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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THE INSIDER: turf Teresa Carson An Irish rover lands in Chicago Seasoned traveler Ed Nangle, Ph.D., lived and worked in Ireland, England, Australia, Ohio, Florida and South Carolina before he settled in at the Chicago District Golf Association. Photo courtesy of Ed Nangle Ed Nangle gets around, and NEWS & notes Elliott Dowling has been named an agronomist In the USGA Green Section's Mid-Atlantic Region. He will be working with the region's director, Darin Bevard, to help superintendents in the area maintain better playing conditions. Dowling has a bachelor's degree in horticulture from Iowa State and a master's in turfgrass management from Penn State. He has worked as an intern at golf courses in Illinois, Colorado and California. Dowling was an assistant superintendent at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and was superintendent at Ivanhoe (Ill.) Club and at Cress Creek Country Club in Naperville, Ill. Presented in partnership with Barenbrug 38 GCM July 2013 he's not ashamed to admit it. The Irish-born director of turfgrass programs for the Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) started traveling at a young age, leaving his hometown of Enniscorthy in 1998 to attend Myerscough College in England, which, at the time, offered the only bachelor of science degree in turfgrass science in Europe. The next year he was in South Carolina working at Daufuskie Island Club & Resort on Hilton Head Island, courtesy of Ohio State University's international intern program. From there, it was back to Myerscough to wrap up his degree and then on to work in his hometown, in Australia and then at Ohio State, where he remained to fnish a Ph.D. before going on to post-doctoral studies with John Cisar at the University of Florida. This May, Nangle's long and winding road led him to Chicago and the CDGA. Nangle's original plans included returning home to teach, but when Ireland's faltering economy made that impossible, Nangle followed a different dream. "I decided that, if I could, I would work in a position that had local responsibility but global impact. This (CDGA director of turfgrass programs) is that position, and it's extremely unique as I don't think there is another full-time position like this anywhere in the world," he says. With a wide breadth of experience (cool- and warm-season turf north and south of the equator) and a dissertation on cutting-edge topics (including UV-B light, turfgrass pigments, pheno- lics and favonoids), Nangle is, quite fortunately, prepared for the extremes of weather and high-end expectations found in Chicago. Although he's only been on the job since early May, the new director says, "Extreme changes have already occurred with 94 degrees and frost in the same week!" Despite the challenges, the almost-new Ph.D. has laid out an ambitious agenda, some of which draws on his graduate work at Ohio State under David Gardner, Karl Danneberger and John Street. Assisting superintendents in managing both annual bluegrass and creeping bentgrass and selecting for more cold-tolerant cultivars that can cope with the Chicago weather is high on the list as is a pigment study related to reducing water use, the effects of winter desiccation and the interaction of pigments and herbicides. To have a global impact, Nangle is bringing in researchers from Ireland and the New Zealand Sports Turf Institute, whose superintendents also work with both Poa and creeping bentgrass. Thinking globally does not keep Nangle from focusing on issues closer to home. "I want to aid superintendents with the education of their staff and set up podcast series in English and Spanish with a focus on Poa management," he says. And that's not all. "I also aim to educate and work with the new tools that superintendents are using — moisture probes, daily-light-integral meters, TruFirm testing, feld pH meters, mobile thermocouples. For guys trying to control Poa, all of these tools can be important to develop strategies and to give them a number they can work off to give reproducible high quality, which is what golfers look for." But Nangle the sports lover (golf, rugby, Australian rules football, softball, hurling and Gaelic football), isn't educating just superintendents and their crews. He wants to educate the golfers as well by working with CDGA's Sunshine Course and the USGA in Chicago to talk to golfers about best practices and even extend the conversation to include home lawn care. The 14-year-old boy who saw Augusta National on television and fell in love with golf because he thought, "How cool would it be to produce that?" is now helping superintendents in the Chicago area and around the world to achieve their dreams of beautiful golf courses. GCM Teresa Carson (tcarson@gcsaa.org) is GCM's science editor.

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