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Happenings around the world of turf

Entries in this blog

 

Jamie Kapes, Woodway CC, Darien, Connecticut

Woodway Country Club in Darien, Connecticut was the first of nearly 40 golf courses with a confirmed diagnosis of problems stemming from the use of ALT 70. Communicating regularly with members and keeping them up to date on the problem as well as the cure was critical to the success of the recovery process.   ALT 70 is a fungicide with the active ingredient aluminum tris (O-ethyl phosphonate) that is marketed and distributed by United Turf Alliance. It, along with Viceroy 70DF, an identical pr

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

 

Audiocast: Willie Pennington, industry icon

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!    

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

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

 

Curtis Nickerson, University Park CC, Sarasota, FL

Sometimes, it's the little things that make the largest impact.   Few if any products on the trade show floor at GIS '15 in San Antonio clicked with Curtis Nickerson of University Park Country Club in Sarasota, Florida quite like the mower brushes from A.P.E. Brushes.   With brushes constructed from high-density nylon and aluminum mounting components on a system that attaches to the front of just about any walk mower and eliminates the deterioration of the brush mount.   Four strips of indepen

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

 

Dan Mausolf, Radrick Farms Golf Course, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Radrick Farms Golf Course at the University of Michigan is going to the goats.   In late June, 10 goats from Twin Willow Ranch in nearby Milan were brought in to clear out a host of invasive plants that include honeysuckle and poison ivy.    According to superintendent Dan Mausolf, Radrick Farms is the first course in Michigan to use goats for landscape management.   Course officials said they chose a natural approach over a process that would have included mowing down the plants, pulling them

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

 

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

 

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

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.  

Peter McCormick

Peter McCormick

 

Craig Loving, Lost Creek CC, Austin, TX

With a wingspan of about 3 feet and dagger-like talons, the great horned owl is a critter to be respected.   That didn't stop superintendent Craig Loving of Lost Creek Country Club from stepping forward when a great horned owl needed a helping hand after becoming ensnared in some fishing line last month at the course in Austin, Texas.   Fishing line had become wrapped around the owl, preventing it from flying. The problem, besides the fishing line, the beak and the talons, was that the owl was

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

Eddie Roach Jr., Jimmie Austin Golf Club at OU, Norman, OK

There are many reasons the Jimmie Austin Golf Club at Oklahoma University is annually named one of the country's best college golf courses (it's ranked No. 17 on the Golfweek list of Best Campus Golf Courses).    Not the least of these reasons is superintendent Eddie Roach Jr. and his desire to maintain his education.   Like other superintendents, Roach cited three main reasons he is attending this year's Golf Industry Show in San Antonio: continuing education, networking opportunities and the

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chris Tritabaugh, Hazeltine National GC, Chaska, Minnesota

When Chris Tritabaugh left Northland Country Club in Duluth, Minnesota, for Hazeltine National Golf Club three years ago, the Ryder Cup Matches seemed so far away. Now, Tritabaugh and his crew are in the final run-up to the Ryder Cup.   "When I started, it was almost four years to the Ryder Cup. I thought that was going to be a long time," Tritabaugh said. "These three years have flown by."   Whether it is at Hazeltine, the uber-tough Robert Trent Jones design in Chaska, just outside the Twin

John Reitman

John Reitman

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Ian Everett, Downers Grove Park District

There are a lot of challenges facing professional turf managers nowadays, not the least of which is trying to figure out a way to spread the word to the 300 million Americans who do not play golf that they are not destroying the environment.   In an industry often accused of preaching too often to the choir, Ian Everett has taken his message out of the pulpit and to the masses.   Marketing director for the Downers Grove (Illinois) Park District that includes municipal Downers Grove Golf Course

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

 

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

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