Hole Notes April 2017

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Hole Notes The Official Publication of the MGCSA

Vol. 52, No. 3 April 2017

Who Let The Bikes Out?

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Thank You Annual MGCSA Sponsors


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C u t y o u r Tu r f , n o t y o u r B u d g e t . And take advantage of Turfwerks’ Customized Financing Options! Think new or used equipment is out of your budget - Think Again! At Turfwerks can we work with you to offer your course customized financing. To find out how we can help, contact your sales rep today.

You get the equipment you need, golfers get the greens they want, we get a happy customer. Call Turfwerks today to discuss financing options for your Golf Course. Adam Hoffman Ph: 612-802-3149 • Nick Sherer Ph: 612-308-0102 • Mitch Stewart Ph: 515-240-8874 PAR AIDE

1 7 1 0 A l e x a n d e r R o a d • E a g a n , M N 5 5 1 2 1 • w w w. Tu r f w e r k s . c o m

April 24 Assistant Superintendent In-Reach Education and Golf Rush Creek Golf Club Host Assistant Matt Cavanaugh May 2 MGA Spring Turf Forum Hazeltine National Golf Club Host Chris Tritabaugh May 25 Badgerland Exposure Golf Event Luck Golf Club Host Kevin Clunis CGCS Page 4


Vol. 52, No. 3 April 2017

Feature Articles: H2B or Not-2B


pages 14 - 23

by Matt Cavanaugh

UMN Spring Course Report By Dr. Brian Horgan and Sam Bauer Managing Organic Matter In Putting Greens By Adam Moeller and Todd Lowe Improving Pollinator Habitat for Minnesota Golf Courses


by Dr. Frank Wong and Tom Steigauf

Compilation by John Gallman

Who Let The Bikes Out?


24- 27


28 - 36


38 - 41


46 - 50

Monthly Columns:

New Feature Article: On Sight Sam Bauer, UMN Turfgrass Extension Scientist Pages 26 - 28

Presidential Perspective pages 6 - 9 By Erin McManus In Bounds pages 10 - 12 By Jack MacKenzie, CGCS Within the Leather By Jamie Bezanson

pages 60 - 62

Cover Shot:

Would your course allow bikes as an alternative to carts or caddies? What about a “fat tire” track? Affiliate Spotlight: Ferguson Waterworks Pages 58 - 61

More Great Content: Incident and Emergency Response Planning


52 - 54

by Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Do Your Employees Believe What You Say? Pages 42 - 44 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 jack@mgcsa.org. Page 5

Presidential Perspective by Erin McManus, Superintendent Medina Golf and Country Club

Master’s Weekend to Start the Minnesota Golf Season

We typically open right around Masters Weekend every year. We have opened in March and sometimes still have snow going into the third week of April but our average is around the Masters Tournament. Troy Tschida, Superintendent at Meadowbrook, approached me late last year about attending the Masters and I have always put it off because we typically are really busy getting the golf course open. After discussing it with several people and getting Jeff Drimel, PGA at Medina Golf and Country Club, on board with attending, I decided to just go and see the Tournament in person. We had rented a house close to the golf course and were planning on attending the Masters Thursday through Sunday.

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We had early flights on Thursday morning leaving Minneapolis at 5:20 am, giving us enough time to drive to Augusta from Atlanta and catch the afternoon rounds as they finish. Typical Golf Course Superintendent luck, the weather in Atlanta was terrible Wednesday night. Our flight was cancelled at 3:30 am and the scramble to get another flight began. We were booked on flights to Kansas City, then on to Atlanta later in the afternoon. Great! we thought, as we would still get to Augusta for Fridays rounds. Unfortunately, the flight from Minneapolis to Kansas City was cancelled and it appeared we might not even get out of Minnesota until Friday at the earliest. Superintendents at golf courses tend to come up with some pretty unique solutions to problems on

the course. As we were discussing options with the ticket agents for Delta, we were coming up with just about anything we could think of to get somewhere and then to Atlanta. Las Vegas was on the table as they had a direct flight to Atlanta earlier on Friday. We were about to head to Las Vegas and watch the Masters for the night, then catch the direct flight to Atlanta when I looked at the map and noticed the Raleigh/ Durham airport was four and a half hours from Augusta. If you know me even a little bit, I will drive six hours to shoot pheasants for a day then return home. I asked the Delta agent about flights into Raleigh/ Durham and she said they had three seats available and booked them. This got us into Augusta Thursday night and was our only option to be able to see golf played at Augusta National on Friday. We got up early on Friday and headed to The Masters around 5:00 am with a quick stop at the donut shop. We were at the gate

by 6:00am for the wait until we could get on the course. Being around golf courses for over 25 years and attending PGA tournaments at different venues, I always find it fun to see how the tournament operates. How do they manage parking, traffic flow, patron access and crowd control. Augusta National handles this very well and the flow of patrons onto the course was very efficient and respectable. All aspects of crowd control and keeping people moving through the merchandise, food and bathroom lines was well planned out executed. My first glimpse of the golf course itself was looking across one fairway from the main scoreboard area and I was shocked at the elevation change. Many people told me that I would not believe the elevation change on the property and it was impressive. After watching the tournament on TV for years the golf holes I thought were great were so much

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more impressive with the elevation changes and buried elephants around some of the greens. We were able to walk the front 9 before golf started and then watched some of the morning groups. A couple of the highlights for golf on Friday were watching Rory McElroy chip in on #4 to a tough pin on the back right plateau and Henrik Stenson snap hooking it into the bleachers on #14. We were sitting in the grandstands on the right side of the hole 100 yards off the tee and Troy was wondering if anybody would hit these bleachers. We got out of the stands and were on the 13 side and sure enough Henrik Stenson clanged one off the

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bleachers. Stenson then proceeded to crush a three wood towards the green, laughing about it the whole time. There were a ton of great golf shots witnessed and it was great to have a couple good friends to enjoy the tournament with. Troy was always pointing out where someone hit a great shot from in the past and JD, having played Augusta National 20 years ago, would let us know what shots he hit on certain holes. We had great banter all weekend and came away with some great one-liners. One of my highlights was watching an older gentleman walking towards me and I recognized his face but it wasn’t

until I saw his badge that I turned to JD and said “That’s f#@#$%^ Tom Fazio.” After a couple minutes I turned to JD to ask him if I really did say out loud “That’s f#@#$%& Tom Fazio.“ It kind of became a running joke the rest of the weekend.

We heard the roar then had to wait until the scores were posted. They posted Rose’s birdie and the crowd at 18 made a big roar. The person working the scoreboard had the dramatic pause turning up Sergio’s eagle and the roar on 18 was even louder.

Sitting on 18 green watching the final groups finish on Saturday and Sunday were one of the big highlights of the weekend. There is a no cell phone policy and no electronic scoreboards or big screens showing highlights. The difference in atmosphere between The Masters and The Ryder Cup was monumental. Both were great tournaments, but the Masters had a unique unknown. We always hear about the roar of the crowd at the Masters and I finally get why it is a big deal at Augusta. We were sitting on 18 green and hear the roar from 15 when Justin Rose made birdie and then Sergio made eagle. The only information we had on 18 was what the leaderboard showed.

The tournament was great to watch in person and enjoy with a couple great friends. There were a lot more highlights and memories from the weekend as it was something special that everyone should try to get to at least once. I would like to thank my assistants Kurt Wacker and Nick Walters for getting Medina Golf and Country Club open for play while I was enjoying the Masters Golf Tournament. It is great to be able to know things are getting taken care of even if I am not on property. I would also like to thank JD and Troy for making it a great and memorable trip. I hope everyone gets the course ready for summer and has a great golf season.

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In Bounds by Jack MacKenzie, CGCS

Recently, on a warm and sunny spring day, sitting in the rickety wooden cedar swing, I was watching the ice go out on the small lake behind the house, while having a very long and pleasant conversation with my Mom. Out of the blue, I had this desire to reach out and let her know how truly happy I am with the way my life was shaping up. Family first, I couldn’t be prouder of my children and their families, my siblings and their graceful glide into maturity and my always loving wife; my “true love.” Each of us has suffered losses, made monumental gains and shared compassion for others yet stayed true to who we were raised to be. We pay our taxes (I think), don’t sell illegal substances and haven’t killed anyone… Mom’s snicker was

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almost audible! Job second; Mom listened as I emphasized how comfortable I feel in my not-so-new position as administrator of the business end of the MGCSA. Never a dull day, new ideas to share and challenges to conquer, my second career offers me opportunities to really apply myself beyond my comfort zone as I provide services for a wonderful group of professionals. I never thought I could enjoy a job more than being a superintendent, but quite happily, I do. Indeed, I am very satisfied with my life as I try to tread lightly upon my walk through time. After a pause in the conversation to hear the ice crackle and watch it shift with the prevailing wind, slowly giving up its winter dominance and opening up to a summer solution, the dialogue continued.

My voice tight with emotion, I went on thanking her for being there when I needed her most; amazing hugs when one of my many pets passed away, a shoulder for my tears when my first wife told me she wanted a divorce and the stoic challenge of, “what are you going to do about your problem,” after I confessed my alcoholic disposition. Each moment was a lesson in empathy, with a twist of distance, as she allowed me to figure out the mysteries of life on my own and without her intervention. They were my lessons to learn after all. Yes, always present when I needed her and just as willing to stand by and allow me my right-of-way down the road of life as I developed into an adult. With eyes following the flight of a Bald Eagle, I reminded Mom of the inspiration she provided my sister, brothers and me when it came to our love for the outdoors. The picnics, agate hunts, canoe treks upon the St. Croix River,

BWCA experiences, bird feeding, cross country skiing, showering in a summer rain, catching and releasing again the neighborhood’s turtles, chipmunks, woodchucks and an occasional blackbird and having special ‘nature’ cookouts at the edge of our property near the big pond. Perhaps it was she who unconsciously spurred me into a career related to the out-of-doors. Just as likely her adventuring spirit travels in my blood as I solo the wilderness or explore above the Arctic Circle. At that point, I suppose Mom may have thought I was rambling on, and I guess I was; yet she continued to listen pensively. Not atypical for a woman with her depth of wisdom. “Hey Mom,” I went on, “A published writer on your own, I really, really appreciated your encouragement to apply myself to the written word in reading and composition. After a summer of

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mandated math tutoring and not gaining a single bit of knowledge, I am thrilled that you allowed me to pursue my God given strengths in the sciences, history, reading and writing.” “And of course let us not forget how you instilled my kitchen prowess by allowing me to sit on the corner countertop sharing my days at school, the girls, the sports, my friends and teachers as I unknowingly absorbed the skills necessary to prepare some mighty fine grub. A toast to you,” I said.

each event special. “Then again Mom,” I reminded her. “You always made the ordinary super extraordinary.” The late afternoon warmth and continued wave action had removed all traces of ice. It was productive to reminisce with my mother on this wonderful spring day.

It is not even Mother’s Day and I think of her more now than I did when she was alive. Gone for almost twelve years, my mom is as close to me as ever, singing in my heart, stimulating my mind Before I ended our visit I and inspiring goodness, truth and brought up the magic she introduced respect. I love you Mom, and I into our family holidays. Green always will. Thank you for listening mashed potatoes on St. Patrick’s once again. Day, home-made heart shaped Valentine cookies and Baskin Robin’s individual ice creams cups Postscript: Mother’s Day is May on my birthday at grade school, 14th. In hindsight, I realize that dressed-up Thanksgiving and my commitment to the job left little Christmas dinners with always room to celebrate all that my Mom a different main course; goose, had done for me. Don’t make the suckling pig, fried shrimp, standing same error, take time and worship rib roast, leg of lamb, ham shanks… the mom’s in your life

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H2B or Not 2-Be

Text and Pictures provided by Matt Cavanaugh, Assistant Superintendent at Rush Creek Golf Club Me: “It was your weekend to work, why didn’t you show up?” Employee: “Someone put me in a sleeper hold on Friday and I was out cold all weekend?”

able to do this work, but not willing to do the work. To find these individuals, Rush Creek turned to the government program known as H-2B, which “allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs.” Most of you reading this have heard of the programs, but may not know that much about it. I’m not going to get into all the different forms that need to be filed and what the specific order is (that’s why Rush Creek gets a lawyer), but I will describe the general process and some of the financial outlay that may be incurred. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website has plenty of information the specific paperwork and steps to take. https://www.uscis.gov/ working-united-states/temporaryworkers/h-2b-temporary-non-agricultural-workers

Yes, that actually happened and yes, I laughed at that one. What else could I do? Staffing quality individuals is probably the biggest issue most of us deal with. Not disease pressure, not keeping grass alive in the summer, not staying within budget, its finding quality employees that proves the most challenging. At Rush Creek, we have always had very good luck with hiring retired individuals to ride equipment. However, we have eight walk mowers that go out on a daily basis and that is no job that any retired individual can do on a consistent basis. So, we need to find people able (and willing) to do this job on top of many other more physical jobs that we are all familiar with. Rush Creek was finding that the local workforce was Step 1: Obtain a lawyer: I don’t

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Class of 2016 on a big sod project. The H2B program can be successful know of many individuals that are willing to navigate the H-2B process and paper work (which there is a lot of) without a lawyer. Rush Creek has always used the services of a lawyer to go through the four to five month H-2B process. There is plenty of lawyer speak and more than one government agency to deal with (who are very particular) in the H-2B program which a lawyer hopefully knows how to handle. The different government agencies in-

clude: Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry (MnDLI). All lawyers are not created the same so it is worth the time to look at a few different options. Cost for this can vary widely as well, but expect to pay between $4,000 and $10,000. Rush

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Creek has been on the low end of this scale, but the cost has been going up. Step 2: Get the prevailing wage: From a government standpoint, the main reason for the H-2B program is to prove that local individuals are not available for these positions. The government wants local individuals hired for these jobs so there is a specific process that needs to be followed to show that local individuals were given an opportunity for the positions first. This first includes

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getting a prevailing wage from the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry. For 2017 the number given to anyone in the Twin Cities metro area using the H-2B program was $14.32/hour which then included overtime pay of $21.48/hour after 80 hours in a two-week pay period. Step 3: Post the job: The job description and salary is then posted for 30 days on minnesotaworks. net. Resumes are submitted to your specific page in the website which you are responsible for monitoring.

Above, our newspaper job placement advertisement Page 17

When a resume is submitted, specific action is needed immediately on each submitted resume. As soon as you receive a resume contact the candidate. If the candidate provided a phone number you need to call. If the candidate does not respond to a phone call, you need to proceed as followed: 1. Send the candidate a certified letter as detailed in “sample letter 1”. “Sample letter 1” indicates that we (the employer) have received notification that you (prospective employee) are interested in a position at Rush Creek and we would like to set up an interview. Additional specific details of what this letter needs

to contain should be provided by your lawyer. 2. At the same time, and if the candidate applied through the Minnesota works website, send the candidate a message with the exact content of “sample letter 1” via the website. 3. If the candidate responds, immediately set up an interview with the candidate and have them come to you for the interview (at the place where they will work). At the interview take notes of all details and record them in the interview log (also provided by the lawyer). Identify if you have hired the candidate or not (and why not) in the interview log. a. If the candidate does not show up

The H2B team at Rush Creek are ready to tee it up. Look out Sergio! Page 18

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to the schedule interview, immediately send the candidate a certified letter with the contents of the “no show sample letter”. Indicate the candidate was a no show in the interview log. 4. If a candidate has not responded to you after you send ‘sample letter 1” and three days have passed, send him an email via the website with the contents of “sample letter 2”. “Sample letter 2” indicates that we (the employer) tried to contact you to set up and interview. Since no response was heard from you we assume you are no longer interested in the position and the position will

be offered to other individuals. It is important to keep track of every applicant that applies via the interview log for H-2B applicants even if an in-person interview is not required. Step 4: Local paper job posting: Along with the website post, a job posting also needs to be advertised in a local newspaper (Star Tribune or Pioneer Press depending on your location). The job description and items needed in the job posting are determined by the H-2B program. There are specific items that need to be in the posting in order to be Page 19



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compliant (Photo 1). This posting needs to run for 2 days with one of the days being a weekend. Rush Creek’s ad has always run on Friday and Sunday. In this situation, paper resumes are mailed to the address placed in the job posting. When a resume is received, the process detailed in step 3 above needs to be followed, except for contacting the individual via the website. Cost for running the newspaper ad is about $1,500. Step 5: Conduct local interviews: From steps three and four you may or may not have anyone interested in interviewing for the position. In most years, there are some local interviews to conduct. Understand that in the H-2B process you have determined a specific number of H-2B visas (workers) that you need for your seasonal staff. Anyone local hired through this process will count against your visa numbers. Also remember that they will be paid the prevailing wage determined by the state as detailed above. Keep that in mind as issues may arise with current staff not hired through the H-2B process that may not be getting paid this specific prevailing

wage. After the local interviews are conducted, a recruitment report will be filed detailing the outcome of each individual that sent a resume. Step 6: Wait to be granted permits: After submitting all the correct paper work, doing all the interviews, submitting all the correct interview paper work, the USCIS is now ready to determine if you are granted your permits. This is not guaranteed; your petition for H-2B visas can be rejected. Permits may also be delayed in order to ask additional questions to further investigate your need for H-2B workers (called an RFE, Request For Evidence). This has actually happened the past 2 years and delayed us from getting eleven of our seasonal help until May 13th in 2016. Step 7: Schedule embassy visits: Once permits are granted, embassy visits need to be scheduled. The individual visa holders are then screened one more time before they are granted permission to enter the United States. Although the individuals that you have chosen to work at your course will have been vetted, they may not be granted permission Page 21

to enter based any number of issues. In order to facilitate the embassy visit process, Rush Creek has used the services of an “Immigration Expert” that takes care of this last step. This service has been very valuable as it can be very chaotic working with the embassy. Cost for this service is $1,000. Once the embassy visits are completed the individuals are able to enter the United States and do so and head to Rush Creek.

1. $150 fraud fee to the Department of Homeland Security 2. $460 filing fee to the Department of Homeland Security 3. $1225 premium processing fee to the Department of Homeland Security 4. Additional costs, which can be seen in the newspaper add, are required for each H-2B employee traveling to Minnesota and back home, which can vary depending on how many individuals you have Step 8: Provide high fives: Once coming to work for you. It may be your seasonal staff arrives, there are as much as $300-500 per individual. smiles all around. You are happy to have your staff in place and they This brings the total cost of the proare happy to be in the United States cess (not including individual travel making a much better wage than costs) to $8,335 to $14,335. Keep in they would back home. In the H-2B mind that this money is non-refundprocess, an end date is determined able if permits are not granted. Once in which they have to return to their the money is paid, you will not get home country before or on that date. it back no matter what happens If this does not happen, each indiwhich is a risk many are not willing vidual returning after the specified to take. date most likely will not be allowed to return and it may also impact There is also a statutory numerical your future H-2B process altogether. limit, or “cap,” on the total number of foreign nationals who may be Additional items: issued an H-2B visa or otherwise granted H-2B status during a fisOther fees beyond the ones indicat- cal year. The current cap for H-2B ed above include: visas is 66,000 per fiscal year, with Page 22

33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (October 1 - March 31) and 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 - September 30, which would be us). Any unused numbers from the first half of the fiscal year will be available for employers seeking to hire H-2B workers during the second half of the fiscal year. Rush Creek has never had an issue with the cap. The only issue we had was a whole H-2B program issue back in 2008 when we did not get any of our H-2B workers. It was a rough year to say the least.

One last item, how do you find your staff? Rush Creek has been very lucky to have an individual that has been with us since 1999 that we trust to find qualified individuals. We have had a very stable staff with most returning every year, but some choose not to come back for various reasons. The Immigration Expert mentioned above can also help with finding workers. The H-2B process can be costly, unpredictable and slow, but the quality and consistency of the employees provided has been worth the hassles for Rush Creek. However, I do not recommend doing the process alone.

A Brief Autobiography by Matt Cavanaugh: A few turf classes at Kansas State & the University of Minnesota have provided me gainful employment for 15 years in the turfgrass industry. Assistant superintendent, grounds manager for a school district (I don’t want to talk about it), sales rep, turfgrass research scientist (I’m not that fancy) and now back as an assistant superintendent. I enjoy learning, talking and sharing about turf. Page 23

2017 Spring Golf Course Report Sam Bauer and Dr. Brian Horgan, University of Minnesota Extension The winter of 2016/17 was anything but normal and it feels like we’re getting used to saying that every spring. An exceptionally warm November, over an inch of rainfall (and therefore ice) on Christmas, golf in mid-February, a general lack of snow cover, and temperatures more than 10 degrees below average in early-March are just a few of the ups and downs that we’ve experienced in the Twin Cities metro region this winter. So, what does this mean for turf and golf courses, you might ask?

we were concerned about the early accumulation of ice on turf surfaces from the late- December rain, as extended periods of ice cover can cause suffocation and a toxic buildup of gases under impermeable ice sheets; annual bluegrass is reported to die in as little as 20-30 days under ice while bentgrass will survive for much longer. Fortunately, the mid-February thaw meant that a majority of the ice cover issues were behind us, but another challenge was looming. Annual bluegrass is known to initiate growth, or deacclimate, sooner in the spring Ultimately, the best winter than creeping bentgrass. This has we could have for golf course turf been reported by researchers at the would be a gradual cool down in University of Massachusetts in Dr. the fall, which helps to harden off Michelle DaCosta’s program (see: grasses for winter (a process known http://usgatero.msu.edu/v13/n3-6. as acclimation), followed by good pdf). The concern here, relates to a insulating snow cover on frozen winter injury phenomenon known soils, and a gradual warm up in the as crown hydration. If annual bluespring causing de-hardening (deac- grass were to come out of dormancy climation) of our grasses. This win- during the warmup in February, it ter was anything but that. Initially, would take up water, and ultimately

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succumb to ice crystal formation in the crowns of plants causing most certain death. For golf course superintendents with uncovered annual bluegrass, we started to ask the question “is there anything you can do to protect your annual bluegrass if it did come out of dormancy?� Superintendents Erin McManus (Medina Country Club) and Brent Belanger (U of M Golf Course) allowed us to place both Excelsior and Evergreen covers on their annual bluegrass that was suspected to have woken up during this warm stretch; our goal being to protect it from the impending cold. The covers were initially placed on February 22nd before the cool-down, and removed on March 27th. Pictured below are the results after removing covers from this turf. For golf courses with cov-

ered putting greens, patience became more of a factor. Covered turf tends to heat up more during extended warm periods, so deacclimation would be accelerated in this situation, but ultimately the covers would moderate the extreme reduction in temperatures going forward. We’ve visited several golf courses this spring with covered putting greens and the results vary from vibrant green, to turf that lost a majority of its color and has yet to show much life. Patience is the key at this time of year. For many golf courses with concerns of winter injury, mainly on putting greens, we suggest to pull samples and put them under lights in your maintenance facility to assess the extent of possible damage. Turfgrass death from crown hydration, low temPage 25

perature injury, desiccation, or ice cover will generally give the appearance of a straw-like color or black in some cases. If you find green tissue near the crowns of your turf, chances are good that it’s still alive and will resume growth when temperatures increase. The extended forecast looking out as far as Friday, April 7th has us optimistic about the resumption of growth. At this point it is not a case of brown = dead. Golfing members, greens committees, general managers and golf professionals will be asking the question of why the course across the street looks different from yours, and why “are they open and we’re not”. Everything comes into play here, including fall cultural practices, cover and topdressing programs, turf species and variety, rootzone composition, microclimates – to name a few – but keep in mind, a loss of green color over the winter does not mean you’re worse or better at your job than the next guy. It’s still March, and hopefully the temperatures this March helped to put that into perspective for your stakeholders. Your turfgrass management programs are aimed at providPage 26

ing the healthiest environment for your playing surfaces throughout the year given budget constraints and member expectations. Members who expected green speeds of 12 feet throughout November need to be educated on the potential consequence of stressful turf practices, such as low mowing heights and frequent rolling, that are required to achieve this. We are here to help with this type of education. Our best recommendation at this point is to be patient. If you’ve determined that significant death of turf surfaces has occurred (which in our opinion it is pretty early to determine that), then prepare for seedbed preparation, overseeding, dark sands and fertilizers, pigments, and likely covering to generate heat. These practices could be carried out as soon as next week. However, for your turf that simply lost color over the winter, these practices have the potential to do more harm than good for your dominant greens grasses that are only waiting for warmer temperatures. For the golfing members, greens committees, and other stakeholders that are reading this report, we can assure you Page 13

Left: University of Minnesota Les Bolstad Golf Course on March 27, 2017

Right: Medina Golf and Country Club on March 17, 2017

that no one has higher expectations for your property than your golf course superintendent and his/her key agronomic staff. Ultimately, the worst hing that you could do is pressure them into pushing the turf with agronomic practices or encouraging them to aerate and throw seed, when the turf just needs some time to resume growth. Do not open the golf

course if it isn’t ready, as there is no reason to sacrifice your entire golfing season or the integrity of the course that you respect so much for a couple weeks of early golf in lateMarch or early-April. Enjoy The Masters from the comfort of your couch- the Minnesota golf season is just around the corner, but it isn’t here yet! Page 59 Page 27

Managing Organic Matter in Putting Greens Effectively managing organic matter will help create the firm and smooth putting greens that golfers have come to expect. BY ADAM MOELLER AND TODD LOWE


oft playing conditions, deep ball marks, inconsistent green speed, and bumpy putting surfaces frustrate golfers and golf course superintendents. If golfers and superintendents both want firm and smooth putting greens, why do some facilities struggle to achieve these conditions? Putting greens might be temporarily soft or inconsistent for many reasons, such as recent rainfall, but when there are chronic issues the underlying problem is often excessive organic matter just beneath the putting surface. Core aeration, verticutting, and topdressing are the primary agronomic practices used to manage organic matter, but they are disliked by most golfers. The choice for superintendents is a difficult one: Upset golfers by failing to produce the desired playing conditions, or upset them by occasionally implementing disruptive programs that are necessary to produce the desired conditions. Since course conditioning is one of the most important factors affecting golfer satisfaction (M. Adler, 2013), effective organic matter management should trump occasional disruptions for maintenance. This article will assist golf course superintendents and the golf community by describing the most effective programs for managing organic matter in putting greens.


Surface organic matter, or thatch, is a layer of dead and living shoots, grass stems, and roots that accumulates just below the putting surface. A small amount of organic matter is necessary for putting greens to receive incoming golf shots and tolerate golfer foot traffic and routine maintenance programs. Conversely, excessive organic matter

Putting greens with excessive organic matter are prone to soft conditions, ball marks, inconsistent green speed, and a host of agronomic problems. can be detrimental to putting greens in many ways. Extensive research has demonstrated that soil physical properties of sand-based putting greens are impaired by elevated levels of organic matter in the upper 3 inches of the rootzone (Murphy et al., 1993; Neylan, 1994; Carrow, 2003). As organic matter increases in sand-based rootzones, soil macropores decrease. The reduction of macropores results in a host of problems, including lower oxygen diffusion rates, decreased water infiltration, and higher capillary porosity and moisture retention (O’Brien and Hartwiger, 2003). All of these problems

Green Section Record Vol. 54 (21) November 4, 2016

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increase the likelihood of soft playing conditions, inconsistent green speed, lack of smoothness, footprinting and golf shoe scuffing, disease, wet wilt, shallow rooting, black layer, and high-temperature stress. There are many agronomic programs that influence the playability and health of putting greens, but organic matter management is arguably the most important. Golf course superintendents work hard to produce the best conditions possible; however, if putting greens have too much organic matter, playing conditions will rarely meet or exceed golfer expectations.

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Superintendents have long known that managing organic matter and maintaining sand as the primary rootzone medium are important aspects of maintaining healthy putting greens and good playing conditions (O’Brien and Hartwiger, 2003). Sand is an ideal rootzone medium for putting greens because it resists compaction, allows uniform and rapid water infiltration, and strikes a balance between aeration and capillary — i.e., water-holding — porosity. These properties give superintendents better control of firmness and green speed, even when Mother Nature provides unwelcome rain. However, when organic matter levels become excessive, the desirable properties of sand are diminished and turf health and playing conditions begin to decline (O’Brien and Hartwiger, 2003). In severe cases, excessive organic matter can lead to rapid decline and even complete turf failure during periods of high temperature and humidity (Carrow, 2003; and Landreth et al., 2007). Concerns about excessive organic matter have led many superintendents to ask the question, How much organic matter is too much?


Many turfgrass researchers and agronomists have suggested critical thresholds for organic matter content in the upper rootzone. The most common range targeted by superintendents is no more than 3-4 percent by weight, a threshold established by research from numerous studies (O’Brien and Hartwiger, 2003). Organic matter levels greater than 4 percent are generally cause for concern. However, variability exists with organic matter testing procedures, mainly with sample depth, e.g., shallower depths often show higher organic matter content. The USGA Green Section Record article “Strategies for Organic Matter Control” outlines the variables that impact organic matter data and explains why using a scientific approach to manage organic matter can sometimes be frustrating. Collecting the most meaningful data about organic matter content can be achieved by: ● Having an accredited lab perform the analysis ● Sampling to a consistent depth of 2-3 inches

● Using

the loss-on-ignition method Laboratory data regarding organic matter content should be used as a benchmarking tool, not the sole factor guiding management programs. After all, some putting greens might perform well at one level of organic matter content while others experience problems. For instance, a creeping bentgrass putting green with 4 percent organic matter might perform well in Wisconsin but would likely struggle in regions with warmer summer weather. Lab results, recent putting green performance, and field observations should all be used to determine optimal levels of organic matter in putting greens.


Organic matter accumulation is linked to several factors, including the aggressive growth habit of some turfgrass species and cultivars, excessive nitrogen fertilization, poor air circulation, high soil moisture, and acidic soils, i.e., pH less than 6 (Carrow, 2003). Problems with excessive organic matter can become more severe when several of these conditions occur simultaneously.

Topdressing is crucial for managing organic matter and improving the smoothness and firmness of putting greens. Green Section Record Vol. 54 (21) November 4, 2016

©2016 by United States Golf Association. All rights reserved. Please see Policies for the Reuse of USGA Green Section Publications. Subscribe to the USGA Green Section Record. Page 2

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Core aeration remains the standard practice for removing organic matter and infusing a significant volume of sand into the upper rootzone. Equipment advancements have allowed for tighter tine spacing, removing more surface area in one core aeration event. In general, organic matter accumulates when programs that dilute organic matter are not keeping pace with organic matter production. The remainder of this article will outline the most common cultural practices for managing organic matter.


Light and frequent sand topdressing is the most important program for managing organic matter and producing smooth, firm putting greens. Topdressing dilutes organic matter as it accumulates, ensuring that macropores are not plugged by roots and decaying plant biomass. Each light application of topdressing sand also masks the imperfections created by ball marks and traffic. Developing a successful topdressing program is part of the art and science

of managing golf surfaces. Topdressing must be applied at a rate and frequency that match shoot growth in order to adequately dilute organic matter accumulation. The amount of topdressing required depends on the grass species and growth rate, which are affected by soil conditions, fertility, plant growth regulation inputs, traffic, and geographic location. There is not a “onesize-fits-all� topdressing program. However, many superintendents have found that applying topdressing sand at a rate of 0.5-1.5 cubic feet per 1,000 square feet every 7-14 days effectively dilutes organic matter throughout the growing season. Others will utilize a slightly longer interval if the putting greens are growing slowly. If too much sand remains on the surface after a topdressing application, it can disrupt ball roll and dull mower

Green Section Record Vol. 54 (21) November 4, 2016

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reels and bedknives. Low mowing heights and ultradense turf canopies can make it difficult to incorporate sand into the surface. Advancements in topdressing and brushing equipment and the use of walk-behind fertilizer spreaders have made it easier to incorporate sand into the turf canopy, reducing problems associated with sand remaining on the putting surface. Some superintendents have switched to weekly topdressing at ultralight rates, e.g., less than 0.5 cubic feet of sand per 1,000 square feet, to eliminate sand incorporation challenges. Ultralight application rates are low enough that sand is barely visible after it is worked into the turf canopy. Unfortunately, in many cases organic matter begins to accumulate at the surface after a year or two of ultralight topdressing. Although ultralight top-

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2017 MGA TURFGRASS FORUM A Free Informational Discussion & Round Table for MGA Member Clubs and Members

Hazeltine National Golf Club, Tuesday, May 2, 2017 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. (coffee & rolls will be served)


• Recapping the Ryder Cup Mr. Chris Tritabaugh

Hazeltine National Golf Club Superintendent

• University of MinnesotaUSGA Partnership Dr. Brian Horgan

University of Minnesota Turf Extension Specialist

• Latest Issues Facing Turfgrass Mr. Robert Vavrek

USGA Senior Agronomist, Central Region


Course Owners, General Managers, Golf Professionals, Golf Course Superintendents, Club Presidents, Green Chairs and any other MGA Members. • • •

There will be no fee for this forum. GCSAA educational points available PGA MSR credits available

Register by Thursday, April 27

For reservations, contact Joel Comstock, MGA Regional Affairs Director 952-345-3968 or joel@mngolf.org Please provide your name and golf course affiliation.

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dressing applications may smooth the surface, is the topdressing rate high enough to dilute organic matter? More research is needed to determine the interaction between topdressing application rate and frequency and organic matter dilution. However, the total amount of sand applied throughout the growing season — not the topdressing frequency — has the biggest impact on organic matter dilution (Vavrek, 2007). Sand moisture and particle size distribution play a big role in how easily

topdressing is incorporated into the turf canopy. Although dry sand is more expensive, it is worth the extra cost because it easily penetrates the turf canopy. Limiting the amount of topdressing particles larger than 1 millimeter will also facilitate sand incorporation. However, the coefficient of uniformity and the amount of particles smaller than 0.25 millimeter must be carefully monitored to ensure that the topdressing material is compatible with the underlying soils. Topdressing sands

Solid-tine aeration cannot correct problems such as layering, compaction, and excessive organic matter.


Core aeration is a very effective method of removing organic matter. It also makes incorporating topdressing sand into the upper rootzone easier. The core aeration process physically removes organic matter. Backfilling the resulting aeration holes with sand dilutes the remaining organic layer. Core aeration also reduces soil compaction and improves water infiltration. Golfers may dislike the disruption that accompanies core aeration, but the agronomic benefits are extremely important. The USGA Green Section Record articles “Core Aeration by the Numbers” and “Aeration and Topdressing for the 21st Century” formed the basis for many organic matter management programs over the past decade. To keep organic matter content below 3-4 percent in the upper rootzone, these articles recommend core aeration treatments that impact 15-20 percent of the putting surface each year and topdressing programs that incorporate at least 40-50 cubic feet of sand per 1,000 square feet annually. These recommendations are still relevant, but some facilities may need more or less core aeration and topdressing based on their grass species, rootzones, fertility, traffic, and climate. For example, golf courses in southern states with ultradwarf bermudagrass or creeping bentgrass putting greens often try to impact 20 percent or more of their putting surfaces with core aeration and verticutting each year. Northern courses with creeping bentgrass or Poa annua putting greens commonly target 15-20 percent. Tine size and spacing are easily adjusted, thanks to equipment advancements, providing superintendents more flexibility to achieve the desired amount Green Section Record Vol. 54 (21) November 4, 2016

©2016 by United States Golf Association. All rights reserved. Please see Policies for the Reuse of USGA Green Section Publications. Subscribe to the USGA Green Section Record.

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with a low coefficient of uniformity, i.e., less than 2.0, or a large percentage of particles smaller than 0.25 millimeter could cause soft conditions or undesirable moisture retention at the surface. Superintendents should closely monitor turf growth, playing conditions, and soil physical properties to determine the best topdressing rate, frequency, and sands for their putting greens.

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upper rootzone and helps with surface grooming. Light verticutting uses thin vertical blades to affect the leaves and stems of the upper turf canopy. Aggressive verticutting removes organic matter beneath the turf canopy, affecting leaves, stems, crowns, and roots. Aggressive verticutting can be performed with light verticutting blades set at deeper depths or by using wider blades, carbide-tip blades, or a more aggressive machine. Verticutting may be employed along with core aeration to remove more organic matter in a single cultivation event. For example, using 1-millimeter-wide blades at 1-inch centers can impact an additional 4 percent of a putting surface. Combining verticutting with core aeration is a good option when large amounts of organic matter need to be removed. Deep verticutting can sometimes replace a core aeration event, especially if sand is injected into the surface layer during the process. Aggressive verticutting can actually remove more surface organic matter than core aeration (Landreth et al., 2007), but, in most cases, the organic matter removal is limited to the upper 1 inch of the rootzone. Replacing core aeration with deep verticutting may not be the best practice if there are rootzone issues deeper in the profile. Research has also shown that aggressive verticutting can take 1-3 weeks longer to heal than core aeration (Landreth et al., 2007). Aggressive verticutting must be carefully performed when putting greens are healthy and actively growing to avoid a lengthy recovery time.

of surface area impacted from core aeration. Many golfers prefer superintendents to core aerate with tines smaller than 0.375 inch because putting surfaces can quickly recover. Unfortunately, small-diameter tines will remove less organic matter than larger tines. However, using small tines at a close spacing, e.g., 1.0- to 1.5-inch centers, can impact the same or more surface area than larger tines at a wider spacing. It is important to note that a tighter spacing does increase the potential for turf heaving, even with the best equipment. Select a tine size that allows for easy backfilling of the aeration holes. Putting conditions will be bumpier and the benefits of organic matter dilution will not be maximized if aeration holes are not completely backfilled with sand. Even though a small hole may recover quickly, backfilling aeration holes with a diameter smaller than 0.5 inches is considerably more difficult than filling larger aeration holes. Hand brushes or counter-rotating brushes often provide the best results when backfilling aeration holes. Improvements in aeration equipment have also increased the popularity of niche practices such as double core aeration. Double aeration is gaining popularity at courses with ultradwarf bermudagrass putting greens because it removes a tremendous amount of organic matter and reduces the number of disturbances to the golf calendar. However, superintendents should be aware that this program may be too aggressive for creeping bentgrass or shallow-rooted Poa annua putting greens. Core aeration should always be performed during periods of active growth. The USGA Green Section Record articles “Core Cultivation: Timing is Everything” and “Easing the Pain of Core Aeration” cover this topic in great detail. Spring, late summer, and early fall are the preferred seasons for core aerating cool-season putting greens, whereas summer is the ideal time to aerate warm-season putting greens.


Verticutting is a cultural practice that removes organic matter from the


Combining core aeration and verticutting is a great way to impact more surface area without extending recovery time.

Over the past decade there has been a growing interest in using only solidtine aeration programs, i.e., no core aeration, combined with light topdressing on a regular basis. Research from the University of Nebraska found that aerating twice annually with solid tines controlled organic matter as effectively as core aerating twice annually when topdressing was regularly applied (Schmidt et al., 2014). The research suggests that topdressing plays a more important role in managing organic matter than the style of aeration. Although the research from Nebraska Green Section Record Vol. 54 (21) November 4, 2016

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has only two years of data and was conducted under a high-nitrogen regime, it has influenced some facilities to abandon core aeration in exchange for solid-tine aeration programs. Solid-tine aeration is appealing because it is less costly, less disruptive, and still allows superintendents to modify the rootzone with sand. However, it is difficult to say if solid-tineonly programs can truly replace traditional core aeration. More research is needed before the long-term effects of solid-tine-only aeration on organic matter dynamics and other soil physical properties can be fully understood. In fact, several other studies found that topdressing alone did not adequately control organic matter accumulation, whereas core aeration, verticutting, and topdressing did control organic matter (Landreth et al., 2007; McCarty et al., 2007; and Ervin and Nichols, 2008). Where solid-tine-only aeration programs have been successful, the putting greens had a uniform sand profile, minimal organic matter, and no visible layering at the outset. These are necessary pre-conditions for a solidtine-only program to be successful over a long period of time. Solid-tine-only aeration programs will not correct problems with excessive organic matter, layering, poor infiltration, and compaction. Solid-tine aeration must be done in conjunction with regular topdressing to effectively control organic matter. Without regular topdressing, organic matter will accumulate and become detrimental to playing conditions and turf health. Superintendents also consistently report that less sand is incorporated into the rootzone when backfilling solid-tine aeration channels compared to core aeration channels of equal tine size, spacing, and depth. This is significant because many putting greens require sand modification to provide high-quality playing conditions and healthy turf, especially putting greens built with poorly draining native soils. A successful solid-tine-only aeration program also requires judicious fertility and irrigation inputs to control turfgrass growth rate. If putting green turf is rapidly growing and topdressing

The GradenÂŽ Contour Sand-Injection machine simultaneously verticuts and backfills the channels with sand. This machine effectively removes and dilutes organic matter near the surface, but the recovery time could be lengthy. frequency does not match the growth rate, organic matter will accumulate and problems can be expected. Despite some success stories, a solid-tine-only aeration program could prove problematic at many facilities. Superintendents following such a program should conduct annual soil tests to identify negative trends before they become problematic. USGA Green Section agronomists more commonly see putting greens that require conventional core aeration than putting greens that could support a solid-tine-only aeration program. If problems begin to arise from organic matter buildup, water retention, layering, or compaction, a solid-tine-only aeration program must be abandoned and immediately replaced with a conventional core-aeration program. Any delay could necessitate aggressive core aeration or verticutting for several years to correct the problem, increasing the disruption and cost of following conventional core-aeration program in the first place.


Sand-injection aeration, e.g., DryJectÂŽ, is becoming a popular supplemental

practice for managing organic matter. This process injects small columns of sand into the rootzone without removing cores from the putting green. Golfers prefer sand-injection over core aeration because it is much less disruptive, but, because this process does not remove any material, it should not be used to replace core aeration or verticutting. Technological advancements have improved the efficacy and injection depth of sandinjection equipment. However, deeper is not always better. The injection depth should be adjusted so the majority of sand is injected where it is needed most, often in the upper rootzone.


The growing variety of effective tools for managing organic matter has allowed traditional core aeration and topdressing programs to become more dynamic in recent years. However, traditional programs still provide the most consistent results for managing organic matter and improving putting green playing conditions. Incorporating newer techniques where appropriate is encouraged, but it is important to remember that what works at the Green Section Record Vol. 54 (21) November 4, 2016

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DryJect® machines infuse a significant amount of sand into the rootzone without much disruption to the putting surface. However, this process does not remove organic matter and should not be used to replace core aeration.

neighboring facility may not work for you. Regardless of the programs used, effectively managing organic matter with sound core aeration and sand topdressing practices will help create the firm, fast, and smooth putting greens that golfers have come to expect.

REFERENCES Adler, Max. “Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” Golf Digest, 17 Jul. 2013. Carrow, R. N. “Surface organic matter in bentgrass greens.” USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online, vol. 2, no. 17, 1 Sep. 2003, pp. 1-12. Ervin, Erik, and Adam Nichols. “Organic matter dilution programs for sand-based putting greens.” USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online, vol. 10, no. 8, 15 Apr. 2011, pp. 1-6.

Hartwiger, Chris, and Patrick O’Brien. “Core aeration by the numbers.” Green Section Record, vol. 39, no. 4, Jul./Aug. 2001, pp. 8-9. Landreth, Josh, et al. “Cultivating to manage organic matter in sand-based putting greens.” USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online, vol. 6, no. 19, 1 October 2007, pp. 1-7. McCarty, Lambert B., et al. “Thatch and mat management in an established creeping bentgrass golf green.” Agronomy Journal, vol. 99, no. 6, Nov./Dec. 2007, pp. 1530-1537.

O’Brien, Patrick, and Chris Hartwiger. “Aeration and Topdressing for the 21st Century.” USGA Green Section Record, vol. 41, no. 2, Mar./Apr. 2003, pp. 1-7. Schmid, Charles J., et al. “Cultivation Effects on Organic Matter Concentration and Infiltration Rates of Two Creeping Bentgrass Putting greens.” Applied Turfgrass Science, vol. 11, no. 1, Dec. 2014, pp. 1-7. Vavrek, Bob. “Quit Fooling Yourself.” USGA Green Section Record, vol. 45, no. 1, Jan. /Feb. 2007, p. 28.

Murphy, J. W., et al. “Age development in sand-based turf.” International Turfgrass Society Research Journal, vol. 7, 1993, pp. 464-468.

Vermeulen, Paul, and Chris Hartwiger. “Strategies for Organic Matter Control.” USGA Green Section Record, vol. 43, no. 3, May/Jun. 2005, pp. 18-19.

Neylan, John. “Sand profiles and their long-term performance.” Golf and Sports Turf Australia, Aug. 1994, pp. 22-37.

ADAM MOELLER is director of Green Section Education and Outreach. TODD LOWE is an agronomist in the Southeast Region.

The preceeding article is reprinted from the November, 2016, issue of the USGA Green Section Record, Volume 54, Issue 21. Copyright United States Golf Association. All rights reserved. The MGCSA wishes to thank the USGA for their continued support of our profession. Green Section Record Vol. 54 (21) November 4, 2016

©2016 by United States Golf Association. All rights reserved. Please see Policies for the Reuse of USGA Green Section Publications. Subscribe to the USGA Green Section Record.

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Help feed the bees!

Bees pollinate many fruits, nuts and vegetables. Today, they’re facing a food shortage of their own and need better access to pollen and nectar sources. Help the Feed a Bee initiative plant flowers in all 50 states to feed bees and other pollinators. Because feeding bees helps us all. Join us at FeedABee.com and on social with #FeedABee. Join us at FeedABee.com to get updates on monthly events and new content. You can also get involved by sharing a bee to feed a bee. For every use of the emoji and #FeedABee, Bayer will plant wildflowers on your “bee-half.” © 2017 Bayer CropScience LP, 2 TW Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. Always read and follow label instructions. Bayer and the Bayer Cross are registered trademarks of Bayer. For additional product information, call toll-free 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937) or visit our website at www.CropScience.Bayer.us. Follow us on Twitter at @Bayer4CropsUS.

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Improving Pollinator Health on Minnesota Golf Courses Dr. Frank Wong, Ph D. and Tom Steigauf Bayer Crop Science

Spring has sprung and before long, bees and butterflies will be active on courses and landscapes. Here’s just a few quick updates on things going on with pollinators and some potential things you might be able to tap into. Protecting Pollinators Best Management Practices Multi State Publication

Last August, a large and diverse group met in Sheboygan, Wisconsin to hammer out Best Management Practices to protect pollinators in managed turf systems. This group included 60-some university and industry researchers and representatives from diverse turf groups such as GCSAA, the National Association for Landscape Professionals and the Sports Turf Managers Association. Dr.Chris Williamson (University of Wisconsin), Dr. David Held (Auburn University) and Dr. Johnathan Larson (University of Nebraska) were critical in pulling together the day’s discussions and debate, as well as the most current research. The North Central IPM website is hosting these resources, both a fast facts short version and a full length BMP here: http:// ncipmc.org/action/pestguides.php The Fast Fact sheet’s direct URL is http://ncipmc.org/action/fastfactsbmpturf.pdf The Full Pollinator publication’s direct URL is http://ncipmc.org/action/ bmpturf.pdf In a nutshell, using products responsibly and increasing habitat are two Page 38

important things that golf courses can do to help pollinators. Pesticide Stewardship Around Pollinators Although the neonicotinoid insecticides are getting a lot of attention, there are a number of pesticides that can directly injure or kill bees. US EPA has listed 76 chemicals as acutely toxic to bees – 73 insecticides and 3 herbicides (see http://www.northeastipm.org/ipm-in-action/current-news/ proposal-to-protect-bees-from-acutely-toxic-pesticides/) . Bottom line – following simple BMPs can significantly reduce pollinator exposure when treating to control important turf insect pests. • Avoid spraying foraging pollinators directly with pesticides that have a high hazard for bees • Use granular formulations to reduce exposure • Mow off or control flowering weeds in turf to minimize pollinator activity in turf areas Page 39

• Water in applications to reduce potential contact exposure to pollinators Make sure to read the label for any pesticide application. There will be specific language on any produc label for pollinators if there’s a potential issue. Habitat and Forage on Golf Courses Golf courses can be an ideal place to establish habitat and forage to attract and support pollinator populations. MGCSA has been a Bayer Feed a Bee partner since 2015 and Bayer can help secure high quality bulk seed through this partnership for spring or fall plantings. Through our experience with MGSA partner courses and other sites, it’s clear that proper site preparation is critical for the establishment of a sustainable perennial habitat. New seeds do best when the competition is removed. Non-selective herbicide application to turf or other areas is a quick way to do this. A second application one or two weeks later can also help. Tillage or other mechanical methods can work to, but it’s essential that the existing plants are killed. After that, you can hand seed, broadcast, hydroseed or drill seed into the prepared areas. The first two seasons, you’ll need a little TLC to get these areas established including selective trimming, mowing and spot control of problem weeds. Ernst Seed has a simple guide here you can use: http://www.ernstseed. com/resources/planting-guides/uplands-meadows-and-pollinators-planting-guide/ Page 40

Feed a Bee Partnership Bayer recently announced the availability of $500,000 for Feed A Bee projects to promote habitat and forage for bees and pollinators. Golf courses have areas that can provide areas for habitat and provide a tangible solution for increasing pollinator populations. While MGCSA has been a Feed A Bee Partner since 2015, the current call for proposals can help establish special projects on your course that could provide additional public education and encouragement to increase forage for pollinators. Applications started being taken on a rolling basis on March 31, with fall of 2017 establishment in mind for the first round of projects. For more info, please see: https://www.cropscience.bayer.us/news/press-releases/2017/02212017feed-a-bee-launches-rfp-for-500000-pollinator-initiative Best of luck with everything this spring – if you have any questions about pollinators, product stewardship please contact me at frank.wong@bayer. com or @turfpathology on Twitter.

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The 10 Corporate Phrases That Tell Your Staff Not To Trust What You Say Nick Morrison , CONTRIBUTOR, Forbes Magazine

Corporate-speak is the bane of office-workers everywhere, but sometimes it can be more than just irritating, it can be positively harmful. Far from fostering a culture of candour, phrases that are designed to be reassuring can have the opposite effect, sending a message to your staff that you are not to be trusted. And while soundbites and complicated explanations make you sound insincere, simple and concise language comes across as more genuine, according to leadership experts. The worst offender is that classic not just of corporate life but of everyday conversation: “If I’m honest,” which, in a survey of office staff, topped the list of the 10 most commonly used phrases likely to arouse suspicion. Apart from implying that everything else you say is less than honest, it also calls the veracity of the rest of the statement into ques-

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tion. “If someone repeatedly has to reassure you that what they are saying is true, that is an instant red flag that they are trying to mislead you,” said Gina Lodge, CEO of the Academy of Executive Coaching, which runs leadership training worldwide and carried out the survey. “Similarly, a long complicated answer is likely to be seen as evasiveness - trying to find a way to avoid telling the truth without actually lying.” A number of other protestations of honesty feature in the top 10, alongside claims that what follows is going to be straightforward, when the listener suspects it will be anything but. And while the leadership manual may advise acknowledging different points of view, the appearance of “I understand what you are saying, but…” suggests this may come across as lip-service, not to mention patronizing.

The full list of 10 most suspicious phrases is:

1. If I’m honest… 2. Let me be clear… 3. Believe me… 4. The honest truth is… 5. The fact is… 6. To be fair… 7. In terms of… 8. The real issue is… 9. I understand what you are saying but… 10. In all honesty…

Source: The Academy of Executive Coaching The online survey, of 500 office workers, found that 83% were more likely to trust someone using simple language rather than more complicated wording, and 57% were more likely to believe someone giving concise answers rather than going into detail.

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The survey also found that, contrary to received wisdom, the qualities that are most important to how trustworthy a business leader or politician appears are not aggression, competitiveness and outspokenness but emotional openness, calm rationality and benevolence. This suggests a more towards a less aggressive business culture, according to leadership coach John Blakey, author of The Trusted Executive. “The boardroom has traditionally been a very aggressive, competitive space… but as we move to a

more open and transparent business landscape, this no longer works. Ideas of benevolence are becoming more and more important,’ he said. ‘Organizations need to move away from the cold language of the boardroom and adopt the same tone that we use among friends and family - the people we trust most of all. ‘If we use honest, transparent language at home ad connect with each other there through recognizing positive emotions, then it also makes sense to use this approach in business.’

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A ToAsT, In ApprecIATIon of Your BusIness.

Here’s To You.

At Par Aide, we’d like to raise a paper cup to you, our valued customer. Because it’s your unyielding dedication to the course that inspires us to keep building the industry’s most innovative products. So from Par Aide, we salute all you do. Cheers.

Wherever golf is played.


Par aide is a Proud sPonsor of MCCsa, GCsaa, The firsT Tee and The Wee one foundaTion.

Page 45

Who Let The B A Compilation provided by John Galman, creator of Peddelgolf

Share the Path

that I designed has been used on three different bikes of mine. More importantly, the golf and bike idea It has been some time since I is growing, albeit slowly. Finding last wrote about combining my pasanother bike option to my design, sion for golf with the notion of usI purchased a golf bike from Todd ing a bicycle, a specially-equipped May and The Golf Bike Co. out of one, to transport myself around the Tallahassee, FLA. I find their Golf golf course during my round. The Bike to be a great ride for golf. over-the-front tire mounted carrier Page 46

license. This means they are prohibited from playing golf with their young friends if they’re not accompanied by an adult. That is stunting the growth of golf among our youth; the potential future golfers and greens fee payors.

Wake up golf courses and clubs!

Bikes Out? More than ever, the reason I believe that golf needs bikes as an everyday option on golf courses is that this would increase the play of the young golfer or likely make the idea of playing golf interesting to other young folks who would not otherwise take up the game. At many courses across the country where riding in a golf cart is required, teens 15 years old and younger are not allowed to use a cart without a driver’s

Golfing while using a bike is an idea that is real and can be deployed today. Why not? I see golf using a bike as a great option for golf resorts, municipal and county golf courses, as well as many other public and private layouts. Allow golfers to use golf bikes to get them around their 9 or 18 holes. Figure it out and evolve the game. It’s in your working hands. Speak up golf superintendents. You know the bike is harmless especially with the proliferation of the cart path on modern courses. Embrace this idea and evolve the game for the good of many more players. My parting thought: GOLF is a Game Of Logistics Fun when you use a bike to get you from hole to hole! So, get out there and GOLF. Page 47

All of the design elements have been thoughtfully put together to give you a riding and golfing experience that has never been available until now. We have examined every aspect of our bike design to ensure that you are getting a high quality, low maintenance and fun to use product that will change the way you play and practice Above, the original Peddelgolf bike golf. Not only can you play faster, you will be paid back The Golf Bike with more fun, more fitness and more golf as a result! The Golf Bike by Todd May will be shipped to your nearest bike shop for you to pick up completely The Golf Bike is a two-wheeled bicycle that is built from the ground assembled and ready to ride at no extra cost to you. up to play golf. Its patent-pending design incorporates unique features that respect the traditions of the Technical Specifications: game. The step-thru frame allows Frameset you to easily get on and off the bike. * Frame: The Golf Bike doubleYour clubs and supplies are intebraced steel frame with step thru grated into the frame of the bike, design making it a breeze to balance. The * Fork: Rigid steel fork wide rubber tires and small diameter * Rear Carrier: Tubular steel rear wheels accelerate easily with hardly rack with stainless hardware any course impact. * Kickstand: Sturdy, easily retractPage 48

able Turfstand with oversize foot peg Drivetrain * Shifter: 6-speed Shimano shifter * Rear Derailleur: Shimano rear derailleur * Crank: Alloy crank with 32-tooth chain ring and double bash guard * Chain: KMC Rust Buster rust proof chain * Gears: 6-speed Shimano freewheel Wheel Set * Hubs: Alloy 32-hole hubs with quick release skewers * Rims: Double-walled alloy rims * Tires: 20x 3” wide track rubber tires 40psi Controls * Stem: Alloy stem

The GolfBike

* Seat Post: Alloy 350mm seat post * Handlebar: Comfort rise alloy handlebar * Saddle: Comfort gel saddle with vinyl edge guards * Grips: Lock-on rubber grips * Pedals: Wellgo alloy platform pedals with grip pins * Brakes: Tektro rim brakes with Promax levers Extras * Sizes: One size fits riders 5’- 6’7” * Weight: 41 lbs. with bags (no clubs) * Color: Golf Bike Green * Bags: 2 custom side-mounted golf bags and 1 middle insulated cooler bag included

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is The Golf Bike? It’s a bicycle designed and built from the ground up to play golf. How do I use it? You simply transfer your equipment into the specially designed bags and go tee it up! What is the course etiquette with it? Treat The Golf Bike Page 49

just as you would a traditional cart. Use the cart paths when you can and stay clear of the tees and greens. Who is this product intended for? Everyone. Whether you want to play faster and add an element of fitness to your game or just enjoy a leisurely ride on a manicured course, The Golf Bike will pay you back every time you play! How fast can you play with The Golf Bike? Average pace with The Golf Bike is 1 hour and 30 minutes for nine holes. The speed advantage is really evident when 2 players are each using their own Golf Bike as opposed to sharing a single cart. Will it damage the course? No. The Golf Bike impacts the course much less than a traditional cart. How many clubs does it hold? The Golf Bike will hold 14 clubs.

Will the course allow me to bring my own Golf Bike? Most courses, even if they are not currently renting Golf Bikes, are permitting them for use. Fees and rules vary so please check with your Pro Shop. Remember, this is a groundbreaking product. Your local course may not have even heard of The Golf Bike yet. So please help us get the word out! The Golf Bike has been through 5 years of prototyping and testing before launching in 2014. Thousands of hours and countless revisions have culminated in a totally unique and patent pending product that will change the way you play and practice golf.

If your course is currently allowing the GolfBike or is interested, please let Jack at the MGCSA know so more information about this transportation option can be shared.

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Dollar Spot is persistent, resistant, and costs more to control than any other turf disease in the United States. KabutoÂŽ Fungicide SC is here to end its grip on your turf and your budget. University research and end-user trials show Kabuto provides both preventative and curative control of Dollar Spot. And Kabuto can be applied up to eight times per year as part of a resistance management program. u For

more information contact Jeff Schmidt at 952.237.0160

GordonsProfessional.com Always read and follow label directions. KabutoÂŽ is a registered trademark of Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha, Ltd. 3/17 04527


info@frostserv.com www.frostserv.com


info@frostserv.com www.frostserv.com

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Incident Response Plan or Release Response Plan From the MDA April 2017

What would you do if you had a release or incident at your facility? By pre-planning and practicing for a release or incident you will be better equipped to handle a spill or emergency. New legislative changes to Incident Response Plan requirements were enacted in 2015. These requirements are highlighted below.

What is an incident?

An incident is an event where a threat or actual agricultural chemical (pesticide and/or fertilizer) spill may adversely impact the environment or threaten public safety.

Leak from application equipment

Spill in shop/storage area



What to do if an incident or release occurs: • • •

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Immediately report the incident to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) by phoning the Minnesota Duty Officer at (800) 422-0798. Minimize risks and ensure safety while trying to abate the spill or leak. Recover any agricultural chemicals involved in the incident and follow these clean up tips.

Under state law, anyone who has control of, custody of, or responsibility for an agricultural chemical is considered to be a responsible party and must notify the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) immediately when an incident involving that agricultural chemical occurs. Notify MDA of an incident as soon as possible by calling the 24-hour duty officer at 651-649-5451 (metro) or 1-800-422-0798 (non-metro). The MDA staff person on call will promptly call you back to explain what steps to take to minimize the impact of the release. Generally, these will include the following actions: 1. Secure Site ยง Secure a perimeter and keep all non-essential people out of the incident area; ยง Do not allow smoking in area; ยง Alert firefighters and/or other emergency personnel of precautions as advised by material safety data sheets;

ยง Arrange off-site evacuation if necessary (this should be done through working with the local officials); and,

ยง If the leak or spill is indoors, ventilate the area as thoroughly as possible.

2. Abatement ยง If it can be done safely, stop further leakage from damaged containers; ยง Contain above-ground runoff by placing absorbent pillows, clay, other heavy soil, etc., around liquid spills to limit further spread of spilled ag chemical; and,

ยง Plug or berm underground waterways (storm sewers, sanitary sewers, etc.).

3. Recovery ยง Transfer the remaining contents of each leaking container into a clean empty container of the same type and remove the salvaged container from the contaminated area;

ยง Separate any containers that have not been affected by the spill; and, ยง Arrange to remove, hold, or dispose of pooled contaminated water, soil, etc.

4. Remediation**** ยง ยง ยง ยง

Determine the extent and degree of contamination; Develop steps for the final clean-up of the incident; Reuse or dispose of the recovered chemicals and/or contaminated materials; and, Determine the effectiveness of the clean-up through the collection & analysis of samples

**** Each step of the proposal must receive MDA approval before being implemented Also, notify MDA of suspected incidents including the discovery of product-contaminated soils, contaminated wells or surface water, product inventory loss and failed tank or pipeline tests.

Who is required to have a plan?

Some businesses are legally required to develop and maintain an incident response plan. If your business is engaged in one or more of the following, it must establish and maintain an incident response plan: โ ข โ ข โ ข

Pesticide Dealers; Agricultural pesticide dealers; Commercial pesticide application;

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• • • •

Noncommercial pesticide application; Structural pest control; Storage of (bulk) pesticides that are held in an individual container with more than 55 gallons or 99 pounds; Storage of (bulk) fertilizers that are neither packaged nor labelled by a manufacturer.

What is an incident response plan? • •

A document you develop to prepare for dealing with pesticide and fertilizer incidents quickly and effectively. Describes fertilizer and pesticide storage, handling, disposal, and incident handling practices of your business.

A Sample Plan is available on the MDA website. Additional requirements: The plan must be: • • •

Updated every three (3) years, or whenever information in the plan becomes out of date, whichever is earlier; Reviewed with employees at least once per calendar year and include documentation of training events; and Made available to local first responders and documented accordingly.

Additional Enforcement

Due to potential and actual safety hazards and health risks associated with the lack of an incident response plan, documented noncompliance may result in additional enforcement action, including financial penalties.

Statutory authority

Follow the link below to read: Minnesota Statute 18B.37, Subd. 4. Incident response plan. For additional information and/or a short version of an incident response plan, refer to the MDA’s fact sheet, Developing and Maintaining You Incident Response Plan. Thank you, Corinne du Preez, Agricultural Advisor/ACI Minnesota Department of Agriculture Pesticide and Fertilizer Management Division 3555 9th St NW, Suite 350 Rochester, MN 55901 Office (507) 206-2883 Corinne.dupreez@state.mn.us

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Save the Dates and Destinations: May 9 The Appreciation Event at New Hope Village Golf Host Mark Severson May 25 Badgerland Exposure Golf Event at Luck Golf Club Host Kevin Clunis CGCS June 15 Western Exposure Golf Event at Little Crow Country Club Host Kevin Gruber June 19 Southern Exposure Golf Event at Interlaken Golf Club Host Bill Brooks July 11th Northern Exposure at The Wilderness at Fortune Bay Host Vince Dodge CGCS September 14 Lakes Area Exposure at Forest Hills Resort Host Chris Wiedenmeyer September 18 The Championship at St. Cloud Country Club Host Gary Deters October 2 The Scramble at Edina Country Club Host Brandon Schindele October 9 The Wee One Tournament at Brackett’s Crossing CC Host Tom Proshek

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Affiliate Spotlight:

Dating back to 1967, the irrigation division is the oldest specialized division for Ferguson Water Works – North Central location. The division had simple beginnings, with one employee quoting and selling manual irrigation systems to the occasional home owner or small

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mom and pop golf course, while trying to convince our contractor customers that irrigation would be a great way to earn a living. We represented one manufacturer, Rain Bird, and carried a limited amount of associated product lines.

The ‘80’s brought golf course development to the forefront in the irrigation industry and we followed taking on additional product lines while adding to our support staff. Plastic sprinklers and valves were replacing brass parts, which in turn made systems affordable. Ferguson added service offerings to include CADD design services, in-house controller repair, and contractor training, pump station design and manufacturing, and a successful but a short lived adventure as a general contractor for golf course irrigation. Although the contracting business was exciting, we quickly learned we were a better supplier than installer.

Today, Ferguson encompasses 6 locations in the North Central region, and as a proud Rain Bird distributor we honor the same philosophies we first did in the 60’s, “To enhance the businesses we serve through our friendly, principled staff, offering quality products and timely solutions that make the working lives better for our customers.” Through our continued growth

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we have enjoyed offering the following products and services to golf courses: Rain Bird irrigation products and service, Pump maintenance and support, PVC and HDPE allied materials, HDPE pipe and fusion equipment and training, drainage materials, pond liners, aerators, prefabricated pump stations, erosion control and soil establishment prod-

ucts, engineered stone and paver products, tools and safety equipment, Stihl sales and service. Our services now also include online ordering and inventory management so our customers can focus on the golf course. We can confidently say from reservoir to rotor, we have you covered.

Mike Whitaker (left) and Craig Vigen are your Ferg\uson Waterworks Representatives. Page 58

Using real-time diagnostics to prevent real-big problems. That’s intelligent.

Defend your turf with Ferguson Waterworks and Rain Bird With an intelligent control module built into every rotor, the Rain Bird® IC System™ provides real–time diagnostics and single–head control. From running instant pass/fail tests and voltage checks to quickly controlling individual rotors from anywhere, you have the power to defend your turf with Rain Bird.

Craig Vigen – CGCS Sales Representative (701) 205–8456

Bismarck, ND (701) 258–9700

©2017 Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.

Blaine, MN (763) 560–5200

DeKalb, IL (815) 756–2800

Fargo, ND (701) 293–5511


Mike Whitaker Sales Representative (309) 287–1978

Superior, WI (763) 560–5200

0117 371270

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Within the Leather by Jamie Bezanson, Oneka Ridge Golf Club

It’s that time of year again when we are ramping up and getting ready for another golfing season. The purr of the mowers will soon be replacing the quietness, bringing back with it the smell of fresh cut grass and friendly lunchroom banter. This is one of my favorite times of year as the golf course returns to life. This time of year reminds me of the first day of any class when you receive the syllabus and are overwhelmed with all that needs to be accomplished. However, by completing one project at a time, we are able to check things off our list. I’m sure most of you are busy hustling to accomplish your never ending and sometimes overwhelming lists. Hopefully I’m speaking for more than myself when I say that the day to day mundane tasks get in the way of my pure joy for our profession. I tend PagePage 60 60

to skip over those little moments that truly make this professional enjoyable. I wanted to remind everyone to take notice of the little things that steered you towards your career and share with you a few things that put a smile on my face and make our vocation truly unique. Being the first person on the course in the morning is always an adventure, with new experiences had every day. The glistening of the dew while watching the sun come up over the horizon is a part of the day that is magical. Hearing the sounds of the birds, turkeys, maybe the rare loon, frogs, add to the experience. Startling a deer, fox or coyote or better yet; being startled by one is always a fun moment. Our profession is one of the few careers that share space with all of earth’s wildlife and we get to enjoy them in their natural habitat.

I have another animal who

appreciates our profession. He never complains, unless someone has taken his seat, he’s never late and is always happy to go to work with me. He’s always willing to listen to me vent or sing and I never have to worry about him sharing my secrets. He has allowed me to create relationships with patrons that otherwise would snarl as they cruised by on their golf cart. He is always ready to chase squirrels, muskrats, and geese. He is my yellow Labrador retriever Blitzen. For those of you who are blessed enough to have a golf course dog you know what kind of joy a dog can bring. Blitzen is a remarkable animal and an amazingly intelligent. I am very fortunate to have him as part of my family and equally as lucky to bring him to work every day. Watching his excitement when he’s policing the property is as enjoyable as when we cruise by the putting green with 50 Junior golfers and seeing the pride on his face. In four years at the golf course he’s only ever had one golf ball in his mouth. We’ll call it a

teachable moment. Being a seasonal business we have a high employee turnover which allows us the opportunity to meet many unique characters and hear their life stories. Taking the time to get to know my staff and build relationships with them brings me joy. Hiring a greenhorn who has never had a job before and training them to become an efficient team member, proving that there is more to life than video games and sports is very rewarding. Mentoring boys into men and introducing them to hard work, responsibility while teaching them life skills like how to drive a manual transmission or how to mow a straight line or how to clean a bathroom (my wife will like this one) and watch them grow and gain confidence is all part of the gig that brings me satisfaction. Witnessing their successes brings with it a sense of pride, but more so not having to witness their failures brings a smile to my face. While managing people

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can come with its share of challenges, it can also bring with it some of the biggest rewards.

receive a huge applause, you know that the membership appreciates everything you do. At some point, the reason most of us got into the golf course business Knowing that at the end of was because we wanted to play the day the course conditions are the game of golf. Now that I’m a direct result of my knowledge, a Dad and have two children to experience and management of taxi around those few golfing the property, people, products and opportunities are increasingly practices gives me a huge since of precious to me. The feeling I get pride. Recognizing, diagnosing when I’m standing over the ball and solving problems brings both and I know I have friends watching wisdom and satisfaction. Knowing can be both exciting and humbling. that I coordinated the product that many people get to enjoy is very You hit those one or two gratifying. We all have had the shots per round that make you situation where you see a patron think maybe if I quit my job and on the course or in the clubhouse start playing golf full time I could and they give you their two cents really figure this game out and then worth of an opinion on what reality strikes with back to back needs to be done. triple bogeys. I’m sure there is a part of all of us that think that if I But the moment you walk into could play golf more, I’d be a lot the clubhouse and someone better. takes the time to compliment you on the course conditions It’s that same reason that we or recent completed project as golf course Superintendents all the negative comments think if I get that one more thing are forgotten. If you have done today things will be just that ever been introduced at a much better tomorrow. Just don’t league meeting and you forget to enjoy today! PagePage 62