Friday, June 29, 2012

The Comeback Plant

By Beth Geraci

Today at the office, huge news broke. Huge. After one full year, a flower actually bloomed on my petunia plant. There hasn't been one bloom on the thing since last summer. I admit, it is sort of girly to post about my plant, but this really is a most exciting development. I had to share.

My plant is an underdog. It did not quit! Earlier this year, its leaves were brown and crisp. It was nothing more than a thin, small stalk resembling a weed. But  reinvigorated efforts to revive it by me and a coworker (who repotted it for me) gave it a new chance at life. Look at it now!

Plant, you're an inspiration.

Before                                                                         After


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Audubon International's 25th

Got the below press release recently. We also covered this with our own feature story in Golfdom, which you can read here:

On June 25, 1987, the modernized Articles of Incorporation for The Audubon Society of New York State, Inc. were filed with the New York Department of State. On Tuesday, a quarter of a century later, Audubon International proudly celebrated the 25th anniversary of the “rebirth” of the organization.

 In 1973, Ronald G. Dodson and his family moved to Henderson, Ky. Upon crossing the Ohio River, the first sight they witnessed was Audubon State Park. With a hearty passion for parks, nature and the overall environment, Ron began volunteering at Audubon, and he was eventually asked to take over as the park naturalist. Soon, he was elected President of the Henderson Audubon Society, and for a number of years, Ron served as the president of the Audubon Society of Kentucky.

“Suffice it to say,” Ron recalls, “Audubon Park and various Audubon organizations became totally woven into the fabric of everything that our entire family was involved with.”

In 1982, Ron and his wife, Theresa, took a trip to New York in pursuit of his dream job -- working for the National Audubon Society. He interviewed for the position of northeast regional vice president, which he was offered and accepted on the spot. Over the next five years, Ron and his associate, Nan Chadwick, worked diligently on several effective nature programs, including Nestbox Network, Loon Ranger and an information program supporting the efforts to reintroduce the bald eagle to New York state.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Check out Golfdom's new columnist!

I'm very excited to introduce Golfdom's new columnist...

He's hosted a U.S. Open...

He's served as president of the GCSAA...

He's worked as the CEO of the GCSAA...

Now he's in business for himself, working both in the states and in China...

He's none other than Mark Woodward, CGCS!

From all of us a Golfdom, welcome to the team, Mark! We're excited to see what your new monthly column, "At the Turn," will offer to our readers each month!

To read Mark's first column, click here.

Introducing the Tour!

The PGA Tour and (Nasdaq:WWWW), the leading provider of internet services
and online marketing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses
(SMBs), today announced a 10-year agreement whereby the company becomes
the umbrella sponsor of the newly named Tour.

Formerly known as the Nationwide Tour, the Tour will continue
to identify and transition players who are ready to compete and win on
the PGA Tour. It currently awards PGA Tour membership to the 25 leading
money winners at the end of the season. Beginning in 2013, however, the
importance of the Tour will further increase when the new
qualifying structure for the PGA Tour expands that number to 50.

The umbrella sponsorship takes effect immediately with this
week's United Leasing Championship at Victoria National Golf Club near
Evansville, Ind., and extends through 2021. In addition to the umbrella
sponsorship, will also become an Official Marketing Partner of
the PGA Tour, Tour and Champions Tour.

The announcements were made jointly by PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim
Finchem; David L. Brown,'s Chairman, President and CEO; and
Bill Calfee, President of the Tour.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

e-par USA gets thumb's up from Wisconsin

The e‐par USA Environmental Management System (EMS) for Golf has been accepted as “functionally equivalent” to the ISO 14001 EMS standard by the Green Tier Program, the State of Wisconsin’s environmental excellence recognition program managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). As a result of this endorsement, golf facilities adopting the e‐par EMS for Golf will be eligible for recognition of their voluntary environmental accomplishments through the Green Tier Program.

“We are pleased to receive this acknowledgement from the regulatory community, and I am confident that Wisconsin will be the first of many state environmental programs to see the value of our environmental management platform,” said Kevin A. Fletcher, Ph.D., CEO of e‐par USA. “The e‐par online EMS tool helps golf facilities protect the natural environment by using an ISO 14001‐compliant approach to regulatory compliance, risk management, liability containment, and environmental excellence. Therefore, it’s a natural way for golf facilities to participate in terrific state and local environmental recognition efforts such as Wisconsin’s Green Tier Program.”

Through Wisconsin’s Green Tier Program (, participating organizations agree to adopt an environmental management system that meets the ISO 14001 environmental standard. Organizations adopting and implementing the e‐par USA Environmental Management System will meet this requirement. Green Tier adds value to any efforts of implementing an EMS by providing incentives for superior environmental performance, such as a customized working relationship with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Monday, June 25, 2012

New email addresses for your friends at Golfdom

I just sent this email out to a buncha people:

Hello friends and colleagues,

I want to let you know that this will be my last week to receive email to the address My new (and currently operational) email address is

In case you haven't heard, Golfdom and our sister publications (Landscape Management, Pest Management Professional, Pit and Quarry, LP Gas and GPS World) have been acquired by Cleveland-based start-up North Coast Media. For all the exciting details you can see the press release here:

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Yesterday afternoon, 3:30 p.m. CST.

"Hey Seth, it's (name), got your message. Listen, I'd be happy to talk to you, but if it's OK with you, I'm just going to call you back tomorrow. I've been here since 4:30 a.m., and, well, I'm ready to get the hell out of here."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

100 Holes, One Day

We are fortunate to have a lot of friends here at Golfdom... I like to think it's our glowing personalities, but it might moreso be our willingness to pick up a bar tab...

Regardless, when a friend of Golfdom (in this case, Brian Laurent, associate director over at the Ohio Turf Foundation) goes out on a mission to raise money for a good cause -- and does so by playing 100 holes of golf -- well, we're happy to spread the word.

And Brian is playing for a charity we adore... the Wee One Foundation (oh, how I'd like to be invited to a Wee One Foundation event... someday.)

You can learn more about Brian's 100 golf hole effort at

In Brian's own words: "I’ll play 100+ holes of golf, walking the entire way and raising money for the Wee One Foundation through pledges from friends, strangers…anyone who wants to support the cause. Pledges come in the form of lump sum contributions ($50 to the cause) or as a per-hole pledge ($0.50 per hole, if I play 100 holes it’s $50 to the Wee One Foundation). People can also get creative in their pledges...$5 for every birdie, $25 for every round under 80, etc."

That's pretty bold, Brian, trying to raise money per birdie. If I tried that, I'd probably end up costing the charity money! (Maybe that's why the Wee One Foundation isn't calling...)

Best of luck, Brian, on your round!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Koch Agronomic Services T&O names new director

The Turf and Ornamental (T&O) division of Koch Agronomic Services has hired a new director for the group, Tim Sturm.

Sturm joins the business as vice president, T&O, and will be based in Wichita, Kan. He will lead the further development and growth of the T&O division, including sales and marketing of UMAXX and UFLEXX nitrogen stabilized fertilizer products, as well as turf applications for Nitamin slow release fertilizer products. He will also focus on growing the business through new customer partnerships, geographic expansions, new product introductions and acquisitions.

Sturm joins the KAS team from The Coleman Company where he worked as vice president of US sales. Prior to that, he gained extensive experience in the consumer turf and ornamental business at The Scotts Company. At The Scotts Company, Sturm managed the growth of large national accounts as sales director and served in a customer marketing leadership role for all retail channels.

"When KAS acquired the assets of Agrotain International late last year, including the T&O business and brands, we saw great potential to grow this business and provide additional value for our customers. We are starting with an excellent team and a solid foundation of products and customer relationships,” said Jamil Toubassi, senior vice president of KAS.

Toubassi continued, “Tim and his team will lead the process of bringing enhanced efficiency fertilizers and value-added technologies to this market. Bringing these science-based, proven technologies to the market is just one way we are working to create value for our customers and the market.”

For information about Koch Agronomic Services T&O division and products, visit

"Phantom cow" loose on Kansas golf course

I saw this story in my local paper recently. Apparently there's a "phantom cow" hiding out at Sunflower Hills GC, just a few miles up the street from me in Bonner Springs, Kan. (Hendren used to work at Sunflower Hills, this cow has luckily avoided the Hendo ire!)

That's a pretty tough cow that can survive such an accident and then escape to the good life, roaming the outer areas of a golf course! The cow was probably a golfer in a previous life... or a superintendent.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Eagle One Golf sold

I just got off the phone with someone at Eagle One... they told me this is indeed good news for Eagle One Golf, that they knew of and had worked with Golf Supply House for a long time, and that this was "good synergy." 

Here's the press release: 

Golf Supply House is pleased to report that it has completed the purchase of Eagle One Golf Products of Anaheim, Calif.

Eagle One Golf Products has served the U.S. golf industry nationally for more than 20 years. It has a well developed manufacturing capability in several key product segments including recycled plastic golf course furnishings, golf course signage, golf flags and also distributes a broad line of other golf course equipment and supplies. Paul Cherrie, President of Golf Supply House added, “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to acquire Eagle One Golf. This acquisition will allow us to increase the depth and breadth of our product offerings to better serve the North American golf market.”

Golf Supply House plans to continue to operate the Eagle One Golf office and production facility in Anaheim, as well as its Eastern Distribution Center in Charleston, S.C.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Biggest future challenge for greens managament

For our May issue, we sent out a survey to our members asking them questions about the challenges of maintaining greens. We learned things like 44 percent of you ride mow only, and that 8 to 10 on the Stimp is your preferred green speed.

We also asked two fill-in-the-blank questions: What was the biggest change to managing greens in the last five years, and what will be the biggest challenge to maintaining your greens in the next five years?

We've posted 200 responses to the first question so far. You can find those answers here (part one) and here (part two.)

Now we're switching it over to the second question, the one that asks supers to tell us (some of them reluctantly) what will be the biggest challenge in these next five years. Here are the first 100 questions, from our Golfdom readers:

1 Maintaining turf health with the pressure for fast greens speeds.
2 newer lightweight and environmentally friendlier rollers mowers.
3 Poa seed head management and salt build-up
4 Maintaing the same inputs with fewer resources, both money and plan protectant products
5 Water quality. Our course is in a part of the country with scarce water supplies.
6 Getting a better handle on preventative measures to reduce disease incidence and improve putting surfaces all year around. We are working toward this goal and with 65,000 rounds/year it is one that seems to be coming closer to reality for us and one that is necessary.
7 Fertilizer regulation. Not impossible but will change what we currently do.
8 Age of greens, lack of money to replace them
9 Probably more rolling and maybe not as much mowing if rolling is used in its place. (providing we can purchase a roller)
10 Poa annua encroachment. Why? Because it is a weed!

Dollar-Dollar Spot, y'all!

If you're signed up for Golfdom's e-newsletters, you already got the below e-blast from Dr. Karl Danneberger regarding Dollar Spot. If you're not signed up for our e-newsletters, you can sign up for them here.

With summer's arrival the potential for dollar spot severity increases with relatively warm, humid weather present through much of the northern and eastern United States. Dollar spot is a serious problem on annual bluegrass and creeping bentgrass turf through the fall; and increasingly on bermudagrass -- especially the ultradwarfs -- and seashore paspalum during late summer. The pathogen, Sclerotinia homoeocarpa, actively grows and infects when temperatures are between 60 and 86 F. White mycelium is often present in the mornings when dew is present. With morning fog becoming more frequent, this will only increase the severity and activity of dollar spot.

Cultural practices to reduce disease severity center on soil/leaf moisture and nitrogen fertility.  Prolonged periods of wetness when temperatures are favorable are conducive for disease symptoms. To reduce disease severity try practices that help reduce leaf wetness, including dew removal through a light morning syringe or whipping or dragging the turf. This would be especially helpful on the days fairway mowing is not done. For greens, rolling after mowing has been reported to reduce the incidence of dollar spot. In addition, keeping the soil moisture on the dry side can help reduce dollar spot. Nitrogen levels should be maintained at an adequate level.

Karl Danneberger, Ph.D., Golfdom's science editor and a turfgrass professor from The Ohio State University, can be reached at

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mark Langner interview on Golfdom TV

Did you get your new issue of Golfdom in the mail today? I did!

You'll notice that the cover story is about the 10th anniversary of the Experience at FarmLinks.

Here is the Golfdom TV video I promised in the article, with Mark Langner, FarmLinks director of agronomy, talking about the fire at the maintenance facility, and some exciting partnerships that they've made at everyone's favorite research and demo golf course:

You may have seen this in yesterday's Golfdom Insider email. Was there a weird spacing issue in your version of the Golfdom Insider? I heard back from one person that there was some extra spaces that shouldn't have been there. Weird. I saw them in one draft, but they had disappeared in the draft we approved. I don't get technology sometimes, that's for sure.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hendren's Hyperbole! -- Zhang fever!

It is U.S. Open week, by far the best week of the year! The U.S. Open is my favorite tournament and it is awesome that Sunday of the tourney is also father’s day every year. Nothing better!
In case you missed it I wanted to bring something pretty bad-ass to your attention. Paul Casey withdrew from the U.S. Open due to injury, which bumped up 14-year-old Andy Zhang to the field of 151 players competing this week. Zhang will be the youngest person to ever compete in the U.S. Open. Not only does Zhang get to compete in the best tourney of the year, he also played a practice round with masters champ Bubba Watson and Aaron Baddeley this morning. 
I can’t remember what I was doing at 14 but I do remember I wasn’t competing in a U.S. Open. I think this story is awesome and stories like this are one of the reasons I love the U.S. Open so much. Never in my life did I think I would be jealous of a 14-year-old kid but here I sit in Kansas City wishing like hell I could golf worth a damn!
I will absolutely be following this story through the weekend if Zhang makes the cut, just like the rest of the world.
-- Matt Hendren

Stonegate GC mourns passing of mechanic

Sad news out of Florida -- our condolences to Kipp's family and friends.

Celebration Golf Management, which operates eight Central Florida golf courses in the Central Florida region, recently mourned the unexpected passing of Steven Kipp, assistant mechanic at Stonegate Golf Club at Solivita.

Arto Rahmani, general manager of the Stonegate Golf Club, said Kipp was only 52 when he passed away.

“Steve Kipp was a close friend and colleague of Stonegate superintendent Mike Gwaltney for more than 28 years,” Rahmani said. “He was a friendly man, highly knowledgeable, a hard worker and really pleasant and someone you wanted to be around."

Stonegate Golf Club Team Members wore green ribbons to honor Kipp’s memory.

My little girl: yes to basketball, no on golf

True story:

I'm driving my daughter to her last day of pre-school. She grabs the basketball that I keep in the backseat and starts playing with it.

"Daddy," she says, "I like it when you go play basketball. But I don't like it when you go play golf."

Whoa. Golf is catching hell from my five-year-old? Is this one of the many obstacles golf has to overcome? Guilt trips from preschoolers?

I asked Evey what her problem with golf was.

"Dad, whenever you go play golf you have to drive far, far away. And you're gone forever. I don't like it when you play golf. I like it when you play basketball. You come right back home. So, you can play basketball. Or you can play football. But I don't want you to play golf..."

You won't find "guilt trips from 5-year-old girls" in any statistical data on rounds played, but it is entirely possible it is an epidemic!

Monday, June 11, 2012

U.S. Open Week!

Hi everyone,

It's been a crazy couple weeks here at Golfdom. I took a few days off in late May to unwind with the family (my daughter caught her first fish, then quickly reeled in two more for good measure.) Then last week I was in Chicago and Indiana on business. So I'm just now getting reacquainted with the home office.

It is U.S. Open week and as you know if you read this blog regularly, I will not be attending. It's with mixed emotions that I won't be there. It's hard work covering a major, but it's also a lot of fun... and let's face it, any time you can be at the U.S. Open and calling it "work," you make people jealous.

Could this be Phil's year? Magic 8-Ball: "Ask again later."
But we will keep a close eye on all things U.S. Open-related this week. Starting with this piece from GolfWeek's Brad Klein on the fairways at the Olympic Club. And here's a fun apparently outdated column from Rick Reilly at about some of the bad scores (and ensuing excuses) that come from U.S. Open qualifying tournaments. Update: here's Deadspin's take on Reilly's column, explaining how dated this column is. Ouch! I knew I shouldn't have linked it!

Here at Golfdom HQ we're less excited about who comes out as the champ and more excited about our friend Pat Finlen's moment in the spotlight as host of our nation's championship. Best of luck to all the men and women out there working their tails off to make the course look its absolute best!

Friday, June 08, 2012

From Seth's mailbox

Being the editor-in-chief of a universally* adored golf magazine such as Golfdom, I happen to get some neat gifts in the mail. Case in point -- this "Golden Bear" celebrating the launch of... Golden Bear Lemonade.

From AriZona Beverages comes this new Jack Nicklaus-branded lemonade. Hey, Arnold Palmer can't have all the fun, right? Golden Bear comes in three flavors -- lemonade with honey and ginseng, mango lemonade and strawberry lemonade.

Not only did I get a nice sample of Golden Bear lemonade (mmm, delicious!) but I also received a nice toy that my 5-year-old girl with enjoy. Many thanks to my friends at AriZona Beverages.

Now I just need Don Julio to put out a golf-themed tequila...

*Golfdom has no proof that the magazine is adored in other universes, but hopes that, if there is life beyond our universe, that they enjoy each issue of Golfdom as much as our moms do.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Golfdom on Tour!

I'm road tripping from Terre Haute to Kansas City today. If you're on that route and want me to stop by, text me -- 785-550-2560. Maybe I can get your name and smiling face in an upcoming issue of Golfdom!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Discussing innovative paths to sustainability

I'm at the 2012 BASF Agricultural Solutions Media Summit in Chicago today. We're midway through a day of great speakers and some terrific insights.

The meat of the program for me is a mere 40 minutes away as I write this -- that's when turf gets its own breakout session. Most of the focus so far has been on the Ag industry, but a lot of it applies to things we're seeing and doing in turf as well.

Like what Dave Long, President of Hilltop Ranch in California (seated second from left), said about sustainability during a panel discussion: "It's the right thing to do and it's economics -- doing more with less is better for business."

Perhaps most interesting to me was what Fred Below, professor of crop physiology, University of Illinois, said about spreading the message on  sustainability. "I wish I could tell you that (academia could spread the message) but we have been cut to the bone," he said. "It's up to the media -- you people have to get the word out. We have to educate you."

Monday, June 04, 2012

Hendren's Hyperbole! -- Enjoy the Moment

This is a little advice for all assistant superintendents and other maintenance employees who want more than anything to move up the food chain but feel they are going nowhere fast: ENJOY WHERE YOU ARE NOW! 
I know from personal experience that the grass is not always greener. I would argue that it is rarely greener. My fondest memories involving golf course maintenance work is when I was a grunt at a course in Kansas City. We worked long hours, tackled less than enjoyable tasks but we had a great time all day every day. I just assumed that all golf course maintenance staffs enjoyed their work as much as we did. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not everyone involved in golf course maintenance has a passion for it like I do and my fellow maintenance workers did years ago.
I understand that when you set a goal for yourself it is natural to want the fastest path from point A to point B. I just want to make sure I do my part to make sure you take advantage of where you are today and learn everything you possibly can. There is nothing that can take the place on-the-job training. When the time is right I am sure you will find the right job for you.
So stop for a moment and appreciate what you're doing in this industry right now. Hopefully it gets even better in the future, but in case it does not... enjoy the moment!
-- Matt Hendren