Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Getting ready

To golf in the Suncoast/Calusa Ryder Cup. I'm told my cart partner is a stick... I'm in trouble.

Thanks to Deron Zendt at Banyan

I got the VIP tour of Banyan Golf Club in West Palm Beach, from superintendent Deron Zendt. Banyan is a mid-70's Joe Lee design, with some incredible trees all over the course. I'll have photos of the course later this week.

Right now I'm off to Coral Creek Club, where I'm speaking at the Calusa/Suncoast GCSA chapter meeting. Wish me luck...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Seed Research of Oregon market update

Got this email from Seed Research of Oregon today. You can sign up to be on their e-mail list by clicking here.

The weather world is upside down.  The Willamette Valley has sunny, rain-free days while there is rain, cold temperatures and flooding from the Rockies to the eastern States. At present the Willamette Valley is approximately 14 inches below normal for the water year that began Oct 1, 2012. When you calculate that out, it means we have had 70 more rain-free days this year than normal!  No wonder the farmers are all sunburned.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Syngenta taking applications for 2013 SBI

For the fifth year, Syngenta is inviting golf course superintendents across the United States to apply to attend the Syngenta Business Institute, an innovative professional business development program. Syngenta developed the program specifically for superintendents, in conjunction with Wake Forest University Schools of Business.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

More photos from Schuylkill CC

This is No. 4. During the summer months the back of the green is surrounded by flowers.

Of course I was there on a rainy, overcast day... my photos reflect it. Nice par three, No. 11, I believe.

Schuylkill Country Club was originally a 1920 Willie Park 9 hole course until 1944, when Donald Ross came in and added 9 and touched up the Park 9.

"Schuylkill" is pronounced school-kill, and is the name of a nearby river.

Member Roy Heim, me in the middle, director of operations/superintendent Jim Rattigan. Jim is a stick... once carded a 66 on the course, and that was after taking a triple-bogey on this hole, the par 3 No. 16!

Great views all around the course.

Merion crew gets a well deserved break

Just give the check to the guy with the spotlight on his head.
Had a great trip out to Pennsylvania last week. Now, I'm back in Kansas, enjoying some freezing rain...

Besides my visit to Merion I also made it to Schuylkill CC (you've seen a photo from there already... I'll post more from there soon) as well as a trip through Villanova University to tour their sports fields for our sister publication, Athletic Turf News. (I'll share that here as well, once I get out of the weeds.)

And I even had a celebrity sighting... Newt Gingrich was on my flight from Philly to Atlanta. He seemed nice, and was taking the occasional photo with people in the airport. I would have snapped one with him myself (and ran it in our Golfdom Gallery section) but I was busy devouring the only Philly cheesesteak I was able to get my hands on in three busy days up in PA. You know me.

Here's another photo that won't run in Gallery, this one because unfortunately it's too blurry. This is a shot of the lads from Merion and I at the Joe's Crab Shack across the street from my hotel in Philly. Good guys, fun crew, even if there is a Syracuse fan among them.

Proper thank you cards were penned over the weekend and will be in everyone's hands soon... but in the meantime, a big "thank you" to all my new pals in Pennsylvania. I look forward to returning in June!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Schuylkill Country Club, Pottsville, PA

Just had what will easily be one of my top five moments of 2013 -- playing 18 holes at Schuylkill CC with director of operations/superintendent Jim Rattigan. Phenomenal Donald Ross course... A hidden gem!

UPDATE: For all you visitors coming over from the Golf Insider e-newsletter, I just posted a bunch more photos of Schuylkill CC here.

Sign in Merion's break room

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nice 1-iron, Mr. Hogan!

From Augusta National last week to Merion this week... How did I get so lucky?

I can tell you this, the US Open is going to be awesome this year. No. 17 is going to be insane. I'm thinking I should just sit down there now to make sure I have a seat come June!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Golfdom adds to staff

Golfdom, the must-read magazine for golf course superintendents, and Landscape Management (LM), the leading publication for landscape contractors, have hired two seasoned media professionals.

Bill Roddy, a knowledgeable, accomplished Green Industry marketing professional, has joined North Coast Media (NCM) as Publisher of LM and Associate Publisher of Golfdom. Carla Kastanis, a seasoned business-to-business (B2B) media sales representative, has joined NCM as National Account Manager for LM and Golfdom.

Roddy has spent the past 13 years managing some of Melamed Riley Advertising’s largest accounts, including Syngenta and FMC. He was responsible for developing and executing marketing strategies and tactics, and launching and developing brands and products across myriad platforms including events and print, digital and social media.

Kastanis fills a newly created position at LM and Golfdom. She brings with her 17 years of B2B media sales and account management experience from roles at Advanstar Communications and Penton Media. Her extensive background in publishing combined with her knowledge of the latest trends in digital and social media will be a winning formula for marketers.

“Our goal is to continually ensure LM and Golfdom remain atop their audiences’ must-read lists and marketers’ must-partner-with lists,” said Kevin Stoltman, President & CEO of North Coast Media. “Bill possesses a strong marketing, agency and industry background, and Carla is a proven B2B media consultative sales specialist. The media pro duo no doubt will offer LM’s and Golfdom’s loyal and expanding buyer and seller communities top-notch innovation and customer service.”

The April issue is here!

The new issue of Golfdom is out! Read it before
 it hits your mailboxes on the iPad or on-line here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Want a 2013 Masters hat?

I gave one away yesterday, I've got one more to give away!

Follow me on Twitter and keep your eyes peeled during the 3 p.m. EST hour... I'll be making a few announcements then. And I'll also be giving away a hat then.

Follow me on Twitter here.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Masters photo parade pt. 2

The fairway mowers were out in force Wednesday afternoon.

I heard a guy say, "That's the damndest thing I've ever seen! The damndest thing!"

One of the guys gave me a salute as he came through the ropes, but of course I was in-between clicks and missed it!

This is looking through that corridor on No. 18, from near the tee box looking down towards the fairway.

Fly mowing around 15 and 16.

Here is a wider shot of the fairway mowers from the grandstand on Amen Corner.

Let me get a greens mowing pic in here, too!

Masters photo parade pt 1

Me and Jeff Wetterling, CGCS at Greenacres CC, Lawrenceville, N.J.

Me and Tom Marzolf

The crowd was going crazy for the mowers.

A guy in front of me excitedly said, "I've always wanted to see this!"

Monday, April 08, 2013

Get in Golfdom!

Why not? It's fun! We'll spell your name right and everything.

Easy ways to get into Golfdom:

1. My Second Office. A regularly occurring department in the magazine. We even ask for reader submissions at the end of the page. So far, zero submissions. Sad.
2. Reader joke. Got a good joke? Email it to us. We print it, we'll send you a $50 gift card.
3. Meet me at the Masters. I'll be at Augusta National all day Wednesday. Email me if you'll be there, let's meet up. I'll take your photo and run you as a source in a future story, or maybe even our back-page "19th Hole" Q&A. Wouldn't it be cool to have your photo run in our magazine, with No. 12 at Augusta as the backdrop? I'd mail a copy to my mom, I know that!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

South Carolina program uses e-par USA

The e‐par USA Environmental Management System (EMS) for Golf has been accepted as evidence of environmental leadership by the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP). As a result, golf businesses in South Carolina that work with e‐par USA to build an EMS for their facility will be eligible for recognition of their voluntary environmental accomplishments through SCEEP as well.

The South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP) is a voluntary environmental leadership initiative designed to recognize and reward facilities that have demonstrated superior environmental performance through pollution prevention, energy and resource conservation, and the use of an environmental management system (EMS). The program is managed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Center for Environmental Sustainability, and decisions about membership are made through a multi‐stakeholder Advisory Committee. Since the e‐par EMS for Golf is an ISO 14001‐compliant environmental management tool, it can be used to meet the performance requirements of this state‐level voluntary environmental recognition program.

“We really want to make it easy for golf courses and clubs in South Carolina, and around the country, to take credit for leadership efforts as environment stewards,” said Kevin A. Fletcher, Ph.D., CEO of e‐par USA. “While our Environmental Management System for Golf is compliant with the internationally‐recognized ISO 14001 standard, it’s also important for our members to gain access to other sources of local and state recognition as well. So, we’re clearly pleased that our EMS platform has been recognized as a golf industry standard for environmental excellence by the SCEEP Advisory Committee.”

For more information about e‐par USA and the e‐par Environmental Management System for Golf, visit www.eparusa.com. To learn more about SCEEP, visit http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/admin/cwm/sceep/.

Arysta LifeScience announces hire

Arysta LifeScience North America announces the hiring of Jim Kruger as the Great Lakes Territory Sales Manager for its turf and ornamental (T&O) team.

Kruger joins Arysta LifeScience following previous T&O sales and technical positions with Cleary Chemical, Harrell’s Fertilizer, Helena Chemical and Michigan State University. Kruger’s Great Lakes territory includes Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“We welcome Jim to our team and look forward to him sharing his expertise and knowledge with customers throughout the Great Lakes region,” said Laurie Treu, Arysta LifeScience T&O business manager. “He has a deep understanding of the T&O market and its customer base, and he brings a long track record of success within the industry.”

Kruger earned his Bachelor of Science degree in plant science from Clemson University.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Vote in our poll: What do you think of the Bubba golf hovercraft?

Wow, the golf hovercraft was all over the place yesterday. It even made SportsCenter! The hovercraft dominated Golfdom's twitter feed. It was all anyone seemed to be talking about.

I saw one pundit call it the "superintendent's worst nightmare." I saw one superintendent Tweet at Bubba telling him he had an "amazing idea here, for golf maintenance too!"

So what side of the Bubba-line do you stand on? Cool idea, or hideous abomination? Vote in our poll, it's right over there ------->

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Bubba's "Nifty idea"

Who doesn't want to drive over a water hazard?

That's what Bubba Watson wants to know, and I must admit that, yes, Bubba... I do want to drive over a water hazard! (Both with my driver and in my golf hovercraft, actually.)

Check out this video from Oakley on Bubba's new hovercraft golf car uh, hovercraft. 


Questions I have:

1. Why was this not at the Golf Industry Show? Would have loved to have seen a demo!
2. Can the hovercraft skip over steps? Or even ledges (I wanted to see if it would go over that sidewalk ledge in the video and it did not)
3. How noisy is it?

Very cool Mr. Watson. Then again, what would you expect from the guy who owns the General Lee?