This USGA Green Section webcast needs to be on your schedule!
Date: Friday, August 12, 2011
Time: 10:00 AM Central
It's official...Texas is now suffering through the most severe drought on record, according to John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas State Climatologist and professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University. In fact, the lower Mid-Continent Region is setting records in extreme temperature highs and drought. The hottest day on record was hit in the Texas Panhandle in Borger, Texas at 113°, and Pecos, Texas, has had no rain since September 23, 2010, which is one of the longest rain-free periods for a U.S. city in recorded history, outside the desert regions of California and Arizona. Not only is Texas affected, but Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, and portions of Kansas are being blasted with these same conditions as well.
Invite your green committee, board members, and staff to be a part of this webcast as the USGA reviews current conditions, the role of the irrigation system, how to prepare your turfgrass if there's no break in current conditions, turfgrass drought stress in dormancy, surviving potential winter kill, and preparing for spring in 2012. It will be a webcast you can't afford to miss!
Be sure to check next Friday's issue of The Record for connection information to the webcast.
We'll also post the information on the GCI website, was well as our Facebook page and tweet the info once it becomes available.
Almost every private equity/non-equity golf club in America is experiencing unprecedented economic challenges. In some cases, the economic challenges are catastrophic. In certain geographic areas, these types of clubs are no longer economically viable. Factors contributing to these economic challenges include the aging population of the membership, a general decline in demand for golf, increase in demand for other social activities other than golf, increased competition by other golf courses with new amenities, financial reversal of the members, increased demand from daily fee courses with discounted tee times and increased number of members on the resigned membership list.
Set forth below are some of the more creative and innovative ideas many private golf clubs have implemented to adapt to this new world order.
These minor modifications include:
While it seems counter-intuitive to require members to pay additional fees and dues, most members recognize the value proposition associated with these types of multi-generational memberships and/or multi-generational privileges and further recognize that it is far less expensive than acquiring separate memberships for each person. If structured properly, multi-generational memberships and/or multi-generational privileges increase the traffic on the golf course and in the clubhouse and also substantially increase the revenues of the club. In order to provide some degree of protection to the members and their families, multi-generational members and/or multi-generational privilege holders generally are subject to certain restrictions on tee times and usage of the golf course and related facilities.
One program that has been developed is often referred to as a cabin partnership. Under this model, the club identifies certain parcels of land near the club facilities and secures the approvals for the development of these parcels with multiple residential resort buildings. Each building contains approximately four to eight units, with each unit being one, two or three bedrooms. The club owns the buildings and the units. The club then creates a new membership program/lodging privileges whereby club members are entitled to purchase 30, 60 or 90 nights per year. The lodging privileges may be unit-specific or, more commonly, not unit-specific and simply according to the member’s needs at the time. For example, if the member and his or her spouse desires to stay in the unit for a week, then they would likely only need the one bedroom unit. On the other hand, if the member and his/her spouse are bringing their entire family for a week, then they may need a three bedroom unit. The club charges the member an additional membership fee for the privilege of purchasing the unit, as well as increased membership dues. Depending on local laws and regulations, the lodging partnership may be structured as a new membership or as additional add-on privileges to an existing membership. In addition to deriving the additional membership fees from the sale of the units, the club derives additional cash flow from the ongoing membership dues, as well as additional food and beverage sales, guest fees and other similar amounts.
Welcome to the time of the year when each day just kind of drags on into the next. We drag ourselves out of bed with the pre-dawn alarm, drag ourselves up the road to the club, drag our crew kicking and screaming out of the office and on to their assignments, then drag the hose around all day because no one else quite knows what all the hand watering is about and how to go about it. Then we’ll end up dragging ourselves home just in time for a late dinner and bed - only to be dragged awake by the alarm again so we can begin the next day’s dragging. Lather, rinse, repeat. Groundhog day.
Let me tell you you’re not alone and there’s plenty of support out there to help you with the volley of questions you’re likely hearing right now from your players.
Cybergolf posted a nice piece courtesy GCSAA that helps golfers understand what we’re up against. I especially liked how the piece differentiates between heat stress and drought stress. Thanks to Clark Throssell, Ph.D., director of research at GCSAA. Click HERE to check it out.
Not to be outdone, the USGA Green Section is, as always, chock full of useful information to help us through our summer 2011 issues. Simply head over to the USGA.org website’s Turf Management Regional Updates, click on your region of the country and start with Hot Tips For This Summer - July 2011. You won’t be disappointed.
I’m sure at one point I admitted to both my followers out there I was a pretty big fan of Apple products. Seems not only am I not alone, William Brown, CGCS has completely outdone me by helping to create iTurfapps.com. Care to learn about some of the latest technology and how it can help you on the course? Then click HERE to discover tech and apps sure to help make your day easier. With links to usable templates, GCSAA TV, and TiPb.com, you’re sure to find something. Speaking of TiPb, check out the interview piece with Brown posted this time last year about how he takes advantage of his iPhone capabilities at work. Find it HERE.
Lastly - are you among the number of Superintendents who, after watering to the best of your ability, still can’t seem to keep your turf safe and healthy? After the stellar Golf Course Industry ‘Water Issue’ in June, I wanted to mention this USGA piece about Salt-Affected Golf Courses and the Sustainable Salinity Management Plan developed by Drs. R. N. Carrow and R. R. Duncan. If you have any suspicion of salt issues at your course, THIS is a must read.
Pride has gotten a bad rap over the years.
If humility means focusing on the good of the organization and not pounding on your chest about how great you are or how your organization’s results happened just because of you, then I agree. If humility means putting yourself down in every situation just so you appear to be humble, I suggest you stay away from it.
What are the trends going on with snow mold in research?
Snow mold is a totally different animal than other kinds of turf diseases. They’re pretty difficult to work with in a lab, and it takes such a long time to study, so there’s not a lot of research that goes on. I do know there are some studies about the effects of potassium on snow mold being done, and the length of time that fungicides last through the winter. I’m not sure I’m seeing any specific trends in the research, though. There’s been some timing issues we’ve seen.
What kind of issues?
The question is when is the right time to put down your fungicide application? We’ve been asking if the closer to the snow cover coming down the better for handling the snow mold, but that’s not what we’re finding. We have shown in our research that it’s not really the best thing. I’m not saying the fungicide has to go down in September, that’s detrimental too, but they don’t have to go down as the snow comes down either.
We’ve suggested putting down another application earlier on than the original time. It could be anywhere from early to late October, with the second application coming closer to the actual snowfall event. The thing is, with that first application, we want to knock down the initial growth of the fungus, three to four weeks before the first snow event.
Snow mold can get started that early?
The fungus is usually starting to affect the plant well before we’ve put that fungicide down. If we only do one late application just prior to the snowfall, we’re missing some of the initial infection. It can seem like a lot, but it also has some preventative impact on similar fungi. So the benefit there is you can even get some dollar spot control while you’re starting on snow mold.
What type of fungicide should superintendents use to combat snow mold?
We get that question all the time, especially since last year with the stop sale order on PCNB. There are better snow mold products out there than PCNB, but not as many cost-effective ones. But there are a lot of different options for superintendents. The thing to know first is what you really need. Where’s the course located, and what kind of climate and pressure is there? Do they need to have excellent control of snow mold, or can they get away with 10 to 15 percent around the course? Where on the course is the snow mold showing up?
There’s no one great ingredient that’s going to give you really good control of snow mold. But I think if you mix two or three, you should be able to get good control. I think you can get away with three active ingredients and do fairly well.
What are some things to remember when preparing for snow mold?
The tough thing about snow mold is that you only get one shot at it. You can’t go out in December or January and put down more fungicide – once it snows you can’t really go out and do much about it. Make sure you have the right products for your course going down to begin with.
If you’re going to put a cover down to prevent desiccation or ice damage, you want to make sure you have a really good fungicide program. You’re going to be trapping moisture in there to help protect the turf, but that creates a great environment for the fungus.