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Happenings around the world of turf

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Tom Fisher, Wildwood Golf Club, Allison Park, Pennsylvania

There are hazards, and then there is the greenside bunker on the fourth hole at Wildwood Golf Club near Pittsburgh. Wildwood pro Bernie Hough watched recently as a female snapping turtle spent four hours depositing a clutch of eggs in a hazard on No. 4 on the course in suburban Allison Park. The club is going the extra mile to help ensure the nestling turtles get a chance to survive. Superintendent Tom Fisher made sure the area was roped off so golfers dont disturb the nesting site, and gol

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Summer Stress update from Kyle Miller

In this episode of the BASF Pin Sheet, host John Reitman caught up with BASF's Kyle Miller at the Southeastern Turfgrass Research Center Field Day on June 28 in Lexington, KY.   Kyle updates us on concerns of golf course superintendents regarding plant stress in mid-summer, and explains the mode of action of BASF's Intrinsic product line.   A lot of information packed into five minutes! Listen:  

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Shawn Greenbird, Indian Hills GC, Lambton Shores, Ontario

The course at Indian Hills Golf Club in Lambton Shores, Ontario, has been conspicuously absent of golfers for the past month.   The problem has not been disease, or inclement weather at the course located about 30 miles due east of Michigan?s thumb. Instead, natural gas eruptions that have popped up in mid-June in a pond closed the course while officials could test the danger the phenomenon posed.      Utility officials said they did not have a line in the area, and local government officials i

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Scott Witte, CGCS, Cantigny Golf, Wheaton, Illinois

Networking, education, kicking tires, looking at new products. All are common and valid reasons for attending the Golf Industry Show. Scott Witte noted another reason to attend.   "I'll be squeezing in some golf with great friends," he said. "This has more value than most think. ?Many great ideas come from seeing how the other guys do it. Also a great opportunity to experience a great variety of golf course architecture, and glean ideas from the best of them."   Witte, who initiated The Bee Bar

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

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

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 pla

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Rafael Barajas, CGCS, Hacienda Golf Club

Rafael Barajas, CGCS, has gone the extra mile to educate members at Hacienda Golf Club about what he and his staff are doing to save water at the course in Hacienda Golf Club in La Habra Heights, California.   He's dedicated a page on the club blog to the subject.   With six figure spending not uncommon for golf courses in areas that receive little rainfall, irrigation efficiency is more important than ever.     Smart Watering   The need to efficiently use our water resources has led to some

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Paul Carter, CGCS, The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay

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

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Mike McCormick, assistant, Oakmont Country Club

No one could blame Mike McCormick if he is seeing trees in his dreams - or nightmares.   The assistant superintendent under John Zimmers at Oakmont Country Club, McCormick manned a chainsaw during a recent tree-removal project that included not only the few remaining trees around the golf course, but thousands more that covered the steep hillside east of Pennsylvania's Turnpike and a railroad line that cut through the property.   Part of an overall tree-management plan that has included removi

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Mike Harrison, Osoyoos GC, Osoyoos, British Columbia

Give Mike Harrison an A for effort.   Harrison, superintendent at Osoyoos Golf Club in Osoyoos, British Columbia since 1991, recently spoke to his town's Rotary Club, providing insight into his job to golfers and non-golfers alike. It might not sound like a big deal, but it is a platform most superintendents are not afforded.   Harrison talked about the challenges of the job, including personnel management at a 36-hole property, water management and more. Osoyoos is in south-central British Col

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Matthew Wharton, Carolina Golf Club, Charlotte, North Carolina

While many golf courses are marketed as a place to spend a weekend, the Carolina Golf Club near downtown Charlotte is a little different.   "We're not the club where you live. We're the club where you work. You can see the tops of the buildings downtown from here," said superintendent Matthew Wharton. "On weekdays, we're very busy for lunch with the business crowd."   So when it was time to rejuvinate an event lawn area near the clubhouse, it was a task Wharton and his crew took seriously.   T

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Marty Smith, University Park (Illinois) Golf Club

Who says you cant go home again?   Marty 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

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Mark Hoban, Rivermont Golf & Country Club, Alpharetta, GA

Mark Hoban, who has built a career on a minimalist philosophy that includes organic and low-risk products as well as incorporating native grasses, has a specific list of things he is looking for this year at the Golf Industry Show.   Hoban brews his own compost tea and in November was named winner of the Georgia Golf Environmental Foundation Environmental Leader of the Year Award, and he wants to learn more about efficacy of biological products and how long they persist in the soil.   "I am ho

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Kyle Miller: GIS recap and early season warmth

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.  

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Ken Williams, Stanford University Golf Course

Classic era Stanford University Golf Course was built in 1930 by William Bell and George Thomas atop what superintendent Ken Williams describes as gummy, slow-draining clay soils.     Although Palo Alto, which is located between San Francisco and San Jose, doesn't receive a lot of rain, when it does rain those clay soils can make for a mess thanks to those clay soils. The area receives an average of about 15 inches of rain per year, most of which typically falls throughout the winter months. La

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

John Zimmers, Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pennsylvania

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 y

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Joe Wachter, Glen Echo Country Club, St. Louis, MO

There are a lot of things that bring superintendents to the golf industry show: education, new equipment, networking opportunities and a chance to catch up with industry vendors.   Joe Wachter is going to San Antonio for all of those reasons.   Tops on his list for this year are finding out more about drones, which can be used to provide valuable overhead views of areas on the golf course that superintendents might not otherwise be afforded. Drones also are valuable for recording top-down views

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Jim Pavonetti, CGCS, Fairview CC, Greenwich, CT

The golf course maintenance business is one of relationships, where superintendents often rely on help from one another. So, when it came time to apply for this year's Syngenta Business Institute, Jim Pavonetti of Fairview Country Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, sought the advice of one of his colleagues who had attended the event in the past, Mike Brunelle of Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, New Jersey.   The three-day educational event exposes superintendents to graduate school-level

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Jeff Vannoy: Controlling Dollar Spot

In this episode of the Pin Sheet, presented by BASF, host Peter McCormick chats with Jeff Vannoy, Senior Product Manager at BASF, about the challenges of controlling dollar spot. Jeff updates us on new chemistries and recommended spray programs for dollar spot, including BASF's Start Early, Stay on Course, Finish Strong program.   More information on the Start Early... program can be found here.  

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Jeff Vannoy on Summer Stress

In this episode of the BASF Pin Sheet, host Jon Kiger chats with Jeff Vannoy, Sr. Product Manager for BASF Turf. Topics include planning for (starting at EOP the previous fall), causal agents, and avoiding and/or minimizing summer stress on fine turf.   Jeff also explains the popular BASF Holiday Spray program which provides a template for superintendents to control summertime diseases with spray applications around the three major US summer holidays: Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day.  

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Jeff Plotts & Clay Breazeale, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

The next time a group of golfers ask why the playing conditions at their home course don't resemble those they see on TV every week, remind them what it is involved in readying a course for just one week in the spotlight. TPC Sawgrass, home of the upcoming Players Championship, is as good an example as any.   Director of golf course maintenance Jeff Plotts, superintendent Clay Breazeale and their agronomy team spend more than half the year prepping the Stadium Course for the annual fifth major

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Jeff Backstrom, Cannon Golf Club, Cannon Falls, MN

Jeff Backstrom of Cannon Golf Club in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, like much of what he saw on the trade show floor this year at GIS '15 in San Antonio, but was especially taken by the new lineup of walk-behind aerators from PlanetAir.   With aeration widths of 21, 29 and 37 inches, the self-propelled units have rollers on front and back that allow the operator to roll and aerifiy all in one step.   The PlanetAir 21, PlanetAir 29 (pictured here) and PlanetAir 37 also can accommodate PlanetAir's sl

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Jason Mahl, Moraine (Ohio) Country Club

It has been a busy second half of the year at Moraine Country Club where a Keith Foster-led restoration has been the story of late.   Superintendent Jason Mahl recently shared information with the club's members on just how much work was completed in-house on the project that began June 16, giving them an indication of just how much money was saved while at the same time improving the golf course.   The project has touched all parts of the golf course (No. 17 shown here), including not just gr

John Reitman

John Reitman

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