Golf Course Management

JUL 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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66 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.14 Setting the stage In many areas, the talk of zoysia brings out the skeptics. I know this all too well, but this is not your grandfather's zoysia. Grown from seed, Zenith zoysia has a much shorter dormancy period and really doesn't compare to the older varieties. Its track record and research tied in well with our needs from a maintenance standpoint as well as a playabil - ity aspect. And, of course, the big goal here was to become less reliant on water. With an investment like this, all the re - search, planning and communication are well worth the effort. Tim Bowyer of the Patten Seed Co. and Rod Maxwell, an experienced zoysia grower in central Illinois, were enor - mously helpful in setting us on the pathway to success. There are always surprises with any project, but I learned many years ago while working as an assistant superintendent with Steve Mueller in Fort Wayne, Ind., that if you expect the smallest thing to be an issue, you'll be ready for all the big issues. Throughout the fall of 2012 and winter, we had several meetings and countless conver - sations with the members before they decided to go ahead with the conversion in June 2013. There is no way of closing down a course while keeping every member happy. In our case, with the problems we needed to address, we had the right board of directors, commit - tee, general manager and staff assembled at the right time to make the sound decision to prepare our course for the future and solve the issues of the present. One thing that is very important to grow in any type of grass is water. With this in mind, we contacted the city about receiving a waiver to continue watering during the grow-in in the event of any restrictions. Our grounds committee chairman and our club president took the lead in this matter, citing the conver - sion's compliance with the city's "Sustainable Decatur" initiative by reducing water and chemical use. The city quickly embraced this green concept. Time to grow All of our ducks were in a row when the project began on June 10, 2013. The June start date allowed the members to enjoy their course for a few months before the shutdown. Although it felt a bit strange, events such as the club championships were scheduled very early to make the most of the shortened golf season. Due to the scorching from the previ - After glyphosate was applied and began to kill off the No.16 fairway at CC of Decatur in May 2013, the transition from bentgrass to zoysiagrass began. Word of our zoysiagrass conversion spread quickly, and before I knew it, there was a parade . . . coming out to see the show. 062-071_July14_DecaturCC.indd 66 6/17/14 2:31 PM

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