Short Cuts

MID-YEAR GOLF COURSE DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

The National Golf Foundation has reported that closures have outpaced openings in the first six months of 2006. According to the NGF, there were 57.5 openings (in 18-hole equivalents) against 65 verified closures, for a net decrease of 7.5 courses. The report stated, “In recent years, openings have decreased while closures have increased, resulting in ever lower net increases to supply. We expect 130-140 18-hole equivalents to open in 2006. And, although it's difficult to predict, it's possible that we will see upwards of 130 closures, or double the number year-to-date. (In 2005, the number of closures at year-end was double the number at mid-year.) If that happens, we'll be close to a net growth of zero courses (openings minus closures) for 2006.”

LEARN TO MONOPOLIZE YOUR MARKETPLACE

The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) will host “Monopolize Your Marketplace,” Sept. 22-23, 2006, at the Embassy Suites BWI in Linthicum, Md.

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This two-day event will help green industry owners, managers and employees get a realistic picture of the market forces around them and understand how to position their companies to respond to those forces.

The workshop will educate green industry companies on how to develop new niche markets that are difficult to imitate and will help them find a faster way to target and qualify a new pipeline of profitable clients. Additionally, it will help green industry companies recognize that monopolizing a market requires owners, managers and employees to go beyond building relationships by forming an unbreakable bond with them.

For more information or to register for the event, visit PLANET online at http://landcarenetwork.org or call (800) 395-2522.

IRRIGATION CERTIFICATION FIRST IN LINE FOR WATERSENSE LABEL

Certification programs for irrigation professionals, irrigation controllers and soil moisture sensors will be the first services and products eligible to carry the new WaterSense water efficiency label.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been working with the Irrigation Association, water agencies and others in the industry to establish criteria for recognizing certification programs for irrigation auditors, designers and contractors. WaterSense guidelines for certification programs are expected this summer, making certification the first product or program to be eligible for the label.

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson unveiled the WaterSense logo and details of its water efficiency program on June 12. The WaterSense logo will go on products and services that are at least 20 percent more water efficient than their counterparts.

MORE HELP NEEDED FOR TROOPS PROGRAM

Project EverGreen reports its GreenCare for Troops program is gaining nationwide attention and favorable exposure for the green industry. As a result it has issued a call for more landscape and lawn care providers to participate in this patriotic public service effort.

Green Care for Troops is designed to provide lawn and landscape maintenance help for families of armed forces personnel whose major breadwinner is serving in the Middle East. Lawn and landscape professionals do not need to be contributors to Project EverGreen to participate.

Contractors interested in volunteering or in obtaining more information about GreenCare for Troops should access the Project EverGreen Web site at www.projectevergreen.com or call toll-free at (877) 758-4835.

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