TURF News - July 2023

Page 1

Atlantic Golf Superintendents Association TURF NEWS JULY 2023 www.agsa.ca Atlantic Golf Superintendents Association Digital Edition A CUT ABOVE THE REST President’s Message pg. 5 Irrigation Corner pg. 13 Behind The Grass pg. 14 FOX MEADOW Host of the AGSA Scramble August 23 Golfers expect healthy, high-quality putting greens with tournament-level speed daily pg. 20
ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Envu, the Envu logo and Mirage ® Stressgard ® are trademarks owned by Environmental Science U.S. LLC. or one of its affiliates. ©2023 Environmental Science U.S. LLC. All rights reserved. Ryan Beauchamp Golf Segment Sales Manager • Sales – Ontario • ryan.beauchamp@envu.com • 226-545-0413 Laura Anderson Sales – Atlantic Canada • laura.anderson@envu.com • 782-641-7916 Mark Durand Sales – GTA & Northern/Eastern Ontario • mark.durand@envu.com • 226-820-6839 Josey Groeneveld Sales – Western Canada • josey.groeneveld@envu.com • 403-463-2742 Travis Russell Green Solutions Specialist – Canada ca.envu.com 1-800-331-2867 Broad-spectrum control of important diseases with innovative turf solutions We’ll meet you there Mirage® Stressgard® provides broad-spectrum control of important diseases like dollar spot, anthracnose, summer patch, fairy ring and snow moulds on fairways, tees, and greens. To learn more about how Mirage® Stressgard® can help improve your turf, contact your local Envu specialist.

Thinking about a career in Sales?

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome for someone embarking on a career in sales is the fear of rejection.

The Sand Battle

One of the biggest challenges we face is keeping mowers sharp when dealing with topdressing.

Who are you?

This past January, I was lucky to have a layover day in Dublin, Ireland. I was even more fortunate to have a good friend, Turfnet’s own, Jon Kiger, as a tour guide.

A Cut Above the Rest

Golfers expect healthy, high-quality putting greens with tournament-level speed daily.

President’s Message pg. 5

Service Advice pg. 10

Irrigation Corner pg. 13

Behind The Grass pg. 14

Atlantic Golf Superintendents Association

Membership Rates * Class A & B 180

Corporate $210

Industry Affiliate $165

Student $50

Maintenance $50

4+ employees hired by a Class A $150

Ad & Article Deadlines

February (Supplier) January 1

May (Spring) April 1

July (Summer) June 15

October (Fall) September 15

Advertising Inquiries


571 Willow Avenue, Unit 1

New Glasgow, NS

B2H 2A1


Executive Director

Jim Nix


Turf News Editor

Jim Nix


Barry K Stone CGIA, Chris Lecour, Robert McGregor, Callum Haughn, Paul MacCormack, Jamie Matheson, Derrick Hawley P.Ag.

*Membership prices are +HST

president’s report

With the 2023 spring season now behind us, are finally enjoying some peak growing conditions for our courses. The past couple of months seemed to throw us some weather patterns and conditions none of us have ever experienced in a maritime spring. Can we say Mother Nature threw everything at us but the kitchen sink? From spring temperatures reaching unfamiliar highs and lows all over the board in 24–48 hr spans to extreme dry conditions contributing to forest fires and poor air quality. Some much needed rain did come but consistency throughout the region was not the case. If there was any doubt climate change was not real, I believe we now have our proof!

The annual AGSA scramble will be held Wednesday August 23rd at Fox Meadow in Stratford, Prince Edward Island. This event will be one to take in as there has been a lot of work has taken place over the last number of years, bringing Jeff Mingay’s design and Paul MacCormack’s vision of operation efficiency to fruition. Please look for registration details shortly in your inbox and the association website.

On behalf of the board and the conference planning committee, thanks to all who participated in the recent survey. Member feedback is of great value, in this case when planning future events, as we always aim to provide great education and experience for all of our members.

As course renovations, projects and updates take place throughout our facilities, remember to take some pictures and make some notes. Member input makes the Turf News a continued success and your contributions would be very much appreciated.



Aqueduct Flex contains an exclusive dual-action formula specifically designed to give turf care professionals superior performance with flexible options for dealing with stressful conditions, including water repellency and localized dry spot.

To learn more about Aqueduct Flex visit: Can.Aquatrols.com/Flex

Jonathan Albert Territory
jalbert@aquatrols.com (438) 507-9088

Green Diamond Equipment

Sales and service of quality golf course equipment.

Fleet Cars


Lithium powered

Hauler PRO

The Hauler PRO utility vehicle has remarkable range and a zero-maintenance, ELiTE lithium powertrain. Its reduced weight and lower operational costs provide unrivaled performance. Hauler Pro has a wide range of accessories, silent operations, and zero emissions. Ask your rep for more info or a demo.

Winter Storage Tips



RXV ELiTE is the industry’s best golf car


with unbeatable performance and innovative technology. Activated by Samsung SDI maintenance-free lithium batteries, the RXV ELiTE is the most efficient golf car available with the lowest cost of operation and the longest battery range of any lithium golf car.

6 Turf News - July 2023 info@lcrsupplies.ca • www.lcrsupplies.ca CUSTOMMANUFACTUREDNETTING LCR Plastic Supplies Ltd. 51 Johnson Lane Utopia, NB E5C 3R2 LCR Plastic Supplies Ltd. 51 Johnson Lane Utopia, NB E5C 3R2 Mike
Clarke Golf Equipment Sales, Atlantic 902-222-1339 Mikeclarke@green-diamond.ca
Colton Parsons Golf Operations Manager, Atlantic 902-692-1981
Allen Golf
Support Specialist
The ELiTE batteries were designed to be stored outside in most winter climates. Below -20°C, the batteries must be left alone, don’t turn the key on, don’t tow the cars, don’t charge them. Wait for the battery to warm up to 0°C before using. The battery does a very good job recovering to its full capacity if you do this. We have had several winters success so far. New!

A Winning


A BioPriority Solution for Microdochium Patch

Four years of research at Oregon State University has proven that a combination of two non-conventional turf fungicides, PhostrolPro & Jade, provides protection against Microdochium patch equal to that of conventional standards. That’s a winning combination.

7 Turf News - July 2023
Always Read and Follow Label Directions. Phostrol & Jade are registered trademarks of Belchim Crop Protection Canada Inc BioPriority is a trademark of Belchim Crop Protection Canada. www.belchimturf.ca BELCHIM TURF PROTECTION CANADA
OSU Research Farm, 2019

Thinking About a Career in Sales?

There are a number of reasons that superintendents make the career switch from maintaining turf to supporting those who do; their employment status may have recently changed or perhaps they feel like they are languishing in their job and a vacant sales position has piqued their interest. They may also feel a real pull to the supplier side of the industry and feel they are well suited to the challenge. There are even some who think a sales role in their near future is like semi-retirement, that it would be a breeze and they’ll get weekends off and get to play a lot of golf while on the clock. And I’m here to tell you that while you will probably get most weekends off and the same golf privileges you enjoyed as a superintendent will likely continue, it is not a breeze.

I have a superintendent friend in the who likes to joke with me about just how easy salespeople have it. Below is a brief description of how he thinks my typical workday plays out:

I jump out of bed at 8:15AM, a full 15 minutes earlier than normal but it is going to be a busy and demanding day that deserves my full attention. After finishing my espresso, I settle into my office to check my inbox, send a half-dozen emails and make a few phone calls. By 10AM I am in my truck and off to visit the three nearest golf courses to my house. At the first stop I am greeted by high fives and salutations from the most junior bunker rake operator to the equipment manager. The Superintendent and I will spend a total of 30 minutes chatting while leaning against my truck, eating donuts and drinking coffee which of course I provide each time I visit. After handing out a few hats or other goodies I’m off to the next stop, where I am received with an equally warm welcome. Eventually I’ll find my way back home and my afternoon will be spent having a nice long nap, tending to the tomatoes in our garden, and entering all the product order requests that just never seem to stop. Who said that being a salesman isn’t hard work?

Of course, this account is 100% fictitious and untrue. My wife won’t even let me touch our vegetable garden. Sales is not any harder or easier, more or less challenging, than maintaining turf. A sales role simply presents its own unique challenges and rewards. The chance to work mostly independently naturally appeals to me, but I sometimes miss the collaboration and daily teamwork experience you get by being part of a maintenance team. One of the most important traits successful salespeople share is an ability to not only work independently, but to thrive when you are on your own, because that’s how you spend most of your working day. Sure, there are meetings and daily phone calls with customers and other members of your team and there is a fair amount of collaboration with each that is incredibly rewarding. But ultimately at the start and end of each day, no one is depending on you to open the shop door, set up the daily schedule, tell them which greens to cut and in which order or what the pin position is, and to make sure they gas up their equipment before they leave for the day. As a new experience, that can be unsettling for some and it can be liberating for others.

The daily routine of making those sales calls to golf course superintendents can present a few situations that require some adjustment. First, the amount of driving required can be exhausting. In my busiest year trying to establish myself in a new territory, I logged over 65,000 business kilometres. It’s also easy to pick up some poor eating habits with all that road time. Throw in the likely chance your amount of daily physical activity has decreased since leaving the golf course and a new respect for all those salespeople that used to call on you may not be the only thing you gain.

No matter how good of a sales rep you may be, inevitably there will be hiccups on the road to establishing a solid relationship with a customer. These often manifest themselves as delivery delays, unforeseen delivery

8 Turf News - July 2023

charges, product damaged during delivery, finance charges, late payment charges, raw material costs increases and, new for 2021…supply chain issues. It is during these moments that all those years managing frost delays and cart-path-only rules after three inches of rain prior to a double shotgun tournament will serve you well.

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome for someone embarking on a career in sales is the fear of rejection. Hearing ‘no thanks’ can be a little ego-bruising, no matter who is delivering the message. Many superintendents making the transition to turf sales can have an advantage if they have been working in their sales territory for some time. They’ve probably made industry friends over the years and golfed or networked with their potential customers at industry events, so the prospect of that first sales call with the fellow superintendent you’ve known for 10 years can be a little less frightening. However, the reality is that selling to your friends is not as easy as it seems. You’re on the other side of the desk now and the person you’re selling to has relationships and has put their trust in your competitors that has taken years to build.

Every day I have meaningful conversations with turf professionals about the successes they enjoy and the challenges they are trying to overcome, and I feel fortunate to be a part of those conversations. I have made more friends, true friends, in the course of simply doing my job that I am able to count. While I’ve mentioned some key factors to be mindful of when considering a move into a sales position, for myself the positives far outweigh the negatives.

Kioti.com Meet the Pack! Name a feature, Kioti has it. Name a job, Kioti does it. Quality utility vehicles and tractors in sub-compact, compact utility and Ag models with horsepower ranging from 21 to 110hp. Contact Veseys Equipment to learn more. Meet the PACK! Sales, Service, Parts & Financing ROUTE 25, YORK, PE, C0A1P0 1-866-455-8873 www.veseysequipment.com


As golf mechanics, I think one of the biggest challenges we face is dealing with keeping mowers sharp when dealing with topdressing.

I think the biggest lesson I have learned in dealing with this is that the fewer blades we have in the head, the longer they will last. The greens on Dundarave are cut with Toro 1000 walking mowers, and Brudenell River is done with Toro 3150 triplexes. We run 14 blade reels on both courses, but we have sets of 8-blade reels and mowers that we use after we have finished top dressing. The amount of grinding time we have saved has been amazing. If you run a 14-blade reel on a green with fresh topdressing, it wouldn’t make the green without getting dull.

We find if we send out sharp 8-blade reels, we can make it through all 18 holes with the mowers cutting decently. With a little set-up, we can usually get the second day out of them. Sometimes we will resurface the front face to get us through.

A lot of people say they can’t afford to buy the spare reels. Bedknives are running around $60 a pop. The money you will save in bedknives over time will pay for the spare reels.

We also have discovered that if the reels aren't sharp, they don't pick up the sand as quickly and you just end up dealing with it longer. As painful as dealing with sand is, everyone knows it is well worth it. As a golfer, the difference is massive. At the end of the day, we are here to give the best quality golf course we can give to our customers.

Another thing to be aware of is that operators will report one reel is cutting lower than the rest. If you can see the difference between 120 and 130 with the naked eye, you should be in a Marvel comic because you have super powers. When they report this, the problem usually is that your contact is off. If your contact is heavier in one reel, it will cut cleaner and give you an appearance of a lower HOC.

As we get into the hotter summer months, it is so important that we make sure we keep our radiators blowing out. With dry grass, they will plug up quickly. It is also important to make sure your fan/water pump belts are tight and in good condition.

This time of year, it is also important to make sure you keep batteries watered. In the warm weather, they will get lower more quickly.

I hope everyone has a great summer and gets a chance to get away from work and enjoy some time with family and friends!

Have a great summer.



Our passions are research-based innovation, precision farming, educating ourselves and our communities, and being responsible environmental stewards of our agricultural and urban land. Our commitment to excellence is reflected in our Premium Quality Products and Services. We are constantly improving our farm practices to be sustainable, and as environmentally friendly as possible.


Two things have come to my attention this spring as I visit various courses in Atlantic Canada. The first relates to pumps that use a packing gland commonly referred to as a stuffing box. This type of system is used in both end suction centrifugals and turbines. The packing material is usually constructed in a square braided compression style manufactured from carbon, graphite, or synthetic materials. The most common in our pumps are graphite which also has lubrication properties to allow the spinning shafts to turn freely and prevent premature wear.

The biggest misnomer is that these stuffing boxes must leak constant amounts of water in a decent volume. The truth is they only need to release a drop of water every 2 seconds. I have seen many pumps that look like little fountains spraying water over a large area of the pump station or floor, this is not required. The amount of leaking can be controlled by carefully tightening the two bolts on the top of the stuffing box. This should be done with the pump operating so the volume of water can be observed and regulated to the correct amount. Please note tightening the packing over time causes it to compress and become a little tighter around the shaft, when this happens the packing loses its lubricating properties faster. At the same time the gland will become lower in the stuffing box to the point it can’t be tightened anymore, when this happens remove all the packing and replace it with new product from a clean dry sealed container, or a plastic wrapped roll in a box. Failure to do so will cause the now dry compressed packing to wear the pump shaft leading to costly repairs. Never add just one ring of packing, this will cause more damage than good, always replace all the rings, and install them so the joints of each proceeding ring are 180 degrees apart.

The second thing I noticed is the number of courses that use their irrigation water to operate bathrooms on the course. Although this seems like a logical solution, the water pipe is already there, no more power is required, and no additional water source is needed. Here in lies the problem these same courses are starting their irrigation system sooner and operating until the end of the season so there is water for these facilities. Many courses without VFD controls are running 20 or 25 hp motors to flush a toilet or wash some hands. There is also the risk that this water is not treated and flows through older pipes with sediment buildup. If the cost of operation was given a careful study, I feel quite sure that it would be a much lower cost, long term to drill a well or pipe in potable water from another source. A point to ponder as you rush to keep the system operating earlier and longer each year just to flush that toilet.

May the summer best you with warm days, cooling evening breezes, the perfect combination of sun and moisture.



ROBERT CLARK, Glasgow Hills Golf Club

1. Could you describe the path you took into the turf industry?

Interviewed by: Callum Haughn, Haughn Turf

Could you describe the path you took into the turf industry?

I got my start in the industry at a very young age, probably around 3-5 years of age. I remember on multiple occasions my sister and I going to work with my father in the winter and sometimes during the summer while he worked away on the equipment at Brantford G&CC in Ontario. I would continue doing this with him until I had the opportunity to join the turf crew at the Idywylde G&CC in 2004. I had planned on becoming a chef after high school but after completing the Chef Training course and my placement I realized that being stuck inside all day working over hot stoves and fryers was not what I wanted to do. I told my dad this on the way to work one morning and he responded with “we kind of had a feeling this was going to happen” probably one of the top 5 decisions I’ve made in my life!

I got my start in the industry at a very young age, probably around 3-5 years of age. I remember on multiple occasions my sister and I going to work with my father in the winter and sometimes during the summer while he worked away on the equipment at Brantford G&CC in Ontario. I would continue doing this with him until I had the opportunity to join the turf crew at the Idywylde G&CC in 2004. I had planned on becoming a chef after high school but after completing the Chef Training course and my placement I realized that being stuck inside all day working over hot stoves and fryers was not what I wanted to do. I told my dad this on the way to work one morning and he responded with “we kind of had a feeling this was going to happen” probably one of the top 5 decisions I’ve made in my life!

2. Could you detail your work history for us?

Could you detail your work history for us?

• Idywylde G&CC: General Laborer - 2004 - 2009

• Idywylde G&CC: General Laborer - 2004 - 2009

o 2nd Assistant - 2010

• Idywylde G&CC: 2nd Assistant - 2010

• The Club at Bond Head: General Laborer - 2009 - 2010

• The Club at Bond Head: General Laborer - 2009 - 2010

• Muskoka Lakes G&CC: Assistant Superintendent - 2011-2015

• North Bay G&CC: Head Superintendent - 2015-2022

• Muskoka Lakes G&CC: Assistant Superintendent - 2011-2015

• Glasgow Hills Resort: Head Superintendent - 2022-Present

• Nor th Bay G&CC: Head Superintendent - 2015-2022

Did you attend turf schools? Provide details.

I attended the Turf Managers Short Course at the University of Guelph in February of 2011.

14 Turf News - July 2023
#10 Glasgow Hills

Who has influenced you the most in your career?

My parents, for sure, have both instilled that hard-working mentality and to always give your best. My dad has been in this industry for a very long time and I Know I can reach out to him for almost any problem I have on the course as he’s a “jack of all trades” when it comes to a golf course! He helped me find some wire breaks my first year at North Bay, myself and the super before me could not find the wire break for our approach heads and putting green. Within 5 minutes of hooking up the fault finder he had it located!

What do you enjoy most about working on a golf course / golf industry?

One of the best things about the industry is being out on the course before the sun comes up. The people in our industry are also very awesome, almost anyone will go out of their way to help you out. I have experienced this many times at my various jobs throughout my career whether it be us lending equipment to help other courses with a tournament and or aeration. Or being in a pinch and calling supers all around the Island looking for a little bit of chem!! Thanks Blair!!

What has been the most challenging thing for you working at a golf course or in the golf industry in general?

I would say one of the biggest challenges would be the unpredictability of the weather! It could be a beautiful sunny morning and as soon as you get that light dusting of sand down for topdressing, then clouds and fog roll in and make the sand bind up on the coco mat. Next thing you know your greens are like Brackley Beach.

Same goes for large rain events like we experienced earlier this morning. It can really hamper the crew’s motivation knowing they will be shoveling up bunkers again for the next 3-4 days to get things back to where they were just to have it possibly happen again 2-3 days later.

15 Turf News - July 2023
#2&3 Glasgow Hills The Family, Veronica, River, Arran, Robert

What has been the biggest difference growing turf in PEI?

I cannot stress this enough, WIND! It is much windier here than in North Bay for many reasons. It got windy in North Bay, but it usually didn’t last more than a day, here the winds don’t really stop but when they do it usually is a beautiful day! There is also a lot less bedrock out there! In North Bay we had areas in our fairways that had no more the 2-3 inches of soil on top of granite. Lots of LDS were out there in the first couple years!

What advice would you give to someone just getting into the industry?

Keep your head up, this job comes with its fair share of challenges. Stay positive, learn from your mistakes, try to see the lighter side of things!

What do you enjoy doing most what is the biggest change that you have seen since being in the industry?

I would have to say technology has changed from when I first started. When I was in Muskoka, I found an old moisture meter it looked like something out of Ancient Rome compared to what we have now. The tech we have allows us to do our job with so much precision its crazy. Not to mention the apps we have with predictions models for dollar spot and various other diseases that allow us to time our applications properly.

I know that Glasgow Hills is a tricky course to irrigate given its location. How have you adapted your irrigation//wetting agent tactics to help you overcome this hurdle?

Last year we started the greens on monthly wetting agent/ bio stimulant program that I was using at North Bay with great success. It wasn’t the spring that I had heard the east coast usually got last year, so there was a lot more hand watering than expected when we got to about 7-8 days from our last cycle on the greens. When we got numbers around 8-10 on the TDR, we knew it was time for a deep-water cycle. This year we were able to apply a wetting agent on our fairways to help with water/ energy savings.

What is the most important tool that you use when you are out scouting on the golf course? Why?

I wouldn’t say I have one specific tool that I use but a little bit of everything, TDR is on top of the list! Next would-be nature, I tend to watch where birds are eating and usually chase them off and start pulling back turf to see what they’re digging for. I found what looks like a soft scale. I’ve sent a photo to Dr. Ben McGraw, but he’s even stumped! Other supers/ industry reps these men & women are a wealth of knowledge, reach out if your stumped on something. Personally, in my first couple years this is something I didn’t do very often but I should have!

As you move forward at Glasgow Hills what are some of the projects or goals that you have in mind and would like to see accomplished?

There are several projects that come to mind. Last year we were dealing with a significant moss issue on our greens, while we did eradicate most of the moss there is still a bit out there that needs to be cleaned up. Next on the list would be the bunkers as they are well past their 10-year life expectancy. Followed by irrigation upgrades around the greens and adding isolation valves to our fairways. Last on the list would be to reshape/ shrink most of our very large, unused black tee decks and use this material to increase the size of our blue, white, and green tees which see most of our play.

16 Turf News - July 2023
Deeptine Results
17 Turf News - July 2023 2022 Turf News Ad-Maredo_Layout 1 2022-04-22 11:39 AM Page 1 • Pendant • Propiconazole • Chlorothaloni • T-NEX PGR • Summer 2023 Quali Pro Promotion • • • Brandt Summer 2023 Promotion ICL POL V-S 3-4, 6 MONTHS Profile PPC Ceramic Topdressing Profile • Greens Grade & Fairway Grade • New Organic Compost Nick Boyd +15069880267 nick@boydcoturf.com Steven Boyd +15069628873 steven@boydcoturf.com • Aneuw PGR • Tourney • Trillion • Premium White Bunker Sand • Classic Beige Bunker Sand • Brown Bunker Sand • USGA Topdressing www.boydcoturf.com

Who Who are you?

The identity of the Greenkeeper has always been one of adaptation and evolution. From Old Tom Morris, to Bill Murray’s loveable Caddyshack character, Carl Spackler, to our present day incarnation, Superintendents and Course Managers have moved out of the back shed into the boardroom. Our roles within the structure of our clubs and courses have grown over the years and in many cases seen us become key players in the overall vision within our properties.

Within the framework of this evolution, our national and regional associations have poured copious resources into both defining and elevating the role of Superintendents. And we as a community have also quietly assembled and lauded the qualities we value. Attention to detail, loyal to a fault, uniquely passionate and always willing to “do what it takes” or “go the extra mile” have become the reference points for many of us. We have been willing to humbly and quietly go about our business and get the job done.

In many cases this humility and willingness to sacrifice has grown our industry in a great many ways. The leaps in technology and our focus on education and learning has enabled us to create conditions that would have been unthinkable a couple of decades ago. This growth has also saddled us with an increase in expectation, both from our golfers and from within ourselves. The bar has indeed been raised in almost every area of our industry. But this evolution also begs the question… has it come with a hidden cost?

In our struggle to forge an identity for Greenkeepers and elevate our stature within the golf industry, we have also lost something along the way. As “the grind” has become celebrated, we have sacrificed more than we realized. We have convinced ourselves that we are

inextricably linked with the inevitable ups and downs of our golf courses, and somewhere along the way, many of us have lost the plot.

Nowhere is this notion more evident than it is within the “turf is a lifestyle” mentality. It’s the idea that our jobs force us to sacrifice and structure everything else in our lives (including our well being) around the demands of our properties. Our relentless push to create amazing conditions day in and day out creates the illusion that the golf course matters more than anything else. Our family life, our friends and community and our physical and emotional health all must play second fiddle to the turf and our push to meet expectations.

Now there are times within our careers that this level of dedication is warranted. Big tournaments, renovation projects or unexpected natural disasters can lead to multiple days of sacrifice and work. But these events are singular in nature. They require certain amounts of extra time to plan and execute, but when they finish we (should) take our foot off the pedal and recharge the batteries. The problem with the notion of “turf as a lifestyle” is that the foot stays firmly planted on the pedal at all times. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s simply not sustainable.

As with anything in life, when your focus becomes fixed and narrowed for a prolonged period of time we tend to lose part of ourselves. We get to a point where our identity becomes filtered through this singular lens and we forget the larger part of who we are. The successes and failures of our properties become our successes and failures. The unrealistic expectations of our members become entrenched in our psyche and become fuel for us to push and sacrifice even more.

are you?

Dr. Gabor Mate once stated that the difference between passion and obsession is tension. If you can pursue something in your life with a sense of space and flow, then the idea of passion is healthy. On the other hand, if your version of passion involves tension, unhealthy sacrifice, and total commitment to the exclusion of just about everything else in your life…then you are in obsession territory. It might be time for us to ask this question both individually and collectively, and to look in the mirror and be honest with ourselves. Our culture as a whole celebrates this ideal of hustle and grind, so it should come as no surprise that our industry does the same.

When we live from the turf as a lifestyle scenario, it can also be helpful to remember that we are also sacrificing far more than our own identity. When we are fully committed to our turf lives to the exclusion of everything else, we are also affecting the people we love, often in negative ways. When the course always comes first, then it’s hard for resentment not to build over time. Whether it’s our spouses, our children or our friends, it’s completely unrealistic to expect them to commit and sacrifice right along with you. It’s tough to look in the mirror and admit that we have caused hurt and suffering with others, but in this case it’s the only way through.

I speak as an authority on this matter because; unfortunately I lived from this place for many years. The course often took president over my home and family life, and it has taken a great deal of self reflection and internal honesty to come to terms with it. I’ve tried my best to heal the wounds it created. It’s neither a linear nor an easy process, but it’s worth it.

When you watch a pendulum swing you will notice that it spends more time closer to the middle than it does at either extreme. It’s in this middle area that we need to shift our focus towards. We can find a place of healthy passion and still very good at what we do. We can produce wonderful surfaces for golfers to PLAY A GAME ON and still have a life outside the golf course. We can continue this evolution of what it means to be a superintendent or course manager by embracing the idea that what we do for a living is but one small part in the totality of our identity.

If any of this resonates with you, I would wholeheartedly encourage you to begin some internal inquiry. If you find yourself struggling or it feels like you are drowning in your work, reach out to someone and ask for help. If your identity has become completely enmeshed with the property at which you work, then work to find ways to create some healthy space and boundaries. We can move forward as an industry and continue to evolve to be better stewards of the land we tend, but only if we start to embrace the idea that we are much more than the limited notion that turf has to be an all encompassing lifestyle. Thanks so much for reading.


One of the focal points on golf courses is the putting green. Golfers expect healthy, high-quality putting greens with tournament-level speed daily. Turfgrass managers implement a variety of management practices, including suboptimal mowing, to meet these expectations. At times, this practice can compromise the health and quality of the turfgrass.

This article will briefly review and discuss critical physiological processes (photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration) and how suboptimal mowing can adversely affect turfgrass growth and development.

Several factors, including the availability of light, oxygen, water, carbon dioxide, temperature, and cultural management practices, influence turfgrass physiological processes. Suboptimal mowing can remove a significant amount of photosynthetic leaf tissue, limiting potential photosynthesis, carbon assimilation and carbohydrates required for healthy turfgrass growth and development.


Photosynthesis occurs inside chloroplasts within leaf tissue. Photosynthesis synthesizes carbohydrates using light energy from the sun, carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, and water (H2O) from the soil. Oxygen is released as a by-product. The following chemical equation summarizes photosynthesis:

6CO2+ 6H2O + light and chlorophyll = C6H12O6

Mowing removes vital photosynthetic leaf tissuethe ultimate source of energy necessary for all plant processes!


Respiration is the process whereby the energy stored in the chemical bonds of these carbohydrates is released. The plant uses chemical energy to do cellular work, including the synthesis of proteins, cell growth and division, nutrient uptake, and numerous other biochemical processes. Between 25-75% of daily carbohydrate production by turf grasses can be respired, depending upon species and growing environment.

Carbohydrates not used for respiration are translocated to storage organs such as stems, crowns, stolons and roots. Mowing, particularly suboptimal mowing, can limit the availability of carbohydrates for respiration and storage, affecting turf quality. The following chemical equation represents the respiration process:

C6H12O6 + 6O2 = 6CO2 + 6H2O + Energy

20 Turf News - July 2023
Source: https://www.pitchcare.com/newsmedia/the revolution of turfcare.html


Respiration and photosynthetic reactions can generate significant heat, especially during periods of high temperature and light intensity. To avoid internal damage (heat stress), turfgrass plants cool through transpiration.

An essential role of transpiration is to cool the turfgrass plant by evaporation. However, transpiration is also responsible for nutrient uptake, maintaining turgor pressure and the movement of sugars and other chemicals throughout the plant's vascular system. The transpiration rate is a function of the water potential gradient between soil and the atmosphere, stomata resistance and the leaf boundary layer.

Approximately 90-95% of water lost from the leaves is through the stomata located on leaf surfaces. Stomata (microscopic pores) are responsible for the movement of water vapour, carbon dioxide and oxygen between the leaf and the atmosphere-essential for photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration processes.

Suboptimal mowing increases the turf's susceptibility to:

• high temperature & drought stress

• algae

• silvery thread moss infestations

• reduced vigour

• mechanical injury (scalping)

• turfgrass disease (e.g., Anthracnose).

As a result, more frequent pesticide applications may be necessary to maintain the playability of the putting greens.



Healthy turfgrass is less susceptible to environmental stress and pests. Raising the mowing height (or at least unnecessarily lowering it) can provide a significant number of turfgrass benefits:

• reduced plant stress

• improved ability to produce & store energy

• increased root mass & density

• reductions in the incidence and severity of moss, algae, and Anthracnose

• enhanced drought tolerance

• improved overall turfgrass vigour and quality

Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S017616171930015X


Mowing is the primary cultural practice performed on putting greens to maintain aesthetic and functional quality. As mowing heights are reduced to suboptimal levels, frequent low mowing removes additional photosynthetic leaf tissue. Thereby limiting potential photosynthesis, carbohydrate synthesis, and subsequent translocation and use of carbohydrates to support root and shoot growth.

Frequent suboptimal mowing can reduce the plant's ability to tolerate various biotic and abiotic stresses relative to higher mowing.

It can be difficult to ascertain an optimum mowing height for your greens. Perhaps somewhere in the 3.03.5 mm range or higher for healthier turfgrass?

Managing healthy putting greens is a complex task involving the competing demands of golfers, superintendents, and environmental conditions. One tool we have significant control over is mowing height. Understanding key physiological processes (photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration) can help turf managers reduce biological costs associated with suboptimal mowing practices. As established, increasing your mowing height can provide numerous benefits towards elevating your greens to be a cut above the rest.

21 Turf News - July 2023
Derrick Hawley is a turf specialist with Halifax Seed covering the Maritime provinces.

Link up with Advanced Irrigation Control

True peace of mind is built on having ultimate control of your irrigation system whether you are at your PC or on the go, whether your course uses two-wire, satellite control, or a combined system. Lynx Central Control offers a single source for ultimate irrigation management precision, reliability, upgradability and ease of use. Plus, the IntelliDash™ Course Management Platform integrates Lynx with other Toro data sources, allowing a view of all your real-time operational course data in one convenient dashboard.

Learn more at toro.lynx.com

23 Turf News - July 2023
LYNX® CENTRAL CONTROL 8.0 + Cloud-based control. Anywhere. Anytime. Contact your local Turf Care representative to find out more about purchase and lease opportunities: Atlantic Provinces - Rafuse Golf Cars: 902-825-6582 | Ontario and Quebec - Turf Care Products Canada: 1-800-561-8873 @TurfCareProdCA Stay up-to-date: turfcare.ca @Gr8estShowOnTRF THE EASY CHOICE When Power, Performance, Versatility, and Comfort Matter. Let us show you an easy & affordable path to the latest in irrig ation technology. Inquire about our flexible financing options. Gord Johansson, Irrigation Sales & Service Representative 506-378-9848 or 1-800-561-8873 gordon.johansson@turfcare.ca
Backed by Brands that bring your turf to life Proud Maritime Supplier of: Mitch Rand | NS & NL mitch.rand@halifaxseed.ca 902-222-9335 Derrick Hawley | PEI & NB derrick.hawley@halifaxseed.ca 902-969-1769 Customer Service 1-800-565-1622 Contact your Halifax Seed Turf Specialist today! Turf Landscape Golf