Oct 29 & 30 event includes deep discussions on sustainability and ways to enhance the golf experience.
The Symposium on Affordable Golf is scheduled to take place Monday, Oct. 29 at at the Southern Pines Golf Club, Southern Pines, N.C.
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The event's agenda includes the following:
Monday, October 29
8:00 to 8:15 am: Introduction
Gary Strohl, Richard Mandell Golf Architecture
8:15 to 9:15 am: When Sustainability and Golf Speak Intersect
It seems sustainability is the recent buzzword for the golf industry, yet the principles of sustainability have been present since the days of sheep and featheries. The public’s perception of sustainable principles often mistakenly translates to an expensive proposition for a golf course operation. Two ends of the spectrum in Theresa Wade and James Moore come together to show that sustainability and golf intersect in an affordable way.
Teresa Wade, Experience Green
Jim Moore, Director, Green Section USGA
9:15 to 10:00 am: Returning the Game to Affordability – How Less Can Actually Be More
Richard Mandell, Richard Mandell Golf Architecture
Break: 10:00 – 10:15
10:15 – 10: 45 am: Case Study #1: Askernish Golf Club
Gordon Irvine returns to the Symposium on Affordable Golf to recount the tale of his re-discovery of an Old Tom Morris classic. He shares how with a little ingenuity, a lot of hard work, and the smarts to leave well enough alone, what some environmentalists now consider the “most natural links course in the world” was re-born. The genius of the place is clearly in the simplicity of the place and is a model for great golf at little expense.
Gordon Irvine, Master Greenskeeper
10:45 – 11:45 am: Value vs. Lower Green Fees: When Discounting Gets Counter-Productive
One controversy brewing in the golf industry over the past decade actually results in affordable golf. But for many in the industry, discounting green fees and making them available through third-party organizations could be the death-knell for anyone who wants to stay in the black. Affordability shouldn’t come at a cost of financial sustainability, say some. Others say they are just selling empty tee sheet space.
Bob Mauragas, President, National Golf Management
Paul Sampliner, Senior Director of Training & Products, GolfNow.com
Lunch: 11:45 – 12:45
12:45 – 1:45 pm: Let's Start Romancing the Game Again Instead of Selling The Business
Selling the sizzle instead of the steak is the barrage of new equipment over the virtues of hard work and learning the fundamentals. Romancing the game is re-kindling the fascination with hitting it flush, enjoying a good walk with nature, and enjoying the company of your playing partners, not necessarily someone meeting you when you pull up to the front door to take your clubs, GPS on the carts, and the newest driver or shoes to improve your game.
Michael Hebron, PGA Professional
Smithtown Landing Country Club
Smithtown Landing, New York
1:45 – 2:15 pm: Case Study #2: Knight's Play Golf Center, Apex, North Carolina
A lighted executive course in a major suburban area is a recipe for bringing people to the game and producing lots of rounds. Learn how Knight’s Play Golf Center has consistently kept its tee sheets full for more than a decade and been a starting point for a different generation.
Kevin Jones, Head Golf Professional & General Manager
Knight's Play Golf Center
Break: 2:15 – 2:30
2:30 – 3:30 pm: Zero Waste Golf
At our second Symposium on Affordable Golf, we discussed the Many Facets of a Sustainable Golf Facility and that the fundamental challenge in maintenance is to reduce inputs. Superintendent Josh Heptig has devised a system at his facility where he has indeed done just that and as a result, nothing is wasted at Dairy Creek Golf Course, a truly self-sustaining facility.
Josh Heptig, Director of Golf Operations
County of San Luis Obispo, California
3:30 – 5:00 pm: Round Table: The Golf Generation Gap
As more and more ideas are shared to help expand the numbers of golfers in the world, each one seems to meet resistance in the form of “golf isn’t like that.” Are the traditions of the game truly keeping people away or is that just an excuse? A group of golfers covering seven decades come together to share their thoughts on the game and discuss what are impediments to growing the game and what opens doors.
Drew Beatty, Golfer
Brian Griffith, Golfer
Jan Eyer, Golfer
Bob Zydonik, Life Member, PGA
Jim Dodson, Traditionalist Golf Writer
Dana Rader, President of LPGA T & CP and LPGA Master Professional
5:00 till: Get Together - Social Hour Southern Pines Golf Club Clubhouse
Tuesday, October 30
8:30- 9:15: The Golf Experience - Your Way Poll Results
RMGA conducted a poll of golfers to determine what they think about golf and its affordability. The second day of our Symposium will begin with an open group discussion about the results from that poll (led by Richard Mandell). Maybe we can figure out what attracted us to the game in the first place.
9:15 – 9:45: Case Study #3: Wolf Point Golf Club, Gulf Coast, Texas
Wolf Point Golf Club was built for one individual. That’s too bad because it was designed for all golfer types in a way that hearkens back to the golden age of golf course architecture when designers worked with an avocational attitude and didn’t over-build golf courses just because they had the financial resources to do it. Instead, the principle of uncovering the land’s attributes was the driving force in the layout and not technological “advances.”
Mike Nuzzo, Golf Course Designer
Break: 9:45 – 10:00
10:00 – 10:45 pm: The Curious Case of The Taj Mahalics
For years, golf course developers were convinced that the bigger the clubhouse, the more successful their golf course development would be. That logic was flawed from day one and has led to many failures in the golf business and the necessity for green fees to bail out catering dreams. Learn what works and what doesn’t in clubhouse design if the goal is an efficient operation focusing on the golfer first and the wedding coordinator second.
Marjorie Feltus-Hawkins, FH Design
David Hawkins, FH Design
10:45 – 11:45: Brown is the New Green? Firm and Fast? Or is it Something Else?
During his term as President of the USGA, Jim Hyler made reference to the browning of golf courses today being a good thing. The resulting backlash seemed at first an over-reaction to a word (brown) that required a little more consideration than literal translation. Mr. Hyler and Robert Randquist debate the sensitive issue of how to manage golf courses in this age and how choices made for playability can affect public perception and a facility’s bottom line.
Jim Hyler , Immediate Past President, USGA
Robert Randquist, Immediate Past President, GCSAA
11:45 – 12:00 pm: Final Thoughts Open Discussion
1:00 – 5:00: Golf Outing on Southern Pines Golf Club