Las Vegas Superintendent Earns National Award


Golf course superintendent P.J. McGuire, director of golf course maintenance for Par 4 Golf Management Co. in Las Vegas, has been selected by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America to receive the organization's 2011 Excellence in Government Relations Award.

The award will be presented during the 2011 GCSAA Education Conference at Celebrate GCSAA! presented by Syngenta, February 8. Celebrate GCSAA! is hosted by GCSAA President James R. Fitzroy, CGCS. The conference (February 7-11) will be held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show (February 9-10) at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

"Under P.J.'s leadership and vision, golf associations in Nevada have come together and are now speaking in one voice and showing important political leaders in the state golf's great economic, environmental, social and recreational value," Fitzroy said. "The Excellence in Government Relations Award is a well deserved honor for his work."

In December 2008, golf courses across Nevada were made aware of Nevada Assembly Bill No. 205. If passed into law, Nevada golf courses would no longer receive the benefit of being considered an "open space" in Nevada tax law. The loss of the open space designation would have cost Nevada golf courses hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe even millions in additional taxes, and most likely put a number of Nevada golf courses out of business.

In response to potentially harmful new tax legislation impacting the golf industry, McGuire rallied support from the Southern Nevada GCSA, the Sierra Nevada GCSA, the Southern Nevada Golf Association, the PGA Southwest Section, the Club Managers Association of America, the Nevada Golf Course Owners Association, and the First Tee of Southern and Northern Nevada to form the Nevada Golf Industry Alliance. In securing support from allied golf association leaders to form the alliance, McGuire also secured financial support and active participation from each group.

The mission of the alliance is to improve business conditions for the golf industry in the state of Nevada by serving as an educational resource for the industry and the public, by serving as an advocate for the industry before the state legislature and other governmental bodies, and by communicating to the public the economic benefits and environmental stewardship provided by the game of golf.

Three months after forming the alliance, McGuire led members to the state capitol to educate legislators on the economic, environmental, social, and recreational benefits that golf brings to the state of Nevada. Alliance representatives spoke individually with key political figures and testified to specific committees. Under the direction of McGuire, the alliance published a four-page, full-color brochure giving an overview of key issues facing golf in Nevada. The alliance also hosted a reception in Carson City for politicians and their staff members that was planned by McGuire and well attended by state legislators.

In discussions with state lawmakers, the alliance also noted that no other industry is as proactive when it comes to the conservation of the state's most vital resource, water. In the last several years, Las Vegas-area golf courses have removed millions of square feet of grass and conserved more than one billion gallons of water. Plus, the golf industry is a leader in irrigation technology and is an example of best practices for many.

Because of the organized efforts of the Nevada Golf Industry Alliance, Assembly Bill No. 205 never made it out of the Nevada Senate's taxation committee and therefore never went to a vote. Under McGuire's leadership the alliance is well positioned to challenge similar tax-related legislation widely expected to resurface in 2011.

An 18-year GCSAA member, McGuire has been with Par 4 Golf Management since it was created three years ago, and he has worked in Las Vegas since 1987. He graduated with high honors from Rutgers University's turfgrass management program and is one of only 1,700 active superintendents to earn the professional designation as a GCSAA Certified Golf Course Superintendent. As the Excellence in Government Relations Award winner, McGuire will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show. His name will also be engraved on a plaque that is on permanent display at GCSAA headquarters.

For additional information about the GCSAA, visit www.gcsaa.org.


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