Hole Notes The Official Publication of the MGCSA
MGCSA Attends Minnesota Golf Day On The Hill
Vol. 55, No. 2 March 2020
New In This Issue: Bragger’s Rights page
Picture Spreads in this issue: 2020 Day On The Hill pages 34 - 35
Mark Your Calendar: March 26
AM Turf Talk Roundtable at Pebble Creek Host Superintendent Jason Scharfencamp PM Turf Roundtable at Cragun’s Host Superintendent Matt McKinnon
AM Turf Talk Roundtable at Wild Ridge/Mill Run in Eau Claire, WI Host Superintendent Adam Murphy
Spring Field Trip and Workshop Sprayers and Spray Technologies Frost Services in St. Croix Falls, WI On the Cover Ready to storm the Capitol! MGCSA members Josh Lemons, Jake Schmitz, Kari Haug, Donnacha O’Connor and Brady Scott Page 2
Hole Notes (ISSN 108-27994) is digitally published monthly except bimonthly in November/ December and January/February by the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association, 10050 204th Street North, Forest Lake, MN 55025. Jack MacKenzie CGCS publisher. Please send any address changes, articles for publication, advertising and concerns to email@example.com.
Hole Notes Magazine Vol. 55, No. 2 March 2020 Feature Articles:
Molecular Breeding In Turfgrass
10 - 14
16 - 17
18 - 21
22 - 24
36 - 38
Announcing: 2020 Legacy Scholarships By MGCSA and Par Aide
By Yinjie Qiu, PHD Candidate, UMN Horticultural Science
Meet the MGCSA: Tom Proshek
By Joe Berggren, The Wilds Golf Club
Legacy Courses Recognized for Excellence By Frank LaVardera, Audubon Scheduling Your Staff
By Various MGCSA Members
Two-year Turfgrass Certificate Program at UW
By Doug Soldat, Department of Soil Science, UW-Madison
Monthly Columns: Presidential Perspective pages By Scott Thayer
In the Hole
pages 26 - 29
pages 40 - 43
By Jack MacKenzie
Matt Cavanaugh MATTC@UMN.EDU Liza Chmielewski LIZA@GERTENS.COM
Presidential Perspective by Scott Thayer, Legends Club
Hello Spring! The last couple of weeks have been a bit warmer with more sunshine and a lot of melting snow all over Minnesota and especially golf courses. It is always exciting to finally see some grass after a big melt takes place, and if you are like me, the past winter was much kinder on turf than last year. At this time in 2019 it was very cold, and we had lots of snow on the course. We were snow blowing fairways and greens to try to get some of the ice to melt. This year offers a different story.
is a lot to still melt before golf is going to be played, but we are getting pumped up! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been nice to walk out on the course to see how it all looks, what we need to get done, and when we are going to start. I hope all of the courses come out of winter in good condition and we have an early start to the season. We need it and so does Golf in Minnesota! Good luck to all of you opening your courses over the next weeks or months and good luck to a great Minnesota golf season. I participated in my 4th Day on the Hill event in St. Paul on March 3rd. It was a great day and I feel we all made an impact on all the legislators we talked to. I want to say thank you to all who participated in this exceptional opportunity and to those who didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, please try to attend next year.
The blanket of snow and limited ice on the fine turf makes it appear that we have great conditions at my course and hopefully yours as well. The warm spring temps gets my crew and me excited and happy. The early 60-degree day also gets We had 61 participants with everyone geared thinking that open- ing is just around the corner. There 102 visits or drop-offs out of 201
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possible. Although this is good participation, we need to have more bodies, so we share the wonderful story of golf and environmental stewardship to all of our legislators. I also want to say thank you to Jack MacKenzie for all he does to make this day go as smooth as it does, and for keeping us all informed on what to say and how to say it so it makes sense to our Legislators. Without all his work to get the information to us we couldn’t make such an impact at the Capital. So hey Jack, “THANK YOU! “ We had so much to talk about that it seemed there wasn’t enough time allotted for us to do it, but we got it done. Each of the Legislators that our team met with either changed their mind about the bill discussed, were misinformed about the bill, or they didn’t know about the bill. The city pesticide preemption bills, HF 212 and SF 1255, was one that we thought would get the most push back. However, most of our Legislators thought it wasn’t necessary to have another layer of
regulation. The state already has that covered. There were of course some Legislators who just wouldn’t change their minds, but that is the way it is. Support in the House, but not in the Senate was the consensus on this bill. Again, thank you to all who attended, we are not out of the water yet so continue to reach out to your Legislators to let them know how we stand and keep they informed. There are some fun events being planned this summer that don’t involve golf or education. These events are supposed to bring us together with our families, ‘out of the golf course work environment’. I hope you can make it out to enjoy at least one of these events. It is something that your Board of Directors feels bring a different value to you as a member of the Association. Working, and playing together brings strength to our association. Please look for these upcoming events and enjoy them!
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2020 Legacy Scholarships Deadline for Application: June 1st, 2020
The Program: The Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association offers a scholarship program designed to assist children and grandchildren of Class AA, A, B, C, D, EM, Associate and Affiliate members. The MGCSA provides scholarships to students attending college or vocational programs at any accredited post-secondary institution. The program is independently managed by a group of select unbiased academic advisors. Awards will be granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, disability, national origin or financial need.
The Joseph S. Garske Legacy award, named after the founder of Par Aide Products Company, Joe Garske, is committed to further the education of children and grand- children of MGCSA members through financial contributions. This is the 24th consecutive year for these awards. Par Aide is located in Lino Lakes, Minnesota and owned by Steve Garske, son of Joseph.
The late Mr. Garske, who died at the age of 76 in 1982, started Par Aide in 1954 with plans to make a “good” ball washer. A foundry man and avid golfer, he knew little about the golf business, tried to sell his ideas
for design and tooling to two accessory companies, was turned down by both and so began Par Aide Products Company. Steve Garske started The Legacy Scholarship in his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s honor in 1996. Selection of Recipients: Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of academic record, potential to succeed, leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, a statement of education and career goals and an outside appraisal. Selection of recipients is made by a select group of academic professionals. In no instance does any member of the MGCSA play a part in the selection. Applicants will be notified by the end of July whether they have been awarded or denied a scholarship. Eligibility: Applicants for the MGCSA Legacy Scholarships must be: children/grandchildren of Class AA, A, B, C, D, EM, Associate or Affiliate members who have been members of the MGCSA at least five years; High school seniors or graduates who plan to enroll or students who are already enrolled in a full-time undergraduate course of study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school, and under 23 years of age. Awards: Three awards will be given to children and grandchildren of Class AA, A, B and C members. One award of $1,500 in the name of Joseph S. Garske will be given to the highest evaluated applicant. That award will be renewable for one-year contingent upon full-time enrollment and satisfactory academic performance. One other $1,000 award will be given
to other qualified applicants from this group. One, $1,000 award will be available to children and grandchildren of Class D, EM, Associate and Affiliate members. These awards are not renewable. However, students may reapply to the program each year they meet eligibility requirements. Awards are for undergraduate study only. Obligations: Recipients have no obligation to the MGCSA or its members. They are, however, required to supply the MGCSA with current transcripts and to notify the MGCSA of any changes of address, school enrollment or other relevant information. Except as described in this brochure, no obligation is assumed by the MGCSA.
Molecular Breeding in Turfgrass Yinjie Qiu, Ph.D. Candidate Department of Horticultural Science University of Minnesota Traditional plant breeding is often done through hybridizing two plants of interest and then obtaining the hybrids from the cross. One classic example would be when elite cultivars donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have resistance to a certain disease while some wild accessions have resistance, breeders would try to hybridize the wild accession with the elite cultivars to obtain hybrids. This hybrid would carry the disease resistance gene but may also carry other undesirable traits. Breeders then continue to work on the hybrids by backcrossing them to the elite cultivars, eventually selecting plants that carry the disease resistance gene while lacking the undesired traits from the wild acPage 10
cession. Selecting plants that have disease resistance by evaluating thousands (or more) plants in the field or greenhouse can be very time consuming. If there was a way that breeders could â&#x20AC;&#x153;seeâ&#x20AC;? whether the plant has the disease resistance gene or not at the seedling stage, it would be far easier to screen a great number of plants before moving them to the field. To do this, a marker-assisted selection (MAS) breeding approach can be utilized. Researchers develop molecular markers, tagging the target genes of their interest, then perform the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to visualize the results (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Example of PCR screening for presence or absence of a gene. In this case, a white band indicates that the gene is present. In this figure, Parent 1 (P1) contains the gene of interest while Parent 2 (P2) does not. When the two plants were crossed, four of the plants that resulted from that cross were evaluated. As you can see here, two of those plants (F1-1 and F1-4) carried the gene of interest. Using this approach, breeders could screen seedling plants and visualize gene of interests and only keep plants possessing the gene of interest. One of the challenges turfgrass breeders face is that turfgrass germplasm has been heavily selected. For this reason, the genetic diversity of the turfgrasses are facing a genetic bottleneck. A genetic bottleneck is when there is a sharp reduction in the size of a population either caused by nature or human activities. This means that during the selection process we are losing more and more genetic diversity; lack of genetic diversity makes it becomes more difficult to find useful genes that help turfgrasses tolerate diseases and other stresses. When such a bottleneck occurs, plant breeders can bring in new genes from wild accessions to elite cultivars. This approach has been widely used in other species such as soybean, wheat, etc. (Vogel and Moore 1998, Mikel, Diers et al. 2010). Another use of molecular tools is for identification of turfgrasses, which Page 11
in most species can easily be done visually, however, this is not the case with the fine fescues. Because these grasses all look very similar, we have developed molecular markers targeting unique genetic signatures of each taxon (we use the term taxon instead of species because some of the fine fescues are subspecies of the same species) and perform PCR assays (Qiu, Hirsch et al. 2019). Figure 2 shows an example of taxon identification based on the differences in genetic markers (DNA polymorphism). You may have heard of glyphosate tolerant corn or soybeans. These products are created using molecular breeding. The same approach has been attempted to develop glyphosate-tolerant turfgrass. The trait that confers the resistance was identified in a plant and then breeders needed to move the gene into other plant populations in order to create new varieties. One approach would be to move the gene into a new plant population through hybridization; however, this is limited to plants that are able to cross with one another. Another method is using a transgenic approach whereby gene gun or gene editing tools are used to insert/edit gene in the plants so the plant will carry the herbicide resistance trait without undergoing any further breeding efforts. Researchers could then use the molecular marker to select a transgenic plant that has the transgene (the gene will not insert properly in all transgenic plants). At this point, you might wonder since the molecular markers are so important in turfgrass breeding, what are the methods that we could use to generate them? The answer is: through DNA sequencing. You might have heard about AncestryDNA or 23andMe, both of which use DNA sequencing technology to analysis your DNA signature. Users provide their DNA, enzymes are used to fragment the DNA into small pieces and these pieces are then loaded into the sequencing instrument, which will then output DNA sequences. The company then uses your biological information and DNA sequences to look for groups of people who share DNA signature commonality with you. They will conclude your ancestry based on the information from this group of people. In plant science, we use the Page 12
Figure 2. Examples of the using molecular marker for turfgrass identification. These molecular markers were designed based on the unique sequence for each taxon (type of fine fescue; hard fescue is a different taxon than strong creeping red fescue, for example). The PCR assay suggested different taxon had bands with different sizes. For plants with taxon information that was missing, we could perform the PCR assay and match the band pattern in this figure for the taxon identity confirmation.
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same approach to characterize DNA signatures. For example, when we perform DNA sequencing on hard fescues and creeping bentgrass cultivars, we would expect there is a high DNA sequence similarity within each species while difference could be found between the two species. In summary, turfgrass breeding and germplasm improvement will continue to benefit from biotechnology. In the future, more and more commercial cultivars with improved stress tolerance traits could be developed much more quickly than they are at present. New cultivars will be of great benefit to golf course superintendents and other turfgrass managers. References: Mikel, M. A., B. W. Diers, R. L. Nelson and H. H. Smith. 2010. Genetic diversity and agronomic improvement of North American soybean germplasm. Crop Science 50(4): 1219-1229. Qiu Y., C.D. Hirsch, Y. Yang, and E. Watkins. 2019. Towards improved molecular identification tools in fine fescue (Festuca L., Poaceae) turfgrasses: Nuclear genome size, ploidy, and chloroplast genome sequencing. Front. Genet. 10:1223. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.01223. Vogel, K. P. and K. J. Moore. 1998. Forage yield and quality of tall wheatgrass accessions in the USDA germplasm collection. Crop Science 38(2): 509-512.
The membership of the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association extends a hearty, â&#x20AC;&#x153;thank youâ&#x20AC;? to our research scientists at the University of Minnesota. Together, we can make a big difference in creating desirable turf varieties for use upon golf courses. Page 14
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Meet the MGCSA
Tom Proshek Brackett’s Crossing Country Club Interview by Joe Berggren
Public or Private: Private Number of Holes: 18 Fulltime employees: 4 Seasonal employees (not including full time): 22 Number of employees of entire facility at peak season: Over 200 Types of grass: Just completed a re-grassing (sod) with 007 greens, low-mow Kentucky bluegrass tees and fairways. Total course acreage: 180 Greens acreage: 3.5 acres greens, collars and approaches. Tee acreage: 2 Fairway acreage: 23 Rough acreage: 50 Range tee acreage: 17,500ft2
Professional Facts with Tom How many years have you been in your current position? I have been at Brackett’s Crossing for 26 years now. How many years have you been in the turf industry? This is my 38th year in turf industry. I started when I was 16 years old at New Prague Golf Club. Eventually after turf school, returned New Prague as the assistant to Bob Adams. Then proceed to be Superintendent at Wildflower Golf Course during grow in early 90’s. Turf School Attended (if any)? I graduated from New Prague High School. I attended the University of St Thomas and then to Anoka Tech Horticultural School.
Industry thoughts with Tom What is one “master plan” thing you would like to change at your golf course? Well this past year a dream became reality here at our club with a re-grassing (sod) project with new 007 bent greens and low-mow Kentucky bluegrass varieties on our tees and fairways. Page 16
What concerns do you have the turf business and the future of golf? The continued rise in costs to maintain courses to members expectations along with government regulations may off-set the fun times this sport has to offer. What piece of equipment do you want? Not a need, a want. A boat, to further enjoy my summer desire to fish – ohh you mean golf course equipment …How about a Hovercraft Cart so I can go wherever I want, when I want J. In terms of industry costs (equipment, pesticides, labor, etc.) are they too low, too high or just right? I feel labor issues both finding early morning workers and being able to pay them what other local establishments/businesses are offering are making it more challenging year after year to offset due to what’s needed to be done at courses to prepare them for daily play.
FUN FACTS with Tom My Stress Relief Activities away from Golf?: I love to fish with the
guys. Ice, summer and fly fishing. Yoga during off season and most people don’t know that I can do a head stand J. Have you ever met a celebrity? Larry Vetter. He was a huge mentor to me when I first got into this business and haven’t forgotten that!! What is your favorite vacation spot? Cabo San Lucas What is your favorite memory of starting your turf career? Being able to work outside and not be at a desk year-round (however as years click on, seem to be at desk more than one would like – ugh). What is your favorite job on the golf course? Interacting with our staff both turf crew and the rest of the club staff. What is your least favorite job on the golf course? Aeration and plowing/shoveling snow. Have you played any famous golf courses? Which ones? All courses are famous and unique in their own way. I just enjoy golf at different venues. Who is your dream foursome? Dream fivesome (huge inside joke here at BCCC) so would be Bill Proshek (father), Scott Proshek (bro), Todd Proshek (bro), Ann Brickman (Sis) and myself. Page 17
Legacy Courses at Cragun’s Recognized for Environmental Excellence Frank LaVardera, Director of Audubon Environmental Programs for Golf
Brainerd, MN – Audubon International is recognizing Legacy Courses at Cragun’s for 20 years of certification as an Audubon Signature Sanctuary through its commitment to environmental stewardship and efforts to maintain a comprehensive environmental management program focused on wildlife and habitat management, water conservation, resource management, and outreach and education. “We’re very proud to count Legacy Courses at Cragun’s among our members,” said Christine Kane, CEO at Audubon International. “They made environmentally sustainable golf course management an integral part of their operating principles long before it became an accepted option. Their leadership has already brought many benefits to their community over the past two decades and will continue to do so long into the future.” To reach certification in the Signature Sanctuary Program, a course must maintain a high degree of environmental quality in several areas. By working closely with planners, architects, managers, and key stakeholders, the program helps landowners and developers design for the environment so that both economic and environmental objectives are achieved and sustained in the long-term. Recertification occurs every three years. Legacy Courses at Cragun’s is one of is one of 92 courses in the world to be designated as a Certified Signature Sanctuary. Through participation in this program, Legacy Courses at Cragun’s has been involved in numerous environmental projects, including conserving energy and reducing water use, utilizing integrated pest management techniques, naturalizing areas, and managing resources in an environmentally responsible manner. Page 18
“When our Cragun’s Legacy Courses received the Signature Sanctuary status from Audubon International, we were only the second resort course in the world to achieve this honor,” said Eric Peterson, General Manager at Cragun’s Resort. “We commend our Golf Course Superintendent, Matt McKinnon, for his dedication to maintaining an environmentally sustainable golf course for these past 20 years by integrating the Audubon International principles in all aspects of his operation.” Audubon International is an environmental organization dedicated to educating, assisting, and inspiring millions of people from all walks of life to protect and sustain the land, water, wildlife, and natural resources around them. In addition to businesses, Audubon International also provides programs for golf courses, communities, and new developments. For more information, contact Audubon International at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.auduboninternational.org. ****
Congratulations Superintendent Matt McKinnon and Grounds Crew at Cragunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Resort for your twenty years of environmental stewardship.
Scheduling Your Seasonal Staff There are many ways to schedule staff throughout the season. Some change and adapt over the years or maybe some have been the same for years. Either way it is always a challenge. Here is a look at four different turf departments and how they schedule their staff for the year. Rush Creek Golf Club Interviewed: Kevin Milbrandt Retired Age Employees: 12 Full-Time Seasonal: 13 Seasonal Three Month (College/High school): 8 Full-Time: 4 The retired age employees work a set three-day week. Some work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Some work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Some work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Some work Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Some work Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. This allows for seven to ten retired aged employees on each of the weekdays. Most chip in on a weekend or two during the shoulder seasons. The full-time seasonal employees work 13 days on and 1 day off from April to October. During their initial interview for employment, the seasonal, three-month employees are asked to work 70% of the days during the three months they are employed at the course. In season, each employee is given a blank calendar on the 20th of the month (May 20th to fill out for June). They are asked to put an “X” on the days they do not want to work. We do not care what the reason is, just put an “X” on the day. Any days without an “X” are then fair game for scheduling. By the 25th of each month the schedules are given back to the employees. They are generally given 16-18 weekdays to work and 2-3 weekend days to work each month. Daily shifts are five to eight hours. Three full-time employees rotate weekends alone, which equates to working every third weekend. The equipment manager does not work weekends.
Spring Hill Interviewed: Jim Snell Retired Age Employees: 6 Full-Time Seasonal: 13 Seasonal Three Month (College/High school): 7 Full-Time: 6 The retired age employees mow fairways on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Two of them help out mowing rough, if needed. One will mow the driving range on Monday, Wednesday, Friday (tees, target and the floor). He also helps with rough if needed. One guy, who does just tee service and helps with some setup, works Monday through Friday and every other Saturday. One other mows rough Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The full-time seasonal staff work Monday through Saturday. It is a very flexible schedule. The usual schedule is 6 am-2 pm. Some leave at 12 and some leave at 1. Some will work Sundays. If they do, they will get the following Wednesday off in exchange for an extra Sunday. Full-time seasonal interns work Monday through Friday and every other weekend. The seasonal three-month staff have a calendar created with a three-month schedule and are asked to fill it out at the beginning of the season. It is their responsibility to find their own replacement if something comes up to get the shift filled. All the high school individuals are on a group text message thread just for this reason. The full-time staff rotate weekends and thus work twelve days on and two days off. The equipment manager generally does not work weekends.
TPC Twin Cities Interview: Riley Soderstrom Retired Age Employees: 12 Full-Time Seasonal: 6 Seasonal Three-Month (College/High school): 8 Full-Time: 7 All retired, full-time seasonal, three-month seasonal employees work either a Tuesday to Saturday or a Sunday to Thursday shift. Everyone gets two days off per week. The retired guys vary, some working four hours and the others working eight to ten hours. TPC Twin Cities is very flexible with vacation time, except around the 3M Open. Full-time staff work six days on and one day off per week, with the one day off being a weekend day. The two assistants each take one of the weekend days. The equipment manager does not generally work weekends.
Baker National Golf Course Interview: Kyle Stirn Retired Age Employees: 8 Full-Time Seasonal: 7 Seasonal Three-Month (College/High school): 12 Full-Time: 6 Most retired age employees come in on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with a few that work a Tuesday/Friday or a Thursday/Friday shift. However, we must keep in mind, that being a union shop, if you are not a student you can only work a total of 67 days. This senior group is generally mowing rough, green surrounds, rangeâ&#x20AC;Śmostly riding equipment. The full-time seasonal staff works twelve days on and two days off. There will be times, like the shoulder seasons, where we need them to work every weekend. Being a union shop, the seasonal three-month staff that are in school can only work up to 100 days. They work twelve days on and two days off. We are flexible with time off as long as we have a few weeks heads up, especially on the weekend. We hire a little heavy to cover this kind of situation. The full-time staff gets in a half-hour early to get ready and we usually leave a half-hour later as well. We also do twelve days on and two days off. The equipment manager does not work weekends but will come in if there are any issues.
“In the Hole!!!!!” by Matt Cavanaugh, Rush Creek Golf Club
It is 1:30 am on Tuesday February 4th, 2014 in Orlando at the Golf Industry Show. I’m the second one to walk into the elevator and the second to push my floor number. The other rider didn’t really seem to know or care that I was there, the typical elevator situation. As elevators tend to do, it stops, the doors open and my elevator mate exits, never to be seen again.
One day later, it is 1:30 am on Thursday February 6th, 2014 in Orlando at the Golf Industry Show. I’m the first one to walk into the elevator and the first to push my floor number. I look at my elevator mate and with a grin I say, “I got this” and I push the correct number to his floor. A look of amazement washes over his face. No words, just pure wonderment. Good guess? Unlikely since there are twenty plus floors. He has no idea how I did it.
I do, however. It happens to 24 hours later, it is 1:30 am on be the exact same person from the previous two days, no lie. He Wednesday February 5th, 2014 in Orlando at the Golf Industry Show. hadn’t noticed me, but I noticed I’m the second one to walk into the him. In fact, we had met before elevator and the second to push my in my previous role as second asfloor number. The other rider didn’t sistant before my role as a sales rep in 2014. Our first introduction really seem to know or care that I was there, the typical elevator situ- a few years prior was the typical situation where he was a superination. As elevators tend to do, it tendent from another course there stops, the doors open and my elevator mate exits, never to be seen to talk with the superintendent at the course I worked for. My boss again.
quickly introduces me and the two then head off in a cart to go look at some grass. It’s a quick friendly exchange that happens in the industry every day. I don’t want to give the wrong impression as I have no animosity for not being noticed or recognized in the elevator especially at 1:30 in the morning. If I have no animosity, why do I even bring this up?
industry as a whole has always pushed the assistant-level roles to network, introduce yourself to as many superintendents as possible. It’s good business, right? These individuals are all potential superintendents that you could work for, a person you could learn from and elevate your career path.
I challenge superintendents to do the same: be bold, be involved
Let’s flip the script. It’s safe to say that most superintendents are I’ve had several titles in the always looking for good employsuperintendent side of things. The ees. Read any of the industry trade highly ambiguous foreman, the of- magazines or go through your social ten spread-too-thin spray tech, the media feed and you’ll find some do-everything second assistant (this kind topic on labor issues within title includes the seldom seen, but our industry. Are we as an industry always needed irrigation tech) and doing everything we can? Maybe, now the penultimate role of assismaybe not, but I do have one partant. If you are paying any kind of ticular idea that may help. What attention in these stepping-stone if more superintendents were to roles to your local association you make a point of introducing themknow who the superintendents selves to the foreman, the spray are, especially in your area even if tech, the second assistant, the irriit’s just through social media. The gation tech and the assistants of the
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industry? In my world at these educational seminars, regardless of your title, you know for the most part who the superintendents are and who the assistants are. “Hey, I’m Clement Studebaker, Superintendent at Rush Creek Golf Club, where do you work?” Just think of the impression that could make on a young assistant. Maybe have a short conversation about the current or previous season, where did you go to school or the Minnesota go-to conversation about the weather. There is most certainly an intimidation factor for many assistants that may prevent them from introducing themselves to a superintendent. I can almost guarantee this role reversal would leave a lasting impression on an assistant.
way around. It would be a surprise and a revelation that would likely produce the same look as guessing the correct floor of a “stranger” on an elevator. Think of it this way. As a superintendent, you post an assistant position. I’m willing to bet that an assistant that has been approached by a superintendent for a simple conversation will consider more strongly at applying for that position. It doesn’t mean this individual will be hired but, this course is likely going to get more than the two resumes they are currently and historically getting.
A simple introduction is likely better publicity than the generic job posting we all continue to see. “Rush Creek Golf Club is a high-end public golf course located in Maple Why do I feel this will leave Grove, MN blah, blah, blah.” As a lasting impression? Because I an assistant, I want to know more have never had a superintendent about the person that I’ll potentially approach me and introduce them- be working for, which is not posselves, it has always been the other sible to find out from a job posting.
Yes, social media can somewhat portray what you are all about as an employer, but much of social media can be smoke and mirrors. The handshake and introduction from the educational seminar last December, however, will show exactly who you are and will likely generate more interest for your facility and job posting and could be a simple missing piece at keeping talented people from leaving our industry.
The assistants that you did know are now superintendents or are out of the industry all together. Are you going to hit the close elevator door button or are you going to hold that elevator door opens for the next assistant to walk in? The initiation, that first step does not always have to come from the assistant. This little gesture may provide the confidence that elevates an We always ask our assistant to assistant to stay within our industry be bold, be involved, get out there instead of hitting the bottom floor and meet people and be a part of to follow a different career path like the industry. I challenge superinten- many talented assistants already dents to do the same: be bold, be have. So, hold that door open, noinvolved, get out there and meet tice who walks in and extend that the assistants of the industry. Our hand and ask them where they industry has changed, and I bet are going. It could be right to the there are more and more faces at grounds (crew) floor of your course. the events you attend that you no
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Featuring Bob Atol and Marbles, North American Diving Dog National Champion 2019
Diving dogs is a canine sport in which dogs are enticed to run the length of a dock and leap as far out into the water as possible to compete for height or distance. They’re motivated to fly with a prized toy, which is thrown just out of reach in order to help them keep their momentum and get the best launch angle possible. Dock Diving is one of the fastest growing sports for your dog. Congratulations 2019 North American Diving Dog National Champion, Marbles. She jumped 22’ 2”s. Owner Bob Atol, Assistant Superintendent at Braemar Golf Course, is proud to have “Bragger’s Rights”! Page 30
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Attached is a picture of The U of M Crookston Turf Bowl Team took 14th Place at the Golf Industry Show Turf Bowl. From left to right: Brian Bekkala, Ben Lord, Brady Nolan, and Thomas Oberle. Name: Brian Bekkala, Livonia, Michigan Year: Junior Brian will work this summer at Minakwa CC in Crookston, MN with Superintendent Rick Leach Name: Ben Lord, Brunswick, Maine Graduated December 2019 Ben interned at Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte NC, Superintendent Keith Wood, and TPC Boston, Norton MA, Superintendent Tom Brodeur. Currently Brian is an Assistant Golf Course Superintendent in Training at TPC Boston. Name: Brady Nolan, Delano, Minnesota Year: Sophomore In 2019 Brady was employed at Sand Hills Golf Club, Superintendent Kyle Hegland, Mullen, NE. In 2020 Brady will be employed at Crystal Down Country Club, Superintendent Mike Morris; Frankford, MI Name:Thomas Oberle, Eagan, Minnesota Year:Senior Thomas worked at Spring Hill Golf Club, Superintendent Tim Johnson, Wayzata, MN in 2019 and will be employed at The Minikahda Club, Jeff Johnson, Minneapolis, MN in 2020
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2020 Day O 61 registered legislators. Than
On The Hill d to visit 101 nk you volunteers
Thank you very much to those who represented the great Minnesota golf industry. This program, our fifth, was perhaps the most important our associations have hosted, as we reintroduced â&#x20AC;&#x153;golfâ&#x20AC;? to many new legislators, had requests for support of relevant legislation and defended our industry as some language threatens to change the way we do business. Key issues included: The 2018 Economic Impact Study Environmental Stewardship Support of HF 790, SF 1805 clarification of 16/17 year old employees use of lawn mowing and maintenance equipment. Opposition of HF 212 and SF 1255 Pesticide applications in cities and preemption Support of soon to be introduced legislation providing assurances of golf course irrigation water in exchange for BMP and Drought Management plans approved by the DNR.
Introducing the New:
Two-Year Turfgrass Certificate Program at UW Madison Doug Soldat, Dept. of Soil Science, UW-Madison In 1959 O.J. Noer had a conver- the job market, the cost of educasation with Dr. L.E. Engelbert (at the tion, and the economy in general, time, Chair of Soils Department), the enrollment in the program has which resulted in the founding for declined to the point where it has the Turf and Grounds Maintenance been consistently unable to meet Specialization in Soil Science. That demand. Job searches are going unprogram, which filled, and internship produced its first offers pile up with two graduates in fewer and fewer stu1964, has been the dents to accept them. academic training Because of the very grounds for a small close relationship but steady stream between the Wisconof turfgrass mansin turfgrass industry agers who have and the University of gone on to do great Wisconsin, the Uniwork in Wisconsin versity felt obligated and beyond. The to try something new. small numbers of In the fall of 2020, students in the students interested in program relative to learning about turfothers was designed to match (not grass man- agement will have exceed) the demand of turf related the opportunity to do that through job openings in Wisconsin, and the the UW-Madisonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Farm and Inprogram has typically graduated dustry Short Course. The Farm and four or five students a year. HowIndustry Short Course is a historic ever, because of recent changes in program that has been going strong Page 6 Page 36
in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences for over 130 years. In 1885, the Board of Regents accepted the recommendation that “a shorter course for the winter months confined to the term of two years, would be more popular and appropriate” for the education of farmers. The program was taught by UW faculty like F.H. King, Stephen Babcock, CALS Dean’s Henry and Russell, who all have buildings or malls named after them on campus today. When thinking about how to expand our turfgrass program, we wanted to find a way to educate students in a compressed period, but without compromising the quality of the instructors or the content. We felt the Farm and Industry Short Course would be the ideal place to try this new idea. The Farm and Industry Short Course is in-session over two 8-week periods (early-October through mid-December) and (midJanuary through mid-March). This timing works well for prospective students who already work in the turf industry and want to their work experience with their Short Course education. We are hoping to draw students from three main areas: 1)
high school graduates interested in a career in turfgrass management, but without the means or desire to complete a four-year degree, 2) working turfgrass professionals interested in a certificate for career advancement, and 3) students that have earned a degree in a different field, but wish to switch careers. Upon completion, the credential will not be a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree, but rather two certificates. The first certificate (earned in year 1) will be called the Foundations of Farm and Agribusiness Management, the second certificate (earned in year 2) will be the Turfgrass Management Certificate. The two certificates are designed to be taken sequentially. Students must complete the Foundations certificate in order to enroll in the Turfgrass Management Certificate. The Farm and Industry Short Course offers over 40 courses taught by 25 faculty and staff at UW-Madison, all highly regarded in their fields. The faculty teaching the turfgrass courses will be myself and Dr. Paul Koch. While actual schedules will vary from student to student, here is a sample of the course work for the two certificates: Page 7
Year One Foundations of Turfgrass Management Introduction to Soils (2 cr.) Agribusiness Communications (2 cr.) Plant Science (2 cr.) Agricultural Safety (1 cr.) Weather and Climate (1 cr.) Business Principles (1 cr.) Agricultural Human Resources Management (1 cr.) Turfgrass Management (2 cr.) + Electives Total: 12 or more credits
As the program grows, we will be able to add more courses to suit the needs of our students. That said, we feel this is a solid start. While I am not able to quote exact costs for this article, the cost of the program will be significantly lower than the cost of attending UW-Madisonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s normal turfgrass management program. In-state tuition for each certificate will be around $5,000. Students housing is available at the Lowell Center for $5,500. Approximately $200,000 of scholarships are available each year, and several awards are ear-marked
Year Two Professional Turfgrass Management Turfgrass Nutrient Management (2 cr.) Precision Agriculture (2 cr.) Turfgrass Irrigation and Drainage (1 cr.) Farm Power (2 cr.) Safe and Effective Use of Pesticides (1 cr.) Turfgrass Integrated Pest Management (2 cr.) + Electives Total: 12 or more credits
for students studying turfgrass. The average student receives $3,000 in support each year, which covers a substantial part of the total costs. We are very excited about this new direction but without strong enrollment, it may not be around long. Please help get the word out. Any student interested in enrolling in Fall of 2020 can start by visiting the Farm and Industry Short Course Web Site at www.fisc.cals.wisc.edu and/or contacting me at djsoldat@ wisc.edu. The enrollment deadline for the fall semester is August 1, 2020.
Great news for an industry struggling to find quality professionals on a timely basis. Thank you for initiating this educational opportunity Dr. Soldat. Page 38
In Bounds by Jack MacKenzie, CGCS
A mindful drunk, knows that they are a drunk. March 5, 1995. The last day I fed my compulsion of alcohol abuse. Vodka. Straight. Cheap. Effective. Eighteen days beyond my thirtyfifth birthday. I wasn’t using it to blot out any “bad” memory demons. I just liked to drink, and once I began, I usually drank quickly into stupidity followed by sleep. I was a logical drunk who took limited risks. Regardless of having a cold one or two at work following my shift on the golf course, my typical daily binge for over a decade was to stop at one of five rotating liquor stores and pick up either a half or full pint of vodka and either a six or twelve pack of beer. The hard stuff consumed before my 25-minute drive home ended, was quickly consumed to acquire the buzz and the beer to auspiciously cover the booze on my
breath, with booze on my breath. Only a good drunk could find logic in that thought process! Fortunately for all, my “closet drinking” and back roads drive home kept me out of harm’s way, reduced my chances of being stopped with open bottle and protected my fellow travelers, of whom there were not many. Mornings, I often mused that I was drunker on my drive to work than driving from work because my “pickled self” used the next ten hours as a brief respite to detoxify and prepare for the next binge. Only once do I recall ever drinking to “my” excess at the shop, and never did I drink to drunkenness while working. As I said, I was a logical drunk. In hindsight, I was just a really, really lucky drunk!
above the fridge, funneling the seI suppose I was a drunk the mocret elixir into a small bottle that ment I had my first taste. No, not used to contain Scope Mouthwash. that beer my Grandpa let me sip A dribble here, a drabble there, when I was eight on a ferry to Block each dabble replaced with a splash Island. Rather, it was the intenof water. That trick stopped after a tional gin and few months tonic left behind as my older from a cocktail brother was party my parents caught dohosted prior to ing the same their heading to thing. A “the club” for dribble here, a business dina drabble ner. Come on, there….. you can’t knock a ten-year-old for Soon my taking a sample Bro was old of what obviously enough to was delicious. “buy” legally I was at least and, after I bright enough turned sixto drink from teen (too the side without funny that smudges of red he set an lipstick. age limit), he became my weekend beer connection. When I drove, At the age of thirteen and much I drank mostly to combat cottontaller, I was sneaking whatever I mouth (nudge, nudge), when I rode could find in the liquor cabinet I drank, and drank some more.
You know you are a drunk when you slam a quick straight vodka, puke it back up into the glass, wait a couple minutes and slam it back down, stifling the reflex gag, at eight o’clock on a cold winter’s morning when you don’t have to go into work.
A practiced drunk doesn’t miss an opportunity. Back in the day, nursing a hangover, mowing fairways with an enormous Jacobsen F-10 reel unit was a treat to be assigned. No lines to burn and plenty of edge-forgiveness if you stayed between six to ten inches from the rough. Expectations were low, the reels set high and there was always another opportunity to clean up the edges in just two days. College was a green light to continue my search for the best beer, one somebody else bought and hopefully Special Export, as it had a high alcohol content. I was fond of rum and cokes too, especially during the five o’clock nightly reruns of *MASH* and after dinner to take the edge off studying. Legal to buy in Wisconsin at the age of 18, the booze border was just a few miles from the St. Paul UMN Campus.
brighter. I remember knowing I had a drinking problem, but really didn’t care. Hard work and lots of good fortune paid off and soon I graduated, was married, had job hopped through great courses to land at North Oaks Golf Club and had two fine children. Over time, hard drinking also returned unwanted dividends with too many added pounds (I peeked over 225), closet bingeing, blurred nights (okay, blackouts), lost memories and fleeting green backs. Oh yes, then there was that divorce. You know you are a drunk when you slam a quick straight vodka, puke it back up into the glass, wait a couple minutes and slam it back down, stifling the reflex gag, at eight o’clock on a cold winter’s morning when you don’t have to go into work.
Yup, I was an active drunk, and good at it too! Challenged by a psychological counselor to quit for a Upon turning 19, the green light got week between sessions (I went to
see her because I thought I was going insane), I said, “Piece of cake”, lasted one day and laughed the following Tuesday with glee announcing that, indeed, I was a drunk. Not really a mystery to me, as I had known for a long, long time. However, telling a complete stranger was empowering and allowed me the strength to do what I needed to do, make the choice to fix myself. Three weeks later I entered a local outpatient program for substance abuse.
was awakening and I really wanted to succeed in creating and implementing “my sobriety plan”. For me, the compulsion to drink booze wasn’t (isn’t) a disease, rather abstinence is a choice I have made for over two and a half decades because alcohol consumption, my obsession, was causing me to question my sanity. Mental illness is nothing to trifle about.
ing alcohol on one hand, in my case likely a decade.
a pretty great place to live. If you are a drunk, consider a choice to make your life an amazing place to be.
For me, the compulsion to drink booze wasn’t (isn’t) a disease, rather abstinence is a choice I have made for over two and a half decades Twenty-five years and because alcohol grateful to know that I am consumption, my You know you a drunk and are a drunk when obsession, was causing rather proud you can count the of my choice me to question number of days in to stop drinka year not drinking. Sobriety is my sanity. Spin dry was really good for me. It