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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It isn’t often that one bill can highlight all that separates one side of California’s great water divide from the other – from those interests fixated on conservation as the focus of future supply and those intent on pursuing a more diversified portfolio – from those who are often accused of believing that California can conserve its way out of its aridification predicament and those who are convinced that if conservation is the only tool in the state’s water resiliency toolbox, California is doomed to be hollowed out in much the same way rust belt cities like Pittsburgh and Detroit were in the last quarter of the 20th Century.

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Charles Dickens’ famous opening of “A Tale of Two Cities” comes to mind as a good descriptor of where California’s water situation and golf’s place in it stands after back-to-back record precipitation years: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...".

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Four Los Angeles City Council members introduced a motion yesterday that seeks to crack down on what the motion describes as “black-market tee time brokers” who book and resell city golf course tee times for profit.

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When introduced by Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) February 16, AB 3192 contained a provision that would have banned the use of all nonorganic pesticides and fertilizers on golf resorts in California’s Coastal Zone.

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A cautionary tale from semi-rural Santa Barbara County to remind you that the pressure to repurpose golf courses is not just a phenomenon in California’s densely packed urban cores.

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The National Golf Course Owners Association’s (NGCOA) Harvey Silverman may have characterized the City of Los Angeles’ uncommonly quick reaction to intense media scrutiny (five separate Los Angeles Times stories including a Sunday lead editorial) of the depredations of tee time brokering with his quip in the organization’s “Golf Business Weekly” about the city having reacted “faster than fixing potholes.”

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Every year there seems to be one bill filed in one house of the California Legislature that keeps the California golf community up at night.

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