By: John Mascaro

Volume 6 Number 1 - March 2000

In this issue:

  1. The 2000 GCSAA Show in New Orleans.
  2. Wind chill index full of hot air.
  3. Did your turf survive its year 2000 compliance test?
  4. Sample of Tom Mascaro's CD-ROM on the web.
  5. Ball marks and the new ways to combat and eliminate them.
  6. Looking for a quiet vacation spot? Try outer space!
  7. Case study of infiltration on a golf green.
  8. Looking back.
  9. Contributions to this publication.
  10. Privacy policies.


The 2000 GCSAA Conference and Show in New Orleans.

The GCSAA Conference and Show in New Orleans was great! I met a lot of new people there and it always seems to me as a time to see long time friends and share some laughs that only conference and show can bring. I really want to thank GCSAA for making all the seminars and education top priority. I also wanted to thank the people who read this newsletter for stopping by and saying how much they enjoy it. I do really appreciate the positive comments, keep them coming, your author needs them to keep his creative juices flowing. In addition, a little Scotch helps too. I am already looking forward to Dallas 2001. GCSAA will start celebrating it's 75th anniversary there so be sure to mark your calendars now for February 11th - 17th 2001.


Wind chill index full of hot air.

The Associated Press reported that the wind chill "index exaggerates how cold the air really feels to bare skin. And they say it's time for a new formula to predict the risk of frostbite and hypothermia."

Purdue University is at the forefront of getting a new index initiated. Apparently, the current index is based on formulas from the Army's research in the 1940's.

"Though supposedly measuring how fast human skin loses heat when exposed to the wind, the index is based on tests done in Antarctica using water filled plastic cylinders to measure the speed at which water freezes at different air temperatures and wind speeds. And there's another problem: While air temperature is measured at the eight-foot level, wind speed is measured about 30 feet above ground." I suppose this is for you really tall people.

"The index also doesn't take into account other variables, including the fact that sunny skies on cold, windy days can make a big difference on how warm people actually feel."

Donít you already feel warmer?


Did your turf survive its year 2000 compliance test?

Well we all survived the dreaded year 2000 compliance test with our computers, banks and household appliances. However, I still want to draw to your attention, especially you people that's turf is still dormant, that there could be real potential problems with the year 2000 bug and your turf. Be sure to review the December newsletter to see if you can still be affected by this problem. The link is at: http://www.turf-tec.com/dec99.html


Sample of Tom Mascaro's CD-ROM on the web.

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America has just released 875 photographs from the late Tom Mascaro's slide collection.

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America has just released 875 photographs from the late Tom Mascaro's slide collection. It is available through the GCSAA's information services department and all proceeds benefit the GCSAA's Historical Preservation Program. If you want to see a sample of some of the slides, I have added some sample pages to my web site at the following address: http://www.turf-tec.com/CD/00INDEX.HTML The CD-ROM sells for $50.00 and it includes photographs in JPEG format in excellent quality of 80KB per image. The slides are grouped in categories of "Soil", "Grass", "Water" and "Nutrition". Text also appears on each image giving information. If you wish to order the CD, contact the GCSAA's at (800) 472-7878 and ask for the Information Services Department or follow the links at the above address.


Ball marks and the new ways to combat and eliminate them.

Duich Ball Mark Plugger for removing ball marks.

Well here is a new answer to an old problem, ball marks. Several months ago, I was approached by long time friend, Dr. Joe Duich, professor emeritus from Penn State University. In his opinion, the best way to combat ball marks was to eliminate them totally out of the green with a specially developed plugger. I created a prototype and sent it to Dr. Duich and he forwarded it along to Doug Anderson, Superintendent at the Vintage Club in Palm Desert California.

Doug was also a big help in testing and suggesting some modification and finally, at conference and show, we finally released the new product. I named it the Duich Ball Mark Plugger with the kind consent of Dr. Duich. In addition to removing ball marks from the green, it is also helpful in removing Poa Annua plants totally out of the green. If you want to see more on the Duich Ball Mark plugger click on the following link and it will take you there. http://www.turf-tec.com/Duich.html


Looking for a quiet vacation spot? Try outer space!

According to Moscow, If you are looking for a vacation of a lifetime, for $40 million, Russia soon may offer a chance to visit the Mir space Station. Desperate for financing for the 14-year-old station, which in recent years has suffered a series of breakdowns and mishaps, the Russian Space Agency is considering selling charter flights to Mir, after the government cut off funds.

"Technically, a short expedition for tourists is possible right now," said Yuri Koptyev, director of the space station. "It's difficult to predict the demand. But we can probably find a few millionaires who would pay $20 million to $40 million for a week's vacation on Mir.


Case study of infiltration on a golf green.

Mascaro Profile Sampler, the best way to view a soil profile.

Recently I went to a golf course located in the South Eastern United States to teach a seminar on turfgrass. The greens were about 25 years old and I wanted to see the best and the worst green on the course. Upon first examination, the worst green looked good. Nice green, healthy looking Bermuda grass with uniform texture. The penetrometer read 45% and the moisture was in the 80% - 100% range. When the Infiltrometer was used, the readings were 3 inches per hour. When the soil profile was inspected, it revealed a layer of mat that was approximately four inches thick.

The Mascaro Soil Profiler has a easy open lid that is hinged and simply filps open.

Conversely, on the best green on the course, the grass also looked healthy, and uniform. The Penetrometer reading was also 45% and the moisture was in the 75% range. On this green the infiltration was 24 inches per hour. When the soil profile was inspected, it reveled that the sand and the mat had been mixed in with the topdressing and properly decomposed. There was no mat present in the layers of the soil profile below one inch.

To see pictures of these profiles look at this newsletter on my web site. This case study illustrates the sometimes-drastic differences between each green on the golf course and why monthly monitoring of infiltration rates is imperative to prevent problems from building up over time. This particular situation can be corrected with the implementation of aerification at the 4 1/2 inch level along with core removal and sand topdressing over the next several years. However, infiltration rates need to be monitored until the 8-inch per hour threshold is reached. In addition careful attention needs to be paid to this green to be certain the soil does not dry out. If this much mat is allowed to dry, it will take forever for it to re-wet due to the hydrophobic characteristics of mat.


Looking back.

Did you know Ö Tom Mascaro published a monthly periodical called the "West Pointers" from June 1946 to December 1955? He wrote the one page flyer and mailed it out to all the golf course superintendents in the country for free. At the time, it was one of the few turf-related publications available to the superintendent, yet Tom kept the topics informative and light. Here is a short excerpt from the first issue of the "West Pointer" on June 1946. At the time, West Point Products was selling topdressing to Golf Courses in the Philadelphia area. The invention of the aerifier was just a couple months away.

After a long dissertation about earthworms, Tom wrote" It has been shown that 53,000 worms in an acre can cover the surface with three inches of soil in fifteen years. We do not feel inclined to calculate the exact number of worm hours which would be required to topdress a green, but we have presented the figures in case some ambitious person would like to work it out. If the time is too great to be practical, you may count upon our special Top-dressing mixture to supplement the work of the worm."


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 it's source.

Also, if you know another Golf Course Superintendent that would like to receive the Turf-Tec Digest, have them forward their address along to me. In addition, I get most of my new product ideas from Golf Course Superintendents 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 to the line. http://www.turf-tec.com/index.html


Privacy policies.

If you received this newsletter directly from john@turf-tec.com, donít worry. I personally acquired your name by researching each golf course individually. In addition Turf-Tec does not buy, sell, trade or share their mailing list to 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 2000 Turf-Tec Catalog call us toll free (800) 258-7477 or email me at john@turf-tec.com


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