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Urgent: Golf Course Notification

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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

PAGCS Teams Up for First Tee!

This fall, during Thanksgiving week, the Philadelphia Association of Golf Course Superintendents held what has become their annual volunteer event at Walnut Lane Golf Club. Walnut Lane Golf Club is an Arthur Findlay design that is owned by the City of Philadelphia and leased to The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia [TFTOGP].

A few years ago, the PAGCS began helping with the fall aerification, providing a volunteer force made up of a members. Now, under first year superintendent, Ben Davies, the staff at Walnut Lane has been able to complete aeration in house. So, this year, when Ben was approached about what would help the facility the most, he came up with some projects that could make a big difference in his continuing efforts to improve the turf quality.

15867 (2)First up was the 7th hole, which is next to the maintenance facility. There has been a drainage issue causing water to collect on the front of the green and to the left of the approach after any rainfall.

The second and main project was trying to create more airflow by the 10th and 3rd greens. The 10th green is the most difficult on the golf course to maintain. It has all the characteristics of the worst scenarios when trying to grow turf, including minimal sunlight, airflow restriction from trees, and a low-lying area that does not drain well. Thirdly, there was a significant need of stump grinding on the property.

As a request went out to the PAGCS membership, the first person to volunteer was Bill Brown, CGCS (20-year GCSAA Member) of Aqua-Aid. Bill offered the services of their Imants Root Pruner, a process that the golf course was in dire need of! Next to chip in were Shreiner Tree Care and Arader Tree Service, offering large commercial stump grinding services. To fill out the volunteer list were members from Lehigh CC, The Ace Club, Philadelphia CC, Huntingdon Valley CC, and Bala CC. Also donating their time were Mike Janzer (17-year GCSAA Member) from Plantfood Co., Jeff Hass from Golf Cart Services, Sumner Cross (31-year GCSAA Member) and Matt Brown from Lawn & Golf Supply Company and Andy Barone from Ventrac.

At the end of the day, the entire course was root pruned, all the old stumps on the course had been ground, and the 3rd & 10th Greens had significant tree removal from their surrounds. Also, the area around the 7th green had a new drainage system installed. Finally, there was also significant brush removal completed throughout the course using two Ventrac mowers.

All of this was topped off with a traditional Philly Cheesesteak lunch and a talk from special guest Mike Quick, a hometown favorite and Philadelphia Eagles Great, who currently serves as a TFTGP Board Member and works as the color analyst for the Philadelphia Eagles radio broadcasts. The PAGCS, TFTOGP, and Walnut Lane Golf Course are pretty sure the day could not have been more successful.

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Bill Hyndman, Executive Director of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia had this to say:
“The Walnut Lane Golf Club and The First Tee are grateful to the Philadelphia Association of Golf Course Superintendents. The course would not be in the shape it is today without the support and dedication of the many superintendents, crewmembers, and vendors who have helped us for a number of years. These individuals, who all have difficult jobs themselves, selflessly take time each year to help us, and we can see that they have made a tremendous difference. Thank you for helping us make a difference for our kids and for golf.“

To say that the course has gone through a revitalization, might be an understatement. In the last 3 years, the course has received a much-needed reinvestment. There has been over a $500,000 in TFTGP investments and kind services donated! The involvement of people like Frank Shuman (GCSAA 45 Year Member) TFTGP Board Member and longtime PAGCS member and PAGCS Past President & TFTGP past board member, Jay Parisian (25-year GCSAA Member) have been key in the current momentum at Walnut Lane Golf Club, home of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia!
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About the author:
Bill Corcoran is a 20-year GCSAA Member, Board Member of the TFTGP and a Commercial Representative on the Board of the PAGCS

Meet the 2016 Recipients: PAGCS Turf Student Scholarship

The PAGCS is proud to offer the Turf Student Scholarship Program, helping advance the careers of talented men and women who will shape the future of the industry. This year’s deadline is fast approaching: click here for full details and application.

The 2016 recipients represent the top of their class, such as Joe Kopania. Joe was awarded the 2016 Frank I. Shuman Scholarship. This award is funded by the generosity of Frank’s son, Frank T. Shuman, in memory of his father. Frank I. Shuman was an industry leader and Eb Steiniger Award recipient. Like father, like son, Frank T. Shuman followed his dad’s lead and has been one of our industry’s best friends. In 2015, he was awarded the Eb Steiniger Award.

Joe Kopania is working on a Bachelor of Science in Turfgrass from Penn State University. A previous intern at the Bucks Club under Joe Agnew, he plans to graduate in May 2019.

Next up, meet Jacob Shughart, whose equally impressive resume includes stints at Maidstone Club and Bidermann Golf Club with Jon Urbanski. Jacob received one of two scholarships awarded in the name of the PAGCS. He earned his two- year certificate in turf from Penn State this past spring and currently serves as Assistant Project Manager at Total Turf with Greg Hufner.

The second recipient, Seamus Foley, is a current Penn State student, studying Turfgrass Science. Before heading to his current internship at Saucon Valley under Jim Roney, Seamus worked for John Gosselin at Aronimink. He plans to graduate this coming May.

Among the scholarships available each year, there is one that is the most tenured. The George E. Ley Scholarship, so named for its benefactor, has been awarded since the 1990s. George has supported the PAGCS, its members, and the Scholarship Program for decades, and the annual scholarship outings were his brainchild.

Please meet the 2016 George E. Ley Scholarship Recipient: Scott Musser. Scott earned his B.S. in Biology-Ecology from West Chester University in 2015 and proceeded to intern with Paul Stead, CGCS, at Kennett Square Golf & Country Club in 2016. He is now enrolled in Penn State’s World Campus working on a masters of science and has taken on the roll of Paul’s second assistant superintendent. Scott plans to graduate this December.

Please share the scholarship program information and the Sept. 30th deadline with any student you know who has worked or is working for a PAGCS superintendent: http://www.pagcs.org/member-services/turf-student-scholarship-program-information-and-application/

Local Chapters Mourn the Loss of Industry Friend and Leader: Michael Gilmore

The PAGCS extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Michael J. Gilmore. Mike passed away on August 27, 2017. He was a former golf course superintendent, past president of MAAGCS, and more recently the owner of Growing Solutions.

Michael is the beloved husband of Jody Gilmore; cherished son of Jeanne S. Gilmore and the late Dr. George T. Gilmore; devoted father of Katherine Wroten and her husband Eric, Lucas Gardner and his wife Amanda, Christopher Gilmore, Jamieson Gilmore and the late Megan Ann Martinek; loving grandfather of Madison, Jonas, Jayce, Hannah and Olivia; dear brother of Susan, Timothy, Thomas, Patricia, Peter, Jeanne, Mary, Paul and the late George. Also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Services were held on Friday, September 1, 2017. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Esophageal Cancer Action Network, P.O. Box 243, Stevenson, MD 21153.

2016 PAGCS Turf Student Scholarship Application Process Now Open; Deadline Is August 15, 2016

The PAGCS is proud to provide scholarships to current turf students who are or have been employed by PAGCS golf course superintendents. These scholarships are funded by the generosity of benefactors Frank T. Shuman, George E. Ley, and PAGCS members and supporters via the annual PAGCS Scholarship Tournament.

The application process is now open and runs through August 15, 2016. Please click here for full details.

Passing of the Gavel: PAGCS Elects New Officers

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Rob Nolek, Cedarbrook Country Club, accepts the gavel from outgoing president Jon Urbanski.

On Monday, November 9, the PAGCS held its Annual Meeting at Indian Valley Country Club. Among the order of business: elections.

The PAGCS elected former Vice President Rob Nolek, Cedarbrook Country Club, to the presidency, replacing the outgoing president, Jon Urbanksi, Bidermann Golf Club. Filling Rob’s shoes as Vice President will be Derrick Wozniak, Radley Run Country Club. Doug Rae, Applecross Country Club, will continue on as treasurer and Mark Rubbo, Spring Ford Country Club, as secretary.

For a full listing of Board Contacts, click here.