Presidents Newsletter – February 2017

Letter from the OGCSA President February 2017:

I look out over snowy and frozen grounds and am reminded it is never too early to plan for the season and year.   Early this year, Oregon Golf Course Superintendents Association (OGCSA) Board of Directors had planned the coming year’s schedule, locations, topics, and some speakers for coming events.  I would like you to join with many of your fellow superintendents in one of our most significant programs that seems to hide in the background.   It is my intension to familiarize you with Rounds 4 Research and the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) the philanthropic arm of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). Its mission is to foster sustainability through research, awareness, educational programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game.

Where would we be today if many of our predecessors had not made the effort to invest in turfgrass research?   How can we be sustainable while cuts are made to university turfgrass research? With funds drying up for many university turfgrass research programs, Rounds 4 Research was first instituted by the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association. They soon realized, due to the rapid growth and scope of the program, that it should be nationally administered by the GCSAA and EIFG. The EIFG is excited to continue offering Rounds 4 Research as a means for our chapter to help generate funds and direct them towards regional research and insure that the industry remains strong and viable. Funds generated from the auction will go to support research-related activities of GCSAA, its affiliated chapters and regional turfgrass organizations.

The way Rounds 4 Research works is rather simple:

  1. Courses donate rounds of golf for auction. The course determines the restrictions.
  2. The donating course/GCSAA member designates which chapter/organization they would like to designate the proceeds.
  3. GCSAA and its local chapters encourage golfers to bid on the rounds.
  4. Proceeds raised from the auction are used to fund turfgrass research, education programs and advocacy efforts as deemed a priority for the organization receiving the funding.

The OGCSA has for a number of years made a financial commitment to research at Oregon State University.  With funds coming back to the chapter from the Rounds 4 Research less of that financial commitment is dependent on members’ dues and/or vendor sponsorships. Rounds 4 Research has raised more than $400,000 for turfgrass research, education and advocacy programs. The 2016 auction sold more than 800 rounds and yielded more than $164,000 in its April online auction.

The 2017 Rounds 4 Research Action will be hosted by EIFG and the Golf Channel. The dates for online bidding are May 1 – 7. We had 20 courses donate rounds last year with $3532 returned to the chapter to help with our OGCSA chapter research commitment.  We have received a four-year total of $14,719. I encourage you to help get donated rounds from our local courses and in May take the opportunity to bid on courses that you might normally not get to play.

Keep warm, Respectfully,

Chuck Wolsborn
President, Oregon Chapter GCSA (OGCSA)