Friday, March 29, 2013

Did You Know?: 10 Facts About Turfgrass

1.     There are over 45 million acres of turfgrass in the US of all types from recreational to utilitarian. Home lawns to soccer fields, golf courses, roadsides, buffer strips and everything in between.
2.     There are over 10,000 different types of grass in the world.
3.   The US turfgrass industry is worth an estimated 45 billion dollars ($45,000,000,000) and employees 500,000 people.
4.      A 2,500 square foot area of turfgrass produces enough oxygen for a family of 4 and a golf course produces enough oxygen for 7,000 people.
5.     Just 8 home lawns have the same cooling effect as 70 tons of air conditioning. The temperature of a lawn can be 30 degrees cooler than a paved surface and 15 degrees cooler than bare soil.
6.     Turfgrass prevents erosion. It is the most effective erosion prevention method trapping 12 million tons of dirt & dust from our atmosphere annually. It also traps silt and sediment from water run-off protecting water sources.
7.     Turfgrass also protects water by filtering water as it passes through the soil. 90% of the weight of a grass plant is in its roots.
8.     There are 8.5 million plants on the average lawn and many more on a typical golf putting green.
9.     Grass clippings are a good source of nutrients that can be re-used by the plants. If clippings were a fertilizer for sale at your local store it would have a 4-1-2 analysis. (4% Nitrogen, 1% Phosphorus & 2% Potassium)
10.  There are about 280,000 seeds in a pound of Perennial Ryegrass and about 6,000,000 seeds in a pound of creeping Bentgrass.

Friday, March 22, 2013

What’s in a Golf Course Maintenance Team?

When it comes to golf course maintenance, there is nothing more important than the people who do it day in and day out!  At IGM, we spend countless hours building the right team for each of our properties.  From the Superintendent and Technicians to the Greensmen, we work hard to make sure the right people are on the team.  Our HR department has a motto…  “Not only do we need the right people on the bus, we need the right people in the right seats on the bus.”  At IGM, this means matching up skill set of the employee to the golf course maintenance position!

We look for team members who are professional, friendly, communicative and helpful.  IGM golf course maintenance employees are trained utilizing a proprietary manual specific to golf course maintenance tasks.  Team members are introduced to the game of golf and understand the terminology used on a golf course.  Personnel wear an approved uniform which is clean and well-kept.  IGM personnel are encouraged to smile, make eye-contact, address members and guests by their sir name, and in general, project a positive attitude.  Team members are required to participate in monthly safety meetings.  And, finally, they will be encouraged to find a win-win outcome in any situation. 
For us, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a golf course maintenance employee learn and succeed in this business.  A team made up of carefully recruited and highly trained individuals can improve the condition of any golf course!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Don’t Make These Mistakes!

Have you heard about all of the qualified Golf Course Superintendents losing their jobs to less costly (sometimes unqualified) Assistant Superintendents just to save a few bucks?  Or, have you heard about the Superintendent being asked to cut the golf course maintenance budget by 20%?  We hear troubling stories each week about a different club faced with the challenge of losing money.  However, trimming the budget by an arbitrary amount or sacrificing a competent Superintendent can be extremely costly in the long haul. 
At IGM, we employ a golf course maintenance strategy which can help a club improve the bottom line.  The answer may not always be to randomly lower the golf course maintenance budget or cut golf course maintenance positions.  IGM representatives listen to club owners, directors, committees and management closely, and we develop affordable golf course maintenance plans to fit into the club’s overall budget.  IGM’s customized golf course maintenance plan will match the goals of the Club.  First and foremost, IGM understands the importance of golf course maintenance conditions and how the quality of the maintenance affects golfer satisfaction.  Across the Country, IGM has been implementing efficient golf course maintenance programs for years – well before the hurdle we now face in the golf maintenance industry. 
To see if IGM’s maintenance plans can help you or your course, please call (800) 413-5500 or click here to contact us.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Creative Thinking & Cost Savings

Selecting golf course accessories and especially tee markers can be a challenge. Golf course accessories should be consistent throughout the course and support the theme or style of the course. IGM Golf Course Superintendent Todd Hugill has always done a great job of this at the links style Widows Walk Golf Course in Scituate, Massachusetts. From the color selection to nautical rope, this seaside course has a special look and feel.
The newest additions to the course are custom tee markers. Made in-house by the IGM Staff, these markers incorporate a branded logo onto a high quality Douglas Fir four by four. The body of the marker is painted the color of the tee box and the entire piece protected from the New England weather with an acrylic sealer. Not only are these markers attractive and unique, they are also very cost effective.

Friday, March 1, 2013

IGM maintained Black Jack’s Crossing at Lajitas Resort named top 7 new courses in the world

The Lanny Wadkins’ design according to Golfweek’s Brad Klein, was one of the layouts that made a difference in Golf Course Architecture in 2012. Carved out of the desert directly above the historical spot where U.S. Army General ‘Black Jack’ Pershing would repeatedly cross the Rio Grande in pursuit of Pancho Villa during the early 1900s, Lajitas’ stunningly unique Black Jack’s Crossing golf course has picturesque tee shots and magnificent views. With minimal bunkering and multi-level green complexes, the layout is very memorable and truly a work of art.
Recently referred to as the "Best Golf Resort in Texas," the course is 100% ‘Platinum’ Paspalum from tee through the green – a turfgrass specifically adaptive to salt affected sites. Greg Plotner of IGM states, "the isolated location of Lajitas alone has tested our management ability. It reminds us of our experience in the Caribbean and on different islands. We are forced to be creative and resourceful. We are very proud of what Michael Hummel, GCS and our team has been able to accomplish on such a magnificent piece of property."
IGM has helped the resort complete numerous projects such as: completing the grow-in, implementing the use fertigation and adding to the drainage and irrigation systems. The resort and course are a must see!