July 2007

  • July 5, 2007
  • Written by Don Campbell

Ever have a Tournament and they want a circle on the green around the pin? Try Cornstarch! It is very cheap and washes off overnight with the irrigation system. Use a rope tied to the flagstick, a funnel with a ½ inch hole and a metal rod to tap the side of the funnel to get the cornstarch to fall out. It works well, is highly visible and a player can putt through it without disruption to ball roll.

A quick fact - The Hudson Institute declared that pesticides have been primarily responsible for reducing cancer rates because their use has introduced more fruits and vegetables into the North American diet. This view has been reiterated in a November 15, 1997 issue of Cancer Magazine. That was ten years ago so why are fruit and veggies so expensive if there are so many?

Remember this one –
Did you know trees save energy. One large tree has the same cooling effect as 15 room sized air conditioners. Mature trees shading homes cut energy costs up to 50%.

Few people worry about health threats posed by insects. That’s because pest populations are held in check by pest management programs, which include responsible use of specialty pesticides. A pest-free living environment protects the food supply. Without pest control rodents and insects would dine on much of the food meant for human consumption.

An equipment tip – a spark plug that needs to be replaced will have a rounded center and side electrodes. The insulation on a plug that is light grayish brown indicates that the spark plug had the correct heat range for the engine.

How about this –
there are 3500 seeds in one gram of bentgrass seed. Also, Poa annua is not the dreaded weed it was once considered to be.

On September 13, 1926 sixty greenkeepers
gathered at the Sylvania Country Club in Toledo, Ohio to organize a joint Canadian-American Greenkeepers Association. Six months later in January 1927 in Chicago, the first annual meeting of the National Association of Greenkeepers was held with 75 members in attendance.

I like this nursery rhyme so much I’ll share it with you:
The hydraulic oil killed our green in streaks,
The damage could be visible for many weeks!
The golfers want the green fixed fast,
That putting green nursery will save my…. green!

Whatever happened to the saying:
“Hit it, go find it and hit it again”? Isn’t that what the game of golf is all about? You often hear the question: “What can we do about the condition if the rough?” When my ball lands there I can’t play a recovery shot. Doesn’t the lie of the ball dictate the type of shot that is to be played? Where does it say there shouldn’t be a penalty for hitting it into the rough?

I’ve heard that morning sunlight is better for turf than midday or afternoon sunlight. What do you think? The general consensus is that morning sunlight is no better than the light at other times of day in terms of light quality. The morning, however, is an optimal time for photosynthesis – where plants produce their own food by converting energy from sunlight into usable forms. Also, turf grass requires at least eight hours of sunlight per day to sustain growth and recuperate from moderate wear.

Aerating is the most beneficial practice we can do for the grass plant, whether it be on fairways, tees or greens. If it is so good why is it so thoroughly disliked by golfers? It’s because golfers don’t know or don’t want to understand the benefits of why it’s so essential to maintain healthy turf. When I was at Riverside in Saskatoon and we were aerating, I’d walk around with a scowl on my face for a week. During that time nobody ever complained to me about it. Sometimes it pays to be a grumpy old man.

We all worry to some degree about certain things –
but worrying creates problems, not solutions. Worrying is a negative emotion and a destructive habit with no place in our lives. Worrying occurs when you assume certain disasters are bound to happen. It is the helpless feeling of inability, and it leads to a perspective of impending disaster. So worrying causes problems instead of solutions. It leads to procrastination instead of action. Does worrying help you operation run more smoothly? No, it never does!

I recently heard this while having lunch at a golf course in Saskatoon. A group of players came in after nine holes and were having a horrible day. It seemed their hooks or slices were because the tee blocks weren’t set up properly. On a par 3, all missed the green because the tee blocks were lined up so they missed both left and right??!!

The recent hot weather isn’t just a nuisance – it can be deadly. Be prepared to take care of your employees in a heat-related emergency. Employees have different levels of tolerance for hot weather. Therefore, it’s sometimes hard to predict when they have trouble with heat stress. By knowing the symptoms ahead of time, you can properly treat their conditions as they occur. Above all, have your workers take plenty of water breaks.

Keep your birch trees well watered to prevent
bronze borer attack. Drought conditions have contributed to the decline of the birch tree. The bronze borer is attracted to birch trees under stress. I could be a little late with this tip for those in Saskatoon as there aren’t many birch trees left.

When I worked at Riverside in Saskatoon
I never played golf. Consequently, my golf game is non existent. In fact, it’s somewhere beyond a horse and an outhouse. That’s about the only description I can give you, but to hell with it – I’m going to play golf anyway! I’ll see you all at the Research Tournament.

More in this category: « June 2007 August 2007 »

About Don Campbell

Don CampbellG. N. Don Campbell,
1933 –2016

S.T.A. Executive Director, 'Turf Tips' writer and editor of our 'TURFTALK' newsletter, Don Campbell has been an asset to our industry for decades!
A member in the turfgrass community for more than 57 years, Don started his career at Riverside Country Club in Saskatoon as a caddy, eventually becoming the course Superintendent. He finished his career as the General Manager at the very same course.

In 2004, Don was awarded the CGSA John B. Steel Distinguished Service Award, recognizing his lifetime commitment to turf care.
Don is survived by his wife Marie have three children: Sherril, Glen and Doug. 

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.