Golf Course Management

APR 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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04.19 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 85 applications of Velista when evaluated by dis- eased area. Economic analysis For most golf course superintendents, the biggest hurdle to implementing site-specific management of spring dead spot will be the time and cost associated with adopting these technologies. Automation and ease of site- specific management is critical to its adop - tion. is model may be ideal for contracted services in which superintendents hire out the aerial mapping and then make applica - tions in-house. Aerial mapping can provide more benefits than spring dead spot incidence alone. GPS-guided sprayers are now available from many manufacturers, but the price in - crease may be difficult for many superinten- dents to justify. Tables 3 and 4 outline a cost estimate for our methods and equipment used during this project. ese figures estimate a three-year return on the investment in GPS- guided technology when that technology is used only for the site-specific management of spring dead spot. Using this technology in other areas would accelerate the return on in - vestment. Conclusions is research suggests that site-specific ap- plications could provide control equivalent to blanket applications for reducing the area impacted by spring dead spot. Using site-spe - cific applications could also reduce expenses over time by reducing the amount of fungi - cide applied to the course. Future research will focus on improving methods of site-specific management and taking this technology into the field across various golf courses and GPS- guided spraying platforms. Funding We would like to thank the GCSAA for funding this research through a grant from the Environmental Institute for Golf. We would also like to thank the Environmen - tal Institute for Golf and the Virginia Golf Course Superintendents Association for their financial support of this project through the EIFG Chapter Cooperative Grant. Acknowledgments anks to e Toro Co. and Syngenta Crop Protection for the use of their products during this project. Many thanks to Chris - tian Sain, director of golf and grounds main- tenance, e Country Club of Virginia, and Tuckahoe Creek Golf Course superintendent David Rathke for hosting this project. Literature cited 1. Carrow, R.N., J.M. Krum, I. Flitcroft and V. Cline. 2010. Precision turfgrass management: Challenges and field applications for mapping turfgrass soil and stress. Precision Agriculture 11(2):115-134. 2. Smiley, R.W., P.H. Dernoeden and B.B. Clarke. 2005. Compendium of Turfgrass Diseases. 3rd edition. American Phytopathological Society, St. Paul, Minn. 3. Tredway, L.P., M. Tomaso-Peterson, H. Perry and N.R. Walker. 2009. Spring dead spot of bermu - dagrass: A challenge for researchers and turfgrass managers. Plant Health Progress 10(1):32. 4. Walker, N.R., T. Mitchell, A. Morton and S. Marek. 2006. Influence of temperature and time of year on colonization of bermudagrass roots by Ophiosphaer - ella herpotricha. Plant Disease 90:1326-30. Jordan Booth, CGCS, ( is based in Richmond, Va., as a research associate for Virginia Tech and is pursuing his doctorate while managing research and extension responsibilities in central Virginia. David McCall is an assistant professor and extension specialist, in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. Dana Sullivan is co-owner and president of TurfScout LLC in Greensboro, N.C. • Site-specific applications of penthiopyrad were statistically superior to blanket applications of tebuconazole for SDS suppression. • Site-specific applications were equivalent to blanket applications of penthiopyrad at reduction of SDS diseased area. • Blanket applications were superior to site-specific applications of penthiopyrad in reducing SDS patch counts. • Site-specific applications resulted in a 51% reduction in fungicide use in 2016 and 65% reduction in 2017. • Return on investment of GPS-guided technology for site-specific management is estimated to be realized in three years. The RESEARCH SAYS Return on investment on GPS-guided sprayer upgrade Method type Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Total Site-specific Velista $8,883.70 $8,883.70 $8,883.70 Maps $3,920.00 $3,920.00 $3,920.00 GPS upgrade $35,000.00 $47,803.70 $12,803.70 $12,803.70 $73,411.10 Blanket Velista $25,382.00 $25,382.00 $25,382.00 $76,146.00 Table 4. Economic analysis of return on investment on GPS-guided sprayer upgrade.

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