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The Pin Sheet

Kyle Miller: GIS recap and early season warmth

Posted in Audiocast Update 24 February 2017 · 136 views

In this episode of The Pin Sheet, host Jon Kiger chats with Kyle Miller, senior technical specialist at BASF, about the recent Golf Industry Show, his observations on the state of the industry, and the potential effects of early season warmth being experienced by much of the country.


John Zimmers, Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pennsylvania

Posted in People 15 February 2017 · 537 views

Dave Delsandro, left, delivered the induction speech as John Zimmers, right, of Oakmont Country Club recently was enshrined in his high school's Monogram Club.According to legend, John Zimmers was a pretty good baseball player back in the day at Tyrone High School in west-central Pennsylvania. But it has been his work in the golf business that grabbed the attention of folks back in his hometown of Tyrone.
On Jan. 28, Zimmers was one of eight people inducted into Tyrone High School's Golden Eagle Monogram Club.
The 2007 TurfNet Superintendent of the Year Award winner, Zimmers, 45, has been superintendent at Oakmont since 1999 after spending three years as superintendent at Sand Ridge Golf Club in Chardon, Ohio.
Zimmers got his start in the business by happenstance when he answered a help-wanted ad in the Altoona Mirror. That ad had been placed by Paul R. Latshaw at Wilmington Country Club in Delaware, more than 200 miles away. His career includes overseeing two U.S. Open championships (2007, 2016), a U.S. Women's Open in 2010 and the 2003 U.S. Amateur.
Dave Delsandro, Oakmont's director of U.S. Open operations and projects, was on hand to announce Zimmers' induction.
"John is the absolute best," Delsandro said in the Altoona Mirror. "He is such a great manager, honest, hard-working, and a good communicator."
The Monogram Club is a group open to all letter-winners from Tyrone Area High School. It began Honor Group inductions in 1988 and has added a new class to the group every other year since 2001.

BASF at GIS2017: "Championship Conditions"

Posted 01 February 2017 · 366 views

In this Pin Sheet audiocast, Jon Kiger chats with Jeff Vannoy, BASF Sr. Product Manager, Turf, about BASF's new products, updates and activities planned for the upcoming GIS2017 in Orlando. 


The theme of the BASF booth (#3033) is "Championship Conditions". A panel discussion with John Zimmers of Oakmont Country Club and a presentation by Mark Kuhns of Baltusrol Golf Club highlight the schedule.


Paul Carter, CGCS, The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay

Posted 06 January 2017 · 397 views

Thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated individuals at Harrison Bay State Park near Chattanooga, Tennessee, it has been possible since 2011 to witness bald eagles more up close and personal than anyone could have previously imagined.

Through the years, there have been a lot of heart-warming scenes on display through the Harrison Bay Eagle Cam. Viewers have been able to watch eggs being laid, new eaglets hatch and grow as the adults brought back blackbirds, turtles and fish to feed them. and ultimately leave the nest. There have been some sad stories as well, including a couple of years where the eaglets did not survive.
Truly, it has been Mother Nature at her finest.
This nesting season, however, it was Mother Nature that knocked out the camera perched in a tree above the nest during a storm in early December. Federal regulations, namely The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, make it illegal to harm, kill or otherwise harass the birds.
Talk about irony.
Paul Carter, CGCS, who has been a key driver in the project since its inception (his daughter, Hannah, named the adults Elliott and Eloise), said they won't be able to retrieve the camera until the eagles have left Harrison Bay for the season in the spring.
The timing was unfortunate as a new female (dubbed Eliza, courtesy of Hannah) joined Elliott in the nest, replacing Eloise.
For now anyway, the second camera that captures the nest and the surrounding area from ground level will have to do - that is unless anyone wants to cover the $500,000 fine and do the jail time that comes with harassing the birds. If next year is anything like the past five, the wait will be worth it.

BASF's Kyle Miller: December to Remember... plus a look back and a glance ahead

Posted in Audiocast Update 20 December 2016 · 337 views

TurfNet's John Reitman chats with Kyle Miller of BASF about the challenges December has brought to mid-Atlantic and snow belt turf managers so far, while also looking back on the past season and ahead to the next.




BASF's Kyle Miller: Post-Labor Day recap; preparing for fall and winter

Posted in Audiocast Update 18 September 2016 · 1,316 views


In this episode of The BASF Pin Sheet, TurfNet's Jon Kiger chats with BASF Sr. Technical Specialist Kyle Miller about the recent summer season in the north and mid-Atlantic regions, and what to think about to properly prepare for fall and winter.


BASF's Dr. Kathie Kalmowitz: Managing Pythium for bentgrass >> ultradwarf conversions

Posted in Audiocast Update 07 September 2016 · 819 views


For this audiocast episode of the BASF Pin Sheet, host Jon Kiger caught up with BASF Technical Specialist Dr. Kathie Kalmowitz at a recent BASF Turf Research & Solutions Seminar held at Druid Hills Golf Club in the Atlanta area.


Topics include differing strategies for managing Pythium and other diseases on both bentgrass and ultradwarf Bermudagrass in the South, and special concerns for those converting from bent to ultradwarf.


Marty Smith, University Park (Illinois) Golf Club

Posted 06 September 2016 · 3,625 views

Who says you cant go home again?


Marty Smith of University Park Golf Club. Photo by Daily SouthtownMarty Smith spent the past 12 years as superintendent of University Golf Club south of Chicago until the city-owned course closed last November. He returned in June when Billy Casper Golf took over the management contract on the course that had fallen into disrepair since it closed.


Renamed University Park Golf Club, the course is scheduled to reopen this week


Casper has a large footprint in the Chicago area. With a portfolio of more than 150 courses nationwide, Casper manages nearly 30 courses in Illinois, at least 17 of which are in the Chicago area.


When Smith returned to the course in June, grass in the roughs was tall, really tall, as high as 3 feet in some places.

The club had targeted a Labor Day weekend grand reopening, but that was delayed thanks to rainfall totals of 4-5 inches in August in the Chicago area.


Audiocast: Willie Pennington, industry icon

Posted in Audiocast Update 28 July 2016 · 1,165 views

In this audiocast episode of the BASF Pin Sheet, Jon Kiger chats with long-time BASF Southeast Sales Representative -- and industry icon -- Willie Pennington. Jon and Willie cover a broad range of subjects, from Mother Nature to bent-to-Bermuda conversions, changes in levels of turf inputs over the years... and Willie's penchant for deep sea tuna fishing vacations!



Scott Bender, CGCS, Marriott Griffin Gate Resort, Lexington, Kentucky

Posted 18 July 2016 · 437 views

A 2015 renovation project at Marriott Griffin Gate Resort in Lexington, Kentucky resulted in reducing the bunker count from 69 to 67 at this former Champions Tour site. That might not sound like much, but as is often the case in the golf business - things are not always as they appear. 

The project also reduced bunker square footage from 130,000 square feet to 80,000 square feet in an effort to reduce the threat of washouts after rain events and to make the course more friendly for resort play. The project also left Scott Bender, CGCS, director of engineering and grounds, and course superintendent Zach Newell with a lot of dirt to move around.
They used the dirt to build a 3,000-square-foot pad that the 400-room hotel can utilize as a wedding venue or for other special events that help drive revenue.
They also grassed it with Meyer zoysiagrass, a tried and true standard in this part of the world.
The course has had ryegrass fairways since the PGA Tour's urging in the mid-1980s, when the course was home to the Champions Tour's Bank One Classic. Much has changed since then. Lower mowing heights make the turf more susceptible to disease pressure, and Pyricularia grisea, the pathogen that causes gray leaf spot, has developed resistance to strobilurin fungicides.
As a result, the ryegrass struggles during the sweltering summer heat.
Bender had a specific purpose in mind when he chose Meyer for the special events venue. It stands up to Kentucky's weather extremes, including cold winters and hot, humid summers and it is wear tolerant, factors he wants to exploit to sell a future fairway renovation.


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