Tuesday, December 13, 2011

GCSAA's very own Greg Lyman!

Greg is the Director of Environmental Programs for the Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America.  In this video footage he is a guest on the Morning Drive, a talk show on the Golf Channel.  The message he protrays is relemvant to anyone that enjoys the game of golf because he discusses some of the regulations that golf course operations are governed by that many golfers do not even know about and that anti-golf individuals consistently pursue.  Now many of these regulations are valid, but should not only pertain to golf courses, but homeowners and place of business as well.  Things like water usage and chemical regulations.

There is not a great deal of statistical information in this video or even reference material in general, but hopefully you will gain some awareness about some of the challenges facing your favorite course.  And also how golf course superintendents are managing the playing surfaces in an effort to promote environmental awareness across the globe.  Many golfers flock to courses across the world, but how many know where the turf maintenance facility is, let alone the person entrusted with the upkeep of the turf.  Get to know your golf course superintendent and ask him/her what he/she is doing to improve the environement at your course.

Click on the link below and enjoy the message!


"Being in a links bunker is a little like sitting in a rigid pew at the village kirk on Sunday.  'You're noot here to have a good time, lad.  Yer here to atone fer yer sins.'"

~Donald Steel, British golf architect, quoting a Scottish friend.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Frost Delays

Every year around this time I get to talk about a subject that many golfers do not like to hear about....Frost Delays.  Let me tell you, golf staff doesn't like this topic either.  The reason is that every year around this time they are required to enforce frost delays and deal with unhappy customers that are anxious to get on the golf course.  We understand that getting on the course is important to you and we will do everything to make that happen, but frost is not something that we have any control over.  Some courses will run water to knock the frost off of the grass, but this can lead to bigger issues like ice.  This was a common request when I worked in Indiana (where frost delays lasted until 12:30 some days), but the practice performed when some areas of the course are still below freezing can lead to more waiting because ice takes much longer to thaw than frost. 

The reason for the delays is the damage that can occur from foot or equipment traffic to the turf when frost is present.   With more frost days expected, this is a good time to look at the conditions favorable for frost.

Frost occurs on clear cold nights when turfgrass plants re-radiate heat (exothermic reaction). As the plant loses heat to the atmosphere the plant leaf cools. If the plant temperature is cooler than the air temperature then moisture from the atmosphere will condense on the leaf. If the leaf temperature drops below freezing then the water freezes and frost forms. This will occur even if the air temperatures are slightly above freezing. At this time of the year it is not uncommon to have frost form even if the air temperature is in the mid to high 30s.  This is due to the fact that the soil temperatures are still creating a much cooler microclimate at ground level.  Think of the scenario when you pour your favorite beverage into a glass that has been in the freezer.  FROST!

Frost itself does not cause damage, but injury does occur with traffic on frosted areas. Turf damage is generally superficial. This is not to say that traffic should be allowed on frosted turf. If traffic occurs, whether it is foot or mechanical, damage caused by crushing the leaf blade will occur. Initially the symptoms will appear purplish to black in color. The damaged turf will then progress to a straw color. If no damage occurs to the crown (the growing point), recovery will occur from the generation of new leaves.  However if the crown of the plant is damaged the plant may be severely damaged or worst case it may die.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A new link for the blog...check it out!

Our non-profit partner that we are working with to become a Zero Waste Golf Course has changed their name from EPA Inc (Environmental Protection Associates Incorporated) to Zero Waste Concepts.  You can find their link on the right hand column of the blog for future reference.  Right now I invite you to click on the link below to go directly to their site.  At the present time the website is undergoing changes and development so that we will be able to schedule docent led tours via this website as well as provide a bevy of information regarding our Zero Waste Park at Dairy Creek and various other tidbits of info about how you too can utilize Zero Waste Concepts in your own home, place of business, and school to help make a difference in the global environment.  The below link will allow you to view the informational video piece that KAlta Designs created for our Zero Waste Park at Dairy Creek, which describes our goals and how we began down this path.  Please enjoy and let me know if you have any questions or share your comments.  Thanks for visiting!