FOR GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENTS
By: John Mascaro
Volume 10 Number 2 – July 2004
In this issue:
1. Editors Notes.
2. National summer break for grass!
3. Diagnostic tests and you.
4. Looking Back.
5. One for the funny bone.
6. Beavers in big trouble.
7. John Mascaro’s Photo Quiz in Golf Course Management Magazine.
8. Sports Turf News.
9. Golf Course News.
10. Turf-Tec Website News & Turf-Tec in the news.
11. Contributions to this publication.
12. Privacy policies.
Instead of a long newsletter, I have added lots of new things to my website and have a new Excel spreadsheet that is downloadable for monitoring soil moisture, infiltration and compaction. In addition I updated my photo pages on my site. So this newsletter is going to be brief. Let’s face it, summer is here and it’s hot. The grass is growing like wild fire in the south and all the golfers and athletes are up north, wearing out the cool season grasses. However don’t worry, when the weather cools off and the turf in the south slows down its growth, all those players will be heading south too.
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National summer break for grass!
As I was contemplating taking a couple of days off for summer vacation I began feeling guilty that our turfgrass never really gets any time off. Well sure, dormant turf gets to “sleep” all winter but let’s face it, when you’re asleep, how much fun is time off? What about southern grasses. These perennial species in some areas never get to go dormant, thus they really need a rest too. That’s why I am advocating a national summer vacation for turf. Let’s make a week, when the turf is actively growing, and give it the whole week off. (My next issue I may be selling hay bailers.)
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Diagnostic tests and you.
There are a lot of Infiltrometers out there that you people have purchased and let’s face it; some of you are letting them get dusty. I have a vision I would like to share with you. Diagnostic tools are not for the superintendent. They are designed for the assistant superintendent. They are a learning tool for the assistant and a way to find out the soil health for the superintendent. The ideas behind the tools are to give the superintendent real number to base cultural as well as financial decision upon.
The superintendent should have a schedule of diagnostic tasks
that the assistant superintendent should do and then create a report to give to
A sample schedule would be as follows:
Daily: Moisture Sensor Readings – to be done by the irrigation technician and readings presented to assistant superintendent. The moisture sensor readings should be done at the one, two, three and four inch level in three different areas on each turfgrass area. In addition if any discolored areas are seen, they should be checked and recorded. These reports should be reviewed by the assistant and a summary given to the superintendent.
Monthly: Infiltrometer readings – These tests should be performed by the assistant superintendent and the final report should be given to the superintendent.
Monthly: Penetrometer readings – These tests should also be performed by the assistant superintendent and the final report should be given to the superintendent.
I have created an Excel Spreadsheet that contains all the necessary information to fill out. The file can be downloaded and the pages printed out, taken into the field on a clipboard, filled out by the assistant and then the data can be entered into the computer. The program will automatically calculate the average of all areas tested.
To view the page about the spreadsheets, click here:
To directly download the Excel spreadsheets, click below:
For Golf Course Superintendents:
For Sports Turf
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Greens without Grass
From the USGA Green Section Bulletin December 16, 1921
Putting greens are not necessarily made of turf, nor are they necessarily green. On some golf courses the greens are made simply by scalping off areas of suitable size and using the soil as it exists for the putting surface. On others, putting areas are sanded; in some cases the sand is oiled; in most cases it is not. Sawdust has been used with fair results; also other materials; and there are doubtless a great many common waste products that could be used very satisfactorily. It is surprising indeed that more experimentation along this line has not been conducted since there are so many parts of the country where grass greens can not be maintained or can be maintained only at a prohibitive cost. Dr. W. D. Hunter, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, tells us of an interesting golf course which he had the good fortune to visit last spring. The course is located in central northern Mexico near a small town named Tlahualilo, about 40 miles from Torreon. It is the property of an Anglo-American company extensively engaged in the planting of cotton and in the manufacture of products from cotton seed. The topography of the country is flat, being the bed of a prehistoric lake, and the annual rainfall is something less than 8 inches. No grass will grow under the existing conditions, and sand greens are out of the question because of the high winds, as they would require constant resurfacing. After some thought, the manager of the company, Mr. T. M. Fairbairn, concluded to try cotton-seed hulls as a surface for the greens. The hulls consist of the outer shell-like covering of cotton seed, to which considerable lint is attached. They are cheap, and are produced in abundance in connection with the process of manufacturing cotton seed products. The method which Mr. Fairbairn uses is simply to place the hulls on the ground, tamp them well by hand, and then roll the mat thoroughly. By this method he has succeeded in getting a permanent and fast surface very much like that of a billiard table.
The hulls of the seed act as a bed and the adhering lint as a binder. No weeds penetrate the mass, and the water from the occasional rains is shed successfully. The lint binds the mass of hulls together sufficiently so that it is not disturbed by the strongest winds. Dr. Hunter says he has putted over these greens and finds them very satisfactory indeed.
Mr. Fairbairn’s method is being tried in this country and doubtless we will have more to report on the subject a little later. Possibly our readers are familiar with or have heard of other methods of making greens without grass. If so we would be pleased to hear from them, and would like, in addition, photographs showing the essential features, if they can be obtained.
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One for the funny bone.
Hot summer? Improvise.
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Beavers in big trouble.
The following was sent by alert reader Richard Liebman. This is
a letter sent to a land holder that is in big trouble now!
SUBJECT: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Montcalm County
Dear Mr. DeVries:
It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:
Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond. A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued. Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, annotated. The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2003.
Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action. We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter.
Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.
David L. Price
District Representative Land and Water Management Division
** This is the actual response sent back: **
Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N ; R10W, Sec. 20; Montcalm County.
Dear Mr. Price:
Your certified letter dated 12/17/02 has been handed to me to respond to. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget, Pierson, Michigan. A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials "debris." I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.
As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity. My first dam question to you is: (1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers or (2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?
If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, annotated. I have several concerns. My first concern is, aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation, so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event causing flooding is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling their dam names.
If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers, but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter.... they being unable to read English.
In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams).
So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2003? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then.
In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality (health) problem in the area. It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! (The bears are not careful where they dump!)
Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.
Ryan DeVries & The Dam Beavers
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I need photos for John Mascaro’s Photo Quiz in Golf Course Management Magazine.
In every monthly issue of "Golf Course Management Magazine"
there is a feature called "John Mascaro's Photo Quiz" located on page 26. The
feature has two turfgrass related photographs that you are asked to identify as
well as some clues about location. The correct answer appears in the back of the
is informative as well as fun.
Having to come up with two pictures each month is always a challenge and that is why I am seeking help from my newsletter readers. The quiz contains two pictures, one is a common photo of things that happen to most golf course superintendents, and I have lots of these type pictures. The second picture is the ones that are hard to figure out or something that is unique to your particular part of the country or world. Wildlife damage is always a good subject as well as many other unique agronomic situations. So if you are so inclined, I would like to have your photo’s low resolution is ok for the proof but the actual photo needs to be as high resolution as possible or in the form of a negative. If I use the photograph in the magazine, you will get full credit! You can send photographs to: John Mascaro, 3669 NW 124th Avenue, Coral Springs, FL. 33065 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For those of you that haven’t seen the quiz, here is another sample:
Issue: August 2003
Turfgrass Area: Fairway
Grass Variety: Bentgrass
Problem: Small dead area on fairway with green footprints.
Answer (In magazine on separate page): This strange pattern of dead grass surrounded by healthy Bentgrass with two green footprints in the center is a real head scratcher. It is caused by golfers wearing shorts who apply insect repellant to their legs on hot days. This often occurs near the first tee or on the first fairway. Apparently the carrier material in the insect repellent has the tendency to burn Bentgrass, especially in hot weather. I am informed that the grass usually recovers in fairly short period of time.
*Photo submitted by Rick Tegtmeier, CGCS Elmcrest CC, Cedar Rapids, IA.
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STMA - Sports Turf News
Start Planning now for the 2005 STMA National Conference and show.
The 2005 STMA National conference and show will be in Phoenix, AZ next year January 19-23rd. You visit the STMA website at http://www.sportsturfmanager.com/
STMA TurfBlast Newsletter is up and running.
If you are a member of STMA then you should be sure that the association ha your current email address. Every month they will send to you a newsletter with current information on the association and profession as a free member service. Be sure your information is current by logging onto their website at http://www.sportsturfmanager.com/
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GCSAA - Golf Course News
Start Planning now for the 2005 Golf Course Superintendents Association National Conference and show.
The 2005 GCSAA National conference and show will be in Orlando, FL next year February 10-12th. The show will be held in conjunction with the National Golf Course Owners Association and promises to be a huge show. You visit the GCSAA website at http://www.golfindustryshow.com/2005/attend/default.asp
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Turf-Tec website news and Turf-Tec in the news.
I have added lots more pages to my website with photographs from July 2003 through June of 2004. Some areas in the photographs are as follows:
Jacaranda Golf Club, Plantation, FL.
Progress Energy Park -Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, FL.
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL.
Kapiolani Park, Oahu, Hawaii.
New Ewa Beach Golf Club, Ewa Beach, Hawaii.
Village of Pinecrest, Pinecrest, FL.
The Coliseum, Tennessee Titans, Nashville, TN.
Point Loma Nazarene University, Point Loma, CA.
Westview High School, Poway Unified School District, CA.
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA.
Pro-Player Stadium, Miami, FL.
Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Saint Lucie County Sports Complex, Port Saint Lucie, FL.
Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, FL.
The page links are as follows:
I have added another brand new product to my line. The Sand Penetrometer will determine the hardness of your bunker sands and also tell the likelihood of having a ‘fried egg lie’. Literature is at the following link - http://www.turf-tec.com/PN5lit.html
Turf-Tec in the News
As usual, our products appear in a major turfgrass publication almost every month. Here are some that I am very proud of.
|From “The Green Sheet” May / June 2004
The Newsletter of the Florida Golf Course Superintendents.
Photo shows three Turf-Tec Moisture Sensors being used at the University of Florida Field Day in Davie, FL.
|From “The USGA Green Section Record”
May-June 2004 “Life of Southeast: Old Problems New Grasses” by John Foy, Todd Lowe, Chris Hartwiger and Patrick O’Brien.
Link of Magazine
|From “Golf Course Management”
May 2004 “Surface organic matter in Creeping Bentgrass greens” by Dr. Robert Carrow
Link to magazine
Free 2004 Catalog
Want a 2004 Turf-Tec catalog? Just click on http://www.turf-tec.com/form.html and fill out the form and one will be on its way to you.
Turf-Tec International offers secure online ordering on our website for those of you that want to pay for orders with credit cards. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. To try this feature out click here: http://www.turf-tec.com/orderform.html
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Contributions to this publication.
I also want to invite all of you recipients of this newsletter that if you wish to contribute any information that you find interesting or exciting, please send it to me and I will include it along with crediting its source.
Also, if you know another Golf Course Superintendent or Sports Turf Manager that would like to receive the Turf-Tec Digest, have them forward their email address along to me. In addition, I get most of my new product ideas from Golf Course Superintendents and Sports Turf Managers who see a need in the industry that has not been filled. Be sure to look at the new product section on my web site for new additions. http://www.turf-tec.com/Map.html
If you received this newsletter directly from email@example.com, don’t worry. I personally acquired your name by researching each golf course and sports facility individually. In addition Turf-Tec does not buy, sell, trade or share their mailing list with anyone. We also have taken security measures to insure that your name will not be passed along to other people. If, however you still do not want to receive this newsletter, simply respond to this email with the words "remove" in the subject line and your name will be permanently deleted from our list.
If you have not received your new free 2004 Turf-Tec Catalog call us.
Our toll free (800) 258-7477 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the online form at http://www.turf-tec.com/form.html
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Tallahassee, FL. 32303
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