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Echo Inc. recently released its most powerful, low-noise backpack blower, the PB-760LN.
Outfitted with a larger muffler packed with more sound-deadening insulation and a mid-pipe baffle, the PB-760LN has a sound output of 65 dB(A). The design also virtually eliminates the whining sound generated by the main impeller fan.
The PB-760LN also features air volume of 535 cubic feet per minute at 214 mph.
For more information, visit www.echo-usa.com.
Miltona vexes bare spots with hex plugger
Miltona has developed its Hex-Plugger turf-repair tool to help professional turf managers restore areas of damaged turf without creating bare spots.
The Hex-Plugger cuts standard, 7-inch hexagonal plugs that weave together like pieces of a puzzle, eliminating bare spots caused from using round plug cutters.
The design helps turf establish more rapidly in areas under and reduces the threat of weed pressure in bare spots.
For more information, visit www.miltona.com.
GCSAA taking applications for chapter outreach
Applications are being accepted for the GCSAAs Chapter Outreach Grant program.
The program was established to help chapters engage in activities that complement its efforts to communicate the value of membership to golfers and employers.
Applications, which are reviewed by members of the GCSAA Strategic Communications Committee and GCSAA staff, are due by April 15.
Criteria on which applications are judged include: the chapter must start its outreach activities within 12 months of receiving the grant funds; outreach activities should address the key messages and be directed to employers and avid golfers; funds must be directed to future programs only; chapters must provide matching or support funding and a follow-up report of the program to be included in a GCSAA database; o that GCSAA can create a database of case studies and best management practices (failure to complete follow-up report will render a chapter ineligible for future grants).
Applications must be signed by the chapter president or one other officer or staff member. GCSAA reserves the right to request return of funds if not used according to means as detailed on application.
For more information, visit www.gcsaa.org.
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"For a lot of guys, their wells are not back up yet, and their holding ponds are not back to full capacity," said Andy Morris, superintendent at the Country Club of Peoria in central Illinois. "If we're struggling before we even hit the stress period, well, if you just sneeze out there on the golf course you're going to open it up to all kinds of disease pressure." The bad news for turf managers came on Valentine's Day from a panel of experts speaking to the U.S. Senate committee on agriculture, nutrition and forestry. "The continuing conditions really look like they're setting up for a very similar level of drought in the Midwest and West," Roger Pulwarty of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told the committee. Drought of historic levels the past two years has decimated agricultural output throughout the Midwest and was equally damaging to golf courses throughout the nation's heartland. The NOAA called it the worst drought since the 1930s Dust Bowl. Water-use restrictions for golf courses were common throughout the Midwest last summer, and some courses in parts of Illinois had their water turned off completely with predictable results. Morris is fortunate that he is able to buy potable water from the city of Peoria Heights, but even he is waiting for the day that his supply is turned off. He had to cut usage last year by 25 percent because the city couldn't pump water from wells to holding tanks quickly enough to meet demand during the driest part of the summer. He had blown his water budget for the year by June. Typically, he has enough money in the coffer to buy water through September, and sometimes into October. Last year, the club had to spend more to get the course through the summer with live turf. "If you have to do that one year, the club looks at it as just one of those things," Morris said. "But if you have to do it a second year, or maybe a third, it puts a lot of pressure on the club and the superintendent. "I tell people I love my job, but the past two years I haven't liked it very much. The stress of getting through the summer has been exhausting." Farther north in the Chicago area, some superintendents already are preparing for another hot, dry summer. Billy Casper Golf, which manages dozens of courses throughout the country, including more than 20 in the Chicago area, regularly conducts educational seminars for its superintendents. One scheduled next month for the country's Midwestern superintendents will focus on helping attendees get the most from existing irrigation systems so they can manage water more efficiently. Rationing water to keep turf alive in September was common throughout the Chicago area, said Bryan Stromme, Midwest regional director of agronomy with Billy Casper Golf. "You'd water to keep it alive, not lush green," Stromme said. "It was dormant turf, but it was alive." Many of the courses in the Chicago Park District have older irrigation systems, including single-row designs. That meant dragging hoses throughout the summer, Stromme said. Like their cousins downstate, many courses in Chicago are beginning the season at a disadvantage. Water levels in ponds and wells still are down, and weakened turf throughout much of 2012 means many facilities will have little margin for error this year. Getting off to a strong start will mean tweaking agronomic practices before the season begins, which last year in Chicago came six weeks earlier than the historic average. "We're going to make sure everyone (in the Chicago Park District) has the right fertility, and we'll be using a lot of wetting agents," Stromme said. "I'm fortunate to have a solid team of superintendents who all have worked hard to build solid agronomic programs."
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A few years ago, 2009 to be exact, declining GIS attendance was blamed in part on an environment of apathy created by the pros and cons of spending a week in New Orleans vs. a week on the job at the golf course. For many superintendents, staying at work won out. At first glance, that was bad news for a show one year removed from record attendance. In reality, it was no more than a sign of the times that now pervades just about every industry, not just golf. Detractors of GIS New Orleans fell into two camps: the city was too dirty and too dangerous for such a trade show, causing many to take a pass on the Big Easy; and too many of those who did attend couldn't seem to find their way from the French Quarter to the Morial Convention Center. Either way, many show vendors and GCSAA members decided it was time for a change, and New Orleans' slot on the GIS rotation was officially up for grabs. The early prognosis was simply to move the show from New Orleans and hope that New Norm might disappear before anyone had a chance to meet him. No one told New Norm. What so many failed to recognize then was that a dragging economy created largely by the real estate boom and bust - which was closely tied to golf course construction - was creating before our very eyes a long-term demand for a smaller version of the Golf Industry Show. Golf courses began closing, taking jobs with them. Clubs quit paying for travel and more vendors than you might realize began finding it difficult to justify the expense of exhibiting at a national trade show, all conspiring to give New Norm an invitation for an extended stay. Although New Norm might have been born in New Orleans, he has become a seasoned traveler since 2009. According to the GCSAA, attendance at this year's Golf Industry Show in San Diego was 13,192 with 6,018 qualified buyers, and 517 vendors occupying 172,900 square feet in the San Diego Convention Center. That's 1,514 fewer attendees than attended last year's show in Las Vegas. It's also 1,050 fewer qualified buyers and 24 fewer vendors occupying 4,400 less square feet of exhibit space. Did we mention New Norm loves Vegas? Three years ago, the last time the show was in San Diego, attendance was 16,156 with 7,029 qualified buyers - defined as those who possess a checkbook and the authority to use it for on-the-spot purchases on the trade show floor. A total of 665 vendors rented 204,300 square feet of exhibit space at that edition of GIS. That means 3,264 fewer people, and 1011 fewer qualified buyers, attended the 2013 show in San Diego compared with the 2010 version. A total of 148 fewer vendors showed up this year as well. And they rented booth space that was 31,400 square feet smaller than in 2010. New Norm is so SoCal. Although he should have been long gone by now, New Norm likely will be looking forward to a mid-winter trip to Orlando next year and San Antonio in 2015. He's hard to miss, so you'll recognize him when you see him. The reality of the Golf Industry Show is that while the trade show pays the bills, the education is the draw for superintendents. But you can't have one without the other. This complex dilemma is why floor traffic typically is brisk in the morning and lags in the afternoon. It was that way in the days of New Norm's predecessor, Old Norm. You remember him. He was bloated and inefficient and was easy to spot with what seemed at the time to be an endless supply of cash spilling out of the pockets of his ill-fitting trousers. But at least the compressed two-day schedule ensures some decent morning floor traffic before attendees check out to play golf. Anyone who laments afternoon traffic, or lack of it, hasn't been paying attention or is suffering from memory loss. Remember Saturdays during Old Norm's three-day format? No one wants that again, especially New Norm. New Norm was a phrase GCSAA chief executive officer Rhett Evans used during a GIS news conference to describe the status of the show, noting that the trimmed down version allows the association to consider venues it never could have with the older, fatter, bloated version of Norm. In fact, there was a time when taking Old Norm anywhere outside Orlando, where record attendance in 2008 topped 25,000, was like trying to stuff a watermelon into a banana peel. No matter how much you tried, he just didn't fit in anywhere else. Although attendance has dropped by nearly 50 percent since the days of Old Norm, the presence of New Norm is a reminder that success in business requires changing with the times, and the times most definitely are changing.That means casting off the mindset of doing things a certain way "because that's the way we've always done it." New Norm means everyone in the business must find new revenue streams and seek out new ways to be competitive. That includes private clubs, daily fee facilities, industry vendors and those of us who report on all of the above. When you meet New Norm, you might want to introduce yourself. After all, he's going to be here for a while.
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Becker Underwood has produced two informational videos posted to YouTube that can help superintendents impart the benefits of turf colorants to golfing members, committees and supervisors.
explains how colorants can help keep cool-season turf green later into the fall as well as provide consistent color during spring green-up. In that video, Becker Underwoods Mark Howieson, Ph.D., also explains how colorants can help superintendents produce green turf all year in the South without overseeding.
In the second video, entitled
, Howieson explains to viewers the importance of proper timing when applying colorants.
Applying colorants after turf growth has slowed but is still actively growing, the natural hue of the grass promotes a base color that off-color, dormant turf cannot provide.
Each of the videos is less than 2 minutes in length, and both can be linked from a superintendent blog or club Web site, and can be viewed during committee meetings.
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Hunter Industries BOD names new president
Hunter Industries' board of directors has named Greg Hunter as the company's new president. He replaces Richard Hunter, who is retiring after 19 years in that role. With his father, Edwin, and siblings Paul and Ann, Richard Hunter in the 1980s helped start the company that manufactures irrigation equipment and landscape lighting accessories. Greg Hunter has served in the company's marketing, information systems, product management and engineering departments. For more information, visit www.hunterindustries.com. Grigg Bros. offer improved Ultraplex formulation
Grigg Brothers recently introduced an improved formulation of its foliar fertilizer Ultraplex 4-0-3 + 2% Fe and Micros. This reformulated version of Ultraplex includes additional biostimulants, amino acids, organic acids and the sea plant extract ascophyllum nodosum. It also includes a water buffering agent, macro nutrients and a micronutrient package consisting of iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper and boron, as well as a non-ionic, organic surfactant for improved leaf coverage and absorption. Ultraplex utilizes Grigg Brothers' elicitor technology and can be used in all seasons. For more information, visit www.griggbros.com. Valent's Clipper aquatic herbicide now available
One of the highlights at the Valent Professional Products booth at this year's Golf Industry Show was the announcement that its Clipper aquatic herbicide soon would be introduced to the golf market for use in ponds. Just two weeks after GIS, Clipper now is available to superintendents who need another tool to control aquatic plants in water bodies on golf courses. With the active ingredient flumioxazin, Clipper is a fast-working herbicide that is labeled for control of troublesome aquatic plants such as duckweed and watermeal. Clipper is available in a water-dispersible formulation, does not require perfect application coverage for maximum results. Results normally are observed within three to five days of application. For more information, visit www.valentpro.com.
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The Thinwall system is designed for use as a subsurface drip irrigation source for those who prefer a flat, molded emitter inside an extruded, thin-walled tube.
Initially designed for use in the agricultural market, dripline irrigation has morphed into a popular application for use in bunker faces and other tight areas in golf course turf.
Features include: flat, molded emitter that is resistant to plugging even when used with poor-quality irrigation water; requires 120-mesh filtration to minimize clogging; is available in 10-, 13- and 15-mil wall thicknesses, and 5/8- and 7/8-inch internal diameters; is available in five emitter flow rates, including 0.16, 0.25, 0.30, 0.47 and 0.75 GPH, to accommodate various soil conditions and system flow requirements; an extruded tube constructed from ultra-high-strength materials; is compatible with all Toro Pro-Loc tape fittings.
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TurfNet contributor Frank Rossi, Ph.D., of Cornell University will be among the featured speakers at the New York State Turfgrass Association Adirondack Regional Conference.
Scheduled for March 20 at the High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid, the event will feature a full day of education for turfgrass managers in golf turf, athletic turf and lawn and landscape.
Joining Rossi will be Pat Vittum, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts, Frank Wong, Ph.D., of Bayer Environmental Science, Jenny Kao-Kniffin, Ph.D., and Brian Eshenaur of Cornell, Adam Moeller and Jim Skorulski of the USGA Green Section, and Cory Metler of Rain Bird.
For more information, visit www.nysta.org.
USGA regional conference set for Richmond, Va.
With the Golf Industry Show in the rearview mirror, the USGA Green Section is offering a half-day crash course in turfgrass management.
Scheduled for March 5 at the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond, the regional conference will include five educational sessions.
Scheduled speakers include Cale Bigelow, Ph.D., of Purdue University, Keith Happ and Darrin Bevard of the USGA Green Section, John Van Der Borght of the USGA and William Shonk of Princess Anne Country Club.
For more information, visit www.usga.org.
Dow AgroSciences adds new sales rep
Mae Council has joined the Dow AgroSciences turf and ornamental team as a sales representative. She will replace Scott Potter, who is retiring after 40 years.
Based in Kansas City, Mo., Council will be responsible for sales efforts in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Council has been working with Dow AgroSciences since June 2012 as a T&O sales trainee in Indianapolis.
For more information, visit www.dowagro.com.
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In less than four years at the Cricket, Meersman has, in the words of general manager Tim Muessle "single-handedly turned around a dying golf course."
He also has taken training, education, professional development fiscal awareness to previously unseen heights. Not that any of that should be a surprise for someone who manages a 65-man crew, 45 holes of golf, 33 tennis courts (22 grass, nine clay, two indoor), two paddle tennis courts and a soccer field all spanning two campuses.
For the manner in which he has gone above and beyond to serve golfing clientele, colleagues and employees, Dan Meersman has been named the winner of the 2012 TurfNet Superintendent of the Year Award, presented by Syngenta.
The center of Meersman's management style is customer service, according to a former employee.
"For him, it was all about producing the wow factor for members," said Henry "Skip" Heinz, who was the equipment manager at the Cricket from 2009-12. "On cold days, we used to make coffee in the shop and run it out to members who were playing golf.
"He's the most detail-oriented person I know. If you worked for Dan and you were out and saw a piece of trash on the course, you picked it up. I've taken that philosophy with me to other places I've worked."
The 13th annual award is presented to a superintendent who excels at one or more of the following: labor-management, maximizing budget limitations, educating and advancing the careers of colleagues and assistants, negotiating with government agencies, preparing for tournaments under unusual circumstances, service to golf clientele, upgrading or renovating the course, dealing with extreme or emergency conditions.
Meersman was selected by a panel of judges from a list of 10 finalists that also included Chad Decker of Hollytree Country Club, Tyler, Texas; Greg Gavelek of Longbow Golf Club, Mesa, Ariz.,; Rocco Greco, En-Joie Golf Course, Endicott, N.Y.; Matt Kregel, The Club at Strawberry Creek, Kenosha, Wis.; Chad Montgomery, Naples Heritage Golf and Country Club, Naples, Fla.; Andy Morris, Country Club of Peoria, Peoria Heights, Ill.; Rich Taylor, Sahalee Country Club, Sammamish, Wash.; Dan Tolson, 3 Creek Ranch, Jackson, Wyo.; and Curtis Tyrrell of Medinah (Ill.) Country Club.
Comprising the judging panel are Shawn Potter and Stephanie Schwenke of Syngenta; Peter McCormick, Jon Kiger and John Reitman of TurfNet; last year's winner Paul Carter, CGCS, of The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay in Harrison, Tenn.; Cal Roth of the PGA Tour; Chris Hartwiger of the USGA Green Section; Tom Stine of Golf Datatech; Jon Scott of Nicklaus Design; Mike McCullough of the Monterey (Calif.) Regional Water Pollution Control Agency; Frank Rossi, Ph.D., of Cornell University; Tim Moraghan of Aspire Golf; Dave Wilber of Sierra Pacific Turf Supply; Larry Hirsh of Golf Property Analysts; and Bradley Klein, Ph.D., of Golfweek.
Previous winners of the award include Paul Carter, The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay (Tenn.), 2011; Thomas Bastis, California Golf Club of San Francisco (Calif.), 2010; Anthony Williams, Stone Mountain Golf Club (Ga.), 2009, Sam MacKenzie, Olympia Fields Country Club (Ill.), 2008; John Zimmers, Oakmont Country Club (Pa.), 2007; Scott Ramsay, Golf Course at Yale (Conn.), 2006; Mark Burchfield, Victoria Club (Calif.), 2005; Stuart Leventhal, Interlachen Country Club (Fla.), 2004; Paul Voykin, Briawood Country Club (Ill.), 2003; Jeff Burgess, Seven Lakes Country Club (Ontario), 2002; Kip Tyler, Salem Country Club (Mass), 2001; Kent McCutcheon, Las Vegas Paiute Resort (Nev.), 2000.
Meersman comes from a long line of superintendents that include brother, Jason, of The Patterson Club in Fairfield, Conn., and father, Mike, of Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course in Kingman, Ariz, both of whom were on hand when he won the award. He also has a grandfather and uncle who were superintendents. With that sort of pedigree, Meersman also has become an accomplished inventor.
Shortly after he was hired in 2009, Meersman went to work on the bunkers of PCC's Militia Hill course, which suffered from subpar construction methods when the course was built in 2001-02, Muessle said. Meersman rebuilt the bunkers and installed liners that he developed and patented. Those permeable, porous asphalt liners have worked so well they were installed on the St. Martins course at PCC and will be used later this year when the club's original Tillinghast design goes under the knife immediately after the U.S. Open at crosstown Merion Golf Club.
"He's a pretty unique guy. He's developed all his own processes and methods," said Muessle. "As a general manager, it's tough keeping up with him. By the time I know what he's doing, he's on to the next thing."
"As a general manager, it's tough keeping up with him. By the time I know what he's doing, he's on to the next thing."
Heinz, the 2004 TurfNet Technician of the Year Award winner while at Kalamazoo Country Club in Michigan, has had the fortune of working for many accomplished superintendents, including John Fulling at Kalamazoo, Lou Conzelman at Tiburon Golf Club in Florida and currently under Eric Greytok at Belfair Plantation in Bluffton, S.C. He remembers Meersman as a driven manager who never took "no" for an answer, but who also had an unbending dedication to his employees.
"If you give your all to him, then he'll give his all to you," Heinz said. "But he could tell pretty early if you didn't have what it took to succeed. And if you didn't have it, then you usually didn't last long. Working for him was tough. It was like the difference between entering the Navy, or entering the Marines. I mean, that's how tough he is."
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Question: Why take on the presidency of the GCSAA after a year like that?
Answer: Actually, the timing is perfect for me, for the club and for the GCSAA. This will be my eighth year on the board, and that service has helped me become a better superintendent, a better manager and a better person. So I don't see it as time away; I see it as time invested.
Q: What changes are your fellow superintendents making as you adjust to a tougher business climate?
A: Many of the budget cuts actually started right after 9/11, so superintendents were better prepared for what hit the country in 2008. We're all getting better at managing labor, budgeting time, engaging in customer service. We're providing equal if not better course conditions for less money. Superintendents were accustomed to being left alone, so to speak, out on the golf course with our head down looking at turf. Now we're part of a team, part of a facility's financial success. Many are doing more with fewer inputs of water, pesticides and fertilizer through better management.
Q: How much of that has been driven by ecology?
A: Business and ecology go hand in hand. What better time to make environmental changes? To be sure, they are more widely accepted around the country now than a decade ago. The West Coast and the East Coast may have been at the forefront, but I tell my friends and colleagues in Kansas City, where I'm from, "It's coming your way." And GCSAA, which is based in Lawrence, Kansas, has been at the forefront in helping provide superintendents with the tools to be better managers and stewards of their courses.
Q: What are superintendents today doing differently to explain this to golfers?
A: There's a night-and-day difference from when I started in 1983. We used to rely upon the folks in the golf shop as our mouthpiece while we were out on the course. Now we spend more time communicating directly. The more we educate the golf shop, the more we educate golfers, the more we speak directly in the community, the better our message will get out there. Email is one thing; standing face-to-face with golfers on the first tee makes it more readily acceptable. And there's a lot more collaboration across the entire industry, such as with National Golf Day April 17 this year when we go out with the PGA of America and other stakeholders, including course owners and general managers, and make our case for a $70 billion golf industry that employs 2 million people here in the U.S. Recognition of superintendents has never been higher. On the recent CBS telecast of the Farmers Insurance Open, commentator Jim Nantz told a national audience that the GCSAA Golf Championship would be held at Torrey Pines the following week using the same fourth-round hole locations used this year. That's pretty cool.
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A revised version of water withdrawal regulations goes into effect in New York on April 1, according to the state's Department of Environmental Conservation. The purpose of these regulations is to implement a permitting, registration and reporting program for water withdrawals equaling or exceeding a threshold volume of 100,000 gallons per day. They also implement New York's commitments under the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.
For existing water withdrawal systems that are not exempt and that were above the threshold as of February 15, 2012, an initial permit process is provided which is less costly and time consuming than the standard permit process and provides additional time to comply depending on the capacity of the water withdrawal system. To take advantage of the initial permit process, existing withdrawals must have been reported by February 15, 2012.
Here are some highlights of the new regulations as provided by the New York State Turfgrass Association:
> Annual reports for 2012 should be submitted by March 31, 2013. In subsequent years the reporting date will be March 31.
> Threshold before regulations kick in remains at the ability to withdraw 100,000 gallons per day.
> A $50 reporting fee is in effect until December 31, 2013; after that no fee is required.
> Most permits will have a 10-year term, however shorter time frames can be used at DEC's discretion. In addition, DEC's review of annual reports may identify scenarios that may trigger the need for a permit modification or indicate possible permit violations. One scenario is systems that are approaching their permitted withdrawal limits.
> As for water conservation measures, future annual reports will include an update on the progress and effectiveness of your water conservation measures. A manual and form for water conservation measures will be available on the DEC Web site.
> Long Island wells are exempt from reporting requirements as well as additional permitting; they have pre-existing regulations.
> Exempt from permitting are withdrawals that have received approval from the Delaware River Basin Commission or Susquehanna River Basin Commission but usage reporting is required.
> Under Section 601.6 of the regulations, there are 11 actions which can no longer be taken without first having obtained a withdrawal permit. These actions include such things as changing the pumping specifications or increasing storage capacity
> Facilities that reported water withdrawals by February 15, 2012 can apply for an initial permit. The schedule for obtaining an initial permit is:
June 1, 2013 - ability to withdraw 100 million gallons/day (mgd) or more
February 15, 2014 - greater than 10 mgd but less than 100 mgd
February 15, 2015 - greater than 2 mgd but less than 10 mgd
February 15, 2016 - greater than 0.5 mgd but less than 2 mgd
February 15, 2017 - greater than 0.1 mgd but less than 0.5 mgd
> Those facilities who did not report by February 15, 2012 need to get permitted by June 1, 2013 no matter what their numbers are. In these cases a complete permit application will be required which I tend to believe will be more involved than in applying for the "initial" permit. As soon as possible, facilities with this issue should contact Richard Kruzansky (518-402-8182) at the DEC Division of Water for help bringing a facility into compliance.
> All pumping facilities will need totalizing flow meters which will need to be calibrated within the year prior to a permit application and calibrated at least once every 5 year thereafter.
> Any well installed after April 1, 2013 will need equipment to measure and record water levels; calibration of this equipment every 5 years.
> Ponds installed after April 1, 2013 need equipment to measure water levels and storage volumes.
> There are record keeping and inspection requirements.
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Environmental agencies in Michigan, Wisconsin and Virginia have granted phosphorus exemptions to Crystal Green, a slow-release, renewable phosphorus fertilizer by Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies.
The exemptions allow golf course superintendents and sports turf managers to apply Crystal Green to turf where conventional phosphorus-containing products are otherwise restricted or banned.
The company says that the phosphorus exemptions were granted because the components in Crystal Green are recovered from nutrient-rich water streams. The recovered phosphorus and nitrogen, together with magnesium are transformed into a fertilizer that is significantly higher in purity than its conventional counterparts.
NYSTA has solution for GIS blues
Didn't make it to the Golf Industry Show this year? No problem. Although the New York State Turfgrass Association can't bring San Diego weather to upstate New York, it is bringing the same style of education that was on display in Southern California for GIS.
The one-day program is scheduled for Feb. 25 at the Millennium Hotel in Buffalo.
Featured speakers include Rich Buckley, Ph.D., of Rutgers University, Adam Moeller of the USGA Green Section, Dale Getz of The Toro Co., and Dan Peck, Ph.D., of Grass Systems Entomology.
Sessions are approved by the GCSAA and STMA.
Bayer ES names new president for North America market
Bayer Environmental Science named Gilles Galliou president of its North American Division.
Galliou has more than 20 years of experience in global and U.S. agribusiness. He has worked with Bayer since 1990, most recently as Bayer's vice president of commercial operations.
Galliou replaces Jacqueline Applegate, Ph.D., who took over the role of CEO of Bayer CropScience Australia/New Zealand.
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Welcome to the life of Curtis Tyrrell, CGCS. Tyrrell, director of golf course operations at Medinah Country Club, has spent nearly every waking moment preparing the club west of Chicago for last year's Ryder Cup since he accepted the job there almost five years ago. For his efforts at preparing Medinah for its place on the world stage Tyrrell has been named one of 10 finalists for TurfNet's Superintendent of the Year Award, presented by Syngenta. Other finalists for the award are: Chad Decker, Hollytree Country Club, Tyler, Texas; Greg Gavelek, Longbow Golf Club, Mesa, Ariz.; Rocco Greco, En-Joie Golf Course, Endicott, N.Y.; Matt Kregel, The Club at Strawberry Creek, Kenosha, Wis.; Dan Meersman, The Philadelphia Cricket Club; Chad Montgomery, Naples Heritage Golf and Country Club, Naples, Fla.; Andy Morris, Country Club of Peoria, Peoria Heights, Ill.; Rich Taylor, Sahalee Country Club, Sammamish, Wash.; and Dan Tolson, 3 Creek Ranch, Jackson, Wyo. The finalists were chosen from a list of 109 candidates nominated by their golfing members, owners and operators, assistants and club professionals by a panel of judges including Shawn Potter and Stephanie Schwenke of Syngenta; Peter McCormick, Jon Kiger and John Reitman of TurfNet; last year's winner Paul Carter, CGCS, of The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay in Harrison, Tenn.; Cal Roth of the PGA Tour; Chris Hartwiger of the USGA Green Section; Tom Stine of Golf Datatech; Jon Scott of Nicklaus Design; Mike McCullough of the Monterey (Calif.) Regional Water Pollution Control Agency; Frank Rossi, Ph.D., of Cornell University; Tim Moraghan of Aspire Golf; Dave Wilber of Sierra Pacific Turf Supply; Larry Hirsh of Golf Property Analysts; and Bradley Klein, Ph.D., of Golfweek. The winner of the award will be named Feb. 7 at the Syngenta booth during the Golf Industry Show in San Diego. Previous winners include: Paul Carter, The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay, Harrison, Tenn. (2011); Thomas Bastis, The California Golf Club of San Francisco (2010); Anthony Williams, Stone Mountain (Ga.) Golf Club (2009); Sam MacKenzie, Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club (2008); John Zimmers, Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club (2007); Scott Ramsay, Golf Course at Yale University, New Haven, Conn. (2006); Mark Burchfield, Victoria Club, Riverside Calif. (2005); Stuart Leventhal, Interlachen Country Club, Winter Park, Fla. (2004); Paul Voykin, Briarwood Country Club, Deerfield, Ill. (2003); Jeff Burgess, Seven Lakes Golf Course, Windsor, Ontario (2002); Kip Tyler, Salem Country Club, Peabody, Mass. (2001); Kent McCutcheon, Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort (2000). Chad Decker - Hollytree Country Club, Tyler, TX
Chad Decker faces challenges from one end of the spectrum to the other as superintendent at Hollytree Country Club in Tyler, Texas. For the past several summers, the course has been parched by summer drought and relentless heat. The drought has limited the amount of water Decker can apply to the course from two wells on the property. Any more than 500,000 gallons daily, and the irrigation pond fed by the wells begins to recede. "Once that runs down, you can never catch up," Decker said. Built on swampland an hour's drive east of Dallas, Hollytree also is subject to flooding during spring and fall showers. Mudd Creek and a smaller tributary can inundate as many as 10 holes at Hollytree after a simple 2-inch rain. Water drains off the course in short order, but accompanying debris such as trash, silt, entire dumpsters and even portable toilets does not. "This place floods like there is no tomorrow," he said. "That is my no. 1 battle." Decker's challenges were compounded last July when his 2-year-old daughter, Hope, died suddenly after being diagnosed with leukemia. Greg Gavelek - Longbow Golf Club, Mesa, Ariz
The superintendent at Longbow Golf Club since 1998, Gavelek drew praise from owners who bought the property in 2001 from Boeing after the aircraft manufacturer inherited the course after buying its original owner McDonnell-Douglas. Gavelek was on board for a unique renovation project that required moving all or part of 13 holes so the property could be redeveloped. The end result has been the ongoing transformation of what the new ownership group described as a so-so golf course into one of the finest conditioned layouts in the Phoenix area. With up to 40,000 rounds annually, there is little time for upgrade projects, most of which are completed in-house. For example, a recent bunker upgrade meant that at one point all 57 bunkers were completely empty while Gavelek and his crew worked on all of them simultaneously. While Gavelek has produced conditions that rival those found on private and resort courses in the Phoenix area, he done with a daily fee budget that leaves little room for anything extra. "In a time when managing your budget is vital to the success of our golf course Greg has trimmed 20 percent off his labor budget and managed to cut 18 percent from his course expenses over the last five years," wrote Longbow GM Jay Larscheid. "Even with this we are still able to provide one of the best playing surfaces and overall experiences in the valley. Greg's crew is limited but they are well trained and act under Greg's leadership and direction. Greg is a tremendous role model for future superintendents on his team." Rocco Greco - En-Joie Golf Course, Endicott, N.Y.
Perhaps no other superintendent's name has become as synonymous with flooding as Rocco Greco, superintendent at county-owned En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott, N.Y. Greco has become synonymous with flood recovery par excellence as well. Twice in 2011, En Joie was overrun by the Susquehanna River. It was the second (and third) major flooding event at En Joie since 2006. The first flood event 2011 in mid-April resulted in lost turf in several low-lying areas just as Greco and his crew were preparing the course for the PGA Champions Tour Dick's Sporting Goods Open in early July. Round 2 hit in September 2011, when slow-moving Tropical Storm Lee settled in and dropped 10 inches of rain over the already-sopped area. The devastation included lost turf on 14 greens and all but two tee complexes. Parts of the golf course were under as much as 18 feet of water and just about every bunker on the course was devoid of sand. Damage was so bad, the 2012 opening was delayed until the third week of June and that year's edition of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open, which included the top 60 players on the Champions Tour money list, was delayed by a month. As the course began to take shape, county and course personnel, golfing members and tournament officials couldn't believe the rapid rate of recovery that was a result of the hard work put in by Greco and his staff. "Everyone was in awe on June 20 at the beauty and condition of the course from tee to green," wrote En-Joie Ladies Golf Association president Michele. "It truly was a miracle that this thing of beauty could arise from the mud, silt and devastation it endured. We owe it all to Rocco." Matt Kregel - The Club at Strawberry Creek, Kenosha, Wis
The past two summers have deprived Matt Kregel of one of life's simple pleasures: going home in the evening after a hard day at work at The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wis. With 90-plus-degree temperatures dominating each of the past two summers, Kregel spent a lot of evenings making sure the bentgrass didn't punch a clock and check out at 5 p.m., too. "Leave in the afternoon, not come back until morning; that didn't happen," Kregel said. "At 5 or 6 in the afternoon, that is when the grass was checking out. That's when we had to get something down." Kregel manages the A1 creeping bentgrass putting surfaces to discourage Poa annua, but the extreme dry heat was a bit much, even for the bentgrass, he said. He and his team spent a lot of time throughout the summer dragging hoses. Members at Strawberry Creek call Kregel "a genius" and compare conditions at their course favorably to many of the country's premier tracks. Dan Meersman - Philadelphia Cricket Club, PA
As if managing 45 holes of golf wasn't enough, Dan Meersman, superintendent at The Philadelphia Cricket Club, also is responsible for conditions on 22 grass tennis courts, nine clay courts, two indoor courts, two paddle tennis courts and an athletic field. That many surfaces require a large in-season staff that can number up to 65 people. And it's important to Meersman that he utilizes his labor resources as efficiently as possible. To that end, he has adopted a matrix program that allows him to track who is working on what and when they are doing it. Meersman, who has been at Philadelphia Cricket Club since 2009, has been the host of an industry retreat that is designed to provide continuing education to staff and colleagues from other courses since his days at Victoria National Golf Club. Key staff, assistants and course superintendents, are required to volunteer at major events to gain valuable on-the-job experience only tournament prep can provide. His dedication to professional development and continuing education is paying off for his staff. Since 2009, five former PCC assistants have ascended through the ranks to become head superintendents elsewhere. Keeping PCC among the best properties in eastern Pennsylvania has meant constant tweaking to the courses there. The club's St. Martins Course, an 1895 Willie Tucker design that was the site of the U.S. Open in 1907 and 1910, was renovated in-house in 2011-12. His staff also completed a bunker renovation on the Militia Hill Course in 2010, and this year will begin a $7 million restoration of the Wissahickon Course, a 1920 A.W. Tillinghast classic. Chad Montgomery - Naples Heritage Golf and Country Club, Naples, Fla
During the past several years, the story of Naples Heritage Golf and Country Club in Florida has been something like a caterpillar emerging from its chrysalis as a beautiful butterfly. The metamorphosis has occurred, members say, only since Chad Montgomery arrived as superintendent four years ago. "Chad took over a golf course that had been stressed out for several years," wrote member Russell Forbes in nominating Montgomery for TurfNet's Superintendent of the Year Award. "After only two years of his care, the course is in the best shape of any course in southwest Florida." "We could stand up to any inspection at any time and meet the highest standards required anywhere," wrote Allan Wilson, another member of the club. "(I have) played some of the finest courses in the U.S.A., and none are better taken care of than NHGCC." Other members have used adjectives such as "marginal, below average and run down" to describe conditions on the course before Montgomery arrived. Since then, members have turned to using words such as "perfect, outstanding, excellent and sublime." In his brief tenure at member-owned Naples Heritage, Montgomery has expanded and leveled teeing areas, expanded the practice area, revitalized the fairways through an intensive verticutting program and extensive repairs to the drainage system. As member Bob Powers wrote "His touch can be seen everywhere on our 550 acres." Andy Morris - Country Club of Peoria, Peoria Heights, IL
In what was yet another in a long line of increasingly hot summers, golf courses throughout much of the Midwest were melting in mid-2012. But by the looks of things at the Country Club of Peoria in Peoria Heights, Ill., it was just another average summer. To say it was hot at Peoria over the summer would be an understatement. Daytime highs in excess of 90 degrees were recorded on 26 of 31 days in July and a monthly high of 104 was reached on two occasions more than two weeks apart. Despite the heat, conditions at Peoria were tournament ready all summer while other courses in the area wilted. And members took notice, with more than 30 submitting nominations of Andy Morris for Superintendent of the Year. Championship conditions at Peoria were the result of a renovation plan implemented five years ago. That project included replacing a predominantly Poa stand with a variety of creeping bentgrasses: A1-A4 mix on greens, Pennlinks II cool-season grasses that are more tolerant to heat and traffic, a tree-management program to promote air movement throughout the course, new irrigation and drainage, strict water management and converting several acres of rough to unmanaged naturalized areas. "This summer was perhaps a very trying test given the very high temperatures. Compared to other area courses, CCP has maintained excellent appearance and playing conditions were superb in spite of the heat," club member Richard Nitto wrote in his nomination of Morris. "Andy truly is a stand-out manager of the course and his people." Rich Taylor - Sahalee Country Club, Sammamish, Wash
Rich Taylor's Sahalee Country Club career began in 1984, and he has been superintendent at the course in Sammamish, Wash., since 1999 and was the host superintendent for the 2010 U.S. Senior Open. In nominating Taylor for Superintendent of the Year, USGA Green Section agronomist Larry Gilhuly wrote that Taylor is "the reason why Sahalee has been dramatically improved" over the last 20-plus years. Some of the recent initiatives Taylor has been involved in include building new tees for the Tee It Forward player development initiative, construction of a new maintenance facility and a tree-removal play to promote air movement throughout the course. He even played an integral role in the planning of a new clubhouse-construction project. Top-shelf clubs such as Sahalee emphasize championship conditions daily, a necessity for a club that prides itself on being a regular stop for USGA amateur events and the occasional pro event even in the face of shrinking budgets. Former club president John Naye wrote in his nomination letter that the board of directors voted in 2012 to clip Taylor's operating budget by $100,000. Rather than grouse over what this might mean to turf operations, Taylor replied: "Just tell me the amount of reductions you want and we will find a way to get them and maintain the quality of the course." Dan Tolson - 3 Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, Wyo
Equally as impressive as Dan Tolson's work at managing the environmentally hyper sensitive 3 Creek Ranch in Jackson, Wyo., is the golf pedigree of the person who nominated him for superintendent of the year. 3 Creek Ranch member Clark Fownes MacKenzie is the son of Roland MacKenzie, a three-time member of the U.S. Walker Cup team, grandson of 1910 U.S. Amateur champion William Fownes Jr., and great-grandson of Henry Fownes, who designed a course near Pittsburgh you might have heard of Oakmont Country Club. The Rees Jones design was built on 710 acres of rangeland situated between two national parks and is in the middle of an ecologically sensitive area that Tolson said is known as "the last contiguous area of ecologically pure land in the continental United States." With bear, elk, moose, otter and even wolves ranging through the property Tolson must go to great lenths to ensure the course exists in unison with the surrounding environment. To ensure that the creek running through the course remains a viable habitat for cutthroat trout in the Snake River basin, Tolson, who has worked at 3 Creek Ranch since 2003 and has been superintendent since 2007, monitors water quality with monthly tests. According to the results of those tests, which are interpreted by an independent third party, water quality in the creek is better as it exits the course than it is when it enters the property, making the ranch a popular destination with fly fishermen as well as guide services. Curtis Tyrrell - Medinah Country Club, Medinah, IL
For years, superintendents have resented that their courses are compared to conditions produced annually at Augusta National. After last year's Ryder Cup Matches they'll have Curtis Tyrrell to blame if they ever hear the words "Medinah Syndrome." Tyrrell, director of golf course operations at 54-hole Medinah Country Club near Chicago, is setting a new standard for daily conditioning. What makes his accomplishments all the more impressive is that he's doing it on a 600-acre museum where the hallowed No. 3 Course sees the equivalent of a shotgun start every day. Throw in the fact the Chicago area is coming off two years of some of the harshest summer conditions in recent past and what Tyrrell and his staff have done is nothing short of remarkable. "It's a big job not only because of the history and prestige that a name like Medina carries, but in terms of property size, staff size and membership size - it's a very big job," wrote Course No. 1 superintendent Jim Wallace in nominating Tyrrell for TurfNet's Superintendent of the Year Award. Tyrrell spent nearly every waking moment since he was hired at in 2008 getting No. 3 ready for the 2012 Ryder Cup. While Tyrrell and his staff were doing so, 90-plus-degree temperatures were recorded at Medinah on 45 days throughout the summer. That's about three times the historic average for the Chicago area. In the midst of these challenging conditions, Tyrrell and Co. were able to produce immaculate conditions on the heavily played Tom Bendelow classic. "Curtis had Medinah shining on the world stage for the 2012 Ryder Cup," No. 3 superintendent Ross Laubscher wrote. "This after enduring two years of extreme weather conditions in the Chicago area. While preparing for the Ryder Cup, Curtis was also preparing for a full renovation of Medinah's No. 1 Course and also planning long-term solutions to update the infrastructure of Medinah's No. 2 Course." The Monday after completion of the Ryder Cup, Tyrrell was the first person on the property, as a complete restoration of No. 1 was set to begin that day. "It's a big job not only because of the history and prestige that a name like Medinah carries, but in terms of property size, staff size and membership size - it's a very big job," wrote Course No. 1 superintendent Jim Wallace. "What I can also say as someone who has worked alongside Curtis for the past five years, is that without his leadership in the face of some really tough challenges, I seriously doubt that things would have turned out as well as they did. You can have the best team in the world but without the right leadership things can go awry very quickly."
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