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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Tony Blevins is no physician. He sure sounds like it, though, when you ask him to diagnose the meaning of what just may be the two sexiest words in the industry today. Plant health. Kyle Miller 44 GCM July 2013 "If I'm eating right, getting plenty of water, exercise, I'm going to be in better health and be able to fght off diseases," says Blevins, whose operation is located in Lorton, Va., where he is the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Pohlic Bay Golf Course. "There's the correlation to plant health. If the plant isn't getting enough of what it needs, it's going to fght for survival. If it gets what it needs, the right hydration, nutrients, I'm going to have a healthy plant." But … "I don't want to put anything in my body that hasn't been approved. The same goes for my plants," Blevins says. A key for Blevins, and superintendents worldwide, is determining which plant health products reach their full potential by creating the best results — products that, in some cases, almost sound as if they are being marketed like vitamins are for humans. After all, it is the superintendent's duty, isn't it, to ensure turfgass fourishes, diseases are eradicated and, in many cases meet high expectations from golfers? Now, if only somebody could agree on what plant health actually means. Answers seem to vary, even among industry giants, on how to defne plant health. Not even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a specifc defnition for plant health. Here, though, is how some major players in the business take a crack at it: • "From my perspective, plant health comes down to two things. It's really about turf quality. At that point in the ballgame, that's basically measured by the color of the turf and the

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