Golf Course Management

APR 2014

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

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26 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.14 411 at Vallda Golf & CC are dry and frm to emulate Scottish links conditions. They are cut every seven to 10 days to a height of less than 1 inch. Last year was the frst time in fve years Nilsson and his crew watered them. Other sustainable maintenance practices the Swedish superintendent subscribes to include using few fertilizers and topdressing the greens monthly. "We treat the fescue in the preseason and then by midsummer we start to dry it out to kill the Poa in the greens," Nilsson says. "We only work with the fescue when it's growing from mid-May until the end of August." The putting surfaces at Vallda G&CC are cut three times per week, never on the weekends, and sometimes the greens are rolled to increase the green speed. Getting golfers to understand and to appreciate the bump-and-run game is one of Nilsson's ongoing challenges. "Once they accept the color, that it's not green but more golden, and they learn how to play on it, they all love it," he says. For more information, visit A webcast of Stefan Nilsson's lecture can be found at and module_instance=1 — David McPherson, freelance writer Uncommon grounds You probably already know the frst major NASCAR event of 2014, the Daytona 500, has come and gone. But did you know the person who is caretaker of these hal - lowed grounds once was a golf course superintendent? Meet Sam Newpher, the ground supervisor at Day - tona International Speedway (DIS). Way before he began grooming the infeld grass at Daytona, Newpher spent time on the staff of Mark Esoda, CGCS, at Atlanta Country Club. In time, Newpher became superintendent at Briarwood Country Club in Meridian, Miss. "Mark allowed me to do things to be able to expand my horizons," Newpher says. DIS isn't the frst main stage for Newpher. He worked 15 years for the Atlanta Braves, initially as an assistant groundskeeper before taking over during the fnal eight years he spent there. Now, it is the grass infeld that is emblazoned with the Daytona 500 logo where Newpher focuses much of his attention. "It gets real high visibility, even if for a short time," says Newpher, 65. "It's turfgrass magnifed." In all, Newpher oversees more than 200 acres (pri - marily St. Augustinegrass and annual ryegrass) in and around the 2.5-mile tri-oval. It is, though, the 4-acre infeld that is overseeded late in the fall with a 419 bermudagrass base that grabs the most attention. The two-tone, strik - ing appearance comes from using perennial rye (dark) and and annual rye (light) side by side. Direct Solutions supplies Newpher with seed, fertilizer and chemicals for DIS. In the days leading up to the Day - tona 500, Direct Solutions territorial sales representative Gary Morgan can barely watch the proceedings because viewing drivers making a mess of the infeld when they spin out or wreck can be a bit disheartening. ful management." Environmental legislation in Nordic countries is often much stricter than in neighboring European countries. Scandinavian superintendents' three main areas of con - cern today are winter stress management, integrated pest management and sustainable water management. Nilsson was hired as the course manager at Vallda G&CC in 2007 during the grow-in when the decision was made to seed the entire course with red fescue. "We knew we had to be sustainable, do something unique and different and think outside the box to cut costs because the tide is changing," Nilsson says. While the Swedish superintendent admitted it's almost impossible to compare one course to another, he says if you compare the cost of maintaining a square meter of creeping bentgrass to a square meter of red fescue, it costs four times as much. Red fescue withstands more stress than most turf va - rieties and it's also more tolerant to drought. The fairways 020-029_April_Front9.indd 26 3/18/14 2:43 PM

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