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Tee Off News July/August 2015

2015 Annual Meeting September 28, 2015 Pheasant Run Golf Club Hosted by Jon Christensen

Jon Christensen Host Superintendent


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President’s Message By Tennessee McBroom Good news as we finish the month of August 2015 with the newspapers across the State leading the story this week that Californians made a reduction in water usage by 31% beating the Governors Emergency Mandate of 25%. While depending on your specific scenario of water resource and availability, water rate expenses are increasing for many, bending budgets into the red, water efficiency and reducing our water foot print remain for an industry so visible Tennessee McBroom to the public eye. For now it seems the State will not be implementing any new restrictions, but variably depends on your individual water district. I cannot stress the importance of getting to the Monthly Agenda meetings set forth by your district, getting to know the elected board and district staff is crucial when new draft legislation is being developed as recently learned with the Goleta Water District in Santa Barbara County. The local golf industry in Goleta met for the first time as a voice for golf with guidance from Craig Kessler SCGA and Zach Moran Water Quality Consulting Group. We worked with staff on a means to an end resolution through certain language that otherwise would have been written as said within new drought emergencies if we were not actively participating in the process. Many times Water Districts no different than Local City Boards across the State draft and develop language that they believe will “help” you the individual or business industry solve the issue at hand i.e. the current drought water shortage, and if you don’t have a seat at the table time after time it will be written and implemented. Thanks again to Craig Kessler and Zach Moran for the support in helping us develop our new “Goleta Valley Golf and Water Task Force” and for the support to our entire Califor-

nia Golf Industry throughout the last several years! It goes without saying how much an impact Craig Kessler’s presence has made for golf within the State Water Resources Control Board, Local Water Districts, numerous articles/interviews across the state, and helping develop multiple Golf Course Water Conservation Task Forces, thank you! The Board has been busy recently preparing for the upcoming Annual Election Meeting and Tournament at Pheasant Run Golf Club hosted by Jon Christensen. As I prepare my departure, the upcoming board is excited to build on the Chapters momentum over the last several years of leadership, team building, and overall great comradery. I’ve been fortunate to meet so many different Golf Course Superintendents, Golf Course Staff, Industry Leaders, and to host meetings at great venues across the vast region of the Central Coast. The board continues to build on our goals set forth to increase membership numbers, host great meetings that provide value and services to our membership, all with a goal of bettering our industry. I’m humbled at the great people that have served on the board with experience and spectrums from all levels of clubs working hard every day on their own properties and then to travel across the Central Coast to volunteer at each GCSACC Event. It is understood by all who have served the extra dedication it takes from work and family to improve the industry by taking time to serve on the board is a wonderful experience, I personally have learned a tremendous amount about leadership, and gained some invaluable experiences from working with other colleagues in the business. I want to thank my family for allowing me time away to serve on the board in dedication to an industry we all are so passionate about, and thank you to Irene Cline and her family for the great work and support they provide our local chapter. I hope everyone will take the time to attend a future meeting/ event and join in the great comradery amongst our Great Superintendents, it’s truly a life style not just a job!











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Save The Dates September 28, 2015 Annual Association Meeting Pheasant Run C.C. Hosted by Jon Christensen December 5, 2015 Annual Holiday Event Windows on The Water Morro Bay

GIS San Diego

February 10, 2016 California Room USS Midway

Turf Pro 2015 Professional Update Series San Luis Obispo

Winter Symposium Date to be Confirmed Cypress Ridge Golf Course Hosted by Andy Cordova

September 16, & November 18, 2015 Fresno September 17, & November 19, 2015 For Information Call 559-269-7342

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Tee Renovation by Jose Alvarez, Fort Washington C.C.

Jose Alvarez, Superintendent Fort Washington C.C.

The month of August separates the good Bermuda tee tops from the not so good here in the central valley. Transition takes a toll on some of the remaining blue grasses that, due to, environmentally localized conditions, variety of grasses, and watering requirements, contribute to degradation of turf quality on the Tee Top and surrounding areas.

At Fort Washington C.C. we just resodded number eight Tee complex to make it all a monostand of hybrid Bermuda which will match the number seven green bank. The grass of choice was Celebration Hybrid Bermuda. Some of its benefits if this particular grass includes, shade tolerance, also it doesn’t thatch like other Bermuda will, and it has a quick divot recovery. By not having patches of blue grass in between the tee and green in this particular area, and the repositioning of sprinklers for better water coverage, we have reduced the watering need by at least 35%, as well as reducing our labor cost, because hand watering is not needed as much when dealing with just one type of grass that requires

less, and infrequent watering. In conclusion, the reasons for resodding could be many, but in our case it was because we had to deal with a tee complex that thinned out every summer, poa patches that required constant hand watering during the summer, and was an area that was labor intensive with a poor quality turf. By making this tee and green complex with all one type of grass, with the exception of the green surface, the renovation was well needed for playability conditions and better watering management.


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The Manhattan Project by Josh Heptig Cypress Ridge Golf Course was the professional beginning for the newest turf professor at Cal Poly. Before rumors begin to fly that the superintendent position in Arroyo Grande is available, rest assured that Andy Cordova is not the new turf professor but maintains his seat overseeing the maintenance of the fine turf at Cypress Ridge. I am of course referring to the Cypress Ridge Golf Course located in Topeka, Kansas and the new turf professor at Cal Poly named Cole Thompson. Cole is a Kansas native born in the bustling metropolis of Beloit, Kansas. Now being a Kansas native myself we consider a bustling metropolis to be a town with a population of nearly 50% that of the number of cows in the area. All kidding aside Beloit is the County Seat of Mitchell Kansas in North Central Kansas. Cole unofficially began his study of turf on the fairways of Beloit Country Club and later worked at a few golf courses in Manhattan, Kansas while he studied Golf Course Management at Kansas State University as an undergraduate. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree Cole continued East along the I-70 corridor where he


followed his passion to become the assistant superintendent at Cypress Ridge Golf Course. While working in Topeka, Cole experienced the Cole Thompson, Ph.D. intensity of growing bentgrass/Poa annua greens in triple digit heat in conjunction with high dew points and a poor irrigation system. Cole’s love of academia eventually brought him back to Manhattan where he completed his graduate studies with a Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Horticulture. After the submission of his dissertation, Cole was offered a faculty position at Cal Poly starting in the fall of 2014. Cole has now completed his first year at Cal Poly and experienced Central Coast living. He and his wife Sally enjoy living in Templeton with their dog Oakley. He is currently working on projects related to environmental plant stresses and reduced water use for turf. Cole hopes to develop a curricula that will attract more students to the turf specialization at Cal Poly and bolster the membership of the Horticulture Club and

Bruce Cason AG Sod Class Affiliate Chris Dubas Visalia Country Club Class C Eric Lewellen San Joaquin C.C. Class SM revive the Cal Poly GCSAA Student Chapter. If you are in the San Luis Obispo area for sporting events or enjoying the community, stop by campus and peek you head into Room 233 in building 11 to introduce yourself. Cole will be glad you did. Cole Thompson Ph.D. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Bldg. 11, Rm. 233 (805) 756-2856

Official Publication of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Central California. The purpose of this publication is information and education for the membership. Published bi-monthly by GCSACC, 5322 N. Leonard Clovis, CA 93619 Phone (559) 298-4853 Fax (559) 298-6957 Email Newsletter Chairman & Newsletter Editor Jeff Kollenkark Executive Directors Irene Cline & Kimberly Milne

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Newsletter Title

From the Field Jeff Jensen, GCSAA Field Staff, Southwest Region going on in the golf world. In January, GCSAA joined forces with PGA TOUR radio to feature superintendent and GCSAArelated topics every Wednesday at 3 p.m. (PST) on the popular “Katrek and Maginnes On Tap” segment. In addition to promoting the superintendent profession and maintenance Jeff Jensen industry, the segment features a live interview with a GCSAA member. Like most of you who reside In 2015, California has been in California, I spend too much of represented on the program by Paul my life in a car. To pass the long Cushing at Torrey Pines, Chris Daljourneys and traffic jams (special hamer at Pebble Beach, Ryan Bentshout out to Los Angeles and the ley at North Ranch and Jim Ferrin at Bay Area for wasting many hours), I Sun City Roseville (Sacramento). listen to a lot of SiriusXM radio. In All four did a terrific job discussing particular, SiriusXM PGA TOUR the profession and more importantly, radio (Sirius 208, XM 93) which the challenges that the golf industry helps keep me informed of what is in California is facing. Next time you have a long commute on Wednesday afternoon, make sure you tune in and For over 80 years the find out what is specialty seed source for: going on with your peers from around the country. Many -Native Grasses and of our members from California Wildflowers will be appearing -Kikuyu, Paspalum, throughout the remainder of 2015. Hybrid Bermuda In other -Bentgrasses, Fine news, GCSAA recently rolled out its Fescues, Ryegrasses Member-Get-AMember Referral Program. Current Golf Course Representatives: GCSAA members Jim Culley 213-268-3193 receive a $50 gift certificate for each Don Lewis 213-247-3266 new member they Home Office: 800-621-0315 recruit (someone who has not been a member for I hope you are all having a great summer and have had the opportunity to spend some welldeserved time with family and friends.

more than two years; excludes equipment managers). Certificates can be used for Golf Industry Show registration, educational opportunities, GCSAA merchandise and donations to the Environmental Institute for Golf. Additionally, for each new member you recruit, you will also receive one entry into the grandprize drawing for an all-expensespaid (air, hotel and registration) trip to the 2016 Golf Industry Show in San Diego. Secondary grand prizes include four Full Pack registrations to the 2016 Golf Industry Show. For more information and Member-Get-A-Member applications, visit If you have any questions concerning the program, contact our member help desk at GCSAA appreciates your continued support of our organization and affiliated chapters. If I can be of any assistance, please contact me at and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @GCSAA_SW. I look forward to seeing you at one of the upcoming Sierra Nevada events.


Volume 1, TEE-OFF N ews

Issue 1

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Salts, Soils, and Turf A misunderstood relationship By Dave Barlow Technical Sales Specialist Best Professional Products Salt is not the evil turf killer that must-be-avoided-at-all-cost villain many turf managers have come to fear. It is in fact a necessary component of many fertilizers. That also doesn’t mean that you should go out and sprinkle salt all over you turf like Morton’s little girl in the rain coat. To better understand the function of salts in turfgrass management, you must first understand the basic process of nutrient absorption by turf. Turfgrass requires three nutrients in relatively large amounts from soil. They include: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Turfgrass also requires at least eleven other nutrients in relatively smaller amounts: calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, zinc and nickel. Nutrients must be in a soluble form before turfgrass can use them. For instance nitrogen is readily available in the atmosphere, but is unavailable in this form to turf. Nitrogen must be in the form of ammoniacal or nitrate for turfgrass to utilize it. One of the factors controlling nutrient availability is soil pH levels. Many soil nutrients are hampered or restricted by high or low soil pH.

agers must maintain a healthy reliable nutrient-rich soil. Turf managers are generally concerned with four soil salts: sodium, copper, chloride and boron.

To understand salts, one must understand what a salt is. Salts are the products, other than water, of the reaction of an acid with a base. That’s quite a mouth-full, but it’s actually very simple. The classical concept of acids and bases is the neutralization process of combining a hydrogen ion and a hydroxyl ion to form water. H+ + OH- = H2O. When the fertilizer salt K2SO4 (potassium sulfate) is applied to the soil, the compound divides into K+ and SO4-. The potassium ion can then be used by plant materials or it attaches to the clay colloids while the sulfate ion stays in the soil solution and moves with water to the roots, to be used by plants, or can be leached below the root zone or away from the plant materials. All fertilizer salts react the same way, whether they are potassium chloride (KCl), ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3), or ferrous oxide (FeO). The negative ions (anions), such as NO3-, SO4-, and Cl-, all stay in the soil solution and don’t attach to the In order to have a healthier turf soil colloids. The positive charged ions È È ÈÈ throughout the season, turfgrass man- (cations), such as K , NH4 , Ca , etc.

attach to the negative sites on the clay particles in the soil. All soils are negatively charged and only the positive cations can attach to it. Of course, just as in life, too much of any one thing is not good. Moderation is the key. As salt levels in the soil increase, the soil will hold more tightly to water. As the soil increases its hold on water, plants will eventually fail to extract water and drought symptoms can occur. If the turf managers water source has high amounts of salts, then the management of the irrigation is a much more important task. We need large amounts of water to move excess amounts of salts through the soil. This brings to light the chloride ion (Cl-), which needs some discussion. Some turf managers feel that the chloride ion might add to a “salt” buildup in the soil. This is a false assumption. Since the chloride ion doesn’t attach to the soil, just as the sulfate ion also reacts, it can leach from the soil. Sulfate of potash can add just as much “salt” to the soil as muriate of potash (potassium chloride) does. You need to apply more sulfate of potash (SOP) to add the same amount of “K” that you would get (Continued on page 8)


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Salts, Soils, and Turf A misunderstood relationship from a smaller amount of muriate of potash (MOP), because SOP is around a 50% K2O, while MOP is around a 60% K2O material.

  

About 95% of all potash used is from muriate of potash. All potash fertilizer salts (KCl, KSO4, and KNO3) are soluble in water and are considered readily available. In general, it can be said that there is very little difference in their effects on crop production except in tobacco where sulfate of potash produces a superior burning quality leaf.2

All of the above fertilizers have a burn potential, but none of them will burn turf if they are applied at the right amount and irrigated in. None of the above fertilizers add any harmful “salts” to the soil. All of the above fertilizers add good salts that the turf will use to facilitate proper growth. If you have heavy soils that don’t drain well, you will want to watch your levels of those nutritive salts that can be toxic in high quantities. These are chlorine, copper, and boron.

Chlorides are readily leached from soils. Even though little is known about chlorine as a plant nutrient, it has been demonstrated that plants grown on soils that contained only 3 to 5 meq. Cl/100 g. showed severe chlorine deficiency. The symptoms of chlorine deficiency are not easily identified. Plants so affected are said to wilt, to become chlorotic and necrotic in some area, and to exhibit leaf bronzing.3 Potassium chloride has also shown fungicidal properties in turf, wheat, and other crops. The chloride in muriate of potash prevents black heart in celery for example. Some turf managers are also concerned about the “salt index” of muriate of potash. The salt index is an index to compare the solubility of chemical compounds. Most nitrogen and potassium compounds have higher salt indexes while phosphorus compounds tend to have a lower salt index. Salt indexes are the measurement of burn potential, and are based on sodium nitrate (an index of 100). Below are some common indexes of some standard fertilizer products:     

Ammonium sulfate Potassium sulfate Potassium chloride Ammonium nitrate Urea

69.0 46.1 116.3 104.7 75.4

Turf Supreme 6-24-24 XB Calcium nitrate

65.6 45.0 52.5

Even though fertilizer salts can add the necessary nutrients to the soil, that doesn’t mean that the elements will be available to the plant materials. Iron is a good example. Iron is taken up by plants as ferrous ions (Fe++). Most of the soil iron is unavailable to plants. Deficiencies are common in high pH soils. Turfgrasses are especially susceptible to iron deficiency. Iron deficiency can be caused by an imbalance of metallic ions, such as copper and manganese, excessive amounts of phosphorus, a combination of high pH, high lime, high soil moisture, and cool temperatures, and high levels of HCO3- (bicarbonate) in the rooting medium. As you can see there are many factors that influence the availability of iron. In general, soil applications of ionizable ferrous salts, such as ferrous sulfate, have proven as ineffective as other forms because of their rather rapid oxidation to ferric iron. Fritted iron (sucrate) can be used on acid soils, but is not suitable for use on alkaline or calcareous soils (with calcium carbonate).5 Iron oxide and ferrous sulfate will show some response on

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turf under alkaline conditions while iron sucrate generally won’t be available. The best availability of iron on turf will be through foliar applied materials, whether ferrous sulfate or chelated iron. It’s interesting that a side benefit to iron oxide is that it’s been proven that iron oxide is second in importance behind microbial gum in soil aggregation (soil texture). Iron oxide is more important than organic carbon (organic matter), and clay. Turf managers wishing to control soil salt concentrations and salt types must test the soil. Soil tests can indicate the levels of soil pH, sodium, all of the necessary nutrients and the total salts in the soil. You should test for salts at the same time of the year to compare one test to another. The proper analysis of soils will allow turf managers to adjust the fertility levels and provide a reliable nutrient-rich soil for healthy turf. There’s a lot to understand about fertilizer salts, but the more you understand, the better you will be able to choose fertilizers for optimum turf performance.  

Fundamentals of Soil Science, Fifth edition,

Western Fertilizer Handbook, Second edition, California Fertilizer Association

Soil Fertility and Fertilizers, Second edition, Tisdale and Nelson

Fundamentals of Soil Science, Fifth edition, Foth and Turf

Foth and Turk Soil Fertility and Fertilizers, Second edition, Tisdale and Nelson



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2015 Tri Chapter Meeting Highlights This once a year event is a great way for our members to meet friends and past co-workers. Below Kevin Breen, CGCS and Kevin Friesen, CGCS

Above Mike Swing, CGCS and Chuck Talley share a laugh.

Officers and Board Members from Chapters came to support the event. Above is Vince Zellefrow , California GCSA President from San Diego and Jim Culley. Below is the GCSACC contention of Kevin Friesen, CGCS, Steve Showers, GCSACC Sec/Treas. , Mike Scott, CGCS, and Andy Cordova GCSACC Board Member.

Brian Daum, GCSACC Vice President talks with Mike Sculley, City of Modesto and SNGCSA Sec/Treas.

Above from left Dave Bermudez, SNGCSA Board of Director, Kevin Breen, CGCS, GCSAA Board Member, Jim Alwine, California GCSA Past President, Vince Zellefrow CGCSA President, and Glenn Matthews GCSACC Board Member.

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Highlights From “Fun Day” in Santa Barbara It was a great day at the beach. The group was small, the food was a plenty, and President Tennessee McBroom cooked for us all. Thank you to Dave Goodrich and Bart Malone of CPS, Robert Hunter from SePro, , and Scott Figura of TSF APSA for sponsoring our event. The Double Dolphin ride was exciting as the thunder storm rolled in. Rain held off until we disembarked then it let loose. Exciting times and lots and lots of fun.

Golf Course Materials Topdressing Sand - Bunker Sand Decomposed Granite - Drain Rock 1/8” Minus Turf & Tee Bulk Humus Brush Removal Call for competitive rates

David Knott, Inc. (559) 449-8935 or (559) 760-5387


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Around the Green by Irene Cline

Goyo Santamaria

Evodio “Goyo” Santamaria retires this month after 44 years of service at Sandpiper Golf Club. In July 1971 Goyo arrived at Sandpiper GC as construction began under Billy Bell Jr. design,. He joined the team to help grow in the original penn cross bentgrass greens. Goyo

served as Assistant Superintendent, then Superintendent until 2005. He semi retired at that time but stayed on to assisting with rough mowing operations part time. We wish Eric Lewellen Goyo the best of luck in his retirement. San Joaquin Country Club has hired a new superintendent, Eric Lewellen, Eric came to the valley from Wente Vinyards where he served as the Assistant Superintendent. Welcome to the area Eric and welcome as a member in the GCSACC.

Jed Noonkester has been hired as the new superintendent at Lemoore G.C. Jed was acting as the interim and accepted the full time position. Todd Bunty at Laguna Lakes G.C. in San Luis Obispo has retired after many years with City of San Luis. He is being replaced by Matt Nolen who joined our association in May of this year. Best of Luck to Todd . Jay Ervin has accepted the Superintendent position at Seven Oaks in Bakersfield. He has been at the course for several months but we hadn’t had the opportunity to report on his position yet. As always if you have news that should be shared with all our members please don’t hesitate to send it our way.

July August 2015  
July August 2015