Golf Course Management

AUG 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 25 of 97

22 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08.18 The Slovenian greenkeepers to celebrate a milestone Editor's note: Later this year near Ljubljana, Slove- nia, the 20th Slovenian Greenkeepers Association's "Days of Education" will take place. Melvin B. Lucas Jr., CGCS Retired, a 56-year GCSAA member and the association's president in 1980, has been present for all but three of the meetings. Here he chronicles the Slovenian association's journey for GCM. Every country in Europe has a greenkeeper organiza - tion, as well as a conference. However, Slovenia's "Days of Education" is the only one that favors non-biased pre - sentations on turf research, presented in English by U.S. greenkeepers from the most prestigious courses and USGA Green Section agronomists. I have been instrumen - tal in its formation, as well as in obtaining many speakers over these past 20 years. As for Slovenia, I like to compare this small nation — in 1998, the country had eight golf courses and now fea - tures six 18-hole facilities, eight nine-hole courses and one six-hole layout — to the country described in the book, "The Mouse That Roared," which was authored by Leonard Wibberley and later became a movie starring Peter Sellers. As with life, the biggest compliment is to be copied in many ways. In my past 28 years, consulting on new course de - velopment in Continental Europe has been an educational experience. One meets many cultures as well as people with intense desires to better their lives as well as the lives of others. In 1995, I met Gorazd Nastran, a Slovenian who had spent a year in the U.S. working at Whippoorwill Club in Armonk, N.Y. At that time, I had been working on a nine- hole project in Bled, Slovenia. I talked with Gorazd at great length about greenkeeping, and I indicated that he should come to GCSAA's Golf Industry Show in Orlando in 1996. He was my guest, and like anyone having a first view of the week's activities, he was overwhelmed. With this first meeting, he asked how to put together an organization, as Europe at that time was at the height of the golf boom, with numerous golf courses planned for Slovenia. Utilizing GCSAA bylaws and guidelines, he, with some help from me, created what would become the Slo - venian Greenkeepers Association that was formed in 1998. Gorazd continued to come to the Golf Industry Show, and I believe he has only missed two since his first visit. Teaching and learning are major components of the Slovenian Greenkeepers Association's 20th annual "Days of Education," which will be held Nov. 13-14 near Ljubljana, Slovenia. Past GCSAA President Melvin Lucas, CGCS Retired, has been instrumental in helping guide the Slovenians in their endeavors. Photo courtesy of Darko Cecelja DOLLARS Nationwide average maintenance budget for an 18-hole golf course in 2018 (common) & SENSE 43.4% $83,170 $776,005 $780,000 $620,000 $600,000 $640,000 $660,000 $680,000 $700,000 $720,000 $740,000 $760,000 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 $692,835 $696,524 $727,730 $688,821 $724,269 $728,617 $743,258 $739,493 $776,005 12% Increase Respondents who think their maintenance budget will increase in 2019. Ten percent responded that they think their maintenance budget will decrease in 2019, while 47 percent think it will remain unchanged. Increase in nationwide average maintenance budget for an 18-hole golf course since 2010 Increase in nationwide average maintenance budget for an 18-hole golf course, 2018 vs. 2017 $36,512 Overall maintenance budget spent on labor in 2017, the largest expenditure 57.2% The findings from GCSAA's 2018 Maintenance Budget Survey are out, and the nationwide average 18-hole maintenance budget rose almost 5 percent vs. 2017. Since 2010, the average maintenance budget for an 18-hole course has increased 12 percent. But as the report's executive summary states, the results need to be taken with a careful grain of salt. "Maintenance budgets should never be used to compare golf courses," it reads. "The averages contained in this report are an amalgamation of many types of golf courses. Golf courses differ in many ways, in far more unique characteristics than can be included in these pages." That being said, the survey revealed a number of interesting data points and trends about how superintendents are spending their maintenance dollars. For a complete look at the 2018 Maintenance Budget Survey, go to

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