August 2006

  • August 7, 2006
  • Written by Don Campbell

Less than three weeks until the Research Tournament in North Battleford at Grant Sawchyn’s golf course. If you want to play a well groomed fun golf course make sure you enter a team. Proceeds will go to Turfgrass research which every golf course in Saskatchewan will benefit from.

I just returned from Alberta where I noticed one golf course in the Calgary area suggesting their players protect themselves with insect repellent to ward off the West Nile Virus and to use their spray on a non-turf area such as a cart path. The attractive sign was in a high traffic area on the way to the first tee.

Every year I get asked what a golf course can do to speed play or how they can educate golfers on how they can play more quickly. “Increase your pace of play without rushing.” Your pace of play depends more on your readiness than on the number of shots you take. No one likes to be considered “a slow player” nor do they want to feel rushed while playing a round of golf. Hit when ready!
Every week I notice a big semi in Saskatoon with a load of sod from the Shellview Sod Farm in Shellbrook. The boys, all S.T.A. members, produce a good product so if you are in the market for sod, give these guys a call. They are professional all the way.

The very good superintendents are active professionally. They serve in their professional turfgrass associations not necessarily as a zone board member. They attend meetings, conferences and seminars. They stand up and speak when called upon. We have a few like the above on our association but unfortunately not nearly enough.

I heard this one on the Golf Channel interview with a certified golf course superintendent from the U.S.A. - he said: “Most of the pesticides we use today are safer than aspirin.” He was talking about today, not 20 years ago. Personally, I take one aspirin per day to ward off a heart attack. Would a ¼ ounce of Killex once a day do the same thing… I doubt it.

My legs, injured severely last winter, came back with much hard work to rehabilitate them. Now it’s a real grind and I cannot see much improvement the past month. This is exactly what the doctor said would happen. I guess they were right when they said it would take over a year of rehab before I could get comfortable again. Initially they said I would have trouble walking unaided. I passed that scare some three months ago.

Every summer I see a lot of golf courses
and the same thing that jumps out at me is having long grass around trees, signs and posts. I really look at this as a sign of incompetence. Regular trimming is probably the most appealing, but also expensive in man hours. Most superintendents use occasional applications of growth retardants. Try it… it will work… and make me happy.

The oldest and most widely used chemical
found in lawn care today is 2-4-D. The toxicology database contains more than 4,000 peer reviewed, published studies of this compound alone. One done by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration fed massive amounts of 2-4-D to dogs for two years. None of the animals developed cancer or any other disease.

The Saskatchewan Golf Association
has a real problem attracting golfers to participate in Saskatchewan competitions. If they only knew the reason, they would correct it. I’ve always said competition improves golf courses and with better courses we would have better players. All I can say to the S.G.A. is to keep plugging away and chances are things will turn around in the near future. Various clubs in the province have to step up to the plate also by encouraging their good players to participate. The more people you have participating, the better the competition.

Help the S.T.A. fulfill their obligation
to Turfgrass research in our Province by entering a team in the upcoming tournament in North Battleford August 22nd. If you can’t enter a team, enter yourself. We want this event to be successful with a full entry!

There is one important fact every person should know
—Why is a golf course 18 holes? Not 20, or 15 but 18? During a discussion among the Clubs membership board at St. Andrews in 1858, one of the members pointed out that it takes exactly 18 shots to polish off a fifth of Scotch. By limiting himself to only one shot of Scotch per hole, the Scot figured a round of golf was finished when the Scotch ran out. Jim Cote will disagree with this, however, as he says he could drink 18 bottles of beer for 18 holes before falling over, thus the 18 holes of golf.

Barry Bonds can hit a baseball a ton, but Tiger Woods can consistently hit a golf ball three times as far.

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About the STA

  • Saskatchewan's Turfgrass Association, founded in 1979, is a non-profit organization. The S.T.A. was organized by a group of Turfgrass Professionals which has grown to include people from Parks, Golf Courses, Sod Growers, Cities and Commercial Companies.