florida
    I’m thankful for friends and industry partners – some are both! This past year, we lost a few due to Covid, at it causes one to pause and reflect on what’s really important. At the end of the day, the importance of growing grass pales in comparison to growing people.
    Carlos Arraya
    Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis
    I share with my family, friends and Team at Bellerive, I’m thankful for the Triple H.
    Health (physical)- Several medical issues followed by a pandemic forced me to reflect and be truly thankful for the my life.
    Happiness (mind) - Thankful I’m surrounded and supported by people that shine love in my life, no matter what I’m going through or stupid things I do.
    Healing (spirit/emotions) - Thankful my faith has provided emotional healing following 2018, which has opened a doorway to a better life.
    Lastly, thankful I’m aware and live my life knowing I have an unknown expiration date. I just pray to be a positive light for those around me while I’m here. 
    Chris Reverie
    Allentown Golf Course, Allentown, Pennsylvania
    I would say the past two years have been a whirlwind to say the least. In 2021 I am most thankful for the culture that has been taught and grown in the turfgrass industry. Short staffs, long days, more play then ever but we adapted. The resurgence of golf has led to a boom in capital that many facilities have needed for years. Supply chain has become a battle but the strength in our relationships is strong. An example is a grow in I did for a local sod farmer. Now getting the product I need on time and local!
    Justin Sims
    Alotian Club, Roland, Arkansas
    I am most thankful for my wife and three boys, Carter, Jackson and Hayden.
    We have a very fast pace and chaotic schedule, but we always find time to spend together and show each other love and appreciation.
    I am thankful every day to have such a wonderful family.
    Tim Moraghan
    Aspire Golf, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
    Thankful for friends.
    Personal - I am thankful for the angel that is my wife and our health. 
    Professional - It is our sport which has given me everything. 
    Anthony Williams
    TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, Irving, Texas
    It has been a crazy year, but that makes us grateful in deeper and different ways. I am thankful for my family that supports all my aspirations. I am also thankful that my staff at Four Seasons is always committed to excellence no matter what weather, virus or budget issue shows up they always give the highest effort. I am grateful to still be a golf course superintendent in now my 36th season, and perhaps most of all I am thankful for all of my friends and mentors in the green industry that keep me rooted and reaching for the stars. 
    Rob Golembiewski
    Bayer Environmental Science, Columbus, Ohio
    The health and safety of my family, walking my daughter down the aisle, a new son-in-law, watching in person all of my daughter's collegiate field hockey games and my son's high school cross country meets, opportunity to spend time with my parents who live in Arizona, summer cookout with siblings in Michigan, a weekend getaway with buddies in Asheville, my co-workers and the great turf industry that I am a part of.
    Ross Miller
    Country Club of Detroit, Detroit, Michigan
    It sounds very cliché and boring, but I am beyond thankful for friends and family this year. Personally, it has been amplified by the tragic loss of one of my closest friend and his wife in a plane crash this past summer – leaving their 1-year-old son to grow up without his parents. Has definitely brought into focus work/life balance, and my time with friends and family that much more, and to appreciate the little things in life. 
    Brandon Horvath
    University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
    I'm thankful for how well golf has done this year, as I think it has excited folks in the industry. I'm thankful for my continued journey of health and weight loss personally. I'm thankful that my son has developed a great bit of self reliance this year and is growing up to be a fine young man. Rick Brandenburg said it best at the Carolinas this past week, "When we pass, are we going to want to be remembered for how many papers we published or grants that were received, or what kind of a father, husband or friend we were?” I'm thankful for all the friends I have in this industry and beyond.
    Jake Mendoza
    Detroit Golf Club, Detroit, Michigan
    I have so many things to be thankful for this year! My top three are my family, a wonderful hardworking staff  and the support of our industry partners and club membership during an extremely difficult tournament this past summer!
    Gordon Kaufmann III
    Brandt Consolidated, State College, Pennsylvania
    I'm thankful for the planet Earth and the wonder of nature.
  • Kenwood Country Club in Cincinnati will be the site of a new LPGA event in September. Photo by Kenwood Country Club Kenwood Country Club, a 36-hole facility in Cincinnati, will be the site of a new LPGA event, and the club's new superintendent will have just a few short months to prepare the club's championship course for the event.
    The inaugural Kroger Queen City Classic presented by P&G, a new LPGA event scheduled for early September at Kenwood Country Club, has added two key members to its tournament brain trust. The club hired Nate Herman as director of agronomy and grounds.
    "Launching and administering a new tour event requires a cast of thousands, but Nate and (tournament director) Emily (Norell) will steer the ship when it comes to successfully presenting the tournament, and the course itself," said Dylan Petrick, the CEO at Kenwood CC. "The Kroger Queen City Classic is a brand new tour stop, but Emily and Nate bring extraordinary tournament experience to the table. Everyone agrees the event could not be in better hands."
    Herman arrives in Cincinnati from Harbor Shores Golf Club in Michigan, site of the PGA Champions Tour's Kitchenaid Senior PGA Championship. Herman also spent four years as head golf course superintendent at  Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Indiana. Before being a head superintendent, Herman prepped at such venues like Pine Valley, Oakland Hills and Crooked Stick.
    He will need that experience at Kenwood, where he has 10 months to prepare the recently restored Kendale Course for a championship event.
    "That's just the way life is: I arrived at Harbor Shores less than a year before the 2018 Senior PGA, as well," said Herman, who replaced longtime Kenwood superintendent Kent Turner. "Tournament preparation, especially at these rarefied tournament levels, is all about preparing a course to peak at the right time. And, to be honest, that's as true for an LPGA event as it is for the club's member-guest. The Kendale course here at Kenwood is an amazing golf course, newly renovated. We'll have it looking and playing its best when the best players in the world arrive in September."
    Donald Ross originally was retained for design work, but the club eventually settled on architect Bill Diddel to design the Kendale and Kenview courses, which opened in 1930. The club was the site of the 1954 Western Open and the 1963 Women's Open. The recent restoration project was completed by Fry/Straka Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design of Dublin, Ohio.
    "I've joked that we should a statue in honor of Jason Straka," Herman said. "He was on the phone with me the day I was hired, and he was here in Cincinnati the next day to help get me up to speed. He's already been an incredible resource."
    Cincinnati boasts a long history with the LPGA. The area served as host to Women' PGA Championship from 1978 to 1989. Then known as the LPGA Championship, the event was held at the City of Mason Golf Center, formerly known as the Jack Nicklaus Golf Center. Tour legend Nancy Lopez won three of those events, including the inaugural tournament in 1978, another in 1985 and the last one, in 1989.
    Fittingly, when the Kroger Queen City Classic presented by P&G was formally unveiled in early September 2021, Lopez was there at the press conference — along with one of her 21st century protégées, Lexi Thompson. They were on hand to promote the event, the city and the LPGA Tour. 
    "I always say it's my tour," Lopez said. "It's still my tour."
    The reach of the tournament will extend far beyond the golf course.
    Lopez and Thompson also helped announce the off-course centerpiece of tournament week: a women's leadership summit, the program for which is still being formulated by Kroger, Procter & Gamble and the LPGA, with input from Norell and local stakeholders like Denise Kuprionis, the immediate past president of Kenwood CC, and Lesli Hopping, immediate past president of the Greater Cincinnati Golf Association — both of whom are the first women ever to serve in those positions.
    "The LPGA has been empowering women and diversity for 75 years," Norell said. "Whatever form it takes, the Women's Leadership Conference will inspire greater opportunities for women on and off the course, especially in the workplace — because that's what the LPGA does and has always done. That's what Cincinnati has always done, which is yet another reason we're absolutely thrilled to be back in the Queen City, at Kenwood."
    - Compiled from staff reports
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