Friday, March 4, 2011

Daily Journals - A Wealth of Information

By Todd Hugill
IGM Golf Course Superintendent

As part of my graduate work I completed a Capstone Project that was to utilize my classroom work, while using real scenarios to exhibit everything I had learned in the program. My project was titled: “Using a Daily Journal for the Use of Agronomic Planning and Integrated Pest Management.” In short, use the knowledge that you have accumulated over the years to plan better for the years ahead.

I was taught early on in my career that a journal is an extremely valuable tool, and began a detailed account of daily events while working as a second assistant at Hillcrest Country Club in Altoona, Wisconsin. This first journal and two subsequent journals became the subject matter for the Capstone Project. I demonstrated how these journals could be used to do the following things: time common pest infestations, ensure proper pesticide rotations, fine-tune fertilization timing and analysis, set damage thresholds for integrated pest management, and just generally reveal what works and what does not work when trying to produce consistent results. Another component was how you could in fact save money if you know what your largest problems are and how you have best handled them in the past.

This project was completed in 2001 and I am still referencing those first journals to improve the golf course each year. The Capstone Project really tied everything together and utilized all of the skills that I had learned in the field and in the classroom. The fact that I continue to keep a detailed journal for the work done at Widow’s Walk while using old journals to plan for each new season is a testament to their usefulness.

Todd Hugill received his undergrad degree in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and did his graduate work in Turfgrass Science at the University of Minnesota. He and his wife moved from Eau Claire, WI to Massachusetts in 2001 to accept a job with IGM at Widow’s Walk Golf Course in Scituate. They now live in Plymouth with their daughter Magnolia.