Golf Course Management

MAR 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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54 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.18 Leo Feser Award CANDIDATE This article is eligible for the 2018 Leo Feser Award, presented annually since 1977 to the author of the best superintendent-written article published in GCM during the previous year. Superintendents receive a $300 stipend for their articles. Feser Award winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Golf Industry Show, where they are recognized. They also have their names engraved on a plaque permanently displayed at GCSAA headquarters. will be in the loop, and the problem won't rest solely on the superintendent's shoulders. I walked away from Silverhorn Golf Club with a lot of pride, and with numerous scars too. During the truly dreadful peak of the dis - ease damage in August 2015, I was completely worn out and had decided to leave the pro - fession if the plan was to seed or sod greens with bentgrass again. When the decision came down to switch to Champion, I figured it was worth giving it a go, as it would clear up many of the mysteries surrounding the green's prob - lems, and would give me an opportunity to see a course converted to bermudagrass greens, which I'd never done. I now count what my crew and I were able to accomplish with No. 11 and other greens at Silverhorn among my top career achievements. From the depths of despair to the heady heights of success, No. 11 was present for them all. Chris Sorrell, CGCS, is the superintendent of the Country Club Course at Stonebriar Country Club in Frisco, Texas, and a 12-year member of GCSAA. After discovering that a graduate degree in philosophy wasn't his calling, he hap - pened upon a seasonal job at a municipal golf course and loved it. Chris earned a certificate in turfgrass manage - ment from Penn State University and has worked in the golf course maintenance industry for 17 years, 10 as a superintendent. He has been married for 18 years and is the proud father of two daughters. prayer of control. With all the obstacles already facing No. 11, I doubt one of those remedies would have made much difference. Following the nematode revelation, No. 11 and some other greens were started on a Nim - itz nematicide program, and the tide turned. In a matter of three weeks, No. 11 was looking good and performing wonderfully. Playbook for on-course quandaries For a superintendent who's dealing with a difficult green, my best advice is to test and track. A turf log that contains observations and relevant information is a powerful tool. When a problem pops up on a green, I take a soil sample of the potential pathogenic issue and send it in for analysis, and then I do my best to determine what it is and treat it ac - cordingly. I document what it looked like, when I saw it and the conditions around it. Then, when the lab results come back, I have a course-specific record that I can refer back to in the coming years. This resource is invalu - able to me, and will be to any of the facility's future superintendents. When it comes to approaching adversity with any part of your golf course, communi - cation is always the best policy. I've heard it said that it's easy to handle good news or bad news, but that it's the surprises that are hard to deal with. Bring problems forward to your superiors with an analysis of the situation, any pertinent data and a suggested course of ac - tion. This will allow for a discussion of how the matter can be addressed and what steps the organization is willing to take to solve it. The advantage here is that all decision-makers Chris Sorrell, CGCS, at Stonebriar Country Club in Frisco, Texas, where he is the superintendent of the Country Club Course, a position he has held since October 2017. I now count what my crew and I were able to accomplish with No. 11 and other greens at Silverhorn among my top career achievements.

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