Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter and education

We attempt to stay informed about turfgrass, equipment and or management issues on a regular basis throughout the year. Below are a list of some of ways we try to stay informed:

  • Trade publications
  • Web boards which turf professionals post questions and answers to many issues of the day.
  • Discussions with vendors and or technical sales representatives who come by our facility from time to time.
  • Monthly outings during the golf season held at various types of clubs throughout our area in which assistants Mike, Skip and I attend on a rotating basis. There are opportunities before, during and after the round to discuss ideas and thoughts with the other members of our foursome and or the superintendent at the facility we played. Last season, we attended events at Old Warson CC, Crystal Springs Quarry, Crown Point, and Spencer T. Olin. I also went to Lake Forest Country Club for an equipment demo and St. Louis Country Club with our Master Plan architect. Assistant Mike went to Spencer T. Olin and the Falls Golf Club and did interviews with Superintendents to write profile articles for our local supt. association publication. I also attend the USGA Women's Amateur at Old Warson CC and the USGA Team Championship at St. Albans CC. You always want to support a local supt and their staff's who are hosting the event but you never know when you might see something at the facility that would be something you would like to put in place at your own facility.
  • Phone calls to other superintendents in our area regarding products or procedures that they have found successful or that have been failures.
  • Demos of equipment which we use for a few days to stay informed regarding the newest technology and help us to make the best decisions regarding future equipment purchasing.
  • Attendance at local, regional and national conferences and trade shows.

Winter is the time of year that allows us a chance to do the most research, reading, and attending events to improve our knowledge and keep updated on the most recent trends in the industry.

Below are a couple of links regarding a couple of local/regional turf conferences we attended in the last couple of weeks.

The Missouri Turf and Ornamental Council(MVTA) which I was a member of and a past president of a few years ago had presentations on December 8th in which assistants Mike, Skip and I attended in St. Charles. Good presentations from Phd's representing University of Arkansas, Missouri, Wyoming, and SIUC. I also slid into a couple of the ornamental presentations to gain some additional knowledge in the horticulture part of our job. Below is a link to the brochure for the event.

I made a quick whirlwind trip to Kansas City yesterday(16th) to attend one day of the Heartland Green Industry Expo which is sponsored by the Heart of America Golf Course Supt Association and the Green Industry Council in Kansas City. Disease management on zoysia was a key topic from Asst. Prof. of pathology Megan Keenely from KSU. One of our brightest and best superintendents in the country, Mr David Stone from the Honors Club in Chatanooga made a two hour presentation regarding zoysia management. Interesting information and a fine gentleman. Through his discussion yesterday and trials data from North Carolina State University, we will be testing Fusilade II in our bermuda eradication program this next year. It is a less expensive product than the Acclaim that we have been using and shows excellent results. I understand we had some turf damage with the original Fusilade a few years ago but that was caused by an error in application rate by a contractor that provided the service. We will trial a couple of places to insure that it is safe before we proceed full scale with the product.

There was also great information provided by the USGA in their afternoon presentation. Topics of discussion included equipment testing,(which I will blog about in the future) hole placement and location, and year in review from Ty McClellan who is the Mid-Continent regional agronomist and visited our course last June. Some good tips on hole location which from time to time has created an issue for probably every greens keeper in the world. A link to the brochure for the event below.

In February, I will be attending the GCSAA(Golf Course Superintendent's of America Association) annual conference and show. Great opportunity to gain some additional knowledge and check out the trade show floor which has between 250-300k square feet of exhibition space.

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