Friday, July 30, 2010

USGA Mid-Atlantic: Turf Loss Advisory

United States Golf Association July 27, 2010
Mid-Atlantic Green Section
485 Baltimore Pike, Suite 203, Glen Mills, PA 19342
(610) 558-9066 Fax (610) 558-1135

Manor Oak One, Suite 410
1910 Cochran Road, Pittsburgh, Pa 15220
(412) 341-4922 Fax (412) 341-5954



Periodically, the agronomists of the Mid-Atlantic region send letters to USGA member courses on extraordinary weather conditions and turf loss related matters. The weather experienced the summer of 2010 has prompted this letter.

Our goal is to alert golfers and turf managers alike that this extended period of heat and drought followed by heat, humidity and thunderstorms has caused and probably will continue to cause turf stress and turf loss problems throughout the region. No two golf courses are alike. They all have different grasses, soils and golfer expectations. It is important that golf course superintendents use, “defensive golf course maintenance and management programs.” That is, be conservative. Pamper the grass. The turfgrass is under intense weather stress compounded by an increase in disease pressure. Be more concerned about plant health than green speed!!! There is an old adage in our industry, “slow grass is better than no grass.” This is not a joke. It needs to be taken seriously.

Suggested “defensive” management programs include:

• Compress spray programs. With heat, humidity and thunderstorms, fungicides do not last as long and disease pressure is greater. There is no better money spent than to protect the grass from disease.
• Raise mowing heights and use sharp mowers. This can help the grass survive.
• Mow less/roll more. The goal is to reduce mechanical stress to the grass plant.
• Switch from grooved to solid rollers (and protect collars from the turning of mowers).
• Spoonfeed the grass. Weekly sprays are best when applying light rates of fertility, iron (to keep the grass green) and growth regulators. Excessive grass growth depletes carbohydrates.
• Air drainage. On pocketed greens, prune limbs, use fans and generally keep the air moving. When you are hot, you stand in front of a fan. When the grass is stressed, it needs good air movement as well. Drier turf is also less prone to disease.
• DO NOT OVER-WATER. Hand water. Lightly syringe the turf with the nozzle never going past horizontal. Any mid-day watering should be focused on cooling the canopy. If you are wetting the soil, you are not syringing! Remember, you can always add more water but wet, saturated soil damages roots, increases disease and contributes to turf loss via the Wet Wilt Syndrome. If corrective watering needs to be done for dry spots, the extra water should be applied in the early morning or late in the evening. Do not over-water the grass in mid-day heat.
• Surface aerate/vent the greens. This allows the soil to breath, excess moisture to escape and roots to regrow which helps the grass survive.

In summary, be careful. This may be one of our hottest summers in decades. We all share the responsibility of keeping the turf on our golf courses as healthy as possible during this period of extreme weather. Again, be careful and have realistic expectations for golf course playability.

Friday, July 23, 2010

East Coast Managers On The Move

Recently there have been three IGM team members that have assumed new roles within the company.

Jeff Miller who previously served as Director of Maintenance for IGM at Waynesville has assumed the responsibility as Golf Course Superintendent for IGM at Brays Island Plantation.

Mike Kuhn made a move and accepted a promotion from Assistant Golf Course Superintendent for IGM at Brays Island to Golf Course Superintendent for IGM at Lake of the Woods.

Andy Fowler also has accepted a promotion from Assistant Golf Course Superintendent to Golf Course Superintendent for IGM at Waynesville.

"We are pleased to have opportunities like this for our team members to grow. Jeff, Mike and Andy are great assets to IGM. With their skills and knowledge I am confident they will continue to achieve success in their new roles." commented Tyler Minamyer, East Coast Regional Manager.

Congratulations to each of you!

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 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.

8 Years
Linda Piney - Admin Assistant - IGM ChampionsGate

5 Years
Tanner Couch - Crew Leader - IGM at ChampionsGate
Eric Santana - Irrigation Technician - IGM at SilverStone
Duane Simpson - Landscape Supervisor - IGM at ViewPoint

4 Years
Francisco Olivares - Equipment Technician - IGM at SilverStone
Scott Merritt - Assistant Superintendent - IGM at ViewPoint

3 Years
Jerry Wheelis - Equipment Technician - IGM at Lake Henry
Jason Farr - Superintendent - IGM at Lake Henry
Joseph Elacqua - Equipment Technician - IGM at Silver Dollar

1 Year
Patrick Munson - Assistant Superintendent - IGM at North Palm Beach
Alex Pleva - Equipment Technician - IGM at Pine Lakes
Scott Czajkowski - Irrigation Technician - IGM at ChampionsGate

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

Friday, July 9, 2010

July Birthdays

Members of the IGM Team with June birthdays:

Homer Ramsier - Equipment Technician - IGM at North Palm Beach
Richard McQuillen - Equipment Technician - IGM at Ridgewood Lakes
Larry Haley - Equipment Technician - IGM at Brays Island
Miguel Vallarta - Spray Technician - IGM at SilverStone
Patrick Munson - Assistant Superintendent - IGM at North Palm Beach
Robert Johnston - Assistant Superintendent - IGM at Pine Lakes
William Jeffrey - Superintendent - IGM at King's Point
Oscar Lopez - Irrigation Technician - IGM at ViewPoint
Charles Calhoun - Assistant Superintendent - IGM at Sandridge
Dayton Simpson - Superintendent - IGM at Pine Lakes
Antonio Martinez - Landscape Foreman - IGM at SilverStone
Brad Batchelor - Superintendent - IGM at Bear Valley Springs

We wish each of you a very Happy Birthday!