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Fine-Tune Your Agronomic Budget

Posted On: February 1, 2018 by ClubProcure in: Agronomy VGM Club

Fine-Tune Your Agronomic Budget
Written by Mike Woltz, Director of Business Development – Agronomy

During the leadup to the Golf Industry Show this past month, we interviewed a few of our members speaking at the event. As the Director of Business Development – Agronomy, I was interested in the entire piece, but one particular question we asked every single interviewee was, “How do you plan to grow as a manager in 2018?” As I read the responses, it got me thinking about how our jobs parallel in one particular aspect. Let me start off by giving you one succinct response to that question:

“For 2018, my biggest focus as a manager will be to really fine-tune my organizational skills. As with most other facilities, a stagnant budget with increasing costs makes it critically important to have staff and projects as efficient as possible.” – Rodney Crow, CGCS at Mount Vintage Golf Club in North Augusta, South Carolina.

Rodney is spot on. That is the challenge many of you are facing in 2018. It led me to ask another question.

What can VGM Club do to help?

We must be efficient in educating members about our solutions. Just as you walk into a boardroom to discuss budgetary considerations with the greens committee, VGM Club reps walk into your maintenance building to maximize your membership and our effectiveness.

There may be times your board does not completely understand what your job requires to be successful. Now, before you brand that as the understatement of the year, I don’t feel as though I am talking out of turn when I say many have gotten significantly better.

Regardless of your situation, the fact remains. You must shoulder some (or most) of the load when it comes to educating the committee on your needs. Henry Delozier explains it succinctly in his article, “Ditch the budgeting angst,” from Golf Course Industry Magazine:

“We often hear the advice to ‘manage up,’ which is another way of saying we need to go beyond our own job description to enhance your manager’s work. Successful budgeters – those who consistently create budgets that accurately reflect the priorities of the facility and how those priorities will be implemented – know how to ‘educate up.’ They do that by making sure those up the organizational ladder understand what you need to maximize effectiveness.”

Just like your greens committee, VGM Club is not always an expert. We count on your feedback and the expertise of our partners to build a program that works for you. We will always work to better that portfolio with existing and/or new partners. That will never change.

Neither does the next part of our job, to communicate those offerings to your facility. Doing this effectively maximizes your efficiency, just as Rodney stressed, and thus maximizes your membership.

Our full-service membership community is full of solutions your club can use to grow your budget. We have learned from Club Benchmarking’s article, “Golf Course Maintenance: How Much Should you Spend?” that says typically a golf course maintenance department’s budget equals 40 percent of fixed operating expenses.

So how does VGM Club create an agronomic portfolio that stretches 40 percent further?

VGM Chemical and Fertilizer Program:

Your membership grants you access to exclusive discounts and credit rebate opportunities when you purchase from our partners whether you are already purchasing from our select partners or not! 

Every partner’s package is a little different, but each one has created a program with our contracting team to benefit the clubs in its territory the best.

Members not on our program have built relationships with their current vendor or sales representative, and that will always be a part of our organization. Being non-compliant allows for that freedom. However, well over 50% of our membership is on our program.

We feel that is a testament to how well this program can help a facility. Building this program is a significant focus for us moving forward. How can we make it better? How do we incorporate other purchases to help members like you?

This leads us to a program we negotiated last year.


Nufarm is a leading supplier of plant protection products for the professional turf and ornamental markets. Nufarm offers a diversified product portfolio that includes herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and plant growth regulators utilized in a variety of markets nationwide.

In 2017, VGM Club secured exclusive discounts and rebates on seven of Nufarm’s top products for our membership. Stack these on top of our fertilizer and chemical rebates and suddenly your 40% becomes stretched further.

These programs are the best opportunity you have as a VGM Club member to stretch your agronomic budget further, but they are not the only solutions. We also offer solutions for course accessories, equipment, safety wear, and much more.

Do you want to learn more about how VGM Club can stretch your entire agronomic budget further? Call us at 800-363-5480 or visit www.vgmclub.com.