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 data shows you can gain a 25 per- cent increase in fertilization by reincorpo- rating the clippings into the green — a 25 percent increase without us changing any - thing," he says. Gourlay was worried how golfers would respond, so he and his staff monitored the situation closely. "There's always a concern, because we want great conditions," he says. "On greens, if we don't pick up clippings, maybe there will be clumps of grass. But we never no - ticed an issue. We didn't tell golfers, not even the (NCAA) D-I golfers or the pro event we host. No one noticed we weren't collecting clippings." The savings at Colbert Hills have been significant. Gourlay says the course uses 90 percent less fertilizer than it did in the early 2000s and, in 2017, used its mowers 75 percent less than in previous years. He went from mowing greens every day to every 5.5 days. Fairway mowing went from every two to three days to roughly every nine days. And because growth is so controlled, greens don't accumulate thatch, lessening the need for aerification. Gourlay says only "a few" greens have been aerified at Colbert Hills in the past 18 years. Some have never been aerified since construction in 1999. "Everything we do out here is for the betterment of the golf course," Gourlay says. "And the environment plays a huge factor. We're a Silver Certified Audubon Sanctu - ary. We're trying to provide great golfing conditions, and having great wildlife is a huge aspect to our mission." Rick Slattery, at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y., and a 34-year asso - ciation member, was first runner-up for the Innovative Conservation ELGA. Second runner-up was Andrew J. Jor - gensen, CGCS, at Candler Hills Golf Club in Ocala, Fla. Jorgensen is a 19-year GCSAA member. Andrew Hartsock ( is GCM 's managing editor. Top: Colbert Hills Golf Course staff members take pride in their commitment to the environment while still providing great conditions for their golfers. Bottom: Matt Gourlay, CGCS, director of golf course operations at Colbert Hills, is the winner of the 2018 ELGA for Innovative Conservation. Photo by Scott Hollister 2018 elga

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