Golf Course Management

FEB 2019

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

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The sulfur burner all but neutralized the nuisance clams, but that's not all it did. "The former superintendent used pesti - cides (to combat summer algae outbreaks on the course's ponds)," Thompson says. "The sulfur burner has a three-fold benefit. The weak acidification killed the Asiatic clams, we were able to eliminate aquatic pesticide use, and, by reducing bicarbonate levels, I have a little healthier turfgrass. One of the things I'm most proud of in the last 10 years we've used it is that we've been able to elimi - nate aquatic pesticide use." He's proud, too, of the course's resi - dent painted turtles. Among other wildlife- friendly initiatives — like naturalization of all pond shore banks, a butterfly garden, Operation Pollinator wildflowers and, with the help of a First Green of Washington field trip, wood bat nesting boxes — the course improved nesting and basking areas for painted turtles. "The turtles are actually neat," Thomp - son says. "We have about 20 turtles right now. They're shy. They don't like a lot of human activity." Speaking of human activity … Thomp - son says he's grateful for his golfers' buy-in to environmental stewardship. Generally, they don't mind trading a little green to be green. "I see 'em on social media, snapping pho - tos over by the bat houses or pictures inside the clubhouse," he says. "We have excellent putting greens year-round, but we don't have uniform green turf wall-to-wall during the summer months because of our irrigation challenges from our extreme mounding. With the mounding we have, it's basically impossible to keep the mounds green with - out pooling. We're lean and mean. We keep it firm. Golfers don't complain about having dry spots, dry mounds. They realize we're not going to waste water. They take pride in that. To keep it green all the time, you'd just have to dump water on it. As a public golf course, our players are off at sunup. I'd have to run sprinklers around play. It really makes it nice where they buy into it. We're giving them the bare minimums and letting them get their golf in." Jim Pavonetti, CGCS, at Fairview Country Club in Greenwich, Conn., and a 23-year GCSAA member, was first run - ner-up for the Natural Resource Conserva- tion Award. Franz Workman, CGCS, at Cateechee Golf Club in Hartwell, Ga., was second runner-up. Workman is a 28-year associa - tion member. Top: Columbia Point serves to filter stormwater runoff from all the surrounding development. Photo courtesy of City of Richland (Wash.) Communications Office Bottom: Carl D. Thompson, CGCS, is the winner of the 2018 Environmental Leaders in Golf Award for Natural Resource Conservation. Photo courtesy of Columbia Point Golf Course 2018 elga

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