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Measuring 5.5 inches by 5.5 inches and weighing 10 pounds, The "Original" is designed to fit walk-behind blowers with rectangular output ports. It delivers topdressing material into the soil profile through a process called air-redirection technology, eliminating the need for brushes or mats. Air-redirection technology forces topdressing material into the desired location quicker and more efficiently than gravity, brushing or dragging with mats.
The "Original" is manufactured from 16-gauge steel and features rounded leading and trailing edges to provide even greater protection for the turf surface.
At 24 inches in length The "Original" is large enough to make quick work of large-volume sand applications and small enough to get into the intricate details of putting greens, tees, infields and targeted micro-environments in a fraction of the time, says Green Sweep Technologies, a company created by turf managers to develop tools and solutions for other turf managers.
For more information, visit greensweeptech.com.
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With overseeding season quickly approaching, Turfco offers solutions to golf course superintendents with two products launched earlier this year. The WideSpin 1550 topdresser offers a new hydraulic system and spinner design, allowing operators to switch between a super light to ultra-heavy applications; instantaneous width and rate control for topdressing tee boxes, greens and approaches; 20-percent larger capacity hopper; an optional electronic controller that automatically calculates the rate of the application and amount of material is needed. The 1550 is available as an engine or hydraulic tow-behind unit or a hydraulic truck-mounted unit. All offer spreading widths from 15 to 4- feet and spreading ranges from as little as 0.08mm to more than 0.25-inches. All units are also available with manual or electronic control. The TriWave 40 tow-behind overseeder offers Turfco's WaveBlade technology that creates clean square slits for optimal germination with decreased turf disruption; the ability to turn while seeding and to seed greens with steep sides and bunker surrounds; one-button control that lifts and lowers seeder so operators can spot seed quickly and move on to the next area; floating heads that follow the contour of the ground for effective seeding and a patented seed-delivery system; an optional electric lift and lower for trucks without hydraulics, allowing operators to hook up to any vehicle. For more information, visit www.turfco.com.
Ewing restructures for improved efficiency
Ewing has restructured its operation, including the appointment of three new vice presidents, to help the company achieve its goals of increased growth and greater efficiency. New vice presidents include J.R. Richards, who will oversee operations in the Pacific Northwest, California and Southwest; Jay Riviere, who will head up the company's interests in the Rocky Mountain states, Midwest, and Texas; and Ray Murphy, who will head up operations in the Southeast, East Coast, and Florida. Along with the vice presidential appointments, Ewing welcomed several new members to the company's regional management team, including Casey McWilliams, Pacific Northwest; Jake Ray, Arizona; Dave Northrup, New Mexico and El Paso, Tex.; Sean Wimble, Central Texas; Leon Garza, South Texas; Aaron Budimlija, Midwest; and Marshall Caudill, Southeast. The appointments for the resulting branch manager position openings were fulfilled internally. The new managers include: Chris Bednarek in Tigard, Ore.; Hunter Williams in Chandler, Ariz.; Jake Sommer in Peoria, Ariz.; Herman Romero in Albuquerque, NM; Ray Salazar in Austin, Tex.; and Greg Stafford in Houston, Tex. Relocations included Ray Espinoza from Peoria to Deer Valley, Ariz.; Mike Falloon from Austin to Cedar Park, Tex., and Mike Alvarado from Houston to Friendswood, Tex. For more information, visit www.ewing1.com.
Bayer offers solutions via Twitter
Bayer has launched a Twitter account for its turf and ornamental business that is focused on solutions for its golf course customers. The site twitter.com/BayerGolf will share Bayer-related news and industry news stories. Bayer also will share with superintendents expert advice to some of their most challenging issues from the company's Green Solutions team. Magro joins Stevens Water
Stevens Water Monitoring Systems recently named Carmen Magro, CGCS, vice president of business development and agronomy. A former golf course superintendent, Magro has more than 20 years in of experience as an agronomist, including serving in a multitude of roles at Penn State University, as well as positions with Floratine, UgMO Technologies and Agronomy Management Solutions, the latter a consulting firm he had founded. At Stevens, he will be responsible for helping the company advance its expertise in water-monitoring technology. For more information, visit www.stevenswater.com.
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John Deere has launched a mobile version of its parts Web site that allows customers easier access to much-needed parts.
By visiting jdparts.deere.com from a smart phone or tablet customers can view equipment parts information from nearly any location.
Like its desktop counterpart, the mobile version allows customers to quickly access parts information, pricing, availability and order parts online. Customers can search by parts catalog, model number, part number or keyword to locate the appropriate parts and attachments.
For more information, visit jdparts.deere.com.
Lebanon tabs Bially as new product manager
LebanonTurf recently named Paul Bially as product manager for its biostimulant division.
Bially brings years of turf industry experience to LebanonTurf, including prior service with Aquatrols and Precision Labs in which he worked extensively with surfactants and other specialty products.
Most recently, he worked as a sales and technology specialist for Lamberti USA managing the company's line of surfactants, polymers and pigments.
For more information, visit www.lebanonturf.com.
Hunter controllers earn EPA nod for saving water
Hunter Industries' AC-powered controllers that are paired with Solar Sync sensors will carry the WaterSense label for professional turfgrass managers interested in getting the most for the least from their irrigation systems.
Controllers to carry the WaterSense label will include X-Core, Pro-C, I-Core and ACC lines. Hunters' controllers are the only in the industry to carry the label granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Water Sense is an EPA partnership program that recognizes products that perform as well or better than their less-efficient counterparts, are 20 percent more water efficient than average products in their category, realize water savings on a national level, provide measurable water savings results, achieve water efficiency through several technology options, are effectively differentiated by the WaterSense label, and obtain independent, third-party certification.
For more information, visit www.hunterindustries.com, or www.epa.gov/watersense.
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Golfweek, TurfNet's sister property, is offering Ross fans, or those interested in knowing more about his contributions to the game, a three-day symposium at the home of one his most renowned creations - Pinehurst No. 2. The event will showcase the accomplishments of Ross as well educate attendees on how to implement classic architectural concepts into restoration and renovation work.
Donald Ross and the Art of Golf Architecture Restoration is scheduled for Nov. 10-12 at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina.
Scheduled speakers include Golfweek's Bradley Klein,; architects Tom Doak, Tom Fazio, Rees Jones, Scott Pool and Ron Pritchard; Bob Farren, CGCS, director of golf course maintenance and grounds at Pinehurst; Pete Garvey of Idle Hour Country Club in Lexington, Ky.; Jim Mrva of Monroe Golf Club in Rochester, N.Y.; Larry Hirsch of Golf Property Analysts; and Paul Wold, former green chairman from the Country Club of Rochester (N.Y.).
The event includes a round of golf on the Pinehurst No. 2 layout.
For more information, visit www.golfweek.com.
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The meeting was called as a ruse to assemble the crew at Corral de Tierra Country Club to discuss safety issues over lunch. A wrinkle in the program came when Sjögren, 58, was awarded the TurfNet 2013 Technician of the Year Award, presented by Toro. Shortly after the gathering adjourned the crew went back to work, including Sjögren who had been busy with a multitude of tasks, including rebuilding mowing reels. In his rush to get back to the shop, he'd left his award on the table where he and co-workers had been eating lunch just minutes before.
"Did he forget it? I'm not surprised," said superintendent Doug Ayres as he looked down and gathered up the Golden Wrench Award to return it to its rightful owner.
Sjögren is a self-taught mechanic who can fix or make just about anything, a brute with vendors over pricing, an amateur civil engineer who designs and builds bridges and a wildlife enthusiast who enjoys the company of wild birds that have nested inside the maintenance shop and eat from a feeder erected in a flower bed outside its doors.
Sjögren was selected from a list of three finalists that also included Jonothon McGuigan of Fox Meadow Golf and Country Club on Canada's Prince Edward Island and Ed Greve of Highland Woods Golf Course in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
TurfNet has been presenting the award annually (almost) to a golf course equipment manager who excels at one or more of the following: crisis management, effective budgeting, environmental awareness, helping to further the careers of colleagues and employees, interpersonal communications, inventory management and cost control, overall condition and dependability of rolling stock, shop safety and work ethic. Previous winners include Kevin Bauer, Prairie Bluff Golf Club, Crest Hill, Ill. (2012); Jim Kilgallon, The Connecticut Golf Club, Easton, Conn. (2011); Herb Berg, Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club (2010); Doug Johnson, TPC at Las Colinas, Irving, Texas (2009); Jim Stuart, Stone Mountain (Ga.) Golf Club (2007); Fred Peck, Fox Hollow and The Homestead, Lakewood, Colo. (2006); Jesus Olivas, Heritage Highlands at Dove Mountain, Marana, Ariz. (2005); Henry Heinz, Kalamazoo (Mich.) Country Club (2004); Eric Kulaas, Marriott Vinoy Renaissance Resort, St. Petersburg, Fla. (2003). No award was given in 2008.
Since Ayres arrived at Corral de Tierra eight years ago, he has undertaken one giant project after another. In that time, he has accumulated a vast inventory in turf maintenance equipment that must be operational on a moment's notice.
"We do a lot of projects here, and if something breaks down, we need to get it back out here quick," said assistant superintendent Rick Smith. Having somebody like Brian who is a good troubleshooter is huge. He can figure things out pretty quickly and get it back out on the golf course."
Sjögren has been working on cars since his days as a student at nearby Pacific Grove High School. He started working on Volkswagens and his parents' cars, before graduating to more complex projects.
His career in the golf business began 29 years ago when he was mowing greens and raking bunkers at Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel Valley. He also spent a two days each week helping the club's mechanic in the shop and filled in when the tech was on vacation.
Since then, he has become an integral part of the team at Corral de Tierra.
If a project requires a specialized tool that has yet to be invented, Sjögren will build it. He also maintains a lean inventory that includes only the most oft-used parts. If he doesn't have what he needs, he scours the Internet for the best price, even if, in some cases it means having something shipped from around the world.
He also manages a biodiesel-production program in which he makes about 40 gallons of fuel per week from used cooking oil he gets from the Corral clubhouse as well as from nearby Pasadera Country Club.
In 2012, that program yielded about 2,000 gallons of biodiesel produced at a cost of 90 cents per gallon, vs. the $4-plus per gallon rate for standard diesel fuel, resulting in a savings of about $6,000 in fuel costs, Ayres said.
The program has been so successful that the Toro Workman Ayres uses to get around the course has never used anything but biodiesel concocted by Sjögren.
Sjögren's contributions to the maintenance operation at Corral de Tierra, located between Monterey and Salinas, go far beyond rebuilding mowers, grinding reels, ordering parts and managing an inventory of $2.4 million in machinery and equipment. He also plays an active role in planning and managing many of these projects, helping take them from the drawing board to completion.
"In order to accomplish all the massive projects and changes over the last eight years, I have counted on Brian to help think out innovation solutions to all my problems," Ayres said.
Help from assistant technician Mario Gonzalez frees up Sjögren to take on some of Corral's bigger projects.
In the recent past, Sjögren has helped design and build bridges able to withstand mower and tractor traffic, a skill he learned on-the-job at Corral de Tierra. In fact, he'd built several bridges at the club before Ayres arrived on the job. When his new boss didn't like the design of one of the bridges on the course, Sjogren altered the design, copying from a vehicle bridge he'd seen at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
The only problem for Sjögren was that the railings were too heavy and caused the bridge to sway, a problem rectified by the addition of buttress supports.
"After that, it was fine," Sjögren said.
The modular design also means that if individual parts of the bridge fail in the future, it can be dismantled in piecemeal fashion and repaired without deconstructing the entire bridge.
"With the first bridge we did at No. 3, there are some imperfections. Someone else might not notice them, but I can see them," Sjögren said. "But after the first one we did, each one got better, looked better and was done faster each time.
"We've always been good about doing projects over the years, but since Doug has been here we've taken on big projects. And it's been good experience. People now are more likely to go headlong into a project where before they might have been more hesitant."
Sjögren went above and beyond the call of duty of any equipment manager in 2011 when he and Ayres inspected the clubhouse after they received a call from someone saying they could smell natural gas outside the building near the club's No. 9 green.
Closer inspection revealed a 1-inch hole in a gas line. Exhaust fans left on in the clubhouse were sucking the gas out of the building where gravity was at work, causing the fumes to settle down over the golf course.
While the pair were inspecting the line, a spark ignited the gas, causing a huge flash that enveloped his superintendent's head.
"Doug was in shock for a while, I could tell," Sjögren said. "We high-tailed it out of there and hit the fire alarm.
Actually, Sjögren made a stop along the way, warning members in the club's fitness center to get out.
"The gas had been on all night," Ayres said. "If the exhaust hadn't been on, the whole building would've blown at some point."
Both emerged relatively unscathed, save for some singed eyebrows on Ayres' face and what he described as a glowing complexion that resembled a sunburn.
"There was supposed to be an emergency on-off valve, but there were no signs and we couldn't find. When we eventually did, the handle was missing," Sjögren said. "We were pretty lucky. Someone from the fire department told us we should buy a lottery ticket."
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Talk about global appeal. Leading the winning team at this years John Deere Classic Superintendent Pro-Am was PGA Tour professional and New Zealand native Grant Waite. He was joined by Jason Manfull of Crow Valley Golf Club in Davenport, Iowa; Rich Hohman, president of Kitson and Partners, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Ben Tilley of Headland Golf Club in Queensland, Australia. The winning team emerged from the 28-team field with a net 54. Held July 8, the event is conducted annually in conjunction with the PGA Tours John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.
Representing John Deere in the winning group was Rob Jeske, general manager of corporate business for the company's agriculture and turf division.
Rich Hohman of Kitson and Partners; Rob Jeske general manager of corporate business for John Deere Agriculture and Turf; PGA Tour player Grant Waite; Ben Tiller of Headland Golf Club; and Jason Manfull of Crow Valley Golf Club won this years John Deere Classic Superintendent Pro-Am at TPC Deere Run.
Bayers Tribute Total OKd for use on zoysia
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved Bayers Tribute Total herbicide for use on Zoysiagrass.
With the active ingredients foramsulfuron and thiencarbazone-methyl, Tribute Total is labeled for control of 55 varieties of grassy and broadleaf weeds, including creeping bentgrass, ryegrass, crabgrass, goosegrass and dollarweed.
Bayer Environmental Science launched Tribute Total in May 2012 for use on Bermudagrass.
Tribute Total can be tank mixed with pre-emergent and other post-emergent pesticides, and should not be applied within eight weeks of overseeding.
For more information, visit www.backedbybayer.com.
Simplot acquires some seed varieties from Scotts
The J. R. Simplot Co. and the Scotts Co. recently finalized an agreement to transfer several turf seed programs, including Sea Spray Seashore paspalum, from Scotts to Simplot. Scotts has been communicating to customers and partners that as part of their divestiture from the professional seed market, they have been looking for a suitable partner to take certain programs.
Other seed programs included in the deal include three Kentucky bluegrasses; Midnight, Midnight II and Midnight Star.
Along with these programs, Simplot also welcomes Gordon Zielinski who will manage the paspalum program and perform other duties. Zielinski was formerly a director of Pure-Seed Testing Inc., and the CEO of Turf Seed Inc., and most recently worked with Scotts as director of international seed sales.
In other news, Jacklin Seed by Simplot named Katie Dodson senior turfgrass scientist.
She will conduct research trials that help demonstrate the benefits of Jacklin turf seed varieties.
For more information, visit www.simplot.com.
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Larry Hirsh, whose firm Golf Property Analysts provides brokerage and consulting services for golf courses, said there are many decisions made by cost-conscious owners and operators that blow up in their faces.
The biggest problem I see with member-owned clubs is that everyone wants to be a champion of saving money, Hirsh said. And they do so to a fault. Its not all about cost.
Hirshs list of top mistakes clubs make in the name of cutting costs includes: allowing facilities to deteriorate, cut costs to diminish quality, ignore member satisfaction, limit golf course maintenance, allow food quality to slip, reduce service, failure to reinvest in the club, emphasize cost over value, incur too much debt, resist change.
Clubs are about value, Hirsh said. I was a member at club that refused to make the club better and move forward. As a result, it failed.
Cutting corners can affect golf course maintenance, particularly because turf maintenance typically represents the largest chunk of a clubs budget.
Hirsh said clubs in financial straits often look to golf course operations because they fall into a trap of thinking that effects of cutting expenses a little will go unnoticed.
To help superintendents avoid the pitfalls of the decisions of cost-cutting members, Gary Grigg, CGCS, a former superintendent and now vice president of Grigg Brothers Foliar Fertilizers, speaks regularly on the need for a program-based budget.
It is critical in order to meet golfer expectations as well for job security for the superintendent that the golf maintenance budget includes expectations for course maintenance along with a corresponding cost for each task required to produce those conditions, Grigg said in a TurfNet University Webinar.
Grigg recalled from his days of managing multiple courses that each had different levels of maintenance, yet all had one thing in common.
Every course had membership that wanted their course to be the best, Grigg said.
Most want more than they are willing to pay for."
The key to success for any course and its greenkeeper, Grigg said, is creating club buy-in of the budget process. That means learning what conditions on the golf course are most important and what the club is willing to spend. Only then can superintendent and members sit down and figure out what the club can get for its money.
Its not your budget, its their budget, Grigg said. Most want the best. You need to find the best they are willing to pay for.
And when that buy-in means making cuts to the budget, it is up to the superintendent to inform them that doing so will mean cutting into maintenance practices, too.
They have to understand if they cut money from your budget that they are taking money out of your programs, Grigg said. And if theyre taking money out of their programs, then their approved standards might not be met.
Those who fail to convince the club of the importance of written stands run the risk of constantly trying to hit a moving target, one that changes depending on who is judging the work of a superintendent.
Written maintenance standards establish expected results and a baseline of acceptable conditions. They have a place in all golf operations regardless of size or stature.
In his Webinar presentation, Grigg borrowed a line from Jon Scott, agronomist for Nicklaus Design.
The quicker you can develop and publish a written standard document for any club, rich or poor, private or public, the more likely the expectations will match the resources. The biggest problem I see today in my maintenance consulting work is expectation levels are not being managed well enough, and they almost always exceed the resources available to the superintendent. This inevitably leads to conflict and loss of credibility. The end result is usually a change of superintendents.
Hirsh agreed every superintendent and club need to reach agreement on a maintenance plan.
When membership is down and the board wants to cut costs, they look at the maintenance budget because it is so large, and they think they can cut a little there and no one will notice, he said. Every golf course needs a written maintenance plan, and we can help them make one. In the written plan, when the board cuts the budget, it is incumbent on the superintendent to show them what is going to happen when they make those cuts. Are you going to rake less often, mow less, raise height of cut? When the board says theyre going to cut $50,000, the superintendent has to show them the specs of what that is going to mean. That is Job One.
Even a set of agreed-upon maintenance standards is not enough to stop budget cuts in times of economic concern. When the board or an owner/operator decides to make cuts to the maintenance budget, there is a right way and a wrong way to handle the news.
Don't say no, I cant do that, Grigg said. If you have a program-based budget lay down the management plan and your standards policy and say 'which programs do you want me to eliminate or cut, because I'm going to have to cut that money out of programs, and how is this going to affect our standards policy?'
Many courses are adjusting budgets without adjusting standards. Standards have to adjust to the means, and the best way to do that is to have a written document that everyone can read and understand. Not everyone may agree to it, as there will always be dissenters. Many think that all they have to do is just impose a smaller number and superintendents will rise to the occasion, or they will someone else who can.
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