Golf Course Management

JUL 2013

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

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front NINE 9 see more @ www.gcsaa.org the event attracted nearly 50 superintendents to Greenville CC. They made their way around a series of hands-on, interactive presentations that touched on topics ranging from precision topdressing and maximizing putting green performance and stress tolerance to frequency of clip and its effect on ball roll, and utilizing GPS technology to improve spraying effciency and accuracy. Early returns indicate this won't be the only Turf Science Live event offered in 2013. If offcial feedback from attendees matches the anecdotal comments event organizers received, look for a West Coast stop at some point this fall. — Scott Hollister, GCM editor-in-chief Pinehurst No. 2 on the clock Scott Kinkead, the executive vice president for Turfco, discusses precision topdressing technologies on his company's newest spreader during the Turf Science Live event at Greenville, S.C., in May. Photo by Scott Hollister V v v Eagles Pride Golf Course in Tacoma, Wash., became the 1,000th golf course in the world to receive designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Eagles Pride is located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the Defense Department's largest military installation on the West Coast. John Ford, CGCS, oversees Eagles Pride. He is a 35-year member of GCSAA. 22 GCM July 2013 Turf Science Live showcases new products, technology You often hear that golf course management is a relationship business. Not unlike many other industries, of course, but often who you know is just as important as what you know. It can be the way many superintendents land that dream job. It can allow turf students to out-muscle the competition for that prime internship. And it can be the way companies gain the upper hand in their efforts to land that big sale. It shouldn't be surprising, then, that four familiar industry names — Syngenta, Jacobsen, Turfco and Smithco — came together in mid-May in Greenville, S.C., to put on an event whose primary goal was building relationships. The frst domestic Turf Science Live event was not only a chance for the presenting companies to solidify connections with their customers, but also for those same customers to create relationships that would last far beyond the two days in South Carolina. "I think an event like this is a good combination of networking amongst peers and a sharing of knowledge, both between the attendees themselves and the companies that are here sharing some of the things that we've all done to help improve turf conditions," says Chris Vernon, Jacobsen's vice president of marketing and product management. "It's an interaction that creates a really good dynamic, a good mix of learning and networking." Turf Science Live — hosted by the 36-hole Greenville Country Club and its GCSAA Class A superintendent, Chuck Connolly — wasn't a complete shot in the dark for the participating companies. Jacobsen and Syngenta had been using similar events to great effect in the United Kingdom for several years, so bringing the idea stateside was a natural extension, according to Shawn Potter, who is the head of marketing for Syngenta's turf and landscape/consumer businesses. "We all had a common goal of fnding ways to effectively introduce technology and information to superintendents, so for us it was identifying what had been so successful in the U.K., taking those components and delivering them into the U.S.," Potter says. Targeting superintendents largely from the Carolinas — although the fnal attendee list included participants from as far away as Georgia and Virginia — the frst domestic incarnation of The 2014 U.S. Open is still 11 months away. That may seem like quite a while, but when your facility is hosting two U.S. Opens in back-to-back weeks, well, there is no time to waste. "The preparations are going well," Bob Farren, CGCS, Pinehurst's director of golf course and grounds management, tells GCM. "Kevin Robinson, CGCS, the superintendent of No. 2 (which is the site for the two events) and his team have continued to do an excellent job in preparing the course." The men's U.S. Open is set for June 12-15, 2014; the women's U.S. Open is scheduled for the following week, June 19-22. Currently, though, Pinehurst is busy on two of its other courses. Pinehurst No. 8 is in the process of converting its greens from bentgrass to Champion ultradwarf bermudagrass. The course is closed and is expected to reopen July 24. A similar project on Pinehurst No. 3 is next; it is set to close Aug. 4 for the changeover in grasses, and the plan is to reopen Oct. 4. A year ago, Pinehurst No. 1 was converted. The big change, however, will wait until the U.S. Opens are completed next year when Pinehurst No. 2 will be converted, beginning in July 2014. Such conversions have become a trend for courses in the Southeast. Atlanta Athletic Club made the change prior to its hosting of the 2011 PGA Championship, while Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C., began its switch this May shortly after hosting the PGA Tour's Wells Fargo Championship, all in preparation for that course's hosting of the 2017 PGA Championship. "The conversion of the greens is a big deal," Farren says. "The primary energy behind our decision is simply enabling us to provide good, quality playing conditions more weeks out of the year. The green speed, though easier to safely achieve with the ultradwarfs in the summer months, is in my opinion secondary to the fact that they allow us to provide a much frmer surface throughout the year." Farren indicates that the changeover process has progressed without some of the anticipated problems. "We were initially concerned that they (greens) would become too fast in the dormant months. I believe experience has proven that they can, in fact, be managed through the fall to prevent that from happening," he says. "Another concern has been their ability

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