2020 News Releases


California Alliance for Golf earns Excellence in Government Affairs Award from GCSAA

by Dec 15, 2020 | Kate Hiebert

Golf coalition’s advocacy work making an impact in California

Lawrence, Kan. (Dec. 15, 2020) – California Alliance for Golf (CAG) has earned the 2020 Excellence in Government Affairs Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) for their productive and ongoing efforts in advocating for the golf course management profession. GCSAA annually recognizes a chapter, coalition or superintendent for outstanding advocacy or compliance efforts in government affairs.

CAG is a non-profit corporation that serves as a unified voice for its members in front of various legislative and regulatory bodies that affect their common interests in the game and industry of golf. The Alliance was formed initially to deal almost exclusively with water issues, then grew to include more environmental issues. CAG is involved with legislative and regulatory issues at local, regional and national levels of government.

The Alliance is governed by a board that includes the state’s amateur golf associations, PGA sections, GCSAA chapters, California NGCOA chapter and others within the California golf industry. The Alliance is further supported by a legislative committee that elicits the participation of additional leaders in the California golf community.

In the previous decade, CAG collaborated with California’s Department of Water Resources to create a golf separate chapter of the state’s Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance. CAG developed a protocol with the state’s largest water provider, Los Angeles Water & Power, for allowing golf courses to maintain absolute control of their irrigation regimens during various stages of drought, and they retained a lobbying firm to give the golf community ongoing presence in the capitol and quick access to legislators. CAG has helped reduce the industry’s water footprint and greatly contributed to a more positive perception of the game of golf.

In the 2019-2020 session, CAG has developed a provision of substantial relief in the legislature’s codification of new law for independent contracting for PGA golf professionals desiring to

continue working as independent contractors instead of employees. CAG also developed comprehensive white paper regarding the impact of envisioned changes to the state’s property tax structure to four varieties of golf course property. It will provide them with the accurate and unbiased information conducive of making informed choices.

“The allied associations that make up the California Alliance for Golf have worked together for years to combine their separate interests and constituencies into a coherent whole, capable of representing the statewide golf industry with one voice, with one message and one mission, all focused on what's best for the game, industry, and especially those like golf superintendents who labor in it,” said Jim Ferrin, CGCS, vice president of CAG.

In addition, CAG played a significant role during the COVID-19 pandemic in restoring golf activities to California residents during the early stages of easing restrictions. They worked statewide and with individual counties to make the case for golf to be the first outdoor activity reinstated and sustained. A unison effort between various counties and CAG resulted in the development of county-specific Back2Golf protocols capable of meeting political muster in their locales. CAG lobbied for updates and amendments to the original health orders that restored the game as circumstances changed and permitted.

“GCSAA is fortunate to the California Alliance for Golf advocating at all levels of government for the game, which helps golf course managers use best practices," said Rhett Evans, GCSAA chief executive officer. “Their advocacy efforts advance the game and help bring golf to the front of legislative priorities. I thank them for their positive impact on the game and congratulate them on this well-deserved honor.”

CAG will be formally recognized Feb. 2 at the 2020 virtual Golf Industry Show. They will also be featured in an upcoming issue of GCSAA’s official monthly publication, Golf Course Management magazine.

“Together we have advanced the cause in what are probably the roughest political waters in the nation. We are honored by GCSAA's recognition,” said Ferrin.

Nominees for the EGA Award were judged by the GCSAA Government Affairs Committee based on how their efforts best serve the interests of the golf course superintendent profession and the golf course management industry.