VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2 / SUMMER 2016
Moraine Country Club opens to rave reviews following its much anticipated renovation project.
Official Newsletter of MVGCSA and COGCSA
Dear COGCSA Members,
Well, it’s been a challenging past six weeks to put it mildly. Hope you have all weathered the storm! If you’re in need of any advice, ideas or just need to talk about issues you are having... Reach out to our membership, which is after all what this association was built for.
A Big Congratulations to Bob Becker and his staff at Scioto Country Club! What a great event you all put on, with what could have been the toughest weather pattern imaginable.
A reminder to all to tune into the Golf Zone, Sunday nights from 8:00 – 10:00pm on Fox Sports Time and watch the Superintendents Report. Brian and his team have done a wonderful job producing these segments, show your support by watching and spreading the word.
Upcoming events for COGCSA:
Our next meeting is the Assistant Superintendents meeting to be held at Mentel Memorial GC on October 13thhosted by Sean Magginnis. This meeting is geared toward Assistant Superintendents, but all members are encouraged to attend and have a fun day meeting with peers and playing golf with friends.Register for this event at www.cogcsa.org.
We are planning a social event at OSU Scarlet course during the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on September 22 to support Dennis Bowsher and his staff. The event, called Party on the 13th, will be a free event and feature $1.00 drinks anytime anyone gets a birdie on the 13th hole. Join us any time after 2:00p. So we can have an idea of how many people will be attending, please RSVP at www.cogcsa.org.
The annual Ohio Cup will be hosted by Jim Cola at Worthington Hills CC on October 3rd. COGCSA will have a team competing against the other four Ohio Chapters for the Cup.
Thank you Jim, Dennis and Sean for hosting us at your facilities!
Hope to see many of you at our next meeting.
Summer is winding down so we can now let the healing begin! I hope everyone had a successful summer and has at least some grass left to work with this fall. It’s been an odd one to say the least.
Our summer golf events were a success. Attendance was good at both events and it was nice to see that a lot of you were able to get away from your courses for a while to get a little R & R.
As we transition into the Fall and Winter months, we have some exciting events coming up. In late October, we are planning a trip to the new Top Golf facility in West Chester.
We’ll spend some time catching up after the long summer while we check out this new trend in the golf industry. Details will be coming out about this meeting soon.
In November will be our popular Round Table discussions and in December will be the Christmas Party. In January we plan to have our Education Session and Annual Meeting. Dates, times, and locations will be sent out soon, so be watching for that.
I hope that everyone can take some time out of your busy schedules to attend these events.
I encourage you to visit our website for detailed information and registration for these events.
Thanks for your time and participation.
By Guy Cipriano
BOLD BRINGS BETTER
Superintendent Jason Mahl sparked conversations about
improving Moraine Country Club. He’s now ready to take
the historic course to another level.
Moraine Country Club reopened less than two weeks earlier and Jason Mahl had already shifted his attention to improving a product he played a big part in enhancing. Under a tree behind the 18th green – a symbolic location for an improvement conversation because removing thousands helped transform Moraine – a quartet of confidants encircled Mahl.
His former Louisville Country Club boss, Ric Kehres, and highly regarded Valhalla Golf Club superintendent Roger Meier traveled from Kentucky to see the course. Chad Dorrell made the 35-mile trip to Kettering, Ohio, from Springfield Country Club. Assistant Noah Pier arrived on the Moraine grounds with Mahl well before sunrise, preparing the course for visitors on this sultry late-June day.
Mahl accepted praise from his colleagues. He also proved to be the most inquisitive member of the group. Huge chunks of the last 10 years of his working life were dedicated to an effort that swelled into a $5 million renovation, the largest post-recession renovation in Ohio. The end of construction brings exhilaration, weariness and moments of reflection, all of which Mahl has experienced since the mid-June reopening. He also understands it can’t yield complacency, thus the extended conversations with superintendents who have parlayed upgrades via renovations into stronger courses. Mowing lines, maintaining approaches, topdressing. Mahl absorbed every topic discussed under that tree.
Slowing when construction stops isn’t in Mahl’s makeup, especially when you consider some of his bold moves in the last 10 years. Mahl arrived at Moraine in 2006 after serving as an assistant superintendent at Pine Valley, the sensational and sandy New Jersey course many consider among the world’s best golf venues. Before arriving at Pine Valley, Mahl worked for Kehres at Louisville Country Club. A young architect named Keith Foster oversaw a renovation during Mahl’s time in Louisville. Everything about the renovation, from the grueling days to Foster’s detail-driven approach, enthralled Mahl.
Starting a new job in September and recommending to his bosses in October a solid course with a PGA Championship pedigree needed significant work, might be viewed as a risky action for a superintendent. But Mahl proceeded with a comprehensive presentation to Moraine’s board anyway.
“It was a to-do list and one of the things on it was to develop a golf course master plan,” Mahl says. “I introduced the idea to the committee and board and told them about Keith Foster. At first, when I said something to them, they thought I was a little bit crazy. Finally, once I got Keith here and explained to them the vision Keith has … What I wanted was a working document, kind of a road map of any tree removal, any future changes.”
Foster is picky about where he works, limiting himself to no more than two projects per year. His relationship with Mahl, whom he considers a “top-shelf” superintendent, sparked Foster’s initial interest in Moraine.
Overgrown trees along key corridors causing obstructing views of the property, failing drainage and a stew of turfgrasses in playing areas altered Moraine, the most notable design by Alex “Nipper” Campbell, a Scottish professional golfer who settled in the Dayton area. The course opened in 1930 and hosted the 1945 PGA Championship won by Bryon Nelson. Moraine means earth carried and deposited by a glacier, and the club’s 170-acre property fits its geological namesake. The first time Foster walked the property alone, he noticed similarities with Cape Cod gem Eastward Ho! “The ground at Eastward Ho! is nothing short of inspiring,” Foster says. “It’s bold. It’s dynamic. It’s sweeping. It’s grand. In essence, I think it’s epic.”
Moraine, in Foster’s mind, had the same potential as Eastward Ho!, which he renovated in 2004. A savvy superintendent, glacial ties and throwback green complexes convinced him to pursue the project. “You put those three things together and go, ‘Sure, there is a lot of work that needs to be done,’” Foster says. “But in the end, it’s just such a special place.”
As the economic downtown reached Dayton, Mahl commenced the improvement process. In the winter of 2007-08, his team embarked on widespread tree removal. Out went seven acres of trees between the eighth and 17th holes. Out went two acres more between 14, 15 and 16. Out went another ½ acre between 7 and 16. Trees were removed in other select locations, and by the end of the winter, Mahl estimates they cleared 2,000 trees planted during the 1950s and ’60s.
“You could not believe how steep these hills and views and vistas were,” he says. “I was sending pictures to the board in the snow. The snow really shows the contours once you started dropping trees. We were all blown away. That was the cool part, kind of what we revealed underneath and what was hidden over the years.”
Tree removal teased what awaited. Renovation discussions started turning serious in 2011 and ’12 as the master plan devised by Foster made enhancements such as regrassing and adding drainage priorities. Mahl visited multiple Mid-Atlantic and East Coast clubs that had converted fairways to 007 bentgrass. He also visited Pine Valley and swung by southeastern Pennsylvania with multiple Moraine representatives to see Philadelphia Cricket Club, where Foster was completing a renovation. The group met with Philadelphia Cricket Club director of grounds Dan Meersman and then walked the course. Foster declined an invitation to join the group.
“I think it’s essential for clubs to visit other clubs that have done it,” Foster says. “I don’t feel like I have to be part of it. I want them to look at it from the perspective of not me selling them on what they should do, but rather allow them to see what really is possible.”
Moraine and Philadelphia Cricket Club are 550 miles apart and will never compete for the same members. But visiting Philadelphia Cricket Club near the end of a renovation further nudged Moraine’s leaders toward pursuing their own massive project.
“Moraine was a great golf course before, but it let them know how good it can with the clean lines and everything defined,” Mahl says. “That trip to Philadelphia was kind of the shining moment of what made things happen. It was a very good template.”
Everything happened fast after the trip, with Moraine members approving a renovation plan and the course closing in 2015 for construction. Members of Mahl’s crew remained employed during the renovation as they managed more than 1,000 truck deliveries. The crew seeded and hydromulched 115 acres and meticulously fertilized and watered the course during the grown-in.
All key areas of the course received attention. Fifteen greens were restored to resemble Campbell’s original intent and putting surfaces increased by 10 percent because of what Foster calls a 24- to 30-inch “belt cut” of low-mow Kentucky bluegrass replacing collars. Mahl and Foster worked together on grass selection and drainage. Greens were seeded with Pure Distinction bentgrass; fairways with 007. Fairways comprise 30 acres and are 11 percent larger than their pre-renovation size.
Mahl and his crew completed a series of in-house drainage projects from 2010-11, but the renovation gives Moraine gravity drainage capabilities. The club has nine miles of underground drainage that didn’t exist in 2006, increasing the chances of producing firm conditions when the new grasses mature.
Foster’s work increased the bunker total from 48 to 60. The bunkers feature flat bottoms and steep, grass faces. The bunkers, along with native areas lining numerous holes, will frame greens and fairways and provide golfers with memorable visuals. The crew mowed the native areas in late May, and Mahl tells industry friends the aesthetics should be different in 2017. When standing on mounds and gazing at the interior of the course, parts of Moraine already look painting-like. “As Keith says, ‘Moraine is a sleeping giant,’” Mahl says.
Foster knows Moraine has the right person overseeing his most recent work. Mahl, a Willard, Ohio, native who attended Ohio State, is primed to take Moraine to the level he envisioned when he boldly told the membership the course possessed unfulfilled potential.
“I believe my programs are better because the superintendents that I work with make my work better than it really is,” Foster says. “Jason is no exception to this.”
Guy Cipriano is Golf Course Industry’s associate editor.
Autumn cultivation season has started for some with much of the coring targeted around Labor Day. Of the golf course management practices, core cultivation (aerification) is probably the most noticeable to golfers, and the least appreciated. The disruption to play is quite obvious but the benefits, although not as visual are just as important. Aggressive coring practices are normally done during periods of active turfgrass growth in the spring and fall. Factors involved in the type of coring to be done (hollow versus solid, tine diameter and depth, degree of disruption to the turf) are dependent on the desired long-term outcomes. Listed below are some of the outcomes from coring (and various types of cultivation practices).
Scheduling autumn coring into the golf courses calendar is often times the most challenging part of the process. From an agronomic perspective coring should be done when the turf is actively growing and the likelihood for environmental stress is low. If I had to quantify the "ideal" period, it would be when the average soil temperature is in the mid 60's. If coring is done when soil temperatures are high you run the risk of injury to the plant. If you wait late into to the autumn temperatures are cool and turf recovery (ex. filling in the holes) is slow.
Soil Physical Properties
On compacted soils, research on loamy sand has shown that hollow tine coring (HTC) decreases the soil bulk density, increases air porosity and hydraulic conductivity (Murphy et al. 1993). The soil strength is decreased with HTC, which may or may not be a desired characteristic.
Solid tine coring (STC) is often a desired practice because it causes less disruption to the turf surface. However, STC is not as effective as HTC with regard to the previously mentioned soil physical properties. HTC decreases the soil bulk density to a greater extent than STC while air porosity is 19 to 21% greater with HTC than STC. Regarding soil macropores, HTC produces a greater percentage of these pores than STC. Hydraulic conductivity is also lower with STC when compared to HTC, while soil strength is greater with STC.
Note: It is a mute point but if the soil is not compacted (I know of very few cases where greens or fairways in Ohio are not!) coring will actually negatively impact (in the short term) the before mentioned physical properties (Murphy, 1993)
Impact on Root Growth
Root length and mass is probably enhanced over time by coring. In the short-term however, root and shoot growth is injured with coring. The drier the soil conditions at time of coring, the greater the likelihood root and damage will occur. Increased root growth from coring in the autumn will not be observed until late fall or more likely the following spring. When coring, especially if the turfgrass plants are still suffering from residual summer stress, make sure soil moisture levels are adequate (close to field capacity) and soil temperatures are not high.
Cultivation Pan Layer
A potential problem with continual coring is the development of a cultivation pan layer. This layer is a thin zone of soil compaction that occurs immediately below the coring depth. Petrovic (1979) demonstrated that compaction occurs around a hollow tine core hole. Compaction along the edges of the coring hole is transient but at the bottom of the core a pan layer can develop. This layer is less likely to occur when coring under dry soil conditions, but the disadvantage as mentioned previously it the potential for increased root injury. I think it is important to stagger the depth of coring to break or reduce the potential for the development of this layer.
Coring and removing the core results in no permanent reduction in thatch (the organic fraction). The re-incorporation of the cores can reduce through dilution the thatch layer. In general, coring in combination with other management practices like topdressing, and aggressive vertical cutting will help in thatch management.
Coring during the autumn potentially increases the opportunity for annual bluegrass invasion. Recently reported findings out of Penn State University has found that the potential for Poa annua invasion is less when solid tines are used versus hollow tines. A possible reason for this is that with hollow tines the soil brought to the surface also brings Poa annua seeds. This is the only advantage I see for using solid tines over hollow tines this time of the year. Also, be sure to core cultivate when the turf is actively growing. Quick recovery of the core holes will reduce the potential for weed invasion, and also provide a better putting surface.
High Pressure Water Injection
During the 1990's high-pressure water injection devices like the Toro Hydroject® were developed to help alleviate soil compaction on turfgrass greens. The advantage to this procedure is the variable depth in penetration that could be achieved with little surface disruption. Research at Michigan State University (Murphy and Rieke, 1994) showed that high-pressure injection was much more effective in relieving compaction as measured by soil physical properties than hollow tine coring.
DryJect® has become popular where sand is ejected into the green or turf through high pressure and water. In both these processes, root injury can occur from the water pressure and sand injection. I would recommend that these practices be done when root and shoot growth are active. If root damage is to occur, it is important to do these practices at the time when root growth would recover.
Coring is an important management practice. The effectiveness of this practice is dependent on a clear focus of what the desired end result is.
Murphy, J.A., A.E. Erickson, and P.E. Rieke. 1993. Core cultivation of a putting green with hollow and solid tines. Agronomy Journal 85:1-9.
Murphy, J.A. and P.E. Rieke. 1994. High pressure water injection and core cultivation of a compacted putting green. Agronomy Journal 86:719-724.
Petrovic, A.M. 1979. The effects of vertical operating hollow tine cultivation on turfgrass soil structure. Ph.D. dissertation. Michigan State University.
By Karl Danneberger
MVGCSA AT BEAVERCREEK GOLF CLUB
Shelia Finney selected as senior director of member programs at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
1-800 NO SWEAT
Shelia Finney will oversee four key programmatic areas in membership programs, chapter services, professional development and environmental programs for the national association, which represents 17,500 members in 72 countries. In addition to serving current members, she will be responsible for the development and implementation of growth and retention strategies of new members.
“I believe everything I've done in my career up until now has prepared me for this opportunity,” said Finney, who will begin her new position Aug. 22. “I was successful as a superintendent because of GCSAA, and I am excited to now play an integral part of this association that means so much to me.”
A 28-year GCSAA member who has served on numerous committees and task groups at both the state and national levels, Finney successfully increased revenue and member participation during her tenure as TGCSA executive director. She also increased membership in TGCSA by more than 30 percent and introduced new revenue streams for the association.
“This is an exciting time for GCSAA and Shelia brings a unique mix of qualities to this highly impactful position,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA's chief executive officer. “Shelia has demonstrated an ability to drive membership growth and value, and she understands the role of a superintendent at a golf facility. This position, which demonstrates our continual commitment to serve our members, aligns well with her experience and skill set and we look forward to benefitting from her energy and expertise.”
Prior to her position as TGCSA executive director, Finney was the head golf course superintendent at Gaylord Springs from 1994 to 2015. She began her career as the assistant there from 1990 to 1994.
During her tenure at Gaylord Springs, Finney was responsible for overseeing major course renovations and course preparations for hosting the Bell South Classic on the PGA Champions Tour for 10 years.
Finney has served on the board of directors for the TGCSA from 2009 to 2015 and on the board of the Tennessee Turfgrass Association from 2007 to 2015. She was executive director of the Tennessee Turfgrass Association from 2015 to 2016.
Former Tennessee association executive and golf course superintendent tapped to lead membership initiatives for national association
Paul R. Latshaw, who prepared golf courses for nine major championships over 38 years as a golf course superintendent, elevating the profession through his influence and innovation, will be the recipient of the 2017 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
The award has been presented annually by GCSAA since 1983 to an individual, who through a lifetime commitment to the game of golf, has helped to mold the welfare of the game in a manner and style exemplified by Old Tom Morris. Morris, a four-time British Open winner, was the longtime superintendent at St Andrews in Scotland until his death in 1908.
“I am dumbfounded, and I still can’t get over the fact that I am getting this award,” said the 75-year-old Latshaw, who retired in 2001. “The first thing I thought of was that Nicklaus and Palmer had won this award. Wow!
“I loved what I did; and I think I helped elevate the profession, and I am proud of that. I was a farm boy from central Pennsylvania who became a golf course superintendent. It sure was better than bailing hay and feeding chickens,” he joked.
Some of the past winners include Arnold Palmer, Gerald Ford, Bob Hope, Dinah Shore, Byron Nelson, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye, Ben Crenshaw, Ken Venturi, Nancy Lopez, Peter Jacobsen and Annika Sorenstam.
Latshaw is the fourth superintendent to receive the award, joining Sherwood Moore (1990), Walter Woods (2002) and GCSAA founder Col. John Morley (2009).
“He changed our lives,” said Matt Shaffer, his former assistant, good friend and director of golf course management at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. “He was always at the front of the line when it came to trying new things in the profession. He was never satisfied with the status quo.”
Shaffer is just one of more than 100 former assistants or interns who joined the golf course management profession after learning from Latshaw. Other notables include his son, Paul B. Latshaw, at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, and John Zimmers at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club.
During his long career, Latshaw worked at Oakmont; Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.; Wilmington (Del.) Country Club; Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.; Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.; and Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
Some of his innovations included rolling greens for firmness, using fans to deliver air circulation and cool greens in the summer, cutting fairway approach areas with walking mowers, and recruiting volunteers to help with the work load at major championships.
Latshaw will receive the award Feb. 7 at the Opening Session of the Golf Industry Show in Orlando. The Opening Session will again be presented in partnership with Syngenta.
“We are indebted to Paul for what he has done for this profession over the past four decades,” said Rhett Evans, chief executive officer of GCSAA. “He has been a mentor, innovator and promoter for the golf course superintendent. His impact lives on through all the people he has influenced in this profession.”
Paul Latshaw to receive Old Tom Morris Award from Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
Longtime superintendent impacted major championship play and playing conditions for all golfers
Though Darian served the sports field industry as head groundskeeper for the Cincinnati Bengals, many of us knew him well as he was always there to help and was a familiar face at conferences throughout the region.
Darian passed away unexpectedly at the age of 47 on Saturday, August 27th.
If you met him, you were a friend and he cared about you. Our industry will miss him dearly.
October 3, 2016
Worthington Hills Country Club
Hosted by the Central Ohio GCSA
Jim Cola, Superintendent
PARTY AT THE 13th!
Join us at OSU Golf Club's Scarlet Course for the Web.com playoffs!
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd
Ohio State University Golf Club - Pub Thirteen
(Located at the 13th Hole)
2:00 PM until play ends
Park at the OSU Maintenance Facility
1471 McCoy Road
Columbus, Ohio 43221
Visit www.cogcsa.org to let us know you're coming!
YANKEE TRACE GOLF GATHERING
CENTRAL OHIO GCSA
OHIO WEE ONE CHAPTER
CHAPTER CHALLENGE FINAL RESULTS
COGCSA = 3,152
GCGCSA = 2,121.5
MVGCSA = 1,632.5
NWOGCSA = 1,167
NOGCSA = 615