Tuesday, March 29, 2011

GCSAA Certification Committee

I was honored recently by being asked to serve on the Certification Committee for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.  I have volunteered to serve on a national committee several times before but had not been selected.  I am looking forward to this experience as I believe it will help me improve my leadership skills, allow me to meet new industry contacts, and give back to the national association.

The professional designation of Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS) is the highest level of recognition acheivable in the golf course industry and is bestowed upon those individuals who voluntarily meet the stringent requirements set forth by the GCSAA.  It is the most widely recognized acheivement in the golf course industry and is currently held by 1640 active GCSAA Class A members worldwide.

The certification committee's charge is to further the professionalism and education of the golf course superintendent through the continual review and upgrading, as needed, of all elements of the GCSAA Certification program. Members of this committee host the annual CGCS Luncheon during the Golf Industry Show, review all program appeals and are asked to be trained and serve as certification portfolio judges.

The 2011 Certification Committee will be chaired by Mr. Rafael Barajas, CGCS of  Hacienda Golf Club, La Habra Heights, CA . 

The remaining members of the Certification Committee will consist of:
Mr. Timothy J. Benedict, CGCS of Woodmere Club, Woodmere, NY
Mr. William Brown, CGCS of Hartefeld National Golf Course, Kennett Square, PA,
Mr. B. Russell Dooge, CGCS of King Kamehameha Golf Club, Wailuku, HI,
Mr. Vincent A. Pavonetti, CGCS of Fairview Country Club, Greenwich, CT,
Mr. David H. Robinson, CGCS of Marriott Golf, Ocoee, FL,
Mr. Scott A. Sewell, CGCS  of Seascape Resort, Destin, FL,
Mr. Eric Ward, CGCS of Golf Tremblant, Sainte-Adele, PQ Canada, and
Mr. Ron Wright, CGCS of Blue Tip Golf Course, Mobile, AL
and Ms. Penny Mitchell, Senior Manager of Certification, GCSAA, Lawrence, KS.

Monday, March 28, 2011

USGA Article on Brushing Greens

Great article by Mr. Brian Whitlark of the United States Golf Association on the "rebirth" of brushing greens.  "Bring Back Brushing!"  explains the advantages of brushing greens and the various types of brushes available for greens mowers to fairway mowers.  We have seen a visible improvement in our greens since we started using the Greens Perfection brushes and expect that the quality of the turf will only get better over time.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Eagles get publicity in Chattanooga Times Free Press

Photo by Dan Henry CTFP Staff Photographer

Our local golf writer, David Uchiyama, recently gave our bald eagles some good publicity in an article he wrote for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. We are very appreciative of David for sharing the good news about our bald eagles as they seem to be thriving, and the male is seen circling around the golf course daily bringing food back to the young eaglets.  Click on the link below to view his article:

"Eagles Nesting Over Bear Trace" Chattanooga Times Free Press 3/24/2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A View Inside an Eagle's Nest

Norfolk Botanical Gardens Eagle Cam
EAGLE CAM-Get a rare look inside a bald eagle nest in the wild

This has got to be one of the cooler things I have seen on the web in a while.  The Norfolk Botanical Garden has installed a live feed camera on a bald eagle nest to observe all the stages of the fledging process.

To view the live feed click the link below:

Eagles Nest Live Feed

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bunker Renovation Made Easy

We are finishing up the final sand bunker for this year and I am very pleased with the results that we have acheived.  Our golfers have been nothing but complimentary on the progress that we have made and all they ask is "When are you going to get the rest of them done?"

The process of renovating the bunkers can be a time consuming task and we are always looking for ways to save time while still doing the job properly.  Ted Fist, whos company manufactures Sand Mat, gave me a great tip on trimming the bunker liner that has saved us a lot of time and has made the job so easy to complete.

We have used razor blades, hawk bill knifes, large tin sheering scissors, and even a propane torch to try to cut the liner but Ted's suggestion of using a 4.5" right angle grinder has made all the difference in the world.  We purchased a Makita cordless right angle grinder from Grainger Tools.  We tried to use the disc that came on the grinder at first but soon found that if we took the guard off of the grinder and installed a 7" metal cutoff blade that the grinder was far enough away from the liner as not to allow any strands of liner to wind around the shaft.  (My disclaimer:  Be careful if you use the grinder without the guard in place.)

Makita 4.5" Right Angle Grinder

Friday, March 11, 2011

I vow never to complain again

I have been looking around the blog world at other golf course superintendents maintenance blogs when the other night I came upon Stephen Sarro of Vail Golf Club and Nordic Maintenance in Vail, Colorado.  Very interesting blog but they entries that caught my eye were their recent removal of snow from their greens.  Mr. Sarro tells that they have gotten 160 inches of snow and the attached YouTube video shows how they manage to remove the snow from their greens to prepare for the upcoming golfing season.


After watching this I have vowed to never complain again about watering greens, pulling covers or any of the other tasks that I have to perform.  My hat is off to the maintenance crew at Vail Golf Club and any other golf course that has this project to look forward to every year.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Greens Mower Brushes

Sharing of information and ideas is one of the great things about golf course maintenance blogs.  I have discovered many new techniques and products from viewing other golf course maintenance blogs and with that in mind I want to tell you about some new brushes we are using on our John Deere walk behind greens mowers.

Mr. Rod Lingle, CGCS of Memphis Country Club has developed a new bristled brush  which is installed in place of the metal groomer on the mower.  The reverse rotation of the groomer on John Deere mowers throws sand and debris to the front of the mower instead of into the reel.  The striping effect of the brush on the greens is very impressive and we are well pleased with the results. 

 The brushes are available with different stiffness and spacing of the bristles.  We are using the ultradwarf brush which has 12 rows of bristles providing superior contact with the green surface.  The different styles of brushes makes them a great tool on bentgrass or bermuda grass greens.  We have only used the brushes for a month but I can definitely see an improvement in our greens and look forward to the summer months ahead.  I encourage you to visit Rod's website for Greens Perfection brushes at  Greens Perfection Brushes

#8 Green
The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay
March 3, 2011
#10 Green
The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay
March 3, 2011

This photo is courtesy of BJ Parker at Brentwood Country Club in Brentwood, Tennessee.  BJ is mowing with Greens Perfection brushes installed on his John Deere 2500 riding greens mower.


Friday, March 4, 2011

What a way to start the year

The weather in Chattanooga, Tennessee so far this year has been fantastic.  The high for the month of February was 75.7 with the low being 18.9 for an average of 46.6.  The average temperature for February 2010 was 36.2.  The ten degree difference, especially the high temperatures in the last two weeks has resulted in our Champion ultradwarf greens breaking dormancy about a month earlier than they normally do. We have begun the process of removing the "winter coat" off of the greens and hope to have them back to regular maintenance heights soon.

In addition to the greens breaking dormancy, so have many of the flowering trees around the golf course.  The cherry trees in front of #18 green help to signify that spring has arrived.  The flowering trees are beautiful to look at but for all of us allergy sufferers it sure does make it hard to breathe.

I had the pleasure of spending about 15 minutes yesterday morning viewing one of our bald eagles (I think this is the male of the group).  He sat on his perch behind #10 green the entire time we were rolling and changing the hole location on the green and never once moved or seemed like we were disturbing him.  What a majestic and beautiful sight to see them flying around the golf course.