Category Archives: Breaking PAGCS News

Association’s Annual Meeting to Feature Eb Steiniger Award Presentation

The Philadelphia Association of Golf Course Superintendents [PAGCS] will hold its Annual Meeting on Monday, November 4, 2019, at Radley Run Country Club. In addition to the usual Association business, the PAGCS is excited to announce that the Eb Steiniger Award will be presented for the first time in four years.

This award is presented to an individual in the turfgrass profession who exemplifies the spirit of Eberhard Steiniger, CGCS. Eb Steiniger, who passed away in 2002, served as PAGCS president in 1966 and 1967. He dedicate his life to the game of golf by advancing the profession of golf course superintendent. His innovative research, mentoring of future superintendents, and professional involvement locally and nationally have made him a legend in the profession.

The 2019 Eb Steiniger Award Recipient exemplifies the exact spirit of the award. In his over 40 years in the turf industry, he has been dedicated to advancing the careers of industry professionals and supporting the future of the industry with an unwavering passion. The PAGCS is proud to announce the 2019 Eb Steiniger Award Recipient:
George E. Ley.

Three decades ago, George pioneered the region’s first turf student scholarship program, paving the way for many industry professionals to succeed in the turf management profession. The George Ley Scholarship Program has provided tens of thousands of dollars to nearly 100 students over the decades and continues to thrive today, thanks to George’s support and leadership.

George is the owner of George Ley Company and Eastern Irrigation and Pump Company, where he has developed many working relationships with golf course superintendents, as well as numerous other individuals in the industry. He enjoys giving back to the community in many ways: be sure to join us on Monday, November 4, to hear more about George’s life and work.

George E. Ley, left, with Son Brian, at the 2019 Scholarship Outing and Benefit
George E. Ley, left, with son Brian, at the 2019 Scholarship Outing and Benefit

The list of past winners of the Eb Steiniger Award represent the “best of the best” in the golf turf management industry:

Mr. Fred Byrod -1990
Mr.William H.White -1991
Dr. Joseph M. Duich -1992
Dr. Donald Waddington -1993
Dr. John C. Harper II -1994
Mr. Richard E.Valentine -1995
Mr. Charles H. Cadiz Jr., CGCS -1996
Mr. Stanley J. Zontek -1997
Mr. William Marberger -1998
Mr. John A. Segui, CGCS -1999
Mr. Frank I. Shuman -2000
Mr. Joseph H. Way -2001
Dr. Thomas L. Watschke -2004
Mr. Michael R. Smith, CGCS -2005
Mr. Edward Roynan -2006
Mr. Henry Wetzel -2012
Mr. Frank T. Shuman -2015

PSU Berks Valentine East Irrigation Installation: Visit, Watch, Participate

Penn State Berks – Sept 24th Event

Check it out: Dr. Mike Fidanza is buying lunch. Come on out to visit, watch, learn, and/or help install an irrigation system at PSU Berks.

The test plot area at PSU Berks is expanding to include a golf hole and this requires an irrigation system. Come learn best practices, installation techniques, and more, with the opportunity to help install the system.

Date: 9/24/19
Registration: 8:30 a.m.
Tutorial Stations: 9 a.m-4:30 p.m.
Lunch provided by Dr. Mike!

RSVP: Turf Equipment University
George Skawski: 610-554-9366/georgeskawski@turf_equipment.com

Monarchs in the Rough: PA Superintendents Wanted!

The PAGCS has received word that the USGA is working with Audubon International to boost monarch butterfly habitats on golf courses. The goal is to get superintendents in 10 states to establish one acre of habitat on their courses. Pennsylvania is one of those states.

Here is the link to a flier that details the program: MITR Flier (1)

The actual link to register is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/monarchs2017

And further information can be found here: https://monarchsintherough.org/about/

If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to contact me or your local USGA Agronomist.

Best regards,

Darin Bevard
Director, Championship Agronomy
Phone: (610) 558-9066
devard@usga.org

PTC Rounds for Research: Donations Needed

Dear Friends,

The PTC and our Rounds for Turfgrass Committee asks for your support in our upcoming auction of golf rounds held on February 8th – 10th at the Golf Expo in Oaks PA. Last year, we raised over $13,500 by auctioning off 4-somes of golf donated by local private and public golf courses. The 2019 Philadelphia Golf Show will be our 3rd consecutive year representing Penn State Turf and fundraising for the Turf Project. We hope that you and your club or golf facility will continue to support our efforts.

2019 PTC Rounds for Turfgrass.

I am writing to ask for your support by not only donating a 4-some of golf at your club, but to also assist in spreading the word of our campaign to other superintendent’s and golf courses in your region. I have chosen to reach out to you because I know you are either a Penn State Alum, PTC supporter and/or an advocate of the turf industry. Please contact or forward my email and attached letter onto as many superintendent’s in your region as possible. Our goal is to raise $15K this year. I know we can do it with your support and just a few calls or emails to a nearby superintendent. Courses who are able to make a 4-some donation can email a certificate in PDF format to my email address. Those courses that have a specific hard copy certificate and wish to mail it, please mail to my club:

Berkshire C.C.
Attention – Andrew Dooley
1637 Bernville Road
Reading PA 19601

Any specific details or restrictions must be listed on the certificate (i.e. can only be redeemed on weekdays after 12pm). If they would be willing to list the going rate for the 4-some that would be best. I will then print the PDF and display them at the Expo. If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email at your convenience.

Thank you in advance for your support of PTC and Penn State research!

Regards,
Andrew, PTC Past President

PAGCS Volunteer Day at TFTGP THIS Thursday, Nov. 1

PAGC Volunteer flyer for Nov 1stThe 2018 PAGCS Volunteer Day at Walnut Lane, the home of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia [TFTGP] is THIS Thursday, November 1. There are multiple projects planned, from drainage to tree and brush clearing. We just need bodies and
chainsaws—please considering volunteering and/or sending members of your staff to help. Email pagcs1925@gmail.com to sign up.

The PAGCS has played a large part in the continued success that the TFTGP is seeing. The improvements to the golf course have changed the entire dynamic of the program. That the golf course can stand on its own and not take money away from the program is not something that was envisioned only a few years ago. This past year, 19,000 children in the Philadelphia area were impacted by TFTGP!

Features of the day include Dalessandro’s famous cheesesteaks, filming by Inside Golf and more.
Schedule
7 a.m. Continental Breakfast
7:30 a.m. Work Begins
12 p.m. Lunch
Send an email to pagcs1925@gmail.com to sign up.

Challenges of Growing Turfgrass in the Summer of 2018

Over the summer, the Philadelphia region had some atypical weather which has caused a more than normal amount of turfgrass death on golf courses. The region had above average rainfall in August and September. During the month of August, the 30-year average for rain is about four inches, but this August it rained 20 inches. This trend continued in September with 10 inches of rain while the historic average is also about four inches. One local superintendent had nine floods onto his course in August and September.

During this period, soils were saturated longer than normal and there were periods of high humidity with nighttime temperatures greater than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. These conditions are a plant pathologist’s dream but a superintendent’s nightmare. Warm weather diseases such as brown patch, dollar spot, Pythium blight and gray leaf spot were more aggressive and persisted longer than normal, which was a main cause of turf death. Even the best fungicide programs could not overcome the combination of abiotic stress (i.e., persistent hot and wet weather, and low light conditions from cloud cover) and high disease pressure.

mowing grass when too wet

These weather conditions also contributed to delays with mowing and other agronomic tasks, and then having to get equipment out before turf areas properly dried-down often resulted in scalping and mechanical turf damage. Because of the prolonged saturated soil conditions, many superintendents said, “…the turf (rootzone) never got a chance to drain.” And using a wetting agent, under these extreme conditions, would not necessarily help, because, as also noted by superintendents, “…where’s the water going to go?” As the late Dr. Burt Musser is credited with saying, the three most important aspects of turf management are “…drainage, drainage, and drainage.”

These conditions persisted until the third week of September. Normally, between mid-August and mid-September, superintendents are busy aerating, topdressing, seeding, and sleeping well at night because night time temperatures drop below 70 and grass thrives. Instead, superintendents were making additional fungicide applications, cleaning up flood damage, fixing bunker washouts, and waiting to mow soggy turf areas. Finally, by the third week of September, some were able to start seeding and sodding damaged areas but were running out of daylight as days are getting shorter and the sun angle is getting lower.

In addition, the higher than normal rainfall and warm conditions resulted in quicker than normal breakdown of pre-emergence herbicides used to prevent crabgrass. Thus, there was plenty of crabgrass breakthrough and, in many areas, goosegrass became a problem. Another weed that thrived this summer was yellow nutsedge. Finding a dry time to apply post-emergence herbicides added to the difficulty in controlling those weeds, and, in most cases, a follow-up application was needed.

This summer was also difficult for superintendents to provide normal green speeds, firmness and trueness. Lift, clean, and place were the norm rather than the exception on fairways. Even courses with the larger or more generous budgets struggled with all of the above.

Fortunately, most golf course superintendents rise to the challenges that Mother Nature brings their way. With some extra seeding and sodding and some warm fall temperatures, there is a good chance the turf should be fully recovered by mid-spring.

Doug Linde, PhD
Professor of Turf Management
Delaware Valley University

Mike Fidanza, PhD
Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences
Penn State University

Urgent: Golf Course Notification

Click here for Link to PDF file:
GC_Notification_SeptOct2018

Golf Course Notification

The golf season of 2018 will be remembered by superintendents across the Mid-Atlantic as one of the wettest and most challenging years in memory. As fall arrives, growing conditions have not improved. While fall is usually a time for turf recovery, this fall is proving the opposite as many turf areas continue to decline. Saturated soil conditions persist, humidity levels are high, and disease pressure remains constant. Many courses throughout the region have experienced record-setting rainfall, as this year rain was measured in inches, not tenths of inches.

Disease outbreaks of dollar spot, gray leaf spot, and brown patch are being widely reported. Because of all the rain and favorable disease conditions, fungicides are less effective, causing many to re-apply more often. Furthermore, saturated soils make it very challenging to get a spray rig on the course or even complete the most basic daily mowing tasks. Saturated soils do not allow proper air- exchange in the soil, creating an anaerobic environment for plant roots. Likewise, these conditions increase turf’s vulnerability to any type of traffic, even regular daily play.

Because of these challenges, many playing surfaces were compromised throughout the year, and in most cases this turf loss is a combination of factors that are beyond the control of course managers. Even where all necessary and feasible adjustments were made to protect the playing surfaces, losing turf during 2018 has simply proven inevitable. And as the year comes to an end, it is possible some areas will need further attention in spring 2019, as the fall “window” for recovery is closing. In fact, in many areas the recovery “window” was never open because of the poor weather.

Superintendents always want to provide playing conditions that are the best for our golfing community. This year was an extreme example of weather dictating certain golf course management practices. Even if the weather cooperates for the rest of fall, it will take time to put courses back together. Please remain patient.

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this matter.

Sincerely,

Chase Rogan, M.S.

Field Staff, Mid-Atlantic Regional Representative GCSAA

Mother Nature Does it Again: Philly BLUE-OUT Special Moved to May 2

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Hopefully one week does the trick! The Philly BLUE-OUT Special will now be held Wednesday, May 2, 2018. All other details remain the same. Click here for information.

If you are already registered and still plan to attend, there is nothing further you need to do. If you are registered and cannot now attend the new date, please notify the office: kliebsch@pagcs.org.

If you are not registered and would like to attend the new date, Weds., May 2, please click here for registration.

All other details remain the same for this fantastic event!
Philly Blue-Out Special–Joint Meeting with CPGCSA and PTGA
Be sure to wear blue!
Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Location: Middletown Country Club
Shotgun: 11 a.m.
Reception: immediately after golf
A portion of each registration will be
donated to the Els for Autism Foundation