GCSAA 2011 plan and budget

By |  December 30, 2010

Jim Fitzroy, CGCS, president of GCSAA, just sent out a tome of an email regarding the 2011 GCSAA plan and budget. The entirety of that email is below.

Look for Golfdom to be covering much of what Jim talks about below next year. In fact, look no further than the post below this one to read more about John Miller being the new field staff rep for the Great Lakes region…


Over the past year I have shared with you information regarding the financial standing of GCSAA and how the association serves you by providing programs and services to enhance your success and that of your facility.

I appreciate the feedback you have provided and the concern you have shown for the association and its staff. I empathize with you as facility budgets have tightened and Mother Nature unleashed her fury on much of the nation. Despite these challenges, I am confident 2011 will be a year of stability with optimism for better times ahead for the association, the profession and the game of golf.

The purpose of this communication is to share with you the outcomes of the GCSAA 2011 Plan and Budget Meeting conducted by the board and executive staff earlier this month. The meeting was a culmination of study and discussions in association committee meetings, board meetings, a board strategic planning session and the chapter delegates meeting this past year. I believe we have constructed an association plan that delivers quality programs and services, while being financially responsible and balanced. The fact remains that we have a solid financial base with no long term debt and a healthy reserve fund. Here are some of the highlights of the 2011 GCSAA Plan and Budget:

Chapter Effectiveness
We continue to dedicate significant resources to enhance chapter effectiveness. The feedback from you has been clear that chapters need and want assistance in serving members. Earlier this year we announced a plan to expand the field staff program, and based on your positive feedback, we have opted to accelerate the growth of the program. Recently we announced the appointment of John Miller, CGCS as the field staff representative for the Great Lakes Region (Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio). He joins Ralph Dain, who is the field staff representative for Florida. Next week, we plan to announce resident field staff
representatives for the South Central (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico) and Southwest (Arizona, Nevada, California, Hawaii) regions.

Depending on the financial position of the association, the board approved the following sequence of filling the remaining regions of the Northeast (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Ontario) and Northwest (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado) in the fourth quarter of 2011. The Southeast (Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi) and Mid-Atlantic (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia) regions will be filled in 2012; and the Central Plains region (Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri) in 2013.

In addition to field staff, we are continuing to fund and/or increase funding for key chapter resources in the area of outreach (media/public relations), advocacy (government relations), and leadership development (leadership academy, conference chapter workshops, strategic planning). I am heartened by the many stories of success where chapter and association resources have been utilized to the benefit of members and their facilities.

No GCSAA board member disputes the importance of research to our members and the business of golf. That is why we budgeted dollars and additional resources to continue our research program in 2011, albeit at a reduced level from years past. We have also noted contingency actions to make increased funding among the highest priorities should certain revenue levels be met. Our goal is to expand this program as soon as it is feasible.

Representing our members and the association remains a priority for GCSAA. We have shifted resources to provide a greater focus on government relations and compliance efforts, including helping chapters with regional issues they are facing. We will continue to collaborate with our peer associations to participate in the We Are Golf coalition, which seeks to establish a stronger presence for the golf industry with state and national lawmakers. We will also maintain a strong media/public relations program including visibility on the Golf Channel and in various publications, web properties and events that are directed toward owners, operators, managers, parks and recreation officials, developers and other decision-makers.

It is clear that GCSAA members are recognized for their value as 97 percent of employers consider them to be key to the economic vitality of the golf facility, and avid golfers indicate they are the top employee at a golf facility in delivering enjoyment. Similar to We Are Golf, GCSAA will continue to be active in Golf 20/20’s Image of the Game initiative, which seeks to publicize the economic, health, environmental and charitable benefits of the game. We have many success stories in our advocacy/outreach efforts on a national and chapter level and providing more resources will help to continue and heighten that success.

Environmental Programs
GCSAA and its philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf, will continue to put a focus on environmental stewardship and fostering industry collaboration on the sustainable management of golf facilities. Through the Institute’s leadership, Golf’s Drive Toward Sustainability is a collaborative initiative that will help to ensure golf courses remain viable and deliver environmental, economic and recreational benefits. Our focus will be to continue to produce tools for the industry to use, the cornerstone being Best Management Practices performance statements that present a supporting business case. The emphasis will be on continuous improvement for facilities. Two additional resources that will be provided in 2011 are the fourth and fifth phases of the Golf Course Environmental Profile; Energy Use and Conservation, and Pesticide Use, respectively. The GCSAA Golf Course Environmental Profile has been recognized as a resource for state and national surveys that measure the economic and environmental impact of the game. It has also been an important tool in golf industry advocacy efforts with legislators and regulators, and the media.

New Education Programs and Delivery
In our quest to continue to provide you the best education in the industry, we will invest resources to develop new seminars and utilize new technologies to deliver education and information.

New Programs and Services
We will produce new programs and services (and enhance current ones) to your benefit and to generate revenues to support those efforts. Among those that have been recently introduced or will be in 2011 include enhanced communications through the GCSAA Industry Spotlight e-newsletter, GCSAA online radio, a member-produced video channel on GCSAA TV and a redesigned website; development of a new and state of the industry Job Board; introduction of a Member Savings Program providing savings on a variety of goods and services for you personally and professionally; new superintendent competencies measured and addressed by the online Self Assessment Tool; a virtual trade show in cooperation with the International Golf Course Equipment Managers Association; enhanced networking through a new online discussion forums product and social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, blogging); tools to advance environmental stewardship including an online IPM template, BMPs and case studies. This is just a partial list of the recent offerings your membership has allowed us to develop.

Financial Analysis
Though the economy in general has shown signs of growth, the prevailing opinion is that the recovery is likely to be slow and steady. Golf, a leisure/recreation industry, is by nature likely to trail in that recovery. People will quite naturally spend money on necessities before discretionary items. For that reason, we see 2011 as a year of stabilization. Golfer participation, course openings, and rounds played will likely be flat. That will mean GCSAA revenues will be flat for the most part. We have been conservative in our projections and reduced our reliance on reserve funds, therefore we will actually show a decrease in revenues from 2010. To accomplish all that we have laid out in the plan, it is vital that we have your support for a dues increase to be voted on at the annual meeting in Orlando. As has been shared in the past, the percentage of revenues that comes from member dues (for classes A, SM and C) is 27 percent, which is 10-13 percent lower than that of similar associations.

I appreciate your continued support of GCSAA. Our association retention rate since 2003 of 92 percent for Class A, SM and C members and 97 percent for Class A members is a testament to the value you place on GCSAA membership. However, we must never take that support for granted. You are constantly being asked to demonstrate a return on investment for your expenditures and we as members should expect no less from our association. I believe the GCSAA programs and services offer considerable value over and above that investment. I urge you to take advantage of these opportunities. A great way to start would be to join your peers at the 2011 GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show, Feb. 7-11 in Orlando. Again, thank you for being a part of GCSAA and taking the time to read about our plans for 2011. Please contact me at jfitzroy@presidentsgc.com should you have questions.


Jim Fitzroy, CGCS
GCSAA President

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