Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Learning Never Ends

Assistant Skip and I spent yesterday at the annual Mississippi Valley Golf Course Superintendent's Association winter education/shop tour.  This free event has become one of the best activities offered by our local association of over 200 superintendents, assistants and vendors.  Five presenters discussed topics from;

  1. How to Save Money on Renovations 
  2. Nitrogen Applications In the Fall to Cool Season Grass.  
  3. New Bacteria Problems in Bentgrass  
  4. The Effects of Early DMI Fungicides & Trimmet Applications for Disease Control on Creeping Bentgrass.
  5. Annual Poa research
Some coffee and donuts for breakfast and a good hamburger, brat, hot dog and all the trimmings lunch made by our vendors kept us going.  A little happy hour at the conclusion of the day is always good to catch up with old friends and maybe get a tip or two that can help save some grass for the next season.  This year's event was held at the new maintenance building at Sunset CC(my first stomping ground).  Its good to see how other facilities operations are set up and the equipment they utilize.  We have a couple of other vendor sponsored events over the next few weeks to attend as well.  I will be attending our national conference in Las Vegas at the end of February of 2012.

I do not think there is ever a time when one has enough knowledge about ones life work.  Some of the information needs refreshing from time to time but there is new research and techniques that are being introduced to combat the many issues that we face on the course.  More attention is being given to the  business side of our work.  Knowing how to grow and keep great turf conditions is our most important function as a golf course superintendent but the business side of our industry has been brought to the forefront since 2001.  Staffing, planning, and dealing with a weakened industry in general play  important parts to our daily routines.  The proper utilization of resources has become more the norm in our business than the exception.

Other educational opportunities that I have found valuable have been free webinars which are given throughout the season and into the winter on various superintendent information sites.  GCSAA(national supt association), TURFNET (Virtual golf course information company), USGA, and supply vendors.

Education is also important for me to keep my Certification status.  I must accumulate 5 education points out of a total of 15 points over a 5 year cycle period to retain this status.  I'm currently in my 12th year and 3rd cycle as a certified superintendent.  Funds are provided in our yearly budget to help support the educational activities that I am privileged to attend and I thank you for that support.

Dr. Barb Corwin from Turfgrass Diagnostics discussing bacterial problems with bentgrass/poa greens in the new maintenance building at Sunset C.C.

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