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Golf Turf Spring Tee Off Recap

Friday, March 07, 2014   (0 Comments)
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Written by Nicholas Janovich
Superintendent, Oglebay Resort

The annual Spring Tee Off event was held February 20 & 21 at the Nationwide Ohio Farm Bureau 4H Center on Ohio State's campus. Once again, attendance was fantastic! Superintendents and field managers are itching for the winter weather to break and grass to start growing. A change of pace from snowfall, rain was moving through the area during the start of the event. It was enough to get everyone wet but it also helped remove the snow cover from the turf that seems to have been around forever. 

Dr. Danneberger kicked off the golf talks with a discussion of how GDD models have evolved over time. He stressed the importance of knowing what the base temperature is for the model that you're using. Some are base 50, base 32, or even base 22. Of course, he didn't take nearly the credit that he deserves for his contributions to the development of the earlier models.  He also explained that OTF Members have access to the website which tracks GDD around the state and provides guidelines for applications.

Eugene Braig gave an aquatics talk that was much-appreciated by those in need of aquatic credits. He spoke on the importance of correctly identifying weeds before treatment. Since we're all now carrying smart phones with high-resolution cameras he encouraged us to send him detailed photos if we're struggling to identify aquatic weeds. Additionally, Mr. Braig provided info to some useful fact sheets:

Chemical Control of Aquatic Plants

Controlling Filamentous Algae in Ponds

Duckweed and Watermeal: Prevention and Control

Cattail Management

Using Grass Carp to Control Aquatic Plants

Dr. Agnew from Syngenta updated the crowd on different fungicide modes-of-action. He also gave an update on the status of the Velista fungicide that was never brought to market when owned by DuPont.  Keith Happ of the USGA followed Dr. Agnew with a preview of the season ahead.  He encouraged superintendents to stick to the fundamentals once the stress periods arrive. 

Paul Latshaw presented on the challenge of hosting two events in one season at Murfield Village. He discussed the significant renovations that took place before the events. The work and skill involved to meet the deadlines seemed incredible. He and his staff certainly deserve a high-five the next time you see them! Afterward, Paul sat on a panel along with Jason Straka, Guy Prettyman, Chad Dorrell, and Keith Happ. The discussion focused on bunker renovation and construction. Several golf courses in the area are taking the time and spending the money to complete much-needed bunker work. The panel shared their thoughts on different construction methods, sands, and drainage designs. The take home message was to have your sand tested to avoid any issues with playability or performance later. Some clubs have even installed a test bunker for members to try different sands before a renovation. As for bunker liners, the consensus was that each has pros and cons-- some are better than others but none have been found drastically superior. 

The second day started with an OSHA update talk from GCSAA Field Representative John Miller who was followed up by a tag-teamed session from Joe Rimelspach and Todd Hicks.  They distributed the updated fungicide chart that we all rely on so much.  Their talk led into a great discussion about combination products and their possible increased efficacy on resistant diseases at reduced rates when compared to stand-alone products. 

Dr. Dave Gardner discussed weed control in ornamental beds. It may not be something that superintendents do daily, but when the time comes there is little room for error.  Dave stressed the need for proper identification and advocated having a trained horticulturist take a look if you’re not sure.  Dr. John Street then led a discussion on various methods to control poa seedhead. As expected, the audience was evenly split on the Proxy/Primo v. Embark debate.  John also encouraged the use of for help timing either application. 

Dr. Ed McCoy and Dr. Shetlar wrapped up the day.  Dr. McCoy gave a run-down of different amendments for sand-based root zones.  The Bug Doc talked about ABW treatments and encouraged superintendents to contact him if they have a possible ABW population.  He also led a great discussion about insecticides and bee populations.  He gave some tips for reducing pesticide-related issues, such as mowing off any flowers before applying an insecticide.   

A huge thanks to Ag Design, Sipcam Advan, Syngenta, and The Hill Company for sponsoring the reception Thursday night! We all had a great time and it gives us a chance to catch up with each other. And also enjoy some great food and refreshments!  A thank you goes out to BASF, Helena, OSTMA, and Ohio State too for their help to sponsor the event. Hopefully we see everyone back next year along with a few new faces for another great Spring Tee Off!

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