The Official Publication of the MGCSA Vol. 56, #2 March 2021
Featured in this issue:
Measuring Playability in Naturalized Areas
MGCSA 2021 Gold Annual Sponsor pages 44 - 50
On the cover: What is playability?
Maintaining playability in golf course naturalized areas is a common concern for golfers and other stakeholders. A problem with our conversations about playability is that there is no consensus on how to adequately measure and describe these complex environments. One’s idea of what is playable or not may depend on their skill level, frequency of playing golf, height, and so on. Read full article about measuring playability on pages 36 - 43. Have you connected with your legislator regarding the Irrigation Bill? Page 2
Hole Notes (ISSN 108-27994) is digitally published monthly except bimonthly in November/ December and January/February by the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association, 10050 204th Street North, Forest Lake, MN 55025. Jack MacKenzie CGCS publisher. Please send any address changes, articles for publication, advertising and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hole Notes Magazine Vol. 56, No. 2 March 2021
Featured Articles 2021 MGCSA Compensation Survey Results Thank you participants for your support!
pages 8 - 12
Garden Design Techniques: Choosing Color pages 14 - 19
By Diane McGann, Master Gardener
Get To Know Them: Lance Tykwinski
pages 22 - 26
By Joe Berggren, Superintendent at The Wilds
From the Hole Notes Archives: Effective Spray Patterns: Are You Covered?
By Ken Rost, Frost Services
pages 28 - 35
Measuring Playability In Naturalized Areas pages 36 - 43 By Ryan Schwab and Maggie Reiter, UMN Turfgrass Science Team
Monthly Columns Presidential Perspective pages By Scott Thayer
By Jack MacKenzie
pages 42 - 45
Joe Bergrren JBERGGREN@GOLFTHEWILDS. COM
Presidential Perspective by Scott Thayer, Legends Club
Spring weather seems to be on its way for all of us in Minnesota; it’s really been nice to be able to walk on the course without a ton of clothes on. The relatively deep snow cover for most of the winter has been a really good blanket. And, with very minimal ice, I feel like it may have been a “successful” winter, but we never know until everything is melted. I will say, that when we make it this far into March and everything is good, we have made it over the hump for healthy turf; well, let’s hope so. Unfortunately, as I said in my last article, the beginning of 2021 is still a lot like 2020 ended; lots of masking, still many restrictions, and multiple protocols needing to be met before returning to “normal”. With more and more vaccinations being applied to our nation the faster we will be appreciating what we used to know as normalcy, but I am not certain life will ever be the same again. PagePage 4
We have a Bill! I am sure you are all very familiar with the water Bill that has finally gotten to both House and Senate Committees for review and, hopefully, then forwarded for final passage. What does it all mean? If signed into Law, it is intended that the DNR Commissioner creates a format that provides a degree of irrigation water assurances to golf courses that follow and implement DNR guidelines for irrigation efficiency, water conservation and drought management planning in exchange for access to limited irrigation water during times of drought. It isn’t a mandate for all courses to adhere to. Only participating courses will have assurances. Non-participating courses would fall into the non-essential category and run the risk of having their permit suspended completely, disrupting their course’s business model. Furthermore, the Bill removes the newly categorized “Six Golf Courses” from the restriction list should the governor declare an emergency.
Without a Day on The Hill we could not discuss the initiative directly with our Legislators. However, for those of you that had the opportunity to send letters, emails, or make phone calls to your Legislators, the MGCSA says “Thank you!” This initiative may take time to attain passage into law and implementation. I am looking forward to a full Day on the Hill in 2022 when, hopefully, we can meet with our Legislators in a safe manner and continue our conversations in person. But, like I said, “Hopefully”. The Rounds for Research request for certificates letter has been sent out a couple of times this year. I know last year was a tough season to ask GM’s, Pro’s, Owners,
and Boards to give up rounds with Covid going on. Once again, we are doing another big “Push” for R4R and wish to get all that were historically involved back donating for Research. We are extremely excited about the development and operation of the University of the Minnesota TROE Center. Because of strong support from clubs, this 12acre research center is viable today. The information gathered provides golf courses with local universitybased research that will allow them to make environmentally sound decisions that impact their course. Because of the widespread damage caused by the unpredictable winter weather of 2018-19, the MGCSA BOD has directed funding go to-
Got your “A” Game on? I challenge you to beat me in a long drive, chipping and/or putting contest at the May 3rd Affiliate Appreciation Carnival and Member Social at TPC Twin Cities. Events, free food, friendly competition! Pizza, prizes and peer companionship!
ward Winter Stress Studies being conducted at several institutions in the United States, Canada and Europe, as well as the UMN, over the next few years. We feel that applied studies of this nature are an investment in the future of golf course management and we would not be enjoying the great conditions of our courses today without the strong support of research in the past. So please, please, please donate rounds now if you can, this is a very important initiative and we are hoping to do way better than we did last year. I am very excited about an event to be held on May 3rd. Over this past winter, superintendent at TPC Twin Cities, Mark Michalski, offered the MGCSA full use of the club’s driving range facility for a “Carnival-style” Affiliate Appreciation and MGCSA Member Social. Since there have been no in-person trade shows over the last twelve months, this will be a great opportunity for the Affiliates to show case their products to the members and allow the members to thank the vendors for their support. TPC will be opening up their driving range PagePage 6
property for our gang to create a Carnival atmosphere complete with equipment demos (rides), games of chance (provided by our affiliate participants), contests of skill (long drive, putting and chipping competitions) and fair food (brick oven pizza and beverages). The goal of the Arrangement’s Committee is to provide a socially safe-distanced destination for the MGCSA membership to network with their peers. Affiliates are invited to bring out new equipment for demonstration on the range before the driving contest, drop the tail gate of their pick-up trucks and show off soft goods, make a truck-booth with a game of chance and have a slice of pizza or pop with clientele. Oh yes, all this is FREE to our supporters as a thank you, ‘atta boy, kudos and muchas gracias for your endorsement of the MGCSA. Sounds to me like a great event and I can’t thank Mark enough for creating a venue and our industry affiliates for the participation and support throughout the year. Hey big hitters and true putters, I challenge you to give ME your best shot.
2020 Affiliate Appreciation and Member
Monday, May 3rd TPC Twin Cities Practice Range Host Superintendent Mark Michalski 11:00 - 2:00
Trade Fair and Demo’s
games of chance, treats, social interaction!
11:30 - 1:00
TPC Brick oven pizza and soft drincks
1:00 - 2:30
Games of Skill $$$ Awards!
Long Drive, chipping and putting events Games of skill open to all MGCSA members. This opportunity is intended to bring our membership together in a fun and Covid safe atmosphere following a year without group interaction. MGCSA members only please.
****must register for food count Page 5
2021 Compensation Survey In January of 2021, the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association conducted a survey of 241 Class A, B and Facility members, and requested compensation information. Over a three week period, 132 responses were tabulated. Here are the results:
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The MGCSA appreciates, and thanks, those who took part in this important survey. Page 11
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Garden Design Techniques: Choosing Color By Diane McGann, Master Gardener Passing a flower display at the Chicago Botanical Garden last summer, I stopped abruptly, mesmerized by the sight of purple salvia dancing with red hibiscus. Color. We all love it, and it’s what we often think of first when planning our gardens. Which hues will most satisfy us and help us achieve the effect we’re seeking? Thankfully, there are guidelines to aid us in making our choices. Here are 10 tips to consider before heading to the nursery this spring. 1. Pick your favorite color. Start with your preferences. If your favorite hue is purple, find plants that will bloom at the same time in different shades of purple. Want to perk it up a bit? Try purple’s complementary color, yellow. Something more serene? Choose analogous shades on the color wheel, perhaps a soft red-violet, to place next to your favorite purple flowers. 2. Don’t forget foliage. While mostly green, leaves also offer other hues to enhance your color scheme. Think of burgundy heuchera Page 14
adjacent to soft-pink carnations. Green also provides the sense of serenity and renewal most people want in their backyard refuge, so it may be a good choice for that part of your garden you consider your sanctuary. 3. Make it serene. Want to add to that calming green escape outside your back door? Look for purples and blues, which induce quiet and peacefulness among their viewers. 4. Red and orange are hot! Highlight a dashing birdbath or handmade mosaic with bright red lilies or zinnias. Red or orange, analogous on the color wheel, also might frame your front door, drawing attention to your home’s entrance—as long as the hues complement your house colors. Keep hot colors out of shady areas, however, as they disappear into the background in dark corners. 5. White pops at night. If your view is mostly seen after hours, add white to your repertoire. Keep in mind, however, that silver and gray, also neutral colors, similarly stand out at night but are more calming. 6. Play with color. Cool hues (blue, green and purple) recede into the Page 15
background and are at home in shady areas, while the hot colors (red, yellow and orange) appear closer than they really are. 7. Use the same hues repeatedly throughout your garden to create a cohesive tapestry. Think masses, rather than individual plants placed here and there, and try for a color scheme, rather than randomly spotting different colors in your garden. Lack of a scheme and too many colors can lead to a messy look, rather than the calm and inviting vista you seek. 8. Consider complementary colors. While you might expect colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel to be disruptive when seen together, these combinations actually please the eye and create harmony. Complementary pairs include yellow-blue, blue-orange and red-green, but any opposites on the wheel will do. 9. Pastels work well with other pale hues and combine nicely with silver foliage. Soft colors wash out in bright sunlight, however, so they are probably not the best choices for your sunny border. Page 6 Page 16
10. Keep the pleasing colors coming throughout the season; as one set fades, have another ready to take its place. What colors or color combinations have spoken to you recently? Perhaps you were taken by a room display in a home décor magazine or drawn to a fashion layout at the local department store. Color hints aren’t just confined to gardens. Use those experiences to fashion your own personal sea of color that pleases you every time you view it. Talking about Color Primary colors: red, yellow and blue. Secondary color: the result of mixing two primary colors together, such as orange (red and yellow), green (yellow and blue) and purple (red and blue). Intermediate or tertiary color: the result of mixing a primary and a secondary color, for example, blue-green or violet. Neutral colors: black, white, silver and brown. Color Combinations Analogous: pairing colors next to each other on the color wheel, such as red and orange, or blue and violet. Complementary: combining colors opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green.
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The preceding article was reprinted by permission from the Minnesota Horticultural Society and author Diane McGann, Master Gardener. Thank you for your support! If you come across fantastic content in your readings and research, please forward the contact information, title and topic to MGCSA Hole Notes Editor Joe Berggren for consideration as an article in a future issue of the Association’s magazine. Page 19
Distinguished Service Award and MN Golf Hall of Fame Revision In an effort to make the Distinguished Service Award more meaningful to the recipient and the MGCSA, the 2019 Awards Committee created the following set of guidelines. Any member can be nominated, but greatest consideration will be given to those who distinguished themselves supporting the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association. Date for submission is May 15th. The required point total necessary to be considered for the MGCSA Distinguished Service Award can be a combination of Page 20
points in the following categories. The minimum number of combined points necessary for the DSA Award is 25. The Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame nominee must previously have attained the MGCSA DSA Award and fulfilled an additional 15 points beyond those already acquired. DSA recipients awarded prior to the new criteria will require 15 additional points in any category based on Committee suggestion. The Board of Directors and Awards Committee will be responsible for final decisions.
Terms on the MGCSA BOD = 2 points per term, including officer position, 4 maximum • Officer Position = 1 point per office elected • Audubon Certification and re-certification = 2 points, 4 maximum • ESI Award = 2 points maximum • Support of the University of MN research plots = 2 points, 4 maximum • Support of the GCSAA committee members = 2 points, 4 maximum • GCSAA, MTGF and Allied Association BOD or committee role = 1 per year, 3 maximum • MGCSA Membership =1 point per decade • Certification 2 points then= 1 per renewal, 5 maximum • MGCSA event participation = 2 maximum • Civic Community Service points =1 point for each position 3 maximum • Mentor potential= 1 point per professional through superintendent class, 3 maximum • Any MGCSA, GCSAA or industry Presentations =1 per presentation, 4 maximum • Any MGCSA, GCSAA or industry articles written =1 per article, 3 maximum • Completion of any MGCSA Environmental Initiative Packet = 3 points per packet • Contribution to golf that can’t be anticipated = 5 points maximum • *** The Committee can assign any number of points to those individuals who do not have access to this point system due to placement in our industry. For example, educators and affiliate members. Please provide your nomination to the Awards Committee through jack@ mgcsa.org. Include a list of nominee accomplishments and statement of recommendation. Page 53 Page 21
Get to Know ‘em Superintendent Lance Tykwinski, Marshall Golf Club by Hole Notes Editor, Joe Berggren
FACILITY INFO: Golf Course: Marshall Golf Club Public or Private: semi-private Number of Holes: 18 Full time employees: 1 Seasonal employees (not including full time): 10 Number of employees during peak season: 10 Types of grass: Bentgrass Total course acreage: 120 Greens acreage: 3 Tee acreage: 2 Page 22
I have learned that capital needs outweigh income at the properties I have managed.
Personal Turf Facts: How many years have you been in your current position? 3 How many years have you been in the turf industry? 17 Where else have you worked? Tyler Golf Course Turf School Attended (if any)? Mundus Turf Institute
Industry thoughts: What is one “master plan” thing you would like to change at your golf course? New cart paths What concerns do you have the turf business and the future of golf? The future of young golfers getting to play. Golf course’s capital needs out weigh the income. What is needed to bring more young professionals into the industry? Members and grade school to teach them the sport. What piece of equipment do you want? Not a need, a want. Wiedenmann super 600 vac In terms of industry costs (equipment, pesticides, labor, etc.) are they too low, too high or just right? Equipment cost are too high
FUN FACTS: Have you ever met a celebrity? Who? No What is your favorite vacation spot? Puerto Vallarta, Mexico What is your favorite memory of starting your turf career? Learning the trade from my father who is also a Superintendent What is your favorite job on the golf course? Golfing it!
What is your least favorite job on the golf course? Digging irrigation holes. Have you played any famous golf courses? Which ones? TPC Scottsdale, AZ Who is your dream foursome? Bill Murray, Tiger, John Daly, 2020- What a year! Would you like to comment on it?
Bye! Don’t let the door hit ya in the butt on the way out
Thank you and you and you!!!
From the Hole Notes Archives, still relevant today!
Effective Spray Patterns: Are You Really Covered? Originally published in the September, 2012 by Ken Rost, Frost Inc.
Having the answer may not be a difficult as you think. Universities, chemical companies and spray nozzle manufacturers use laser or Doppler equipment to analyze droplet size from different nozzles in a controlled laboratory environment. The information gathered from this equipment is detailed, accurate and critical to the development of new technologies.
However, outside the laboratory where we live, there is a big world with lots of variables and a more practical method of spray coverage measurement is necessary. This is where water sensitive paper (WSP) comes in handy. WSP is a special paper with a yellow film on one side that turns to blue color when it gets wet. It was developed by Syngenta over 30 years ago
MGCSA Spring Field Trip and Workshop
April 7, 2021
Advanced Sprayer Technology and Application Topics: New Calibration techniques Diagnosis and troubleshooting of: Automatic rate controllers Liquid systems Pump performance Nozzle distribution evaluation and measurement Boom height errors GPS spray system advanced topics: Understanding error correction systems Trouble shooting system faults Common failure diagnosis procedures Tour of the GIS mapping process Variable rate application methodology
Cost of the day is $30 and it includes an incredible lunch provided ala Sir-Smokes-A-Lot BBQ. Time 9:00 am until 3:00 pm April 7, 2021 You won’t want to miss this and neither will your EM, Assistant and Spray Tech. Register on-line today at mgcsa.org Page 29
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the certificate courses are offered over two 8-week periods, early-october through mid-December, and mid-January through mid-march. this timing works well for prospective students who already work in the turf industry and want to augment their work experience with a world class education. it also allows those in the two-year program to participate in an extended internship program (late march – october).
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Four-year college students receive a strong background in the social, mathematical, communication, physical and biological sciences. this is the foundation which students use to progress to advanced courses related to turfgrass management. the graduate has a variety of options for employment and professional certification, provides increased flexibility to change careers or to pursue advanced degrees and further expand employment opportunities and career advancement.
e G r ee
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the two-year certificate curriculum offers courses in introductory soil science and turfgrass management with a focus on communications, human resources, and the business side of the industry in year one, and specialized courses in turfgrass management in year two. the two-year certificate courses follow the same time frame as the one-year certificate courses. recent high school graduates should to pursue the two-year certificate instead of the one-year option.
t wO -
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and it is widely available through spray parts suppliers.
We can also use WSP just to indicate the presence of droplets. An example is to check if drift is occurWhen droplets hit WSP they form a ring in a no-spray area. Here are a blue dot relative to the size of each few ways that WSP can be used: droplet. This gives us an indication of the droplet sizes that are com• Checking Droplet Size – Labels ing out of the nozzles. The number on spray products include a recomof drops and the total blue area on mendation of droplet size. To maxithe paper gives us an indication of mize the efficacy of the product, the volume of liquid applied over a we need to be within the range of specified area. We can compare this their recommendations. We can applied volume to the rate of apcheck this by positioning the WSP plication from the sprayer and see flat on the ground and simply sprayhow efficient the application was. ing over the paper with the spray
Page 5Page 31
boom. After the droplets dry on the paper, we can look at the size of the blue dots to determine the relative droplet sizes. There is a ‘spread factor’ for the size of the blue dots that corresponds to what liquid is used. Water has a known spread factor, but a full tank mix of spray product may have another unknown spread factor. I recommend doing these tests with just water. There are two methods of determining the relative droplet sizes from the WSP. The first is to simply compare the size of the blue dots to a known standard of measured droplets. These comparison samples are usually supplied with the WSP. The second method is to scan the card and use specialized software to
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analyze the droplet sizes. Not everyone needs to have this software, but a professional spray consultant (Frost Inc.) should have it and be able to analyze your WSP samples. • Checking Volume Applied – The methods for checking the actual volume applied are the same as above, except that there is no comparison method, and we need to use the software to analyze the volume. We also need to add the speed of the sprayer into the equation. If we know the sprayer applied rate, we can compare it to the measured applied rate on the WSP to find out how efficient the application was. Variables such as mid-air evaporation and drift prevent us from ever achieving 100% efficiency, but a good indication of relative efficiency can be learned from this exercise. • Checking for Drift – Everyone has neighbors, and they are usually concerned about what you are spraying and if it could possibly be drifting onto their property. Besides neighbors, every spray application is completely surrounded with a no- spray zone. We need to be sure that the products we are spraying are only going on the intended spray area. We
all should know this and don’t need to be lectured again on all the reasons why. WSP is a great tool to test and verify that we are only applying on the intended spray area. Simply placing a WSP in a holder about 1 foot off the ground and every 10 feet along a border will indicate if any spray droplets have drifted off the intended spray area. If you are dealing with a concerned neighbor and you have controlled your drift, showing them the evidence on the WSP may put their mind at ease. • Checking for Coverage – When we talk about coverage, we are referring to the ability to get as many Page 34
droplets as possible all over our intended target. The more droplets we get on all sides of the target, the more effective the spray products are to do their work, specifically if they are contact type spray products. When we were checking for droplet size and volume, we placed the WSP flat on the ground, but in a three-dimensional world, our spray targets are rarely flat on the ground. If we orient the WSP to mimic the structure of a turf grass blade, we can get a better picture of how well we are doing with our spray jobs and try different things to increase coverage. This thinking has
led to multiple angled nozzles to spray forward and back as the spray boom moves over the target and it’s easy to demonstrate with WSP. Simply clip two WSP’s back-to-back to a base and orient them vertically like a blade of grass. Align the WSP perpendicular to the direction of travel. Spray over them with a flat fan nozzle and compare the coverage on the front WSP to the back. Repeat the test using a twin- fan
nozzle and you should note more coverage on the back WSP side. You may already feel that you have a good handle on your spray coverage and/or where your drift risks are. However, if you want to gain a little more confidence and learn more about where your sprays are going, water sensitive paper is a good tool to use.
Page Page 25 35
Measuring Playability of Naturalized Areas By Ryan Schwab and Maggie Reiter, University of Minnesota
What is playability? Maintaining playability in golf course naturalized areas is a common concern for golfers and other stakeholders. A problem with our conversations about playability is that there is no consensus on how to adequately measure and describe these complex environments. One’s idea of what is playable or not may depend on their skill level, frequency of playing golf, height, and so on. What is playability? Playability includes both 1) the ability to visually locate a lost golf ball, and 2) the ability to hit a golf ball through vegetation and proceed forward down the hole. We prioritize the first part of this definition, visibility, because searching for lost golf balls impacts pace of play. Time spent looking for golf balls is a major concern for the modern game of golf and an area of focus for the USGA. With visibility in mind, we propose an approach to better-describe playability with the following indices of visual obstruction.
Indices of visual obstruction Density Seeding rates will initially determine stand density. Once established, density can be increased with overseeding, maintained with use of preemergent herbicides, or decreased with mechanical removal or disturbance. Density can be measured in plants per area or seedheads per area. We have conducted research that shows hard fescue seeded between 1.8 and 5.5 lbs/1000 ft2 provides acceptable stands that prevent weeds. These seeding rates create hard fescue stands that differ from spaced plantings with very low plant densities. Page 36
Stand height and above ground biomass Stand height can range from a few inches tall to overhead, depending on the plants used. Closely related to stand height is the amount of foliage, which we call above ground biomass. Stand height can be maintained or reduced with mowing and grazing. Irrigation and fertilizer can drive increases in stand height. It’s fairly straightforward to measure height with a ruler or meter stick. Above ground biomass can be clipped and weighed, and we use both fresh and dried weights in research experiments.
Weed populations Weeds like thistles are problematic in that they grow much faster and taller than desirable grasses like fine fescues. Weed encroachment can be prevented by maintaining a dense enough stand to crowd out weeds. A balance has to be kept between that density and impacts on playability. Consider that some weeds may be acceptable. Lodging Lodging is when seedheads fall over and some plants are more susceptible to lodging than others (Figure 1). Lodging usually makes naturalized areas less playable. Prevent lodging with occasional mowing and reduce irrigation. Page 37
Figure 1. Plots of native bentgrasses in California. The grass on the left has lodged while the grass on the right has remained upright.
Researching better ways to measure One goal of our research on hard fescue no mow roughs was to evaluate the visibility of a golf ball tossed in plots seeded at three rates (1.8, 3.7, and 5.5 lbs/1000 ft2) with four different mowing regimes (mowed at 4” in
Figure 2. The image analysis measures golf ball visibility by identifying which pixels originate from the ball through a series of shape and color filters. Page 38
the spring, fall, spring & fall, or not mowed at all). Red-colored golf balls were tossed into each plot and digital images were taken from overhead at a set height. A computer image analysis was then able to determine how visible each golf ball was by identifying red pixels of the ball in contrast to the green or brown grass (Figure 2). Golf ball lie was variable, as some balls rested on top of the hard fescue, while others hid under a thistle canopy or vole tunnel.
Figure 3. Estimated mean golf ball visibility in 2019 at St. Paul by mowing timing treatment. Golf ball visibility was quantified as the proportion of golf ball pixels in each image. Images in each bar are a visual representation of the golf ball visibility estimate. Bars with different letters are significantly different.
Page 45 Page 39
We’ve made conclusions about how mowing and stand height influence the visibility of a golf ball in no mow roughs. In the first year of mowing treatments, we noted that golf balls tossed in the unmown plots were
Figure 4. Logarithmic correlation between estimated mean golf ball visibility and percent bare soil/dead vegetation (P < 0.001; r = 0.37). Golf ball visibility was quantified as the proportion of golf ball pixels in each image. Images below the graph are a visual representation of the golf ball visibility estimate along the prediction curve.
Page 44 Page 40
At one research location, there was a lot of weed pressure, and results from this location indicated that as broadleaf weed cover increased, golf ball visibility decreased (Figure 5). Dense thistle canopies made it challenging to spot golf balls.
Figure 5. Linear correlation between estimated mean golf ball visibility and percent broadleaf weed cover at Rush Creek Golf Club, Maple Grove, MN (P < 001; r = 0.34). Golf ball visibility was quantified as the proportion of golf ball pixels in each image. Images below the graph are a visual representation of the golf ball visibility estimate along the prediction curve.
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Summary Careful thought and planning goes into installing naturalized areas to keep them from disrupting play. Have a goal in mind for what constitutes “playability” for your facility and golfers, and use these metrics to monitor your naturalized areas and refine management practices. Additionally, understand that these metrics are very interconnected and more than one of these indices should be integrated for quality measurements. Golf ball visibility in naturalized areas is complex, and our research indicates that regular maintenance of no-mow fine fescues is important in areas where playability is desired. Acknowledgements We would like to thank the United States Golf Association, the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association, and Rush Creek Golf Club for supporting this research.
Better Together! The MGCSA membership appreciates the partnership held with the University of Minnesota and thanks Ryan Schwab, Maggie Reiter and the whole Turfgrass Research Team for their continued support. Page 42
Kevin Malloy, Superintendent at Austin Country Club, organized the logistics and pulled together a mighty fine contingent of Minnesota Volunteers at The Players. Kudos Kevin and Minnesota Troop!
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ply area golf courses and athletic fields throughout the five-state area and sell peat nationally to golf and athletic field construction projects. We’ve become known as the number one specialty soil supplier in the area. We have worked for some of the most premier golf courses in Minnesota including: Braemar Golf Course, Bearpath Golf & Country Club, Hazeltine National Golf Club, Our very first golf customer was the Midland Hills Country Club, OlymPrinceton Golf Club who purchased pic Hills Golf Club, Spring Hill Golf 500 tons of Bunker Sand. We Club, The Legends Club, The Meadworked with Texas A&M and USGA ows Mystic Lake, Rush Creek Golf to perfect the bunker sand. Then Course, TPC Twin Cities, and Windwe took pails of sand around to song Farm to name a few. other golf courses in the area selling the bunker sand. Now we supPlaisted Companies, Inc. owns all
of our resources, so we can be very specific in what products we offer and how precise we blend them with our patented Computerized Accublender™️. The Accublender™️ automatically adjusts for flow rates of materials and will stop the conveyor belt when feed bins run out of material. Our customers select from one of our standard mixes or custom blends a mix by specifying the percentage of each product wanted in the mix. Plaisted Companies can also provide portable blending solutions between construction and landscaping development with the 2-bin Accublender™️. The 2-bin Accublender™️ is capable
of blending up to 2,500 tons of material a day on-site. Plaisted Soil Experts ensure you select the best soil mix for your project. We not only offer a huge variety of golf course and construction products, but we also offer soil testing and sand gradations. We use our internal testing lab to verify sand gradations, allowing you to narrow down your options before paying for outsourced independent testing. Our personnel are experienced professionals and former golf course superintendent’s with extensive golf course and athletic field construction experience. We offer
free consultation and on-site sourcing for large projects and we are experts in commercial soils, sand and gravel. We offer a huge variety of golf course and construction products from topdressing sands to creating your own mix. Plaisted Companies topdressing sands meet USGA guidelines and are available in green pigment and can be dried to meet your specifications. We can blend any combination of materials to meet your individual needs.
Our bunker sands are washed and screened. We offer several Bunker Sands including: Plaisted Bunker Sand, Plaisted Pro Bunker Sand Blend, Best Signature Tour Blend and Best Signature 100% Crushed and have a new Gray Crushed Blend waiting to be tested in the marketplace. Our Golf Construction Sand Mixes are also washed and screened. Our Construction Mixes include: Construction Sand & Peat Mix, Construction Sand & Black Dirt Mix and Construction Sand & Peat and Peat/
and landscapers. Plaisted Landscape Supply carries over 3,200 Plaisted Companies also offers in-store items and they have the bagged products. Bags are available largest in-stock inventory in the upin 50 lb. bags, or in a super-sack per Midwest. They carry only the tote of 1,000 to 3,000 lbs. We are best quality brands that offer excepable to bag the following products: tional strength, durability and longDry Topdressing Sand, Dry Tourlasting beauty that can withstand nament Topdressing, Dry Green our harsh winters. Our brand-new Topdressing Sand, Dry Early-Green Outdoor Showroom attractively Black Topdressing or Dry 70/30 displays popular hardscapes and is Green Divot Mix. open 24/7. Plaisted Companies affiliate comWe are a full-service operation with pany Plaisted Landscape Supply our own fleet of 50+ trucks. We provides professional-grade outhave the capability to deliver one door hardscapes for contractors ton to 25 tons per load. Our GPS
locator helps us set the standard for the most responsive delivery system in the 5-state area. Our worldclass drivers will always take the extra step to provide the best customer experience. “I just wanted to share with you how much we appreciate Plaisted Companies as a partner on our projects. As you know, our company travels all around the US doing projects which opens up to working with many other vendors outside your delivery area. During our project at Plaisted’s at getting us the materials we order in such a
timely manner. During a time when employment around the trucking is challenging you and your team always find a way to help keep our team productive with quality product in a timely manner. Please be sure to share this with everyone, as it takes everyone at Plaisted’s pulling together to make your organization a top-notch supplier to the golf industry.” – Judd Duininck – Division Manager at Duininck Golf Plaisted Companies also believes in giving back to the community, we are active in our community through volunteer work and spon-
sorships. We give back to local sports programs, adopt-a-highway and donate to our local nonprofits. When you shop at Plaisted Companies, you are also supporting the community. In 2018, we introduced the Plaisted Companies Scholars Program which is an achievementbased award. Students are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact in their schools and communities. Three Plaisted Scholars are selected each year. Plaisted’s will dedicate $3,000 total per year towards our scholarship award program. For
more information, visit: https:// plaistedcompanies.com/aboutus/#scholarship Plaisted Companies is a unique company with consistent highquality products, load after load, year after year. We have the most responsive trucking system and an expert staff willing and ready to collaborate with our customers for the best solutions. We hope you’ll entrust us with your business, and we look forward to serving you in 2021!
In Bounds by Jack MacKenzie, CGCS
1988. My family and I had moved out to the country just south of Forest Lake three years earlier. The long dirt road offered many miles and hours of agate hunting opportunities, a hobby instilled in me by my Mom, and to this day I am always “looking”. The dirt track, wrapping the south and west section of our property, adjacent to the house, provided quick access to the trunk highway and ample layers of dust. Although lightly traveled, the country road seemed to infiltrate through the windowpanes each time farming implements, trucks, school buses or cars rumbled by on the washboard surface.
focused on my priority, North Oaks Golf Cub.
Focused? Not really the right adjective as my obsession was exacerbated by many external forces that were out of my control. Although “state of the art” when installed in the early 1970’s, my automatic and branch designed Buckner irrigation system was spliced into original 1955 cast iron and head-spaced a bit beyond current recommendations of overlap. Where once there were quick couplers, new electric valves were cut into the mains, eliminating In a normal year the dust accumula- any opportunity for hand watering tion was simply a “chore” to clean throughout the course. Undersupup. During the drought of 1988, plied by small and hard start pumps the dirt migration was a tan blizzard (rudimentary VFD’s came along the of frustration. However, that year early 1990’s), combined with an I didn’t notice the conflagration of antique power transformer, suscepsoil inside my house as I was quite tible to overheating and automati-
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cally switching off without warning, the heart and arteries of my course were old, tired and outdated during a period of drought currently compared to the dust bowl of 1935, only without the dust.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources notified Kerry he would lose his surface water permit on August 1st, leaving the back nine of his golf course high and dry.
In 1988, lenient DNR drilling reI recall twilight walks on the “dirt quirements, a progressive General road” searching the skies for rain Manager (coincidently current clouds, as often as seeking multiHouse Representative Peter Fischer) layered agates for tumbling. The air and an “on-the-ball” superintentasted of parched earth. dent hammered home enough pipe to draw from the aquifer below the Fortunately for my club, our wacourse and save St. Cloud Country ter supply was not in jeopardy, as Club from catastrophe. A weather the suction lines drew from a wet anomaly, combined with quick acwell connected to the city of St. tion, eliminated the threat of SCCC Paul’s surface water supply, Pleaslosing their permit ever again due ant Lake. In fact, even though I was to low water benchmarks or surface over challenged by a piece of junk flow of the Mississippi River. irrigation system, my position was much better than that of St. Cloud Well, maybe, never “ever again”. In Country Club Superintendent, Kerry 2013, White Bear Lake began drying Glader. Fifty percent of his source up due primarily to a micro drought for irrigation began at Lake Itasca, weather anomaly. Property owners the Mississippi River, and in July on the lake sued the DNR as it was of 1988, by the time it reached St. their contention that free-wheeling Cloud, the Mighty Miss was barely permit approvals allowed new local a trickle. Upon very short notice the housing developments subsurface
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water permits that essentially were drawing down the lake to historical low benchmarks. The lawsuit precipitated geological studies, finger pointing, recreational angst and, unfortunately for the golf industry, accusations that courses, drawing from the subsurface aquifer, were lowering lake levels due to the excessive irrigation requirements to keep turf alive and business models viable. Although the lake level has re-
turned to somewhat normal due to weather patterns that once again filled the micro-watershed body of water, on “the books” and supported by preliminary judgements and a mandated hydrological study, there is a real and appreciated interrelationship between groundwater use and surface water impacts. This documented interrelationship has suddenly created a tangible awareness that there really is not much distinction between surface
Above, New Hampshire suffered a serious drought in 2020 that impacted golf courses. At least Newfields Golf Course could irrigate their fine putting surfaces. Photo by Anne Ropiek. Page 52 Page 52
water benchmarks and flows (at the mercy of Mother Nature) and groundwater. Getting a permit to drill for irrigation water isn’t just a snap of the fingers. Digging a holding pond large enough for a minimum amount of irrigation water during a drought requires extensive planning. And perhaps of greatest concern is golf’s precarious position upon the water user appropriation’s list as non-essential. Bottom line, in a prolonged drought, surface water users who do not have a “plan B”, will lose their ability to irrigate. Furthermore, groundwater users in areas where an interrelationship between ground and surface waters has been observed, may very well lose their water permits as well.
The drought of 1988 was an incredible challenge for many, many golf courses. As I recall, North Oaks was a patchwork of fairway donuts surrounded by straw colored rough. And I was a very emotionally spent superintendent. Even the joy of searching for rocks on coolish, 85 degree, evenings was diminished. Broken, but not broke, I eventually recovered, the course received another sub-par upgrade (there was a clubhouse to build don’t you know!) and my career carried on.
Your association has been working very hard to dodge the next precipitation free heat wave and create assurances to irrigation water. The path has been cleared to the gate of new legislation. Without your advocacy support, through contacting your legislators requesting them The current law does not allow for to endorse the Bills currently being “banking” water or reducing use. If reviewed, your claims for irrigation you are a non-essential water user, water during times of crisis will simyou could have your permit pulled ply flow away or evaporate as water for an indefinite period of time. usually does.
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