June 2007

  • June 3, 2007
  • Written by Don Campbell

We had a tremendous seminar in Nipawin on June 6th. Jim Ross of the Prairie Turfgrass Research Centre in Olds Alberta gave an interesting presentation on Snow Mold. This captivated those 30 plus turf managers in attendance.

Mr. Ross is very knowledgeable about his topic and I believe everyone left with a better understanding about the preventative measures needed for snow mold.

S.T.A. Zone 6 Director Ken Lintott did an outstanding job in preparing for this seminar. Everything was well organized and went off without a hitch. The lunch was superb as were the wings and cold ones after golf. The facility and the golf course were outstanding. What I saw of the golf course would compare with anything in the province.

Talking with Mr. Lintott after the seminar, we agreed the day was a real success and we have to host more of these. We certainly managed to reach out to the small clubs and they appreciated the effort.

I’ve always said the very best turf managers are those that attend as many seminars as they can and participate in Associations. Ken Lintott fits this perfectly. He has eight people working on his maintenance staff… six of which are new and undergoing training. His golf course is in great condition and still he was able to organize this seminar. We are lucky to have him as a Director on the S.T.A. and we’ll only get better with his input.

S.T.A. President Doug Leavins has called an association board meeting for June 20th at the Saskatoon Golf and Country Club. Items on the agenda will undoubtedly be the Research Tournament and another seminar to be held in September. If anyone has any concerns or suggestions that require discussion, please contact me.

The Canadian Amateur will be held at the Riverside Country Club
this summer. Doug Campbell is already narrowing up the fairways and letting the irrigated rough grow to 4” as required by the RCGA. I’m betting they will ask Doug to cut it down once they see how thick it gets. Regardless, Riverside will be a tremendous test for Canada’s best amateurs. Along with the Amateur, Riverside will host the Willingdon Cup Trials. The last time Saskatchewan won the Willingdon cup was 1964, held at Riverside.

I hear that golf rounds are down this year
. Certainly a lot has to do with the cool spring, or is it a trend that may be coming. I know of at least a half dozen people who have cut their golf in half. Two reasons they mention – it’s too time consuming and it’s too expensive. People don’t like to play 9 holes and golf courses that are too difficult are another couple of reasons I’ve heard in and around Saskatoon.

Jim Ross, our featured speaker in Nipawin, is currently the Executive Director of the P.T.R.C. in Olds, Alberta. He is known and respected as a researcher throughout North America. Jim also is an avid golfer who, as a student, worked on golf courses and later was a green superintendent. Later he became a director on a Golf Club Board, a Greens Chairman, a President and is currently back on the Board as a Long Range Planning Chairman. Most importantly he is a friend of all Turf Managers and makes everyone’s job easier. I forgot one… he was on the ?raining staff of the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League – a man of many talents.

Here is one you may want to know. It is recommended that generally the green flag be located at least five paces from any edge of the green. If a bunker is close to the edge or if the ground slopes away from the edge, the distance should be greater, especially if the shot is more than a pitch.

Brad Konecsni, Guertin’s green man, explained this to me in Nipawin. He says “In some parts of Africa, native tribes practice the strange custom of beating the ground with sticks and uttering wild blood curling yells”. He says Jim Benoit has this down pat, but anthropologists call this a form of primitive self expression. We in North America call it golf. Good explanation Brad!

Mosquitoes are here again
and golfers as well as golf course employees are spraying themselves for protection. I’m going to say this again – when spraying, do so on a cart path or somewhere besides over the turf so as to avoid damage. My recommendation is to install a sign at the first tee indicating how insect repellent damages the turf and suggest where spraying should take place.

Most golf courses in the province are in good playing condition. There are, however, some that are having their problems due to winter injury. They are getting better, but are having a tough go because of the cool weather. A risk of frost at this time of year is not unusual but it sure is aggravating when you want turf to heal.

Do properly applied chemicals pose a threat
to groundwater, lakes or streams? The answer is NO. Studies consistently show that a well-managed golf course can actually improve water quality on and around the facility. Research also shows that when pesticides and fertilizers are used properly, they do not tend to seep into groundwater or run off into surface water. Modern products and practices allow superintendents to manage so efficiently that there is little chance of harm to our precious water resources.

Beginning to hear do-gooders in my city say
we have to ban pesticides. I say if we ban chemicals, we should ban hair spray, perfume or cologne. Some people react to these products and are they really necessary? What about underarm deodorant? Maybe it does cause breast cancer, even though there isn’t any evidence to that effect. What about perms... chemicals strong enough to curl your hair!

Golf courses ratings or who is #1 are dumb. They don’t tell you how much they spend each year on Course Maintenance, how old the golf course is or what part of the country they are in. Golf is a game where you can have fun… ratings are worth diddly squat!

I’m going to finish this with: “After clearly missing the ball four times in a row, the new lady golfer turned to her friend and asked ‘Well, am I out or do I walk?’”.
Good night everybody!

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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.