In this Frankly Speaking audiocast, I chat with Rick Slattery, a 30+ year career superintendent who has spent the past 21 years at Locust Hill Country Club outside Rochester, NY. Rick was a 2015 GCSAA Environmental Leaders in Golf (ELGA) Award recipient in the Private Club category. Under Rick's leadership the club was also recognized by the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation as an environmental leader.
Much of Rick's environmental focus has been on water management and in a year when water is on everyone's mind -- too much or not enough -- this conversation is particularly insightful.
But it's not all the usual! Our far ranging discussion includes gems like these from Rick:
- "When did it become the superintendent's responsibility to ensure a golfers shot holds the green?
- When a new superintendent takes over a course, the golf course is often going to get worse before it gets better...
- You don't believe anything you do with Poa is going to be as bad as it is until you do it...
- My turf might be 20% Poa but that Poa is conditioned to behave just like bentgrass and not expect any special treatment. We can go home at noon on Saturdays...
- I don't believe you should modify your greens mix to more than 70% sand.
- I had three tees that were pure sand. I aerified and topdressed with topsoil, and now they act just like all my other tees.
- Try establish a baseline of maximum allowable water deficit and then try to reduce that every year.
- I hate to mow. Mowing is one of the most damaging things we do to the turf."