News from HGCSA

Scott Main Receives GCSAA-Golf Digest National Environmental Leaders in Golf Award

The awards recognize golf course superintendents and their courses for overall course management excellence and best management practices in the areas of water conservation, water quality management, energy conservation, pollution prevention, waste management, wildlife and habitat conservation, communication and outreach, and leadership.

From the GCSAA Press Release announcing the awards:

Main’s Mauna Kea Resort is the oldest resort and oldest golf course on the Big Island of Hawaii. Its position right on the Pacific Ocean presents unique challenges, not only in compatibility with the marine ecosystem, but also because of soil that contains crushed lava and an average annual rainfall of 4.2 inches. Transitioning the course from bermudagrass to paspalum, which is salt-tolerant and requires less water, is just one aspect of the water conservation program.

In keeping with the Hawaiian culture’s dedication to wildlife, Main has partnered with the Department of Land and Natural Resources to rope off areas and display signage to protect nesting nene, Hawaii’s state bird and the world’s rarest goose. In the past three years, the course’s nene population has increased by 300 percent. Ocean wildlife is important too, and Mauna Kea participates in an ongoing study with the University of Hawai’i at Hilo to help gauge Mauna Kea’s water quality and its effect on coral reefs.

Congratulations to Scott and Mauna Kea Golf Course!

HGCSA Legislative News Update

This an a update on what is going on at our HI Legislature session this year. There are a lot of bills that have to do with pesticides and a couple of them deserve watching.

  1. HB 1756 HD1 has to do with the state banning the use and sale of any products with chlorpyrifos in it. This type of bill has been around for a few years. Not sure what will happen this session.

    Here is the published submitted testimony from Scott E. Enright Chairperson, Board Of Agriculture for the April 2nd hearing:
    Please CLICK HERE to view the testimony.

  2. HB 2722 HD1 is about restricting the use of neonicotinoid and glyphosate products. This one could pass but it did get re-referred back to EEP/AGR committee.

    If you read the bill it says use on state/public property and will need a restricted use license.
    Please CLICK HERE to view the bill.

  3. HB2721 HD1 is posting public notice before spraying, it also was re-referred back to committee.
    Please CLICK HERE to view the committee report.

Please take a look at these bills and any others on the legislation website https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/ and type in pesticides at the keyword line.

If you have any concerns, we are forming a response to these bills, please send them to Mike Atwood at matwwod@waileagolf.com.

Russell Dooge, CGCS

Individual Pairings/Group Photos from the HGCSA 2017 Annual Golf Tournament

This years Tournament was a spectacular success giving Association members the opportunity to network and communicate with their community and with other professionals in the Hawaii Golf Industry — and it was just GOOD FUN!

Much of the credit for this very enjoyable event goes to our Sponsors. Please Visit the HGCSA Golf Tournament Sponsors page by Clicking Here.

To Visit the main Tournament photo gallery page please Click Here.

Delegates Post Meeting Report and the Official “Communication” from the GCSAA

Last week I was in Kansas for the GCSAA Delegates meeting and I would like to give you a short update on what happened.

Most of day was talking about changing the By-Laws, the By-Laws were sent to an Law firm that recommended a number of wording changes. The one that was discussed the most was about voting at the GIS, having the candidates that are running for the BOD be voted in for each position separately instead of the two top vote getter. Then if a appointment for a 1 year term is needed there will be a vote for that position instead of the President appointing someone. The other changes were about membership classifications.

The Code of Ethics were revised and all items that were not legally enforceable were struck.

National Golf Day this past spring was a success and the project on the Mall was a lot of fun for everyone. Next year the group would like to do a bigger project. Meeting the Congress members of course was the main reason for Golf Day.

GCSAA is setting up a political action committee or PAC in order to gain access to members of Congress that can help the game of golf.

A certificate program for Turf Equipment Managers and Assistant Superintendents is being worked on.

Any questions please let me know.

Russell Dooge, CGCS

One last thing, please let me know who you would like to be Superintendent of the Year and the reason why. Thank you Russ

Complete Delegates Post Meeting Communication from the GCSAA

Continue reading ‘Delegates Post Meeting Report and the Official “Communication” from the GCSAA’

Announcing the 2017 Annual HGCSA Golf Tournament and Seminar

The 2017 HGCSA Annual Golf Tournament will be held on October 19, 2017 at the Leilehua Golf Course.

Shotgun start is at 11:30 a.m. with a banquet and reception to follow. This years tournament will be highlighted with a Hole In One, Putting Contest and Polynesian Show. Please mark your calendar and make plans to attend this special day with us.

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

The 2017 Annual Seminar is being held at The Prince Hotel Waikiki October 20, 2017 from 7:30 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Topics include OSHA Compliance, Fungicide Management, and Spray Solution Conditioning.

Presenters are a C&C of Honolulu Safety Specialist, Douglas Mccullen from Bayer, and John Doyle from Simplot

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, and the Seminar Agenda.

Father and son honored by Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents Association

Short Honma, left, received the Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents Association Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Ho‘olaulea Hawaii Golf Awards Ceremony. His son Mike, right, was honored as Superintendent of the Year for his work at Turtle Bay Resort. Courtesty Honma Family

Short Honma, left, received the Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents Association Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Ho‘olaulea Hawaii Golf Awards Ceremony. His son Mike, right, was honored as Superintendent of the Year for his work at Turtle Bay Resort.
Photo Courtesty Honma Family

Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents Association members vote for their superintendent of the year. The HGCSA board chooses its lifetime achievement award winner.

Kama‘aina who have golfed at Turtle Bay and Kapalua, and folks who have watched tour events on those courses in the midst of breathtaking views, probably aren’t surprised at the most recent selections.

Short Honma, who gave up farming and ultimately helped open all three Kapalua Resort courses, was honored with the lifetime award.

The 91-year-old followed his son into the golf business. Michael Honma, who has hosted 16 tour events at Turtle Bay since he started there in 1982, is superintendent of the year.

Both have seen Hawaii golf mature and modernize dramatically in their careers and played a primary role. Not bad for a bunch of farmers. Continue reading ‘Father and son honored by Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents Association’

2016 GCSAA Delegates Meeting Report

A few weeks ago I attended the 2016 GCSAA Delegates Meeting in Kansas as your representative and this an summary of that meeting.
. . . Russ

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Eighty-two delegates from 84 chapters convene at GCSAA headquarters

Membership engagement and growth, advocacy efforts and an upcoming best management practices guide were among the key topics of the 2016 Chapter Delegates Meeting. The 82 delegates from 84 chapters also heard from nominees for the 2017 GCSAA Board of Directors. The two-day meeting, held Oct. 11-12 in Kansas City, Mo., and at GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., also offered delegates the chance to discuss issues and provide input in small group sessions and during a “town hall” session.

Key Messages

  • CPI Dues Process– GCSAA has a long-term membership dues pricing structure that ties a proposed dues increase to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) . The GCSAA Board makes a recommendation to the membership on changes to A, B or C membership dues every two years based on the CPl. The CPI increased by 1.2% over the past two years and this translates to a proposed of $5 dues increase for A, B and c members. This proposed increase will be voted on at the Annual Meeting. The delegates also heard about a proposed Bylaws amendment in which the dues approved by the membership could not exceed the set amount. This would allow flexibility to offer introductory, reduced membership dues for new members or other entities.
  • Political Action Committee – GCSAA is investigating the possibility of resurrecting a GCSAA Political Action Committee (PAC) to further its advocacy efforts on behalf of the membership and remain the leader in advocacy for the golf industry. GCSAA stressed that if a PAC were started the money distributed would be to aid champions of policies that advance GCSAA ‘s priorities from the GCSAA Priority Issue Agenda, not a particular person or party. Staff will provide additional educational materials to each chapter before year end to help gauge the level of interest . Please contact Chava McKeel if you have questions about a PAC at 800-472-7878 or cmckeel@gcsaa.org. Your comments will be vital to shape the direction of this initiative.
  • Rounds 4 Research Auction -The delegates celebrated the success of the top 4 chapter fundraisers in the 2016 R4R Auction. Chapters are encouraged to find a champion – a delegate, the president, chapter executive- someone who will spearhead the initiative in their chapter. 2017 Auction will be April 1-9. Chapters just need to recruit the rounds to donate – GCSAA administers the rest of the program. Call or email Mischia Wright, Associate Director, EIFG at 800-472-7878 or mwright@gcsaa.org.
  • Member Engagement Through Committees and Task Groups – Delegates learned more about GCSAA’s committee and task group process. We are asking you to spread the word that GCSAA is looking for volunteers. The Call for Volunteers for 2017 will open on November 1. More information will be available on the GCSAA website or call our office at 800-472-7878.
  • Membership Growth – GCSAA has a renewed focus on membership growth and value. We need your help at the local level as we are working to achieve a set goal of 20,000 members by 2020. Delegates were presented with several different membership growth initiatives , including ideas to partner with affiliated chapters. Delegates heard about, and asked questions concerning, potential bylaws definition changes surrounding the ISM and EM classifications aimed at being more inclusive and introducing others to golf employment opportunities.
  • Department of Labor Overtime Rule – December 1, 2016 is the deadline when the new Department of Labor overtime pay rule goes into effect. The final rule will raise the exempt salary threshold indicating eligibility from $455/week to $913 ($47,476 per year). All golf facilities should come into compliance with this significant jump in the salary threshold in the next 6 months. GCSAA has provided a webinar and other important resources to help you get ready for the change at http://www.cgrcengage.com/gcsaa/Labor.
  • BMP Planning Guide and Template– Delegates heard about GCSAA’s 50 by 2020 BMP initiative. This aims to have all 50 states with a golf centric BMP program in place by 2020. GCSAA unveiled portions of its new BMP Planning Guide and online template which can be utilized by the chapters creating the state level BMPs programs. We will need your help at the local level as key constituents within your state and chapter will play a vital role in this initiative.
  • Interactive Meeting– Delegates took part in small group discussions and an interactive Town Hall with the GCSAA Board of Directors.
  • Candidate Presentations and Breakouts– the candidates for the 2017 GCSAA Board of Directors gave presentations and hosted breakout rooms for the delegates. The delegates were awarded ample time to interact and ask questions of the candidates . Those running for the 2017 GCSAA Board of Directors are:

    • For President- Bill H. Maynard, CGCS
    • For Vice President- Darren J. Davis, CGCS
    • For Secretary/Treasurer
      • Rafael Barajas, CGCS
      • John R. Fulling, Jr., CGCS

    • For Director (Six members are on the slate for three director positions)
      • Mark F. Jordan, CGCS
      • Jeffrey F. Millies, CGCS
      • Kevin P. Sundermao
      • Rory Van Poucke
      • John Walker
      • Jeff L. White, CGCS


2016 HGCSA Annual Golf Tournament

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The HGCSA Annual Golf Tournament will be held on September 29, 2016 at the Ewa Beach Golf Club. Shotgun start is at 11:30 a.m. with a banquet and reception to follow.

A low gross champion, as well as competitors in three flights will be crowned, so reserve your spot in this tournament early. Entry fee is $75.00, and is due NLT September 8, 2016. (This deadline is critical to ensure that the number of participants is available for planning all phases of the tournament).

CLICK HERE to download the printable registration form

CLICK HERE to visit the 2016 Golf Tournament online registration page

CLICK HERE to visit the 2016 Meeting and Seminar online registration page

CLICK HERE to visit the 2016 online Sponsorship page

Nakatsukasa’s keeping it green

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As Clarence Nakatsukasa approaches his 80th birthday, he is closing his latest career, presumably so he can play more golf.

Fittingly, the Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents Association awarded its executive director a Lifetime Achievement Award at February’s annual golf Ho‘olaulea. Nakatsukasa will retire as ED the end of this year.

He will retire again. The award was given for his service to Hawaii golf, his country and community. There have been several retirements.

Nakatsukasa graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1959 with a degree in history. Then he set about making some.

His Army career covered the next 20 years and he retired — for the first time — as a major. Military awards included the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious and Commendation Medal and Vietnam Campaign and Service Medal.

His golf game also was impressive.

“Golf gave me a lot of opportunities,” Nakatsukasa recalled about his military days. “I met a lot of people, played courses all over the world — on the mainland, in the Far East and Hawaii. The game really helped me in my career so I’m trying to give back. That’s why I’m still doing it.”

When he came home, Nakatsukasa was a Personnel Management Specialist with the Army Corps of Engineers and at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, along with Administrator for COMSAT, a satellite communications company.

His golf career — basically his third career — wouldn’t start until 1988, when his kids were out of school. He was a starter at Ala Wai and Golf Operations Assistant at Ted Makalena, then at Pali.

In 1994, the history major accepted the position of Golf Course Superintendent at Ala Wai, one of the busiest courses on the face of the earth. A year later, he began serving on the HGCSA board of directors.

Nakatsukasa’s training for his new position consisted of a huge course load ahead of time and hours of reading course maintenance material. He talked early and often with his new peers, along with suppliers of everything from equipment to fertilizer.

“I learned a lot from them,” he recalls, “and experienced a lot on my own.”

There was a lot to experience, with his assistant by his side. They usually showed up at Ala Wai at 4:30 a.m. and finished between 2-3 p.m. Nakatsukasa, who worked Pali simultaneously for eight “overwhelming” months, would be back on the weekend to play, and keep an eye on the place.

Along with the crowds, the flat course also has to deal with an abundance of salt in the soil, which causes bare spots. Its greens, which can be surprisingly good for a municipal course, are immensely difficult to maintain and nurture.

Along with everything else — for a multitude of reasons some courses face, and many do not.

“We’d be trying to do things to the golf course, but we’ve got so many people on it that it’s really hard to work around them,” Nakatsukasa recalled. “We had a lot of unhappy people when we’d close certain sections of the golf course. I always tried to talk to them and said, ‘Look, we’re trying to make it better for you guys,’ so they kind of understood.”

Ala Wai, with its legendary six-somes, not only deals with massive numbers on the course. It has relatively few maintenance workers, particularly in comparison to resort and private courses.

“The difficulty was not having the resources,” Nakatsukasa says. “Meaning primarily people and money and equipment. We have to make do with what’s available. We had to work hard and you had to get your workers convinced about what the job was all about, and why it was important to do the best you could.”

He sometimes still speaks about Ala Wai in the present, but he retired — again — 10 years ago. He quietly became the HGCSA’s first Executive Director. “For me,” he admits, “it’s a volunteer position.”

Golf must be a passion. He has worked too hard for it to be anything else.

“Maybe I’m crazy,” Nakatsukasa says. “I always felt along the way that golf was really good to me so I’m always trying to give back to something that did a lot for me.

“When I was playing and in the military I was a pretty decent golfer. A lot of people, I’m talking about generals and officers and members of Congress, I’ve gone out and played with them because I was involved in the game. That helped me in my career. Once I was done with that I needed to give back so that’s what I want to do now.”

Sounds like yet another career might take him into his 80s.

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Curtis Kono Featured in Star Advertiser Article

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

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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.

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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’