The MGCOA Winter Conference was an excellent place to spend a couple of days this year. The organization had an interesting program, provided a stimulating location within the Soaring Eagle Resort and produced it against a background of knowledgeable vendors.
Some of the highlights on the vendor side included, the addition of GolfSwitch to the Travel Michigan website, http://travel.michigan.org/golf. The online teetime registration company joined Book4Golf in supplying teetimes for those coming in through the Travel Michigan golf portal.
Cy Davis and the Club Car and US Golf Car team had their handicap golf car on hand to demonstrate to conference goers. Davis indicated that the car has been around for a couple of years, but that golf clubs are looking to buying them as a both a service to their customers and a protective strategy against possible litigation. The cars perform very well, as was demonstrated at the expo.
Golf Marketing Services, represented by Dave Richards and Kevin Frisch was on hand to talk Michigan golf. However, much of their excitement consisted of showing photos of the new Pacific Dunes course by bud Tom Doak. It is a spectacular piece of land on the Pacific Ocean. Early reviews indicate that it is a one of a kind course.
There were a number of software companies on hand to demonstrate how they can help golf courses manage all those things they manage; quicker, more skillfully and with an eye to the bottom line.
The speakers contributed a wide variety of messages, with Steve Kircher describing the massive Boyne properties. He also held an informative nice Q and A after his remarks. John Dodge held a very informative session on hiring methodology practices. Jim Olson made sure we all knew the about the challenges of producing enough clean water to go around in this country. Finally, George Zimmermann, the new Vice President of Travel Michigan, listened more than he talked, as he continued his listening tour of our state. Zimmermann was welcomed to the job with a 3/4 million dollar budget cut. He did however, keep in dollars for the golf consultant in the budget. He also pointed out that the State will bring in house the call center that had been farmed out to Prince Edward Island for the past couple of years.
The association also had an impressive awards program, which featured recognition going to Kathy Aznavorian and Sandy Mily of Fox Hills for best new golf course of the year and businessman/journalist Terry Moore for his lifetime achievement in the area of golf. Kate Moore and her staff, did an excellent job of putting on this conference. It has become the definitive conference for the golf industry in Michigan.
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