Golf Course Management

JAN 2018

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

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88 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.18 improvements. I learned a ton there, but part of the practices revolved around the use of pesticides, the rates, resistance, FR AC [fungicide resistance action committee] codes, etc." Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are twin islands that sit just offshore from Cape Cod, and both — on account of their isolated, sensitive ecosystems — are known for their strict local environmental statutes. Lucas and his top assistant managed Nantucket GC on a very responsible — but still traditional — basis. So, when Banks made the move to The Vineyard Club in April 2015, a great deal of that training was more or less moot. "In our climate, which is coastal, it stays wet with a lot of dew, but we have to think outside the box when it comes to managing that moisture," Banks explains. "With no chemical inputs, the big issue here is Northeastern dollar spot, and that first year we got a lot of it — that was me just not having the experience Jeff has or being ready to rely on that perfect balance of nitrogen and irrigation as a fungicide. That's what we do here, in a weird way: We are constantly feeding the plant in an attempt to grow the plant out of disease situations." Here was another radical departure from the regimen at Nantucket GC, where crews would spray greens weekly, as many courses do, and stress out the turf to a level necessary to achieve firm and fast conditions. the specific issues he faces. Frank Rossi, Ph.D., of Cornell University and recipient of GCSAA's 2018 President's Award for Environmental Stewardship, is "a great resource," he adds. "But the way I look at it, Jeff is my best researcher. As often as I do interact with all these organic contacts and their ideas, I still take most of them with a grain of salt. They can recommend what they think is right, but you must compare that to what I'm finding here on the ground and what I think is right — and to what Jeff thinks, because he's done it." A less firm mentality Banks did not experience any sort of instant, organic epiphany that day Carlson visited UMass. In fact, before and after graduation, Banks would spend 11 seasons learning and practicing the traditional art and science of turfgrass management, first at Huntington Crescent Club on Long Island (as assistant in training/spray technician), then as assistant superintendent at Framingham (Mass.) Country Club, and finally as senior assistant at Nantucket Golf Club. "Being the lead assistant and working under Mark Lucas at Nantucket Golf Club was always a dream job," Banks says. "I still remember the day when I told my wife the position had opened and it was mine to have: a very private club with a great budget and lots of capital projects and The Vineyard GC underwent a redesign at the hands of Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner — the front nine was completed in 2013, while the back nine was finished in 2015. Shown here is the club's ninth hole. Photo by Larry Lambrecht "That's what we do here in a weird way: We are constantly feeding the plant in an attempt to grow the plant out of disease situations." — Kevin Banks

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