Golf Thoughts

Catawba Island Club - Warm Winter & Cool Spring Impacting Turf Conditions

If you think you saw something odd looking on some of our fairways you did.  We have a disease called take all patch.  Take all patch is a disease of creeping Bentgrass that can occur on greens, tees, and fairways. Severe outbreaks of take all patch may damage large areas of turf, effectively ruining the appearance and playability of the turf. The disease is caused by a root-infecting, soil borne fungus, Gaeumannomyces graminis f.sp. avenae. The fungus inhabits almost all soils, but causes disease under very narrowly defined conditions.

Those conditions include prolonged cool wet periods like we had this spring however,  symptoms are not noticeable until the plant is under stress from drought, traffic and heat like we have had this June. Other factors contributing to the disease are soil nutrients and soil Ph.  Unlike some diseases this one is not easily controlled once symptoms appear.  We have applied Fungicides and acidic fertilizers to contain and minimize the spread and severity however we will most likely see the symptoms worsen and will likely loose some turf.  Typically this disease is not a problem on bentgrass that is more than a few years old.  However many mature golf courses are experiencing take all patch this year.  The theory is that the mild winter created a longer growing season and more nutrients were used and leached from the soils than usual.  Manganese deficiency is the largest nutrient factor in take all patch disease development.  We are closely monitoring the impacted areas and hope to keep any damage minimal.  The fall and spring are when we can take the most action towards reducing this particular fungal population to try and avoid this in the future.     

 Example of Take All Patch (textbook photo)
 Take All Patch at CIC

2016 Golf Industry Show

Every year the key associations involved with the developing and operating of golf courses come together in a combined industry show call the Golf Industry Show or GIS for short. The biggest attendance comes from the Golf Course Superintendents who outnumber the Golf Course Architects 20 to 1. Somewhere in the middle you get the golf course builders and owners. All together over 13,000 attendees gathered in San Diego this past February to discuss one thing….golf courses…past, present, and most importantly future.

Our Head Golf Course Superintendent, Paul Derry, and 1st Assistant, Jeremy Karl were among the attendees. The following is a brief summary of what they learned and saw:
Cost effective software is making it easier for us to collect and analyze multiple types of data. We can now correlate fuel consumption,equipment repair, man hours, moisture readings, weather records, and more. The end result is that we will be able to make better decisions and ultimately provide better playing conditions.

Technology is changing the way we work with equipment. GPS sprayers and spray systems are continuing to gain ground, becoming more feasible with time. Last year we added a riding greens mower that is san hydraulics and now robotic greens mowers are soon to be a reality in the marketplace….you won’t see mowers without a human attachment at Catawba Island Club for a while.

Technology is also changing the way we operate our irrigation system. Different manufacturers are adopting universal systems allowing communication between controls and the pump station (note: we have a TORO irrigation system and control, but are researching a different pump configuration). This gives the ability to minimize water use and detect any problems quickly. The full systems are all now able to be viewed and controlled remotely and have the ability to monitor and adjust for efficiency in regards to power consumption.

GIS is also where we get much of our education about new turf management materials (e.g. fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, etc.). Most companies are focused on creating materials with a lower percentage of active ingredients and longer residuals allowing for fewer applications…low impact and lasting effect.

We are also happy to congratulate Paul on becoming a GCSAA Grassroots Ambassador. In this position he will represent our region in educational initiatives focused toward our community, lawmakers, and other agencies. 

Previous Posts

Top 6 Reasons to Participate in the Toledo District Golf Association

Link:  TDGA Schedule of Events

1. It promotes the game of golf throughout Northwest Ohio.

We might be a little biased with this opinion but we think golf is a great game that has many many parallels with real life. The TDGA is a hub for the golf community in Northwest Ohio and by participating you are supporting the golf community as a whole.

2. You have the opportunity to play just about every other private club and more for less than normal guest fees.

Most of the event are around $75 per person to play and often includes cart. Many of the private clubs in around our region charge more for a typical guest round. In addition you have the opportunity to win some of your money back.

3. You do not have to be a scratch golfer.

Other districts around the state and country are focused primarily on competition for single digit handicap golfers. Only two of the many events in that the TDGA organizes are scratch, and the match play is flighted. The other events award both net and gross prizes and have different divisions.

4. It is a great networking and socializing opportunity.
Many of the events are team based (two and four person events) and bring teams from all over. It's a great chance to spend time with friends in unique competitions and meet people from other clubs. 

5. It's included...other than entry fees to the events, your membership to the TDGA is included with your CIC Membership.

Catawba Island Club pays dues to the Toledo District to be a Member Club. You as a CIC member do not have to pay any dues to have access to the TDGA events - only the entry to the event. Plus you can play in one or all of the events. 

6. The Toledo District Golf Association is not-for-profit....
so a good portion of the funds goes to support the Chick Evans Scholarship. If you haven't heard of the Chick Evans Scholarship we encourage to learn more - CLICK HERE - as it is an amazing process. 

Catawba Island Club's Golf Professionals
attendance to the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show

Nobody feels the itch of cabin fever more than golfers. This is the main reason why ‘What do you do over the winter?’ happens to be the most frequently asked question of anyone working in the golf business. The golf season in Northern Ohio is non-stop which leaves little to no time for future planning or relaxation. This is why Ben, Paul, Patrick and Jeremey did some future planning while enjoying their quality time by taking a trip to the PGA Merchandise Show and the Golf Industry Show.

This year the big “hit” was the golf board which is actually a battery powered surf/skateboard with an optional handle and bag rack which allows the players to have the ‘surf the turf’ experience.

For anyone who loves to play golf the PGA Merchandise show is the place to visit.  As Patrick recounted “they have anything and everything a golfer could want and whole lot more.”.  The show kicks-off with the world’s largest demo day hosted on a 360-degree practice range.  All of the new equipment is available to hold, hit and ogle.  This year the big “hit” was the golf board which is actually a battery powered surf/skateboard with an optional handle and bag rack which allows the players to have the ‘surf the turf’ experience. These hit the market about four years ago and are slowly gaining popularity. 

The biggest surprise was to see TaylorMade/Adidas back on the main floor.  In the past they have spent mega-dollars to occupy prime real estate at the front of the hall, but there focus away from green grass retail stores may be hurting them in the Club market. Not to worry….CIC’s club fitting process allows us to fit for different manufacturers and put them in your bag cost effectively.  While we are on the subject….we will again host the Cleveland wedge fitting day and are bringing in a set of Titleist 

The next two days are for walking the enormous conference floor — apparel, equipment, gimmicks and gadgets galore.  On the apparel side there is a very interesting shift…more manufacturers are designing clothes that blur the line between the golf course and everything else we do and are calling it lifestyle apparel. Companies like LinkSoutl (the initiator) Turtleson, BigHorn, Salute by LevelWear, and others are making clothes that can be worn on the course, on the docks, or in the Cove bar.

Paralleling the lifestyle trend is the movement for athletic apparel to look good in they gym, the streets, and the course. UnderArmour is continuing to grow in popularity.  Who are we to buck the trend…UnderArmour will again have a strong presence at CIC.  Special note:  UnderArmour recently purchased an activity tracking technology company and we will not be surprised if we we soon see the “UA” logo on swing or shot tracking devices. 

Technology continues to advance in the shot tracking arena….think scorecard combined with gps mapping.  The technology allows golfers to track each shot hit and then upload onto a course map complete with statistics for each club hit. The two major players in this arena are Game Golf and Arccos Golf.  As with any other data tracking technology (e.g. launch monitors or swing trackers) if you don’t do anything with the data they are simply expensive toys.