Monday, June 30, 2014

Women's Golf Month - to ALL lady golfers

I appreciate your passion and love for the game and rest assured that County Parks needs your passion and support. We had every intention of offering free golf for ladies during the month of June for years to come. Let me be clear that it was not the complaints from a few individuals that ended this promotion. There have been plenty of complaints during the past two years and we frankly did not care as we believed we were doing he best thing for the game of golf and still believe that to be true to this day! County Parks' golf program was threatened to be sued for gender discrimination earlier this winter if we offered the promotion again and this did not discourage me either. That is until I asked our County counsel (also a woman) if the threat had any substance. She asked if we had provided such an offer in the past. Upon my response of yes, she stated, "I'm surprised you have not been sued already" because this is in fact an example of gender discrimination. Our golf program cannot afford to call someone's bluff when there is already a set precedence within civil law.

Put yourself in the other seat and imagine if we were offering men a free golf month and how would that situation would make you feel? I'd probably be upset if I were a woman and my wife and daughters would be too.  Although this type of treatment at a golf facility may be just "par for the course" and you would likely shrug it off.

I cannot wager the future of our golf program to all of the seniors, juniors, ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, or other demographic to fight the gender inequality that golf has in the US. I still believe in providing golf to women and hope that you will help me to introduce the game to more ladies. Europe has a 30-40% participation rate for women and I would love to tout that SLO County is a leader for women's golf just as we are for Zero Waste.

Again I appreciate your passion, but I cannot afford to reconsider this issue as it would reduce the affordable golfing options for many in our county. Our intention was to provide ways to introduce women to the game of golf to invite more participants to the great recreational and social activities that golf provides.  Women's golf is still very important to us and the emails I have received only prove that we are in the right track. Please feel free to call me with your concerns or ideas for future efforts.  We will be conducting focus groups to best understand the wants and needs of women golfers and non-golfers in an effort to be more welcoming and inviting to our current and potential female customers.  Thanks for your support!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

SLO County Golf Course Zero Waste efforts are recognized by GCSAA!!

Check out the link below that is posted at  For those that do not know for what this acronym stands...Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America.  This association means quite a lot to me as I am currently the president of our Central California Chapter and the educational, community outreach, and networking opportunities have afforded me and many others the chance to make a living managing golf course facilities across our country and the world.

The video was filmed by GCSAATV back in March while Dairy Creek golf course, one of the properties owned by San Luis Obispo County Parks, hosted the Symposium on Affordable Golf.  My staff and I are quite proud to be recognized with this video regarding our Zero Waste efforts.  Take a look and if you are in the area stop by our Zero Waste Park at Dairy Creek Golf Course for a self guided tour or contact me to set up a personal tour of the facility or discuss our efforts to learn more about how processes at your local golf course(s) can make a difference within your own community.

Keep swinging!

GCSAA TV video of Zero Waste efforts at Dairy Creek Golf Course

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Symposium on Affordable Golf ... West Coast Style!

Two years ago I attended one of the best golf conferences that I have had the pleasure of experiencing!  No it was not the Golf Industry and Show in Las Vegas although, that was a great conference as well, but it was the Symposium on Affordable Golf in North Carolina.  The venue there is great as it is held in Southern Pines in Pinehursts backyard.

The brain child behind the SOAG is Richard Mandell, golf architect.  Richard has held the event at Southern Pines for the past four years with much success of attracting many leading professionals from all facets of the golf industry.   My first experience is best described as pure honesty regarding the discussions and topics.  Many events seem to have a group think mindset with little open dialogue between participants that lead to fruitful ideas or brain storming.  Richard's ability to moderate the group to encourage varying viewpoints is a true breath of fresh air.

During my visit last year I suggested that we move the event to the west coast and see if the discussion takes a different turn as my experience managing courses throughout the country has afforded me many experiences with golfers.  In my opinion golfers have differing expectations and desires based upon geography and it would be interesting to see how the discussions may get different results on the west coast.  Richard agreed and Dairy Creek will host the first SOAG away from the southeast and bring it to California.

The event is March 31 and April 1.  Take a look at our line up and register to attend this terrific event at  If you have any questions respond to this blog and I will do my best to cure your curiosity.  We nearly have 100 registrants signed up at this point and it promises to be a great event.  I hope we see you there!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Golf, politics, and driving the economy

I have always enjoyed the messages and commentary from Mike Hughes, CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association, in Golf Business magazine.  Take a look at the video that was shot by The Golf Channel at the PGA merchandise show this past week.  Much of the time is spent talking to a couple of the politicians, but Mike's comments are spot on and you can tell he is devoted to our industry and helping his members drive the game of golf.  Get out there and invite someone to play golf today, it's your duty.  Thanks Mike...oh I guess it's time to pick up my girls and get them to their First Tee lesson today.

"Practice puts brains in your muscles."
                         ~Sam Snead

Friday, November 22, 2013

Learn to play golf advertisement

Our three courses have been attempting to incorportate elements of the Tee it Forward initiative and the Get Golf Ready ideas that the PGA has been touting for a couple of years.  Many courses across the country have been trying to figure out how to get more players into the game of golf.  One of our local courses, not one of ours, has developed a program to get people interested in playing the game.  Monarch Dunes has a 12 hole challenge course designed by Damian Pascuzzo and Steve Pate.  The original design of this par 3 course was to allow skilled and unskilled players to compete against one another playing not only from different tees, but playing to different holes based upon difficulty.  One of our members, Tom Elliot, of the Central California chapter of Golf Course Superintendents has taken this idea to another level in an attempt to create and develop more golfers.

Have a look at the following video:

Tom's idea is creative and I love his alterego seen in the video!  If this idea works all of our local courses will need to thank Tom and his staff as we will all benefit from their efforts to grow the game.  Hopefully this post will spawn other ideas that courses across the world can use to grow the best game on earth.