Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bobby Jacoby - 25 Years & Counting

In a time when a triplex can have a longer tenure at a course than a Golf Course Superintendent, the benchmark set by Bobby Jacoby is something very few will ever achieve. Bobby has reached the 25 year mark with Highland Fairways Country Club.

Bobby was born and raised in Lakeland, Florida. His interest golf started when he was six or seven, shagging balls at the golf course across the street from where he grew up. He joined the team at Highland Fairways as the grow in superintendent in 1985 and has since led the course through housing development, hurricanes and every agronomic challenge you can imagine.

Bobby joined the IGM Team in 1999 and continued to lead the course maintenance operation. Bobby attributes his ability to keep up with the changing industry by "reading, reading, reading, going to seminars and discussion groups".

He is truly an asset to Highland Fairways and to the IGM Team. Congratulations Bobby!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

IGM at Brays Island Plantation Completes First Step in Audubon Certification

IGM at Brays Island Plantation has received certification in Environmental Planning from the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP), an international program administered by Audubon International designed to help landowners preserve and enhance the environmental quality of their property. The plan was developed by Tray Maltby, Golf Course Superintendent, and Bruce Lampright, Brays Island's Naturalist. Both are also recognized for their efforts to plan for environmental stewardship.

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses provides an advisory service to help existing golf courses develop effective conservation and wildlife enhancement programs. This worldwide effort is coordinated by Audubon International and is sponsored in part by the United States Golf Association.

"The open space of a golf course is utilized not only by golfers, but is habitat for a variety of wildlife species," explained Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist for Audubon International. "We welcome IGM at Brays Island Plantation’s commitment to the environment and to managing the golf course with wildlife in mind."

By joining and participating in the ACSP, IGM at Brays Island Plantation will be involved in projects that enhance habitat for wildlife and preserve natural resources for the benefit of the local community. These projects may include: placing nesting boxes for cavity-nesting birds such as bluebirds and swallows, utilizing integrated pest management techniques, conserving water, and maintaining food and cover for wildlife.

"The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program benefits both people and wildlife," said Sluiter. "It's a great way for the managers of developed properties and environmental organizations to work together to become better stewards of land and natural resources."

After the environmental plan is approved, properties in the program may apply for certification in Wildlife and Habitat Management, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, Water Quality Management, and Outreach and Education by demonstrating that they have met minimum requirements for each category. For more information on golf and the environment, visit

About Audubon International
Audubon International is an environmental organization dedicated to educating, assisting, and inspiring millions of people from all walks of life to protect and sustain the land, water, wildlife, and natural resources around them. In addition to businesses, Audubon International also provides programs for golf courses, schools, communities, and new developments. For more information, contact Audubon International, 46 Rarick Rd., Selkirk, NY 12158, USA, (518) 767-9051, e-mail them via the Internet at, or visit their website at

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Playing Par with Jack Frost

By Charles B. White
Director, Southeastern Region, USGA Green Section

As winter begins, the golfer lays aside his clubs for a time and settles down to watch football. But, loving the game, our minds quickly return to golf, and our bodies avidly follow. Thus we encounter an age-old problem: morning delays to allow the frost to clear or enable the green surface to thaw. Often a confrontation arises between the golf professional and/or the superintendent on one side and club members on the other. Consider the problems of playing greens in the winter when frost or freezing occurs, and why play must be delayed, or even prevented, for a period of time.

Everyone knows frost must clear off the grass before play can begin, but few people know why. Frost on the grass blades tells us that the water inside the leaves is frozen. Remember that water is the primary component of plant tissue. When this water is frozen, traffic on the turf causes the ice crystals in the cells to puncture through the cell walls, killing the plant tissue. Little damage is done to the crowns (growing points) or roots if only a light frost appears; however, when the frost is heavy, cell disruption may occur at the crown, thus killing the entire plant. Frost damage symptoms include white to light tan leaves where traffic has passed. The simplest approach is to avoid traffic until the frost melts.

Another dangerous situation exists when the soil is completely frozen to the surface but the grass blades have thawed. Provided there is no frost or ice on the grass under this condition, then limited foot traffic creates little damage, if any.

At these times, heavy traffic or golf carts should be restricted from greens, tees and even fairways. This is the most favorable winter conditions, because when the soil is frozen it does not allow as much penetration of compaction and spikes, thus preventing damage to the grass roots. Since the blades are not frozen, they retain the resiliency needed to withstand light foot traffic.

Traffic damage on frozen turf areas usually occurs during periods of freezing or thawing. The most devastating situation occurs when the grass blades and the upper one-half to one inch of soil has thawed, but the ground beneath their level remains frozen. Traffic will create a shearing action of the roots, rhizomes, and crown tissues at this time. This is comparable to cutting the plant tissue from the underlying root system with a sod cutter. Complete kill of leaves, crowns, and rhizomes can occur if the temperatures soon drop below 20° F. Symptoms from this severe injury include whitish to dark brown leaves that may mat on the surface.

Once temperatures allow thawing to a depth of three to four inches, the probability of turf damage declines since about 75 percent of the root system is in the upper four inches of soil. Frequently soil probing is the only positive way to effectively monitor the freezing level. Traffic should be adjusted accordingly.

Many letters and articles are published every year in an attempt to educate golfers to the potential problems of playing on frozen or partially frozen turfgrass areas. Golf course superintendents or club officials should educate golfers in the fall regarding the problems with playing frozen greens so the golfers themselves have a better understanding of the damage that occurs when traffic is imposed on frozen or partially frozen turf. In most cases, informing golfers of suspended play due to frozen greens is inadequate and sounds more like an excuse than a reason. However, if care is taken to educate members through a seminar, newsletter in the golf shop, or a handout distributed directly, it will help members understand exactly what happens when foot traffic is placed on frozen and partially frozen putting surfaces, and it also informs them of winter traffic damage to the turf in general.

If the golf course superintendents and other club officials make a concentrated effort to educate their membership as to why traffic is not allowed on the golf course on particular winter days, they will gain support and will eliminate the current Saturday morning standoffs at the pro shop and the descriptive name-calling sessions which inevitably arise.

Reprinted from the USGA Green Section Record
1984 Sept/Oct Vol 22(5): 8

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Brian Certo Joins IGM Team

Brian Certo has joined the IGM Team as Assistant Golf Course Superintendent for IGM at Heritage Greens in Naples, Florida.

After fifteen years in the construction industry, Brain took the initial steps of a career change on a path to become a Golf Course Superintendent. He returned to college and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the State University of New York at Delhi’s Turf Management program. He achieved honors every semester and following an internship at Quail West in Naples, Florida, he accepted a position as the Assistant Superintendent at Riverfront Golf Course in Suffolk, Virginia. Brian career growth took him on to a private, Top 100 Jack Nicholas Signature course in Charlotte, North Carolina then to Collier‘s Reserve Country Club in Naples, Florida before joining IGM.

"We are excited about having Brian on the team and expect that his experience and enthusiasm will be great assets to our operation" said Brian Kinney, Golf Course Superintendent for IGM at Heritage Greens.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Links at Brigantine Beach Staffer Jeremy Williams Scores Ace

Jeremy Williams, a member of the maintenance staff at The Links at Brigantine Beach recorded his first ace on September 17, 2009. The former member of the Atlantic City High School Golf Team made the shot on the 143 yard number 7 using a 9 iron. Two club members and Golf Course Superintendent Tom Dale were on hand the witness the event.

Tom Dale laughed while recalling the shot, "I had just gotten finished telling the members that he was a very good golfer. He proved it!"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

IGM Expands Again in the Southeast

CHAMPIONSGATE, Fla.; October 13, 2009 - International Golf Maintenance, a world leader in golf course maintenance has added The Sebastian Municipal Golf Course to its portfolio in the southeastern United States. “We are very pleased to welcome the City of Sebastian to the IGM family”, said Greg Plotner, Executive Vice President of IGM. “We look forward to enhancing the enjoyment of the local residents, and ensure the golf course is a source of pride for the entire community.”

This 18 hole, municipal course is located on Florida’s east coat, in beautiful Sebastian, Florida. "We are excited about joining IGM, they share our passion for delivering the highest quality golf maintenance services” said Greg Gardner, Director of Golf.

About IGM
As the nation’s leading golf course maintenance company and the agronomic subsidiary of Meadowbrook Golf, IGM contracts with golf courses and country clubs to handle all aspects of turf and grounds maintenance. From personnel to equipment issues, IGM develops maintenance programs that incorporate all the resources necessary to meet the agronomic needs of the customers’ facilities – many times at a savings compared with historical spending.

For more information on IGM and the professional golf course services offered, please contact Jennifer Bogucki, Public Relations Manager at (800) 413-5500. Additional information, including an electronic version of this release may also be obtained via the internet by visiting IGM’s website at

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blackthorn Earns US Commerce Association Award

WASHINGTON D.C., June 8, 2009 - City Of South Bend has been selected for the 2009 Best of South Bend Award in the Public Golf Courses category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2009 USCA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

About Blackthorn:
Designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan, ASGCA, the Blackthorn Golf Club opened in August of 1994. The 18-hole course in South Bend, IN has a 7136-yard layout with four sets of tees which offer a strategic test for golfers of all abilities. For more information about the course, visit

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October Anniversaries

We would like to recognize the following team members who have demonstrated their continued commitment to excellence and have reached important milestones with IGM.

10 Years
John Filbert III – Equipment Technician – IGM at Sandridge

8 Years
Todd Hugill – Superintendent – IGM at Widows Walk

6 Years
Juan Villegas – Assistant Superintendent – IGM at Mystic Dunes

4 Years
Winfield Yount – Superintendent – IGM at Sandridge

3 Years
David Kepperling – Irrigation Technician – IGM at Cler Brook
Tommy Coffey – Superintendent – IGM at Grand Palms
Martin Suarez – Assistant Superintendent – IGM at Silver Lakes
Art Hampton – Dir of Maintenance – IGM at ChampionsGate

2 Years
Homer Ramsier – Equipment Technician – IGM at North Palm Beach
Joda Brown – Superintendent – IGM at Country Wood
Shane McGuire – Superintendent – IGM at North Palm Beach

1 Year
Daryl Morris – Equipment Technician – IGM at North Palm Beach
Timothy Millett – Crew Foreman – IGM at King’s Point

Thanks to each of you for your efforts in making IGM the leader in the golf maintenance industry. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October Birthdays

Members of the IGM Team with October birthdays:

Stanley Doughman – Equipment Tech – IGM at Ridgewood Lakes
Steve Adams – Superintendent – IGM at King’s Grant
Otis Griffin – Assistant Superintendent – IGM at Highland Lakes
Richard Chandler – Equipment Technician – IGM at Highland Lakes
John Lecour – Irrigation Technician – IGM at Habitat
Kenton Kiley – Assistant Superintendent – IGM at Sandridge
Clemente Lopes – Irrigation Technician – IGM at Silverstone
Robert Diebold – Regional Manager – West Coast
Juan Villegas – Assistant Superintendent – IGM at Mystic Dunes
John Weathers – Assistant Superintendent – IGM at Mystic Dunes
Alan Jackson – Superintendent – IGM at Polo Grounds
Andres Lugo – Irrigation Technician – IGM at Silverstone
Martin Soria – Irrigation Technician – IGM at Ridgewood Lakes
Laura Liffiton – Administrative Assistant – IGM Corporate Office

We wish each of you a very Happy Birthday!