It has been ten or maybe even twelve years since I have been a GCSAA member. Yesterday, that changed.
As a student, assistant and superintendent, membership to the national association made sense to me. And for 15 years of independent consultant status, I paid the dues with not a lot of joy. And one day, after a very disappointing conversation with a GCSAA board member, I decided that there wasn't a benefit to me by belonging. It was, in effect, a silent protest. And a financial decision to take the money my business had budgeted for Dues and make sure that I was a member of several local chapters. And as a way of showing even more local support, I served on two boards as an affiliate (non-superintendent) member. Several terms. Worked hard. Won several awards. Took education seriously. Every year, I would consider national membership and just didn't see why.
On Thursday, last week, I returned from the 2019 GIS and promptly wrote a couple notes to GCSAA staff members about how to go about becoming member number 013641 again. It was easy. David Phipps, GCSAA Field Staff Northwest sent me a note, a form and some instructions. Shelia Finney got involved. On Monday, world came from Anthony Rittof at the Emerald City that not only was I quickly reinstated, but was allowed to rejoin as a Class A member. Didn't expect that. At all. And no, I've been to The Masters, so that wasn't a driving factor.
I don't care to go into the past too much. Lets just say, that as a young superintendent, I was very outspoken as a voting delegate and committee member. Especially as it came to the emerging technology and online interaction areas, where I felt that GCSAA was severely short sighted. For a time, I really wanted to be on the board and then, sand kicked in my face, I didn't. And I'll leave it at that. I spent decades being sour. Probably not helpful.
Let's look at the current and the future. The Positive. And sure, I get that I would be a member for 34 years had I not taken the sabbatical.
Currently, I see the GCSAA as strong and getting stronger. Doing really good things with Chapter Relations and identity. I don't care much about politics, but I guess you can say that we are well represented in the golf world. I mentioned field staff. When this idea first bloomed, my first interaction with someone who filled this job made no sense. But since then, my interactions with the likes of David Phipps and Jeff Jensen have been outstanding. I have watched this program bloom at the hands of Steve Randall and his staff. Working and Winning.
I have good friends and industry contacts on the board in leadership positions. Darren Davis, whom I met years ago and recognized as a real talent. Good old friend Kevin Breen. Eternal good guy Rafael Barajas. The esteemed T.A Barker. And the list goes on and on. Great people. Giving a lot of time and attention to help.
Meeting Jeff Whitmire, CGCS for the first time at the TurfNet Beer and Pretzels Gala.
Help. A key word that I see any association needs to embrace. Maybe a better word is Service. Being in Service to members. Being there to help everyone grow. That to me is the mark of a great association. Otherwise, you just have a big old Moose Lodge. Look, if our profession doesn't get help from as many sources as possible, we run the risk of always being the second class citizens. No one really wants to hear that they need that help, but from my 30,000 foot view, golf is still in trouble.
As I walked around the convention center in San Diego, what I saw were some very happy members. People getting educated. People networking. People involved in trade in a good way. I saw moves to help with inclusion (I'm not gonna talk about Cheerleaders, there are strong women in our association who can do that). I saw buyers on the trade show floor doing business. And I saw leaders and contributors being recognized and awarded. Not just for the sake of mutual admiration.
So, I am proudly, once again, GCSAA Member 013641. And it makes me very very happy to offer up my credit card number to pay for that privilege.
Nicholas Carr, a technology and modern culture genius, wrote the book, "What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains". Although I don't usually quote folks who went to Harvard and got nominated for that Pulitzer thing, I am doing it now. Why? Because no matter how hard I work at warning the golf world about tech and AI and microwave signals cooking our brains, nobody listens.
So I thought maybe golf might listen to this little gem from Nicholas Carr:
For those unwilling to heed the warnings from the brain of an academic intellect, I have provided a short film that explains just what happens when the neural pathways get constipated.
TurfTrainer is a patent-pending turf brushing system designed to improve turf playability, performance and health in a simple, easy to install and operate, low-maintenance package.
Designed by Rodney Hine, noted Boston-area superintendent and TurfNet member, the TurfTrainer attaches to the bucket of a greensmower and is pulled beneath the bucket rather than pushed as conventional brushes are. Once installed, the TurfTrainer can be used on-demand without further removal or installation. A stow and go mechanism allows out-of-sight storage.
No Moving Parts - TurfTrainer attaches to the mowing bucket with no moving parts, minimizing maintenance. Flips up when not in use.
Unobtrusive - Whether stored or in use, operator view is not obstructed and TurfTrainer does not impede routine mower maintenance or adjustments.
Adapts to Surface Contours - The flexible mat follows the turf surface contour efficiently, providing a stand of turf ready for cutting.
In operating position.
Flipped up and out of the line of sight.
TurfTrainer is manufactured using non-corrosive materials specifically designed to withstand the challenging elements found in turf brushing environments.
Configured very much like the old tow-behind Ranger-type fairway gang mowers of yesteryear, the ProRoll from Progressive Turf brings individual unit flotation and contour following to wide area rolling. No longer is the rolling effect lost on dips and magnified on humps in the fairway.
Available in two models -- the Pro-Roll 10 and Pro-Roll 15 - with 10’8” or 15’ rolling widths, each roller unit is able to independently track changing contours. Solid ballast (30# suitcase weights) can be added to or removed from each roller deck to ensure even compaction (between 5.8 and 11.6 psi) across all rollers.
The Pro-Roll has the ability to make sharp turns without scuffing due to the four individually-mounted transport tires, smooth roller ends and Progressive’s Pro Lift-N-Turn system. Pro Lift-N-Turn allows the operator to hydraulically raise the rollers off the ground during a turn, eliminating any chance of scuffing. When the rollers are lifted, weight is transferred to the four wide floatation tires and the tow vehicle.
Each of the 26” long, heavy-walled 6 inch diameter steel rollers are housed in a wrap around frame for protection. No exposed welds and a formed end chamfer provides the smoothest roller drum possible. For durability, the pivots are straddle mounted and an over-sized flanged bearing supports the ends of each roller. Replaceable bushings and pins are incorporated at all key pivot points.
The Pro-Roll 10 and Pro-Roll 15 can be used with either a common compact tractor or a utility vehicle. One remote hydraulic valve is required for operation from the vehicle seat. A self-contained power pack is available for vehicles without remote hydraulics.
If Carlos Arraya’s nomination for the TurfNet Superintendent of the Year Award had been judged solely on what he endured while preparing for last year’s PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club, that alone might well have been enough to win the award.
But providing stellar playing conditions for the world’s best golfers was only part of the story at the historic club in St. Louis. How Arraya and his team accomplished that was the bigger story.
In his fourth year at Bellerive, Arraya was named Superintendent of the Year by our panel of judges spanning the golf industry.
Sure, Arraya faced challenges while preparing for the PGA, including hot, humid conditions that nearly killed the greens just months after he started, an iron oxide layer and calcium carbonate buildup that was impeding drainage and trapped methane underground that was killing the grass from the bottom up.
But it was his labor-management style -- largely the result of immense tragedy -- that captured the attention of our judges.
Carlos Arraya, CGCS, with Stephanie Schwenke, turf market manager for Syngenta.
Called pillar management, his management style focuses on employees first with the idea that the best people will produce the best product. It’s a philosophy that Arraya proves to employees how important they are by giving them ownership of the course and conditions.
His focus on people-first is philosophy that was a result of losing his son, Isaiah, in a car accident in 2016.
As the winner, Arraya and a guest will receive two slots on the TurfNet members golf trip to Ireland in the fall.
Arraya was chosen from a field of five finalists that included Brian Conn of Transit Valley Country Club in East Amherst, New York; Dwayne Dillinger of Bell Nob Golf Course in Gillette, Wyoming; Pat O’Brien of Hyde Park Golf and Country Club in Cincinnati, Ohio; and Matthew Wharton of Carolina Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Read more about Carlos here.
No, it's not that cute white whale. Beloukha® is a new sunflower, bio-based, biodegradable contact herbicide from Belchim Crop Protection (formerly Engage Agro). It recently received EPA approval and is ready for state registration across the United States. Stop by Booth 2411.
Beloukha is a non-selective, broad-spectrum, foliar-applied herbicide that acts exclusively by contact, attacking and destroying the cell membranes of the plant epidermis causing rapid tissue dehydration. Made up of 51.98% pelargonic acid, a naturally occurring substance sourced from sunflowers that breaks down into carbon dioxide and water, Beloukha provides burndown of both annual and perennial broadleaf and grass weeds, plus most mosses and other cryptogams.
Beloukha is fast acting and effects are visible within 2 hours of application. It’s also proven to be rain-fast within 2 hours of applying.
Beloukha is effective in various weather conditions, working faster when used in hot and dry weather and with a concentration rate between 4 and 6%. (see label for full Rate Table).
CONTACT, non-selective, broad spectrum, foliar-applied herbicide.
LOW ODOR - improved formulation
BIODEGRADABLE - Soil organisms consume the C9 producing CO2 and H2O, that remains in the carbon cycle of life.
PROVIDES BURNDOWN of both annual and perennial broadleaf and grass weeds, as well as most mosses and other cryptogams.
FAST ACTING- visible effects on most weeds occur within hours.
VERSATILE - use on turf, landscape, hardscape and ornamental areas.
John Deere is displaying the "future of golf course spraying" at GIS2019 with their new ProGator 2020A/2030A GPS Precision Sprayers. Either the 2020A (34 hp lc gas engine) or 2030A (21 hp lc diesel) can be outfitted with the HD200 or HD300 spray systems.
The GPS Precision Sprayers have Deere's AutoTrac hands-free Guidance System, automatic individual nozzle control, the StarFire 6000 receiver and an easy-to-learn 4640 Universal Display.
Skeptics are welcome to stop by the Nualgi booth #3818 (right by Club Car) to chat about the benefits of Nualgi Foliar Spray... of which they are offering a free 4-bottle trial along with a chance to win a golf trip for two to Whistling Straits ($5,000 value). 100 bottles of Nualgi can also be found in the Silent Auction.
Nualgi is a nano-scale liquid fertilizer that contains all 12-essential macro and micro nutrients + Silica. It is sold in 500ml (16oz) bottles. Each bottle treats 2.5 acres once every 10 days by simply adding it to your current spray regimen. Nualgi can tank mix with any fertilizer, fungicide or nutrients.
What does "nano-scale" mean? Very simply, it means the particles are so small (at least one dimension between 1 and 100 nanometers) that they can slide right into the leaf through the epidermis. Hemoglobin in blood is a familiar naturally-occurring nanomaterial.
Nualgi Foliar Spray was in use at approximately 100 golf courses throughout the US and Canada in 2018, with some enthusiastic results. Long-time TurfNet member David Dore-Smith used it at Copperleaf Golf Club in Bonita Springs, Florida, and submitted the testimonial below.
Lesco has added a granular formulation of it's "microbial and carbon plant health nutrient optimizer": CarbonPro-G. A liquid formulation - CarbonPro-L - has been previously available.
Benefits of CarbonPro-G with regard to plant health include:
Deeper, Stronger Roots - By stimulating root development, it protects turf and plants against environmental stress and maximizes water and nutrient uptake.
Stress Recovery and Prevention - Containing microbial metabolites extracted from beneficial soil bacteria, it increases turf and plant metabolism resulting in increased tolerance to stress.
Improved Greening - Highly soluble chelated iron (EDTA iron) in the formula is easily absorbed by the plant, providing a consistently lush appearance for turf and plants.
Better Seed Establishment - By conditioning the soil, it accelerates seed germination and assures that roots take hold quickly and securely
Increased Nutrient Uptake and Efficiency - The formula nearly doubles the absorption of key micronutrients, improving the efficiency and utilization of nutrients applied.
Recovery from Environmental Stressors - Formulated to fortify plants against environmental stressors such as heat, drought, traffic, salinity and nutrient deficiencies.
Check it out at the Site One Landscape Supply booth, #5537.
Wiedenmann is showing the all-new Super 1300S high performance sweeper. Double sweeping rotors rotate at 860 rpm to create suction and dethatch the turf if desired. The PTO-drive SUPER 1300 S is super-maneuverable and can be driven off a 15-hp tractor. A large exhaust screen allows complete filling of the 56 cu. ft. hopper, which can be dumped at ground level or raised hydraulically to dump into a vehicle or container.
Check it out in Booth 3442.
GT Airinject (Booth 3817) is giving away a year-long lease on an Air2Go Value Pack. The Value Pack includes an Air2G2 324 machine, an Air2HP hand-held single-prong unit and an Air2GO shuttle trailer for moving the Air2G2 around the golf course and back and forth to the maintenance facility. The drawing of the winner is at 4:30 on Thursday.
Interested in purchasing? Save $2,000 on the Value Pack with special show pricing.
Swing by Booth 3537 for a demo of the "completely reimagined" Turf Nutrition Tool (TNT), now mobile-friendly and accessible from any device. While you're there, register for a chance to win an iPad Pro.
Stop by the STEC Equipment booth (4936) to check out the new airter light 14160 PTO-drive pneumatic turf aerator. Towed by a lightweight tractor, the airter light utilizes 14 airlances each with three nozzles to direct high pressure air into the surrounding soil, loosening it while introducing oxygen and promoting gas exchange. It has a working width of 62" and aerates to a depth adjustable from 3 to 10".
John Deere is showing four new triplex greensmowers at GIS2019: the 2700 and 2750 PrecisionCut and the 2700 and 2750 E-Cut Hybrid triplex mowers. All are slated for availability in 2020.
"Consistent cut quality across all operators, contour following and grass catcher accessibility are critical needs for our customers," Brad Aldridge, product manager, John Deere Golf, said in a release. "The 2700 and 2750 Triplex Mowers were designed to tackle these challenges and take the stress out of mowing, with an enhanced TechControl system that allows for more precise control than ever before."
Superintendents and technicians can input commands to control nearly everything, including frequency of clip, turn speed, clean up pass speed and raise/lower speed The TechControl system ensures that, regardless of the operator, the end results are the same.
The frequency of clip can be programmed by altering parameters on mowing speed, reel speed and number of blades on the reel. Once programmed, the settings cannot be changed by an operator and automatically adjust with ground speed.
The preset Clean Up Pass Mode automatically reduces mowing speed on perimeter passes to increase accuracy for less scalping or missed grass. Adjustable turn speed lets a superintendent control how fast an operator is able to turn, minimizing chances of turf damage.
A superintendent or technician also can select Eco Mode which electronically controls engine speed to conserve fuel.
The 2700 and 2750 Triplex Mowers have a lightweight, open platform frame design with a low center of gravity for stability and traction. The decreased weight reduces tire tracking and compaction. The grass catchers, with a translucent yellow option for better visibility of clippings, can be easily removed and installed with one hand.
The steering column also has been improved on the 2700 and 2750 models, with two points of adjustment.
The 2700 and 2750 Triplex Mowers offer a 62-inch mowing width and mow speeds of up to 6 mph. The three-axis lift system provides up to 18 degrees of steering and 42 degrees of contour following.
The all-new Toro Greensmaster 1000 Series of fixed-head walk greens mowers was designed to eliminate variability in the walk mowing process due to operator size and skill level.
A telescoping loop handle can be adjusted to accommodate operators of varying heights, helping to deliver a more consistent cut while reducing operator fatigue. Handle isolation mounts give the cutting units consistent contact with the ground throughout the mowing process, eliminating any variability in the height-of-cut that can occur because of variations in handle pressure or differing operator strides.
A new bail design combines safety and operational control. New operator controls, in conjunction with a shorter distance between the roller and drum, deliver more precise handling in turns as well as more consistent performance on greens with modest undulations.
Another key focus during the development of the new Greensmaster 1000 Series was minimizing and simplifying maintenance. For example, with a modular design it now takes only minutes to replace an entire cutting unit or engine assembly, and backlapping can be done directly using transport wheels.
The new Greensmaster 1000 Series models are powered by Honda GX120 engines, and are available in 18", 21" and 26" cutting widths.
Availability is slated for spring 2019.
Tru-Turf is introducing the RE50 electric turf roller at GIS2019. The 48v electric motor is powered by either traditional lead acid or lithium ion batteries. Quick release accessories include slitting, spiking and brush attachments, all changeable in seconds with no tools.
The RE50 incorporates Tru Turf's patented tri-roller smoothing heads that are fitted with hassle free, self cleaning nodules to eliminate dumping and debris impact. Heavy duty sealed bearings, rubber cushion mounts and two greasing points help reduce maintenance requirements.
Check it out at Booth 1031. Note, the black paint job on the RE50 on display is custom paint. The standard paint is traditional Tru-Turf red.
No big surprise since it was announced prior, but nonetheless TurfNet's own Hector Velazquez finally put his hands on the prize as he received the Edwin Budding Award from GCSAA. The Edwin Budding Award, named for the inventor of the reel lawn mower, is given annually to an equipment manager or related innovator, technician, educator or engineer who has made a significant impact in the golf and turf business.
Hector (c) with Darren Davis, CGCS (l), outgoing president of GCSAA.
Hector got his start in turf video when he was the equipment manager at Westwood Golf Club in Vienna, Virginia, under long-time TurfNet member Walter Montross, CGCS. (In fact, Hector got his job at Westwood after answering a job advertisement on TurfNet.com and relocating to Virginia from Michigan.) Montross alerted Peter McCormick at TurfNet and mentioned that he should check out a video Hector had made about converting a Sand Pro into a "Snow Pro", with a front-mounted V-blade. Conversations ensued and McCormick set Hector up in 2010 with his own platform on TurfNetTV. The rest is history, as they say.
For GIS2019, Hector organized a 2400 square foot replica maintenance shop (Inside the Shop), designed to help superintendents make attainable improvements to their own shop, regardless of budgetary or space constraints.
Hector with Trent Manning, winner of the Most Valuable Technician award. Manning created the plaque that Hector is holding.
Hector will also present the Tactical Shop Series, mini-seminars that focus on creating a more efficient, safe, and cost-effective work environment for equipment shops of all shapes and sizes. Sponsors include Lock 'N Lube and Foley Company.
TurfNet tips our cap to Hector for making a name for himself that has few equals in the turf business. Just like Oprah, Madonna, Sting, Cher, and Prince, mention the name "Hector" and anybody in turf will know of whom you speak. Not too many individuals can make that claim.
Check out Hector's Shop videos on TurfNet.com here.
The latest Lynx 7.0 Central Control system update from Toro has improved monitoring functionality and enhanced diagnostic capabilities. This is the 14th update since Lynx was introduced in 2010.
Lynx 7.0 now has seamless compatibility with Lynx Smart Modules, and can automatically identify individual smart modules after the initial installation process. The new system also has runtime controls to the second and measures inputs to 1/100th of an inch for precise control. All new Toro hardware platforms support run times to the second, whereas comparable systems can only offer runtime controls to the nearest minute.
The upgraded operating system can retrieve voltage and amperage data, which is crucial to understanding the overall health of the irrigation system. Deciphering diagnostic information is also streamlined when using the new express mode. This process enables the superintendents to interpret information to forecast and predict potential system issues earlier.
Some of the new features based on end-user feedback include interval day control to easily designate active and non-active days, enhanced map functionality, and intuitive controls for a user-friendly interface. As with previous updates, Lynx 7.0 is easily upgradeable, allowing for the incorporation of new versions and functionality, and works seamlessly with Lynx Smart Modules that can automatically identify the Lynx Central Control version being used.
Lynx 7.0 will be available this spring.
Stop by Booth 1131 and speak to Ken Rost of Frost Services about the new Kubota/Ninja sprayer package being displayed at GIS2019.
Mounted on a Kubota RTV-X1140 4WD utility vehicle, the Ninja sprayer has
200 gallon elliptical tank with drain sump
20’ Electric X-fold boom
Stainless steel hydraulic centrifugal pump
15 gallon tank rinse system
Titan hose reel with 100′ of 5/8′ hose and gun
Blue LED spray lighting system
Watertight Ninja GPS spray control monitor
Novatel Smart6L receiver with Terrastar error correction
Individual nozzle control
Dual nozzles at each nozzle position
Automatic rate control
Camera for rear nozzle viewing
Hunter Golf is giving away 20 of their new TTS-800 series golf rotors, total value $8,000. Stop by booth #1638 to enter to win.
TTS-800 Series rotors utilize high-torque gear drives to mitigate the challenges of reclaimed water use or poor water quality. An extra-large, fast-access flange compartment easily accommodates wire connections and other components. Total Top Serviceability (TTS) means leave your shovel in the truck.
TTS-800 series rotors include
Exclusive PressurePort™ nozzle technology
Water-lubricated gear drive
Largest flange compartment in the industry
Heavy-duty flange compartment lid
Single-point ¼-turn compartment lid release
Color-coded control components
Solenoid and regulator service without depressurization
Stage 2 oversized filtration system
Three cable access ports
Two splice connectors included (DIH Models)
Serviceable inlet valve seat and seat-seal
Self-cleaning Filter Sentry™ inlet valve
Toro has jumped into the all-electric triplex greensmower market with the introduction of the Toro Greensmaster eTriFlex Series. The new eTriFlex has no hydraulic fluid and utilizes all-electric components for traction, steering, lift and cutting units.
The two new all-electric Greensmaster eTriFlex models are built on the TriFlex platform and include:
The Greensmaster eTriFlex 3360, powered by a Kawasaki engine/generator
The Greensmaster eTriFlex 3370, powered by a lithium-ion Samsung battery set.
As expected, these greensmowers offer lower noise levels and no worries about hydraulic leaks, but also offer turning radius-dependent reel and traction speed control for improved performance.
Each individual reel and traction wheel speed is monitored during turns to reduce "triplex ring". This feature standardizes the clip rate of each individual reel to avoid turfgrass thinning on the inside reel during perimeter cutting, and reduces wheel turf scrubbing to greatly improve the appearance of the cleanup cut, which ultimately leads to an increase in operational productivity.
The engine-powered eTriFlex with battery assist technology is up to 20% more fuel efficient – resulting in lower emissions and fuel savings. The industry-first lithium-ion based battery powered unit also has ample power and is virtually silent during operation.
The Greensmaster eTriFlex also includes an automatic slowdown in turns at high transport speeds, auto-brake functionality when the operator dismounts the mower, a foot-operated parking brake as well as an optional mowing slowdown setting to help protect the integrity of the collar.
Finally, operators have more control and access to advanced diagnostic information than ever before thanks to the onboard InfoCenter. This easy-to-use control panel can adjust mowing and reel speeds, calibrate lift, steering and traction and engage the “slow-in-turn” feature to reduce damage on the fringe area of the green in turn-arounds.
The Greensmaster eTriFlex 3360 engine-powered model will be available this summer. The lithium-ion eTriFlex battery powered model is slated to launch in late 2019. All Greensmaster eTriFlex models are compatible with existing TriFlex cutting units and accessories.
Baroness is highlighting their new LM551 contour-following mid-weight fairway mower at GIS2019. Fully configurable to meet the needs of any golf course, the LM551 five-plex has traditional 22" cutting units but with a forward/backward slide function on the rear units along with a unique tension support and down pressure features to increase contour-following on undulating surfaces..
A choice of 5" or 6.4" reels is available. Each cutting unit has the option of 9 or 7 blades and can be fitted with a groomer, power brush, front roller scraper and newly designed grass catchers. The groomer and power brush can be operated simultaneously.
Stop by Booth 4723 and catch up with Graeme Parris for a walk-through of the new LM551.
BASF is celebrating ten years of Intrinsic brand fungicides and launching "the next generation of groundbreaking science" at GIS2019. Dubbed Generat10n Turf, the festivities in Booth 1939 include:
breakfast tacos from 10-11AM on Wednesday
a panel discussion at 11:00 Wednesday on Exploring New Fungicide Technology with Drs Rick Latin, Bruce Martin, Jim Kerns and Kathie Kalmowitz - and hosted by none other than the ubiquitous PAT JONES
at 1:00 Wednesday, a panel discussion on Surviving (Thriving!) During a Course Reno with John Zimmers, Inverness Club, Justin DePippo, Bel-Air Country Club, Mike McCormick, The Apawamis Club and Rich McIntosh, Torrey Pines Golf Courses
3:00 Wed: panel discussion on Celebrating 10 Years of Plant Health with Bruce Martin, Kathie Kalmowitz and Jeff Corcoran. Last chance today to get a selfie with Pat!
enter a drawing for a custom Generat10n Turf Gator
test your strength against the power of BASF fungicides
take a virtual reality tour of their next-generation plant health products
Happy Hour from 4:00 to 5:00 Wednesday
Enter a drawing to win this pimped-out Gator.
Test your strength against the power of BASF products.
Check out the Generat10n Turf VR experience.