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, seven parks and numerous athletic fields, Everett writes a lawn and garden care column in a suburban Chicago newspaper, providing common-sense tips to non-golf-playing readers in the country's third largest city.
His advice includes warning the general consumer not to apply fertilizer until soil temperatures reach 50 degrees, the importance of sharp mower blades, why dethatching a lawn is key to long-term turf health and even the one-third rule.
It's not ground-breaking information, but consider the audience, and the message is a clear signal that "hey, these guys really know what they're talking about."
The park district also offers gardening-themed programs and vegetable-growing tips.
Everett might be onto something.
Many superintendents already offer field day programs to school groups and civic organizations like Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts. Maybe it's time to take the message directly to their parents.