OOOPS! Hole Notes
The Official Publication of the MGCSA
Vol. 55, No. 3 April 2020
Corona Pandemic Response materials can be found at GCSAA.Org Pandemic Pages On The Cover I Miss the Scalps: I’ll never forget the day when I walked up to this scene. I still don’t know how someone is unaware of this kind of destruction for 69 feet. Hey, grass grows back and I can’t wait for this to happen again on the opening day of the Minnesota State Open. Be sure and read Matt Cavanaugh’s latest “in the Hole” column titled, I Miss Bananas on pages 22 - 27
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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. 3 April 2020 Feature Articles:
Announcing: 2020 Legacy Scholarships
8 - 10
12 - 20
Measuring and Managing Your Growth Rate
28 - 31
Judd Duininck Elected GCBAA President
32 - 42
44 - 45
By MGCSA and Par Aide
Four Tips to Enhance Your Braodleaf Weed Control
By Dr. Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Science, Purdue University
By Dr. Doug Soldat, Department of Soil Science, UW-Madison
By The Golf Course Builders Association of America
Meet the MGCSA: John Steiner CGCS
By Joe Berggren, The Wilds Golf Club
Are you using the MGCSA Classifieds to sell, share or trade? Why not? Editorial Committee
Monthly Columns: Presidential Perspective pages By Scott Thayer
In the Hole
pages 22 - 27
pages 46 - 49
By Matt Cavanaugh
By Jack MacKenzie
Matt Cavanaugh MATTC@UMN.EDU Liza Chmielewski LIZA@GERTENS.COM
Presidential Perspective by Scott Thayer, Legends Club
What has happened since the last time I wrote the Presidential Perspective is almost unbelievable. The COVID19 pandemic has taken the country, and our state, by storm! Our lives will be changed now and possibly forever: social distancing, selfquarantine and isolation are things I never thought would be topics of conversation. Along with our lives, golf and golf maintenance may never be the same: disinfecting utility vehicles, keyboards, punch-in computers, one worker to a vehicle and
the list goes on and on. We all have thought about how much this negatively impacts our lives, work and the economy, but I feel it has some positive impacts. Before the pandemic my life was work, get kids off the bus and get to the next planned evening event, either youth sports or something my wife had planned. All of this came to a screeching halt as I was driving to soccer practice when it was called
Then I began to realize how important the Minnesota Golf Day on the Hill was to our association, our industry and to anyone who has attended the event and made contacts at the capital.
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off. The suddenness hit my family hard and it has taken time to adapt to the ever-changing rules that the Governor has mandated.
Sir”. And that’s when it really hit me this was going to be a battle.
Then I began to realize how important the Minnesota Golf Day So, now it’s time with my fam- on the Hill was to our association, ily. Lots of movie nights, board our industry and to anyone who games, reading and family walks has attended the event and made with our new puppy. I almost feel contacts at the capital. We had a like someone said, “Your life is too great Day on the Hill this year and I busy Scott, now slow down and see heard from many participants how what you are missing”. Although I responsive the legislators were don’t feel this was a great way to to golf. That opportunity, just ten slow me down, it’s nice to find a days before the CV Crisis hit, really silver lining in something bad. opened the door for us to contact our legislators, to tell them our side Now the negative. There are of the pandemic mandate’s impact so many issues with what has hap- and allowed our industry and mempened, and like I have said in conbers to self-advocate to protect our versations with friends and famasset; the golf course! ily, I feel it will affect us for a long time, both in the golf world and To all that reached out to their our everyday lives. When the first legislators, thank you! To all that Executive Order came out, I never filled out the DEED request on golf thought golf or even golf maintemaintenance, thank you! Withnance would be excluded. When out an outstanding and responsive the Governor said, “Stay at home membership, the request for mainand work from home” …I thought, tenance may never have been ap“Ummm I can’t work from home proved. Maintenance was not the
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only thing affected by the “stay at home” in our association; our affiliates, who service our great industry, were in the same situation. Affiliates had to stay at home, make phone calls and wait just like the rest of us. Thank you to all of our Affiliate members that reached out and did what you could for the association. Affiliates listen up, “You are greatly appreciated, thank you!” Everyone received multiple communications from Jack and me during this challenge and there will likely be more correspondence. It was important that members of our association knew what was happening on a regular basis and what they could do as individuals to help the process of keeping golf important and relevant. And, just so everyone knows, Jack is a rock star golf industry advocate. Yes, a “maverick” at times, but without him and his diligence historically and through this challenge, we never could have achieved our objective of allowing for maintenance. He never stopped
fighting for our association and also individual members, so that we could do our jobs. While I have thanked him personally, and he has received texts and emails thanking him, next time you see him, at a safe distance, give him an “air five” or “virtual fist bump” to let him know you appreciate his efforts. As far as golf goes and opening golf up for the season, the game is still on hold as I write this. However, I hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel for play to begin sooner rather than later. Some major changes in how golf is handled will have to happen. I am confident, that with the proper best management practices applied to everyone involved, golf will once again be enjoyed by all. From the President’s Perspective, I am very proud of this group of professional turf managers and those who support them.
Stay safe, stay healthy.
Thank you and you and you!!!
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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.
Four Tips to Enhance Your Broadleaf Weed Control By Aaron J. Patton, Ph.D. Turgrass Science at Purdue University
Broadleaf weed control is an important aspect to every turf care program. There are a lot of factors that go into a good broadleaf weed control program. Although it might be possible to list 10 or 15 different factors that influence broadleaf weed control, below I have highlighted four important tips to enhancing your broadleaf weed control program. These tips assume youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already implemented the most important tip which is to culture health turf. Remember, the best defense against weeds is to culture healthy turf. Proper cultural practices reduce weeds by 70100%. Herbicides should not be a substitute for a conscientious cultural program. When you choose the right turfgrass species and cultivar for the site and follow proven fertilization, mowing, and irrigation practices, weeds will be less competitive. 1. Timing. The optimum time to control weeds depends on the type and life cycle of the weed and, in some cases, the specific weed and specific herbicide â&#x20AC;&#x201D; so the optimum time to control weeds is a complex answer. Regardless of the timing and weed, it is important to select herbicides with a high efficacy for the specific weeds you are targeting (See Tip #3). In the Midwest, perennial broadleaf weeds are best controlled with postemergence herbicides in the fall (September 1 to November 15). Late September or October applications are optimal. This window can be extended longer if the end of the fall is mild or if the turf is located farther south. Herbicides are more effective on perennial broadleaf weeds when applied in fall because plants are more likely to translocate (move downward) herbicides into root and stem tissues as days get shorter and temperatures cool. Typically, this will occur near or following the first frosts. Page 12
Figure 1. A dandelion dying in May following an application of 2,4-D. Previous research in Nebraska has demonstrated that 2,4-D and dicamba are far more effective at controlling dandelions and Canada thistle when applied one to 10 days after the first fall frost than when applied five to 11 days before the frost. Other work at Michigan State University found that â&#x20AC;&#x153;good dandelion control can result from herbicides applied through late October, even when the plants are not actively growing.â&#x20AC;? More recently, Purdue researchers found that November applications of most herbicides resulted in ground ivy control similar to earlier (September and October) applications. Keep in mind that fall treated weeds rarely die in the fall as the temperature is coolâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;weeds grow slow and herbicides work slowly during these conditions. The good results from fall applications will be visible in the spring. Page 13
Spring applications will also control perennial broadleaf weeds, especially if a herbicide is selected that has good activity on the weed and if the correct formulation is chosen (See Tip #2). Remember that while it is possible to kill a broadleaf weed with a spring herbicide application, the result will be ugly. Dying weeds are never pretty, but weeds that disappear without evidence—like broadleaf weeds treated in the fall—create uniform turf (Figure 1). Winter annual broadleaves can be controlled at the same fall timing as perennial broadleaves. Fall timings are best for winter annuals because they are small after just germinating and herbicides translocate (move inside the plant) well in the fall. Spring control of winter annual broadleaves is more difficult because the weeds are larger and are less likely to translocate herbicide. However, it is possible to control broadleaf weeds in the spring if Tips #2, #3, and #4 are followed. Summer annual broadleaves and summer annual grasses are best controlled with preemergence herbicides applied in the spring before they germinate. They can also be controlled with post emergence herbicides in early summer when the temperatures are cooler and before the
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weeds become too large and before they produce seed. 2. Formulation and Chemistry. Synthetic auxin herbicides, which include 2,4-D, 2,4-DP, dicamba, triclopyr, and MCPA, are commonly formulated in two distinct forms: amine salts and esters. NOTE: A new formulation called a “choline” was introduced by Corteva Agriscience in their latest herbicide GameOn. An examination of the herbicide label will identify the formulation (Figure 2). The formulation of the herbicide affects the performance of the herbicide and when (what time of year) you will want to use them in your weed control program. Figure 2 (left). This product contains ester formulations of 2,4-D and triclopyr. Look for the suffix “ester” or “amine” in the list of ingredients to determine if the product is an amine or ester formulation. Some products have both amines and esters in the mix but most contain either amines or esters alone.
Amine formulations are generally less volatile than esters and safer to use when applying near sensitive plants (that is, ornamental landscapes and gardens). Ester formulations have a higher vapor pressure and a higher volatilization potential. Research has documented that fall applications with amine or ester formulations of 2,4-D provide optimum broadleaf weed control. However, spring applications are sometimes needed in weedy locations or when you miss an opportunity to make a fall application. Purdue University rePage 15
search demonstrated that during cooler spring months (conditions typical of April), ester formulations are more effective for broadleaf weed control because they more readily penetrate the leaf cuticle. As temperatures in the spring warm, turf managers should switch to amine formulations because they work better during warmer temperatures in May and early summer. What’s more, amine formulations are less volatile than ester formulations, making them safer to use around landscape plantings. To help track weather conditions and the appropriate time to use amine and ester formulations, visit Michigan State University Extension’s GDD Tracker, www.gddtracker.net. 3. Herbicide Selection Matters. While all the factors above are important, herbicide selection may be the most important factor in effective broadleaf weed control. Most herbicides work really well on a certain number or set of broadleaf weeds but they don’t work well on all broadleaf weeds. For example, 2,4-D is a common ingredient in many broadleaf herbicides. While 2,4-D is great for controlling dandelion, plantains, curly dock, and many other broadleaf weeds, it doesn’t control white clover, common chickweed, wild violet, yellow woodsorrel or lespedeza (Figure 3). However, dicamba, clopyralid, fluroxypyr, and quinclorac control white clover well (Figure 3). For this reason, many broadleaf herbicides are pre-mixed together in formulation to help you control a broad-spectrum of weeds with your applications. There are a number of herbicides on the market that contain phenoxy herbicides such as 2,4-D, mecoprop (MCPP), 2,4-DP (dichlorprop) and MCPA, as well as the benzoic acid dicamba for use in broadleaf weed control. Phenoxy herbicides specifically work to control broadleaf weeds. These ingredients make up the majority of what are commonly referred to as “three-way” herbicides with 2,4-D, MCPP and dicamba serving as the core three ingredients (Figure 4). Page 16
The reason that so many products on the market contain this com-
Figure 3. Relative efficacy of synthetic auxin herbicides on common broadleaf weeds. Rating Key: E=excellent (≥90% control). G=good (7590% control). F=fair (50-75% control). P=poor control (≤50% control). “—”=no data. bination of ingredients is because they’re effective to use on all the coolseason turfgrasses; they’re low cost; and they provide consistent control of common broadleaf weeds when applied at the right time. However, some other tough broadleaf weeds such as ground ivy, wild violet, Canada thistle, yellow woodsorrel, corn speedwell, and lespedeza are often not completely controlled with three-way herbicides. And, that’s in spite of many of these tough-to-control broadleaf weeds being listed on the three-way herbicide label. The fact is that they may provide control in some situations, but often these tough broadleaves require the use of a different set of ingredients to improve control. If you are struggling with tough broadleaf weeds like violet, ground ivy, yellow woodsorrel, or thistles, look for a herbicide with a different set of ingredients. Herbicides with triclopyr and fluroxypyr work well to control most of these Page 17
Figure 4. This product contains 2,4-D, MCPP (mecoprop) and dicamba and is an example of a three-way herbicide.
tough broadleaf weeds. Clopyralid is another ingredient that is especially helpful in controlling Canada thistle. A publication that is helpful in selecting herbicides for controlling weeds is Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals. This publication is the result of 16-state collaborators (IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, NJ, NY, OH, PA, WI) and contains tables to help you select the best herbicide for each weed as well as narratives for each weed species to help you select the right control approach. The publication is available as electronic ($12) or hard copy ($20) (Available at: https://mdc.itap.purdue. edu/item.asp?Item_Number=TURF-100). 4. Spray Tank Water Quality. Does the pH and hardness of my spray water influence weed control? Yes, but exactly how much depends and the weed and the herbicide chemistry. The quality of the water in herbicide applications is often overlooked. The pH matters for herbicide applications but not much. Water hardness is the big issue. As a reminder, hard water is caused by too much calcium, iron, and magnesium in the water. Research clearly shows that the quality of water used for spraying can affect how herbicides perform, especially glyphosate and 2,4-D. Purdue research demonstrated that some broadleaf weeds like dandelion are not controlled well by 2,4-
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Figure 5. The most economic option to measure water hardness is to use test strips. Find test strips that test hardness from 0 to 400 ppm or more. Glyphosate is antagonized by hard water >150 ppm and 2,4-D is antagonized by hard water >400 ppm.
D when mixed with hard water. Our observations are that control is decreased by about 50% when using hard water to spray 2,4-D. Our research also found that dandelion control can be enhanced by adding a water conditioner like ammonium sulfate when mixing amine formulations of 2,4-D and hard water (the same applies for amine formulations of threeway herbicides). Fortunately, our research also found that hard water only impacts herbicide performance when using amine formulations. Hard water doesn’t impact the efficacy of ester formulations. A publication titled “The Impact of Water Quality on Pesticide Performance” (Purdue Extension publication PPP-86) describes how to test your water quality for better performance of your herbicides. It’s available as a free download at https://ppp.purdue.edu/resources/ppp-publications/. In summary, if you use the right cultural practices, understand the best time to control broadleaf weeds, if you select the right herbicide and formulation, and you have good water quality in your spray tank, you’ll be very successful at controlling your broadleaf weeds. Dr. Aaron Patton is a professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Purdue University. Page 20
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“In the Hole!!!!!” by Matt Cavanaugh, Rush Creek Golf Club
I Miss Bananas
I actually do not like any fruit and I don’t remember the last time I had a piece of fruit. It was likely an apple last fall during our family apple orchard outing. I know, it’s strange especially when you consider the rest of the people I live with love fruit. My oldest son eats a peanut butter and banana sandwich every day for lunch (no, we do not listen to Elvis) and my youngest son acts as if he is sucking the soul out of a pear every time he gets his hands on one. My wife has always loved the fruit/sour cream combo which I do not understand. When it comes to me, I just don’t like fruit. So how have I come to miss bananas? March of 2020 has opened the door for a new reflection point on my career and one thing is more clear to me now than ever, I only grow grass for a living. I sit here
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writing this article as a non-essential worker to the Minnesota workforce. Yes, the act of maintenance on the golf course is vital to the best asset golf has, but this time has really reinforced that we are just growing grass for a living and the other component is just playing a game for amusement. No other point in time for our industry has this been more evident. That does not mean I have to feel bad about the career path I have chosen because I truly enjoy what I do. Having a deeper understanding as to where golf stands in the grand scheme of things can only help me become better at my job and hopefully allow golfers to understand this game is supposed to be fun. There are plenty of things that I get upset about at work that now seem very trivial and frankly I now miss many of the things I could not stand before March of 2020.
I Miss Bananas: A new employee is always good for some really bad mow lines in fairways, but I never understand how someone after three years can still produce some of the worst mow lines. I now find myself missing the bananas and can’t wait to chuckle at them again and say “we’ll get it next time.”
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I Miss Huge Divots: There has never been a time in the history of superintendents where we have wanted golfers to be on the course more than we do now. So much so that I miss the huge ridiculous practice range divots. This will take a year to grow-in, but I call it job security.
I Miss the Obvious: (right) We all know that as soon as a golfer jumps into a golf cart a 10 year old brain also jumps into their skulls. This is most evident with reading signs. We can only do our best in educating the many and I’ll now smile when disrespect such as this happens from the few. Hey, one divot on half an acre, that is pretty good.
I Miss The Mechanic Complaining: (left) Yeah, I said it. I can’t wait for these radio calls again “Matt to Dennis…” ”Matt, what did you break now?” “I hit a rock in 14 fairway and bent 7 tines.” “What the @$%#” It will be a glorious day when I have to call Dennis with this issues again.
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I Miss the Crazy: I had people kick in the door of the pump house only to flip every switch and pull every lever. I have had people spray paint cusswords on greens. I have even seen someone take a dump in the cup on hole number 8. However, I miss the days of rerouting golf traffic to the tee on number 3 because someone burned down the bridge.
We work in a great industry that has some pretty tough days and more than the occasional frustrating moment. I think many of us now wish for a few of these tough days and moments. After this crazy time I know I will have a better attitude when they do happen. One of my greatest hopes during this time is that golfers also come to the realization of what they are missing. To understand that the decisions we make as superintendents is in their best interest and if they are a little inconvenienced from aerification or their ball lands in a divot or they have a bad lie in a hazardâ&#x20AC;Śtheyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll remember the time that these things were not even possible to complain about. I hope they remember that they are just playing a game just like we are only growing grass. Hey, I just thought of a fruit I have had recentlyâ&#x20AC;Śketchup.
Measuring and Managing Your Growth Rate During the COVID19 Crisis Doug Soldat Dept. of Soil Science University of Wisconsin-Madison The COVID19 crisis has forced us to think about our turf management in a new light. If there are no golfers, how much nitrogen should I apply? If I our crew size is limited, which management practices do we prioritize? Mowing eats up a lot of labor, how can we do that most efficiently? Do we need to control diseases on fairways? The questions go on and on. Below are some of my suggestions for dealing with this unusual situation. Mow according to the one-third rule, not according to the calendar. While this is one of the oldest rules of thumb in the book, recent research at University of Nebraska, University of Wisconsin, and Purdue University have confirmed that it holds true. When you mow more than one-third of the leaf blade off, the grass increases its growth rate. This is a hormoneinduced stress response. When one-third or less of the leaf is mown, clipping yield is minimized. So instead of mowing fairways on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, get out a Prism Gauge and mow your turf when it is 33% (that would be 0.180” for a green at 0.120”, 0.75” for a fairway at 0.50”, 4.5” for rough at 3”). Stripes don’t matter anymore, the growth rate does. Increase the mowing height of your turf. The overall length of your turf affects its growth rate. At UW-Madison, we measured the growth rate of bent/poa at putting green height vs. collar height. Surprisingly, we found the greens height grass grew 40% faster than the collar height. Because the leaf is a solar panel that feeds the rest Page 28
Ph.D. student Qiyu Zhou talking about the value of measuring clipping volume at the 2019 UW-Madison field day. of the plant, when the leaf area is small (low mowing height), the plant elicits a hormonal response to increase leaf area. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recommend drastically changing mowing heights because of potential trouble in bringing them back down when normalcy returns, but increasing your mowing heights by 15 or 20% will slow the growth rate appreciably, and also result in deeper rooting and all the benefits that come with that. Apply plant growth regulators. Not only will PGRs reduce the growth rate of your grass to minimize mowing, they also afford some protection in the (unlikely) event that maintenance would be severely restricted or even banned. In a no-traffic or limited traffic situation, minimizing growth is less risky. In a reduced labor situation, the value of PGRs will become evident. If you are mowing based on the one-third rule, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be able to see how much these tools can reduce your mowing requirements. I bet it will change the way you operate when things return to normal. Use the GreenKeeper Application which
factors in your weather, grass species, and mowing height to give you the best, research-based reapplication interval. Eliminate or minimize nitrogen applications. Your soil will provide enough nitrogen to keep the plant alive Research specialist Nick Bero collecting clippings under no traffic. In on a research putting green. my studies over the years, about half of the N in the turf comes from the soil, and the other half from fertilizer. Applying nitrogen will increase your growth rate, increase organic matter production, and is probably not required to maintain density and repair from the usual wear and tear that golfers induce. Sure, the turf will look a little more yellow than normal, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll come right back with a little soluble N when you need it to. Measure and record clipping volume. If there is any silver lining to this crisis, it may be that superintendents will be a lot more invested in accurate estimates of turfgrass growth. In the last few years, progressive superintendents have been using clipping volume as a management decision tool. The adoption of clipping volume has so much in common with the adoption of soil moisture meters in the mid-2000s. I am still waiting to meet a golf course manager that started collecting clippings and then stopped because they felt it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worth the effort. The only difference between measuring clipping volume and measuring soil moisture is that measuring clipping volume is faster and less expensive than measuring soil moisture. Page 30
The first step is to find some graduated buckets. Then, dump your putting green clippings into the bucket. Tap the bucket on the ground twice firmly to settle the clippings and record the number of liters of clippings from each green. Enter the area of your putting greens and the volume of clippings from each green in a spreadsheet (download mine at: turf.wisc. edu/tools) and you will quickly learn how your management influences your growth rate. In a typical scenario, 1 L of clippings per 100 m2 (same a 1 quart per 1000 ft2) would be tournament conditions, and 2 L/100m2 would be a good sustainable amount for daily play. In a no-traffic situation, 1 L/100m2 might be a good target to ensure that you have some growth, but you don’t have to worry about recovering from regular wear and tear. If/when Minnesota and Wisconsin open courses to golfers, you’ll need to get that growth rate up into the 2 L/100m2 range. But these are just general guidelines, like for soil moisture, you’ll be able to identify the targets that work best for your course. Good luck and best wishes to you during this difficult and unprecedented situation. I am happy to discuss these or any other topics with you by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (608-469-0378).
M.S. student Ben Henke collecting clippings to build growing degree day models for applying PGRs to Kentucky bluegrass fairways. While researchers have to measure dry clipping weight for their precise needs, superintendents can simply measure the volume of wet clippings for a fast and accurate measurement of grass growth rate. Page 31
MGCSA Affiliate Member Elected President of the Golf Course Builders Association of America Congratulations Judd Duininck Q and A Provided by the Golf Course Builders Association of America
Judd Duininck has the world’s shortest LinkedIn page: “Partner, Duininck Companies, June 1992 to present.” Those few words say a lot about the person who’s about to take the tiller of the GCBAA. He’s had a singular focus for 27 years, he’s all about faith and family, and he’s been firmly planted in Minnesota. In fact, the tiny town of Prinsburg, Minnesota, 100 miles west of Minneapolis, has been at the heart of Duininck’s story since day one. The population is just 497 but a sizable chunk of them seem to be his cousins or kin. And construction is in their blood. Faith and family have been dominant themes in Duinincks’ life. He grew up one of four children of a father who is part owner with his brothers and relatives in the family construction company started by his grandfather and two other Duininck brothers in 1926. “We all grew up in Prinsburg. Many of my cousins that I played with as a kid are now all my business partners.” As early as 15, his mom was dropping him off to work at job sites: “My job was testing gravel and doing quality control to see if the gravel mixes met specifications. It wasn’t rocket science but early on I already had a feel for sieves and sands which helped me as I entered the golf business. This experience helped me to understand greensmix and bunker sands as I started into the golf industry.” Page 32
By 16, he was on the road working construction on summer breaks from Central Minnesota Christian School, the only school (public or private) in the small town of Prinsburg where he and his family all attended. “The school didn’t have a golf team when I was in school there”. Playing golf was not an option in a construction family like his. “You worked when the weather was good. Six days a week. I had tried golf but never had time for it because it was work all week and then family and the lake on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. The closest golf course was 25 miles away, so we just weren’t around it.” He went on to attend and graduate from nearby Bethel College and then started in earnest in the family’s broad-based construction business, which included road building, underground utility projects, and serious engineering jobs. The company had built a course in 1968 and again in 1983 but golf construction wasn’t really part of the business yet. In the late 80’s a focus on golf course construction was starting to begin. “After I graduated, my uncle who ran our heavy civil construction division called me into his office and asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I didn’t want to do underground utility conPage 33
struction and I didn’t want to build golf courses! He said it sounded like I was a road builder, so I went and did that for six months.” But his life changed soon thereafter when the company was awarded a golf project. “I was the only young single Duininck at that point, so I got volunteered and headed out on the road to help a guy named Dave Munkvold.” That began a long and remarkable mentoring relationship between Munkvold -- one of the association’s most highly regarded veterans -- and Duininck. It was the spark that lit Judd’s career and led him to the presidency of GCBAA. What has it meant to still have that business connection with the people you’ve grown up with?
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Judd Duininck leads a management meeting
I kind of take it for granted that all of us cousins can be friends, business partners, and all get along. There are eight of us who are partners and cousins and brothers. I actually report to one of my cousins who’s younger than me. But that doesn’t even matter because we all get along so well, and we have the same values and purpose for what we are working for. What is that? For us as partners we’re all Christian businesspeople who are kingdom focused. We work towards a greater purpose that isn’t about us, but about serving the people around us. How did you get hooked on golf course construction? It only took one project for me. I loved working independently both on the golf course and on my own. Let’s just say the opportunity to get away, away from my dad and uncles who had a tendency to micromanage was nice! It was more interactive with the owner and architect than other types of construction, which I loved. Golf course construction gave me the opportunity to use some of the creative talents that God blessed me with. When work is fun, you look forward to getting up each morning.
And then the golf boom started! Yup, it was already underway, but we stayed pretty regional during the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;90s. We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to travel because the business was here (in the Minnesota region). Then we spread our wings and working all over the country. From coast to coast, and north to south. Over the years my family has taken up golf as family time. All of our children have played on their high school golf teams. I was even fortunate enough that Chris Tritabaugh (golf course superintendent at Hazeltine National) let me be on the grounds crew during 2009 PGA Championship. This was a great experience that I will never forget. Judd with daughter Mariah on a project in 2007
What was the moment you knew you wanted to have a career in golf? The collaborative effort between the architect, owner, and ourselves sparked me as so much different than heavy civil road projects. Projects weren’t a “we vs they” but instead, people were more focused on working together as a team. Being able to build teams, affect culture through creativity is what I enjoy and building golf courses provided that opportunity for me at Duininck. Who do you think has had the biggest influence on your career along the way? There were a few people. Dave Munkvold was my mentor on the construction side. I’ve never before or since met anyone who had such a vast knowledge of construction. He had the ability to build anything and everything and he could read any type of plan quickly, understand the scope of work, and put it into action.
He was a good teacher – he had a real gift – and if you had a willingness to learn, he would teach you. He had a unique ability to assess situations and problems and understand plans better than anyone I’ve come across. When we were putting together a cost estimate for a project, he could spot the future problems. He saved us numerous times from making a bad estimate. When Dave retired it was a sad day to lose that knowledge and experience. He’s always been a friend. Todd Clark (CE Golf Design) is an architect that was influential early in my career. Todd understood I was new in my role and helped me understand what he wanted to see. Todd knew that we as a company were a company built on strong values. This helped us work together great as a team. All the golf course architects we have worked with have been so influential as well. As a golf course construction company, we are able to work with so many architects and see so many different ideas and styles. These different outlooks have become a wealth of knowledge to our employees and clients. From a business side my biggest influence has really been the entire Duininck Companies organization. We’re the third generation of the family business. Our 2nd generation partners always taught us to be ser- Judd, back right, takes the business of golf to Washington DC. Page 38 Page 29
Judd, third from right, and crew vant leaders. It’s more than the work. It’s the relationships above and beyond the work. At the end of the day we are here to serve others. Sneaking up on 30 years in the business, which projects have come to mean the most for you? It’s not one specific course. What I appreciate the most have been the projects where the entire team – owner, consultants, architect and our team – are all rowing in the same direction. That may sound easy but for some reason not all projects go that way. When everyone has their main role, but everyone is willing to be flexible and collaborate and make the project better, you feel free to share what you really think. Maybe it’s humility? A willingness to drop the ego and collaborate and get it done. Leaving your ego at the door. Finding those right relationships for projects is really key. Page 39
What would you tell a young person considering a career as a golf course builder? I always emphasize both the positives and the challenges. On the upside, the golf course business is the most fun type of construction to be involved in. Every project it different. The type of work being completed changes often – you’re doing demolition, clearing, earthwork, drainage, feature construction, irrigation, finishing, etc. There’s nothing more gratifying than pulling it all together at the very end and seeing the finished product. The people you get to work with are great people to be involved with. On the other hand, unfortunately, the business demands time away from family. Therein lies the constant struggle. I think that’s why it’s not unheard of for people to change careers after a while. They don’t jump to another competitor; they move on to something that’s more conducive to a healthy family life for them. Name the #1 most game-changing technology for golf course construction in your view. As a company, it’s been implementation of GPS in general. That said, some people now Page 40
Judd, right, and Ahren Habicht, Duininck Golf Operations Manager
think you just stick a GPS unit on your dozer and go build golf courses. It obviously doesn’t work like that because the operator and shaper are still heavily relied on for creativity and artistic ability. But GPS has taken design, layout and data collection to whole new levels. I can remember using a hand-drawn Judd and Executive Director of the plan from an older architect GCBAA, Justin Apel who didn’t know how to do CAD work. We took a picture of the drawing with a phone, emailed it to ourselves and built a CAD plan around it. From there our incredible estimating team uploaded it into our GPS system and we staked the project with the GPS. That’s pretty incredible. It’s all GPS-driven now. Accurate as-builts are crucial and GPS gives us that ability. If you could wave a magic wand and fix one thing wrong with the golf construction business, what would it be? I’d like to go back to the ‘90s when the golf course construction industry was booming because back then we had -- and I’m putting this carefully -more financial flexibility and give-and-take in the process. Everything now is much more constrained after the housing industry became dominant in golf it became much more cost centric. That was kind of the tipping point between the early years of the business and today. Now, as a mature industry, you can still make money, but margins are so much tighter and there’s far more pressure on us to get even small things right. We take great pride in partnering with architects and consults on Page 41
projects. I am so proud of how the high quality project management our team does on the upfront job planning to make it simple for the entire team. This helps take pressure off the owners and architects. Final thoughts? We’re truly blessed to be living in a country that allows us to do the things we love to do and gives us the freedom to live out our passions. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to serve. God’s blessed me with an amazing family and a great career and a spectacular team who really work to get it done. I’m blessed to have this amazing opportunity that lies in front of me. I’m honored and humbled at the opportunity to help the GCBAA make tremendous strides and move forward.
Judd credits his wife Shelly for playing a major role in his success. “ All those years I spent on the road. She’s raised our kids and met every challenge. I literally couldn’t do it without her.” Page 42
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Meet the MGCSA John Steiner White Bear Yacht Club Interview by Joe Berggren
Public or Private: Private Number of Holes: 18 Fulltime employees: 4 Seasonal employees (not including full time): 18-22 Number of employees of entire facility at peak season: 60 or so. Types of grass: Annual bluegrass, bentgrass, perennial ryegrass, fine fescues, Kentucky bluegrass and an assortment of other species. Total course acreage: 100 acres Greens acreage: 2.5 acres Tee acreage: 2.5 acres Fairway acreage: 43 acres Rough acreage: 45 acres Range tee acreage: 23,000ft2
Professional Facts with John How many years have you been in your current position? Since 1979. How many years have you been in the turf industry? This will be my 51st season in the grounds department at White Bear Yacht Club. I worked the summer of 1969 at the golf course in Palm Desert. I also caddied at White Bear in 1967 and 1968. Turf School Attended (if any)? I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in turf.
Industry thoughts with John What is one “master plan” thing you would like to change at your golf course? Nothing. What concerns do you have the turf business and the future of golf? The employee situation with the lack of labor pool. I don’t have a good answer to fix it. I wish I did. What piece of equipment do you want? A skid loader with a grapple attachment. In terms of industry costs (equipment, pesticides, labor, etc.) are they too low, too high or just right? Too high.
FUN FACTS with John Have you ever met a celebrity? Yes, Bob Hope, Robert Conrad and Bill Murray. What is your favorite vacation spot? The Caribbean. What is your favorite memory of starting your turf career? Dr. Don White. What is your favorite job on the golf course? Killing weeds and fungi. What is your least favorite job on the golf course? Fairway aerification. Have you played any famous golf courses? Which ones? Yes, Old Head in Ireland. Who is your dream foursome? Myself with Donald Ross, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan. Page 45
In Bounds by Jack MacKenzie, CGCS
Perhaps I have an overabundance of time to think about … things.
is a mystery because in this world we have Will a two-part resin adhesive joint the infamous, become discolored in direct sunlight obnoxious, undisproportionately to a one part der-educated wood glue joint? Why are compul- and unreasonsive behaviors extremely specific? able population of golf-haters. Is the trade-off for precious metals and associated economic stimulus Throughout the Corona Virus panic, worth placing the Boundary WaI have heard the argument that golf ters Canoe Wilderness Area at risk must “soft sell” itself so as to not of an environmental catastrophe? tarnish the game’s reputation. LoWill allowing the play of golf during cally, and nationally, the idea that the CV-19 Pandemic cast a negative self-advocacy is a bad thing for our shadow upon the game of golf? industry, either as a vocation or recreation, and will negatively impact The first can be proven through trial our profession, is nonsense to my and error, the second via on-line way of thinking. research, the third I hope to never find out and the fourth nonsense. Golf’s reputation? Doesn’t it fall into three categories; love, indifferYes, the final question is real as it ent and hate. What other athletic resides in minds of many individu- competition elicits all three reacals in the golf industry. Yet, to me, tions? I suggest none, well maybe it is an enigmatic concern. The Professional Wrestling does, but perceived “fear of misperception” that is an anomaly. Does anyone
â&#x20AC;&#x153;hateâ&#x20AC;? baseball, auto racing, marathon running, trans Atlantic sailing or even badminton to the degree golf-haters passionately decry golf? Many are passionate about sporting distractions, I argue many more are neutral and very few are passionately averse to any sport. Except perhaps golf-haters. The game that provides millions of
participants incredible satisfaction and tens of thousands a wonderful vocation, golf, is unreasonably and viscerally hated by an impressive number of people. This sentiment is completely unreasonable and no amount of logic nor good deeds, tangible or implied, will change the naysayers of golf.
Through not promoting our business, and the use of our properties, during a time when doing so is one of the few things possible, out of fear we would upset our detractors, is a concept difficult for me to get my arms around. Are they not already detractors? I do not care about their ill begotten reasoning, golf-haters hated golf yesterday, they hate golf today and will hate golf tomorrow. It does not matter how golf presents itself, golfhaters hate golf.
Neutrality rules my planet for several reasons: I like something, I haven’t invested much thought into the specific topic, I have thought about an issue and feel there are better things for me to think about or I just don’t care. But I cannot think of anything that causes me personally the pains of disdain I perceive when the golf-haters amass and fling their weight. Hmmm, that statement gets me thinking.
Do industries, and in particular golf, create their own reality by thinking they are much more important than they really are?
The anti-golf crowd already parades in their own arena. Would seeing golfers on a golf course, or hearing professionals advocate for their right to be employed, send neutral minded people into the ring of “haters”? Likely not. Why would it?
Do golf-haters fling their weight? And if they do, does their displacement matter to anyone but themselves? Maybe…. but…
Is it a perception problem in the minds of the golf industry? Perhaps the misperception is that the sport, played or facilitated, interprets that people who are neutral about golf, will change their attitude to that of the dreaded golf-hater, if the opportunity bites them in the nose.
groundwater recharge, wildlife corridors, pollinator habitat, carbon sequestration, oxygen generation... kind of a “big Deal”.
The more I put thoughts to the subject, the more I think golf is a “big deal” and fear of promoting ourselves as such, because we perceive Have we created our own misper- those neutral on golf will convert to ception? Maybe the golf-haters are “haters”, limits our potential to be way less significant than industry perceives them to be? Perhaps we need to focus on the fact that golf in Minnesota is a $2.3 billion economic “big deal”. The 25,000 people who work in the industry are a “big deal”. The 600,000 Minnesotans who play golf are passionate about their recreational distraction and think of golf as a “big deal” to their lifestyle. The $64 million in charitable dollars generated through Minnesota Golf is a an “exceptional deal”. “big deal”. You have heard the mantra, “ the There I go thinking again…. local golf course is a community’s largest rain garden”. How true...