Friday, August 31, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Syngenta acquires DuPont's insecticide business

Wow, a lot of news lately. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Stan Zontek, who passed away recently. More on that soon.

In the meantime, this Syngenta-DuPont deal just was announced. We have press releases from both Syngenta and DuPont. 

Here's the press release from Syngenta:

Syngenta announced today that it will acquire the DuPont Professional Products insecticide business, including a number of registered trademark brands. Created in 2002, the DuPont Professional Products insecticide business specializes in the development and marketing of innovative branded products for the professional turf and pest control markets, including Altriset, Advion Arilon and Acelepryn. The acquisition price is $125 million.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back from the Barclays

I recorded the Sunday round, so I don't even know who won yet... so don't tell me who won it! I know this gent was having a good week, though...

Speaking of good weeks, I had an AWESOME week last week. From the Rocky Mountain GCSA meeting to my first tour of Bethpage Black and the Barclays, then a stop by a Mets game... it was a heck of a week for your pal Jonesy.

Now I get ready to hit the road again. Here we go.

#SethonTour continues, this time I'm staying in the Midwest to visit with some important folks. I might let you in on where later. We'll see. Sometimes we like to be mysterious here at Golfdom.

I did video interviews with both Andy Wilson and Kevin Carroll while at Bethpage. We'll try to get those up soon.

Here's a pic of Kevin chatting up the crew before they head out on the evening rounds...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Player thoughts on Bethpage, Wednesday afternoon

Photo by Adam Slick
I had a great first day out here at the Barclays. Got to meet some of the guys on the crew, watched a little golf, and even snuck in a few player interviews before I left.

As always, these are 1-on-1 interviews, directly from player's lips to my voice recorder to the blog. As you'll see, comments were a little bit all over with the firmness, the greens, etc., but one thing everyone agreed on is that the course, overall, is looking great. "Great" and "good" are the two most popular words in this post. (The word "enchilada" is sadly never used.)

Adam Scott
"It's playing good, actually, it's nice to see it dry for a change (laughs). It's looking really good. Everything is in really good shape, it should be a good week, weather permitting.

Superintendent Andy Wilson stimps a green late Wednesday.
It's good that there are courses like this available to the public. Great golf course, great design, visually, lovely bunkering... it's a shame that there aren't more facilities like this available to the public, not just the Black Course but all five are fantastic... a fantastic venue."

Chad Campbell
"It's good. It's in good shape, a little faster than what it was for the U.S. Open, which is nice. Still pretty soft yesterday, when I played. The rough is down just a little bit where you can try to get balls up around the green. There are some lies where you can't move it, but there are some lies where you can give it a shot on the green. The greens are tough. Quite a bit of undulation on some of the greens on the back nine. Tough to get it close, the greens are pretty firm -- they were when I played it yesterday.

It's in great shape, the crew does a great job. It's cool to play a course where the general public can come out and play any time of the week."

Louis Oosthuizen
"It's certainly long, you have to hit it well off the tee... I thought the greens would be better. This afternoon, they've gone through a lot of feet from the morning pro-am, the afternoon pro-am... it's understandable in the last hour or so. They'll look after them. If it gets really firm it's going to be difficult, because there's some rough around the greens. It's going to be tough if the greens get really firm. Look, the course is in great condition -- fairways, the rough is fair. It's probably going to grow during the week, so it'll be tough Saturday/Sunday... the greens to me, I felt uncomfortable. But it's a proper golf course, you have to hit the ball really well." 

Dustin Johnson
"The course is playing good. It's drying out a little bit, yesterday it was really wet. Today it was getting a little drier, greens getting a little firmer. The course is in great shape. I think it's in really good shape, comparable to the U.S. Open... it's very similar. They're doing a great job."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Such a great day in the Golfdom world!

I had an amazing time hanging with the Syngenta team today at Pinehurst Resort! The group included Tim Kroenke, Scott Reasons, Shawn Potter, Bert Wagemans, Lane Tredway, Stephanie Schwenke, Mark LaFleur and others. What a good group of people.

The day got off to an early start when Pinehurst superintendent Bob Ferren met us early in the morning for a tour of the Pinehurst maintenance facility and some of the No. 2 practice areas.

Then it was down to work as the Syngenta team worked side by side the Pinehurst No. 2 grounds crew, doing everything from filling in divots to raking bunkers. Throughout the day we got to hear about how Daconil Action is being received, got the lowdown on the company's brand new fungicides, Briskway and Secure, and heard about the efforts the company is making to understand golf course management beyond simply chemical applications.

In between, throw in some down-home barbecue and a warm (and rainy) round of golf on Pinehurst No. 4. What else is there to say? Golfdom had a great, memorable day all around. Thanks, Syngenta, for having us! And thanks, Bob Ferren, for being our gracious host superintendent.

On top of my great day, Seth rocked his keynote address at the Rocky Mountain GCSA conference. As if there was a doubt? Way to go, Seth! So proud.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Big week for Golfdom

This is a big week for Golfdom, and not just because my little girl had her first day of kindergarten today! Check it out:

* Senior Editor Beth Geraci is just now arriving at the beautiful Pinehurst Resort to take part in a two-day seminar presenting results Syngenta is seeing with Daconil Action

* I'm about to catch a flight to Denver, and then make the drive to Pole Creek GC in Tabernash, Colo. -- tomorrow morning I'll be giving a presentation at the Rocky Mountain GCSA meeting, then teeing it up with the group afterwards

* Beginning Wednesday, I'll be reporting from Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y., site of the PGA Tour's The Barclays

So there should be a lot of action around the blog this week! Check back often!

And if you're in Colorado, come out and say hello tomorrow morning!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

GCBAA online charity auction ends tonight

Pssst! The GCBAA Foundation Auction closes tonight, at 9 p.m. EDT. So if you're eyeing one of the auction items, better get it while the gettin's good. Up for bids: tickets to the 2013 Wells Fargo Championship; luxurious golf getaways; an Arnold Palmer-signed putter; sports tickets; and more. 

Even better, the charity auction benefits Sticks for Kids, a youth outreach program designed to get youth interested in golf. To bid on items log on to

Good luck!

Monday, August 13, 2012

John Deere loses a leader

Gregg Breningmeyer at last year's John Deere Classic, with GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans in the background.

Gregg and Rhett riding down 18. I don't think Rhett is waving a peace sign (but he might be), I think he's confessing to taking a mulligan on 18 tee...

Me and Gregg at John Deere World HQ in Moline, Ill. 
Gregg shakes hands with John Daly after their round. I got about five photos of these two together, and they all turned out awful. And not just because of Daly's pants.

Sad news from our friends at John Deere. Gregg Breningmeyer, who was the Global Director of Sales and Marketing for John Deere Golf, passed away last week. He was 56.

Let me keep this in perspective: I'd see Gregg literally twice, maybe three times a year. But he was one of my favorite interviews in the industry. For the last several years, Deere has always arranged for me to have a 1-on-1 sit-down with Gregg at the GIS. That didn't happen this year, as Gregg was forced to miss the Las Vegas show.

One of the things I enjoyed about Gregg was, he told it like it was. He didn't mince words. He didn't speak in "Bull Durham" talk -- you know, the "take it one game at a time," and the "just happy to be here" crap.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sportsmanship 101

OK, so we have to wait four more looong years before golf is an Olympic sport (why is that, by the way?). Even if golf is enduring one last snub during these Games, I still find the Games worth watching--and worth writing about, too. 

I love the Olympics. I love the anticipation, the photo finishes, the intense rivalries. I love the underdogs, the team favorites who live up to the hype.

The London edition of the Olympics, however, is a little rough around the edges. It has, shall we say, a cockney accent. On the one hand, we're witnesses to mind-blowing feats by Michael Phelps, the most awe-inspiring swimmer of all time, and Gabby Douglas, who came this close to not even making the U.S. gymnastics team then won gold. And how about U.S. runner Manteo Mitchell? The guy ran the 4x400 relay on a broken leg, enabling his team to qualify for the final, even though he won't be running in it.

On the flip side, you have really, really poor sportsmanship, London Games. Not just from athletes, but from well, everyone. Jordyn Wieber, the favorite to win gold in women's gymnastics, gave it her all and had an off night. She placed fourth in qualifiers, missing the finals. She interviewed on TV afterward, tears in her eyes. The loss was disappointing, she said. The reporter interviewing her disagreed, calling it "catastrophic."

Stories like that are a dime a dozen this Olympics. Fans shout at athletes' cheering parents to sit down, runners join in when their teammates are raked over the coals for being overrated (see Lolo Jones), even badminton players throw games. What's happening? 

You can tell a lot about a person's character by the way they play sports. We've seen the good, the bad and the ugly this time around. Which category will golfers fall into in 2016? Send good vibes!


Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Happy (Irrigation) Anniversary, Toro!

We never did know which anniversary was what (paper, silver, gold?) But we do know 50 years is a darn long time to be in business. So hats off to Toro today as it celebrates 50 years in the irrigation business.

Fifty years ago today, Toro purchased Moist O’Matic, a manufacturer of plastic irrigation products. With that purchase, the company got its feet wet in the underground irrigation business. The company's come a long way since then, now owning more than 225 irrigation patents and manufacturing a complete line of irrigation products.

Phil Burkart, vice president and general manager for Toro’s Irrigation Business, said of the landmark anniversary, “Our 50 years in irrigation is something to be very proud of. We are withstanding the test of time as well as pushing ourselves daily to be solution providers through innovation..."

To take advantage of special offers in honor of the celebration, log onto

Congrats, Toro! We're looking forward to seeing what the next 50 years hold.

Jacobsen says, "here's $500!" to 30 students

The Scripps Howard Foundation. 

I still remember when I was in college, and I got the letter from them telling me I was to be the recipient of a journalism award that included a scholarship. 

Likewise, there are 30 turf students out there who just had a similar experience courtesy of Jacobsen.

From Jacobsen's press release: 

Jacobsen recently awarded over 30 college students in turfgrass management programs with $500 scholarships. Recipients were notified by Jacobsen on July 1, 2012.

Candidates from across the United States and Canada submitted essays and professor recommendations for consideration. The final list included students from 23 different schools, including large universities like The Ohio State University, Colorado State University and Kansas State University to smaller schools like Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Georgia and Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, Canada. Review the full list of turfgrass scholarship recipients.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

FMC offers free weed ID poster

FMC has a free weed ID poster available to turf professionals... here are the details:

Know your crown vetch from your cudweed? Pusley from purslane? Sign up for a free "Weed ID" Poster to learn how to identify and control 49 of North America's worst weeds, while supplies last. To receive the poster, follow these steps:

· Visit the Promotions Page on the FMC Professional Solutions web site;

· Click for the Weed ID poster sign-up page and enter information; and

· Follow @FMCturf on Twitter (you will be automatically directed to Twitter after sign-up). If you don't have a Twitter handle, sign up today at

I will tell you that Adam Manwarren of FMC recently told me he'd be trying to surpass me in Twitter followers soon... as I see from the third bullet above, he is clearly gunning for me!

@FMCturf currently has 544 followers... @Golfdom currently has 872 followers...

So, along with this news of a free weed ID poster, I'll also remind you that after you follow @FMCturf, don't forget to also follow @Golfdom. I have no weed ID poster for you, but I do have a free high-five at the ready!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Field (stone) Trip!

Apologies for the radio silence here for the last couple days. I was on the road, making a big triangle on the map, with Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania all on the agenda.

One of the highlights of the trip was my round at Fieldstone GC in Greenville, Del. Big thanks to Damon Di Giorgio, super at the course. Me and Damon go way back, so it was a pleasure to see his course and check out the place he works everyday. What a phenomenal course! Also good to see another old friend, Pinki, his dog -- I've known Pinki since she was just a pup! (And yeah, she remembered me, which was cool.)

Usually I like to check in here from the road, but I was just too busy and also having too much fun. I should have left my laptop back in the office, that's how much use I got out of it! And now I get to pay for it, as I'm pushing the panic button on all my deadlines...

Anyway, here are a couple pics from my excellent round at Fieldstone. Captions included.

There's an old house on the course, it sits between two holes, 14 and 16 if I remember correctly. Architect Mike Hurdzan loved the look of it, so he kept it. It's a unique site on the course, I did take the time to look closer at it, and wonder how hard it was to build something like that before power equipment...

Gary Gold, Damon, Pinki, and Golfdom publisher Pat Roberts on 17 tee.

Saw these two deer wandering around 17 green. Pat hit into the bunkers on the left (of course he did!) and the two deer didn't retreat too far past those trees. They wanted to see if he could get up and down from that bunker, apparently.
Damon, Pinki and me after dinner.

Damon's one instruction for playing No. 18: avoid that bunker! So what do I do? Scorch a 7-iron right into the sodface wall. If my ball flight would have been five feet higher, I would have been a hero. Instead, I triple-bogeyed 18...