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John Reitman

By John Reitman

Supply chain issues felt far and wide in golf

From parts and components to entire pieces of mechanized equipment, much has been made in the past two years of how supply chain challenges are affecting how golf course superintendents conduct day-to-day business.

There are other facets of the golf business that are feeling the effects of shortages caused by roadblocks in the supply chain.

A recent story in the Desert Sun newspaper in California's Coachella Valley, detailed how 27-hole Desert Princess planned to install new sand in 51 hazards after a bunker project. That should have been a routine project, but when a sand supply could not be located, all three nines at Desert Princess were reopened with the only thing in bunkers being liners.

Eventually, enough sand was located to fill greenside bunkers on one nine-hole layout. With the valley's busy season here, the decision was made to leave the course as - without sand - and complete the bunker project next summer."We are going to write it off this year because of (the upcoming) prime season," DPCC head pro Rodney Youngtold the newspaper. "We can't be doing bunker projects, so we are going to reset and reorganize and see if we can't get it done next July."

Jason Straka faced a similar situation earlier this year during the highly anticipated restoration of Belleair Country Club in Belleair, Florida.

The project hit a snag when 1,000 tons of gravel for greens construction went missing at the Port of Tampa Bay while Straka was having it tested.

Straka did not even know who bought the gravel while he wasn't looking.

"It's not just golf," Straka said. "Some of it is being lost to road construction."

He told TurfNet in June that to get what he needed he probably would have to do the same thing - go to the port and buy someone else's gravel out from underneath them.


Nathan Crace says he has never been busier in his 30 years as a golf course architect.

Nathan Crace, principal of The Watermark Golf Co., says he has never been busier in his 30 years as a golf course architect than he is now.

Crace, pictured above, said he also has had a hard time getting what he needs when he needs it.

"I haven't resorted to boosting sand," Crace said. "But I am ordering material, like irrigation pipe, way in advance. 

He has had trouble getting things besides product for irrigation and drainage projects.

Crace has been retained for a restoration of Colonial Country Club in Memphis that is due to begin next year. A month ago he ordered irrigation materials so he could have it in time for the project to begin in late winter.

"It used to be when I was hired for a project the first call I would make was to the engineers. Now, the first call is to suppliers to make sure I can get everything I need in time," Crace said.

"It's frustrating, but that's where we are right now."

When Bermudagrass sprigs could not be obtained from a supplier in nearby Texas during a recent renovation at Oak Wing Golf Club in Alexandria, Louisiana, sprigs were sent overnight in a refrigerated truck from a grower in Georgia.

The number of restoration and renovation projects going on have made other goods and services, such as contractors, harder to come by.

"I'm having to hire contractors a year in advance," he said. "When I hire a contractor, they tell me to send them the plans, and I have to tell them I haven't started them yet."

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