COURSE CARE
It's Too Expensive…Or Is It? April 30, 2014 By Larry Gilhuly

USGA agronomists around the country are available to serve your golf facility through the Course Consulting Service.

Every year the date May 15 arrives for USGA Green Section offices with great anticipation. Why? That is the cutoff date for golf facilities to get a $500 discount for a half-day, full-day or specialty visit from your regional USGA agronomist as part of the Course Consulting Service. However, it is always interesting to learn why such a high percentage of golf facilities do not use the service with "high cost" cited as the reason. Let's take a short look at why the cost is not that high and why every type of golf facility would benefit from this service:

  1. It is a full-year service. While we are on your site for either one full day or part of a day, we are available for assistance throughout the year. The cost of an expensive coffee daily is not too expensive. 
  2. You have access to agronomists that cover the entire country. The Green Section staff covers every state and has viewed virtually every situation related to golf course maintenance. Having an unbiased source of information from agronomists with over 200 years of service is not an expense, it is a benefit. 
  3. One of our best features is assisting golf facilities during tough economic times. With three decades of personal service to the game, many great and effective ideas have been observed when visiting golf courses at every level. The cost of any of our three types of visits can easily be recouped with the many ideas we discuss during the onsite visit to your facility. 
  4. Audits of operations are a good practice. It has always been interesting that the vast majority of businesses have annual or bi-annual audits, yet the same type of onsite audit is not completed for golf course maintenance operations. Green Section agronomists and the Course Consulting Service are not here to save or risk anyone’s job. When used properly, our service is a great way to audit an operation while adding successful methods to improve playing conditions and maintenance operations while keeping the budget in mind.

May 15 is quickly arriving. I hope those of you in the Northwest Region take advantage of the discounted price and have a visit to your course this year. If not, make sure and add our service to the budget for 2015. We really are not too expensive!

Source: Larry Gilhuly (lgilhuly@usga.org

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