Thursday, May 31, 2012

Biggest greens maintenance change in the last five years? -- Pt. 2

Here are another 100 responses we got from our greens maintenance survey. We asked Golfdom readers, "what has been the biggest change in maintaining greens over the last five years?" A small window, but we saw a ton of answers... 

I'm unsure of the best way to post these... I've done 100 responses back-to-back now. But I could go 500-500 and be done with it... but is that too large of an information dump? Well, it's not like I'm wasting any paper here. Behold! The power of the internet.

Anyway, here are another hundred responses from you, the readers. We see here more love for Toro's ProCore, soil moisture meters, rolling... well, I'll let you have at it:

101  Repositioning of fiscal resources..... tight budgetary constraints as well as increasingly demanding clientele.... No one is feeling prosperous.
102  We have had two of the hottest years back to back that I can remember in 45 years working on a  golf course. We have had to resort to much more handwatering than ever before and returned to a more frequent spiking regimine.
103  For us it was rolling. We began this practice twice a week three years ago and green speed and smoothness have improved dramatically. We also were able to cut green mowing from seven days a week to five.
104  Rolling
105  Grooming to manage grain in Bentgrass and puffiness in poa
106  The advent of quick rollers.
107  Just learning to manage the (bent/Poa)turf that you have. More needle tining. More overseeding with the new varieties of bent.More use of Growth regulators. Higher height of cut with more rolling.
108  The most significant change we endured these past 5 years was the major weather changes experienced here in Southern Indiana. Extreme wetness followed by hot drought type conditions.
109  Alternating rolling and mowing has been the most signicant change for me. I can keep green speeds averaging at 9.5 and only Mow 3 times a week.
110  The increased use of "old" techniques such as brushing and rollling to improve playability while maintaining plant health.
111  Rolling was the most significant change for me, but it had been around since the very early days. I wonder why it took so long for the practice to be implemented by so many.
112  Smarter purchasing practices of chemicals and fertilizers, shopping for best value instead of the best price.
113  Solid tine aeration to a depth of 9-10 inches. 45 year old push up greens with heavy clay base and 5-6 inches of topdressing. It has made a huge difference in greens health.
114  Kin dried topdressing sand and the cassete options available for greens mowers
115  For us it was going to iron and trimmit applications with less fertilizer.
116  weather and fertility
117  The practice of drill and fill aeration every fall and more topdressing with straight sand.
118  Growth regulation, and rolling
119   Light frequent fertilization and more use of bio-stimulants

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hendo's photo outtakes

Hendo is constantly giving me hell. If he's not mad about one thing, he's mad about another. This is just his nature, and you learn to enjoy it after a while.

How do you enjoy it? You torment him.

For example, in this most recent issue of Golfdom, I had Hendren do a GIS products wrap-up feature for us. He pretty much nailed it, too, giving a superintendent perspective on the cool stuff he saw at the GIS. That's valuable to Golfdom.

We titled the story "Hendo's Hot List." No, we're not going to win a TOCA award for that title next year. But the idea I had... well, I thought the idea was solid. We use that title, then take a photo of Hendren touching something hot, or shooting a fireball out of his hands, or something...

Well, that was the idea. As you can see from the May issue, it didn't turn out as super-awesome as I had envisioned it in my mind.

But what the heck, you've got to try your luck every once in a while, right?

I'll mostly blame my model for this "concept" failing, and only partially blame the guy who came up with the concept.

What we published in the last issue was a photo of Hendo holding some fake-looking fire. We used about the best photo I got of Hendo for this concept.

What did some of the other photos look like? Well, I'm glad you asked...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Xonerate materials at your disposal

Arysta LifeScience North America has launched three educational and training resources for golf course superintendents following EPA approval of Xonerate. The resources were developed to help superintendents in the application of the new herbicide, which eliminates Poa annua.

The three resources at golf course superintendents’ disposal include a printed resource guide, online training module and iPad application.

“Xonerate is an effective tool for superintendents, but the new chemistry requires a shift in thinking for many superintendents and greens committees,” says Michael Maravich, Turf & Ornamental marketing and product manager for Arysta LifeScience.

The Xonerate resource guide, a printed comprehensive educational resource, provides proof of the benefit of Xonerate. The resource guide includes a section on identifying Poa annua, along with graphs, charts and trial data to illustrate Xonerate as the Poa annua solution, while informing superintendents of benefits of the product.

The Xonerate website,, features a training module to educate Arysta LifeScience-approved distributors and eligible end-users about the use of the herbicide. The module outlines useful information about using Xonerate as part of the turf management program, including information about product chemistry, benefits, application instructions and weeds controlled. The site features animation of an application and time-lapse videos to show the product’s use in the elimination of Poa annua.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Green Start Academy now accepting applications

John Deere Golf and Environmental Science, a division of Bayer CropScience, today opened the application process for the 7th Annual Green Start Academy (GSA). Assistant superintendents from the United States and Canada are invited to submit their applications to be selected as one of this year’s 50 GSA attendees. Those selected to attend the program will be given the opportunity to network with peers and participate in discussions with industry experts on trending topics and key issues relevant to the golf industry.

“The professionalism and enthusiasm we see from GSA attendees has grown tremendously over the years, which underscores for us the demand for continuing education and career development programs,” said Jimmy Johnson, fungicide business manager and golf market lead for Environmental Science. “We are pleased to be continuing our relationship with John Deere Golf to provide this unique educational program to assistant superintendents. Programs like GSA are essential to the future of our industry as a whole.”

To be considered for Green Start Academy, assistant superintendents are required to complete an online application and respond to one of two pre-selected essay questions. Of the applicants, only 50 assistant superintendents will be selected to attend the sought-after event.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Golfdom's putting greens survey results

By now you've received the May Golfdom, and in that issue we boast that we received more than 1,000 responses to our last two survey questions.

Here are the first 100 responses to the question, "What is the most significant change in greens management in the last five years?"

1 Rolling more.
2 Alternating greens mowing with greens rolling
3 Turf growth regulator programs
4 Greens rollers
5 The ability to "dust" greens with the dual-spinner topdressers.
6 Air, Water and Nutrient management in the root zone leading to healthy turf that provides a firm smooth surface.
7 Getting away from the 'lean and mean' phylosophy. It created more problems than benefits.(IMHO)
8 More sand and verticutting
9 Regular use of growth regulators
10 improved mower technology, (i.e., hybrid mowers, electric mowers)
11 roll more
12 Supers getting dumber.
13 The interaction between mowing, rolling and the use of growth regulators.
14 For me it was a more aggressive verticutting program
15 The Toro 648 ProCore.
16 water moister meters
17 Aeration equipment/methods continue to improve to provide excellent results while creating far less disruption to the playing surface. Methods of aeration such as: Dryject, planetaire, and various deep solid-tine machines make conventional coring a thing of the past for many facilities, much to the delight of the golfing clientele.
18 Top dressing more often. At least 1 light dressing every 2 weeks. Verticut at least once per month.
19 rolling
20 I don't have the budget to use anything that is significant in the last five years!
21 providing the same conditions with less money
22 The loss of PCNB. It forced many of us to use a combination of fungicides that gave us better control and was easier on the health of the turf. A change for the better.
23 Moisture meter useage
24 TDR 300 Moisture sensor, Toro 648 with quad tine blocks, and better machines for light topdressing.
25 Height of cut on newer varieties: don't know how mechanics get mowers that low.
26 hybrid ultradwarf grrasses

Monday, May 14, 2012


Hey folks,

Exciting results from the TOCA meeting earlier this month. Below are the results. We're quite happy with our take... guess we better keep blogging regularly, huh?

Here's the press release:

CLEVELAND -- MAY 10, 2012 -- North Coast Media, LLC (NCM) continues to reap the rewards of its ongoing investments in Landscape Management (LM) and Golfdom -- most recently winning 16 design and editorial excellence awards from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA).

At TOCA's annual awards ceremony, held May 3 in Nashville, Tenn., LM reaped nine honors and Golfdom seven.

"Once again, we won more total landscape and golf industry TOCA Awards than any other company -- strengthening our longstanding leadership position -- including bringing home two Gardner Awards for photography and new media," says NCM President Kevin Stoltman.

Since its relaunch in 1998, Golfdom has won more TOCA Awards for design and editorial excellence than any of its rivals. Golfdom's seven 2012 TOCA Awards include:

"2011 Plant Health Series" (April, May and June 2011), Editor-in-Chief Seth Jones and Art Director Carrie Parkhill Wallace -- Portrait/Personality: Photo of an individual or group;
"The Reinvention of Mark Woodward" (April 2011 cover story), Jones and Parkhill Wallace -- Printed magazines: Cover photo;
"Turf on Trial" (October 2011 cover story), Parkhill Wallace -- Printed Magazines: Cover page design;
"The Golfdom Daily" (, Jones -- Best Blog;
"Home Course Advantage" (May 2011 feature on Commercial Country Club), Jones -- Writing for Commercial Publications: Operations profile;
"Dr. Wong gets the girl" (Golfdom's "Chip Shots," June 3, 2011) -- Writing for Electronic Newsletter: Original content; and
"The Golfdom Daily" (, Jones -- 2012 Gardner Award: New Media.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wells Fargo Champ photos, Pt. 2

Here are a few more pics from the Wells Fargo... a couple of these were shot by our own Pat Roberts. That shot of Mickelson was taken moments after he hit his tee shot so far right, it landed on the driving range! Reminder, I'm getting a frickin' laser beam shot in both of my eyeballs tomorrow, so things will be quiet around the Golfdom these next two days... if there is a turf emergency, somebody call my CELL PHONE!!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Lazy, er, LASIK week

This is going to be an unusual week for your pal Jonesy, as I'm prepping to get LASIK surgery on Thursday. Fingers crossed it goes off without a hitch... my day ended early yesterday after they dilated my eyes for my pre-op exam. If all goes well, you won't be seeing me in any glasses other than sunglasses soon...

Here are a few pics from last week's Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club, including my boy Lervik photo-bombing Rory McIlroy...

David Withers (Jake prez), Jeff Kent (Quail Hollow super), Dave Wanta (Jake sales) and yours truly at the Jake tent.

Me interviewing Troy Murray (Jake sales) and Joe Guerra (Sequoia Golf) for that "Round of a Lifetime" story (see previous post).

Dave gives a demo on all the bells and whistles on Jake's Eclipse 2.

My boy Lerv photo-bombs Rory as the U.S. Open champ runs off the 17th green.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Check out the bunker faces

Sent from my iPhoneAnd then consider this: to get them looking that smooth, the crew has used a squeegee and a paint roller at different times to smooth 'em out...

Round of a Lifetime

Jacobsen Duo Tee it Up with Tiger at the Wells Fargo Championship Pro-Am
By Seth Jones

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Troy Murray and Joe Guerra won the lottery.

Murray, the director of corporate accounts for Jacobsen, and Joe Guerra, president and CEO of Sequoia Golf, won the first pick at the Tuesday night pairings party at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte.

Of course they selected Tiger Woods to join them for 18 holes the next morning.

“One of the most exciting times of my life was looking up at that board and seeing my name and Troy’s name (with Woods’) and thinking, ‘We’re playing with Tiger Woods tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. We better stop drinking wine!’” laughed Guerra.

The two had made a list of their top 20 picks, expecting to land between No. 8 and No. 20. The list was quickly discarded after being drawn No. 1.

What ensued the next morning was the round of a lifetime.

“From the very first tee there were people. But every next hole, there seemed to be another 100 people show up out of nowhere,” Murray says of the gallery. “For me, (the biggest crowd was) No. 16 -- the entire fairway, both sides, and the entire frame behind the hole, there were people as far as you could see. It looked like Augusta.”

And their playing partner?

“We were reluctant to go over and engage him in conversation. But he made us feel comfortable right out of the gate,” Guerra says. “(Swing coach) Sean Foley was the same, (agent) Mark Steinberg -- they were with us literally the whole round. (Caddie) Joe LaCava is one of the most personable guys around. I thought (Tiger) went beyond accommodating. He was like one of the guys, talking, joking, talking sports.”

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Major Golfdom news!

Hey everyone -- 

This press release just went out to the world about an hour ago. I'm very excited to announce it to you all here -- Golfdom has changed ownership! North Coast Media, a new business-to-business publisher created by Kevin Stoltman (who was the vice president of Questex Media, the company that previously owned Golfdom) is the magazine's new owner, effective immediately.

I'm very excited, for Kevin, but also for Golfdom and my team. I think this move will be a shot in the arm for Golfdom. My phone rang a couple times already on this... the thing I keep telling people is, this whole thing is really great news for Golfdom and our sister publications.

OK, here's the press release below:



NCM’s Golfdom magazine -- featuring the industry’s favorite editorial team -- 
looks to build upon momentum in 2012

CLEVEAND, OH -- MAY 1, 2012 -- Today’s launch of North Coast Media, LLC (NCM) -- a spinoff of Questex Media Group’s Industrial & Specialty Group -- creates the largest B2B publishing company headquartered in Cleveland.

NCM comprises market-leading media brands Golfdom, Landscape Management (LM), Pest Management Professional (PMP), Pit & Quarry, LP Gas and GPS World -- along with their websites, enewsletters, social media and ancillary brands such as the Golfdom Insider, Golfdom TV, Putting Down Roots, the Golfdom Daily, Athletic Turf News and Inside Irrigation.

NCM's acquisition of the media properties includes a transition services agreement with Questex to ensure a seamless launch. The upstart will move one block, in late June, to its new headquarters:
North Coast Media
IMG Center
1360 East 9th Street, 10th Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114
Subsequent announcements will detail NCM's website launch and staff members’ new emails, and phone and fax numbers, as well as immediate investments in people and products.
Kevin Stoltman
"North Coast Media's brands, on average, have been serving their respective markets for 67 years," says NCM President Kevin Stoltman. "Most of these media properties were around long before we were born."

Golfdom magazine was founded in 1927 by World Golf Hall of Famer Herb Graffis and his brother Joe, making it one of golf's oldest magazines.

"Our entire NCM team recognizes this and truly covets our role as trustees of these industry treasures," Stoltman adds. "We pledge to do our best to continually advance these B2B media gems, as well as each of the industries, readers and marketing partners we serve."