Golf Course Management

SEP 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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38 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 09.18 ost of us are familiar with omas Edison's definition of genius as 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. Here's another one you've probably heard a million times: Necessity is the mother of invention. Jason VanBuskirk, who founded one of the golf industry's rare tech start - ups (and whose company was recently acquired by another), bridles at the genius label. "I've always thought of myself as the resident geek," he says. But if we meld the two aphorisms above, and salt that mixture with a seri - ous case of viral encephalitis, we've outlined the factors that led one superintendent, whose work-life balance was sorely lacking, to build two companies that help fellow superinten - dents combat the same issue. VanBuskirk, a GCSAA Class A superintendent and 13-year association member, founded Turf Cloud ( ) in 2016, along with fellow superintendent and University of Rhode Island turf grad Stephen Ohlson. e firm's proprietary online dash - board, Turf Dash, gathers for turf managers the entirety of a property's relevant data, in one place, via three core programs or "bins": • CourseTrakk, a digital job board that helps superintendents manage and monitor ongo - ing labor allocations • EquipTrakk, a digital log book that allows superintendents and equipment managers, together, to keep tabs on equipment coming into the shop for routine maintenance or emergency repairs • AgTrakk, which enables superintendents, their assistants and any staff member to log and monitor all agricultural practices and inputs performed each day, each week and each month on any square meter of the property. "is is the sort of data most supers, in an ideal world, attempt to gather, analyze and deploy right now, but superintendents know better than anyone just how much time that requires," VanBuskirk says. "Turf Dash streamlines the process by digitizing it, storing it in the cloud and allowing the super or any authorized staff to pull it down in one accessible place — a phone, a tablet, a desktop computer." What's also become clear: is technology, and the time it saves, enables more sustained, far better analysis of this information. "I formulated the ideas behind Turf Cloud based on running a 36-hole golf club, some - thing I did for eight years. But then my life changed suddenly, and I didn't have the time "I've always thought of myself as the resident geek." — Jason VanBuskirk What started as a career as a golf course superintendent has gone a different direction for Jason VanBuskirk (right), who co-founded tech startup Turf Cloud. The company was acquired by GreenSight Agro - nomics in November 2017. He is pictured here with Rob Knochen - hauer, GreenSight's director of flight operations.

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