Coming Events and News

Announcing the 2018 Annual HGCSA Golf Tournament and Seminar on the Big Island

The 2018 HGCSA Annual Golf Tournament will be held on September 14, 2018 at the Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf Kings´ Course.

Shotgun start is at 8:00 a.m. This years tournament will be highlighted with a Hole In One and Putting Contest. Please mark your calendar and make plans to attend this special day with us.

Please CLICK HERE to view the online Tournament registration form and for access to the printable registration form download.

The 2018 Annual Seminar is being held Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort September 13, 2018 10 A.M. to 5 P.M followed by cocktails & pupus.

Featured Presenter at this year’s Seminar is Dr. Fred Yelverton, discussing Pesticide Management.

GCSAA CEUs and Pesticide Points will be awarded for attendance.

Please CLICK HERE to view the online Seminar registration form, for access to the printable registration form download. There is also a Reception only payment option.

For our Tee Sponsors (thank you so much for the support!) you can find everything you need to contribute HERE, again, Mahalo!

Curtis Kono Featured in Star Advertiser Article

It’s a walk in the park for golf groundskeeper Kono

Curtis Kono has an intriguing way of describing the rarefied air at The Masters. It is colored by his life as a horticulture major, Manoa Cup champion, keeper of the greens at one of Hawaii’s most venerable golf courses and pineapple carver extraordinaire.


By Ann Miller Special to the Star-Advertiser

Kono calls Augusta National “a walk in the park.” Or, in his case, a ride on the mower as the sun comes up and goes down every April. He will serve as a volunteer greenskeeper for the 17th time at next week’s Masters.

Kono says the same about all the classic courses he has visited. The elite list includes a British Open at Royal Birkdale and U.S. Open at Shinnecock. He worked both as a volunteer with the grounds staff and will add Hazeltine later this year when he helps prepare it for the Ryder Cup.

He will be one of 30 “out of state/foreign” volunteers in Minnesota. He is one of 75 at Augusta, getting called in the first time he inquired in 2000, with his impeccable resume helping him leap over a waitlist that is reportedly thousands long.

“I’ve always enjoyed experiencing different venues and playing top-ranked courses all over our country and the world,” Kono explains. “I’ve been very fortunate that this game of golf has allowed me to meet a lot of good people and visit a lot of beautiful places over the five decades I’ve been connected with it. How gorgeous many of these places are … a walk in the park.”
Continue reading ‘Curtis Kono Featured in Star Advertiser Article’

Ninety chapters send delegates to meeting at GCSAA headquarters

From the GCSAA Website Chapter News

Two-day session provides superintendents the opportunity for learning, feedback and community

2015-delegates-meetingLawrence, Kan. (Nov. 3, 2015) – More than 100 members from 90 chapters visited GCSAA headquarters last week to cover topics ranging from a final look at the revised members standards proposal, to a chance to hear from candidates nominated for the 2016 board of directors. In addition, delegates participated in constructive dialogue on association issues such as committee structure and marketing initiatives for the association’s 17,500 members.

For some of the new attendees, it was a chance to learn more about their association.

“I now have a new appreciation for how the association is run and the true value that we receive by simply getting involved,” said GCSA of New England representative Greg Cormier, a certified golf course superintendent (CGCS) and director of golf course operations at Nashawtuc Country Club in Concord, Mass.

Jake Snyman, golf course superintendent at the Palmer Lakeside course at Barton Creek in Austin, Texas, was equally impressed: “I got more out of this than anything I have done in the last 12 years I have been a member,” said Snyman, a 40-year-old from South Africa who has been a superintendent at Barton Creek for three years and was in Lawrence representing the Central Texas GCSA.

Russ Dooge, CGCS, thought it was time well spent, too, even though he has been connected to GCSAA leadership as a chapter delegate annually since 1996.

Dooge, a longtime superintendent and now general manager with golf course management oversight at The Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course, traveled nearly 4,000 miles from Hawaii for the opportunity to spend 48 hours talking with fellow members and GCSAA staff.

“We talked about member standards at my first chapter delegates meeting in 1997,” recalled Dooge, a member of the Hawaii GCSA. “It is important. But what we are doing in advocacy for the profession and the golf industry as a whole is huge. That is something I can’t do, and it helps me stay in business.”

GCSAA President John O’Keefe, CGCS, gave an overview of the member standards proposal that will be presented for membership approval at the 2016 Golf Industry Show in February. That proposal, developed after more than a year of discussions with chapter delegates and other members, will slightly increase the education points needed for Class A renewal as well as modify the requirements for eligibility, which will continue to be based on a combination of formal education, experience and earned education points.

“While there was some discussion about what will qualify for service points in a strong education platform, I am pleased that we have the full backing and direction from our delegates to move forward,” said O’Keefe, director of golf courses management at Preakness Hills Country Club in Wayne, N.J. “Class A member standards are important for defining who we are, both individually and collectively. They frame a member’s professional identity.”

In addition, GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans shared with delegates a brief snapshot of their association’s priority programs, an overview of how the association has been strengthened in recent years, and a preview of plans for the 2016 Golf Industry Show in San Diego. There was also time devoted to a free-flowing Town Hall session.


Please CLICK HERE to Download the full agenda of the 2015 Chapter Delegates Meeting

Photos of the 2014 HGCSA Golf Tournament and Seminar have been Published

CLICK HERE to view more GREAT pictures!

Extension of the Fenamiphos (Nemacur) End-Use Date has been Granted

Dear GCSAA members,

Often when I reach out to you, it is to give a status report on the association or to make you aware of a change at GCSAA. But, today I have the opportunity to share some significant news that has resulted from GCSAA’s dedication to advocating on your behalf.

unnamedYesterday afternoon we were contacted by the EPA to let us know that GCSAA’s request for the extension of the fenamiphos (Nemacur) end-use date has been granted until Oct. 6, 2017. We have been given a three-year extension of use of existing Nemacur stocks. Nemacur is used to control the major genera of nematodes attacking turfgrass. This includes root knot, root lesion, sting, lance and ring nematodes. The EPA plans to publish a notice in the Federal Register on the extension next week. We greatly appreciate the EPA’s understanding of the needs of our industry.

Our advocacy efforts are a team effort and are making a difference for superintendents and their facilities. A large part of GCSAA’s advocacy efforts take place behind the scenes, with meetings in Washington or in statehouses around the country or in countless phone calls to stakeholders and decision makers. But it is not just GCSAA staff or the Board or the Government Relations Committee who are championing the cause. Outcomes such as this one would be impossible without an engaged membership playing a vital role. Continue reading ‘Extension of the Fenamiphos (Nemacur) End-Use Date has been Granted’

From the August GCM-Derrick Watts and the Prince Golf Club

The scenery alone at Prince Golf Club on the Hawaiian island of Kauai makes for experiences usually seen in watercolor paintings or on the big screen.

There is a rain forest on the property. Jungle. Rivers. The waterfall that comes out of a lava tube behind the 13th green by itself is breathtaking. For director of agronomy Derrick Watts, being able to work at a location most others would call a vacation destination is quite the perk.

“It is unbelievably beautiful and an architectural marvel,” says Watts, a 14-year GCSAA member. “For those who play the course, it is more a journey than a round of golf.”

Prince GC, on Hanalei Bay in Princeville, may look familiar. More than 50 years ago, its beauty was amplifed in scenes shot on location for legendary duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s musical “South Pacifc.” If anything, the flm served as a launching point for the island being viewed as the place to be for romance and charm.

In his own way, Watts has helped make the golf experience a land of enchantment.

A player development program that was initiated 16 months ago at Prince by a combined effort from the management team has been a big hit. As of June, more than 600 people have tried the program, which consists of a six-hole pitch and putt. Each afternoon, the driving range is cleared to make way for the Mini Prince Par-3 that opens at 4 p.m. Holes on the family-friendly course range from 48 to 91 yards and include an 8-inch-diameter cup to try to increase playability and enjoyment. It takes about 30 minutes to play, allowing each guest a chance to play six, 12 or 18 holes.
Continue reading ‘From the August GCM-Derrick Watts and the Prince Golf Club’

HGCSA Presents the 2014 Annual Seminar

Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents Association Presents the 2014 Annual Seminar At the Prince Hotel Waikiki October 3, 2014
08:00 A.M. (Check in time: 7:30 a.m.)


  • Turfgrass Nutrient Management
  • Invasive Pests Of Turfgrass and Landscape Plants
  • USGA Items Of Interest
Presented By: Dr.Micah Woods/Dr. Zhiqiang Cheng/Larry Gilhuly

Pre-registration required. Registration & Payment are due by September 15, 2014

Certification Points for: GCSAA CEUs and Pesticide

Please CLICK HERE to register online or to download the printable registration form.

Milton Nakagawa Tribute

Milton Nakagawa passed away at the age of 63, on March 18, 2014.

photo-1bMilton was born and raised in Honokaa and graduated from Honokaa High School in 1968. Immediately upon graduation he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served 4 years at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Upon being discharged and with the G I bill in hand, attended the University Of Hawaii, Hilo. He graduated with a B S degree in Plant Pathology in 1978.

Milton immediately entered the Landscape business and after working at various landscape companies he landed a job at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel as assistant grounds superintendent. After a few years at Mauna Kea he transferred to the Westin Kauai as head grounds superintendent. After a few years on Kauai and at the urging of the Vice President of Mauna Kea Properties he returned to Mauna Kea to become the assistant golf course superintendent.

Milton felt the need to learn the game of golf and took many lessons to become proficient at the game and to better relate to what he was doing in maintenance and the game. He became an avid golfer playing once a week with friends. His greatest enjoyment was when he was invited by Bruce Heymanson to play 9 days of golf in Australia, playing many of Alister Mackenzie’s designed golf courses.

Milton always felt the need to increase his knowledge on turf management. He took every opportunity to participate in the many continuing education courses offered by the GCSAA and the many turf grass seminars.

In 1988, Milton assisted with the construction of the Hapuna Golf Course and became Golf Course Superintendent in 1991. In 2002, he assumed the superintendent position of both Mauna Kea and Hapuna golf course.

In 2008, Mauna Kea underwent a major renovation with Reese Jones as architect. Milton served as project coordinate overseeing the various contractors on the project. Upon completion, a major change in management occurred at the golf course and Milton left to pursue other opportunities. His only regret was not being able to see the grass grow in to maturity. He also regretted not being able to control an invasive grass that became established. He had worked so hard to control the grass and had a good handle for a control.

After 18 months Milton was approached by Mauna Kea Properties to return to the resort to manage a newly developed water company. He single handedly developed the water company from scratch supplying water to the golf course, hotel and the various development throughout the resort.

Milton fell ill early this year and was finally diagnosed with stage four Pancreatic cancer. He passed away on March 18, with family and friends at his bed side.

HGCSA Members at the 2014 Golf Industry Show in Orlando

CLICK HERE to view the gallery of Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents members at the 2014 GIS in Orlando

Photos by Les Jeremiah Jr. CGCS


Final statistics from this year’s gathering of golf course superintendents, owners and operators, architects and builders were on the rise across the board versus the 2013 event in San Diego. Total attendance was 14,147, an 8 percent increase over last year. In addition, the two-day trade show, Feb. 5-6, attracted a total of 6,845 qualified buyers (up 14 percent from San Diego), who enjoyed 184,500 square feet of exhibit space and 561 exhibitors – increases of 7 and 9 percent respectively, from 2013.

About the Golf Industry Show Continue reading ‘HGCSA Members at the 2014 Golf Industry Show in Orlando’

Gathering of Members for a Round of Golf and Small BBQ on Maui

To All HGCSA Members,

We hope all of you are having a great start to your new year. As most of you may know, one of our goals is to improve the synergy and to re-energize the HGCSA membership State and Island wide. To ignite this effort, we had our first gathering of members graciously held by Golf Course Superintendent Ryan Wood at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course on Oahu this past January. The turnout was great and we hope for your continuous support as we move forward with this lost tradition.

We are glad to announce that on March 14th at 10:50 a.m. we are inviting all members to join us in a round of golf at the beautiful Wailea Gold Golf Course in Kihei, Maui. We would like to thank Golf Course Superintendent Mike Atwood for making this possible.

There will also be a small BBQ after golf for interested members. Please help us strengthen the “Ohana” of the Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents Association. Please be there on March 14th.

In an effort to secure the necessary tee times and to plan for the BBQ, please RSVP to Les Jeremiah, Jr. or Clarence Nakatsukasa by February 26, 2014.

Thanks again for your support of the HGCSA!

A message from the HGCSA Board of Directors.