The Connecticut Association of Golf Course Superintendents (CAGCS) has been selected to receive the 2013 Excellence in Government Relations Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
The award will be presented at the 2013 GCSAA Education Conference at the Opening Session, presented in partnership with Syngenta, Feb. 6. The conference (Feb. 4-8) will be held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show (Feb. 6-7) at the San Diego Convention Center.
"The Connecticut Association of Golf Course Superintendents is to be congratulated for its successful efforts in demonstrating the stewardship of its members," GCSAA President Sandy Queen, CGCS, said. "The chapter was able to lobby effectively because it was organized, created key messages and developed the appropriate relationships. I also commend Connecticut government officials for their willingness to work with the chapter in creating a win-win for all parties involved."
Beginning in 2010, the CAGCS began working tirelessly to demonstrate that Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) should exempt golf courses from newly proposed stream flow standards and regulations that would bring significant financial hardship to golf facilities in the state. The basis for such an exemption was the implementation of the "Best Management Practices for Golf Course Water Use" by all golf courses in the state.
CAGCS, a GCSAA-affiliated chapter, benefited from a relationship with DEEP formed previously when working together to create the "Best Management Practices for Golf Course Water Use." The CAGCS utilized an economic impact study compiled by the Connecticut State Golf Association, which analyzed the state-wide influence of the golf industry, demonstrated the importance of the industry on the state and local level, and showed how the proposed regulations could negatively affect golf course operations in the form of course closings and jobs lost.
As part of a multi-year advocacy effort to craft practical public policy for golf courses in Connecticut, a total of 68 CAGCS members provided written testimony to state representatives urging them to reject the stream flow standards and regulations originally proposed. Eleven CAGCS members provided verbal testimony at a series of DEEP public hearings on the issue.
In 2012, DEEP also proposed a ban on all fertilizers containing phosphorus to any established lawns, including golf courses. After presenting testimony to the state legislature on the importance of phosphorus for turfgrass systems, the CAGCS secured special provisions in the bill that allowed golf course superintendents to continue providing excellent playing conditions to their customers while also protecting the environment.
The CAGCS also worked with other allied state golf associations to host the first annual Connecticut Golf Day in 2012 at the state Capitol building. The event allowed the CAGCS to further demonstrate how its members are environmental stewards aware of issues dealing with a valuable nature resource, and the economic impact golf has on the state.
GCSAA is a leading golf organization and has as its focus golf course management. Since 1926, GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 18,000 members in more than 72 countries. GCSAA's mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Find GCSAA on Facebook, follow GCSAA on Twitter, and visit GCSAA atwww.gcsaa.org. The Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA, and has as its mission to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit www.eifg.org.