Golf Course Management

OCT 2013

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

Issue link: http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/178551

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Blackhaw is just one of many outstanding shrubs for adding texture and color to the golfscape. tion marks for those stakeholders. Thorough notes will help point out that solid green plants serve to create a backdrop that will allow the specimens with spring and summer interest to stand out, and that the course will look appealing in all seasons due to the landscape renovation. Develop a plant palette The best recommendations for plant materials come from local horticulturists and from local/regional information sources. Fortunately, fnding specifc information for your course is as easy as 1-2-3. 1. Use your favorite Web browser to fnd the botanical garden or arboretum nearest your golf course. 2. Use their website to identify recommended tree, shrub, perennial and groundcover species and cultivars. 3. Use Google Images (or a similar search engine) to help visualize the appeal of each recommendation. University websites and suppliers are also good sources of this type of information. As these sources of plant material information are perused, it's prudent to think outside the box about underused species. Ask the question, "What else besides the standard mums and sedum would make a real statement on our signature hole/tee box/clubhouse patio?" After all, if one of 48 GCM October 2013 the program statements or overall goals at your facility is to develop uniqueness or to make the course stand out from others in the area, then using unique or different cultivars is a good path to explore. And if you want to go beyond surfng the Internet to consider your options, an equally good or maybe even better course of action is to visit the arboretum or botanic garden in person. A picture of a plant is helpful, but seeing it, smelling it, touching it and "experiencing" it is much better. After visiting one or more of the demonstration gardens near your course, develop a plant palette. This is an exercise that will encourage you to think about plant diversity and selection for fall appeal in various sites. Identifying fve to 10 choices for each category is a good starting point, but restricting yourself to that number could produce a course with too many of too few species. A can't-miss list will also come in handy when you need to choose plants, but time is short. GCM John C. Fech, Ph.D., is a horticulturalist with the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and an ISA-certified arborist who is a frequent contributor to GCM.

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