SCGA Public Affairs


Monday, November 28, 2022

Our Northern colleagues conduct their version of a “golf & water summit” December 7 at Boundary Oak Municipal Golf Course in Walnut Creek. Their version is even more packed with content than the August 18 version in Southern California, albeit much of it with the same GCSAA, USGA Green Section, and local water district fare, including a presentation by GCSAA’s Western Liaison Jeff Jensen and SCGA’s Craig Kessler about the value of public/private collaborations in reducing the game’s water footprint.

The final details along with registration materials won’t be ready to share with the golf course superintendents, golf professionals, general managers, and SCGA club members in the Coachella Valley until the end of this week, but we can inform you today that the Hi-Lo Chapter GCSAA, USGA Green Section, Desert Chapter PGA, and SCGA will be conducting not so much a traditional “golf & water summit,” but rather a very desert specific half-day session the afternoon of January 11 at Mission Hills CC in Rancho Mirage – a session focused on a water supply situation that will be affected by the drying up of the Colorado Basin and the consequent need for the desert water agencies to cede what has long been a very generous allocation. Given the direct connection between raw water draws off the Colorado River and the 120 golf courses in the region, this will be the 1st time in recent memory that the desert golf community will be substantively affected by curtailments as opposed to politically affected by others’ curtailments.

Peter Nelson and Robert Cheng will be the featured speakers. Peter is in his 22nd year of consecutive service on the CVWD Board of Directors and a long-time member of the Colorado River Board and the California Farm Water Coalition. Robert is Assistant Director of CVWD, where he serves as that water district’s chief negotiator with the other agencies in the Colorado River Compact. Both can present with great authority regarding exactly where the Coachella Valley region stands regarding water supply and exactly what this portends for the huge golf community therein.

UC Riverside’s Dr. Jim Baird and the USGA Green Section’s Brian Whitlark are also confirmed presenters. They may be joined by USGA irrigation specialist Dr. Matteo Serena in a tripartite effort to bring the desert golf community fully up to date regarding some of the new drought tolerant Bermuda strains ready to hit the market in late 2023/early 2024 and some of the new technologies now available capable of assisting desert golf courses further reduce water consumption.

The main message of the two Northern/Southern water summits involved the game’s deep commitment to parlaying a solid record in water footprint reduction over the last 20 years into an even much more impressive record the next 20 years – a foundation upon which both golf and non-golf communities can credibly repose confidence in the game’s ability to thrive in a severely water curtailed environment.

The message of the Coachella Valley mini summit is more about communicating to a golf community that has long relied upon the beneficence of an incredibly fecund aquifer and a generous allotment from the Colorado River that the 2nd part of that beneficent equation is about to come to an end. And with that end is sure to come some of the same pressures that golf communities elsewhere in Southern California have been enduring for some time. Those “pressures” promise to be much less onerous than most, but there will be “pressures” nonetheless. And as golf has come to understand on so many fronts in recent years, whenever given the opportunity to get out in front of a problem, take it. Things will go better as a result.

Archived Updates

Opposition to Assembly Bill 1910

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CGCOA Golf is Good Ambassador Program

Are you interested in becoming an advocate for golf in California? The CGCOA is seeking amateur golfers who are passionate about protecting the game of golf and promoting public policies that enable golf to flourish in California. Take the next step to becoming an advocate for golf by completing the attached Golf is Good Ambassador Application.

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FORE - Public Affairs

FORE - The magazine of the SCGA. Find archived Public Affairs articles on the website of the SCGA's award winning quarterly publication.

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Affordable housing a big winner; local control a big loser. What might it mean for golf in California.

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“CalMatters” is a nonprofit, non-partisan state news service that was created a few years ago to do the kind of in-depth journalism once routinely provided by newspapers and periodicals and now provided scantily if at all only by those media organs funded by charitable contributions or substantial enough to sustain deficits.

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A local example but an instructive one in a long string of examples of how a golf association can amass the facts of the matter as opposed to a version of them provided by those intent on repurposing golf course land for their preferred use, make those facts known to the decision-makers, and then rally its members and member clubs behind those “facts” to get a verdict in the public arena favorable to golf’s cause.

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Our last “Update” detailed the one piece of water legislation (AB 1572 – Proscription upon the use of potable water to irrigate nonfunctional turf) that we considered the most positively impactful to the statewide golf community to get signed into law in the 2023 legislative session – “positively impactful” because golf is specifically referenced as “recreational” and/or “functional” turf exempt from the proscription, language sure to be copied and pasted into all sorts of future bills and regulations, not just at the state level, but at the local and regional levels as well.

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Six years and one month ago in October 2017 the Director penned an article in SCGA’s hard copy magazine FORE entitled, The Era of Recycled Water May be Drawing to a Close.” The kind of recycled water used for outdoor irrigation, that is – nonpotable reuse.

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“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

Often attributed to Albert Einstein, who many say wrote it on a blackboard in his Princeton office, its origin is much older than that. However, in this exact form, it appeared in a seminal sociology textbook in 1963 and has been quoted repeatedly since to highlight the fact that certain important matters are simply not amenable to quantification.

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The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is set this Wednesday to open its first public hearing on the Proposed Rule it published August 18 to effectuate what the Governor and others have termed “Making Conservation a California Way of Life.”

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