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◗ L E A D E R S H I P ◗ A D V O C A C Y ◗ E D U C AT I O N

VANCOUVER 2014 Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show Vancouver, February 17-21, 2014

PLUS ◗ Learning the Ropes: Capilano’s Internship Program is growing ◗ Yukon Yearning: What it’s like to tend turf in the Great White North ◗ Homeward Bound: Exploring golf’s origins

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THE FOLLOWING COMPANIES GENEROUSLY SUPPORT THE CANADIAN GOLF SUPERINTENDENTS ASSOCIATION THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS ON SPECIFIC EVENTS/PROGRAMS: CITCTS 2014 Bayer Environmental Science Civitas John Deere Golf Rain Bird International Syngenta Crop Protection Canada Inc. ADDITIONAL EVENTS Bayer Environmental Science – Fall Field Day John Deere Golf – Fall Field Day, Equipment Technician Award Club Car – Environmental Award The Toro Company – Future Superintendent Award, Classic Reception/Fall Field Day, Gordon Witteveen Award

Canadian Golf Superintendents Association Board of Directors 2013 – 2014 JOHN MILLS



President Superintendent Northumberland Links Golf Club PO Box 2, Pugwash, Nova Scotia B0K 1L0 T: 902-243-2119 F: 902-243-3213

Alberta Director Superintendent Priddis Greens Golf & CC 1 Priddis Greens Drive Priddis, AB T0L 1W0 T: 403-931-3391 F: 403-931-3219

British Columbia Director Superintendent Revelstoke Golf Club PO Box 9153 RP03 Revelstoke, BC V0E 3K0 T: 250-837-5000 F: 250-837-6123

CHRISTIAN PILON, MS Vice President Master Superintendent Mount Bruno Country Club 665 Chemin des Vingts, QC J3V 4P6 T: 450-653-1265 F: 450-653-8393 KYLE KELLGREN Secretary Treasurer/Saskatchewan Director Superintendent Jackfish Lodge Golf & Conference Centre PO Box 10, Cochin, SK S0M 0L0 T: 306-386-2150 F: 306-386-2840


485041_club.indd 1

6/30/10 3:13:01 PM

Past President Master Superintendent Salmon Arm Golf Clujb PO Box 1525, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 4P6 T: 250-832-8834 F: 250-832-6311



Manitoba Director Superintendent St. Boniface Golf & Country Club 100 Youville Street Winnipeg, MN R2H 2S1 T: 204-233-2497 F: 204-237-9794

Atlantic Director Golf Operations Manager Westfield Golf & Country Club 8 Golf Club Road Grand Bay-Westfield, NB E5K 3C8 T: 506-757-2907



Ontario Director Superintendent Muskoka Lakes Golf & Country Club PO Box 280, 1330 Ferndale Road Port Carling, ON P0B 1J0 T: 705-765-3165 F: 705-765-6990

Quebec Director Superintendent Summerlea Golf and Country Club 1000 Route De Lotbiniere Vaudreuil – Dorion, QC J7V 8P2 T: 450-455-0929 F: 450-455-8898

COVER PHOTO: Exterior view of west and east convention centre, Vancouver, British Columbia.

R AT E S A R E S E T F O R 2 0 1 4

Credit: Tourism Vancouver/Vancouver Convention Centre


Deliver Your Print Message to Golf Course Superintendents Across Canada

15% Discount for Companies with an Exhibit Booth at the 2014 Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show in Vancouver.

Advertising Contact: Bill Garrett, CEM Direct: 416-626-8873 ext. 224 Mobile: 905-330-6717 Fax: 416-626-1958


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 3

It’s why Shawn Emerson uses us on every one of his 108 holes. Desert Mountain, Cochise Course

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Trusted by the best courses on Earth.



greenmaster VOL 49, NO. 1

GreenMaster is published six times a year (Jan/Feb, March/April, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec) by the Canadian Golf Superintendents’ Association:


◗ Some years go by very quickly – others drag. For the editorial staff at GreenMaster, 2013 has been one of those years that seem to have disappeared in a flash. One year ago, we completed the first issue of GreenMaster to be published in-house in over 20 years. We made a commitment to produce a quality magazine focusing on education and items of national interest to golf course superintendents and others in the turfgrass industry. This has been achieved. Furthermore, we promised to provide a voice for superintendents and assistants to share their knowledge through member written articles. We are off to a tremendous start in this area as well and have had no trouble sourcing interesting stories from across the country. Nearly two dozen articles written by superintendents and assistants were published in 2013. It is fun to look back from time to time, but now we are thinking of the future and what is in store for 2014 and beyond. This issue is about the future. Jordan Collins, the 2013 Future Superintendent of the Year, writes enthusiastically about his trip to the U.K, where he toured 30 facilities in 42 days, and the new ideas that he will be implementing as his career at home develops. Keeping with the theme of youth development and the future, Michael Newton describes the intern program

CGSA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Ken Cousineau, CAE Tel: 416-626-8873 ext. 222

at Capilano Golf and Country Club. Programs like this will ensure the future of the golf course management profession. So many exciting changes happen to us every day. Some are obvious and others more subtle. Dean Piller, in his story on page 29, examines an article he wrote 20 years ago and notes some of the subtle changes he has seen in the maintenance of putting surfaces over the years. The cover story for this issue features the 2014 Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia. This is where delegates will see changes of a more immediate nature. In addition to the highly regarded concurrent sessions, delegates will experience new industry presentations, tech talks and demonstrations on the trade show floor as well as specialized learning workshops. The trade show will offer more dedicated time for buyers and sellers to communicate. The show this year will open on Tuesday evening for two hours and continue for the full day on Wednesday with no events competing for the delegate’s time. Let’s welcome 2014 enthusiastically and embrace the inevitable changes to come. GM

We want your feedback! Email us at:


MANAGING EDITOR & ADVERTISING SALES: Bill Garrett, CEM Tel: 416-626-8873 ext. 224 ASSISTANT EDITOR: Marc Cousineau

CANADIAN GOLF SUPERINTENDENTS’ ASSOCIATION 5399 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite 201 Toronto, ON M9C 5K6 Tel: 416-626-8873 / Toll Free: 800-387-1056 Fax: 416-626-1958 PRINTING PROVIDED BY Blenheim INK 4305 Fairview Street, Suite 232 Burlington, ON L7L 6E8 Tel: 289-337-4305 Fax: 289-337-4187 Contact: Terry Davey | ART DIRECTION & DESIGN BY Jeanette Thompson Tel: 519-650-2024 ©2014 Canadian Golf Superintendents Association. All rights reserved. The views expressed by the authors of articles or letters published in GreenMaster are not those of the Association and, therefore, the Association shall not be held liable for any of these views. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the Association. GreenMaster® is a registered trademark of the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association. All rights reserved. CANADA POST PUBLICATIONS MAIL PUBLICATIONS AGREEMENT No. 40025905 Return undeliverable copies to: Canadian Golf Superintendents’ Association 5399 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite 201 Toronto, ON M9C 5K6

FEBRUARY 17th – 21st, 2014 Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 5

Come see us in Vancouver - Booth 311




IN THIS ISSUE with the Home of Golf! 14 Hangin’ 2013 CGSA Future Superintendent of the Year












An Inside Look at a Working Internship Program


CITCTS 2014: The Cutting Edge


North of 60




Manicuring Putting Surfaces




Recovering from Winter Disease and Damage


“So, What Do You Do All Winter?”


The Life of a Retired Super


Talking the Talk

Education Sessions, Floor Plan & Exhibitors

Combining procedures for sustainable consistency

Communication is crucial to leading a team

39 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 7



“The CGSA accomplishes representation through all its programs, from certification, to national occupational standards, national seminar programs, recognition and awards programs, advocacy efforts and government relations initiatives.” John Mills, CGSA President

“The Times, They are a Changin” …Or are They? Les temps changent, notre objectif reste le même? ◗ Bob Dylan certainly recognized the changing social trends back in the 1960s with his hit song, “The Times, They Are a Changin”. In terms of the CGSA, there have been many changes since 1966 when John Steel and Tom Johnson initiated the formation of the Association. However, the key objective of national recognition for the profession of golf course superintendent has not changed and will not change in the future. Yes, how we do things and how we access information has certainly changed and will continue to evolve, but do not confuse this with a change to the principles upon which our association was formed. This principle of representation is just as important today as it was in 1966. Since 1966, the CGSA has continually evolved, grown and spread its reach to all corners of the country and in doing so has represented the profession of golf superintendent. As a result, golf clubs, golf course owners, government regulating bodies and others with an interest in the golf sector have all recognized the important contribution that a qualified golf superintendent makes to the golf operation. Consequently, golf superintendents have gained respect and proper compensation, whether they

8 GreenMaster |

have been members of the CGSA or not. Representation of the superintendent profession is the single most important purpose that the CGSA has on behalf of its members. The CGSA accomplishes representation through all its programs, from certification, to national occupational standards, national seminar programs, recognition and awards programs, advocacy efforts and government relations initiatives. Together, these activities ensure the golf superintendent profession is well represented and recognized on a national scale. In 1966, the stated goal of the CGSA was, “to provide a National Association dedicated to the promotion of the profession of golf superintendent so that all superintendents across this vast country could get the recognition they deserved.” This principle holds true today; the only change is in how we go about accomplishing it. It was an honor serving as President of the CGSA on your behalf. I am proud of our profession and the fine role the CGSA has played, past and present, in shaping the recognition and respect that my profession, and yours, now enjoys. It was a pleasure working closely with our Executive Director, Ken Cousineau, and

all of our office staff over the past 12 months. Ken and our staff always conduct themselves as professionals and work tirelessly for the promotion of the CGSA and our profession. Thank you for all that you do for the CGSA. In a few short weeks I will be passing the gavel on to my successor, Christian Pilon from Mt. Bruno Golf Club in Quebec. Christian is a very passionate person who will bring dedication and resolve to the presidency of the CGSA. Please join me in pledging your support to Christian as he assumes the leadership of our association. In closing, I hope to see many of you at the 2014 Canadian International Conference and Trade Show in Vancouver in a few weeks time. As you know we have introduced many changes aimed at enhancing the event. So please enjoy and be sure to provide your feedback so that we may continue to move toward improvements that only strengthen this valuable event. GM ◗ Dans sa chanson à succès des années 60, « The Times, They Are a Changin », Bob Dylan annonçait un monde en pleine mutation. Pour nous aussi, les temps ont bien changé depuis 1966, date de fondation de notre association à l’initiative

de MM. John Steel et Tom Johnson. Cependant, notre objectif clé, c’est-à-dire la reconnaissance de la profession de surintendant de golf, n’a pas changé et ne changera pas dans l’avenir non plus. Oui, notre manière de faire les choses et d’accéder à l’information n’est plus la même et elle continuera d’évoluer, mais il ne faut pas confondre ces changements avec le principe sur lequel notre association a été fondée. Ce principe de représentation professionnelle est aussi important aujourd’hui qu’il l’était en 1966. Depuis 1966, l’ACSG a beaucoup évolué. Elle représente aujourd’hui les surintendants de toutes les régions du pays. Les clubs de golf, les propriétaires de terrains de golf, les organismes de réglementation gouvernementale et tous les intervenants du secteur du golf reconnaissent l’importante contribution fournie par les surintendants professionnels. En conséquence, ces derniers obtiennent aujourd’hui le respect de l’industrie et une compensation adéquate, qu’ils soient membres ou non de l’ACSG. La principale raison d’être de notre association est le service de représentation qu’elle offre à ses membres. L’ACSG assure la représentation des surintendants par l’entremise de tous ses services et programmes : certification, normes professionnelles nationales, séminaires, marques de reconnaissance et récompenses, et initiatives auprès des gouvernements. Toutes ces activités nous permettent de représenter et de faire reconnaître la profession de surintendant de golf à l’échelle pancanadienne. L’objectif visé par l’ACSG en 1966 était de « fonder une association nationale consacrée à l’avancement de la profession de surintendant de golf, de manière à ce que tous les surintendants de ce vaste pays obtiennent la reconnaissance

qu’ils méritent. » Ce principe reste vrai aujourd’hui. La seule chose qui a changé réside dans notre façon de l’accomplir. J’ai été très honoré d’avoir pu vous servir à titre de président de l’ACSG. Je suis fier du rôle important joué par notre association pour soutenir notre profession et lui donner le prestige dont nous profitons tous aujourd’hui. J’ai été heureux de travailler en étroite collaboration avec notre directeur général, M. Ken Cousineau, et tout le personnel de notre bureau au cours des 12 derniers mois. M. Cousineau et nos employés, tous des professionnels accomplis, travaillent sans relâche à la promotion de l’ACSG et de notre profession. Je les remercie tous pour ce qu’ils font en notre nom. Dans quelques semaines, je passerai le flambeau à mon successeur du Québec, notre nouveau président M. Christian Pilon du Mount Bruno Country Club. M. Pilon est une personne très dynamique qui servira l’ACSG avec dévouement et détermination. Je vous prie de vous joindre à moi pour lui accorder tout le soutien nécessaire à titre de chef de file de notre association. En terminant, j’espère que vous serez nombreux à participer au Congrès et salon canadien international du gazon qui aura lieu à Vancouver dans quelques semaines. Comme vous le savez, nous avons apporté de nombreuses améliorations à cet événement. Profitez-en et aidez-nous à nous améliorer encore plus en nous faisant part de vos commentaires. GM

“L’ACSG assure la représentation des surintendants par l’entremise de tous ses services et programmes : certification, normes professionnelles nationales, séminaires, marques de reconnaissance et récompenses, et initiatives auprès des gouvernements.” John Mills, président de l’ACSG JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 9



“The CGSA CITCTS offers each individual the opportunity to have a total of 29 hours of education, not including the trade show tech talks and the trade show itself.” Ken Cousineau, CGSA Executive Director

Value is Not the Issue La vraie valeur des choses ◗ One of the most significant challenges for the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) is responding to the question of value with respect to any and all of the activities it is involved in or the products and services it offers to the golf industry. The concept of value has two components: the cost or the amount of money that is fair to exchange for an item and the worth, importance or usefulness of something to someone. Since this issue of GreenMaster is focussed on the Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show (CITCTS 2014), I’ll take the opportunity to discuss CITCTS from the standpoint of value. Considering value as an exchange of an amount of money for an item, the CITCTS 2014 holds up well, from a value proposition, next to all other national golf industry events and all of the international events that we looked at, including the GCSAA, BIGGA and AGCSA. The event provides more education hours and selection than any other event in Canada and is second only to the Canadian Society of Club Managers (CSCM) when it comes to food and beverage provided to delegates. The cost is the lowest of the top three conference events, which includes the CITCTS, the CSCM conference and the National Golf Course Owners Association event. In an apples-to-apples comparison of travel, registration, hotel and meal costs for an individual attending the CGSA conference in Vancouver, as compared to the GCSAA conference in Orlando, the CGSA is an extremely competitive option. I invite all golf course superintendents 10 GreenMaster |

to do their own comparison using the most similar situations between the two events and I believe that you will come to the same result – value, from the perspective of the price paid for the experience, is not the issue. Next, let’s look at value from the standpoint of worth, importance or usefulness. In order to assess this aspect of CITCTS 2014 in Vancouver, the following factors were utilized to assess value: applicability of education program topics, availability of recognized continuing education credits (CEC) for required licensing or accreditation and selection/ options for the delegate during the education component of the event. Applicability is a slam dunk. No other program in Canada, or elsewhere, provides the number of hours or the subject matter that completely focusses on the needs of the Canadian superintendent. This may seem rather obvious, but it is worth underlining for all parties that are involved in making related expenditure decisions. With respect to CEC, the CGSA applies to every applicable credit granting agency in Canada and to the GCSAA with its request to allocate credits to the CITCTS education program. No other provincial or national event provides the level of access to education credits regularly available at the CITCTS. Finally, the selection of education opportunities available, both during and at pre and post event seminars, is arguably among the best in the world. Although total hours and selection is more plentiful at the GCSAA event, the number of applicable sessions and hours available at CITCTS is unparalleled.

The CGSA CITCTS offers each individual the opportunity to have a total of 29 hours of education, not including the trade show tech talks and the trade show itself. At the on-site, maximum rate of $699 for the conference and $295 for each full-day seminar, that amounts to a cost of approximately $44 per hour of education. That means all of the meals, entertainment and food and beverage would be free. If you factor in the cost of those activities, the cost per hour of education comes down to approximately $31 per hour. This amount is obviously reduced further if you take advantage of a pre-conference registration fee discounts such as those provided for the CGSA event. Does the CGSA provide value when it comes to the CITCTS? Do your own evaluation. Recognize that value is a somewhat subjective concept. What you value, how much you would pay or what is useful to you may not be of value to me. Having said that, when it comes to the CITCTS 2014 in Vancouver, I don’t think value is the issue. GM ◗ L’un des défis à relever par l’Association canadienne des surintendants de golf est de démontrer la valeur des activités qu’elle organise et des produits et services qu’elle offre à l’industrie du golf. Le concept de valeur comporte deux éléments : la juste somme d’argent à verser en échange d’un article, ou l’importance et l’utilité accordées par quelqu’un à quelque chose. Puisque ce numéro de GreenMaster met en lumière le Congrès et salon canadien international du gazon (CITCTS 2014), je

profite de l’occasion pour discuter de cet événement du point de vue de sa valeur. En ce qui a trait à la proposition qu’il offre en matière de valeurs, le Congrès et salon canadien international du gazon (CITCTS 2014) fait bonne figure à comparer à tous les autres événements nationaux et internationaux consacrés à l’industrie du golf, y compris ceux organisés par la GCSAA, la BIGGA et l’AGCSA. Le CITCS consacre plus de temps à la formation professionnelle et offre un plus vaste choix de cours aux participants que tout autre événement au Canada. En ce qui a trait aux services de restauration offerts aux délégués, notre congrès arrive en deuxième position seulement, tout de suite après la Société canadienne des directeurs de clubs (CSCM). Par ailleurs, les coûts du congrès du CITCTS sont plus modestes que ceux des deux autres plus grands congrès, celui du CSCM et celui du National Golf Course Owners Association. En comparant ce qui peut se comparer, par exemple les frais de déplacement, d’inscription, d’hébergement et de repas d’une personne qui participe au congrès de l’ACSG de Vancouver, par rapport aux frais de la GCSAA d’Orlando, le congrès de l’ACSG est une option extrêmement avantageuse. Je vous invite à bien comparer les deux événements et je suis certain que vous arriverez aux mêmes conclusions que moi, c’est-à-dire que vous faites une très bonne affaire avec l’ACSG. Examinons maintenant la question du point de vue de la valeur, de l’importance ou de l’utilité de notre congrès. Pour évaluer cet aspect du CITCTS de Vancouver en 2014, utilisons les facteurs suivants : applicabilité du contenu des programmes de formation, crédits de formation continue en vue de l’obtention des permis requis ou de l’agrément professionnel, et possibilités de perfectionnement des compétences.

L’applicabilité des cours offerts est un fait établi! Aucun autre programme au Canada ou ailleurs ne consacre autant d’heures aux questions qui touchent directement aux surintendants canadiens. Cela semble aller de soi, mais il vaut mieux le souligner à l’intention des responsables du budget affecté à ce genre d’événements. En ce qui a trait aux crédits de formation continue, l’ACSG fait affaire avec toutes les agences canadiennes de reconnaissance des acquis ainsi qu’avec la GCSAA afin d’allouer des crédits aux participants du programme de formation du CITCTS. Aucun autre événement national ou provincial n’offre autant de possibilités d’obtenir des crédits de formation. Enfin, les choix offerts en ce qui a trait au perfectionnement professionnel, avant, durant et après le congrès sont parmi les plus vastes au monde. Le CITCTS de l’ACSG offre la possibilité à tous les participants de recevoir 29 heures de formation en tout, sans compter les causeries techno du salon et le salon lui-même. Sur le site même, au tarif maximum de 699$ pour le congrès et de 295$ pour chaque journée complète de séminaire, le coût horaire du programme de formation revient à environ 44$ de l’heure, et à ce prix les repas, les divertissements et les rafraîchissements sont gratuits. En les déduisant, le coût de la formation revient à 31$ de l’heure environ. Il en coûte encore moins si on profite des rabais offerts par l’ACSG sur l’inscription avant le congrès. Le Congrès et salon canadien international du gazon (CITCTS 2014) de l’ACSG est-il avantageux? À vous d’en juger. Reconnaître la valeur d’un produit ou d’un service est toujours très subjectif. Ce qui est utile ou a de la valeur pour quelqu’un n’en a peut-être pas pour une autre personne. Ceci étant dit, je crois que le CITCTS 2014 de Vancouver est une proposition très avantageuse. GM

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“Le CITCTS de l’ACSG offre la possibilité à tous les participants de recevoir 29 heures de formation en tout, sans compter les causeries techno du salon et le salon lui-même.” Ken Cousineau, directeur général de l’ACSG

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 11



Stranger Than Fiction ◗ Business Insider published its list of the 25 strangest, but awesome golf courses in the world this past December. The list counts down the courses that may not be on a traditional golfer’s bucket list, but feature amazing sites, unique landscapes and out of the ordinary challenges. While almost half of the list’s 25 locations are in the U.S., courses in 12 other countries are profiled, including sites in France, Indonesia and Liberia. Coming in at number one on the list is the “Extreme 19th” at Legend Golf and Safari Resort in Limpopo, South Africa. The tee is accessible by helicopter and hangs 400 metres above the hole. Professional golfer Padraig Harington holds the distinction of making the first par on this par-3 hole. Thrill seekers will want to take a trip to the number two course on the list, Camp Bonifas. Business Insider called this onehole course, which sits between North Korea and South Korea, possibly the most dangerous in the world. This moniker comes mostly from the fact that the green is surrounded on three sides by mine fields. 12 GreenMaster |

PGA Canada Q-school at CGSA Member Course


Rounding out the top three on the list is a course that pushes golfers miles outside the box. Uummannaq Greenland, which is in Qaasuitsup, Greenland, is actually home to the World Ice Golf Championship, where players shoot orange golf balls into larger cups. If you’re looking for a Canadian course on the list, you’re out of luck. However, there are a dozen courses located in the U.S and a few close to the border, including Old Works Golf Club in Anaconda, Montana and Bay Harbor Quarry in Bay Harbor, Michigan.

◗ PGA Tour Canada will host a Q-school tournament at the course of CGSA superintendent member Mike Kearns to determine which players will get status for the 2014 season. Crowne Isle Resort and Golf Community, where Kearns tends the turf, will host a qualifying event May 5-9 and will be the only Canadian site to hold a qualifier. Two other tournaments will take place in April at Oak Valley Golf Club in Beaumont, California (April 7-11) and Reunion Resort and Club in


Kissimmee, Florida (April 14-18). “With these three qualifying sites, the access and opportunity for players to earn status on PGA Tour Canada has greatly increased,” said PGA Tour Canada president Jeff Monday. “These qualifying tournaments should be extremely competitive and will enhance the level of competition in our second season. We look forward to seeing the next generation of players to make an impact on this Tour.” The par-72 Crowne Isle, in Courtenay, B.C., was opened in 1992, contains 11 lakes in total and spectacular views of the Beaufort mountain range and Comox glacier. Bristish Columbia will also host a 2015 qualifying event for the PGA Tour Canada, again at the course of a CGSA member. Golfers will vie for a Tour spot at Morningstar Championship Golf Course in Parksville, B.C. in 2015, home of CGSA member and assistant superintendent Gordon America.

before that — it was five feet long, just lying there, not annoying anybody. This one just jumped right out of the bushes, and grabbed me by the leg.” The golf course offered the group a chance to play the course again for free, but Thomson says he’ll leave the links to the crocodiles for now. “It was more than $500 to play the course for three people, and they were going to give us a raincheque so we could come back and finish the round of golf the next day. We’ll never go back there again!” Thomson and his friends are still looking on the bright side, even after the horrifying attack. “When I got in the cab after leaving the hospital, (my friends) had an inflatable alligator and they were singing Crocodile Rock. At the time it was very serious and then it started to become a novelty, I guess,” says Thomson. “Laughter is the best medicine, I think.”

Crocodile Attacks Canadian Man on Mexican Course

New Initiative is the Bees’ Knees

◗ If you thought bunkers and lakes were the worst hazards on a course, think again. Torontonian Douglas Thomson was attacked by a crocodile while playing a round of golf with three friends while on vacation in Cancun last November. Thomson, a 57-year-old father of two, was fortunate to survive the attack, but didn’t leave unscathed. His injuries, including torn muscles in his back and damage to his thighs, required over 500 stitches. The crocodile attacked Thomson from the bushes while playing a shot on the 16th hole. His friends managed to free him from the crocodile’s grip by hitting it with golf clubs and running over the animal with a golf cart. Thomson told the National Post the group had seen other crocodiles on the course during their round, but the one that attacked him came out of nowhere. “We saw (a crocodile) a couple of holes

◗ Two Ontario golf courses are the host sites of a new program that is trying to boost bee populations and other beneficial insect pollinators. Brantford Golf and Country Club and Cutten Fields in Guelph have teamed up with Syngenta Canada Inc. to start the program being dubbed Operation Pollinator. Operation Pollinator aims to create improved pollen and nectar-rich habitats for bees and other pollinators. The project builds these habitats by spreading thousands of square feet of seeds from native wildflowers and leaving them to take root in out-of-play areas on the courses. “The beauty of it is zero maintenance in out-of-the-way areas. We jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the program,” said Paul Evenden, superintendent at Brantford, in an interview with the Brantford Expositor. Evenden also assured golfers that the

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bees on the course wouldn’t be a threat to them or their game. Operation Pollinator was first piloted in the United Kingdom. Sites that participated in the UK attracted more than 40 different bee species and saw bumblebee numbers increase by a whopping 600 percent. The program isn’t all about the black and yellow bugs; the UK courses also witnessed a 12-fold increase in butterflies over a three-year period, according to Paul Hoekstra, stewardship manager with Syngenta Canada Inc. The initiative comes in the wake of a much publicized decline in bee population over the past few years which has worried agriculturalists and environmentalists. Operation Pollinator has some success in reversing this trend, says Evenden. “Experiences in other jurisdictions have demonstrated that creation of even small areas of dedicated habitat can significantly increase the number of pollinating insects,” he said. According to Evendeen, this could have a tremendous impact both on and off the course. The bee-friendly grounds will also prove a boon to areas beyond the course as the bees and other insects carry on their business in their natural range, he said. The plantings will also add beauty, interest and colour, increasing the visual impact for golf club members. According to the article from the Brantford Expositor, Syngenta will seek to recruit additional golf courses to the program for 2014. GM

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 13


A Youngster’s Ultimate Fairytale:

Hangin’ with the Home of Golf! Jordan Collins, 2013 CGSA Future Superintendent of the Year ◗ Anyone who knows me on a personal

level has seen my atrocious golf game and they quickly realize that my passion for this industry wasn’t established with a golf club in my hand, much like my father. “Aye! What do ye’ play off of, lad?” asked Allan Patterson, superintendent of the Castle Course at St. Andrews Links, as we hiked up the 10th tee at the Old Course on a windy afternoon, playing in a shotgun tournament. “Um, I tell friends I’m a 17 (handicap), but that’s really low-balling it,” I answered. As I bogeyed my way through the first few holes, I made my way to the famous 17th “Road Hole” and placed a beautiful tee shot down the fast and firm fairway, barely clearing the Old Course Hotel. After a fluky par, I teed off on the 18th and proceed to cross the Swilcan Bridge. As I proudly approached the bridge with hairs standing on my neck, I looked down and thought of the countless golf icons that have their footsteps forever enshrined in this 700-yearold stone. Old Tom Morris. Sam Snead. Arnold Palmer. Jack Nicklaus. Tiger Woods. I was really here in St. Andrews, Scotland, playing golf on the Old Course, only nine days after I left Canada. The adventure began with a bang! Much like the previous recipients of this award, Kingsbarns was my first stop and it was perhaps my favourite week. The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship was my first ever professional tournament participation on the international stage

and the simple afternoon task of divoting fairways felt like a lecture on accent interpretation. Working alongside professionals representing over 10 different countries, there was a true mosaic of fascinating cultures and personalities. Speaking of nationalities and the vast variety of golf courses our world has to offer, there was little question where our game was created the moment I stepped foot on the links territory. I immediately noticed major differences from what I’m used to. There were tee markers that you could probably buy at Fisher Price and flags that you could find in the clearance section of your local dollar store. Hole signs that weren’t elegant or decorative, if they were even present. Yardages sometimes displayed on sprinkler heads only. There were no broken tee collection containers, no roped-off areas and sometimes no ball washers. There was no such thing as cute beer cart girls (darn) and many of the places like Kingsbarns didn’t even have a golf cart fleet. But this is acceptable and this is how the game should be played. The value of these golf courses lies in the classiness of the clubhouses where their ancient history is forever cherished and in the playability of their surfaces where future generations learn the game. With golf course tours at places like Muirfield, Turnberry, Castle Stuart, Carnoustie and Gleneagles, it’s nearly impossible to distinguish the best one from the rest of pack, but it’s tough to beat the

“Nobody was greater or treated differently than the person beside them, even if the worker had 20 more years of experience working on the links.” Jordan Collins 14 GreenMaster |

exhilarating setting of Royal County Down. Blind tee shots, tight fairways and crude bunkering give even legendary golfers a stiff challenge. One gentleman touring from the United States told me, “I’ve played them all. Pine Valley, Pebble Beach, Merion, Royal Melbourne were all nice, but my most enjoyable round has been here at Royal County Down.” Everywhere I toured and worked, I was treated like royalty. The crews were all just as interested in learning about the turf industry in Canada, more specifically the site where I worked last summer, the extraordinary Banff Springs Golf Course. A rabbit is about as wild as wildlife gets in the UK, so the Scots and Irish were fascinated over the variety of wildlife we have roaming our golf courses in the Rocky Mountains as well as the challenges associated with the animals. Winter protection, golf cart traffic, high staff turnover and short seasons (for most of us in Canada, anyways) are all challenges unique to superintendents in Canada that our European friends find quite interesting. Watering and fertilizing in the UK are executed by means of spoonfeeding; they allocate a lot more money towards topdressing programs, in-house construction projects as well as equipment upgrades and replacements. Building riveted bunkers is a perfect example of what I mean. A place like St. Andrews Links has a turf nursery that is thousands upon thousands of square feet and must be maintained and shared between six golf courses. The process of building a riveted bunker masterpiece can be completed with hand tools, if you wish. However, you still would need large tractors and trailers and manpower to transport and cut sod before you begin the meticulous work of layering, which may take up to two full days depending on the size of the bunker as well

as how many workers are involved. I was fortunate enough to make four of these bunkers on my trip, including two on the Old Course (Par-3, 11th hole). The finished product is truly rewarding! Fond learning experiences from my trip weren’t entirely made from sitting in a bunker every day. Each crew amazed me by their passion and intelligence. Everyone had answers for my questions, from the course managers to the first-year greenkeepers, demonstrating leadership top to bottom. The atmosphere inside the staff room was energetic and the walls were plastered with seed and grass identification charts, motivational quotes, team ethics, spray sheets and photos of diseases to look out for on the golf course. Informative notices like these kept everyone on the same page and created a fundamental learning environment, essentially turning inexperienced labourers into educated turfgrass management interns. Nobody was greater or treated differently than the person beside them, even if the worker had 20 more years of experience working on the links. A daily designated lunch break was an opportunity for the entire crew to share jokes and stories about their day. Does this sound like your golf course? The sense of pride was infectious in all of my stops and I hope to incorporate these values into my future squad. Touring over 30 facilities (credit to my main contact in Scotland, Mike Clark) in 42 days kept me very occupied, but I always made sure to explore the rest of what the UK has to offer. I’ve been known to live a very sheltered life, relying on routines and repetition to succeed because I’ve always been hesitant to break out of my shell and live an outgoing lifestyle. Castle tours, pub tours and forest walks gave me the opportunity to be adventurous. Day-byday I was overcoming many fears that have always held me back from doing things I’ve

always wanted to do. Many days, it was a matter of waking up, punching a postal code into the GPS in my hire car (a headturning 2012 Vauxhall Corsa) and dangling my way through the winding roads en route to somewhere on my bucket list. A major highlight of my trip was my week in Ireland. Fintan Brennan (course manager at Portmarnock Golf Links) and his wonderful family graciously welcomed me into their home for delicious Irish meals every night and I can’t thank them enough. His son Mike guided me through downtown Dublin and after learning about the amazing history of the city, he took me to an Irish pub to watch my first (and only) soccer match, an experience like no other! My six-week adventure was indeed spectacular and quite the eye-opener. Littered with elite golf properties throughout, there was never a dull moment in my trip and there was never a learning opportunity that I could pass up, especially for a 20-year-old who hadn’t ventured outside of North America before. The opportunity to experience the birthplace of golf has further expanded my knowledge of the links atmosphere and has bolstered my career development by establishing new relationships with fellow industry representatives. I was thrilled to use Facebook and Twitter to my advantage and I hope that you all enjoyed my photos. I will forever remember the day when Lori Micucci phoned me on July 24th, 2013 with the best news I’ve ever heard. I felt like I was on Cloud Nine, as if I was selected first overall in the NHL Entry Draft. Several important people in my life made this dream come true, especially my family and friends, who provided me with tremendous support on and off the golf course. Jason Pick (Turf Program Coordinator at Olds College) and the entire staff faculty at Olds College were instrumental in taking my talents to the


next level in my two years there. Jason especially has been there for me the entire way. I’d also like to thank numerous mentors of mine in the industry, including Brad Allen (Second Assistant Superintendent, Banff Springs), Mark Kolentsis (Assistant Superintendent, Glencoe Golf and Country Club), Dan Nolin (Assistant Superintendent, Banff Springs) as well as our country’s iconic superintendents Bob Burrows (Banff Springs), Brian Youell (Uplands) and Kerry Watkins (Glencoe), just to name a few, who are consistently passionate about offering me career advice. Lastly, a huge thank you goes out to Lori and the CGSA, Barry Cochrane and the Toro Company and to Dean Morrison, who all sat on the interview panel and ultimately decided to choose me as this year’s recipient and give me this amazing opportunity. I was privileged to represent our association, Toro and our country in all capacities and it’s a special honour to follow the footsteps of our previous recipients. Follow your dreams, everyone! GM

Jordan Collins is the 2013 CGSA Future Superintendent of the Year and a graduate of the Olds College Turf Program. He is currently a turf intern at Seymour Golf and Country Club. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 15




An Inside Look at a Working Internship Program Taking a multi-faceted approach to learning ◗ Capilano Golf and Country Club’s Course and Grounds Department takes great pride in our past interns and the continued improvement of our internship program. Our program has been a work in progress since the inaugural season of 2008 and has hosted turfies from a variety of institutions across North America, including Guelph, Kwantlen, Olds College and Penn State. Below is an inside look into the framework of our program.


Successful recruiting is the single most important element of our program. We do our best to hire a “personality”. Related experience, technical skills and a good knowledge base all come second to having the right personality traits to blend with and learn from our management team, technical staff and crew. The internship posting is typically the first point of contact with potential interns. 16 GreenMaster |


Having an attractive, clear and concise internship posting is crucial. Our detailed posting is sent to turf schools across North America at the end of September, recruiting candidates for the following season. Our posting includes a snapshot of the property, the staff, tournaments and, most notably, a link to our intern webpage (see below). We have always made it a priority to

have a face-to-face conversation with prospective interns. This could be at regional or national conferences, at the course or even using Skype. As with any hire, we will conduct a background check and a reference check on the short-listed applicants. Typically, one individual will stand out as a suitable fit for the program. The 2014 season is the first we are considering recruiting two interns to partake in the program. Why not generate some healthy competition between interns?


An intern will have specific expectations for their experience. Conversely, we also have specific expectations of our interns. We ask each intern to clearly outline the goals of their internship through a written list of learning objectives. We then provide a detailed job description which clearly identifies the responsibilities

This article is eligible for the

Gordon Witteveen Award designation for the author.

Outlining expectations from both parties has proven to be an effective exercise as it creates a transparent framework of expectations and responsibilities. and expectations of interns. Outlining expectations from both parties has proven to be an effective exercise as it creates a transparent framework of expectations and responsibilities. The rest is simply execution.

A Snapshot of the Program:

Gearing the learning experience towards the learning objectives set out by the intern is priority number one. Below are some of the common denominators that interns have been exposed to from seasons past. • Course Setup: This consists of tournament preparation, pin sheets, traffic routing, stimping and general tee and green setup each day. • Environmental Management: Each intern has typically spent significant time working hand-and-hand with our environmental coordinator. Duties include; calibration of spraying units, foliar applications of fungicides and fertilizers on all playing surfaces, record keeping, inventory, Audubon re-certification requirements, disease scouting and identification and water quality testing. • Cultural Practices: Teaching the why, the when and the how, when it comes to cultural practices is sometimes the most challenging part of the program. With strictly Poa Annua greens and a western Canadian climate, it always proves to be a learning experience for interns coming from all over the continent to Capilano. Nevertheless, each and every intern adapts to the stresses of the climate, the thresholds of our turf types and the balance between inputs/stresses and course conditioning. Upon the completion of the internship, interns feel as though they know the property and its many microclimates thoroughly. • Equipment Maintenance: Typically interns spend a number of hours in the shop with our equipment technicians going over basic engine

repair, fluid changing, grinding, HOC adjustments and basic troubleshooting exercises. • Irrigation: Interns are highly involved with the irrigation practices at Cap. Areas of exposure include; leading the hand-watering program, monitoring and recording greens moisture levels and providing daily feedback on stressed areas. The interns also focus on making suggestions, setting the central control and running flow charts for nightly watering. • Management Skill Development: All interns have expressed management skills as an area they would like to develop more. Attending a greens committee meeting, conducting morning meetings and being the supervisor for the day are only a few of the ways we have attempted to expose interns to this area. This often will put interns out of their comfort level, but has always been reflected on as one of the more valuable internship experiences.


Our program consists of three scheduled performance reviews. They occur two weeks into the internship, at the two month mark and at the end of the internship. The two month and end of employment reviews are written with comments and feedback, while the two week review is simply a discussion about how the intern is settling into the work environment. The above reviews are in addition to the day-to-day discussions on the course, after work and via email that occur all season long between the intern and the management team and skilled technical staff.

careers have taken them following their time at Capilano. The current intern is responsible for touching base with past interns and updating their bios each season, along with writing his/her own bio upon departure.

Beyond the Framework:

Anyone who has been an intern is well aware of the dedication and drive required to do the job successfully. An important ingredient to our internship program is taking time away from the physical day-today grind and having some fun. Some of our past initiatives in this area are; • Playing a round of golf at another club with the superintendent and assistants. • Attending industry chapter meetings and social events. • Volunteering at national championships (Canadian men’s and women’s Open). • Investing in a parting gift from the club to the intern for their hard work and dedication. Our internship program is a constant work in progress and is something we spend much time on in the off season. As much as we would like to expose our interns to every facet of our operation, it is simply impossible to do so in one summer. The above is merely a framework that we tweak and manipulate to suit each individual intern. Each and every season we are amazed at and impressed by the individuals who walk through the door. In what feels like the blink of the eye, they are off to the next stage of their career. You get out of an internship program exactly what you put into it! GM

The Intern Website:

The Capilano intern website is a new feature of the program. It is a forum for new and future interns to connect with past interns. Short bios of past interns are posted outlining what their internship experience was like and also where their

Michael H. Newton is the Assistant Superintendent at Capilano Golf and Country Club. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 17


2014 CITC TS



Get in on the action! The 2014 Canadian International Turfgrass Conference & Trade Show is the place to be for all those who grow and maintain turf on golf courses, sports fields or parks. The 2014 CITCTS features more than 40 speakers, over 100 hours of education, countless networking opportunities, social events and trade show time. Join us in Vancouver and grow with the CGSA!

TUESDAY FEB. 18, 2014

Water Performance Management to Improve Turf Performance

Disease Management

Jack Fry, Ph.D.

This session will highlight some of the most common turfgrass disease on golf course turf and offer some insight into existing and emerging cultural and chemical management options.

The basics of turf water use, methods for determining irrigation requirements; plant growth response to irrigation frequency and the impact of irrigation on turf responses to stresses will be discussed during this session.

Conventional Fungicides vs. Resistance Activators

Managing Your Fleet in a Tough Economy

John Kaminski, Ph.D.

Tom Hsiang, Ph.D.

Stephen Tucker and Mike Kriz

This presentation will discuss the use of alternative disease resistance-activating compounds against convention fungicides as well as discuss the advantages and possible disadvantages of these new alternative compounds.

Managing your fleet isn’t just about maintenance. In this session learn how to properly manage an equipment fleet with rising costs and decreasing budgets will be discussed. Learn new ways to evaluate your fleet, save money and get the most out of your equipment.

Bee Health in Canada: Status and Strategies for Golf Courses

Engineered Compost Teas

Paul Hoekstra, Ph.D.

This session will discuss a program that highlights the restoration of natural habitats and food sources to improve the fortunes of native pollinators, such as bumble bees, butterflies and other insects that thrive when diverse sources of food are available. Come hear how to make your facility more bee friendly! 18 GreenMaster |

Dale Overton

An in-depth look into compost tea technology. Topics will include: a review of ecological principals, what is Compost Tea, the fallacies of Compost Tea, the types and modes of action and the manufacturing, product and application of Compost Tea. Examples of successful Compost Tea integration will also be presented.


Trevor Linden Former NHL All-Star and Olympian

Drought Tolerance in Cool-Season Turfgrass – Selective Species and Cultivars Leah Brilman, Ph.D.

The focus of this session will be looking at data and balancing cultivar demands of new cultivars that demonstrate drought tolerance or reduce water usage.

Competitive Turf Eric Lyons, Ph.D.

This session will explore information on how mowing, irrigation, fertility and plant growth regulation can impact species composition of golf greens. It will include recent research on creeping bentgrass, poa annua, moss, velvet bentgrass and fescues.

Are There Benefits to Rolling Athletic Fields? Thom Nikolai, Ph.D.

Research conducted at Michigan State University has uncovered numerous benefits from frequent rolling of greens. These benefits include significant reductions to pest populations and greater root mass. This session will explore the research results of doing this to athletic fields.

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@GolfSupers #CITC2014

F E B R UA RY 17 – 21, 2014 | VA N CO U V E R CO N V E N T I O N C E N T E R

Shop Safety – How to Complete a Risk Assessment – Potential Safety Issues from A – Z Bill Godkin and Anna Armstrong

This session will help to offer a better understanding how to assess the potential risk in your shop. Actual golf shop examples of safety hazards will be shown to illustrate the key learning points of this session. A demonstration on how to identify and correct potential hazards will take place and provide you with a safety auditing form for you to use to conduct an assessment in your own shop.

Hot New Plants: Cutting Edge Garden Plants for Cutting Edge Gardens Gary Lewis

This session will help you receive the inside track on recent new cutting edge garden plants and talk about where plant breeding is heading in the future. Also discussed is the potential for the new plants in the landscape and how they can enhance your plant pallet for exciting garden design.

Avoiding the Summer Doldrums: Great Plants for Summer and Fall Gary Lewis

Do your projects look fabulous in the spring only to have their vibrant colours fade with the summer heat? Take in this session to hear advice on how to avoid the summer doldrums and get recommendations of a host of great garden plants to keep colour in the landscape through the hot months of the year.

Green Speed Discussion Rob Golembiewski, Ph.D., Thom Nikolai, Ph.D., John Sorochan, Ph.D.

A variety of cultural and chemical practices have been implemented through the years by superintendents in the quest for ‘perfect’ firm, fast putting greens which is measured in terms of ball roll distance.

This presentation will provide a historical review of mowing heights, the impact of lower heights of cut, and then insight into the effects of various mowing and rolling regimes, application strategies of trinexpacethyl, and the impact of gas vs. electric rollers on annual bluegrass green speeds. Come hear three green speed experts share their knowledge on this subject.

Preparation (H)eat: Thinking Ahead will Help Prevent Next Summers Turf Decline Jack Fry, Ph.D.

Summer stress often leads turf professionals to ask “Could I have done something differently to prevent this?” In this session, the merit of various cultural strategies in preparing for summer stress will be explored.

Optimizing Weed Management, Timing and Application Procedures Eric Lyons, Ph.D.

Weeds negatively impact both the playing experience and the safety of sports fields. Proper application of both conventional and alternative herbicides is essential for controlling weeds. This session will review how to properly time weed control measures to increase the efficacy and reduce costs resulting in more sustainable sport field management.

Maintenance Strategies for Declining Budgets Stephen Tucker and Mike Kriz

Managing your equipment fleet is a tough task; add to that a declining budget. There are ways to manage your fleet that can save money, time and effort and they don’t cost anything. During this session some strategies will be developed and you’ll know where to go to look for additional resources and solutions.

| VA N CO U V E R, B C

An Environment for Pollinators Tony Puddicombe

This session will pertain what those who work on golf courses and parks can do to improve the environment for honeybees and native pollinators. The issues that beekeepers have been dealing with will be discussed as well as how a beekeeper can be invited to place beehives on golf courses. Ideas how to deal with public perceptions about having hives placed on courses will also be presented. Those plants that assist in feeding honeybees and native bees will also be discussed.

Realistic Review of Maintenance Practices for Synthetic Turf Fields Mark Lucas

This session will review practical and realistic maintenance practices for synthetic turf fields. Items that will be covered will be sweeping, dragging, loosening and distribution of infill and cleaning. This presentation will give an overview of these maintenance practices.

Tree Maintenance Verna Mumby

Tree maintenance is more than pulling out the chainsaw. A good tree maintenance program considers turf quality, safety for players and golf course works and retains the design of the course. Tree maintenance programs for municipal and school properties ensure the sole use of urban forest by the general public. This session will provide some insight on how to implement an effective tree maintenance program without breaking the budget. The key BMP will be outlined.

WEDNESDAY FEB. 19, 2014 Keynote Speaker: Trevor Linden Former NHL All-Star and Olympian ◗ CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 19


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THURSDAY FEB. 20, 2014 Managing Problematic Turf Diseases Rob Golembiewski, Ph.D.

This presentation will provide insight into better understanding three major golf course turfgrass diseases in Canada, cultural management practices that should be implemented to reduce the incidence of disease, and fungicide application strategies to maximize turf control.

Top Tools for Effectively Communicating & Balancing Costs and Expectations Shaun Henry

Dwindling budgets and lofty expectations are a recipe for disappointment. This session will focus on communication techniques to help bridge the gap, and create common ground.

How, Where and When to Use Crumb Rubber for Sports Fields Tim Vanini, Ph.D.

This session will include both research testing as well as real world applications of crumb rubber on sports fields. Discussion will also include perceived challenges with using crumb rubber from an environmental standpoint. This presentation will be valuable for sports field managers to help improve turfgrass management and economics, safety and playing quality.

Nozzle Selection and Sprayer Calibration Dave Duncan

Items to consider prior to making the proper nozzle selection is important to make sure the liquid being sprayed ends up where you want it. Proper methods of calibration will also be discussed during this session.

20 GreenMaster |

Having that Difficult Conversation

Application Technology

Kevin MacDonald

R. Marie Thorne and Ryan Beauchamp

This session will be focused on ideas and strategies that will support participants in having more effective communications with Greens Chairs, Committees, General Managers, Staff, Other Department Leaders, even family members! The better you are as a communicator, the less drama you will have in your life.

This session will give attendees an opportunity to enhance their understanding of spray application management techniques and extract the most value of pest control products in an IPM Program. This session will break down formulation issues and provide innovative and cutting edge solutions to improve efficacy.

Soil Ecology & Integrated Approaches to Turfgrass Management Dale Overton

This session will focus on ecological principles and a brief overview of the soil microbial community. Topics to be covered include; an introduction to soil ecological principles, the soil microbial community, beneficial microbial effects on soil properties, integrated approaches to turfgrass management – amendments and natural fertilizers.

Fertility for Sand Based Sports Fields Nick Christians, Ph.D.

This presentation will cover the basic principles of soil science as they relate to sand-based media and will outline management steps that can be taken by sports turf managers for these areas.

Alberta Floods – The Impact to Golf Courses and Lessons Learned

After an unpredictable flood in June of 2013, come and listen to superintendents who faced the unthinkable. Hear how they dealt with the situation at their courses and the lessons that they have learned after dealing with the unprecedented flood.

Using Soil Moisture Meters and Sensors to Improve Irrigation Efficiency Mike Richardson, Ph.D.

This session will discuss some of the different probes that are available on the market, proper methods to use the probes, and research will be presented on how these probes can save water and provide more uniform moisture conditions.

Cutting Units in the 21st Century

Research Focusing on Athlete Safety and Performance

Stephen Tucker and Mike Kriz

John Sorochan, Ph.D.

Cutting unit set up is one of the most important reel mower subjects in the golf industry. This session will discuss some new technologies currently available and some advanced techniques that are used by the presenters on their golf courses. Bring your ideas, this session is sure to invoke thought and provide some tools to adopt at your golf course.

This session will begin with an introduction to the background and importance of injuries on athletic fields. Current research focusing on improving athletic fields focusing on athlete performance and safety will be discussed as well as management practices to improve athletic field safety. An understanding of pesticides and their safe use for athletic fields will be reviewed and understanding pest control practices for maintaining safer athletic fields will be presented.

Follow the action:

@GolfSupers #CITC2014

F E B R UA RY 17 – 21, 2014 | VA N CO U V E R CO N V E N T I O N C E N T E R

Managing Turfgrass in the Shade John Sorochan, Ph.D.

Protect your turf from the shade. This session will teach you to accurately diagnose stress on turf and help you develop management practices to successfully manage turf shade conditions.

Creating Employment Contracts Alan Winter

This session will cover the value of having an employment contract and what key issues should be included in an employment contract. Lastly this session will discuss the enforcement of an employment contract.

Getting a Sports Field Ready in 70 Days Tim Vanini, Ph.D.

Little information exists for sports field managers on optimal ways to re-establish trafficked areas on sports fields during a 70-day window. This session will explore research results where best management practices will be reviewed over a 70-day window.

Written Programs and Procedures – How to Create a Written Operating Procedure for Your Equipment Bill Godkin and Anna Armstrong

Golf courses are expected to have written programs and procedures in place to train their staff. Too often golf course management employees are not provided with adequate instructions for the safe operation of potentially dangerous equipment. Join in on this session to learn how to create an operating procedures.

Poa Annua Biology & Control Nick Christians, Ph.D.

This presentation will outline some of the history of Poa Annua control and will cover new materials that are currently being studied. Also discussed will be the biology of Poa Annua and why it is so hard to control.

What You Can Do Now to Protect Greens for the Winter Jim Ross

Annual bluegrass putting greens suffer from winter injury as a result of desiccation, low temperature injury and injury from conditions of anoxia. Recently, research has focused on covering strategies to assist in the over wintering of annual bluegrass putting greens. The results of the trial will be discussed during this session and what strategies appear to be promising for over wintering annual bluegrass.

| VA N CO U V E R, B C

Turf Management 2020 – The Future in Focus Frank Rossi, Ph.D.

It seems things are changing more rapidly than we can adapt as an industry. Changes in the climate, economic as well as environmental, are challenging the availability of resources. We often look to new forms of mechanical, chemical, and biological technologies to assist with the increasing demands of golfers, the government and society. This presentation will present some thought provoking ideas likely to make you consider how to begin adapting now for the next 15 years.

Using Soil Moisture Meters and Sensors to Improve Irrigation Efficiency Mike Richardson, Ph.D.

This session will discuss some of the different probes that are available on the market, proper methods to use the probes, and research will be presented on how these probes can save water and provide more uniform moisture conditions. Repeat of earlier session.

Quality Golf Course Sod Supply and Installation Bentgrass, Bluegrass, Fescue and Ryegrass blends. Proudly Serving Western Canada!

1-888-888-7072 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 21


2014 CITC TS



22 GreenMaster |

Follow the action:

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F E B R UA RY 17 – 21, 2014 | VA N CO U V E R CO N V E N T I O N C E N T E R

| VA N CO U V E R, B C

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 23


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The Andersons, Inc.

Jesse Walle 419-891-2910

Booth #607 Aquatrols

Colleen Clifford 856-537-6003

Booth #623

Soil Surfactants and other innovative products for optimizing soil/water/plant interctions.

AR Mower & Supply Ltd. Mark McMaster 604-940-1011

Booth #407

Avenue Machinery Corp. John Fleming 604-851-5423

Booth #825

Kubota Tractor with Aerway Aerator


Bob Yokoi 510-215-2111

EXHIBITOR LIST Bayer Environmental Science Dawn Graham 519-767-3880

Booth #625

BES is dedicated to the research, development and marketing of plant protection products for golf courses, turf management and pest management industries.

Bos Sod Farms, Inc. Bert Bos 604-854-1415

Booth #720

Sod supplier: Golf & Athletic turf.

Brett Young

Karen Green 204-478-2248

Booth #321

Professional Turf Products

Buffalo Turbine

Judy Livermore 716-592-2700

Booth #815

LM315 Tri-Plex, SP05 Bunker Rake & LM56G Walking Greens Mower

Since 1945 Buffalo Turbine has been manufacturing high powered, turbine style blowers. Stop by booth #815 to visit with a knowledgeable sales representative.

BASF The Chemical Company

Chicks Irrigation Developments

Booth #722

Kelly Devaere 519-326-9037

Booth #220

Manufacturer of Pest Control products for the Professional Turf market.

Bayco Golf

Cal Surgenor 204-633-8881

Booth #801

Golf Course Accessories

Club Car

English Lawns Ltd.

Booth #613

Booth #301

Kevin Orton 250-579-5606 Club Car Utility Vehicles

Core Turf Consulting Inc. Russ New 403-803-0324

Booth #914

Protea Botan Nutrient Products, RGF Environmental Wash Bay

Corix Water Products Jo-Ann Latta 604-455-3528

Booth #400

Dakota Peat & Equipment

Booth #610

Efficient Irrigation Systems

Sustainable Turf Management Program and Products

Booth #807

Booth #204

Angelo Capannelli 800-461-5521

FarmTek Turf Services

Quality Topdressing, bunker and divot material for the golf course industry

Ken Reid 604-830-0741

Booth #909

Aeration Sanding ; Turf Drainage Ken Clancy 250-838-6414

Manufacturers of industry leading controlled release fertilizer

Bruce ance 604-940-0290

Grigg Brothers

Fertilizer, Pesticides, Seed

Booth #601

Interior Turf Equipment Ltd. Melody Kornelson 250-832-4832

Booth #423

For all your turf care equipment needs.


Sharon DeWolfe 704-504-6630

Booth #311

John Deere Golf

Booth #422

Matt Nelson 208-421-2512

Eagle Lake Professional Landscape Supply

Foliar and granular fertilizers, biostimulants, elicitors, and wetting agent information.

Booth #521

Suppliers of quality turfgrass and landscape supplier to western Canada.

Booth #621

Lyndsay McDonald 905-804-5959

Engage Agro

Civitas fungicide is changing the game, turning on your turf’s natural defenses to promote plant health and fight off disease.

Booth #327

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Daniel Motylewski 503-504-6909 Daniel.motylewski@

Hutcheson Sand & Mixes

Booth #1001

Direct Solutions


Susan Penstone 780-902-2726

Topdressers, Material Handlers, Turf Trailers

Booth #526

Hydra-Riser Cylinder raises sprinkler heads without digging them up.

Booth #617

EnviroPerfect Solutions

Fusion Turf

Eric Heuver 403-262-5600


Sod Installation

Nate Brewinski 800-477-8415

Josh Chanasyk 604-576-5720

Booth #817

Nick Broad 604-220-5296

Habitat Systems Inc.

Kristina Laven 604-294-4224

Booth #616

Park, Playground & Landscape Equipment

Dayna Horgan 519-826-7878

HARCO Fittings

Turf Protection Products

Booth #915

Shelley Jennings 434-845-7094

Neill Smith 905-317-5131 Provides golf courses with innovative products, backed by unparalleled expertise and unwavering dealer support to help create tournament ready golf courses.

Keso Turf Supplies Scott Kraemer 604-940-2240

Booth #603 Links Bridges

Don Ferrar 613-769-8090

Booth #901

Composite Bridges for Golf Courses

Follow the action:

@GolfSupers #CITC2014

F E B R UA RY 17 – 21, 2014 | VA N CO U V E R CO N V E N T I O N C E N T E R Maredo BV Netherlands Marinus Reincke +310343554439

Booth #307

Heads for Greens Mowers

National Leasing Golf & Turf Financing

Julie Noschese 204-954-2222

Booth #216

Financial Services

Netex Canada Netting Inc. Mark Wilson 604-946-8679

Booth #907

Manufacturer of sport netting and structures. Specializing in golf driving ranges and baseball fields.

Nilex Civil Environmental Group Ed Mah 780-463-9535

Booth #206

Manufacturer and supplier of geosynthetic materials including retaining walls, geogrids, geomembranes and geotextiles for erosion control, weed control, ground reinforcement, drainage, containment and more.


Jackie Keim 519-249-0600

Booth #101

Leading Canadian manufacturer of regular and fine granular, homogeneous, organic and water soluble fertilizer products; providing soil testing analysis, recommendations and agronomic support.

Oakcreek Golf & Turf

Mike Bentley 403-589-5575

Booth #113

Omni Enviro

Garry Fenton 647-490-0095

Booth #611

H2O Energizer – Water Treatment System

Pest Mangement Regulatory Agency – Health Canada

Megan Willems 604-666-9432

Booth #305

Information on federal regulation of pesticides and pesticide labels

Precision Laboratories

Larry Conkings 562-519-1575 lconkings@precisionlab .com

Booth #605

Premier Pacific Seeds Ltd. David Wall 604-881-1323

Booth #716

Wholesale Grass Seed Supplier

Pumptronics Pumping Systems Rick Ziegel 905-469-6440

Booth #200

“Providing extremely efficient pump stations, including custom ones, to turf sports fields and golf courses across North America”.

Quali-Pro Canada

Don Surgeoner 519-585-2409

Booth #421

Fungicides & Insecticides

Rain Bird International Fred Sherman 604-931-6565

Booth #404

Irrigation sprinklers, control systems and pumping stations

Redden Net Custom Nets Ltd.

Elisa Newton 604-530-2213

Booth #614 Net fabrication

Rogers Sprayers Inc.

Mervin Bilinski 306-975-0500

Booth #813

Covered Spraying Equipment


Doug Colley 416-565-2123

Booth #401

Manufacturer of specialized turf maintenance machinery including dedicated spray vehicles, riding sand trap rakes, riding greens rollers and turf sweepers.

Sports Turf Irrigation

Tracy Bynum 800-492-8378

Booth #918

Sprinkler Repair; Rebuilt Sprinklers

Standard Golf Company Steve Tyler 319-266-2638

Target Products Ltd.

Scott Mitchell 604-856-7976

Booth #900

Bart Crandon 800-525-6825

Booth #612

Taylor’s Turf Care Products Ltd.

Turf Canada Inc.

Christine Taylor 604-552-3960

Booth #821

Supplier of seeds, fertilizers, turf & soil additives, spreaders, sprayers, sprayer nozzles & accessories

TDS West Systems Inc. Ken Reid 604-830-0741

Booth #1008

Aeration Sand & Turf Drainage

Terralink Horticulture Inc. Gary Hunt 604-864-9044

Booth #224

The Toro Company

Brian Dawson 613-677-2526

Booth #501

Maintenance Equipment and Utility Vehicles

Toro Irrigation

Terry Ormrod 250-851-1341

Booth #428

Toro Irrigation Products


The Toro Company – Golf Irrigation

Sarah Beauchamp 519-535-2770

Dean Armstrong 519-220-0277

Chemicals – Fungicides

Golf Irrigation Sprinklers, Controls and Sensors

Booth #803

Turf & Recreation Publishing Inc.

Target is a full service supplier that has been supplying golf course sands since 1984.

Booth #522

Golf Course Accessories

| VA N CO U V E R, B C

Booth #500

Trade publication for Canadian turfgrass industry. Trevor Parkes 416-579-0559

Booth #919

Foliar / Granular Fertilizer, Soil Amendments and Accessories

Wallah Signs

Becky Shearer 403-343-1672

Booth #208

Golf Signs / Stakes and Tee Block Markers

Western Turf Farms Ltd. Ron Rindt 604-817-5057

Booth #809

Natural Sport Field and Golf Course Sod. Quality Kentucky Bluegrass, Ryegrass

Wiedenmann North America, LLC Will Wolverton 912-790-3004

Booth #705

Wiedenmann will be displaying their Terra Spike XF-G deep tine aerifier along with a Super 500 sweeper/verticutter/flailmower.

Wood Bay Turf Technologies

Lyall Adams 800-661-4942

Booth #408

Greens iron 3900 turf roller; FDS 9200 dethatcher dyna blades

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 25


North of


“The Yukon summer is awesome, but short and with the daylight hours close to normal by the end of August, I’m already on the lookout for disease.” Derek Wirth

26 GreenMaster |


◗ Every golf course has its maintenance challenges and every property is unique. Maintaining turfgrass north of the 60th parallel at Mountain View Golf Club in Whitehorse, Yukon is certainly no different in many ways and a lot different in others. Many things we experience here are common problems that anyone who over-winters turf would face, but there are also some contrasts and differences in maintaining a fully operational 18-hole championship golf course in the north. Whitehorse is located in the southwestern corner of the Yukon Territory, just south of the 61st degree. We’re only about 50 km from the B.C border and about 150 km from the Alaska border and the Pacific coast, but about 1500 km from the nearest city. We live in a semi-arid environment with relatively low precipitation and milder temperatures compared to most of the north. Mountain View Golf Club is the only 18-hole championship golf course in the Yukon Territory. It was built by volunteers in the mid-1980s and was converted to grass greens in 1990/91. We have a shortened, but intense golf season that runs, on average, for a full 5 months, from May 1 to October 1. Things change very fast in the north and the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are short. Winter is long with permanent snowfall usually starting in the third week of October and extending until mid-April.

I’m used to dealing with 180-190 days of snow cover each year, but with the late spring of 2013, about a third of the greens had over 200 days. We wait as long as possible to blow the snow off the greens because of the cool nights that can extend into May. Since the original construction, six greens have been re-built, but the other 12 have significant stands of Poa annua, which we encourage since rebuilding is not an economical option. Having adequate insulation on those bent/poa greens is so important up here as there is potential for temperatures of -30°C or colder anytime from mid-November to mid-March. We use impermeable tarps on a few of the exposed poa greens and we try to leave the snow on as long as possible

This article is eligible for the

Gordon Witteveen Award designation for the author.

in the spring, monitoring every green on a day by day basis. We don’t start blowing off greens until approximately April 15 and usually don’t do the sheltered poa greens until it starts to get wet at the surface, around the last week of April, and as long as there have been no ice developments during the first three months of winter. The most damaging winterkill issues on treated turf in Whitehorse are low temperature kill and crown hydration. Ice is not usually an issue, although climate change in recent years has brought milder winters with some freeze/thaw cycles. Snow mold is the biggest overwintering challenge on fairways since we do not spray them. Providing there’s sufficient snow cover, I welcome the cold weather because it keeps the snow mold in check. Our fairways always take a bit of a beating, but they recover very well once the irrigation and soil temperatures arrive. One advantage I do have is some of the best water quality in the world with the Yukon River as my irrigation source. We tank-water our greens for the first few weeks of the season as we don’t usually fire up the irrigation until late May. We wait as long as possible because the frost is not all out of the ground until mid-June, despite 20 hours of sunlight. Whitehorse is not north enough to receive sunlight 24 hours a day, so surface frost is also a potential factor until the second week in June when it is acceptable to plant annuals. Soil temperatures finally arrive, most years, by the end of June and things are in full swing for the next two months. Microbial activity is extremely low up here, but has improved slightly with the

warmer climate. We use a combination of spray and granular fertilizer with the majority of granular nitrogen still being water soluble. Some years, however, soil temperatures are better than others and we do struggle to keep up with the mowing during those times. From late June until early August the grass is growing non-stop. At times, it would be nice to mow greens in the late afternoon for a second cut, but we do not have the budget or staff to do so. Recovery can be very slow with the short soil temperature season if you do need to revive and re-seed some areas, so timing is critical, as is taking advantage when there is sunlight and high temperatures. I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to over-winter these greens so well and provide great conditions in my tenure here. I worked with the two previous superintendents here and learned a lot (both good and bad) of what it takes to be successful in the north. The biggest challenge with low microbial activity is the thatch accumulation on the greens. I verticut and topdress aggressively three times per year and aerate twice, usually pulling cores once. I would like to perform these tasks more often, but the season is so short and it is extremely labour intensive for a nonprofit organization like ours. The reason it’s so time consuming is because of our topdressing sand. With the nearest USGA spec sand source about 1500 kilometers away and the cost of 1 mm sand to be trucked up quoted at $200/tonne, we use a local, old lake bed of un-washed and un-screened sand. The

sand source has changed three or four times in the past while we searched for the sand closest to USGA specifications. Now that I’m happy with the agronomic impact of the sand, the crew needs to deal with the consequences. The clean-up after topdressing and dragging requires four to five people on debris and pebble pick-up before sacrificing a set of triplex reels to do a clean-up cut and before re-opening the nine holes. We perform this over two days, doing nine holes a day, keeping each nine shut down until noon since the clean-up is so vast. Limited equipment and resources always cause challenges when performing any aggressive maintenance practices while trying to stay on top of the day-today maintenance. We are implementing a volunteer incentive program next year to try and engage an inactive membership to help alleviate the impact on play and maintenance delays. The Yukon summer is awesome, but short and with the daylight hours close to normal by the end of August, I’m already on the lookout for disease. We usually have to apply our first fungicide application during the last week of August and we blow-out our irrigation system during the final week in September. I have a staff of 7 to 8 people, including my assistant, which consist of mostly locals. I’m usually dealing with a 50 per cent turnover rate with 3 to 4 returning staff from years past. New hires are attracted through a Yukon job board called YUWIN. This is the only hiring method I’ve used during the past two seasons. ◗ CONTINUED ON PAGE 28


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 27



YUWIN is a free, subsidized employment center that all companies and job seekers in the Yukon use. The technological age has all but eliminated the need for newspaper postings. My staff consists of mostly college students with 2 to 3 positions suited for mature individuals able to work later into the fall and 1 to 2 part-time, weekend help. My biggest challenge with staffing is competing with other businesses and government jobs. When the mining and construction industry are booming, it can be extremely difficult to find enough able-bodied people to fill the positions with general labourers getting paid 2.5 to 3 times the minimum wage. The cost-of-living difference isn’t as high as it used to be, but we are still 2000 kilometers northwest of Edmonton, meaning everything is 10 to 15 per cent more expensive because of freight and fuel. It’s also 2 to 3 days, minimum, to get anything, so I need to keep adequate stock of some equipment and irrigation parts and order my fertilizer and fungicide only once or twice per year so I have it when I need it while keeping the freight costs down. Revenue-wise, while there is a privatelyowned nine-hole executive golf course in Whitehorse as well, there is not much of a golfing culture and we compete much more with other recreational activities such as fishing and camping. Yukoners love their outdoor activities and try to take advantage of the beautiful, but short summer. Mountain View Golf club is a not-for-profit society, so expenses are 28 GreenMaster |

tight and golf kept affordable. Conditions have warranted a steady increase in memberships in recent years, but we still just approach the $1K mark and with a good 4.5 months of golf to count on, it’s considered to be one of the best values for golf in Canada. What can be even more difficult than finding general labour is finding skilled labour when necessary. In my five seasons as superintendent here, I have had two different assistant superintendents and have gone two years without one. There is only enough work to justify an assistant for 8 to 9 months, meaning they must find winter work. Luckily, my mechanic has been with me for five years and his personal situation allows nicely for a 2 to 3 month layoff. I post through the CGSA and WCTA for these skilled positions, but it is hard to attract good people when you have a seasonal position that pays average, but the cost of living is a little more. When I first wasn’t able to find an assistant, I trained two local staff to take on duties such as fertilizing, irrigation maintenance and repair, etc. I have continued to take this approach of training people who are committed to the north, making sure that I can manage without a trained assistant if need be, and to possibly mentor someone into that role one day, similar to what was done with me. Born in Winnipeg, my family moved north when I was eight-years-old after my parents both received temporary jobs in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. We ended up settling in Whitehorse four years later after my parents fell in love with the area. I took up golf as a junior and fell in love


with the game, starting to work on the grounds crew when I was 18. During my second year at college, while I was taking professional golf management, I realized I wanted to be on the turf side of things and went to Olds College immediately after finishing my PGM schooling. I worked at MVGC while I was attending school and then took a nine-hole superintendent job in Mayerthorpe, Alberta. Those 2 years were extremely challenging and rewarding and gave me the utmost confidence that I could succeed in the 18-hole ring. The superintendent position came free in 2005 and while I was not successful, I was hired as the assistant superintendent a year later. After three years as the assistant, I was promoted to superintendent in 2009 and I’ve been at my dream job ever since. Whitehorse, Yukon is my home and I love it up here, but I also love the golf and turf industry. With the lack of industry in the north, I will no doubt face a tough decision one day, to either leave the north or leave the golf sector. GM

Derek Wirth is the superintendent at Mountain View Golf Club.

This article is eligible for the

Gordon Witteveen Award


designation for the author.

Manicuring Putting Surfaces Combining procedures for sustainable consistency ◗ It’s hard to believe it was almost 20

years ago that I authored the article, ‘Walking Greens mowers: Expensive or cost effective.’ Back then, I was entering my fourth season as superintendent at the Cordova Bay Golf Course and walk mowing greens was our choice for mowing operations to produce the maintenance standards we had set for our facility. Although walk mowing is still very much a part of our maintenance programs, technology and new equipment standards have given us the tools to produce even greater playing conditions with less time, money and resources.

A look back:

20 years ago, rolling was an uncommon practice utilized to achieve improved greens speeds or smoothness. Because of this, an occasional verticut was utilized to compliment an in-season mowing schedule that was necessary seven days a week. Our height of cuts, back then, were around .170 using a Jacobson walker with a target green speed of around 9 feet for day-to-day play. When speeds were slower than desired, a Triplex cut was performed ahead of the walk mowers to produce our target green speeds. As demand for higher green speeds increased over the years, our heights of cut were lowered, grooming practices were increased and fertility programs were modified, all with a focus towards light and frequent management, with each procedure aimed at achieving our goals.

Understanding HOC and FOC to achieve your desired speeds:

Earlier in my career, I was focused on lowering our height of cut as the primary way to improve the smoothness and speed on our greens. It wasn’t until the Toro Company introduced a 14-blade cutting unit for its greens mowers, approximately five years ago, that I fully understood the impact the frequency-ofclip had on the smoothness and speed of putting surfaces. Frequency-of-clip, or FOC, is the measurement in thousandths of an inch indicating the distance travelled before a reel blade makes contact with the mower’s bed knife to cut blades of grass. For instance, an FOC of 100 will clip your turf twice as often as a mower with a frequency-of-clip of 200. With this being said, height of cut must be taken into consideration when establishing your targeted frequency-of-clip. The rule of thumb for this number is it should be equal to your height of cut bench setting number. Therefore, if your height of cut is .120, a frequency-of-clip around .120 will produce excellent results as reflected through a prism gauge and resulting smoothness on your putting surfaces.

Achieving desired greens speeds: Costly and potentially dangerous

Growing poa in the Pacific Northwest has its challenges during certain periods of the season due to prolonged seed head production that can last for several months. For this reason, our management programs, developed over 20 years, have been modified substantially to produce the desired balance of optimum plant health, smoothness and desired ball-roll speed. It has taken us time to get where we are today. In fact, the summer of 2010 was a difficult one for me as a result of pushing the limit to chase green speeds.


“Although walk mowing is still very much a part of our maintenance programs, technology and new equipment standards have given us the tools to produce even greater playing conditions with less time, money and resources.” Dean Pillar


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 29




With heights lowered to .100, bi-weekly verticutting and an unusual hot spell late in the summer months, we experienced a bout of anthracnose, requiring a complete reassessment of the management programs that we had developed.

Back to basics: Growing healthy turf

As a result of our experience in the summer of 2010, we focused on plant health first and green speeds second during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Our height of cut was raised during the summer months to .115 and bi-weekly, light and frequent topdressing was introduced to achieve the smoothness and speeds we were targeting. Our target speeds were between nine and 10 feet roll for day-to-day play with nine feet, six inches being the desired target to achieve. Other adjustments were made to our programs, including bi-weekly venting of the putting surfaces with a needle tine or hydroject aeration. Foliar nutrition sprays were applied three to four times per month to produce the desired plant health and consistent clipping yield we 30 GreenMaster |

were looking for. The result of this program was putting surfaces that were now very consistent, healthy and easier to manage. The negative side to this approach was increased labor costs, as we were finding ourselves performing multiple tasks on our greens two to three times per week to achieve green speeds above nine. The combination of these tasks, including Triplex mowing with a roll, walk mowing with a roll or double cutting with no roll would add an additional five to eight inches of roll to our green speeds.

Next generation Triplex mowers: Using technology to achieve economies of scale

Up until recently, I believed that walk mowing greens produced a superior cut to that of Triplex greens mowers. Although I prefer the aesthetics of crisp walk mowing lines, the design features and engineering that has gone into some of the new Triplex mowers has me excited about incorporating Triplex mowing into our regular greens maintenance schedule to reduce maintenance costs. Going back to my article 20 years ago, I demonstrated that the economics of Triplex

mowing came with the risk of hydraulic leaks on greens and a slightly higher consumption of fuel. This has all changed with the new generation of Triplexes that no longer require hydraulic systems as they utilize an on-board generator to power their reels. When you add to this exceptional fuel economy, which enables us to mow up to four acres of putting surfaces with under three litres of fuel, the savings are truly worth taking a look at. The true cost savings realized with the Triplex mower begin with the speed at which we can mow our greens with an exceptional quality of cut. Earlier in the article, I explained the importance of FOC and its effect on greens speed versus height of cut. The onboard Triplex computer allows you to adjust several settings, including mowing speed, travel speed, FOC and dozens of other benchmarks in a matter of minutes. I now know that if I want to mow at 4 mph, my frequency-of-clip is .130 and if I want to mow at a FOC of .120, the mowing speed is changed by the computer to approximately 3.7 mph. With this type of flexibility at our fingertips, we can now make decisions on the spot to execute our maintenance

This article is eligible for the

Gordon Witteveen Award designation for the author.


standards for any given day. A frequencyof-clip of .110 easily replaces a double cut or cut and roll and a frequency-of-clip of .140 allows us to comfortably mow 19 greens in approximately 2.5 hours. Except for the occasional big tournament where we really want to test the players with increased green speeds, we have eliminated multiple procedures to our greens grooming programs. In fact, we have raised our height of cut this past season to .125 and are consistently experiencing green speed increases of six inches to one foot faster using the higher height of cut.

Greens Maintenance Program At A Glance:

The eclipse greens mower has played a large role in helping us to achieve our desired standards with less man-hour inputs. However, it is one piece of our maintenance program that has developed over time and a quick look at this program is necessary to provide the overall picture during a two week maintenance cycle. Day 1 Monday: Triplex or walk mow greens/ foliar nutrition spray Day 2 Tuesday: Walk-mow greens (often straight up and down to enhance aesthetics) Day 3 Wednesday: Roll greens or Triplex (dependent on green speeds and clipping yield from Day 2) Day 4 Thursday: Triplex or walk mow greens Day 5 Friday: Needle tine/Triplex mow/ Light top dress/Brush/4 minutes water/Roll**Green speeds generally increase 1 foot from this procedure going into weekend.

Day 6 Saturday: Roll greens Day 7 Sunday: Triplex greens Day 8 Monday: Triplex or roll (dependent on green speeds and clipping yield from Day 2)/foliar nutrition spray Day 9 Tuesday: Walk mows greens Day 10 Wednesday: Roll greens or Triplex Day 11 Thursday: Triplex or walk mow greens Day 12 Friday: Triplex mow/possible top dress/brush and roll Day 13 Saturday: Roll greens Day 14 Sunday: Triplex greens

technologies to other aspects of our maintenance operations including tees, fairways and roughs. GM Dean Piller is the Superintendent at Cordova Bay Golf Course.

In addition to this schedule, a few other important items to mention are that when Triplexing, we often cut side-to-side allowing the walk mow lines to remain dominant. When Triplex mowing occurs two days in a row, we often skip a cleanup pass on one of the two days. The other note worth mentioning is if the greens show stress as a result of Triplex cleanup passes, we will run our needle tine aerators around the perimeter cut of the greens ahead of the roll on rolling days. This quickly eliminates any concern or problem you may run into. C







This article reviews the recent maintenance program for greens at the Cordova Bay Golf Course which are subject to change from time to time. However, it is meant to endorse our industry which continues to bring more efficient and effective equipment and products for us to improve our operations and reduce overall maintenance costs. I am excited and encouraged in anticipation of these companies bringing new cost saving



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 31


Recovering from Winter Disease and Damage Patience, healthy turf, communication all important to weathering the winter ◗ In winter, a season of freezing temperatures and swirling snow, damage and disease can grab hold of turfgrass. It’s what golf course maintenance professionals do when the sun shines that can make all the difference, say a group of superintendents from across Canada. Maintaining healthy conditions in the spring, summer and fall is critically important for turfgrass managers if they want to survive winter’s harsh treatment of the course. “If you have healthy turf, you’re not going to have disease because the turf is resistant to it,” says Greg Berryman, superintendent at Mactaquac Golf Course in Fredericton, New Brunswick. “The best way to prevent winter disease is to keep the turf healthy,” says Peter Asma, superintendent at Greensmere Golf and Country Club in Carp, Ontario. “We do this through fertility and mechanical means like de-thatching, aeration, topdressing and so forth.” Berryman also uses the fall to ensure the turf is as healthy as it can be for the tough months ahead. The majority of core aerifications at Mactaquac are done in the fall, as are extensive verti-draining and topdressing programs. “In the fall we go out and pull cores with a 648 Pro Core on tight spacing on tee decks and greens,” says Berryman, “and then we try to verti-drain as much as possible.” “The aerifications have helped so much


later in the season just by protecting the plant a little bit. Topdressing aggressively after and dragging it protects our crown so much more and it helps to harden off the plant.” While year-long care is vital to warding off winter disease and damage, fall spray applications are similarly effective. Reid Solodan, a 10-year veteran superintendent at Canmore Golf Course in Alberta, sprays his course to ready it for the winter. “This past fall, in September, I did a preventative fungicide spray with Compass,” says Solodan, although he

explained this wasn’t always the case. “In previous years I never did a preventative (spray), I used to go right into my final application in October, but we had a lot of fusarium two falls ago.” Berryman and Asma also lay down a final application in October before putting the course to bed for the winter. The final step for Berryman, Asma and Solodan is putting covers on greens in order to protect against snow and ice damage and keep disease at bay until the spring. The superintendents are busy when it comes time to open the course back up in the spring. Recovering the turfgrass after a long winter can be a delicate task and a long journey. “(In the spring) we might try to artificially increase our soil temperatures,” says Asma about his springtime strategies, “we might put a permeable tarp over the turf and we might spray the turf with a pigment to attract the sunlight or apply a dark fertilizer like Sustain or Milorganite.” Berryman also attempts to control soil temperatures to alleviate winter damage that has led to dead turfgrass and even large, mogul-like mounds on the greens. “We try to manipulate the soil temperature by applying breathables,” says Berryman. “We have three different strains of breathables and by moving all three strains around, we can generate higher temperatures. The key for us is to get

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32 GreenMaster |

Seeing winter damage first-hand can tell a superintendent a lot about the state of a golf course, but it is also important to pass on this information to course management and golfers.


the grass to start growing again slowly; we don’t want to cook the greens before they’re ready.” On the other side of the country, in Alberta, Solodan takes the same approach as Berryman. “What we do in the spring is tarp all the greens with spring tarps, or tarps that don’t let water through, in order to create some heat and a greenhouse effect and get the soil temperatures up,” says Solodan. “The only time we would water the greens is if we took the tarp off to handwater so we could control the amount of moisture on the greens.” One size definitely does not fit all golf courses. This variety makes recovering from winter damage and disease a different adventure for each superintendent. “It’s so unique to everyone’s specific course,” says Berryman. “Your site really determines what you can and can’t do.” It’s not just geography, but also budgets, that force superintendents to manage courses differently in the winter. “We’re not able to do too much over the winter because of budgetary restrictions,” says Asma. “There are a lot of supers who are doing interesting things during the winter for their turf because they have the resources, but from our perspective, we’re just not able to do that.” Each course comes with its own unique set of features, micro-climates and history that makes dealing with winter damage and disease an unpredictable task. Using

pictures to track the wear and tear of winter from year to year helps turfgrass managers keep up. “I’ve found that pictures really are worth 1,000 words,” says Berryman. “When I started covering the greens this year, I went back and looked at my pictures from last spring to see what happened on each green when we covered it a certain amount. Each year you try to manipulate it a little to see how you’re going to get the best results. There’s no way to manage and improve if you don’t have a record of what you’ve tried.” Solodan also tracks the location, type and severity of winter disease and damage using pictures. He says it helps him keep tabs on the damage from year to year and recover the turf better. Seeing winter damage first-hand can tell a superintendent a lot about the state of a golf course, but it is also important to pass on this information to course management and golfers. “Communicating the state of the course is very important,” says Asma. “We certainly hear from our clientele that they appreciate knowing the status of the golf course before they come out and play.” Asma also keeps others at the golf course informed of the state of the course through email, including details about winter damage and disease, a plan to fix it and a backup plan if needed. Information is just another great tool to help the course thrive, says Solodan. He meets with management weekly to go over the state of the course, lets the

pro shop know the daily conditions and maintains a blog to spread the word to golfers. “Communicating is really important so that people know the real facts and they can understand better,” says Solodan, “and if you don’t say anything, they can’t get those facts.” Communication with golfers and management is key, but communicating with other turfgrass management professionals is just as important for superintendents, especially those just starting out in the business. “Find a good mentor,” says Berryman, “find someone you can talk to who understands what you’re doing and where you’re at and someone you can bounce ideas off of.” Another important lesson is to expect the unexpected from the elements. “It’s all about the weather,” says Solodan, “and it turns into a waiting game sometimes, but if you keep the turf healthy and don’t panic, everything turns out.” “We’re all at the mercy of Mother Nature,” says Berryman, “and we just have to take what she throws our way. You have to work with what you have because if you work against it, nothing is going to work.” GM

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 33


“So, What Do You Do All Winter?” ◗ A superintendent friend of mine once


“The elements involved in creating the optimal golf experience in the summer take all year to produce.” Pat Moir

34 GreenMaster |

expressed to me his experience when meeting someone for the first time. Without fail, upon hearing of his profession, the new acquaintance would state what an interesting vocation it must be. This was quickly followed up, again without fail, by two questions: 1) You must be a good golfer? 2) So, what do you do all winter? The answer to the first question is simple. Well, in my case it is! It’s a firm no! With that, you’re already only half as interesting as you were before you answered. The answer to the second question can turn into somewhat of a long, drawn-out monologue in the art of snow removal. The resulting effect is the death of any interest your new acquaintance had in you at the start of said conversation. The most common misconception is; once the snow flies and our clientele are gone, everything must be shut down. What could we possibly have to do? If it were that simple, maybe we’d all have more friends who’d be intrigued by our work. Instead, we’re forced to congregate at industry functions and share stories amongst ourselves about growing degree days: “Oh, did you hear about the anoxia build-up on Ted’s greens? What a shame!” or, “Wow, where did you get that nifty pocket protector?” I can understand how the layperson would have nary a notion of the inputs required to provide our memberships the quality product they expect. But in today’s tough economy, we’re getting these same questions from our Board of Directors and members. Quite possibly, we haven’t done a good enough job detailing exactly what transpires at our clubs over the winter. Without a clear, concise description of tasks performed by our staffs, how can we expect to defend their necessity? Far too often in our profession, work agreements with our salaried staff evolve on a give-and-take basis. Compensating our key personnel for the 60-plus hours they perform in-season is unlikely. Rather than risk losing these people, we offer them year-

round employment. The understanding is that we give it our all for eight to 10 months and then recharge at a more humane pace during the offseason. This seems to be the simplest arrangement to make the profession palatable for those we rely on so greatly. It is not uncommon for us to work between 2300 to 2500 hours a year and we need to be rewarded justly. Realizing the vastness of our country, it would be difficult to summarize a typical winter. Subsequently, winter maintenance practices can have a different meaning for each of us. The relatively mild climate of the west coast results in having to provide decent playing conditions year-round. Those in higher elevations can often expect snow cover for half the year. In the Montreal area, where my course is located, our winters seem to be less and less predictable. Not that long ago, we were practically guaranteed a healthy covering of snow by mid-November. Today, bare ground can often be seen well into December. Although this permits more work to get accomplished on the course, equipment repairs and furniture restoration can lag behind. For me, the winter has always been a time to build the foundation for the coming season. Scheduling various elements we wish to implement, budgeting and purchasing and developing agronomic practices all occur over this time. Let’s not forget, for many of us the winter is the only time available for a much needed vacation. With all the hours we perform during the summer, our families and friends tend to forget we exist. Getting to the meat and potatoes of the “What do you do all winter?” question, here’s what it looks like for us at Hillsdale Golf and Country Club. For the sake of this article let’s just say that winter begins once the course is closed for golf in the fall. This has bearing with my earlier statement that even our Boards and members don’t truly know what happens after they vacate the club. Some of the figures you are about to see may seem on the high side, but Hillsdale is a 36-hole, private facility and expectations

This article is eligible for the

Gordon Witteveen Award designation for the author.


warrant certain standards. I’m sure you will be able to extrapolate these figures, up or down, to reflect your club’s particular level of expectation, number of holes and acreage. Beginning in late October, we deep tine all of our putting surfaces to alleviate compaction and introduce oxygen at depth in the profile. Deep tinning also opens up drainage channels to keep surfaces free of standing water. Final soil amendments are introduced at this time to help make necessary corrections as per audit reports. The last vestiges of fallen leaves are blown and vacuumed from the property and irrigation blowout is completed. Critical fungicide treatments are applied to greens, tees and fairways around this time. Selective tree removal is accomplished as identified on our Architectural Master Plan. The staff is usually outdoors until the Christmas break, or as long as course access is permissible. Ditch cleaning is carried out at this time and helps maintain the integrity of our courses drainage system. Odds and ends projects are undertaken in the fall as well. Protective greens covers are typically installed around the 20th of November. Over the years we have mastered the “straw sandwich” method and continue to utilize this technique. Generally, we try to delay this practice as long as possible. We tend to obsess over weather reports during this period, eager to find dry days with below freezing temperatures. With permeable covers already in place, it takes 20 staff, 16 hours to lay out the insulation and impermeable covers. Keeping up with the diverse and ever

evolving profession of golf superintendent requires continuing education. Offerings presented by the CGSA in the winter months are an excellent avenue to remain pertinent. Major equipment repairs and annual tune-ups commence at this time. For our facility, this includes grinding 45 reel mowers and bed knives and 35 rotary blades. Oil changes, bearings, brakes, engines and transmissions are all checked throughout the winter. From the smallest trimmer to the largest tractor, our fleet of equipment consists of 200 units. Its upkeep is a very large task for both my head and assistant mechanics and the help of an additional yearly employee. Course hardware and furniture refurbishing are also undertaken. Our 50 benches, 130 permanent markers, 40 ball washers, 22 bag stands and 100 plus signs are all cleaned up, adorned with a fresh coat of paint and made ready for opening day. These chores are accomplished by three yearly staff. Snow removal and grit applications are a continuous battle. Time allocated to this work will vary depending on accumulation levels. So too will the number of staff required to complete the task at hand. Similar to many other facilities, our club has opened up to other revenue sources. Hosting private parties leading up to the holiday period is one example. Doing so requires more extensive snow removal around our clubhouse and focuses my people’s attention away from the other duties they perform. Keeping access ways and parking lots clear of snow is not only

important for day-to-day operation, but essential in case of fire. I had joked earlier about the perils of the anoxic effect of green covering, but that threat is our reality. With this in mind, superintendents are heading out on the course earlier and earlier to open up access roads to greens to get covers removed. The logic in limiting the duration of coverage is to mitigate oxygen depletion and CO2 build up. This practice has obvious long-term benefits for course survivability, but it also means more hours being stripped away from other necessary work. Staff retention throughout the winter period can be an easy target and contentious issue when clubs are looking at cost saving measures. In most cases these are our most dedicated and trustworthy employees. The elements involved in creating the optimal golf experience in the summer take all year to produce. Reducing the labour force in the winter would have an adverse effect on course quality when it counts most; in-season. My belief is that our members need to better understand the trade off. This is especially true in Quebec, and possibly other provinces, where seasonal workers are seeing cutbacks to employment insurance benefits. Rather than scrambling to find employment alternatives in the off season, many people are leaving their passionate work for more stable, yearly employment. An assistant, irrigation technician or mechanic may seem like frivolous expenses in February, but they’re all indispensable in July. I would strongly encourage everyone to go through the exercise of outlining the tasks you and your staffs accomplish over the winter. Disseminate this information to as broad an audience as you see fit. Clarify the picture to your manager, green committee and Board so they can see the time and commitment essential to make their club what it is. And the next time someone asks you the question, “So, what do you do all winter?” answer them loud and proud, “I plough snow and I don’t care who knows it!” GM

Pat Moir is the superintendent at Hillsdale Golf and Country Club and a past President of the CGSA.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 35




The Life of a Retired Super What happens after a superintendent covers their last green and re-sods their last fairway ◗ The only job I have ever had, since I was 15-years-old, involved golf course maintenance. For the first two years in the business, all I did was push a rotary mower and hand rake bunkers under the watchful eye of Jim Wyllie at the Guelph Cutten Fields. Jim was only 22 years of age at the time. Jim’s golf cart was a 1956 Chevy convertible. Jim’s mode of transportation, along with many other factors, including a love of the outdoors, convinced me that I wanted to pursue a career in golf course management. In 1962, I enrolled in the Turfgrass Management Program at Penn State University. Since that time, close to 100 Canadians have attended the program at GUEST HOUSE IN PORT CARLING. P.S.U. In spite of the recent scandals, I am quite sure that every graduate is a better person and a better turf manager as a result Olympia Fields Country Club in Chicago. Warren trained over 60 of this program. superintendents and at least two of them became President of the Personally, I owe a major part of any success that I may have had to GCSAA. the late Dr. Joe Duich, who passed away in October, 2013. He not only My first job after graduation in 1964 was with Howard Watson, a golf taught Turf Management, but also taught us about life in general. Dr. course architect, at The Board of Trade Country Club in Woodbridge, Duich will be sorely missed by the entire turf industry. Ontario. We built 36 holes in three years and hosted The Carling World I was extremely fortunate to work for Mr. Warren Bidwell at Open in 1967. 36 GreenMaster |

“In my opinion, golf course maintenance involves science, art and business. Over the years, the emphasis has changed from primarily art, or experience, to almost equal parts of science and business.” Bob Heron In January of 1968, I accepted the position Thus, I felt it was a great time to retire! of golf course superintendent at the Brampton We have all heard people say that when Golf Club, where I stayed until July, 1969, when you retire you wonder how you ever had time a special opportunity arose at Markland Wood to work. I can certainly relate to this now that Country Club. I have been retired for seven years. Just one Markland was the first course in Canada to short month after retiring, in February, 2006, use Penncross Bentgrass on tees, greens and our family home was destroyed by fire. fairways. During the first four years of retirement, I It was there, in the late 70s, that we first was focused on rebuilding our home in the experimented with Round-Up to eradicate role of a general contractor. Many of my that “undesirable” Poa Annua on the second experiences and education from the golf fairway. I have very fond memories of my days course maintenance business helped me at Markland and still have many good friends survive this difficult period. The positive part of from this period of my life. This was also a all this was that I love projects and love to keep special time as our son Scott was born when busy. I didn’t really have much time to even I was working at Markland. Since before the think about the golf course business. age of two, Scott couldn’t wait to go to work I now spend time with my family, Carolyn, with me on Saturday mornings. Scott and Cory, and with many wonderful HERON AND HIS WIFE CAROLYN. SPORTS STILL I moved to Mississaugua Golf Club in 1981. friends, keeping active and enjoying myself. KEEP HERON BUSY IN RETIREMENT. The main issue at that time was the annual Our daughter, Cory, has three beautiful and flooding of the Credit River. This seasonal problem resulted in major entertaining daughters who we love to spend time with. design changes, increased expenditures to prevent or reduce this My interest in sport helps to keep me busy in retirement. The problem in the future and the loss of more hair. Toronto Maple Leafs are still tattooed on my forehead! It was at Mississaugua GC in the mid-1980s that we first Playing golf was always part of the job and now I play with experimented with breathable winter covers for greens. friends. I also enjoy playing in the Georgian Bay Golf Superintendents I moved to Beacon Hall Golf Club in 1990, which was clearly the Association events in Northern Ontario. One of the ongoing benefits best golf course of my career. Beacon Hall always ranked in the top 10 of retirement is the complimentary golf that is often extended to me courses in Canada. I was at Beacon Hall until 2006. by fellow superintendents. I usually play a couple times a week. Even If there is one take-home message for all young superintendents, it after all these years, I am still trying to straighten out my drive! would be to convince your employer to contribute to a self-directed My wife Carolyn has helped to renew my interest in tennis. We play RRSP as part of your remuneration package. This will provide an tennis 2 to 3 times a week and I am enjoying this activity as well as golf. acceptable retirement income in your later years, even if it means Fishing is readily available where we live. However, if we don’t catch sacrificing some salary for maximum contributions to the program. anything in the first 30 minutes, it is time to do something different. We all owe a great deal of thanks to the early greenkeepers in our Patience is one virtue I still haven’t cultivated. business who paved the way for our profession to be recognized as it is We now have time to read more books, take leisurely walks and play today. A few names that come to mind are John Steel, Gord Witteveen, more bridge. I can’t believe how the time is flying by. Sid Puddicombe, Jack Harris, and Dave and Bob Moote, Dave Gourlay, This is the first winter we have booked time to be away from and Jim Wyllie. November to April, so we shall see how that works out, but I can only I cannot begin to thank my many assistants and employees who see this as a positive thing! helped me to achieve my goals over the years. Someone once said I am forever thankful that I found the golf course maintenance that you are “only as good as your worst employee.” Fortunately, there profession at an early age. I only hope that the future is not influenced were very few weak links over the years. My assistants that I would like too much by current economic restrictions and government to sincerely thank include Ken Siems, Randy Page, Terry McNeilly, James regulations. McNeely, Curtis Arnold, Sean DeSilva and Larry Bell. Many times I reflect back to the “old days” and my involvement in In my opinion, golf course maintenance involves science, art and provincial, national and American associations and all the wonderful business. Over the years, the emphasis has changed from primarily art, people I met over the years. The golf business was so good to me in or experience, to almost equal parts of science and business. I am not many ways. I hope to continue this lifestyle for some time to come. GM sure that this has been all positive. The amount of detailed reporting, Bob Heron is a CGSA member a retired superintendent, and a not only to the membership, but to the general public as well, has decades-long veteran of turfgrass maintenance. Heron is also a past increased dramatically. Regulations are increasing daily and this puts President of the CGSA. additional demands on the individual golf superintendents.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 37 31


Talking the Talk Communication is crucial to leading a team ◗ The role of a superintendent changes from course to course, but

there is one part of every job that never changes; being a leader. Good leadership from a superintendent is critical to the success of the golf course and it starts and ends with communicating effectively with employees and staff, say industry veterans. Dr. Bob Milligan is a senior consultant at Dairy Strategies LLC, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University and has a strong background in both leadership training and the agricultural industry, including golf courses. Milligan’s recipe for leadership success starts with a large portion of clarity in communication or what he likes to call, “chalking the field.” “It’s about clarity of what you expect in terms of performance and outcomes,” says Milligan. “You have to be clear about how (employees) fit in, what their responsibilities are, why they are important to the course as well as what the rules and policies are.” There are few people who know more about effective communication than Brian Youell. Youell is a veteran superintendent with 20 years under his belt at Uplands Golf Course in Oak Bay, British Columbia. Youell was named the CGSA’s Superintendent of the Year for 2012 and is one of the most well-known and well-respected leaders in the industry. Clearly defining roles and expectations is the foundation good leaders stand on, says Youell. “For me, the most important part of good leadership is to be clearly defining what is expected of us as a department,” says Youell. “We have to have clearly defined goals and know where we are going and our purpose as a department so we can establish a certain standard of conditions.” There are a few crucial steps Youell takes on a daily basis to ensure his goals is met. “Communication is key,” explains Youell. “Probably the biggest parts of my job are one, to communicate with my manager and board of directors what our goals are and two, to communicate to my staff what our targets are, what our standards are and how we’re achieving these standards.” Golf courses are not a one-man show and good leaders understand this, say Milligan and Youell. Both men recognize that the best leaders learn from their employees and value each team member to ensure success for everyone. “The staff are the ones going out and doing all the different jobs every day,” says Milligan. “You can learn a lot about where the opportunities for improvement are.” Learning from employees is great, but fostering trust is a necessity for it to work, says Milligan. “You have to have a culture of open communication where people are willing to come back and tell you things and know that you won’t be too busy or you won’t shoot the messenger,” he says. Youell practices what Milligan preaches. By trusting his employees and acting on their feedback, Youell and his team have maintained a smooth running operation and a world-class course. 38 GreenMaster |



Both men recognize that the best leaders learn from their employees and value each team member to ensure success for everyone. “I heavily involve my staff in the decision-making process because each one is an expert at the job they do,” says Youell. “Because of this, the staff understand that their jobs are important to the overall success of the club and they aren’t just someone sitting on a mower. They realize that their jobs are very important pieces to the success of our department, whether it’s raking bunkers, setting up equipment or something else.” Showing employees you care about them as people can go a long way, says Youell. He says by striving to be flexible and providing balance for employees, good leaders can create a better and more successful work environment for everyone on the team. Youell’s insight come from years on the other side of the table, as an employee, where he learned that a little bit of give and take can make a huge difference. Taking time to listen to staff is important, but carving out some time to listen to yourself is equally as critical to being a good leader, says Milligan. “People need to find a time when they can reflect and think,” says Milligan. “Otherwise, you’re going in without a plan. Find some time where you can sit down and ask yourself, ‘what are my priorities for the day.’” Youell looks to improve his leadership skills all the time and seeks out the advice of those who have risen to the top of their industries. “A lot of what I do to keep on improving is reading and understanding management and learning to understand people,” says Youell. “I think you can look at people who have been successful leaders and learn from them to be a better manager yourself.” GM




Spring Starts with Equipment Maintenance ◗ As winter ends, spring melts the rest of the snow and the golf season begins in many parts of the country, superintendents’ thoughts will turn to the many tasks required of them to get their courses out of hibernation. So too does the focus shift for equipment managers, from repairing a fleet of turf equipment to preparing it to get back out on the course. One of the tasks will be the chore of getting the golf cart fleet moving again. For those of us who have electric carts, the charging of batteries will start soon. On electric carts, the most important maintenance after winter storage is to bring batteries up to peak performance. Golf cart batteries have caps that can be removed to allow access to the individual cells and permit the addition of water to the electrolyte. The caps are vented and permit the hydrogen and oxygen gases to escape. Since hydrogen is lighter than air, it will rise, which means the cavity above the plates and below the cover will fill with hydrogen. If an internal break or short in one of the internal connectors should occur, a spark will cause a violent explosion when the hydrogen is ignited. Always use extreme care when working on or around batteries. Always wear protective clothing, including a face shield. Clean all batteries and connections with a solution of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water. Before charging, add distilled water if fluid is below the top of the plates. Then, add just enough to cover

plates. Do not fill the batteries to the fill mark. Now start a trickle charge. After charging, check every battery to make sure it is fully recovered. Now add distilled water to the fill mark. Distilled water and baking soda is available in the water and baking section of your food store. After charging the batteries, clean them again. The deposits on top of the batteries will conduct electricity and as such will contribute to the self-discharge of the batteries. Electrolyte deposits contain sulphuric acid and therefore rubber gloves should be worn. In general, washing batteries with a fresh water hose does more harm than good. This is because water will move any sulphuric acid that is on top of the batteries to another area of the cart where it will attack the metal structure. The correct maintenance method is to spray the tops and sides of the batteries with a solution of sodium bicarbonate and water. Mix the baking soda in a ratio of ¼ cup of baking soda to 5 litres of water. The solution is best applied in a light fan spray from a non-metallic garden sprayer. Special attention should be paid to spraying metal components immediately adjacent to the batteries.

Allow the solution to sit for about three to five minutes before rinsing the batteries with a low pressure water spray. Cover the battery connectors with a coat of commercially available terminal coating or simply use Vaseline to protect them from corroding. Before working on an electric golf car, disable the car’s electrical system in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use only properly insulated tools when working on electrically powered golf cars or around batteries. Maintain all safety devices including brakes, steering mechanisms, warning devices and governors in a safe operating condition. Do not modify these safety devices. The rest of your maintenance work is the same as on gasoline powered carts (steering, brakes, etc.) If the recommended winter maintenance was done before storing your gasoline golf carts, they should only require wiping off the excess terminal coating from the battery terminals, charging the batteries, checking the tire pressure and washing and waxing the carts. Of course you will perform the brake inspection in its entirety before returning the carts to service. ◗ CONTINUED ON PAGE 40

So too does the focus shift for equipment managers, from repairing a fleet of turf equipment to preparing it to get back out on the course. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 39



As always, the best idea is to perform all inspections before returning the carts to service in order to determine that all systems are free of corrosion that may have occurred during the off season. That means that all periodic service shown in your service schedules should be done now. After refuelling with new gasoline, start the engine and check that it operates at the correct governed speed. Operate the engine for several minutes at maximum governed speed. To find out the governed speed allowed, follow these ratings: for 300 feet – 20 km/16.5 sec., 19 km/17.3 sec, 18km/18.2 sec, 17km/19.3 sec. Get your fleet to be a reliable tool for the head pro and his staff, making sure the performance and safety of all carts is a priority on your course. Another spring preparation you should remember and take care of is to ask the superintendent what height he wants to use for the first cut of greens, tees and fairways. Adjust the reels accordingly and install them on the equipment, checking for that perfect bed knife contact before the operators get their hands on them. During that first cut, the reels are likely to be damaged by debris which has escaped the cleanup crew. Making sure the reels are always cutting the best they can will help to avoid a slowdown in the healing process of grass. Remember, the grass has been stressed by a long winter of ice and snow and it is necessary to avoid even more


damage and stress from faulty reels. Assuming that you’ve already looked after all engines, there should be no problem starting your equipment. If your equipment runs on hydraulic fluid, now would be the time to change it to eliminate all the condensed water from the winter month warm-ups and cool-downs. Remember, water in hydraulic fluid depletes some additives and reacts with others to form corrosive by-products which attack some metals. Once the occurrence of frost is unlikely, the sprayer(s) can be prepared for the season. Reinstall the hose to the pressure gauge and remove all antifreeze used to retire the sprayer for winter. Reinstall the nozzle body, diaphragm and nozzles. It is always important to clean your sprayer out thoroughly, both inside and out to keep it working properly. That new sprayer your club just purchased may still contain metal or plastic chips and dirt from the manufacturing process, so remove and

inspect all screens, filters and nozzles and clean them if necessary. Then rinse and flush the sprayer with clean water. Batteries on equipment should be checked and charged as the long, cold Canadian winter might have had a negative impact. Battery service should begin with a thorough visual inspection which may reveal simple and easily correctable problems. To get the most out of your equipment investment, it is important to have a good preventive maintenance program. Doing scheduled maintenance and making regular and consistent adjustments will prolong the life of your equipment, help to prevent expensive down time and give the best possible quality of cut and performance. Keep up to date records for each machine to make sure these maintenance procedures are being performed at the recommended intervals (or as close as you can get to them). These records will also help you to predict inventory needs. Don’t forget to go over items such as aerators and topdressers, checking for adequate lubrication, belt tension and condition, proper coring head timing and tire pressures. Last but not least, make sure your tanks are filled with fresh gasoline and diesel. GM Eddie, who was the head mechanic at the Ladies Golf Club of Toronto for 22 years, regularly contributes to GreenMaster magazine and is a contract professor at Seneca College in Ontario teaching Reel Technology.

You’ve read it. Now be a part of it! GreenMaster is looking for your ideas and original articles on golf course management. No story or idea is too small. If you have a story you have written or an idea for one you would like to see in the pages of our magazine please send it to We welcome all submissions. Your stories and ideas will make the magazine come alive and help golf course professionals across Canada. Those stories written by superintendents and assistant superintendents that appear in GreenMaster will also automatically be considered for the annual Gordon Witteveen Award. Grow with the CGSA!

40 GreenMaster |


Planning Makes Perfect Organization, innovation are important parts of CGSA’s new-look conference and tradeshow ◗ When Kathryn Wood started planning for CITCTS 2014, Sydney Crosby had just scored the Golden Goal, Toronto was preparing to host the G20 Summit and Yankee Stadium was still standing. The year was 2010. Advanced planning is crucial to making CGSA’s annual conference and tradeshow a success, says Wood, the CGSA’s director of professional development and meetings. “You have to be on top of things,” says Wood, who has been planning the CITCTS for 15 years with the CGSA. A stack of binders stick out from Wood’s desk as she talks. They are full of plans for conferences two, three and four years down the road. The image drives the point home; it’s never too soon to get started on the next event. “Since we change our dates often, you have to be on top of things and get the information and send it out as quickly as you can.” Timing was especially important in planning the 2014 conference and tradeshow because of the major changes being made to the event. Among the changes, the conference will now be held on weekdays and the tradeshow will have a whole day dedicated to it with no competing education sessions. The evolution of the conference is going to improve the experience for attendees, says Wood. “Because the conference starts on Monday, people won’t have to take time away from their weekend and their family time. They can spend their daily work time at the conference and trade show,” explains Wood. “The dedicated trade show time will allow people the opportunity to spend as much time as they can looking at the equipment and finding new ideas they can bring back to their course and save some money and some time.” These changes are a result of a constant

“My main goal is to see that the attendees bring back tidbits of information and new ways to save time, money, labour and energy.” Kathryn Wood push to improve the CITCTS. No detail is overlooked when searching for ways to make the event better, says Wood. “We do an evaluation after every event that evaluates everything from the registration process and the tradeshow to the meals and the name badges,” says Wood. “Every aspect is looked at so we know what works and what doesn’t. Then we look at the parts that worked and make those even better and we definitely take a look at how we can improve the parts that didn’t work.” Keeping up with the latest and greatest innovations in the industry is also one of Wood’s main priorities. “I do a lot of research into who might be a new speaker in the industry or who may have a new take on a topic or an innovative subject they can offer to the program,” says Wood. This constant improvement is done with one goal in mind; helping CGSA members grow professionally and personally. “My main goal is to see that the attendees bring back tidbits of information and new ways to save time, money, labour and energy,” says Wood. “The role of a superintendent is so multi-faceted, so when I am putting the program together for the conference, I look at the National Occupational Standards and see the skills that are needed for them to be able to do their job the best they can. I always hope that members can take something they’ve learned and implement it at their course or help others implement it at theirs.”

Making sure each and every attendee gets something out of the five-day event is a lot of work, but Wood isn’t alone in making the plans on paper into a reality. The CGSA has partnered with the WCTA for Vancouver and the collaboration couldn’t have gone better, according to Wood. “The WCTA has been great,” says Wood. “They’ve been a really great partner. The committee members from the WCTA are very committed to helping us present a top-notch education and social event for the turfgrass professionals. They’ve been instrumental in putting it all together and offering suggestions and contacts for the event.” Wood is just one member of the CGSA team that is helping to put together a few days of networking, learning and fun for members and vendors. Each and every staff member is integral to having the event run smoothly. “I couldn’t do it all by myself,” says Wood. “When you’re there, at the conference, it’s all hands on deck and the people you see and hear leading up to and at the event are the staff. Everyone helps out.” There is one thing that keeps Wood coming back again and again after a decade and a half putting together the CGSA conference. “My favourite part about planning the conference is the members,” says Wood. “I’ve worked with some great board of directors, staff colleagues and the best membership and that’s what keeps me coming back to work.” GM

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | GreenMaster 41



Letters Re: CGSA Superintendent of the Year: Jim McGarvey (November/December issue)

 J im is a true professional, great mentor and exceptional Super very worthy of the CGSA 2013 Super of the Year!

Jason Hooper Superintendent, Quilchena Golf and Country Club

 I certainly agree with all the comments. I had the privilege of meeting Jim a couple of times. Very well-deserved.

Albert Wong Assistant Superintendent, Pinebrook Golf and Country Club Re: GreenMaster (November/December issue)

V  ery nice publication! Well done!

Jim Black


Talk back!


What do you think… Q. A  ny interesting take-aways from the AGSA conference in November? A. “The Always Be Prepared presentation. A.

Always be prepared for the next roll!” “I was impressed by Chris Tritabaugh Dean Piller and Brian Youell’s presentations and delivery. You can

42 GreenMaster |

never go wrong with Larry Gilhuly from the UGSA. Great speakers and supers.”

Q. W  hat has been the most snow you’ve ever seen at your course? A. ” We saw four feet one year.” A. ”We got five feet last year and maybe more than that this year!”

Q. W  hat do you look forward to the most at the CGSA’s annual conference and tradeshow? A. ” The networking, hands down.” A. ”I like the networking.”

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