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From the NCGA President by Brian D. Morse G A Proud President

reetings from a soon-to-be “has been.” I’m not the first NCGA President to comment on the speed in which a year passes,

but it is so true. What makes it seem so quick is undoubtedly being in the eye of the hurricane of activity that is the NCGA, Poppy Holding and the NCGA Foundation. Not a day goes by in which the incredible staff of these af- filiated entities aren’t planning, execut- ing or evaluating multiple events in fulfillment of their strategic plans. It has been impressive to watch. The completion of the Poppy Hills

renovation project, re-opening of the course, and successful staging of the recent Nature Valley First Tee Open on the Champions Tour has to be the major accomplishment of the year. Much credit is due to Chairman Derrell Biddy, the Poppy Holding Board, and course superintendents Manny Sousa and Matt Muhlenbruch. for their competent stewardship of this complicated year-long project. A shout- out and congratulations as well to new General Manager Brad Shupe, who assumed his position just weeks before the re-opening ceremonies and, with able assistance from Communications

and Marketing Director Scott Seward, made it look easy. Amid the buzz of the golf course

re-opening, the real work of the NCGA continues. The stabilizing leadership of Vaughn Kezirian has empowered and energized our staff. We are financially sound, and pursuing new avenues to increase membership and expand types of membership. Our tournament pro- gram, the finest in the nation, continues to thrive, approaching 500 tournament days in 2014. For our juniors, our Junior Tour, operated in partnership with the Northern California PGA, continues to grow and amaze. Virtually every tournament is over-subscribed! Executive Director Adam Heieck and the NCGA Foundation are another success story. From modest beginnings over a decade ago, the financial strength and reach of the Foundation increases almost daily. It’s Youth on Course pro- gram, allowing kids to play 18 holes for $5 at more than 100 courses, is not only growing in Northern California, but is now being licensed and established in other states. The continuing partnership of the NCGA and NCGA Founda- tion is essential to the maintenance and growth of interest in golf and NCGA

membership. Seeing and appreciating what the Youth on Course life values/ golf etiquette curriculum can do to improve the lives and opportunities for kids creates an emotional connection that we hope will attract new members to the NCGA, not just to obtain a handicap or compete in tournaments, but to support and be a part of a program that is so undeniably good for kids. There are challenges abound for the

NCGA— membership maintenance and growth, continued sound budgetary management, transitioning to the digital age and utilization of social media for membership communication, successful operation of our crown jewel, Poppy Hills, and the development and retention of our dedicated and first-rate management and staff, to name just a few. Be assured the NCGA Board is up for its share of the work. Your directors have broad and lengthy

experience in golf, law, finance, business technology, marketing and communica- tions, and all share a passion for this great game. Incoming President Lee Gidney will lead with the calm competence and inspirational confidence to be expected of a 747 captain. We’ll be in great hands. When I became a tournament of- ficial in 1984, little did I know it would take me to the board and presidency of this storied Association. A lot of people have helped me, the ways and times too numerous to count, but to them I’ll be forever grateful.

The 2014 NCGA Board of Director at the Poppy Hills Opening. Bottom row left to right: Bob Goldstein, Susan Morse, Michael O’Donnell, Tom Bone, Stacey Baba, Mike Weeks, Gail Rogers, Gary Fox and Paul Yost. Back row left to right: Tom Carter, Immediate Past President Dan Hansford, Pat Quinn, Secretary/Treasurer John Ronca, President Brian Morse, Vice President Lee Gidney, Brad Bell, Anthony Muller, and John Dodsworth.

12 / NCGA.ORG / FALL 2014

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