Las Vegas, Nevada (December 15, 2010)–They are usually the guys behind the scenes who only get noticed when something goes wrong. A brown patch on the turf? An unkept bunker? The damn golf course superintendent isn't doing the job. But sometimes they are acknowledged for good things, such as superb conditions or other noteworthy accomplishments. That is the case for Las Vegas golf course "super" PJ McGuire, who recently earned praise nationally from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America for his recent role in helping to elevate the game in Nevada. –By Brian Hurlburt
McGuire, director of golf course maintenance for Par 4 Golf Management Co. in Las Vegas that oversees three Las Vegas golf courses, has been selected to receive the 2011 Excellence in Government Relations Award. 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 potentially put a number of Nevada golf courses out of business.
In response to potentially harmful new tax legislation impacting the golf industry, McGuire helped rally 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 group then lobbied the state legislature in Carson City in conjunction with Nevada Golf Day at the Capitol. 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 in Orlando in February where the award will be presented. His name will also be engraved on a plaque that is on permanent display at GCSAA headquarters.
"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," said GCSAA President James R. Fitzroy said in a statement. "The Excellence in Government Relations Award is a well deserved honor for his work." The GCSAA is a leading golf organization and has as its focus golf course management. Since 1926, GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to more than 20,000 members in more than 72 countries. GCSAA's mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. McGuire is a former president of the Southern Nevada Golf Courses Superintendents Association.