Symposium on Affordable Golf Scheduled | Sports Destination Management

Symposium on Affordable Golf Scheduled

Mar 31, 2014
California's Dairy Creek Golf Course to be Host Venue

The California Central Chapter of the GCSAA will serve as host for the fifth annual Symposium on Affordable Golf (SOAG), March 31 and April 1 at Dairy Creek Golf Course in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The symposium, which is typically held in North Carolina, will take place for the first time on the West Coast, where industry leaders will focus on key topics relating to golf? playability and the need for affordability, plus the affects of California's looming issue - water.

In addition to a series of seasoned speakers the symposium will include an on-site Zero Waste Golf tour, daily lunch, an early eve networking reception, and a golf experience at Dairy Creek Golf Course, the newest of three golf facilities operated by San Luis Obispo County Parks.

"What sets this symposium apart from other conferences is that golfers are an integral part of the discussion," said Symposium Founder Richard Mandell, and President of Richard Mandell Golf Architecture. "Everything we discuss has a direct line to those we serve the most, that is, the golfer."

Symposium speakers and topics set for Mon. March 31 (day 1) are: If the Demand Isn't There, is Anything Affordable? -Craig Kessler, Southern California Golf Association; Case Study: River Oaks Golf Course in Paso Robles, California -Dick Wilhoit and Wes Wilhoit, Estrella Associates; Breaking Through the Noise: What Does the Golfer Gain from Equipment? -Dick Rugge, Former USGA Sr. Technical Director; Zero Waste Golf Tour -Josh Heptig, Dairy Creek Golf Course and County of San Luis Obispo; Case Study: Univ. of New Mexico North Course, Albuquerque, New Mexico -Andy Staples, Staples Golf; Promoting the Game: Community Buy-In -Ben Hood, Richard Mandell Golf Architecture; The Folly of Replicating Tournament Conditions -Tim Moraghan, ASPIRE Golf Consulting, Bruce Williams, Bruce Williams Golf Consulting, Ted Horton, ValleyCrest Golf Maintenance.

Tues. April 1 (day 2) includes: Returning the Game to Affordability-How Less Can Actually Be More -Richard Mandell, Richard Mandell Golf Architecture; Case Study: Monarch Dunes Golf Course, Nipomo, California -Tom Elliott, CGCS and Jim DeLaby, PGA, Monarch Dunes GC; Brown is the New Green? Firm and Fast? Or is it Something Else? -Rhett Evans, GCSAA, Mike Huck, Irrigation & Turfgrass Services, Mike McCullough, Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency; and a panel discussion about Customer Service: What Does the Golfer Really Want? -Richard Mandell, Moderator.

"We are extremely pleased about hosting the symposium at Dairy Greek Golf Course," said GCSACC President and Event Host Josh Heptig, "we recognize the importance of affordable golf, not just for this generation, but for those who will follow. Whenever multiple organizations from the golf industry come together and collaborate with community leaders and members of the golfing public, there is a high chance that the future of golf will benefit."

Heptig is hopeful that the symposium will serve as the first of many joint meetings between the six California Chapters of the Golf Course Superintendents Association and the two California-based Sections of the PGA of America. As in past years, members of the PGA, LPGA and GCSAA will earn continuing education credits for attending the symposium.

Representatives from the following golf organizations are also expected to attend: ASGCA, CAG, CGCOA, CMAA, CTLF, GCSAA, NCGA, NCPGA, NCGRA, PWGA, SFPGA, SCGA, SCPGA, USGA, WIGI, and WSCGA.

While there is a $75 registration fee for symposium attendees, the sessions are free for members of the golfing public. However, there will be a reasonable fee for those partaking in lunch and golf.

To register or to learn more visit: or call (559) 298-4853 and/or visit

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