Tag Archives: turfgrass

A First Tee Student Feature: Proof that the First Tee Program is Making a Difference

Please join us on Monday, April 15, as we celebrate and support the future of golf with the First Tee. The PAGCS partnership with the First Tee is only possible with your help and support. Click here for full details, registration, and ways to support.

Before we get to the feature story below, did you know: The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia [TFTOGP] is growing every year. Of special note is the First Tee’s National School Program here in the region. “The program helps elementary students learn about the basic skills of golf through safe and fun activities. By also incorporating The First Tee Nine Core Values and Nine Healthy Habits, we’re putting students on course to a healthy and active lifestyle.” [Courtesy of the First Tee website: www.thefirsttee.org]

Also of note is TFTOGP’s expanding satellite locations. Programs are available at Applecross Country Club, Abington Club, Bensalem Township Country Club, City Line Sports Center, FDR Golf Course, Warminster Township Five Ponds Golf Club, Flourtown Country Club, John F Byrne Golf Club, Rossi Golf & Sport Center, Valley View Golf, as well as Walnut Lane Golf Club.

Below is just one highlight that proves the program makes a difference in students’ lives.

Student Experience: Saving the Golf Team — and Other Ways I Learned to Lead
by Victoria Wajda

tftogp photo student author

If you’re thinking about playing golf for the first time, here’s what you need to know:

It doesn’t matter if you’re good or not. You just have to be ready to get frustrated. That’s not a bad thing, because golf will teach you to persevere — so when you do succeed, you get a huge boost of confidence.

That sense of accomplishment is one of the things I love most about golf. So when I found out my team at John W. Hallahan Catholic High School for Girls was getting cancelled due to low membership, I didn’t give up. Instead, I took action.

We had three members, but we needed six. I started attending school open houses to share my love of golf. I encouraged girl after girl to think about playing. After months of conversations, my efforts paid off. We doubled our membership — and saved the team! And three short years later, we’re setting literal records.

In October, our team — now with eight members — won the Philadelphia Catholic League Girls’ Golf Championship. The year before, I won first place individually in the Philadelphia Scholastic Athletic Association District XII Golf Championship.

TFTOGP photo 2

It was our school’s first team championship title in 22 years — and the first time a Hallahan student won that title in the history of the school. I’ll never forget how the whole school went wild.

That’s the kind of place Hallahan is. Our community is small enough that everyone gets a chance to speak up and take on new challenges. When you succeed, people see it — and celebrate. No good deed goes unnoticed.

Having that support and sisterhood has made me a stronger leader. I always feel comfortable voicing my opinion and pushing for change — whether as a school ambassador, a participant in my forensics class (my favorite!), the captain of the golf team, or as a member of SpeakUp!, a program where students can discuss tough topics with adults and one another.

I’m excited to use those skills next year when I start college. I haven’t decided on a school yet, but I am grateful to have scholarships to my top picks — which, of course, all have golf teams.
Part of me is looking forward to a new adventure. Another part of me is nervous. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that even if things get difficult, I can persevere — and win big.
________________________________________
Victoria Wajda is currently a senior at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School located in Philadelphia. This article was originally posted at https://www.aopcatholicschools.org/exploreaops/student-experience-saving-the-golf-team-and-other-ways-i-learned-to-lead/?fbclid=IwAR0jGqsXIfYXVbMjt217FI0NtvJVH3mUw6D9IW0Pc9VKrA104i51RKdoz1M as well as on TFTOGP Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheFirstTeePhilly/

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

Bentgrass Sod For Sale

Springwood Golf Club in York, PA, is changing names to Bridgewater Golf Club and is being reduced to nine holes, leaving nine holes of L93 Bentgrass sod available for purchase.

Price: $0.25 per square foot, purchaser responsible for cutting and transporting
Contact: Dan Baker, PGA Professional, 717-440-6032/Dan Baker <dbaker@bridgewatergolfclub.com>

Bent Green (2)

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/

PAGCS Partners with Wee One for Inaugural Benefit Golf Outing

On September 19, 2016, the Wee One Foundation, in cooperation with the PAGCS, will hold an Inaugural Philadelphia Wee One golf outing at Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club. We are excited to introduce the Philadelphia golf turf management industry to the Wee One Foundation and its important mission.

As you may know, the Wee One Foundation was established and exists solely to benefit families of national golf course industry professionals who have suffered catastrophic illness and need financial assistance. It is because of your generosity that the foundation has distributed over $1,000,000 to families in need. Chances are, there is a family in your community in need of assistance and we would like to help. Unique and exciting sponsorship options are available for this event: click here.

For full event information, click here. We look forward to seeing you on September 19 for what will be a unique and amazing day that will put the fun in fundraising!