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 to withstand the potential extreme cold temperatures. Though we have yet to experience this with only one winter under our belts with MiniVerde (bermudagrass) on Course No. 1, we feel confdent that the diligent use of protective covers will help increase our chances of success or survival of this scenario." Farren says no decision has been made on whether the other courses at Pinehurst will change to bermudagrass. "I believe that will be determined by the success we have as we go forward," Farren says. As for next year's major championships, USGA Executive Director Mike Davis has been on site several times. The USGA's current focus, according to Farren, is the speed, texture and frmness of the putting surfaces. "We are on a very good track for success in this regard," Farren says. — Howard Richman, GCM associate editor Winning the 2013 GCSAA Collegiate Turf Bowl paid off in multiple ways for the team from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, including a spot on the volunteer team at TPC Sawgrass for the Players Championship in May. Photo courtesy of John Deere 24 GCM July 2013 near impossible to prepare such a fawless golf course and such a successful event," White says. "It was truly amazing to watch over 100 strangers become one coherent team of friends, who were able to battle through Mother Nature's wrath and turn the wreckage into a championship golf course." White and his UMass teammates were part of a crew of 140 staff and volunteers. Breazeale says he needed each and every one of them on deck. "Without the additional 60 people … we would've probably needed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to even get ready," Breazeale says. "With their help we repaired the golf course, but we were also able to start tournament-prepping the greens like we normally would. So this year, more so than any year thus far, they were hugely integral in the success of this tournament." White and his UMass teammates impressed Vlach. "The experience with the Turf Bowl winners has been fantastic," he says. "We're grateful that they've taken time away from school after they've fnished with exams to come here to spend a week with us. I'm sure they're worn out, but they're a fantastic, enthusiastic group and we're grateful for them." White sums it all up as an unforgettable experience. "Now that TPC Sawgrass and The Players Championship has offcially concluded, looking back on the past week my teammates and I soaked up countless valuable insights and experiences," White says. "For the four of us, this week was not only a crash course in bermudagrass management and tournament preparation, but it was also a fantastic display of the value of teamwork and attention to detail. But the real lesson came in the form of rebuilding a golf course after 10 inches of rain. School doesn't prepare you for what we did this week." Turf Bowl champs chip in at Players Championship Mill destroyed in fre will return with golf theme GCM guest blogger Peter White got quite an eye-opening experience as a volunteer in May for the Players Championship. Ten inches of rain over a four-day span certainly catches your eye. White was a part of the four-person team from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst that won the GCSAA Collegiate Turf Bowl — which is presented in partnership with John Deere Golf — in February at the Golf Industry Show in San Diego. Besides earning $4,000 for the school's turf program, the team members were also given the opportunity to serve as volunteers during May's Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Joining White at Sawgrass were Evan Brandstreet, Kevin Shewmaker and Sean Raposa. Those heavy rains that inundated the golf course the Saturday before the event — perhaps highlighted by the path to the famous No. 17 island green that was under water — put the TPC Sawgrass crew, headed by Tom Vlach, CGCS, and Stadium Course superintendent Clay Breazeale in extreme action mode. White, who provided live updates for GCM during tournament week, knew the moment he stepped on the property that a challenge was at hand. "When we arrived on Saturday, we all thought that it would be The Cheesebrough mill — a maker of wooden tools that harvested the world's crops and groomed its lawns and golf courses for the past three centuries — burned to the ground in March 2013. The landmark wooden structure on the main street of the Village of Freeport, Mich., turned to ash within an hour. Owners Ken and Pat Van Tol are rebuilding; they are determined to retain the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in the state. "Our customers have been willing to give us time to reorganize, and a temporary facility is in operation," Ken Van Tol says. "Custom equipment is being fabricated by multiple machine shops; tooling built at the time of the Civil War that had lost its tempering in the fre is at the foundry being re-tempered for use. The balance of simple tooling and handwork produces quality and durability that's hard to match. We plan to carry on with the same system. "The new building will be designed specifcally for our golf business. It will probably be better for business, but a lot of our history was lost and much of our past is gone." Cheesebrough created its golf division 20 years ago and produces high-quality wood items for golf courses — fags, fagsticks, rakes and golf ball baskets. At the time, golf was experi-

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