b'So that was a really big deal,We did get the exemption Hansen said. It was a tough fightfor growing new grass or because the legislature in this staterepairing grass, she said. never likes to reduce taxes, and theyI do remember a couple of viewed this as a tax reduction. superintendents looking at Hansen worked to get all the golfeach other and saying, Ah, ducks in a row, and a bill was passedrepairing grass is what I do that prevented a sales tax beingall day, every day.collected on donated rounds of golf. Another issue came up She rallied all the troops, Kealyconcerning the elimination said. She got us all calling keyof a certain herbicide, but legislators and writing letters. in the end there were two The First Tee of Greater Seattle waskey exemptionsthe wheat one of the golf entities that played aindustry and the golf industry.major role in the whole process, andThrough the 20 years during the bill signing in March ofrepresenting superintendents, Hansencompared to the water quality when 2004 with Gov. Gary Locke, the Firstspent time informing legislators, theirthat stream enters the golf course.Tee made sure the Governor wasstaffs and other government officialsHow could that possibly be? she surrounded by the smiling faces ofabout the value superintendents placesaid is the response she gets when junior golfers. on their profession and the environmentreciting that research.To this day, I think thats my all- thats key to that profession. And her answer?time favorite bill signing, Hansen said. Oh, thats the guy who mows theWell, thats because they (super-Most of her victories, though, dontgrass, Hansen said about what sheintendents) know what theyre doing. come with any type of ceremonialhears first from a lot of politiciansTheyre very, very careful. Theyre ending. Instead, its a basic feeling ofbefore she has had a chance tovery precise.accomplishment, and sometimes foreducate them. They dont realizeWith those matching characteristics, all parties involved. that they (superintendents) usuallyits no wonder Heather Hansen and the In 2011, there was a bill goingall have degrees in agronomy andgolf industry have had such a strong through the legislature set to prohibitadvanced training and how well theyrelationship the past two decades.turf fertilizers that contain phosphorus. really know what theyre doing, andSo, as Heather eases into That was a huge one, becausehow precise it is. retirement, let us give thanks to her, there were a number of environmentalOver the years, Hansen has lovedas someone who carried the weight groups pushing really, really hard onto point out to those in the politicalbehind the scenes, who watched that one, Hansen said. world the research collected from aover the golf community, who was In the end, though, Hansen madestream that runs through a golf course,the unseen guardian angel on our sure the wording in the final bill madethat the water quality is better asshoulder, while we happily played our provisions for golf. that stream leaves the golf course asnext round of golf. On March 26, 2004, Washington Governor Gary Locke (seated) signed into law Substitute Senate Bill 6115. Governor Locke was surrounded by students, school teachers, coaches, young athletes, beginning golfers. This new law eliminated the sales tax (use tax) on donated rounds by golf courses, saving high school golf programs, ju-nior programs such as The First Tee, and various non-profit charity events throughout the state. It was Heather Hansen who rallied the troops to make this happen. 6WASHINGTON GOLF| SEPT 2022'