October 2016 Hole Notes Magazine

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Hole Notes The Official Publication of the MGCSA

FlingGolf, Perhaps A Revenue Opportunity

Vol. 51, No. 9 October 2016

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.

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Thank You 2016 Annual MGCSA Sponsors Platinum Podium and Event Sponsor

Gold Tee Prize and Event Sponsors

Silver Tee Sign Sponsor

Superior Turf Services, Inc.

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An old school problem meets a new age solution.

November 16th Assistants Pro Forum Foley United Host Jim LeTourneau November 17 Golf-centric Pesticide Recert Program Mendakota Country Club Host Winfield November 29 Northern Outreach Northland Country Club Host Jake Ryan December 7-8 The Mega Seminar The Minikahda Club Host Jeff Johnson

From the Ryder Cup to the local scramble, we’ve got you covered.

Learn more at www.duininckgolf.com

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December 12 and 19 Metro Open Turf Forum Midland Hills and Minnesota Valley CC Hosts Mike Manthey and Mike Brower


Vol. 51, No. 9 October 2016

Feature Articles: Real Life Applications: Prescription Turf Management

by Jesse Trcka, Wayzata Country Club


pages 22 - 31

FlingGolf: Really a Reality?

pages 32 - 37

by Various Contributers

by Dave Calder, Assistsant Superintendent, The Pines

UMN Appreciates Your Continued Support

Monthly Columns: Presidential Perspective pages Dave Kazmierczak, CGCS In Bounds Jack MacKenzie, CGCS

pages 14 - 20

MGCSA By Laws Pending Changes

SOP: Lending a Helping Hand


6 - 8

pages 10 - 12

Within the Leather pages 58 - 62 This Month’s Guest: Brandon Schindele

Cover Shot:

FlingGolfThis Could Be a Little Bonus Revenue With Little Impact On Your Course Practices Affiliate Spotlight: Ostvig Tree pages 54-57

pages 42 - 53 pages 46 - 50

Ryder Cup Review in Pictures Pages 22-23 and 38-39 Check them out! More Great Content: Picture Spread: Wigs For Kids



Picture Spread: Badgerland Exposure


Picture Spread: The Wee One

pages 52 - 53


Tooting Your Horn Thoughts on self promotion In The Leather pages 58 - 62 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, Page 5 advertising and concerns to jack@mgcsa.org.

Presidential Perspective by Dave Kazmierczak CGCS, Superintendent at Prestwick Golf Club

I was sitting watching a television monitor in the Hazeltine National cold storage building sometime in between the morning and evening work sessions of the Ryder Cup and before the actual competition had begun. I was there as a volunteerone of the lucky ones chosen to help out with this most herculean of events, for which I am very grateful. But more on that later. As I was watching, trying to shake off the second or third 3:30 am wake-up call, they were showing highlights of past Ryder Cups. Naturally, most of them were of the European guys kicking the American’s hind ends, but they showed a winning shot by an American player named Jeff Overton that was a critical shot

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in a deciding match. Really? Jeff Overton was on a Ryder Cup team? I’ll bet many of you are hearing that name for the first time right here. Then it dawned on me that I really hadn’t cared about the Ryder Cup before. It really didn’t register with me in the past, just like it really didn’t register with the American players over the years. Well, maybe not didn’t register, but in the grand scheme of things, it has been generally accepted that American golfers have traditionally valued individual conquests over team matters more highly. That’s a nice way of saying we are consumed by major titles as a measuring stick on this side of the pond. I believe it is safe to say that all changed after the last buttkicking in Europe and culminated in perpetuity at our little golf course carved out of Minnesota farm land. Pretty neat huh? If you were a part

of this Ryder Cup in any way, shape or form you will have witnessed and been a part of a turning point in American Golf. Let that sink in for a minute. There were plenty of great experiences during the week at Hazeltine, but one of the best was meeting and talking with the volunteers from other countries. I had a pleasure of working with Kim from Sweden. He was pessimistic about the EU’s chances before the event began which came to fruition, but he went on to explain how in Europe their golfers are not

necessarily judged on how many times they won the Open or career victories but rather what was their Ryder Cup record. Once again, something I didn’t quite grasp until this experience. I’m assuming most of you are hearing this for the first time as well. If you work in our profession of the keeper of golf grounds and greens you are mainly concerned about, well, the grass, sand, etc. that the game is played on. It is obviously your number one focus. However at some level, you have to be in touch, in tune with and fully cognizant of the game itself.

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Without it, there is no reason for you to be. Understand that the Ryder Cup is a really big thing. It is unlike any other golf event and I was blown away at the energy when I decided to venture out to watch it live and, yes, “inside the ropes.” You don’t get that energy at regular tour events or even major championships. It felt like a college football game at times, complete with occasional expletive vulgarity even. It was a fabulous experience, and I now “get” the Ryder Cup. I trust anybody who was there will as well, if they didn’t already.

did we. We are all beneficiaries of the Hazeltine crew’s months and months of hard work preparing the course. Two years from now, the next Ryder Cup will be held in Paris, France. Then it is our turn again at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. (This will be the third straight for the upper Midwest by the way.)

I know I will be watching, rooting like I have never before. The golf will even be on over football, something I thought unimaginable a month ago. They Which leads me to a big thank will show highlights of the matches you to Chris Tritibaugh and his at Hazeltine for years to come I staff not only for allowing me, am sure, and every time they do and over 60 other local volunteers everybody associated with “our” to be a part of the fun, not only Ryder Cup will get goose bumps for making the experience quite and warm fuzzies and realize what a seamless and not only for top-notch tremendous event it was to be a part organization and orchestration, but of, and what a tremendous moment for representing our profession and for American golf. our group of Minnesota turf guys and gals so well. That golf course looked GOOOOOOOD! In turn, so

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Pre-registration closes on November 14, 2016

MGCSA Assistant’s Professional Forum November 16, 2016 Foley United/ St. Croix Bowl 393 Troy Street, River Fakks, WI Host Jim Letourneau

Reel Grinding Education From The Experts Includes a tour of Foley United 7:30 - 8:00


8:00 - 9:30

Reel Grinding Basics Presented by Jim LeTourneau

9:30 - 10:00

Networking Break

10:00 - 11:30 Reel Grinding Advanced 12:00 - 2:00

Lunch and Bowling!

Lunch Sponsor:

Bowling Sponsor:

Cost of the Day: $30, Seats Limited to 60 Education, networking, lunch and bowling! The MGCSA encourages all Assistants, Technicians and Students to attend this fun event. It won’t be the same without you

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In Bounds by Jack MacKenzie, CGCS Over the last several years, in the spring and fall when water temperatures are still in the 30’s, I make solo pilgrimages north to the land of “sky blue waters” for reflection upon my current lot in life and the wonders of this incredible world we share. For the first time ever I brought along a bit of technology into the Boundary Waters, my ipad mini, and took advantage of a wind bound day in camp to think deeply and write my Hole Notes column. In the afterglow of the Ryder Cup experience I pause and consider how amazing our industry is, and even more so, our small segment of the turf management world we call the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association. Being a member of this fine organization brings me great pride. Our accomplishments, on the course and off, as individuals and as a team of

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professionals, are quite simply unique and inspiring. Earlier this month during the Ryder Cup, undoubtedly the biggest event to be held locally, afforded our troops the chance to work together in concert and provide the world an incredible venue for an unequaled challenge. Under the fine orchestration of Chris Tritabaugh and Ryan Moy, with uncompromised support of the Hazeltine Green Staff, volunteers from across our state came to Chaska to compliment and enhance a reallife “team building” effort; the preparation of a magnificent golf course. Although most jobs were seemingly rather small, in total, they combined to afford players and viewers a destination of perfection, from the purest of teeing surfaces to the tightly mowed fairways, through manicured bunkers, uncompromised pond banks and rough surrounds, upon the finest putting surfaces possible and finally into the bottom of pristine and painted

cups. Not all applicants were selected to participate and many who stepped up didn’t have tasks, as Mother Nature appreciated the importance of this debut and graced the track with a week of perfect weather. Yet everyone was on call should a crisis arise requiring all-hands-on-deck. Those in attendance and those on the sidelines could not help but feel the pride of substantial accomplishment. Acts of respect and kindness were present in abundance, adding to the magic of the opportunity. Incredible food, beverages, within-the-ropes opportunities and comfortable between shift accommodations, all added to the magnificent event. Hair was donated to Wigs For Kids, children celebrated a special anniversary, billboards drew attention to our profession, interviews were granted and our camaraderie was promoted for the industry, no, the whole world to enjoy. Kudos to one and all. Another aspect of our unique relationship with one another occurred a few weeks prior to the

Ryder Cup, and went unnoticed as rarely do individuals in our gang toot their own horns. You are aware of the tragic injury sustained upon two greens in outstate Minnesota at Wheaton Golf Course. Although not a member course, the MGCSA and UMN offered immediate assistance to support the small town, nine hole, community track, but were assured that none was necessary. However, two turf professionals from northern Minnesota took it upon themselves to return to their home turf (literally) to correct the misdeed and bring the course back to the villages’ standards. They didn’t shout out loud their volunteerism, just as most on this side of the industry don’t bring attention to themselves following acts of turf compassion. No matter if the neighbor course is competition, a high or low budgeted club, full or lightly staffed, professionals in the golf course turf management sector are ready to put their own chores on hold to help a malady stricken neighbor. Unusual and uniquely just a “standard operating procedure” for a very modest group of individuals, we

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Remember, the Wee One funds help defer expenses, but also bring a brief distraction from the calamity and Recently the MGCSA hosted their ninth Wee One Foundation golf event. associated financial trauma of cancer, broken bones, disease and illness. This fun filled tournament is held to support those in our industry who are For those in need, please receive the impacted by an unexpected medical opportunity with grace. For those crisis. The funds, distributed through able to participate, consider becoming a member of the Wee One Foundation the Wee One Foundation following or slate October 9, 2017 as your day application and review, can help to play for somebody whose shoes to reduce the unexpected expenses you don’t want to wear. Peers helping associated with an emergency peers, one of the greatest attributes of hardship. our tight knit industry. The bottom line is peers helping Still too windy to canoe and explore peers. My wife Kim and I are very the shoreline searching for moose, strong supporters of the program on a personal level as are several of you. bear, deer or any number of wild creatures, much less wet a line for We pledge each year a membership, walleye, northern or small mouth support The Rock Challenge and contribute to the one percent level of bass, I sit, put another branch upon our income divided over ten years. A the fire, and watch the full moon rise in the east. Quiet, peaceful and full tight fisted, penny pinching, fiscally responsible member of society, it is of solitude, I am grateful to be who I am, where I am and when I am in this very important to me to give back to an industry that looks out for incredible life. I could not be in finer company than those who share this its own. I don’t flaunt this to gain notoriety, but rather to emphasize the industry, a group that looks out for importance of how one individual can one another and lends a helping hand when necessary. help their peers in times of need. really do care for our own.

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Real Life Applications: Prescription Turf Management By Jesse Trcka, Superintendent at Wayzata Country Club

Many of the tools of our trade find their roots in agriculture. If we stop and think about it for a few minutes, things like drainage, seeders, fertilizer spreaders, and sprayer technology have been influenced by the agricultural industry. Most of these tools started off as a rough approximation of how we recognize them today. The demand for more refined products with much tighter tolerances have helped to drive the improvement of these tools, giving us a whole host of new products to utilize.

rather than feet and continues to improve. In the past few years, many of us have jumped on the bandwagon of these new sprayer systems, helping us to refine the boundaries of application areas, eliminate tracking dye or foam, improve application under/overlap and decrease excess application area because of whole boom vs. individual nozzle control. At the end of the day, it is all about improving efficiency. However, that is not the whole story. These systems offer opportunities to take this even farther.

I can think of no clearer example of this in the past five years than the shrinking of sprayer technology, namely, the introduction of systems utilizing GPS mapping. While accuracy to a within a few feet may be sufficient for fields that are hundreds of acres, spraying just 25 acres of fairways, let alone three acres of tees, necessitates better accuracy. Equipment now has reached the point that it is accurate to inches

Enter prescription turf management. Something that virtually all of us do already in some form or fashion. Adjusting sprinkler run times to accommodate a wet or dry tee box, reducing the total amount of fertilizer applied to only part of a fairway, or the use of soil moisture probes and utilizing that data to irrigate and create a more homogenous putting green are all great examples of ways we practice prescription

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Normalized Difference Vegetative Index (NDVI) data can be obtained from satellites, plane fly-overs or with the most recent method; drones to map the health of golf course turf.

turf management. Consistency is the goal but with so many variables, consistency sometimes seems virtually unattainable. So what does it take to improve uniformity more than we already are? To start; data. How healthy is our turf? We need to know how turf is performing in order to make the necessary adjustments to programming. We also need to catalog the location of this

data. Where exactly is the turf in need of more or less?

Widespread availability of affordable data has improved dramatically in recent years. Normalized Difference Vegetative Index (NDVI) data can be obtained from satellites, plane fly-overs or with the most recent method; drones. In the most general terms, NDVI is a measurePage 15

ment of the photosynthetic abilities of vegetation. Plants that are healthy and productive can be easily differentiated from those that are not growing as vigorously. Once we have this data, we are able to make further inferences about the causes and best ways to adjust our management practices. At Wayzata Country Club, we have started to utilize NDVI data in combination with the capabilities of the sprayer control systems to adjust our fairway fungicide program. By extracting the plant health information from NDVI data, we have been able to step back and look at how and where we could start to reduce our total inputs. When looking at what the NDVI imagery showed, as far as higher performing turf versus poorer performing turf, it was no surprise. The areas with better performing turf were all in locations that very rarely required extra care and the lesser performing were in areas that necessitated extra attention in the past. It was also interesting to identify the causes for some of the areas that were lesser performing. For example at WCC, many areas that showed up lower Page 16

on the NDVI scale could be attributed to high traffic and fairway expansions. The reasons for stressed turf to show up lower on the NDVI scale are numerous, and it takes the knowledge and experience of the superintendent to determine the root cause of this stress. It was also very telling that the areas where dollar spot first appeared were almost always in areas that were lower on the NDVI scale as well. With this information in hand, the next step was to determine how to alter a fungicide application to best utilize it. With some apprehension about venturing into the unknown, I decided to start with just two application rates, one gallon per thousand (g/M) and 1.5 g/M. From there a prescription map could be generated, delineated into two parts: lesser performing turf on the NDVI scale receiving the 1.5 g/M and the better performing and less stressed turf receiving one g/M. Essentially, we only applied 2/3 of a tank mix in areas that the satellite and I agreed could do with less. The determination of that line is completely subjective; it could be set anywhere along the NDVI scale. My initial

goal was to reduce total fungicide use by 15-20%, which helped to determine where the separation line between rates would be.

rate application be effective as long as the full rate? From our observations, it was a resounding yes! There was no observable disease incidence at the lower application rate even at With map in hand, or more intervals recommended for the highprecisely loaded into the sprayer er application rate. For example: computer, it was time to make an a 3 oz./M rate will last at least 28 days and a 2 oz. rate will last 14-21 application. One of my biggest questions was quickly answered; the days. Using a prescription map we sprayer transitioned smoothly from were able to apply 3 oz./M to areas rate to rate on the same fairwayof higher disease pressure and a 2 from a technology standpoint a suc- oz./M rate to areas of lower pressure cess. The turf health standpoint was and maintain a minimum interval of the next question. Would the 2/3 at least 28 days. Seeing it first hand

Electric individual nozzle control allowing for on/off control of each nozzle set rather than entire boom. System also capable of turning one or both nozzles in each set depending on target rate and ground speed. Page 17

started to change my perspective on both the rates of fungicides and frequency of applications. Rather than maintaining a 2-3 week preventative application schedule I am now more comfortable stretching the intervals to 4+ weeks. With the change in frequency I am also adjusting rates accordingly, knowing that a higher label rate application won’t be applied evenly across the whole golf course, only in areas that it has been designated necessary. The net result being fewer applications, fewer inputs and overall cost savings.

As we move forward we will

continue to expand the parameters that we have set in our use of the system. For example, adding one or two more application volumes to the prescription maps to further reductions. We will be adding an intermediate rate of 1.25 g/M and even a zero g/M for areas that have minimal disease incidence and very low pressure. Adding fertility and wetting agents into the equation will also be part of what we are looking at in our continued effort to create a more homogenous turf stand. Now for the downside; some products are not as conducive to

BirchBravo trees deep super cooling GPSuse guided spray control system. Page 18

variable rate applications, at least not in the same tank mixes that I have referenced. More actively functioning, and probably growing, areas of turf requiring lower rates of a fungicide are probably not the areas that we want to target for a lower rate of a PGR. Unfortunately, this means additional applications for PGRs and any other product, like a phosphite, that don’t fit the same prescription map. This is not to say that maps could not be created to target areas where a higher rate of a PGR would be beneficial, but in my opinion, it wouldn’t be the same

map. Making these extra apps may be a deal breaker for many, but with only PGRs going into the tank these applications went quicker than we thought. Along the same lines of reducing total number of fungicide applications, there is consideration to be had in adjusting PGR rates and reducing the frequency of these applications as well. The questions I asked of myself at the end of this were: did we meet our reduction goal and was it worth the additional effort? In our situation I would say yes to both.

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I started the season without intentions to make as many variable rate applications as we did and, in fact, had planned to do the opposite. But as the year moved on, the savings were as obvious as the extra product on the shelf. It goes without saying that many of these fungicides are costly and any savings add up quickly. I can only speak for myself when I say that the cost savings along with reduction in inputs more than make up for the additional labor costs and time lost from other areas.

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I would be remiss to not refer-

ence the others that were involved in this process. When I reference “we� I am referring to Aaron Johnson of Winfield and Ken Rost and Kirk Stueve of Frost Incorporated. Without their assistance, none of this would have come about. Utilizing their knowledge to access the necessary NDVI data from GeoTech and turn this into specific prescription maps was essential. I think that I can speak for all of us, it was an interesting and rewarding process that has left us looking forward to how we can continue to grow in our use of this technology.

Giving It Up for Wigs For Kids Mike “Red” Graves

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The Ryd Revi

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der Cup iew

Ryder Cup Review

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MGCSA By-Laws Changes Pending Membership Approval

In an effort to remain in compliance with the GCSAA Required Language for Chapter By-laws the MGCSA Board of Directors, led by the By-Law Committee, suggest the following cahnges for your review. The by-law midifications will be voted upon at the January 12th Annual Meeting to be held in conjunction with the Northern Green at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

who has, at the time of application for membership, less than three (3) years’ experience as a golf course superintendent, and shall be presently employed in such capacity. Class B Members shall have all the privileges of the Association, except that of being an officer.

Add new Class Equipment Manager: an applicant shall be employed as an equipment manager, assistant Membership Classification Confor- equipment manager or mechanic/ technician within the golf industry mity and shall have such rights of the association as the board of direcDelete existing Superintendent tors may specify by Standing Rules, Member (SM): To qualify for Class SM Membership, an applicant except those of voting and holding shall be a golf course superintendent office. Dues Structure $75 who has, at the time of application for membership, less than three (3) Board Composition Requirement: years’ experience as a golf course superintendent, and shall be present- Existing: The Board of Dily employed in such capacity. Class rectors shall consist of the ExecuSM Members shall have all the priv- tive Committee, (President, Viceileges of the Association, except that President, Secretary/Treasurer and Ex- Officio) and nine (9) additional of being an officer. at large Directors, two (2) of which Add new Class B: an applicant shall be Affiliate members elected shall be a golf course superintendent by the process in Section 2. A., Ex-

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ecutive Committee members shall be elected by the general membership at the annual meeting to oneyear terms. All at large Directors shall be elected to one year terms. Four (4) directors shall be elected bi-annually during the odd year annual meeting to serve a two-year term. Three (3) directors shall be elected bi-annually during even year annual meeting and serve a two-year term.

All Class A and B membership applicants must submit an application for membership or evidence of membership with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and must maintain that membership thereafter. Replace SM with B anywhere it is mentioned in bylaws. MGCSA Specific By-law change:

Change fee structure Student Class: an applicant must be a fullAdd new: The control and mantime turfgrass student enrolled in a agement of the association and its formal course of education, or have affairs and its property shall be encompleted his or her formal educatrusted to the Board of Directors, consisting of its officers and at large tion less than one (1) year prior to Directors. All officers and a majority the date of application for memberof the entire board of directors shall ship and have not become employed be MGCSAA and GCSAA Class A at a golf course. Student members or B members actively employed as shall have such privileges of the golf course superintendents. association as the board of directors may specify by standing rules, except those of voting and holding Dual Membership Requirement: office. From $70 to $0.

The MGCSA Board of Directors request your attendance at the 2017 Annual Meeting to vote upon these amendments as well as elect new officers for the following year. Thank you for your continued support of this Association Page 26

Announcing: Metro-Area Open Turf Forums

Join your peers for a morning of open discussion sharing your achievements and concerns about the industry. Superintendents and assistants will each have their own spaces. Upcoming Dates: December 12 at Midland Hills Country Club December 19 at Minnesota Valley Country Club From 9:00 until 11:00 Coffee and donuts are provided free at this no-cost opportunity. Dress is casual. No registration necessary.

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2016 MEGA-Seminar Presenters





att started full-time at Rush Creek in 2003 after graduating from Kansas State UniMATT CAVANAUGH versity and continued through 2011. From 2011 to 2016 Matt had roles as a Sales Representative for PBI-Gordon and also as a Turfgrass Research Scientist with the University of Minnesota. Feeling the need to get back the golf course Matt had an opportunity to go back to Rush Creek in the Spring of 2016 where he is currently the Assistant Superinten-


ale started at Rush Creek in 1995 during the construction phase of the golf course. DALE HIEBERT By 2003 Dale had obtained the Superintendent position and has guided Rush Creek through the USGA Amateur Public Links tournament in 2004, an in-house complete greens renovation in 2007, a complete bunker renovation in 2010 and guided the construction and grow-in of a par-3 course in 2011-2012.

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ohn Kelly has a Bachelors and Masters degree in agricultural engineering. Steve Ami has a Bachelors degree, also in agricultural engineering. They have been partners in an engineering consulting firm since 1985. The firm has specialized in solving drainage problems on golf courses in Canada and the United States since 1986. They have helped over 100 golf courses solve their drainage problems and have designed and supervised drainage construction worth over 30 million dollars. John and Steve also have extensive experience in drainage of agricultural lands in Canada and developing nations solving problems of waterlogging and salinity.


ill Spence is the Director of Grounds for The Country Club, located in Brookline, MA having been in the position since 1985. Prior to coming to TCC, Bill had previously been employed as: Golf Course Superintendent at Kansas City Country Club in Mission Hills, KS, Head Golf Course Superintendent at Pebble Beach Corporation in Pebble BILL SPENCE Beach, CA, and as Head Superintendent for The Monmouth County Park System in Lincroft, NJ. Bill is a NJ native and is a 1974 graduate of the University of Massachusetts obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Plant and Soil Sciences.


oger A. Stewart Jr., CGCS, is a golf course superintendent at TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, Minn. Stewart has been a superintendent for 34 years and a CGCS for 29 of those years. He has taught workshops and seminars for the PGA of America, GCSAA and the U.S. Air Force. His involvement includes past service as president of The ROGER STEWART Midwest Association of GCS, the Chicagoland Association of GCS and GCSANJ, as well as committee participation for GCSAA.

December 7th & 8th Minikahda Club 3205 Excelsior Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416

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is this the new “Real Deal?”

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FlingGolf™ is a new sport and alternative to golf that can be played on any golf course, with a golf ball, alongside golfers and scored the same way as golf. You only need one FlingStick™ for every type of shot. That means no cumbersome golf bag to lug around. For those who like lacrosse, baseball, or hockey and a more active, athletic style of play, FlingGolf is the real deal. Most people can easily learn the sport in a matter of minutes. FlingGolf is perfect for resorts, campus recreation and college intramurals, It’s also fun to play in the backyard (especially with foam golf balls!), at the beach and in the mountains, where no rules ever need apply.

Steve Makowske, Superintendent and Manager at Centerbrook Golf Course in Brooklyn Center says, “Being a par 3 course, FlingGolf works well. We have had several group outings fling. I market it by saying “everyone can do it”, it’s faster than regular golf (no practice swings) and you can’t swing and miss. It is the only club you have to carry. We have had families play. Grandparents bring grandkids. One hand is free for your favorite beverage. We have people play in our regular leagues that fling. It’s a way to grow the game and let them experience the golf course.”

Centerbrook charges the usual green Several Minnesota golf courses have fee for playing a round of FlingGolf looked into the sport and added it to and had over 200 rounds in 2016. their destinations as an alternative to Steve likes this alternative over the get people on the course and poten- sport Foot Golf as there are no “big” tially attract new “traditional” golf- cups to cut or extra flags to address. Jason Scharfencamp, Superinteners.

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FlingGolf can be a great competitive sport to introduce young people to the golf course property. This might spur them to try tradional golf.

dent and Manager at Pebble Creek, also offers FlingGolf to his patrons, however at a reduced rate. Currently the fee structure at PCGC is ten dollars for adults and five for kids. Both courses added roughly $2,000 to their bottom line in 2016. According to Ian Holmes, Golf Professional at Pebble Creek, “It (FlingGolf) has increased our property use because most of the FlingGolf players are not regular golfers, thus driving a different crowd to the golf Page 34

course. This year it has brought in just over 2,000 dollars in extra revenue. In 2015 it brought in an extra 3,000 dollars of revenue.” Scharfencamp feels that the drop in revenue was due to considerably less promotion than during the initial year. Scharfencamp also added, “I personally see fling golf as something people will try, and most will revert to regular golf, which is part of why I think the numbers are up in 2015

over 2016. I’d recommend any facility let people fling golf if they would like”. Compared to FootGolf, which is also played at Pebble Creek Golf Club and presents challenges for the green staff, “Foot golf on the other hand provides some challenges. The cups are so large that if an operator is not paying attention they can do damage to the cup or equipment. They also can be difficult to mow around, and almost need to have the edges string trimmed to provide a nice, neat look. Because the cups are station-

ary and we have the first generation (actual golf cups hold flags rather than a ferrule at the bottom of the foot golf cup), we have issues with leaning flag sticks over time, mud building up in the cups, and other issues.” Another course, Wild Marsh, where Eric Ritter CGCS is Superintendent and General Manager, has also been approached to endorse the game. According to Eric, “We do not have fling golf at Wild Marsh. We’ve inquired about it though. One of my

Kids of all ages will potentially enjoy this surprisingly challenging sport. Flinging a golf ball isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Page 35

Styling: The Sidearm Fling

staffers bought a stick and we’ve played around with it some. It is a fun alternative to regular golf…and it’s not “easy”! My two concerns are how do you charge the same green fees as someone playing regular golf and will fling golfers respect golfer etiquette, mainly obeying cart rules and raking bunkers. Otherwise, I really don’t foresee any issues to allowing fling golf amongst regular play.” Quick Start Rules Scoring: Count your flings from tee to hole. Tee Shots: Throw the ball from behind the tee marker. You may always take steps while flinging the ball. Further Shots: Mark your ball

Page 36

where it lies and throw your ball from behind the mark. On the Green: Once your ball is on the green, you place your feet, and with the ball in the putting notch on the side of the FlingStick™ head, you push the ball toward the hole. You may not move your feet while pushing. You may also mark the ball, place it in the FlingStick™ channel, and roll it toward the hole. Penalties: If your ball lands in a sand bunker or a water hazard, goes out of bounds or is lost, take a 1-stroke penalty. Sand Bunker: remove ball from the bunker and retreat up to 5 paces from the bunker along the line your ball traveled into the bunker. Fling the ball before reaching the bunker.

Water Hazards, out of bounds or lost ball: Retreat up to 5 paces back from where the ball went into the hazard, out of bounds or area where it was lost, then fling the ball before you reach the hazard, out of bounds or lost area. Important Tip: For the first few throws, remember to drop the FlingStick™ over your shoulder or behind your back to get the hang of it! Remember to look up at around a 60 degree angle, aim and fling towards that spot until you get your release points. This usually take s a few tries.

ies). Overhand/Lacrosse: With the golf ball in the channel, with your wrists hinged above your shoulders, drop the FlingStick™ down your back, lean back, take a step forward, aim high like you are throwing a javelin, and swing away. Flop shot: With wrists hinged above your shoulders, drop the FlingStick™ way down your back, then pop the ball high, as though it will land on your head (it won’t).

On the green: With the ball nestled into the notch Shot Styles: on the side of the FlingStick™, open your stance and put one hand Sidearm/Baseball: down the shaft. You can either push With the FlingStick™ facing dithe ball toward the hole, or try it rectly away from the target and the “goofy”, and pull the ball toward channel facing upwards and parallel the hole with the notch on the other to the ground, and with your back side. to the target, take a step toward 1 o’clock (for righties) or 11 o’clock At ten bucks a round, no additional (for lefties), and swing from low to maintenance and the potential for high, opening the channel as you conversion from FlingGolf to tradiswing forward. On your swing for- tional golf, the new sport may be a ward, imagine hitting a home run viable option to ring the till at your over the right field fence (for right- club. ies) or the left field fence (for left-

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Northern Green: If You Think You Know “Expo” Think Again The green industry education and trade show set for January 10-12, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center will now be known simply as “Northern Green.” The refreshed name highlights changes in store for the largest green industry show in the northern region in order to ensure it remains interesting and relevant for future generations. Among industry stakeholders, the shortened brand “Northern Green” was confirmed as one with which the green industry resonates very strongly, and when paired with a new tagline “where outdoor pros connect + grow,” establishes a reinvigorated event brand. The refreshed brand also includes new visual components, complete with a new logo. The event will continue to serve outdoor environment professionals who need a personal and professional recharge. The event offers a value-driven platform for education, innovation, and community. The reimagined show advances growth and elevates the industry’s ability to deliver experiential outdoor spaces that enhance people’s lives. Our uncommon blend of diverse industry expertise encourages high quality learning, showcases dynamic product offerings, and welcomes fun and fluid opportunities to connect. What’s new for 2017? • A new schedule: Tuesday – Thursday • New registration packages/options • Multiple keynote speakers intended to inspire • Interactive trade show elements including more campfire experiences, a hardscape building contest, and an innovation and inspiration theater • Revised education opportunities including day long master classes, CEO premium content, an interactive track and much more… • Comedy and pizza night featuring a national headlining comedian

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• There will also be little surprises around every corner from music, to lighting, and beyond! “Northern Green has been a leading conference in our region for 13 years, and we want to ensure it remains a must-attend event for years to come,” said MNLA Past President Heidi Heiland. “The new name and look and exciting new elements will reflect our rapidly changing industry and it all begins in 2017!” So, take out your pen, pencil, phone or iPad and mark your calendar for the newly rebranded Northern Green, January 10-12, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, because something new is coming and you won’t want to miss it!

Register HERE for the Northern Green

Two Keynotes in 2017! January 11, 2017: Eric Chester



Chester’s passion and relevant content will blow you away.

Eric Chester

Eric Chester is a leading voice and a trusted source in the global dialogue on employee engagement and building a world-class workplace culture. Eric has an esteemed history of helping thousands of business leaders create passionate teams throughout their organizations from the emerging generation to those approaching retirement. He has authored four books for employers and co-authored seven others preparing youth for this thing called “work.” His most recent book, titled “On Fire at Work: How Legendary Leaders Ignite Passion in Their People without Burning Them Out,” will be THE definitive resource business leaders and managers on every level in every industry will turn to for highly applicable and very relevant ideas and strategies for developing a world class workplace culture that engages employees and improves performance and retention.


January 12, 2017: Dr. Jermaine Davis Davis’ high-energy message will motivate you to organizational excellence with teamwork, leadership and communication.

Dr. Jermaine Davis

As an award-winning communications professor and leadership expert, Dr. Jermaine helps teams, associations and organizations thrive and succeed through his highly requested and interactive presentations. Dr. Jermaine helps leaders and frontline employees increase their morale, motivation and momentum by teaching them how-to build a healthy work climate and culture through proactive communication, cooperation and collaboration. Prestigious organizations like 3M, American Express, Best Buy, Boston Scientific, Caterpillar, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Medtronic, Prudential, Wells Fargo, and West Point Military Academy regularly seek out Dr. Jermaine’s expertise in the areas of leadership, employee engagement, motivation, teamwork, and overcoming workplace burnout.


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Standard Operating Procedure: Lending A Helping Hand

By David Calder, Assistant Superintendent The Pines Additional photos by Mike Bohnenstingl In 1984, I was an Assistant Su- Rollingstone Ranch Golf Course, perintendent at the Haymaker Golf John Haller, was on site offering any Course in Steamboat Springs, Colo- help that our superintendent, Bill rado. We had a lightning strike that Whelihan, might need. This selfless act has stayed with me ever since. followed some irrigation wire on the 10th green hitting a broken link Our industry professionals seem to from a Ditch Witch chain. The pipe consistently support each during difburst, unleashing a torrent of water ficult times. creating a waterbed of the green. We isolated the green loop and as the Most of you have heard about water subsided the green looked like the vandalism perpetrated on the a Sharpei puppy’s coat. Within 30 first green at the Wheaton Country minutes the superintendent from the Club. Much of the story is good

One Big Mess! Photo Courtesy of Travese County Sheriff Page 42

news, but there’s more. Chad Bohnenstingl, Superintendent of the Preserve, and his brother Mike, Director of Golf Maintenance of the Pines at Grand View Lodge, grew up in Wheaton. Wheaton Country Club, being their home town course, was perhaps part of the inspiration

for the brothers to pursue a career in golf maintenance. When Chad saw the photos of the damage on Facebook he shared the post. An old friend, Brian Thomsen, called Chad on the phone. Brian was a former WCC board

Page 43

president and wondered what Chad thought should be done to repair the green. The goal of getting the green playable as soon as possible was expressed so Chad recommended sod from the practice putting green. Taking into consideration their combined experience and expertise, Mike and Chad wanted to help. On Monday, September 19th Chad and Mike loaded up a bunch of equipment on a trailer and headed down the road to Wheaton. Over two days they cut sod and humped it into place on the first green. Mike noted “In 36 years in the business, he had never witnessed vandalism this

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bad.” The Bohnenstingl brothers returned to their respective courses after their “two days off”. WCC’s first green is back in play, the practice green is seeded, and with any luck, the criminal who did the damage will be caught. Mike and Chad reminded me of how unselfish Superintendents can be. Neither brother sought any notoriety; they simply acted to help a golf course with a problem. I am hopeful this letter allows a little notice to our membership of their dedication.



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The University of Minnesota Turf Extenion and Pathology Extension Departments Appreciate Your Annual Support

September 21, 2016 Dear MGCSA BOD, We sincerely appreciate the generous gifts that you provide the turf program. Specifically, the support you provide us for the TROE Center. We utilize funds from the MTGF, MGA and MGCSA to pay for our field facility manager with equipment and supplies donated by our industry partners. In total, we raise approximately $80,000 in cash and receive an additional $40,000 in inkind donations. The TROE Center has proven successful with millions of dollars in grants that we have received because we have industry support for TROE. Moreover, a dedicated research facility is necessary for us to solve the problems you are facing today, not just the issues we expect in the coming decades. On behalf of Eric Watkins, Angela Orshinsky, Sam Bauer, Andrew Hollman, Johah Reyes, Parker Anderson, John Trappe, Craig Krueger and all the graduate students in the turfgrass program, thank you for your continued support. Sincerely,

Brian Horgan

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September 21, 2016 Jack Mackenzie, CGCS Executive Director Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association 10050 204th Street North Forest Lake, MN 55025 Jack, I want to say how thankful I am for your organization's support. We are very fortunate to have such great industry partners and your support helps us as we continue to grow as a program. When I arrived, I would have never considered that our program would be this successful; the MGCSA has been integral to our success. I am writing to describe the MGCSA contributions to the USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative grant that we received in 2012. As you likely remember, we were the lead institution on this grant (I am the primary investigator) titled “Germplasm improvement of low-input fine fescues in response to consumer attitudes and behaviors� as part of the USDA-NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative; the overall project was funded at over $2.1 million. Most of this amount has remained at the University of Minnesota and some has gone to partners at Rutgers University and the University of Wisconsin. At the time of the award, this was the 2nd largest grant for turfgrass science research in U.S. history continues to be the largest for cool-season turfgrass research. As part of this funding, the USDA required that we find sources for 1:1 funding matches. Some of this was resolved through University matching funds, but we still needed to obtain funding from professional stakeholder groups (financial support from stakeholder groups also helped to show this is important research for the industry in Minnesota). The MGCSA committed $50,000 with $10,000 being given to the project each year. Because the funding started being sent UMN late in the first year of the grant, there is still $20,000 that remains from this original commitment that will need to be contributed. We use this funding just like we use the funding directly from the USDA. Funds are spent on salary for scientists, field managers, and graduate students. Funding is used for travel to annual grant project meetings where we meet as a group and discuss research progress. Funding is sometimes used to travel to scientific meetings where we present research results to scientists from around the world. Funding has also been used for supplies such as germination blankets for new turf trials or services such as soil testing. There is only one more year left on this grant and I am in the process of drafting the next version where we hope to continue to improve fine fescues for important traits and Page 47

increase their use by stakeholders, including golf course superintendents. For the next grant, there will no longer be match requirement; however, we are hopeful that you can assist us through input during the grant writing process and direction once the grant is (hopefully) funded. Thank you for your contribution to this important project.

Eric Watkins Professor Horticultural Science University of Minnesota

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495 Borlaug Hall 1991 Upper Buford Circle St. Paul, MN 55108-6030 612-625-8200 Fax: 612-625-9728

Angela Orshinsky Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist Department of Plant Pathology 612-625-9274 aorshins@umn.edu September 15, 2016 RE: MGCSA Support of Turfgrass Pathology Research Dear Members: Thank you for your consideration of providing financial support for my program for the year 2017. The funds that you have provided in the past three years have allowed me to bring my lab from having absolutely no supplies or resources to have the capacity to conduct microbiological, molecular biological, and field research on diseases of turfgrass. These resources have been, and will continue to be, shared with members of turfgrass breeding program – expanding your contribution. This was my third full summer in Minnesota, and my turfgrass pathology program is maturing nicely. This year, we have finally completed two projects for publication. We are now preparing a manuscript for publication in Plant Disease on the differential sensitivity of the various snow mold fungi to different fungicide classes, primarily as a comparison to snow scald fungus. This work has been conducted over the past 1.5 years with your support. We are also preparing a manuscript for submission to Crop Protection on a cost-benefit analysis of reduced environmental impact quotients for dollar spot management on golf course greens and fairways. This work was conducted at four locations in a single year and we have enough data to publish now. The results of these studies will be released to the MGCSA membership after publication. Finally, we continued to provide diagnostic services to golf courses, including several free site visits this year. For this upcoming year, my laboratory will be focusing on three specific studies. First, we will study leaf spot disease complexes. We will visit golf courses with leaf spot across the state and collect various species of leaf spot fungi. We will test their pathogenicity both alone and as a complex – which is how they are typically found. We will investigate the etiology of Leptosphaerulina leaf spot disease specifically as our diagnostic lab has found it associated with most severe leaf spot outbreaks. Second, we will assess leaf spot fungicide sensitivity and management techniques. We will use our collection of Dreschlera, Bipolaris, and Leptosphaerulina isolates to test the fungicide sensitivity of each. Since these species tend to show up together, it is important to find fungicides that will target all causes of the disease complex. Additionally, we will use isolates collected from courses that routinely spray for leaf spot versus those that do not to test for potential fungicide resistance issues. Leaf spot is one of the most common diseases we see in the UMN disease clinic and so it is important that we Page 49

612-625-8200 Fax: 612-625-9728

address this issue. The in vitro fungicide sensitivity data will be used to inform field fungicide trials at volunteer courses in year two of the study (2018). Finally, we will be conducting a meta-analysis of turfgrass fungicides. We will be downloading all of the plant disease management reports from across the USA for the past ten years, obtaining raw data where possible, and analyzing patterns in fungicide efficacy for dollar spot, snow molds, leaf spots, anthracnose and other turfgrass diseases. We will compare fungicide efficacy for each disease both over time and across locations to uncover patterns in fungicide resistance emergence and patterns in application timing strategies. The results of these upcoming studies will continue to provide practical knowledge for management diseases of importance to Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents. Although my pathology program is still in its infancy, with your support the program will continue to expand and develop to meet the needs of the turfgrass industry in Minnesota and the region. Thank you so much for your support. Sincerely,

Angela Orshinsky

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Ostvig Tree is one of the few tree care companies that is accredited by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) in the Twin Cities. Today, Jim Ostvig is the proud Plus, they staff arborists who are owner of the family company. Trees certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). You can have been in the blood of the Ostvig’s family for over 80 years. It all rest assured that your course will be started when Marty began caring for in good hands. The company values large trees in the Finger Lakes area cultivating relationships for the long haul. They want to keep you happy of upper New York in the 1920’s. Marty then returned to his beloved and return to care for your trees for years to come. home state of Minnesota to start his own tree care company. Ost vig Tree is the oldest tree service in Their proactive guidance helps Minnesota. you nip problems in the bud. They listen to you and also help you make decisions. They can tell you which They are known for leaving trees need care and point out potenlandscapes looking amazing, and tial problems before they become creating invigorating beauty for Page 54

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Their Services: Disease Treatments and Pest Prevention - Pests and ailments regularly attack trees and shrubs. Some occur with regularity and others strike when conditions are right and with the right expertise, they’re preventable and controllable. Ostvig can diagnose plant ailments, control or eliminate existing disease, insect infestation, and prevent them from happening again. Tree Pruning - Your plants need regular pruning and care to look their best and stay healthy. Trying to prune your own trees can be dangerous for you and for your tree; having your trees pruned by an arborist

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keeps them healthy and safe. Expert pruning means more beautiful tree crowns and more sunlight on your course. Tree and Shrub Removal - No matter how small or large, Ostvig removes trees or shrubs from your course, they leave it cleaner than they found it. Superintendents have even remarked that they don’t find a single spare twig once they are done. Stump Grinding- Cutting a tree close to the ground isn’t enough for your course needs. You need the stump gone. Ostvig Tree will make that happen. They also will contact your utilities companies if neces-

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Within the Leather by Brandon Schindele, Superintendent at Edina Country Club

Tooting your own horn….. How many of you as Superintendents or Assistants are good at “Tooting your Own Horn,” and to what audience? I feel fairly safe in saying that a large majority of the golf course turfgrass professionals out there are in the camp of preferring to go un-noticed and not tout our accomplishments, professionalism, or good deeds that we all do throughout our respective communities, no matter how big or small those items are, or the community is for that matter. I have now been a Superintendent for almost six full years and I will fully admit that I started out in the camp of flying under the radar and being un-noticed was a good thing! I have quickly realized that at my club my members PagePage 58


want to see a professional who is in the “spotlight” to some extent and seen as an industry leader that is sought after for numerous reasons. Whether it be for serving on a board or committee, conducting advocacy at the state capitol, helping out another club or superintendent because their members are impressed with the good work that you have done on your own course; whatever the reason might be, I think the individuals that know you at your facility like to be able to say “that is our guy or gal,” or “ that is our Super- our Expert.” Now, to what volume are we all willing to toot our horns and to what audience are we willing to toot those horns to? I think this is where we as an industry fall incredibly short. Now you might be thinking, “Hold on a second

there Brandon, I see plenty of tooting going on in Hole Notes, GCM, Golfdom, Golf Course Industry!!”Or pick whatever trade journal/magazine showed up that day. Yes we do a great job with tooting our horns to each other, but what about the large audience out there that keeps our business alive and gives us the opportunity to continue coming back each day because of their greens fees or dues? Or what about the audience out there that would like to see golf get smaller or just go away all together because golf is “bad” in their uninformed minds? This is where I believe we fail and fall incredibly short on telling our story or tooting our horns. Easier said than done right? You might be saying, “the main stream local media has no interest in anything that we do.” You might be surprised to know that journalists, whether it is

a newspaper or television, are always on the lookout for good stories. It very well may be up to us, however to tell them we are ready to toot our horns and here is the tune we’re going to toot. Heck, give them a ticket to your concert as well as a ride to the show! I was fortunate enough to be chosen to volunteer for the Ryder Cup this year and it was a sight to see and behold; something that I will never forget and way more things to talk about and share than the space that I am being allotted in Hole Notes. I was even more fortunate to be chosen to stimp greens for the week. Now on Wednesday morning as my teammates started on the small putting green at HNGC, there was an additional two people on the green that myself, Dale Caldwell, recently retired Page 59 Page 59

from Minneapolis Golf Club, Lee Strut from the Royal Automobile Club in England, and Steve Chappell from Gleneagles in Scotland, Site of the 2014 Ryder Cup Matches did not recognize and they had a notepad and a camera. For those of you that also volunteered or followed along via Twitter, or some other type of social media, you are familiar with the term: Ryder Cup Speed. Chris Tritabaugh was very open about everything that was going on at the Ryder Cup and for the world to see with the exception of the green speeds. For those of us that were stimping we felt like we were keepers of the nation’s most guarded secret. Who killed JFK? What happened at Area 51? What are the green speeds? So needless to say a guy with a notepad and Page 60 Page


a guy with a camera that were closely observing us caused us to be a little jittery. Long story short, these two gentlemen were from the Pioneer Press and were doing a story on the army of volunteers that it takes to put on the turfgrass portion for the Ryder Cup. After some small talk and giving in depth explanation on the intricacies and nuances of stimping greens the reporter said: “You know this is really cool and amazing that this goes on out here with hardly anyone realizing it. So this is what it takes to prepare a golf course on a daily basis?” I paused and told him that really every golf course goes through basically the same process minus some of the frills and divide the number of guys by 4-6 and you could witness this on a daily basis just about anywhere in some form or another, but usually it is a Superintendent and/ or Assistant directing the

orchestrated chaos. By no means am I trying to lessen the effort that was on display by Chris and his staff and all of the volunteers, but my point is that the reporter really had no idea what happens on a golf course on daily basis to prepare it for daily play. This sounds like an opportunity to start tooting some horns!!! I think we do need to pick and choose our stories carefully that really tell the good story of being environmental stewards and more importantly just being good neighbors and human beings, not banging the drum on the importance of stimping greens or taking TDR readings on greens. We should always be aware who we are about to toot our horns at and what tune will be tooted, but I believe there is opportunity out there to toot that horn or someone may come in and grab your horn and toot it for their own

reasons. Just about all of us are aware or have heard of the vandalism that happened to the golf course in Wheaton in August of this year. Some of you may have even heard that the PGA of America arrived in town for the Ryder Cup and donated some money to help the golf course recover from the damages via a news story from a local TV station. But up until now, how many of you heard the “other part of the story,” that two of our fellow MGCSA members actually went to Wheaton and spent a few days to repair the damage on their own time? I hope you take the time to read Dave Calder’s story in this month’s Hole Notes. When I heard the full story of what happened I really thought this is unfortunate and the whole story or tune did not get “tooted.” I Page 61 Page 61

have contacted the reporter and I hope to hear back from her. The PGA of America did a great thing by helping out, but it wasn’t the whole story and I have asked for the reporter to do a followup so the larger audience can see the great thing that Mike and Chad did and that they did it not to gain recognition, but simply that it was the right thing to do. We live in a world where stories are told as quickly as the story happens and then they are forgotten in the same amount of time if not faster. How often do we hear that the Golf Course Superintendent is the most important employee at a facility at seminars or in publications? Quite often it seems. So why shouldn’t we put ourselves in that spotlight and toot that horn? It just isn’t in our nature to toot that horn, but perhaps Page 62 Page


like with anything else that we do, we just need to make it happen or get it done. We all do great things in this industry and more people outside of this industry need to hear about these things no matter how big or small or trivial you might think they are. Do not fall into the trap of sayin: “I don’t want to be recognized, I am just happy to help.” Getting to know a media personality here or there whether it is your local paper, radio or television station could help pay dividends in the future. If you think you have a story worth telling maybe even contact Jack at the MGCSA or a Board member and we can assist in helping find that person to get story out to the masses. The point is: find a way to TOOT that horn to an audience that has never heard it before and do it before someone steals your horn.

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