You’re invited! Southern California Golf & Water Summit

Water is as indispensable to the Southern California golf community as it is scarce and expensive – a juxtaposition of factors that poses challenges the game must meet if it expects to remain a vital part of Southern California’s recreational landscape. We invite you to the Southern California Golf & Water Summit August 18 at Los Serranos Golf Club to learn how the Southern California golf community has been meeting these challenges, and more importantly, plans to continue meeting these challenges no matter what may come its way.

In addition, you will learn practical ways to continue delivering great golfer experiences while using less water.


GCSANC Launches Intern Housing Assistance Program

In an effort to attract golf course maintenance personnel by offsetting a portion of California’s high housing expense, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Northern California (GCSANC) has launched their Intern Housing Assistance Program.

Interns employed in the turf maintenance department at member golf courses in Northern California are eligible, and in the first year more than $14,000 was awarded to seven deserving individuals.

Read our full press release.

New Name, Same Program! Golf is Great Ambassadors

The CGCOA Golf is Good Ambassador Program is now the CGCOA Golf is Great Ambassador Program!

Same program, just a new name!

The Golf is Great Ambassador Program organizes golf industry representatives, matching them with the legislators representing the district in which the ambassador’s golf course is located, and guiding ambassadors in the process of advancing the messages and priorities of California’s golf industry.

CGCOA is seeking a diverse mix of golf course owners, general managers, superintendents, golf pros, even amateur golfers and others passionate about protecting the game of golf and promoting public policies that enable golf to flourish in California.

Ambassador Training and Education

Golf is Great Ambassadors will receive the tools and training necessary to become effective advocates for golf. Resources include a recorded video presentation that can be viewed at the ambassador’s leisure covering the basics of advocacy, periodic live online trainings addressing current issues and messages, handouts detailing the Golf is Great messages and positions on key public policy issues.

Golf is Great Ambassadors who are GCSAA members will receive GCSAA service points:

GCSAA members serving in an ambassador capacity with the CGCOA will receive .25 points per year for the position and then can accumulate additional points (.25 per activity) for activities such as participating in a state golf day or being involved in an outreach effort.

Golf is Great Ambassadors who are PGA of America members will receive PGA service credits.


Ambassadors have the opportunity to win the CGCOA Golf is Great Ambassador Award, which honors individual ambassadors who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and engagement in advocacy through outreach and relationship development with a member of the California legislature.


Take the next step to becoming an advocate for golf by completing the Golf is Great Ambassador Application here, then returning it to CGCOA, 2235 Park Towne Cir., 2nd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95825 or Have questions? Call CGCOA at (916) 485-6361 or email

Heat Illness Protection Resources

Summer is Here:
Protect Workers from Heat-Related Illness as Things Heat Up
from the California Department of Public Health

As vaccination rates increase and COVID-19 risk decreases around the state, California businesses are opening up. The economy – and the weather – are heating up. As climate change increases temperatures, and heat waves happen more and more frequently, outdoor workers and others who perform physically demanding work are at risk for heat-related illness, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. These conditions are serious and can result in damage to the brain, nervous system, and kidneys, and even death. These risks increase during the summer when temperatures and humidity are high.

See more from the California Department of Public Health HERE.

Local golf courses are on par with water conservation efforts

GCSANC Secretary/Treasurer Gavin Dickson is featured in this article by KION 5/46 News,  along with GCSANC member Kyle Butler (The Preserve Golf Club) and reps from Pebble Beach Company.

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) With acres worth of greens to water, one may wonder how golf courses manage to stay green without making a divot in the local water supply.

According to a handful of golf course superintendents, a course’s irrigation system is at the forefront of all operations. Irrigation systems are comprised of several elements including the course’s water source, sprinkler system, and even weather stations. All of these elements play a part in determining how much water these facilities use on a daily basis.

Read full source article.

In Memoriam: Bill Bengeyfield

Respected golf industry legend Bill Bengeyfield passed away at the age of 97 on June 3rd. Bill worked in the golf industry for 35 years. He started in 1955 with the USGA Green Section, where he worked as an agronomist, before leaving to become Director of Golf Courses and Park Maintenance at Industry Hills Golf Club in 1978. In 1982, Bill returned to The Green Section, serving as the National Director until his retirement in 1990.

Many people remember Bill for more than the legacy he left behind, but for being a mentor, and helping to guide the agronomy industry to where it is today. Kimberly Erusha, who works as the Managing Director of the Green Section, remembers Mr. Bengeyfield as a strong leader with “loud opinions” who wanted to ensure all work being done was doing right by the game of golf. “He was a staunch supporter of the USGA’s research program to ensure that the information provided through the Turf Advisory Service (now called the Course Consulting Service) was based in science.”

Off the course, Bengeyfield was a gifted writer who worked as the Publications Editor for the Green Section Record for almost two decades. Erusha spoke highly of Bengeyfield’s writing and the esteem it has in staff members’ minds, “He himself was a prolific writer who had a gift of the pen to craft a clear and compelling message. Internally, rumor has it his staff memos were legendary.”

Mr. Bengeyfield’s much discussed memos were not fiction, as USGA Green Section’s former West Region Regional Director Pat Gross confirmed coming across many of them while working at USGA. Gross echoed Erusha’s sentiments about Bengeyfield’s talent for writing, and finding find the famous memos throughout their files. “Our files were filled with his peppery memos (most of which I still have…). Legendary! I always admired his leadership, his writing, and most of all his candor.”

Gross went on to describe one of his fondest memories of Bengeyfield, that not only shows a more playful side to his personality, but that his agronomy knowledge was literally down to a science. “He had a very precise prescription for fertilizer application for the Pencross putting greens. As Mike Huck tells the story, there was an application of lime followed one week later by an application of ammonium sulfate (A fatal combination resulting in ammonium gas). Well, that ended up burning the heck out of the greens, and Bill was convinced it was due to misapplication.”

“As usual, Huck did the deep dive into the agronomy. Bengy assembled the superintendents and assistants at the practice green to show them how to properly apply ammonium sulfate. He went down the line of young Turks and asked them how this demonstration was going to turn out. Most agreed with Bill with a few dissenters (Huck – typical). Well, the ammonium sulfate went down, they turned on the water, and the smell of ammonium gas filled the air! Bill was reported to say, ‘I will be taking all of you out to dinner tonight, I and I will be eating an appropriate portion of crow.’”

Funny business aside, Bengeyfield is consistently regarded as being a genuinely warm person bound to positively impact anyone who had the pleasure of talking or working with him. Steve Carlton, a retired golf course superintendent and a friend of Bengeyfield’s for forty-nine years, summed up how most felt after getting to know Bengeyfield: “A smarter, kinder, gentler man would be hard to find. He had a profound effect on how I grew turf and managed golf courses and I feel a great sadness at his passing.”

Despite retiring in 1990, Bengeyfield has left long lasting effects on the golf industry. Bill was a founding figure in establishing the USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Program, which currently remains impactful on how golf courses are maintained. His legacy also reaches those who follow in his footsteps today. Each person who had the pleasure of learning from and spending time with Mr. Bengeyfield may have a different memory about their time with him, but what remains unanimous in each person’s thoughts is the acknowledgment that golf agronomy is where it is today in part because of Bengeyfield’s career of dedication and hard work.

Important: COVID-19 Golf Industry Resources

Please note: Scroll down for additional resource links. 

Dear California Golf Industry Members:

Understandably, there is tremendous confusion over what is allowed and what is not following last night’s order by the governor, which appears to be at odds with directives and decisions being made by local governments. Industry leaders are working hard to find answers that will help guide you as you decide whether or not to remain open for business, and what level of customer service, golf play, and course maintenance is allowed.

At this time, our best guidance is that these decisions should be handled on a course by course basis. If you are considering staying open to the public or uncertain which activities can continue at your course, we encourage you to contact your county Public Health Department for clarification of their interpretation of the requirements and the county’s planned enforcement actions, as enforcement will occur at the local level. A comprehensive list of county health departments, with links to their websites and contact details, may be found here.

If your county indicates that golf play and maintenance may continue, please communicate that message to me, along with any specific restrictions and health and safety measures, as I will maintain a database of local policies, and will update other members on those details.

IMPORTANT: If your county indicates that golf play and/or maintenance are not allowed, or they are indecisive (we know of one county health office that told one person that golf was allowed and another that it wasn’t), please email me immediately, and I will work with other industry stakeholders on a coordinated effort to assist in resolving the situation in your county. It is very important that the messaging is consistent, appropriate and accurate, so you are urged to work through the allied industry associations (CGCOA, GCSA chapters, NCGA, NCPGA, SCGA, SCPGA) to enable a coordinated effort at the local level.

If you decide to advocate to your health department directly, please coordinate your efforts with other courses in your county to keep the message consistent and limit the burden on local health officials, then communicate the outcomes of those efforts to your neighboring courses and to me. For guidance on appropriate messaging about the importance of ongoing course maintenance, courtesy of GCSAA, please visit here.

For best management practices for those courses that conclude that golf play is allowed at their course, please reference the following documents:


NGCOA – PARK and PLAY Program: Making Your Course Social Distance Ready (Reviewed and approved by physicians with the Infectious Diseases Society of America)

Additional GCSAA resources related to management of the COVID-19 crisis at your property may be found here. All resources have been vetted by GCSAA legal counsel.

Additional Resource Links 

Below are additional resources for course owners, operators and employees:

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program


Please visit here for benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19 and also check out the EDD’s Frequently Asked Questions.

Paid Family Leave

Paid family leave is available for those who stay home because they need to take care of someone who has contracted the virus (COVID-19) or who has been quarantined (must be certified by a medical professional). Learn how to file a Paid Family Leave Claim here.

Disability Benefits/Paid Sick Leave

Disability benefits /paid sick leave are available for those who have actually contracted the virus themselves or who have been exposed to it and are quarantined (must be certified by a medical professional in the case of Disability Benefits). Learn how to file a Disability Insurance Claim here.

Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits are available to those whose hours have been reduced or who have lost their job due to coronavirus measures (and it also applies to those who choose to stay home due to underlying health issues making them more vulnerable). The Governor has waived the 1 week wait time and the person may not be required to be actively looking for work (as is usually required). Learn how to file an Unemployment Insurance Claim here. Unfortunately, this benefit is not available to undocumented persons whose hours are reduced or lose their job for reasons related to COVID-19, etc.

School Closures

If your child’s school is closed and you have to miss work to care for them. You might qualify for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Learn how to file an Unemployment Insurance Claim here.

We will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation, and will provide you with new information as it becomes available.

Marc Connerly, Executive Director