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February 2009

  • February 8, 2009
  • Written by

I’m sick of the cold weather. I’m sick of shoveling snow from my driveway and I’m really sick of driving on Saskatoon’s snow and ice covered roads. I’m so sick, I’m going to Florida! By the time you get this I’ll be in the warm, sunny part of my favorite state. I’ll be writing March’s newsletter while I’m there.

We just finished our first STA Board meeting (January 13th) with an excellent turn out of Board members. Despite blizzard conditions only two couldn’t make it. Dean Hildebrandt is in the Dominican Republic and Gord Moore is in bed with the flu. When you consider the atrocious driving conditions, it’s remarkable we had such a good attendance. The STA certainly has a committed group of Directors.

At our meeting the main item on the agenda was the Saskatchewan Turfgrass Association’s Conference and Trade Show, to be held March 22, 23 and 24, 2009. This is going to be a first class event so plan on attending. Our speakers program is almost complete and all will be informative and educational for everyone. We are continuing to sell booth space and again, the trade show is strictly geared to the Saskatchewan Greens Superintendent.

This is important – On Sunday, March 22nd the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association will hold an educational seminar. This is separate from the STA Conference and Trade Show. The registration fee, payable to the CGSA, is $195 for STA and CGSA members. The speaker will be Kevin Frank and his topic will be Spring Recovery. Remember, this is separate from our conference.

Also in the evening of Sunday, March 22nd, starting around 6:00pm, we’ll have registration and the President’s reception. The Wine and Cheese will end about 8:00pm. This will be a fine time to renew old friendships and find out how everyone spent the winter. You president Doug Leavins will be front row and centre that evening.

Lunch on Monday and Tuesday will be for two hours and will be in the Trade Show area. This will give everyone a chance to meet all the exhibitors who will be more than willing to explain their products and answer any questions you may have. This is always a fun time and a real ice-breaker.

I’ve said this before but I think it is worth reporting again
prior to our educational conference. These are tips so you can get the most out of each educational session:

  • Listen attentively and take brief but accurate notes.
  • Share your relevant experience with friends.
  • Ask questions if you don’t understand. The only bad question is the one not asked.
  • Give and receive feedback, when requested, in a positive and constructive manner.
  • Be considerate regarding the needs and opinions of others.

Enter discussions with enthusiasm. You will gain from the program only as much as you put into it.

Just recently I heard this one. This past summer a group of golfers spent considerable time in the golf club bar. This was after a pretty good round of golf. They celebrated and celebrated some more until one of them suggested they should go home. On the way, and not far from the golf club, they had a horrible accident resulting in loss of life. Their alcohol blood levels were so high the police have charged the golf club employees and the Board of Directors for allowing this to happen. It probably will cost the club plenty. All golf clubs should be careful of this because they are liable.

Laurie Unruh told me he was responsible for this little tidbit. At his last golf game of 2008 he spotted a lady golfer he was acquainted with that was running towards the clubhouse. He hurried up behind her and slapped her on the back, saying: “Joan old girl, where the hell are you going in such a hurry?” “Well,” she said, with her eyes closed and a tear beginning to form in the corner of one eye, “I was going to the bathroom!” Laurie has done it again!

To date, we have an even dozen registered for the STA Conference and Trade Show. We are hoping we can attract 200 people to the event. The show will renew old acquaintances, provide you with much useful knowledge and provide fun for everyone.

University of Arkansas found that applications of wetting agents did not increase soil moisture values during periods of frequent irrigation. They also found that the wetting agents Cascade Plus, One Putt and Revolution were the most consistent in improving moisture uniformity in the rootzone. This research found no evidence to support the “myth” that greater moisture levels are retained when wetting agents are applied.

Hollow tine versus solid tine core aerification – Researchers at the University of Nebraska found no difference in organic matter when they compared plots that were aerified with either hollow or solid tines. However, these two practices did reduce organic matter in bentgrass putting greens. Of the less invasive aerification techniques, the Hydroject and needle tines were the most effective in increasing infiltration rates.

In former years we hosted a bowling night
on the Monday evening of the conference. Because the bowling alley is no longer there we decided to go a different route. Our entertainment will be at Joe’s Sports Bar, about 2 blocks from our host hotel. The bar will be closed to everyone from 6pm to 10pm except STA members and friends. Non members of the STA will be charged $25 … STA Members free! Beef on a bun along with salads will be served and happy hour drinks will be for sale. Ron Dagert will be in charge of the entertainment (Texas Hold ‘em - whatever that is). We are trying to get sponsors for the event at a cost of $250. Our goal is 14 sponsors. If you can’t attend get your golf club to help sponsor the event. If we get a full slate of sponsors, up to 4 drink tokens will be supplied free to each person attending (another fine reason to attend)!

Again, I solicit golf clubs to host our 2009 Research Golf Tournament.
We’ve has two clubs come forward, both from the North. We really would like to have the 2009 event in the South as it was in Cochin last year. A Club in Moose Jaw would be perfect for this coming year. Tuesday, August the 11th is the date. Are you listening Owen?

What were your impressions the first time you played or toured the golf course you look after? For most superintendents there was probably a list of items that you noted that you would change or improve. Now that you have been there for a while do you still see the golf course in the same light? Irrigation, fertilization, pest management and cultivation all impact turfgrass health and appearance but what consideration should be given to how they affect playability in the short and long term. Kevin Frank will speak to us for one hour and give his views on golf course presentations and playability, as he has traveled the world, through his unique perspective as a turfgrass scientist and a scratch golfer. This talk is one of many you’ll hear March 23rd and 24th. Don’t miss this one. We’ll see you there!

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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.