Hole Notes October 2017

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Hole Notes The Official Publication of the MGCSA

Green Speed and Pace of Play A Science of the Green Study Vol. 52, No. 9 October, 2017

Thank You Annual MGCSA Sponsors


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November 16 Golf-Centric Pesticide Recertification Program Sponsored By Winfield United Town & Country Club November 30 Southern Outreach Education and Open Turf Forum Host Josh Bruellman Riverside Town and Country Club December 5-6 The MGCSA MEGA Seminar Host Brandon Schindele Edina Country Club Page 4


Vol. 52, No. 9 October, 2017

Feature Articles: Green Speed and Pace of Play




12 - 26

Bunker Renovation - A Necessary Evil pages By Todd Schmitz, Superintendent at Phillips Park Golf Course, WI Continuing Debate: Snow Mold Winter Reapplications pages

30 - 39

By Parker Anderson, UMN Research Scientist

By Dr. Paul Koch, Turf Pathology, UW Madison

42 - 49

Flood Ravaged Course Re-Opens pages 50 - 53 By Kevin Norby, Golf Course Architect, Herfort Norby Golf Course Architects

Monthly Columns: Presidential Perspective

By Erin McManus


6 - 7

In Bounds pages 8 - 11 By Jack MacKenzie, CGCS Within the Leather pages 58 - 61 By Dave Kazmierczak CGCS

On The Cover: Green Speed and Pace Of Play A Science of the Green Study pages 12 - 26 MN Department of Agriculture Latest Bulletin Pages 54 - 56

In-House Bunker Renovation A Necessary Evil Pages 30 - 39

Great Pictorial Content: The Scramble 2017 The Wee One 2017

pages pages

28 - 29 40 - 41

Thank you annual Exposure Golf Sponsors and destination courses for your support 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

Life is complicated at times. Work, family, work, distractions, family and more work. You understand because your life is likely very similar to mine. You are busy, sometimes “good busy” and sometimes “frustrating” busy.

provided the MGCSA by the Affiliate Membership base. In 2017, twenty-one businesses cared enough about the longevity of the MGCSA to support the chapter through sponsorship beyond a membership fee as they signed up for season long tee sign sponsorship, prize package support and podium/ educational endorsement. Several of these companies also paid to provide outreach education and exposure golf events at a reasonable cost to the participants.

Unfortunately, sometimes in the midst of living life and being busy, we (I) just don’t take the time to say thank you. In the process we (I) start to take our support system for granted. Beyond your family and Of course they are motivated to staff, when was the last time you gave get their brand recognized, but did a sincere thanks to your close vender you ever think where the MGCSA member? would be without them? Membership costs would go up dramatically, like Not only are they there when about 40%. Not just the base price you are running short on product, of an annual membership, but also you need to bounce an idea around, expenses associated with social and you are looking for some new educational opportunities would take equipment or perhaps even just a big jump. Without our affiliates bitch, your affiliate member is also the association would have a hard active as a part of the general support time providing member services, not

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to mention the MGCSA’s goals of advocacy, education and research, three things that our chapter is nationally recognized for.

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Simply said, I wish to thank our strong affiliate base for their support of the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association.

2017 Annual MGCSA Sponsor Program Platinum Podium Sponsor Syngenta Gold Tee Prize Event Sponsors Winfield United Plaisted Companies MTI Distributing Par Aide Tessman Companies Reinders Inc Ferguson Waterworks Silver Tee Sign Sponsors PBI Gordon Versatile Vehicles Club Car Frost Inc. Bayer Environmental Gerten’s Wholesale Frontier Ag and Turf Twin City Seed YTS Companies Origination Inc. Eco Works Supply Superior Turf Healthy Ponds/Bioverse Page 7

In Bounds

by Jack MacKenzie, CGCS

It seems as though my glass is almost always at least three-quarters full. “Never Better”, is a common response when asking how I am and I truly attempt to exuberate this attitude. For me, life is all about attitude as this is something each of us can own and control.

is really quite fascinating and, in the long run, beneficial to our country and local population in general. Most of the time.

The White Bear Lake lawsuit decision has me flummoxed. I have attended many meetings surrounding aquifer levels in the north east metropolitan area, as well as events focused on the negative impacts of ground to surface water, During those meetings I learned a great deal as presented through Recently however, at times I have scientific evidence and data. Years become frustrated as I ponder the ago the DNR stated, and showed impact of external forces upon our empirically, that the WBL levels industry, my community and me. fluctuate dramatically due to a very small watershed, weather As a registered lobbyist on your behalf, and often seen at the Capitol patterns and potential groundwater connectivity. complex attending agency and legislative meetings, I get a real first-hand opportunity to experience It was my experience that other local lakes, Gilfillan in North Oaks the inner workings and processes and the many lakes in the Chisago behind what George Washington City area, recently experienced termed, “The Great Experiment”. The motion of our politics in action similar dramatic water level

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fluctuations as WBL. All had huge water level drops and experienced “micro” weather patterns of localized minimum precipitation rates over a two year period in the first decade of the 2000’s. Each of these lakes has since rebounded quite nicely without any changes in ground water pumping. The DNR proclaimed years ago that certain lake levels fluctuate and a low level isn’t an anomaly, rather a norm. Besides placing a freeze upon additional well permits, in August, a legal judgment ordered the DNR to review all groundwater permits within five miles of White Bear Lake, to determine whether the current levels are sustainable and downsize permits as necessary. In addition, the DNR must set a total cap for pumping in that five-mile zone and be prepared to enforce a residential watering ban if the level falls too low. She set a trigger for that ban at 923.5 feet above sea level — a foot above a minimum threshold the DNR set as part of a previous attempt to settle the

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lawsuit. Pretty radical in my mind, as the DNR doesn’t set or enforce water “bans” (it is a municipal decision; the DNR reviews, allows, denies or pulls permits) and rather illogical as the Prairie du Chien Aquifer is huge in size beneath the lake, counties large for that matter. A random five mile boundary of impact is just that, random. There is also strong intimation that surface water should be considered as an alternative for communities relying upon the area aquifers. It is interesting to note that historically it is not uncommon for communities to create/demand outlets to prevent flooding when lakes go through their unusual “high” stages. White Bear Lake has had its outlet lowered by several feet, increasing lakeshore owner’s property, multiple times in the last 100 years. Don’t you dare think that this is just a local issue and does not constitute a precedent. Although the DNR

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has launched an appeal, this decision could burn across the state and change how we look at and use water. The repercussions of the WBL suit are occurring at the same time I am participating in stakeholder meetings reviewing water reuse. A portion of the discussion I whole-heartedly support, which is regulating and creating opportunities to reuse truly “used”, industry and municipal, wastewater. Unfortunately the discussion has, in my opinion, blown out the boundary of reason, and now includes rain and storm water run off as “used” water and thus under the preview of agency regulation and management. Really???? On one hand we have a judgment that targets ground water users in a five-mile radius of WBL, demanding surface water be strongly considered as an alternative resource. On the other hand we

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have an agency that is targeting rain and storm water runoff , think irrigation ponds, as “reuse.” I guess the evapotranspiration cycle does reuse water…. but that isn’t what the Department of Health is talking about. The DOH is reviewing “risk” factors, contaminants, associated with run-off and potential interaction with the human population. The golf courses that are in the proximity of White Bear Lake may soon be overregulated in the groundwater they use and encouraged (forced) to strongly consider surface water, which is currently being scrutinized, and is on the table to be considered for regulation as well. All the while, the MGCSA has been working diligently for half a decade with our agencies and legislators to show environmental stewardship including: water conservation, storm water capture for irrigation and

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wetland creation for groundwater recharge. We have been shouting the mantra of, “a community’s largest rain garden, use us”. Bureaucracy in action, and at its best. So why is it important we remain at the table? In my humble opinion, just like voting, if you don’t participate you shouldn’t bitch, or at least not too loudly. And if you are passionate about your community, it is your civic duty to do something active to shape your ultimate destiny. This holds true for association action. If we are not active as an industry, we shouldn’t bitch about issues we haven’t involved ourselves in. Frustrating? Yes, but because of MGCSA actions, golf courses are recognized as players upon the Capitol Campus. I cannot tell you how many times our industry has been touted as providing

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opportune destinations for resource management, and not just by me. In fact, just last week at the October Legislative Water Commission Wastewater Round Table Discussion, “golf” was a prominent positive theme for the first presenter and only days before that I had an exceptional visit with the principal engineer of the MDH proposal regarding the removal of storm and rainwater from the “reuse” discussions. As Scottie Hines CGCS used to say, “If you are not at the table, you are what’s for dinner”. While sometimes I am confused with the direction our legislators and agencies are taking the golf industry, our place is being active and guiding our own destiny. Hey, sorry I blew up!

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Green Speed and Pace of Play Understanding the Relationship to Improve Golfer Experience, A Study Conducted by the Science of the GreenÂŽ Initiative at the University of Minnesota p By Parker Anderson, UMN Research Scientist

Demonstration of a stimpmeter reading. Curtis Harder checks the green speeds at the Philadelphia Cricket Club Militia Hill Course. Host site: Philadelphia Cricket Club, Plymouth Meeting, PA. (Anderson) Page 12

Our modern game of golf faces many challenges in today’s economic, political, environmental, and social climates. Though some of these challenges are significant, opportunities to address these challenges and promote a more positive future for the game exist. To achieve solutions to these challenges, it is critical to understand the systems and flows of a golf course; how resources are used, how golfers navigate and play the course, and how the golf course interacts with the environment. Superintendents, the experts behind the success of the industry, play a critical role in understanding these systems, exploring opportunities for improvements, and adjusting management practices based on data-driven knowledge. The playing conditions of the golf course impact the experience and enjoyment of the player. Industry surveys indicate that the most dissatisfying factor in a player’s golfing experience is the result of a slow pace of play for their round. A second factor of importance for golfers is the quality of the greens.

How do the conditions of your

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golf course, like green quality or green speed, impact pace of play? Many factors exist that encourage golf courses to strive to achieve the fastest green speeds possible; whether it be competition with peer courses, pressure from customers/ members, the superintendent’s interest to provide the best product possible to users of the golf course, or industry “standards” and expectations for fast green speeds promoted by televised golf. Speed of the greens are often considered an indicator of the prestige of a golf facility. Many United States Golf Association (USGA) events attempt to achieve very quick greens to provide a difficult test for championships, and those practices are observed and then expected by golfers at their home courses. Arguably, most golfers can not differentiate between green speeds that vary by a foot or two, for example, a 9’ and an 11’ stimpmeter reading. Is the stimpmeter an accurate metric for green quality? Is there perhaps a better metric such as green trueness (quality of the roll of the putting surface), or turfgrass Page 13

species health indicators like rooting or chlorophyll fluorescence? Faster green speeds often require more inputs and more management needs than greens at slower speeds. The stress on the turfgrass from increased management practices often results in a compromise on the turfgrass health. The creativity of golf course architects is now limited because of the need to reduce slope and undulations to accommodate faster green speeds. Complex interactions between golfer experience, course conditions, and pace of play

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result in a variety of perspectives on best practices for golf facilities. These perspectives are based on the interests of stakeholders of golf facilities. There is significant interest from golfers for faster round times. Additionally, golfers often desire faster green speeds. Are these interests mutually achievable? Or are these interests conflicting? Striving for fast green speeds may seem like a practice that adds value to the golf course and improves the playing experience of

customers. But do faster greens really result in a better playing experience? What are the consequences of increasing green speeds? How does green speed impact pace of play? Anecdotally, it is commonly understood that faster greens result in slower play. It is generally believed that golfers gain more enjoyment from faster greens. We must ask, are these accepted anecdotes valid?

Science of the Green® developed a study to build a database exploring these questions. This study was designed to examine how changes in the speed of golf course greens impact pace of play. In the golf industry, pace of play is generally measured as the total time for a round of golf. For this study, the metric of time spent per green was used to represent pace of play. In this experiment, the term “green conditions” was defined as the speed To explore the validity of these anecdotes, the Science of the of the greens according to stimpGreen® initiative set out to collect meter readings. Seven golf courses data and test some of these comwere chosen around the country as monly accepted statements. The data collection sites. Sites were seScience of the Green® initiative is lected to represent a cross-section a research partnership between the of the industry to include a variety University of Minnesota and the of golf course characteristics (i.e. USGA focused on the long-term public, private, regional differentiation, etc.). At each site, a three-week sustainability of the golf industry. This initiative explores the role golf study was conducted in which the courses play in ecosystems. Tospeed of the greens was adjusted gether, science and design can be from week to week by an increment of one foot (1’) on the stimpmeter. utilized to increase the ecosystem services, the value nature provides society. By understanding the pro For golf facilities with a green cesses of a golf facility, golf course speed of 9’ as their standard, we managers are better able to develop advised managers to slow the greens effective and efficient operations down for the first week of the study that will ensure a sustainable future (to 8’), return to the standard for for the game of golf. the second week (9’), and increase Page 15

the green speed for the third week (to 10’). This practice allowed for minimal stress on the greens while achieving the variances required for the study. During each week, three days were selected as data collection days. On these days, golfers were asked to carry GPS devices (Image 1) on their person throughout the round. These GPS devices captured latitude and longitude coordinates and speed of movement every five seconds. Golf courses

that participated in this research project were Braemar Golf Course (Edina, MN), Dellwood Country Club (Dellwood, MN), Philadelphia Cricket Club – Militia Hill Course (Plymouth Meeting, PA), Poppy Hills Golf Course (Pebble Beach, CA), Poppy Ridge Golf Course (Livermore, CA), Rock Manor Golf Course (Wilmington, DE), and the University of Minnesota Les Bolstad Golf Course (Saint Paul, MN).

(Image 1) GPS device used in the collection of data for the Green Speed – Pace of Play study. (USGA) Page 16

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Each course altered their management practices in order to achieve the desired green speeds. For faster green speeds, superintendents reduced the height of the cut of the green, rolled the greens, increased the number of cuts of the greens, adjusted fertility and irrigation, top-dressed the greens with sand, used plant growth regulators, or a combination of these practices. For slower green speeds, superintendents raised the height of the cut of the greens, brushed the turfgrass, increased irrigation, or a combination of these practices. Notwithstanding a few days with unexpected weather conditions, the host superintendents adjusted green speeds to meet the needs of the research experiment. This flexibility demonstrated the proficiency of these superintendents to successPage 18

fully maintain healthy and adaptable greens. Superintendents provided average green speed data. The University of Minnesota Turgrass Science Team provided guidance for best practices for achieving green speed targets.

GPS technology played a critical role in collecting data for this study. GPS devices not only provided valuable data on the pace and flow of golfers throughout the course, but they also provided insight into how the golf course was used. Using the GPS data, visuals were created that identified the traffic and flow patterns of golfers on the course (Image 2). This process revealed high traffic areas that may benefit from adjustments in turf management. It also exposed areas

(Image 2) Heat map of the University of Minnesota Les Bolstad Golf Course using GPS data and the USGA Resource Management Tool. (rm.usga.org) Page 19

Example green speeds for a three-week study. Host site: Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach, CA. (Anderson) with very little or no traffic that do facility economics and productivnot require continual maintenance. ity. The USGA, in March of 2017, These low traffic areas could poten- unveiled their “Roadmap to 2025” tially be utilized for other uses such in which they set goals of improving golfer satisfaction by 20% while as pollinator habitat, rain gardens for capturing stormwater, or a turf- also reducing critical resource consumption by 25% by 2025. The grass nursery (to name a few) that USGA developed a software procould add significant value to golf gram to achieve these goals, the facilities. Resource Management Tool. The dataset collected can provide further value for facility sus This program gives golf course tainability and productivity. It can managers an “accurate picture of be used to investigate the balance player traffic to help them manbetween golf course management age resources, increase productivand player satisfaction. In addition, ity and serve the golfer” (USGA). understanding how management Building data with these tools will practices and course setup affect allow for precise and responsible player round times is related to golf use of resources, as well as greater

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of total round time of a foursome of almost 8 minutes. This 8-minute increase is the overall average for the study. There was substantial variability in these impacts from course to course. Time spent per The results of the study congreen reached times of up to 25 clude that green speed has a statisti- seconds per player per green (approximately 30 minutes added to cally significant impact on pace of play. Green time data followed a total round time). Some outliers exnormal distribution with a mean of ist in the data, so the study included 168 seconds per player per green seven golf courses rather than just (Figure 2). An increase of one foot one to minimize that influence. The (1’) in stimpmeter reading results influence of green speed on pace in an increase of about 7 seconds of play is not as significant as anper green per player. This one foot ecdotal wisdom suggests. Several (1’) increase results in an increase other variables (collected variables: efficiency of operations, resulting in economic savings. The USGA’s Resource Management Tool is being rolled out and is available online at rm.usga.org.

(Figure 2) Distribution of data collected for seconds per green per player. Data was collected for 39,934 green times from 2,218 golfers on seven golf courses around the United States. (Anderson)

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Page 23 Wee One Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit association. A tribute to Wayne Otto, CGCS.

player age, player ability, choice of on course transport, and uncollected variables: weather, course length, rough height, fairway width, number of bunkers, green size, hole locations, player tee choice, etc.) also have an influence pace of play. Furthermore, this study shows that there is no correlation between player experience/enjoyment and faster green speeds. Though slight and yet still statistically significant, overall player enjoyment ratings decreased as green speeds increased. To explore the relationship between green speed and pace of play, further research needs to be conducted while minimizing the influence of other variables. Several important conclusions can be drawn from this study. First and foremost, this study indicates

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that green speeds impact pace of play, and player experience may be negatively impacted by faster green speeds. This conclusion has substantial economic impacts on golf facilities. Maximizing the efficiency and flow of golfers on the course has been shown to significantly increase the revenue potential of a golf facility. Fast green speeds are more expensive and resource intensive to maintain and additionally compromise the turfgrass health of the greens. These conclusions would suggest that focusing on green health and green trueness, over speed, would be more beneficial to both golf course managers and to the golfer experience. Lastly, collecting data and conducting research at your facility will give you a better understanding of your operation and offer you the opportunity to make

in our industry that are identified with flat golfer participation numbers, golf course closures, negative perceptions of golf, increasing resource scarcity, increasing land value, pressure from growing urban populations, and trends towards increasing regulation and product restrictions. These challenges are opportunities to innovate and promote the value of the game of golf to our society. Science of the Green® is involved in a research The Science of the Green® initiative continues to explore opportuni- partnership with the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environties for the benefit of golf’s future. We are facing significant challenges ment and the USGA finding answers more effective management decisions. A clear understanding and wider appreciation of your facility’s potential may identify areas on your property that will support other valuable interests like pollinator habitat areas or stormwater rain gardens (to name a few). These added values cannot be identified without the research required to better understand your operation.

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to the questions: what are the ecosystem service values of a golf course, and how do the biophysical drivers of ecosystem services also affect enjoyment for golfers and other potential course-users? An additional project, known as the Practical Guide for Golf Facilities explores the best way to share information with golf facilities, as well as empower golf course managers to adopt sustainability initiatives that will benefit their economic, environmental, and communal value. The Science of the GreenÂŽ initiative continues to conduct research to better inform you and the golf industry of opportunities for the future sustainability of the game The future of the golf industry depends on active community engagement. I urge and welcome you to continue this conversation within your communities, with me, and with one another. Email me at ScienceGreen@ umn.edu. Visit the Science of the GreenÂŽ website for blog posts and other resources at scienceofthegreen. umn.edu. Continue this conversation via Twitter at @ScienceGreenUMN.

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Parker Anderson is a Research Scientist at the University of Minnesota. Parker facilitates the Science of the GreenÂŽ initiative, research focused on the long-term sustainability of the golf industry, exploring the role golf courses play in ecosystems and how science and design can be utilized to increase the ecosystem services and value that golf courses provide society. Parker holds a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) and a Master of Science in sustainable systems (MS) from the University of Michigan. Parker is a member of the PGA, GCSAA, and ASLA.




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The Scramble 2017 At Edina Country Club Thank You ECC Green Staff and Superintendent Brandon Schindele

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Bunker Renovation – A Necessary Evil

By Todd Schmitz, Superintendent at Phillips Park Golf Course, Wisconsin

Reprinted with premission from the Midwest Assoxiation of Golf Course Superintendents

If one is a Superintendent long enough at one course, the issue of bunker renovation will surely arise. I often wonder how something that is considered a hazard, gets so much attention and money thrown at it. We all know why they end up failing over time as Mother Nature wreaks havoc on them year after year. We try to minimize sand contamination, but the day will come when, one by one, they fail to drain as well as they used to and hold water longer.

back, this is where I found myself …… time to renovate bunkers!

Becauses the market has a variety of new bunker lining products out and more popping up each year, I was faced with the decision of which one was right for me. I had a 540 sq. ft. Better Billy Bunker installed back in 2013 to experiment with that product, which has worked out great. I learned through the process, though, that this was not something I was going to be able to install myself, on my schedule, and This results in increased labor on my municipal budget. I needed a product that my staff and I could incosts in performing the necessary duties of; pumping water, shoveling stall ourselves easily and with little margin for error, as I wasn’t going and pushing sand back into place, to be hovering over the project at all raking the bunkers, and generally getting them back in shape. We ac- times. This is what led me to Capillary Concrete. Basically, it is a hard complish this just in time for it to happen all over again with the next permeable surface that allows water rain event. As the golf course reno- to filter into and through the matevation at Phillips Park had hit its 15 rial to the drain tiles, while leaving the sand in place. It arrived in a year anniversary a couple of years Page 30

cement truck ready to go, which we could install ourselves. Once you determine how much square footage you want to do, then you will know how much product to order a week in advance. A yard of Capillary Concrete will cover 150 sq. ft. at 2�. The first year, we did six of our most poorly draining bunkers that were in play on the course, which was 3450 sq. ft., at just under $5,400 for the product at $1.56 per sq. ft. This was a reasonable

amount that I could afford to experiment with to try the product and see if it was going to work for us. To start the project, we cleaned all the old sand out of the bunkers we planned to renovate. This was obviously the most time consuming part of the process and everyone on the crew eventually got their shot at it. We stockpiled the old sand to use for driving range divots and whatever was left at the end of the year will be used to topdress tees. Drain lines

As bunkers age their drainage will often fail causing labor intense expesnses. A two inch rain can delay play and make for an employee’s nightmare. Page 31

were inspected once the bunker was cleaned out to make sure they werefunctioning correctly. This is the time to do any changes to bunkers that you may want to do. We had a large fairway bunker on hole #14 that took on a lot of water from an adjoining property. Over the years, we tried diverting the water around the bunker with no success. I decided to split the bunker into two smaller bunkers, and install a drain to let the water flow between them.

After making changes you are ready for the Capillary Concrete. Having the proper consistency is very important and takes some training. Two gallons of water and 15 spins is a common directive to the concrete truck driver until the correct consistency is achieved. Ted Fist, from Capillary Concrete, was on site this first year during the installation to train us on the process. The second year he was there when the first truck showed up to check the mix and retrain me on the correct consistency. This year, Ted

Bunker on Hole 14 took in a lot of off property water and required a solution. Page 32

Clean out and install eough drainage to eliminate future problems.

Capillary Concrete should be milky enough to pour yet sticky.

Hauling, measuring, spreading, re-measuring, spreading and finishing a smooth surface.

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Making two bunkers from one and eliminating a drainage issue

placed the concrete order, the cement trucks showed up, and I was on my own. It takes about 7-8 crew members to accomplish the installation and cover the concrete. It took two crew members hauling concrete in heavy duty vehicles from the concrete truck to the bunkers, driving in and out on ramps so as not to damage the edge of the bunker. Another two crew members raked out the capillary concrete to a consistent 2” depth, one of them supervising and checking the 2” depth constantly as they moved through the bunker dePage 34

termining where more was needed and what had enough. The finishing touch involved one crew member packing the concrete at the edges. This can be finished off in different ways. I feel that this is the most important part, as this has been an area of contamination for our sand in the past. I chose to keep the 2” thickness to about two inches from the edge and squared it off to create a ledge for the sand to sit on. I wanted to keep the 2” thickness for strength around the edges, not knowing the integrity of the prod-

uct if the concrete was any thinner. Once an area was completed, two crew members started rolling the concrete smooth with wet rollers. The bunker should have a smooth swimming pool like appearance as opposed to the surface of the moon

when finished.

After the bunker has been rolled out, the next step is to cover it with plastic and staple it around the edges, avoiding covering too much grass. The plastic insulates the concrete as it cures and keeps the debris out overnight (and hopefully people too). I have come back the following morning to find foot prints from someone retrieving their golf ball, so this year I made signs. It is common to use 2-3 pieces of plastic to get a bunker covered, because it doesn’t come in a wide enough roll to cover a bunker in one shot. It is a good practice to come back with a little sand to put on the seams of the plastic to keep it in place so wind doesn’t blow off your plastic overnight. Two out of the three years we had Rolling out the the liner for a smooth bottom. Page 35

rain events the night of the install. In the morning there would be 4”-5” of water pooled in the bunker on top of the plastic. To see all that water drain out of the bunker in less than 30 seconds was pretty amazing and good confirmation that the drainage was working properly.

illary Concrete, there was a change in the sand recommendation from Waupaca. I have been using Pioneer sand from Waupaca the past two years. This sand was designed to hold some moisture as these bunkers drain very well and so will the sand. This will depend on how much

In the morning, the plastic can be pulled out from underneath the sand and rolled up to be used the following year. The bunkers are now ready to be filled with sand to a depth of 4” compacted. This should be done in stages if you are going to use a machine to help push sand around. Add 2”-3” of sand, then water the sand to compact, then repeat until the proper depth is obtained. 4 inches of sand in the bunker at one time will make it difficult to operate any machinery, as you start to lose traction and get stuck. Between the first and second Each bunker is lined with plastic as insulation to help year of installing Capcure the concrete

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irrigation they get at night and how severe the bunker faces are. I have one bunker complex where I did two bunkers the first year on the right side with the original recommended bunker sand and the second year two bunkers with the Pioneer sand. No glaring differences from one side to the other at this point. In some Capillary Concrete literature this year, I saw that there is a drip irrigation feature that can be installed to keep the sand moist in the face of the bunker. Really? Mist irrigation around the bunkers, drip irrigation in the bunkers…. these are hazards we are talking about, right? To compact the sand takes watering it in with a 1” hose. I chose to do this myself at first just to see how well these capillary concrete

bunkers were going to drain. Imagine the look you get from golfers when they walk by and see you watering bunkers. To my surprise that 460 sq. ft. bunker could take every bit of water that I gave it for 30 minutes! This year we were expecting rain at night the day we were putting the sand in the bunkers, so we piled as much sand as we could that day and let Mother Nature do the compacting that night for us. This worked out well as the sand was nice and compacted the next day from the .4” rain we received that night. We were able to get right back in there the next day, and add the additional sand needed to get the 4” depth we were looking to achieve. Now, for the What Went

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of bunkers instead of the previous years’ 3,450 sq. ft. and 4,145 sq. ft. Four truckloads, totaling 36 yards of concrete, turned out to be a little too The first two years we did much to do in a day, especially with bunkers in May before I was fully the heat we were experiencing in staffed, which meant all 8 crew members were working on the bun- early June. The concrete was also drying quicker than we could roll it ker project with no other course out smoothly. maintenance that day. This year I decided to wait until June. Twelve crew members would be enough for It all ended up coming together the bunker project and still allow us in the end, as it always does, but to get course maintenance done. In they looked more like the surface of addition, I also chose to do more the moon than smooth like a swimsquare footage than we have in the ming pool. Personally, I believe past. As superintendents, we like this is just a step that would make to “push the envelope” all the time. it easier to remove the sand from We were going to do 5,800 sq. ft. the bunker if that situation were Wrong and What Would I Do Differently?

Nuts! Too much or too little concrete poured in a ten hour day. Pouring concrete is time and labor consuming. Plan ahead and don’t burn out your staff. Page 38

in addition to less stressful, for the crew and myself while being less disruptive to the golfing experience. More importantly, it will result in providing a better finished product as we will not be rushed to get too much done in one day. Whether bunker renovation plans are in your future or not, they may end up being someday. There are many options out there to choose from and more being developed every year. I just wanted to share my experience with Capillary Concrete with you. Each year I have gained more confidence in this I now know how much is too product and it is working out well much to take on at one time, and from every aspect; functionality, that we don’t have to do all the ease of installation, and financially. planned bunkers at one time. We were always in the mode of getting We have one Better Billy Bunker, 19 Capillary Concrete, and 33 bunthem all prepped and doing them all at once early in the season. This kers to go. Next year we have four larger bunkers to do to finish the was because the heavy duty turf back nine. My plan is to then do six vehicles used for hauling concrete and sand were needed for other golf a year until we are finished on the front nine. maintenance tasks, once the growing season was in full force. Now that I am on my own as far as the The MGCSA thanks Todd installation goes, we can do smaller Schmitz and MAGCS for the quantities throughout the season, opportunity to reprint this like two bunkers at a time. This will make vehicle sharing a little easier, exceptional article. to ever occur. After all the plastic was down it was a 10 hour day and everyone saw the finish line and bolted. Twenty minutes later a front came through and started blowing plastic off the bunkers because we hadn’t put sand down on any of the seams yet; one little detail overlooked. I was able to situate the seams so they would face down wind and not catch the wind and blow off. Another 20 minutes later a .25� downpour occurred which put enough water in the bunkers to keep the plastic in place over night.

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The Wee One 2017 Peers Helping Peers Thank you Brackett’s Crossing Country Club, Green Staff and Superintendent Tom Proshek

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The Continuing Debate Surrounding Snow Mold Fungicide Reapplications Paul Koch, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin - Madison

Author’s Note: This article originally appeared in the March/April 2017 edition of The Grass Roots, the official publication of the Wisconsin Golf Course Superintendents Association.

The 2016- 2017 winter brought another mixed bag of snow, rain, big warm ups, and big cool downs. Overall I think most courses were in good shape heading into the golfing season, but I received numerous questions again this year on whether fungicide reapplications are needed to protect the turf until spring fully arrives. We have conducted years of research investigating the impact that these variable conditions have on snow mold fungicide persistence, and the results have been pretty clear. But just because the results are fairly clear doesn’t mean how you respond is. What do the results say? Most of you have heard these results multiple times so I’ll be brief, and those that would like a deeper refresher can flip back to their September/October Grass Roots issue from 2015. In summary, winter rainfall events or snow melt events led to rapid degradation of both iprodione and chlorothalonil, and it didn’t matter whether plots were under snow cover or not (Figure 1). These results were consistent over a 4-year period between 2009-2010 and 2012-2013. Expanding on the results from that first winter fungicide degradation study we decided to investigate the impacts of snow cover on the depletion of propiconazole and chlorothalonil with and without the inclusion of the anti-transpirant Transfilm® (Figure 2). We have conducted this trial the past two winters and plan to conduct it for a third year next winter, so the results have not yet been fully analyzed. However, the preliminary results very much mirror the results from the first experiment, in that the major drivers of snow mold fungicide degradation are rain and snowmelt (Figure

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Figure 1. Impact of rainfall on persistence of iprodione and chlorothalonil during the winter of 2012-2013. Heavy rainfall in January led to rapid depletion of both fungicides.

3). And we had plenty of rain and snowmelt the past two winters. In fact, I would venture that for the vast majority of you, nearly all of your snow mold fungicide was gone from the plots by early to mid-January at the latest (certainly earlier in 2015-2016). Why would I not need to reapply? I have presented to numerous audiences on the above degradation data in the past five years and one of the most difficult aspects to understand is why, if the fungicide is no longer there, would I not need to reapply to protect myself? The winter of 2015-2016 offers us a perfect case study to investigate why fungicide applications were generally not warranted but also identify situations where reapplications may be warranted.

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Figure 2. Winter fungicide degradation research study at the OJ Noer Turfgrass Research Facility in January of 2017.

If you recall, the winter of 2015-2016 was incredibly warm and rainy, especially in December. Our research indicated that fungicide applied in late November was gone by January 1st (Figure 3). Snow mold did not develop on those particular plots, and in fact there was very little breakthrough anywhere in the state on treated areas. One could simply say that the warm, rainy winter didn’t provide conditions that were conducive enough for snow mold to develop. However, we observed numerous nontreated sites (non-treated bentgrass, bluegrass roughs, etc) where snow mold was clearly evident and in some cases severe. This would seem to suggest that conditions were conducive for snow mold to develop‌so why didn’t it develop on treated areas if the product had degraded? The most likely answer, in my opinion, is that treated areas still had a lower fungal population than non-treated areas as a result of the fungiPage 44

cide application the previous fall. Similar to fungicide applications targeting summer diseases, the fungicide comes into contact with the fungus and stunts it back for a period of time. Depending on the environmental conditions, the fungus then gradually rebounds until the point it can once again cause symptoms to develop. So even though your snow mold fungicide application made in November is gone somewhere in January, it still knocked back the snow mold fungal population and in many cases knocked it back to the point it can never recover to the point of causing symptoms. A theoretical graphical representation of what this might look like is included in Figure 4.

Figure 3. Impact of rainfall on the persistence of propiconazole during the winter of 2015-2016. Heavy rainfall in December led to rapid depletion and whether the plots were under snow or tank-mixed with Transfilm (TF) didn’t make a difference.

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Figure 4. Theoretical figure showing how fungicide applications can impact snow mold development by impacting their population size long after the application has been made. In this scenario a fungicide application was made on December 1st and a fungal population of 25 is when symptoms occur.

Are there any cases where I will need to reapply? Sure. If you look again at Figure 4 and imagine a scenario with the treated fungal population where optimal growth conditions occur for a long enough period after the fungicide is no longer present, then the fungus may regrow to the point of causing disease. I believe we started to see some of this at our snow mold research site at Marquette CC in the spring of 2016. Marquette had the same rainy December as the rest of us, but following that they had deep snow cover until early March. We saw that non-treated plots were destroyed, and even many treated plots were beginning to show a little more breakthrough then they normally do (Figure 5). Page 46

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I think that if Marquette had retained snow cover for another 3 to 4 weeks that the level of breakthrough on treated areas would have been much more significant. The scenarios where reapplication MIGHT be warranted then are when breakdown events (rain, snowmelt) occur very shortly after the application AND when you reside in an area where a long snow cover duration of 60 or more days is likely or if the long-term forecasters are predicting a snowy winter (insert hearty laughter here about the ability of forecasters to accurately predict winter snowfall levels). In most cases during an average winter, reapplication is probably not required. But if the above scenario is likely to occur at your facility, thinking about a reapplication to high-value areas like one or more putting greens may be a wise decision. Future Research Directions The case I laid out above is purely theoretical, though I would argue one that is quite plausible. However, we need to conduct multiple research trials to prove my theory above actually holds water, and we will be writing grants this upcoming summer and conducting preliminary research on different methods for tracking fungal populations in the field. Hopefully in a couple years we’ll have a much better idea of how multiple turfgrass pathogens grow in the field in the absence of symptom development, and how that impacts disease development, as a result of our research. Stay tuned! Professor Paul Koch

Expertise: Urban Ecology and Turfgrass Management The Koch lab resides in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. The MGCSA wishes to thank Dr. Koch for his continued support. Page 48

Figure 5. Despite a much shorter then average period of snow cover for Marquette CC in 2015-2016, snow mold pressure was high as evidenced by the level of disease in the non-treated control. Page 49

Flood Ravaged Course Re-Opens

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Golf course architect Kevin Norby has completed a major renovation at flood ravaged Meadowbrook Golf Club. By Kevin Norby, Senior Designer at Herfort Norby Golf Course Architects

Meadowbrook Golf Club is located in Hopkins, Minnesota and is one of five courses owned and operated by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. The course was originally designed by William Foulis Jr. and opened in 1924. In June of 2014, the golf course was closed when more than 11 inches of rain caused Minnehaha Creek to overflow its banks and submerged the golf course under up to five feet of water. The damage included 64 acres of dead turf, washed out cart paths and bunkers, nearly 100 drowned trees, damage to four greens and flooded irrigation satellites. Funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) paid for repairs to the course. In response, the Park Board hired local golf course architect and ASGCA member Kevin Norby to assist them with navigating the FEMA process and reconstructing the golf course. According to Norby, just one year earlier, this process

wouldn’t have been possible. In September of 2013, FEMA issued a policy change bulletin that provided for federal funding for damaged turf on golf courses. Prior to that change in policy, FEMA would only pay for repair of damage to infrastructure such as public buildings or irrigation components. Norby added, the first thing that needs to happen in order to be eligible for FEMA assistance is that the governor has to declare a disaster and request funding from the federal government. Once that has happened, our first step was to prepare a cost estimate and a hole by hole assessment of the damage. Norby estimated the damage at Meadowbrook at nearly $2 million. The construction process at Meadowbrook was completed in three phases beginning with some minor repairs that were completed in-house by Park Board golf course staff. Next, the fairways and roughs were regrassed to allow time for Page 51

them to mature. Finally, Norby worked with the Park Board to solicit competitive bids for the reconstruction of bunkers, the repair of cart paths and the replacement of the irrigation system electrical components. According to Norby, when working with FEMA, it’s important that you understand and follow their procurement process. They require multiple bids and advertisement of the work nationwide to minority and women-owned businesses. Norby noted, failing to follow those guidelines can result in denial of funding. Golf course superintendent Troy Tschida worked closely with Norby and the contractor to make sure the work was done properly

and that the bunkers would be maintainable with their staff and equipment. The bunkers were the most involved part of the project, said Norby. The faces had eroded and collapsed and the drain tiles were plugged. Because the course was closed for so long, the bunkers had become overgrown with weeds. Since FEMA would only participate in reconstruction of elements that were damaged by the flood, the Park Board funded the reconstruction of the remaining undamaged bunkers. We wanted the course to look and play consistently when it reopened. We eliminated a few bunkers and actually reduced the overall square footage by nearly 30 percent. Norby said, we rebuilt the Hole One

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Hole Two

faces and restored them to a look and style that is consistent with the golden-age character of the course. Norby added, Troy liked the idea of keeping the sand pro out of the bunkers so that sand would last longer. So, we made the bunkers considerably smaller, used fescue on the surrounds and brought the grass faces down rather than flashing the sand up. Even though the bunkers will require hand raking and some string trimming, overall we reduced the potential for washouts and the time it will take to maintain them. The reseeding of the course was completed by Hartman Golf

while the bunkers and irrigation reconstruction was completed by Duininck Golf – both certified members of the Golf Course Builder’s Association of American (GCBAA). Kevin Norby is the owner and senior designer at Herfort Norby Golf Course Architects. For more information, you may contact Kevin at (952)361-0644 or via email at knorby@HerfortNorbyGolf.com.

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Incident Response Plan or Release Response Planning 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.

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:

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 the MDA of an incident as soon as possible by calling the 24-hour Minnesota Duty Officer at 1-800-422-0798. One of the MDA’s on-call staff will promptly call you back to explain what steps to take to minimize the impact of the release. Generally, these will include the following STARR actions:

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Secure the Site: In an emergency, the first priority is always life safety. A prompt warning to

employees to act, evacuate, shelter, or lockdown can save lives. 1. Call 911 for law enforcement or emergency services. Police and fire are able to assist with traffic control, site security, shelter-in-place or evacuation orders. Including full and accurate information will help the dispatcher send the right responders and equipment to the scene. 2. Make sure the area is clear of employees, onlookers, livestock, and pets. 3. Place traffic cones or flares in roadways to ensure that other drivers are not impacted by a roadside spill. 4. Employees with knowledge of building and process systems should take action to help control a leak and minimize damage to the facility and the environment. 5. Anyone assisting in leak or spill control must first take steps to protect him/herself by wearing proper personal protective equipment and following all safety practices BEFORE attempting to help stabilize the site. 6. An employee trained to administer first aid or perform CPR can be lifesaving.

Telephone in your report of the incident: You have a legal obligation to immediately report all agricultural chemical spills no matter how small. Call the Minnesota Duty Officer at 800-422-0798 to reach the MDA for one-stop spill reporting and cleanup assistance. Be prepared with the following information:

• Substance spilled • Quantity spilled • Date and time of spill occurrence or discovery • Location of the spill • Description of the area; especially drainage, existing surface water, ponded water,

groundwater table, nearby residences, or population centers

• Responsible party; including name, address, telephone number, and email • Weather conditions and forecast • Cause of the spill • Details about the spill including the discovery of product-contaminated soils, contaminated

wells or surface water, product inventory loss, and failed tank or pipeline tests.

Abate the Spill: Sudden spills may be difficult to manage. Abatement measures limit the impact of the

spill by reducing the degree or intensity of contamination. Take actions such as plugging a leaking container, placing absorbent materials or diking a spill area to minimize health and safety risks, property damage, and environmental damage.

Recover Spilled Product: If it can be done safely, recover spilled material as quickly as possible by

pumping up free liquid or sweeping up absorbent and dry material and placing into suitable containers.

Remediate: Spills that soak into the ground may require excavation. Quick abatement action will limit the amount of excavation necessary. Experts at the MDA can assist you in determining how deep to dig and whether soil samples will be necessary for lab analysis to ensure that cleanup goals are met. Record contact information for environmental consultants and excavation or other equipment operators in your Incident Response Plan. Contaminated media (soil, absorbent, water, sediment, debris, or other contaminated material) are to be stockpiled until land spreading or landfilling is approved. All land applications that result from an agricultural chemical incident must be evaluated and pre-approved in writing by the MDA.

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Planning and Preparing for a Response: As of 2015, legislative requirements for an Incident Response Plan are that 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. Preparing for an ag chemical spill in advance will allow you and your staff to respond quickly and appropriately when the time comes.

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. For additional information about an incident response plan, refer to the MDA’s Emergency Response web page and find both a fact sheet, “Developing and Maintaining Your Incident Response Plan”, and a Sample Incident Response Plan.

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: • Pesticide dealers; • Agricultural pesticide dealers; • Commercial pesticide application; • 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.


Without an Incident Response Plan, the potential for safety hazards and health risks is greatly increased. Documented noncompliance may result in enforcement action, including financial penalties.

Statutory authority:

More information about the law on record keeping, plans, and inspections is online at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=18B.37 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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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.

Within the Leather by Dave Kazmierczak CGCS Superintendent at Prestwick Golf Club

“Communication is the key to any successful venture.” No truer words have ever been spoken, perhaps. Certainly in this business, where multiple employees are spread out working over a fairly large area and with a variety of different jobs requiring myriad skills and direction, communication isn’t just key; it’s essential. In the old days, the only way to communicate was one-onone. The superintendent had to talk to each individual, explain the job, and follow up as he or she toured the course. Then came the advent of the twoway radio. This enabled the superintendent to get ahold of his assistants and maybe a few other key personnel via the heavy, burdensome devices. While much more efficient on PagePage 58


the course, it still lacked for communication from off site. As the century turned, as we all know, a new technology would arrive to revolutionize communication- the personal cell phone. First the basic phone, then the smart phone, these devices have been and continue to be an amazing tool for the turf professional. Now every employee can be reached at virtually any time and in different ways. Contact with the off-course world is instantaneous whether by conventional means, or via email, text, snap chat, twitter, whatever. The only way not to communicate these days is via passenger pigeon! However, for as good a tool as the smart phone has become, and for all of its glorious functions and communication avenues, I have observed a dark side to their overwhelming and continual use by people, and specifically people in work, as well as social settings. You can call me an old stick-in-themud (I did just turn 50), or not with

the times, or whatever you want to, but I can’t help but feel that the smartphone has tuned many of us into dumb%#@*s. Ok, maybe dumb%#@*’s is a little harsh, but allow me to make my point(s) of contention and I’ll let you decide. I’m not even going to touch two major problems with cell phones other than this casual mention: distracted (place your preferred action item here from the list of driving, walking, working, operating, blah, blah, blah) or the reliance upon them for essentially every basic human need that can be lost with a simple drop of the device into a body of water, a large ravine, or non-well placed shredder of some sort. Poof! There goes my wallet, my boarding pass and my ID all in one for some folks. No, my biggest gripe about the things is their effect on human interaction and common decency. I have long noticed this negative effect on human interaction via the cell phone. Go anywhere- I mean anywhere, and look around. Look at crowds of

people. What you will see is groups of individuals, or even couples, gathering together yet not talking, interacting with each other, but mired with head in a 45 degree position, fingers typing away on a cell phone. It first really hit home with me a few years back at GIS. I sat down at a bar with a group of superintendents that I knew fairly well, some more than others, when at one point I set my beer down and out of six guys, I was the only one not peering down at the stupid phone. I waited a bit, feeling like the odd kid not selected by the two captains for pick-up basketball, until one guy finally hit the send button and could muster a few words of conversation. I thought to myself, man, either I’m one dull S.O.B. (which always might be the case) or the cell phone Gods got their hooks deep into my brethren. Fast forward to two weeks ago. I was sitting in a staff meeting. One of the participants came in PagePage 59 59

with phone already pulled and announced that he had another meeting he was involved in during this one. He then proceeded to ask more than once what the question or subject was, showed no interest in meaningful discussion and eventually took his phone and walked away only to return with more questions. Then he pulled the phone back out again for what, who knows? It was one of the rudest things I had ever been involved in, and it was at that point I knew I needed to write this column to get my frustrations out. Cell phone etiquette is like the latest eclipse. When you do see it, you won’t see it for long, or a long time thereafter and PagePage 60


even then, it may be obstructed. Seriously, ask yourself if you are so important that you can’t be reached for 10 minutes. If you answered yes, you are a fool. There is nothing more rude than taking a phone out and doing anythingtwitter, score checks, textinganything, when talking to one other person or persons. What you are saying loud and clear is: “Despite your presence and our discussion, I find so little value in you that I feel the need to focus my attention on something else.” Whether you mean that or not, that is precisely what you are saying, without saying it. Naturally if you are text alerted, have an incoming call and the setting is social, it would be prudent to answer, but how about an excuse me- I need to take this? Is that too much to ask? In a

meeting situation, keep the damn phone in your pocket, or better yet, don’t even bring it in the room. I realize you may feel naked, but give it whirl. You really just aren’t that important. Seminars? Lectures? Leave the damn things in your coat pocket or be damn sure you turn it off. How many times have you been in a seminar when some idiot’s phone belches a snippet of Van Halen from his pants pocket as if his or her private parts were summoning their inner David Lee Roth? Rude, rude, rude! Try being the guy or gal giving the speech and having that distract you a couple times. I’m surprised I haven’t seen a CNN special on, “speech giver goes postal on cell phone twit.” In my mind, the true consequence of bad cell phone behavior is that it lessens the human experience, not to get too deep or sappy. The more the device disrupts human interaction, the easier it is just to not communicate with people. I find it humorous listening to fellow superintendents

bemoan their young workers lack of ability to communicate and attachment to the cell phone when they are some of the finest examples of constant tweets, snap chats, etc. You reap what you sow boys and girls. Ok, enough sounding like my father. My rant is done. Suffice it to say, the cell phone and its trappings are here to stay and that, for the most part’ it is a good thing. My point of all this is to point out that there is a negative affect from abusive cell phone use, and the lack of etiquette that goes with it. Just think of this column the next time you pull out the phone when with a small group of people or enter a meeting or seminar and tone it back a little, or ask permission, or say excuse me but I need to check somethingdo you mind? I would be completely hypocritical if said I haven’t been guilty of any or all the above offenses, but I am vowing to up my cell phone etiquette, come join along.

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