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Summer 2018 • Vol. 7/No. 3

Creating Safer Fields for Athletes: Monitoring and Documenting Playing Field Conditions

Plus, The Road to Becoming a Golf Course Superintendent KAFMO’s 2018 Field of Distinction

Vol. 7 / No. 3 • Summer 2018

Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council P.O. Box 99 Boalsburg, PA 16827-0550 Phone: (814) 237-0767 Fax: (814) 414-3303 www.paturf.org Publisher: Leading Edge Communications, LLC 206 Bridge St. • Franklin, TN 37064 Phone: (615) 790-3718 Fax: (615) 794-4524 info@leadingedge communications.com


Pennsylvania Turfgrass Editor John Kaminski, Ph.D. Penn State • jek156@psu.edu Pennsylvania Turfgrass Associate Editors Maria Landschoot maria.landschoot3@gmail.com Heather Welch Penn State • hgw1@psu.edu President Pete Ramsey Messiah College • Mechanicsburg, PA (717) 577-5401





10 Cover Story

6 President’s Update

Creating Safer Fields for Athletes: Monitoring and Documenting Playing Field Conditions

14 Golf Course Notes

The Road to Becoming a Golf Course Superintendent

16 Research Summaries Updates on Research by Penn State’s Turf Team

20 Between the Lines KAFMO’s 2018 Field of Distinction

4 Pennsylvania Turfgrass • Summer 2018

8 Upcoming Event 8 Calendar of Events 8 Penn State Turf Team 9 PTC Membership Invitation 18 Penn State News 22 Advertiser Index

Vice President Chase Rogan GCSAA Field Staff • Mid-Atlantic Region Allison Park, PA (614) 241-3037 Secretary-Treasurer Tom Fisher Wildwood Golf Club • Allison Park, PA (412) 518-8384 Past President Andrew Dooley Berkshire Country Club • Reading, PA (610) 451-3229 Directors Tom Bettle Penn State University Rick Catalogna Walker Supply, Inc. Dan Douglas Reading Fightin Phils Elliott Dowling USGA Agronomist, Northeast Region Nick Huttie Muhlenberg College Shawn Kister Longwood Gardens Tim Wilk Scotch Valley Country Club Matt Wolf Penn State University

Summer 2018 • Pennsylvania Turfgrass


President’s Update

Getting Comfortable With

Being Uncomfortable M

arch Madness for me isn’t about basketball. It is about the NCAA Wrestling Championships. This year, Cael Sanderson, Penn State head coach, explained in a press conference how they repeatedly train to recover and scramble out of bad situations. It happens in wrestling all the time. It kind of defines the sport. There’s someone right in front of you with the single-minded goal of putting you in a bad situation. Sanderson feels the more you are willing to operate outside of your comfort zone, the more adaptable you become. The American Military has the same approach. They refer to these situations as VUCA environments (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous). These situations are destined for negative outcomes if we are not

prepared. I am not suggesting that careers in the turf industry come remotely close to military service, but there is a lot we can learn from people who operate successfully at extreme levels. Turf at a tenth of an inch or working in professional sports is an extreme. There is still significant stress that comes with careers in this industry. The chief cause is the weather. Add some unrealistic expectations, lack of funding, politics and unique personalities to the mix, and out comes a stressed out turf manager. We have all been there. Did you ever notice that the people who are there for you when you’re down are your family and your closest peers? The best information and support I have ever received has come from interaction with my peers. Sometimes at seminars, and often outside of work.

There will never be a replacement for the face-to-face exchange of information and fellowship. Taking to Twitter doesn’t solve everything. Avoiding the uncomfortable only results in it never going away and our inability to deal with it. Chances are that a colleague has successfully navigated situations you are struggling with. Sanderson cited a few specific keys to Penn State’s success that we can apply to our careers: 1. Fundamentals -- You can never get away from them. It’s amazing how quickly things can go wrong when we stray away from the fundamentals we know. 2. Evolution – Our industry is going to change, whether we like it or not. Expose yourself to the cutting edge of what is new and consider if it can improve your performance. 3. Weakness – Stop avoiding the areas you are most uncomfortable with. Your spouse can help you identify them. Failure is an opportunity and avoiding it is tragic. 4. Perspective – Alter your perspective. Stepping outside your comfort zone will force you to look at your situation differently. Volunteer work is a fast-acting prescription for looking at things differently. The PTC continues to provide education on the importance of fundamentals in our programs and new technology that we can utilize at our facilities. Field Day at Valentine Research Center this month is a great opportunity to get away with colleagues and see the results of our research. Take advantage of our regional seminars this year to interact with your peers and exchange ideas. For more information on upcoming events, check out the website at www.paturf.org.

Pete Ramsey 2017–2018 PTC President 6 Pennsylvania Turfgrass • Summer 2018

Upcoming Event

Penn State Turf Team

August 8th –

Jeffrey A. Borger Senior Instructor in Turfgrass Weed Management 814-865-3005 • jborger@psu.edu

Penn State Turf and Ornamentals Field Day 2018


olf course superintendents, sports turf managers, professional landscapers, grounds managers, and others interested in management of turf and ornamental landscape plantings will have the opportunity to see the latest trends and research from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences during Turf & Ornamentals Field Day. This event will take place on August 8, 2018 at the Joseph Valentine Turfgrass Research Center and The Arboretum at Penn State on the University Park campus. Multiple core and category pesticide credits are anticipated. Held every other year, Turf & Ornamentals Field Day highlights education and research trials on insect and disease management, turf weed control, species and cultivars, soil improvement, plant nutrition, as well as synthetic sports turf. Speakers include Penn State faculty, staff, graduate students, and extension educators. Details on pesticide credits, program agenda, and registration will be forthcoming. 7

Calendar of Events

August 8

Penn State Field Days Penn State University State College, PA

November 13–15 Penn State Golf Turf Conference Nittany Lion Inn State College, PA

January 16

2019 Eastern Pennsylvania Golf, Lawn, Landscape and Sports Turf Conference and Trade Show Shady Maple Conference Center East Earl, PA

Michael A. Fidanza, Ph.D. Professor of Plant & Soil Science 610-396-6330 • maf100@psu.edu

David R. Huff, Ph.D. Professor of Turfgrass Genetics 814-863-9805 • drh15@psu.edu

Brad Jakubowski Instructor of Plant Science 814-865-7118 • brj8@psu.edu

John E. Kaminski, Ph.D. Professor of Turfgrass Science 814-865-3007 • jek156@psu.edu

Peter J. Landschoot, Ph.D. Professor of Turfgrass Science 814-863-1017 • pjl1@psu.edu

Ben McGraw, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Turfgrass Entomology 814-865-1138 • bam53@psu.edu

January 31

2019 Northeastern Pennsylvania Turf Conference And Trade Show (NETS) The Woodlands Inn & Resort, Wilkes Barre, PA

Andrew S. McNitt, Ph.D. Professor of Soil Science 814-863-1368 • asm4@psu.edu

Max Schlossberg, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Turfgrass Nutrition / Soil Fertility
 814-863-1015 • mjs38@psu.edu

Al J. Turgeon, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Turfgrass Management aturgeon@psu.edu

Wakar Uddin, Ph.D. Professor of Plant Pathology 814-863-4498 • wxu2@psu.edu 8 Pennsylvania Turfgrass • Summer 2018

PTC Membership Invitation

PTC Invites You to

— Become


a Member! —

joining the Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council (PTC), your club or company, or you as an individual, become part of an organization dedicated to promoting professionalism in all aspects of the turfgrass industry and support of the Center for Turfgrass Science at Penn State University. • PTC provides educational opportunities for practitioners in all turfgrass-related industries. • PTC provides grants and other support for education and research programs at Penn State University. • PTC encourages future industry leadership by granting scholarships and awards. • PTC acts as a liaison to the green industry by promoting open dialogue with government agencies, private institutions and the general public.

MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES Individual — $50 annual dues

For the green-industry professional who wants to be part of the Council and support its activities.

Sustaining — $200 annual dues

For the business or turf professional who takes an active role in promoting the profession of turfgrass management, professional development and educational opportunities in the turfgrass industry.

Partner for Growth — $400 annual dues

For the business or club that desires a stronger affiliation with the Council and the Penn State Turfgrass Science Program.

Join online today, or renew your current membership at — www.paturf.org/membership The membership year is January 1 through December 31.

Summer 2018 • Pennsylvania Turfgrass


Cover Story

Creating Safer Fields for Athletes:

Monitoring and Documenting Playing Field Conditions By Tom Serensits, Manager, Center for Sports Surface Research, Penn State University


ith another fall sports season on the horizon, many of you are likely checking field use schedules, readying your field painters, and making sure you have enough seed to get you through the season. A field manager’s “to-do” list certainly grows as the calendar changes to fall. One key aspect of preparing for the upcoming season can sometimes be overlooked – a proper and thorough field inspection. Field inspections help reduce injury risk and liability by identifying issues and allowing time to correct potential hazards before the players hit the field. In fact, the NFL now mandates that all fields be inspected prior to all games based on league-mandated criteria. Each field manager is then required to submit an official report following the inspection within 72 hours prior to kickoff. Following a similar program of routine field inspections demonstrates a proactive approach and commitment to athlete safety.

Synthetic Turf Fields If you have a synthetic turf field, there are several potential hazards that require regular inspection. The first is carpet seams. Properly functioning (non-separating) seams do not pose an elevated risk. However, if the seams begin to fail and separate, they create potential tripping hazards. When a synthetic turf field is installed, large sections of carpet are rolled across the width of the field. These carpet pieces are five yards wide and 10 Pennsylvania Turfgrass • Summer 2018

extend completely across the width of the field. As a result, seams are typically located on every 5-yard line. However, that is not always the case – sometimes the seams are located at the 2.5 yard lines or other locations. Once you locate the seams on your field, walk along each seam and check for separation, paying particular attention to highuse areas (Photo 1). In addition to the seams going across the field, there are seams at each inlay. While inlays reduce or eliminate the Seams and inlays require routine inspection.


need to paint field markings, careful inspection is needed to ensure they are flush with surrounding turf. All inlay seams should be inspected on a regular basis for separation. Common inspection guidelines state that any seam that has separated more than 3 mm should be remediated according to the field manufacturer’s recommendations (Photo 2). Particular attention should be paid to complex logos that contain many small inlays as these contain many seams

and are often located at the highly-used center of the field. Any separation, peeling, or unevenness should be addressed immediately. Wrinkles in synthetic turf can sometimes develop over time. Wrinkles can also create a tripping hazard. Again, follow the field manufacturer’s recommendations for repair. Check for depressions on high-use areas of the field resulting from low levels of infill. If the field is used for lacrosse, pay extra attention to the goal mouth areas. Lacrosse goal mouths are notorious for crumb rubber infill displacement and resulting depressions. If holes and depressions are found, additional crumb rubber infill should be installed in these areas. A few buckets of crumb rubber likely can do the job. Spread a thin layer of rubber onto the area, brush it into the fibers with a broom and repeat until the infill is level with surrounding turf. For bigger areas, larger pieces of equipment, such as a topdresser, can be used to spread crumb rubber across the field. No matter the size of the area, it is important to use the same size and type of rubber originally installed by the turf manufacturer. Infill depth testing is also an important component of a field inspection. An easy way to measure infill depth is with a fire-proofing depth gauge. These gauges are available online and typically cost less than $20. Be sure to obtain your target infill depth from your field manufacturer. Maintaining proper infill depth is important for the longevity of synthetic turf fibers and is key to keeping field hardness in check. Field hardness can be measured with a Clegg Impact Soil Tester. All areas of the field should be under 100 when measured with this device. A guide detailing testing and managing surface hardness can be found at http://plant science.psu.edu/research/centers/ssrc /resources. The field should be free of any and all foreign objects and debris such as garbage, leaves, etc. Blowers and sweepers specifically designed for synthetic turf can help clean the field before and after games (Photo 4).


Separating or uneven seams and inlays should be fixed using manufacturers recommendations.


Monitoring surface hardness with the Clegg Impact Soil Tester.


Debris on the field should be removed prior to field use.

Summer 2018 • Pennsylvania Turfgrass 11

Cover Story • continued


Goal posts should be checked to ensure they are properly anchored. Goal post pads should be installed for all games and practices.

Natural Turf Fields

A magnet removes potentially dangerous metal objects from the field.

If the field has been used for any non-football events, such as a graduation, walk the field and look for nuts, bolts, screws, nails or any materials that may have been used in construction of the stage or a similar structure. The amount of metal debris that is sometimes found on fields can be both surprising and dangerous. At professional stadiums, field managers typically go over the field with a large magnet after events such as concerts to remove metal

12 Pennsylvania Turfgrass • Summer 2018

debris. Magnets capable of being pulled by utility carts are available for purchase and are a useful tool if your field regularly hosts non-football events (Photo 5). Be sure to inspect sideline areas for obstacles such as trash cans and benches. These types of items should be far enough away from the playing surface that a player has a chance to stop before coming into contact with them. A minimum buffer zone of 25 feet is commonly recommended.

While there are no seams to worry about like on synthetic turf fields (unless the field was recently sodded), there are a number of potential hazards that require attention on natural turf fields. Holes and depressions can increase injury risk and should be filled in as soon as possible using sand and/or soil. When time allows, the area should be preferably sodded if it is large or, at a minimum, the area should be seeded as soon as possible. Perennial ryegrass is often the species of choice as it germinates and matures quickly. Be on the lookout for any debris and/or foreign objects such as metal helmet accessories and nails used to string out the field during the painting process. If the field has an in-ground irrigation system, check that all sprinkler heads have fully retracted below the surface as designed and that any quick-coupler keys and similar items have been removed and valve caps have been properly placed in the closed position. It is a good practice to cover plastic valves box covers and similar covers with synthetic turf or another ‘non-slip’ covering as there is a potential for players to slip on these items, especially when wearing cleats. Also check to be sure there are no depressions in the area around each irrigation head and valve box. High-use areas like goal mouths and the middle of the field require extra attention as these areas are at high risk for turf loss and elevated surface hardness. Monitor the amount of turf cover and overseed on a regular basis. As on synthetic fields, surface hardness can be tested using a Clegg Impact Soil Tester. All areas of the field should be under 100 Gmax when measured with this device. As hardness levels increase, be sure there is adequate soil moisture since a dry field is typically a hard field. Synthetic fields, surface hardness can be tested using a Clegg Impact Soil Tester

(Photo 6). All areas of the field should be under 100 Gmax when measured with this device. As hardness levels increase, be sure there is adequate soil moisture since a dry field is typically a hard field. Just as with synthetic turf fields, goal posts and sideline areas should be inspected, and potential obstacles should be moved away from the immediate sideline area to create a buffer zone. After non-football events, the field should be checked for metal debris as previously described in the synthetic turf section. Also be sure to inspect fences and any transition areas such as a transition from turf to a running track surrounding the field. The transition between surfaces should be smooth with minimal change in elevation.

Document Your Inspections A field inspection checklist is a great way to be sure to not overlook any


STMA field inspection checklist — the full checklist is available at stma.org.

elements of your field inspection. It also provides a record that the field was inspected should an injury occur and the safety of the field be questioned. It is also a good idea to take pictures as a way to document field conditions throughout the year. You can make your own field inspection checklist or use one that has already been created. The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) has a thorough field checklist that is available

under the ‘Knowledge Center’ on their website – stma.org. The website also contains “how to” videos for inspecting synthetic, natural, and baseball/softball fields. Routine field inspections demonstrate a proactive approach to athlete safety. Hazards both on the field of play and the surrounding area can be identified and remediated before they pose an injury risk, creating a safer environment for all field users. 7

Summer 2018 • Pennsylvania Turfgrass 13

Golf Course Notes

The Road to

Becoming a Golf Course Superintendent By John E. Kaminski, Ph.D., Professor of Turfgrass Science, Penn State University


feel like I’ve written a dozen or so of these updates in the past ten years, but something feels different about it this time. We have certainly seen some big changes in the golf course industry in the last ten years and even more so in the last five. Regardless of where you think the industry is heading, it won’t be long until we see if our opinions were right, or if we missed the mark altogether. Let’s start with the early stages of those seeking a career as a golf course superintendent. There are fewer and fewer young people working on golf courses. That translates to fewer and fewer students entering turfgrass educational programs. That leads to fewer students graduating each year. The lack of students is creating an imbalance in the typical supply and demand of labor resources and having a large impact on golf courses trying to fill positions. A quick look at a popular industry job board showed postings of 214 positions that would be filled by recent graduates (Assistant, 2nd Assistant, and Assistant in Training). This doesn’t include an additional 43 positions in technical roles like irrigation or spray technician. What impact does this have on the industry? It is increasing the competition to get reliable staff and will ultimately lead to higher wages and more benefits. In addition to the lack of qualified people to fill the entry level management positions, the mentality of the people entering the workforce is changing. I often hear from my students that an important factor in their decision of where to go following graduation is the ability to maintain a work/life balance. The days of 80+ hours per week with no days off is being reduced in an effort to attract and retain good employees. Based on the first portion of this article, the industry may look bleak to many of you. However, I see the potential to change the industry for the

14 Pennsylvania Turfgrass • Summer 2018

better. The difficulty in finding qualified employees is leading to higher wages. It’s not uncommon for graduates from the Golf Course Turfgrass Management Program (the 2-Year Program) to find jobs making close to $50K/year with housing included. I’m also seeing trends where golf courses are hiring two equal assistant superintendent positions to ensure that one person is not required to work those 80+ hours per week. The split in responsibility allows employees to plan for days off or time to recharge their batteries. What about the state of the industry for those current assistant superintendents that are trying to crack into the role of the lead superintendent? This spot continues to be a challenge. There remains little movement at the top and therefore limited positions for assistants to move into. This group of individuals has to work harder and harder to improve their chances of obtaining these limited positions when they come open. It is more critical than ever to continue learning and growing as an individual. While agronomy may come easy to assistant superintendents after six to eight years in that role, the importance of improving on leadership, communication and business skills can’t go understated. A good resume might get you in the door, but it is the soft skills that will ultimately result in employment. With a little patience, those individuals stuck in assistant superintendent positions may be in for some positive news in the next few years. The demographics of golf course superintendents is changing. Those longstanding superintendents are approaching retirement, and this will likely result in a plethora of open positions within the next several years. This will open the doors for those assistants who have patiently remained in the industry and continued to learn and grow as managers.

A challenge with this, however, will be the vacuum created by the lack of people ready to step into assistant positions. And so the cycle continues. So what does the future look like for the industry? That’s anyone’s guess, but here are my thoughts on the subject. In the next 10 years, I predict we will see a shift in titles and salaries and the number of young people who will once again be interested in the golf course maintenance industry as a career. The days of 2nd assistant superintendents or assistant in training titles are on borrowed time. First, it’s harder and harder to fill these positions with qualified people. While just about every student graduating seeks title over just about everything else, there are fewer and fewer of them to fill these positions that are usually associated with a formal education. I see most courses going to a model where they have a Superintendent and an assistant. Without the ability to find people to fill their lower assistant positions, title like “foreman” or “technician” will become more common. These positions will be filled by long standing members of the crew that can handle all of the responsibilities associated with the title. While the pay will be better, these individuals will have peaked with little room for advancement beyond these positions. This will lead to the interest and desire to complete some formal education to overcome that ceiling. Through all of this, salaries will continue to increase. This is a good thing. I find it hard to believe that my students interning in 2018 are making a similar hourly wage to what I made during my internship in 1997. While it will be difficult for many clubs to adjust to these higher wages it ultimately will be a necessity to build a staff. Increased salaries and more realistic working conditions, as well as a continued increase in available positions, will result in a new supply of young people interested in making the golf course maintenance industry their career. I think the next ten years are going to be exciting for all aspects of the industry and all I see is growth. This is good for all aspects of the industry from the young person just starting out to the assistant looking to advance into a lead role, and to the superintendents looking to build a dedicated team of professionals around them. 7

Summer 2018 • Pennsylvania Turfgrass 15

Research Summaries

Center for Sports Surface Research

The Penn State Tradition Continues for Division C-5



Penn State Sports Surface Research Center continues to investigate issues relevant to improving sports surfaces. Our newest turf faculty member, Mr. Brad Jakubowski is working with us to evaluate varying methods used to measure field surface hardness including the Clegg impact hammer (ASTM F1702), and the ASTM F355. We will also be taking a closer look at the hemispherical missile used by International Rugby and playground surface evaluators ASTM F1292. Previous work comparing these devices can be found at http://bit.ly/2fcFBZX For the past year we have been evaluating Kentucky bluegrass sod established and grown on plastic and on newer synthetic/natural (hybrid) systems. Keep an eye on our website for results on these and other ongoing studies: www.ssrc.psu.edu We continue to update our synthetic fiber wear data base http://plantscience .psu.edu/research/centers/ssrc/fiber test and our shoe traction database http://plantscience.psu.edu/research/ centers/ssrc/traction-database. Both of these may be beneficial to field managers, school administrators, trainers, athletes, and parents of athletes. The scientific literature indicates that one of the ways to reduce lower extremity injuries in athletes may be to select athletic footwear with moderate rather than high rotational traction. While the database may not list every cleat pattern on the market, we try to stay current with the most popular products on the market and if you can’t find a particular model, photos are available that should help consumers make reasonable comparisons. Research Summary submitted by Andrew S. McNitt, Ph.D., Professor of Soil Science, Penn State University. 7

16 Pennsylvania Turfgrass • Summer 2018

Crop Science Society of America (https:// www.crops.org) is an international scientific society with the mission of “plant science for a better world”. Academic, industry, and government scientists represent membership in the Society, which consists of nine subject matter sub-sections or ‘Divisions’ as follows: 1) crop breeding, 2) crop biology, 3) crop sustainability, 4) seed technology, 5) turfgrass science, 5) grazing and forage, 7) crop genetics, 8) plant preservation, and 9) crop nutritional quality. Dr. Mike Fidanza was elected to serve as the 2018 Chair of Division C-5, and is the 73rd Chair since 1946. Dr. Fred Grau was elected as the very first Chair in 1946. Dr. Burt Musser was the only Chair to serve two terms. In the 1980s, Drs. Turgeon, Waddington, and Watschke served as Chair.

The next annual meeting for the “trisocieties” (Agronomy Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America) is November 4–7, 2018, in Baltimore, Maryland. The C-5 Chair has the task of coordinating the turfgrass science presentations and events. Penn State faculty that served as Chair of Division C-5 (Turfgrass Science) of the Crop Science Society of America. 1946............................................... F.V. Grau 1948........................................H.B. Sprague 1949..........................................H.B. Musser 1959..........................................H.B. Musser 1981......................................... A.J. Turgeon 1986................................. D.V. Waddington 1990.......................................T.L. Watschke 2018........................................ M.A. Fidanza Research Summary submitted by Mike Fidanza, Ph.D., Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences, Penn State Berks Campus 7

Hoop-houses installed at “Valentine East” (Penn State Berks Campus) for turf microbiome research

Induction of salicylic acid-mediated defense response in perennial ryegrass against infection by Magnaporthe oryzae


of plant defense activators is an innovative approach to turfgrass disease management. Our investigation on the effects of salicylic acid (SA), benzothiadiazole (BTH, chemical analogue of SA), jasmonic acid (JA) and ethephon (ET) on development of gray leaf spot (GLS) in perennial ryegrass caused by Magnaporthe oryzae provided new insights to defense response mechanism in gray leaf spot-turfgrass pathosystem. In our study, disease incidence and severity were significantly

reduced by treatment of plants with SA, BTH and ET, prior to inoculation, but not by JA. Accumulation of endogenous SA and elevated expression of PR-1, PR-3.1, and PR-5 genes were associated with inoculation of plants by M. oryzae. Treatment of plants with SA enhanced expression levels of PR-3.1, and PR-5, but did not affect PR-1 level, whereas BTH enhanced relative expression levels of all three PR-genes. Microscopic observations of leaves inoculated with M. oryzae revealed higher frequencies of callose deposition at the penetration

sites in SA and BTH-treated plants compared to the control plants. The results of this study show that early and higher induction of these genes by systemic resistance inducers may provide perennial ryegrass with a substantial advantage in defending themselves against infection by the gray leaf spot pathogen. Research Summary submitted by Dr. Wakar Uddin, Professor, and Dr. Alamgir Rahman, former Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Plant Pathology and Environ. Microbiology, Penn State University 7

Summer 2018 • Pennsylvania Turfgrass 17

Penn State News

Congratulations to Dylan J. Eastin, Alex J. Estes, Kevin D. Logan, Michael W. Melka, and Robert L. Sefton III (Cert. 2018), recipients of the 2018 Penncross Bentgrass Growers Association Scholarship. Congratulations to Andrew J. Josefoski (Cert. 2018), recipient of the 2018 Duff Shaw Memorial Scholarship. Congratulations to Dylan J. Eastin (Cert. 2018), recipient of the 2018 Myles Adderly Technical Report Writing Award. Congratulations to Robert L. Sefton III (Cert. 2018), recipient of the 2018 Alumni Award. Congratulations to Alex J. Estes (Cert. 2018), recipient of the 2018 Zimmerman Memorial Award. Congratulations to Michael E. Spencer (Cert. 2018), recipient of the 2018 Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council Scholarship. Congratulations to Kevin D. Logan (Cert. 2018), recipient of the 2018 Joseph M. Duich Scholarship.

18 Pennsylvania Turfgrass

Congratulations to Fall 2017 Turf Graduates! Associate Degree in Turfgrass Science and Management Jason Adamson Daniel Barwatt Hunter Dorsey Gregory Fullam

Charles Griffin Ryder Haulk Juan Hinojosa Bradley Holt Andrew Hunter

Charles Pense Brandan Plyler Jordan Schuler Kurtis Stoffregen

Bachelor’s Degree in Turfgrass Science Dave Berry Nicholas Hartley

Ryan Massey Scott Metz Christopher Parde

Brian Ropiecki Tyler Wesseldyk

Masters of Professional Studies in Turfgrass Management Nicholas Carothers

David Marcucilli

Congratulations to Spring 2018 Turf Graduates! Golf Course Turfgrass Management Program (Pictured Below) Michael S. Bryan, Jr. Dylan James Eastin Alex Joseph Estes

Travis B. Garner Nicholas J. Gess Andrew Joseph Josefoski Kevin Daniel Logan

Michael William Melka Robert Laird Sefton III Michael Eugene Spencer

Associate Degree in Turfgrass Science and Management Zack Gagnon Kyle Larabee Michael Lawson

Michael Lazio Charles Luna Aaron Morris Garrett Newman

Jacob Parker Margaret Rothe King Wayman

Bachelor’s Degree in Turfgrass Science John Betts Maleah Blair Seth Burchill Seamus Foley

Ryan Fritsch Ethan Hull Nathaniel Leiby Ryan Montgomery

Shawn Moore David Robinson Aleksander Schuler

Masters of Professional Studies in Turfgrass Management Miles Blundell

Between the Lines

Between the Lines KAFMO’s 2018 Field of Distinction


oward J. Lamade Stadium, home of the Little League Baseball® World Series, is the recipient of KAFMO’s Field of Distinction award for 2018. Little League® International Groundskeeper Rob Guthrie accepted the award at the 22nd annual KAFMO/PRPS Athletic Field Conference in Grantville, PA in February and recalls that he felt “humbled to be recognized by his peers.” Here he gives us a winner’s perspective on what it takes to become a Field of Distinction.

Commitment to Safety

The KAFMO Field of Distinction award recognizes sports field facilities in Pennsylvania that are dedicated to providing safe playing conditions to their users. The award is presented annually to a facility that strives to provide excellent, safe playing conditions throughout the year, regardless of the level of play. Field safety and excellent playing conditions are held in the highest regard because, in the words of award recipient Rob Guthrie, “to consistently provide safe playing conditions is a constant goal of a great sports turf manager.” Guthrie’s home turf, Howard J. Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, PA, has provided an excellent and safe venue for the Little League Baseball® World Series for almost 60 years. Howard J. Lamade Memorial Field

was first built in 1959 and was renamed Howard J. Lamade Stadium when the original wooden stands were replaced with a concrete stadium in 1968. It is said to be the largest non–Major League Baseball stadium in the country, with a field two-thirds the size of a professional field featuring a playing surface of Kentucky bluegrass. In addition to the Little League Baseball® World Series, which attracts tens of thousands of attendees, it hosts local Little League games, Little League Baseball Camps, and an annual Father’s Day catch event throughout the season. When asked what the key to his success was, Guthrie emphasized the importance of safety: “I believe that it takes commitment to consistently provide safe and excellent field playing conditions to athletes. As turf managers, it is up to us to provide the safest playing conditions possible.”

Dedication and Hard Work

Guthrie maintains this high standard with the help of two student interns. But a staff of 20 volunteers from all over the U.S. come in to assist him during the hectic Little League Baseball® World Series. Under Guthrie’s direction, they carry out a meticulous maintenance program to ensure the best possible playing conditions. Guthrie paid tribute to them in his acceptance address,

Keystone Athletic Field Managers Organization 1451 Peter’s Mountain Road Dauphin, PA 17018-9504 www.KAFMO.org Email: KAFMO@aol.com 20 Pennsylvania Turfgrass • Summer 2018

saying: “Some of our World Series volunteers have been with us for more than 20 years…that goes to show you how important this job is, to be able to provide these kids with an opportunity to play on such a majestic field each year.” Guthrie finds working in the turfgrass industry to be gratifying in and of itself but notes that it is very nice to receive recognition for all of the hard work he, his student interns, and grounds crew volunteers do throughout the year. “It takes a tremendous amount of work during the course of the baseball season to keep Howard J. Lamade Stadium in great shape and I try to keep it in that condition year round,” he says.

Advice for Applicants

Anyone involved in sports turf management with a commitment to safety should definitely think about submitting their facility for consideration for the Field of Distinction award, Guthrie urges. “It is a great chance to have your facility recognized for its excellent playing conditions, as well as recognizing the turf manager as a standout professional in the industry,” he says. In his experience, the application process was not difficult. Applicants are asked to submit information on the type of facility, how it is used, factors that impact playing conditions, the

Contact: Linda Kulp, Executive Secretary Phone: 717-497-4154 kulp1451@gmail.com

Contact: Dan Douglas, President Phone: 610-375-8469 x 212 KAFMO@aol.com

Little League Baseball® World Series at Howard J. Lamade Stadium

Howard J. Lamade Stadium

maintenance program, budget, and staff. Color photos document the playability and appearance of the playing surface. A detailed explanation of the application process is available on the KAFMO website. Guthrie says he actually found going through the process interesting, “as I was able to go into detail about my yearly maintenance program for the field, including specific questions about the field, such as the type of root zone mix, drainage, type of grass, methods of irrigation, and yearly budget.” The KAFMO Board of Directors judges the applications. Guthrie has some concrete suggestions for turf management professionals thinking about applying. “Document your field through the year. Take pictures of projects, maintenance techniques, or anything you may think is unique,” he recommends. “Then, if you do decide to apply, you can look back at some of the things you did through the year, which will help you set your field apart from others.” Are you interested in more information on the Field of Distinction Award? KAFMO President Dan Douglas can be reached at 610-375-8469 ext. 212, or at KAFMO@aol.com. Information is also available on the website at www.KAFMO.org. 7

Rob Guthrie accepting KAFMO’s Field of Distinction award for 2018.

KAFMO would like to thank the following sponsors of the 22nd Annual KAFMO Athletic Field Conference held on February 16, 2018: Aqua-Aid


SynaTek Solutions

Fisher & Son

K & W Engineers


Genesis Green Supply

King Sports Turf

Tomlinson Bomberger

Helena Chemical Company

Lawn & Golf Supply

Turf Equipment & Supply Company

Hummer Turfgrass Systems Humphrys Coversports Hunter Industries Intelligro Jamco Products

Le Grows Lebanon Fertilizer Martin Stone Quarries New Enterprise Stone & Lime Rain Bird Corp Seedway

TURFACE Athletics Walker Supply Windview Athletic Fields World Class Athletic Surfaces

Summer 2018 • Pennsylvania Turfgrass 21

Advertiser Index Aer-Core, Inc............................................ 13

Fisher & Son Company Inc....................... 3

Amvac Environmental Products........................Inside Back Cover

FM Brown’s & Sons................................... 8


www.fisherandson.com www.fmbrown.com

Beam Clay............................................... 21

Forse Design Incorporated..................... 15 George E. Ley Co.................................... 22

Brouwer Kesmac..................................... 19

Leading Edge Communications............... 5

Coombs Sod Farms.................................. 6

Medina Sod Farms, Inc........................... 22

Covermaster, Inc....................................... 5

Mitchell Products...................................... 9

CoverSports USA..................... Back Cover

Pennsylvania State University.............Inside Front Cover


www.BEAMCLAY.com • www.PARTAC.com www.kesmac.com

www.coombsfarms.com www.covermaster.com www.coversports.com

East Coast Sod & Seed.......................... 22


www.LeadingEdgeCommunications.com www.medinasodfarms.com www.mitchellsand.com


Progressive Turf Equipment, Inc............ 15 www.progressiveturfequip.com Quest Products Corp................................ 7 www.questproducts.us

Seedway, LLC.......................................... 12 www.seedway.com

Shreiner Tree Care................................... 22 www.shreinertreecare.com

Smith Seed Services................................. 6 www.smithseed.com

Tomlinson Bomberger Lawn Care, Landscape & Pest Control...................... 22 www.mytombom.com

Walker Supply, Inc................................... 17 www.walkersupplyinc.com


Digital Marketplace Scan the QR code: Download your favorite QR reader to your phone and scan the code to learn more about these companies.

The Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council (PTC) serves its members in the industry through education, promotion and representation. The statements and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the association, its staff, or its board of directors, Pennsylvania Turfgrass, or its editors. Likewise, the appearance of advertisers, or PTC members, does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services featured in this, past or subsequent issues of this publication. Copyright © 2018 by the Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council. Pennsylvania Turfgrass, is published quarterly. Subscriptions are complimentary to PTC members. Presorted standard postage is paid at Nashville, TN. Printed in the U.S.A. Reprints and Submissions: Pennsylvania Turfgrass, allows reprinting of material published here. Permission requests should be directed to the PTC. We are not responsible for unsolicited freelance manuscripts and photographs. Contact the managing editor for contribution information. Advertising: For display and classified advertising rates and insertions, please contact Leading Edge Communications, LLC, 206 Bridge Street, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 790-3718, Fax (615) 794-4524.

22 Pennsylvania Turfgrass • Summer 2018

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Pennsylvania Turfgrass - Summer 2018  

Summer 2018 issue of Pennsylvania Turfgrass - The Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council Magazine.

Pennsylvania Turfgrass - Summer 2018  

Summer 2018 issue of Pennsylvania Turfgrass - The Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council Magazine.