I sometimes wonder if Mother Nature has a big carnival wheel that she spins to decide who’s going to get hammered by ridiculous weather next. She gives it a big pull on the wheel and round-and-round-and-round it goes before ticking past the Great Plains, narrowly missing the Mid-Atlantic and finally settling on… the Carolinas. Sorry boys, it was your turn this year. Massive winterkill for you!
Winter damage is excruciating because it seems to be so incredibly random. It varies from ZIP code to ZIP code, changes with snow cover (or lack thereof), moisture, ice, turf type, tarps/no tarps, construction methods and lord knows what else.
Our cover story digs in to what happened this year to way too many courses around North and South Carolina and elsewhere in the Southeast. Our good friend Kevin Smith is prominently featured not just because his Bryan Park course in Greensboro looked like someone called in a Round-Up airstrike on it. Kevin is also a thoughtful, wicked-smart human being. He also had just completed a conversion from bent to ultradwarf and was looking forward to an “easier” time with the new turf.
Instead, Mother Nature decided to bitch-slap him just to remind him not to try to fool with her. Despite the smackdown, Smith stood tall and acted. His agronomic response is detailed in the article, but he (and a bunch more supers like him) also jumped into crisis communications mode to make sure that Mother Nature didn’t win completely.
Smith and his colleagues also benefitted from the support of Pat O’Brien and Chris Hartwiger of the USGA Green Section who did a marvelous job of credibly documenting the problems and making it clear to golfers that this was an unavoidable situation. Former super turned Carolinas Golf Association agronomist Bill Anderson also ably spread the word to member facilities. Dr. Grady Miller and Dr. Fred Yelverton of N.C. State issued news releases and technical bulletins to explain the science behind the problem and offer help with fixes. Finally, there was tremendous information and support from the Carolinas GCSA who reached out to local media to tell the story.
The real story of this year’s winterkill in the South was ultimately less about the problem than the remarkable way the golf/turf community pulled together to lessen the impact and find solutions. It’s a tribute to the “family” down there, and proof that if we stick together, even Mother Nature can’t take us all down.
Toro has reported net earnings of $53.3 million, or $0.94 per share, on a net sales increase of 7.4 percent to $609.6 million for its fiscal third quarter ended July 31, 2015. In the comparable fiscal 2014 period, the company delivered net earnings of $50 million, or $0.87 per share, on net sales of $567.5 million.
“Favorable summer growing conditions, particularly in our domestic markets, coupled with the success of new product introductions drove increased retail sales for the quarter,” said Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer. “On behalf of our global team, we are pleased to deliver record third-quarter results as we benefit from the growth provided by the recent acquisition of the BOSS line of snow and ice management products as well as ongoing demand for our Toro and Exmark branded landscape contractor equipment. We also saw strong growth in our specialty construction business and consistent performance in our residential segment, driven by solid world-wide demand for zero-turn riding mowers and domestic demand for walk power mowers."
For the first nine months, Toro reported net earnings of $178 million, or $3.13 per share, on a net sales increase of 8.6 percent to $1.910 billion. In the comparable fiscal 2014 period, the company posted net earnings of $163 million, or $2.82 per share, on net sales of $1.759 billion.
“Now in our fourth quarter, we are encouraged by the strong retail sales results we are seeing across our businesses,” Hoffman said. “We will manage the impacts of unfavorable foreign currency rate conditions, which are expected to continue, as well as the extended drought-like conditions in certain regions of the country. We are seeing solid fourth quarter demand for residential and professional snow and ice management products on the heels of a strong snow season in North America in fiscal 2014. We believe that we are well-positioned with our portfolio of innovative products to drive market share, grow revenue and deliver strong full-year results.”
The company has raised its full-year earnings outlook to about $3.50. Similarly, expected full-year revenue for fiscal 2015 has been refined to about 10 percent, a change from the previous expectation of about 8 to 10 percent.
Green and yellow extension
GCI visits with a top John Deere executive after the company makes a major golf announcement.
Golf wunderkind Jordan Spieth won the John Deere Classic. The title sponsor might have won the week.
John Deere used the visibility associated with sponsoring a major sporting event to make a bold announcement: The company had reached a long-term contract extension with the PGA Tour.
The agreement means:
- The John Deere Classic will remain part of the PGA Tour schedule until at least 2023
- John Deere will remain the official equipment supplier to the PGA Tour and TPC Network, official landscaper product supplier of the PGA Tour, and official golf equipment leasing company of the PGA Tour until at least 2023.
Jim Field, president of John Deere’s worldwide agriculture and turf division, made the announcement two days before the start of the 2015 John Deere Classic and two days after he addressed a group of industry professionals as part of the annual John Deere Golf Pro-Am. GCI’s Guy Cipriano chatted with Field about the extension and the condition of the golf industry following the formal announcement.
What does this announcement signify about John Deere’s commitment to the golf industry?
“In many respects, at least for those outside of Deere, it’s a strong, strong demonstration of reaffirmation to our commitment to the golf industry. We have long been very, very committed, and I think that’s demonstrated through multiple avenues, including our industry partnerships and this PGA Tour relationship. This is just a reaffirmation and the re-strengthening to those outside of the company of our commitment to the golf industry.”
What do you want golf industry professionals thinking about this announcement?
“A couple of things. We understand our destinies are collectively linked. Sure, we are in the equipment side and solution side of the business, but we understand at the end of the day, it starts with somebody who wants to play the game and it has to work all the way back. That will generate golf courses, which will generate all sorts of things, which ultimately generate the possibility for us to serve the golf course industry. I would say, from the superintendent’s perspective, it’s really two-fold. One, is that we are very much committed to advancing the game forward at all levels, including the highest level of golf. I would secondly say our continued association with the PGA Tour will help us create better products to make us better and to hopefully make us a better potential supplier for them. I think the third point that shouldn’t be lost on folks is that the PGA Tour has a very, very important brand. The fact that they are willing to endorse and recognize Deere as their equipment provider of choice is not an insignificant choice from their perspective and provides tremendous validation to our products and our position in the industry.”
We’re halfway through 2015. How we would you assess things on the golf end of the business and what are some of your focuses in the second half of the year?
“For us, as we think about where we are today and where we are going forward, our biggest challenge that we go to work every day working on is how can we continue to distinctively delight customers. Do we understand all of their pain points and do we understand what it is that they really are after and are we delivering that? As I think about 2015, that happens every single day in terms of how we are serving folks. The golf industry itself, as we are halfway through the year, because it is such a weather-impacted business, it’s very tough to give any projections of what the industry looks like for a year. But I’m very optimistic at least relative to prior years in terms of how the industry will fare.”
You have precision applications in a lot of the markets you represent. Do you see that moving more and more into golf?
“I think what really sets Deere apart is our ability to share technologies across multiple equipment platforms and precision technology and precision application technology. Precision information is something that we are deeply investing in. We are very hopeful as golf embraces this more and more that we will be uniquely positioned to provide precision solutions for the golf business, leveraging the scale that we have in the ag business and the construction business.”
High hopes for low inputs
By Guy Cipriano
Separate coasts. Same objective.
Oregon-based Mountain View Seeds is using the research facilities at New Jersey-based Rutgers University to test its current and future offerings. The company and university showcased their work during a field day July 15 at a pair of research farms.
Attendees dodged raindrops, observed wear and divot simulating machines, and examined a slew of bentgrass, bluegrass, ryegrass and fescue trials. They also repeatedly heard a phrase frequently entering industry vernacular: low-input turf.
Focused efforts to develop seed requiring less of every imaginable resource started around 2008, according to Steve Johnson, a breeder for Peak Plant Genetics, the research affiliate of Mountain View Seeds. Johnson has worked closely with Rutgers researchers since 1996, and Dr. William Meyer and Dr. Stacy Bonos are among the researchers who participated in the field day.
Mountain View and Rutgers are key participants in an organized movement to bring attention to low-input offerings. The Alliance For Low-Input Sustainable Turf (A-LIST) launched in 2013 and is increasing its visibility in the industry. A-LIST represents an industry initiative created by seed companies and university partners to identify and market sustainable turf varieties. University cooperators include Meyer, North Carolina State’s Dr. Grady Miller, Purdue’s Dr. Cale Bigelow and UC-Riverside’s Dr. James Baird. Mountain View Seeds, Lebanon Seeds, Seed Research of Oregon, DLF and Pickseed are the alliance’s industry partners.
Seed varieties and blends meeting water and fertility guidelines established by cooperators are eligible to receive the newly created A-LIST approved designation. Nine varieties are currently positioned to receive A-LIST approval. Final decisions on initial approvals will be made this fall, and superintendents should begin noticing the designation when placing seed orders for next spring. Data will be incorporated with National Turfgrass Evaluation Program results to ensure approved varieties don’t look like “garbage,” says A-LIST executive director Jeremy Husen.
Husen says awareness of the A-LIST approval has started to build among superintendents living near participating universities. The four research sites are allowing the A-LIST to develop national guidelines based on conditions in four distinct regions. “Getting quantifiable data is the key,” Husen says. “That’s the end result. It’s more than just a story. I want hard facts, I want numbers.”
Blasting more rock and moving piles of dirt through steep hills didn’t deter Pete Dye from returning to Pennsylvania lumber titan Joe Hardy’s posh resort.
Dye visited Mystic Rock, the golfing centerpiece of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, last month to trade banter with Hardy and his daughter, Maggie Hardy Magerko, offer opinions on multiple industry issues and smack a gold ball resting between two gold tee markers using a gold driver into the Southwestern Pennsylvania woods.
Along the way, he discussed his newest project: The addition of nine holes to Mystic Rock, a 20-year-old course that hosted the PGA Tour’s 84 Lumber Classic from 2003-06. “All I know is that there are 18 holes out there,” Dye says. “I don’t know where, but it’s out there somewhere. It’s still there isn’t it?”
Yes, Dye’s original 18 holes at Nemacolin Woodlands still exist, although they were tweaked and stiffened multiple times in preparation for the PGA Tour’s stint at the remote location. The 89-year-old Dye will work with some familiar faces at Mystic Rock, including associate Tim Liddy and the crew from MacCurrach Golf Construction. Liddy aided Dye when Hardy decided to renovate Mystic Rock in the 2000s. Director of golf and turfgrass Alan Fike, golf course superintendent Andy Bates and construction superintendent Greg Iversen are among the Nemacolin Woodlands employees who will work closely with Dye and Liddy.
Preliminary works started last December. It didn’t take long for Dye to make an impression with resort supervisors who are young enough to be his grandchildren. “I met him one day when he was initially designing the layout,” Bates says. “It really took him 15, 20 minutes and he had a plan on a map. He threw his pencil down and said, ‘All we need to do is throw a par 3 in there, and now all you have to do is pay for it.’”
The new nine will cost $6 million, include 84 acres of turf and stretch to 3,500 yards. Projected opening is summer 2017.
From the Feed
We started our summer travels by visiting Southern Indiana, Eastern Iowa, Western Illinois, Southwestern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A soggy reality greeted our arrival in each place: pestering rain. We had a hunch the superintendents we visited weren’t the only ones pushing water, so we asked our followers to reveal their rain totals from June 1–July 9. Here’s how rain gauges across the country looked.
Christopher D. Navin @Chris_turfgrass
As of today, Bulle Rock has 22.1” since May 28th. Another round of storms tonight will just add to the misery.
Ryan Howard @TWRyanHoward
Jul 9 20” since June 1, 26” since May 17 northeast of Baltimore, MD
Scot Dey @scotdey
How many ways can I say zero? Zip, zilch, nada, nothing, 0, nix, nought, nil, diddly-squat #YesIGoogledIt
Zach Bauer @ZBTurf411
7.44” since 6/1/15 and 21.03” since 5/1/15. YEARLY avg is 13.5”. Wet wet year.
Brian Burke @S3Cgolf
After viewing some of the RT’s I don’t feel so bad about our 9.23” for June.
Ryan Cummings @RCummings38
8.35” since June 1. Feel fortunate since 25 miles south from here 4-6 inches more have fallen.
Join the conversation on Twitter @GCIMagazine!
When Jeff Girard first arrived at StoneRidge Golf Club at the start of the 2007 season he found, in his words, “A dollar-spot factory.”
StoneRidge is a semi-private facility, located in Stillwater, Minn., across the St. Croix River from Wisconsin and minutes from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The club opened for play on July 4, 2000 and has come to be regarded by many as one the premier public-access golf facilities in the state. Under normal circumstances the golf season runs from approximately the second week of April to the second week of November.
The golf course itself was built on sand-based soil and the playing area consists largely of bentgrass. The in-season climate is characterized by warm, humid days and cool nights, ideal conditions for dollar spot to thrive.
This situation is not unique; in most of North America, save for the Pacific Northwest, dollar spot is a superintendent’s most pressing disease issue. Eradicating it is not, and Girard found that the fungicides available to him when he first arrived at StoneRidge weren’t necessarily effective over the long term.
“For the most part, there has never been a real great dollar-spot product,” he says. “There are a lot of pretty good dollar spot products out there but you have to kind of spray them preventatively. You need to get it out before you see disease activity.
“The problem with that is … if you want to keep the disease in check, you need to spray preventatively. You’re looking at spraying every two weeks, three weeks at the most. The problem you then run into is from a money standpoint.”
Girard controlled the issue on his greens, which cover approximately four acres, but his 33 acres of fairways were another challenge. He found it impossible to spray often enough to control dollar spot without going over budget.
“If on a scale of 1-10 my dollar spot was a four,” Girard says, “I could go out and spray and maybe it would get back to a two. And then the next time around it’s up to a six and I would knock it back to a four. So you’re never really getting back to a zero.”
Each year Girard would set a budget that called for five fungicide applications on his fairways. But by season’s end, he found himself having to put down two additional fungicide applications to combat his dollar-spot problem. “I was spending more money,” Girard recalls, “but I still wasn’t getting the control out of the chemicals; I still wasn’t getting the results.”
A solution to the dilemma was needed. That solution turned out to be Xzemplar, a Group 7 fungicide developed by BASF for use on golf courses and other large-scale turfgrass sites, including athletic fields and turf farms. Its active ingredient is luxapyroxad (26.55 percent).
Girard first learned about Xzemplar by his local distributor, Chris Hoff of WinField, which is based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
As the fall of 2014 drew closer, Girard still had serious concerns about dollar spot. On Sept. 15 of that year, at Hoff’s urging, he applied the Xzemplar for the first time. “It completely wiped out the dollar spot,” Girard says, “and I was completely clean through the rest of the fall.”
Based on those result, Girard changed his protocol for 2015.
“I was so fed up with what I was doing in the past,” he says. “The different chemicals on the market, I just wasn’t happy or getting the success I wanted. I told myself, ‘This year, we’re going to really change it up.’ In the past I used to spray some of the cheaper chemicals that are more preventative early in the year and then I would save my one or two applications of what at the time was considered real knock-it-out products. I was saving those for the middle of the summer when dollar spot got really bad. My thinking was I need to get at the dollar spot right away and I need to get it under control from Day 1.”
On May 25, Girard put down his first application of Xzemplar for 2015. “From a timing standpoint it was what I had done in the past,” he says. “I waited until I thought the conditions might be favorable; I still hadn’t seen any dollar spot on the 25th of May. But I told myself, ‘It’s starting to become favorable, so I’m going to get out ahead of it.’”
Girard hasn’t seen any dollar spot at StoneRidge since then but he continues to adhere to a regular spraying protocol. “I sprayed [Xzemplar] on the 25th of May and my next application was five weeks later,” he says. “I still hadn’t seen any [dollar spot]. In the previous eight years, by the Fourth of July, I was already sick of dollar spot.”
In addition to choosing Xzemplar as his fungicide, Girard has other steps to produce healthier turf. “We had a thatch problem,” he says. “We’ve increased our core aerification on our fairways the last two years to try and reduce the thatch level. It has helped. It’s allowed us to be able to irrigate less than we have in the past.”
Girard also scaled back on the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers in 2015 in an effort to reduce thatch buildup. Under normal circumstances, this would have made the turf more vulnerable to dollar spot, but as of this writing the fungus was not present. “We’ve only put down two-tenths-of-a-pound of nitrogen,” Girard said in late July. “That’s low for a golf course.”
By spending fewer dollars on nitrogen-based fertilizer, Girard has additional funds to devote to other areas. Call it a classic win-win situation for the superintendent and his customers.
And while no superintendent is ever completely satisfied with the condition of his/her golf course for more than a short stretch of time, Girard can look at the property and feel a sense of satisfaction about what he and his team have done to keep the facility free of dollar spot. “Dollar spot was quite rampant at other courses in the area,” he says. “I would talk to other superintendents and get pictures on Twitter from golf courses nearby complaining about dollar spot and I’m here now walking up and down fairways trying to find one section of dollar spot in them.”
The dreaded combo platter of high heat and high humidity that Mother Nature serves up each summer throughout much of the U.S. used to be a sure recipe for indigestion for golf course superintendents, particularly those charged with keeping bentgrass greens healthy. Today, thanks to improved technology in the development and use of both above-ground fans and sub-surface systems, superintendents and their greens’ root systems can breathe easier in August.
“Fans have revolutionized the superintendent’s ability to maintain bentgrass greens at a different level than they used to,” says Mark Langner, director of agronomy at the FarmLinks research and demonstration golf course in Sylacauga, Ala. “Come July 1st, bentgrass greens are in ICU, and even Bermudagrass can have heat stress in a low air movement environment. Rain is our nemesis in the South, but we figured out that by using fans, we could keep our greens dryer, and with sub-surface systems, either vacuum or pressure-based, we can also either heat or cool the root zone as needed.”
Winds of change
While they are relatively small in relationship to the amount of turf they’re charged with cooling, fans can lower greens surface temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit and soil temperature by 4 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a study by David McCall of Virginia Tech University.
In addition to reducing moisture left over from morning dew, fans increase transpiration by cooling the turfgrass plant internally. Interestingly enough, there is some disagreement among agronomists, even within the USGA, as to whether the primary benefits of fans are cooling or drying, but regardless, the air movement generated is beneficial. Chris Hartwiger, director of the USGA’s Course Consulting Service, for instance, refers to the process as “evaporative cooling,” which he says is not really drying, but instead assists plants in evaporating moisture from the plant stoma in excessively wet or humid conditions.
Superintendents have a variety of options for dealing with greens turf stress during periods of high heat and humidity, depending on the number and surface volume of greens affected, the availability of electrical power for installed fans and, of course, the size of the maintenance budget. Some high-end courses have as many as 40 installed permanent fans while others have only one or two for consistently problematic greens areas and obviously many courses have no installed fans at all, especially if they’re in low-humidity climates.
What to buy
OK, you've determined that you have a problem with your greens, and it's not an isolated incident, it happens every summer when the weather is hot and humid. The obvious solution, short of changing out your bentgrass for a heat and humidity-resistant Bermuda strain, is to get some air movement to cool and dry your current greens through the summer. Once you get the nod from ownership, you know your budget and you know the extent of your problem -- how many greens need help, is there power for the fans or sub-surface systems you plan to buy, and are there other factors to be considered?
The two largest suppliers of golf course fans and sub-surface systems are Precision USA and SubAir and its golf course fan subsidiary TurfBreeze. Both have customers throughout the golfing world, and both boast an extensive product line of both above-ground fans including portable units and sub-surface systems. Both have a number of prestigious course clients, and both have planted their product flags on virtually every corner of the golfing globe.
Prices can vary according to the specifications of the individual fan or sub-surface system chosen, but Precision USA's Andy Masciarella and SubAir SVP and agronomist Kevin Crowe provided some pricing guidelines for their products. Masciarella says a typical price range for a Precision fan is $5,000 to $7,000 per fan, depending upon the size and horsepower of the fan selected. A portable Precision fan, including tax and shipping, is around $13,000, according to Dr. Dana Jitcov, the company's director of operations. Crowe says SubAir's TurfBreeze fans range from $3,800 for their smallest unit to $7,200 for their largest and most expensive permanent fan. The TurfBreeze gas portable fan runs around $8,500, or $10,700 for the larger, trailer-mounted unit. Sub-surface system pricing is dependent upon a variety of factors, the most obvious being how many greens are involved. Crowe says the SubAir below-ground systems typically run around $16,900 per green for the most commonly chosen systems, while the above-ground, metal-enclosed systems run approximately $14,500 per green. Precision, whose Precision Air sub-surface can blow hot or cold air under the greens, has a wide range of pricing and features available, depending upon the course customer's needs.
While the Precision and SubAir lines are the best known, there are a number of smaller manufacturers of fans designed or applicable for golf course use, as well as numerous industrial fan products which can conceivably be adapted for use on the course. There is even one company which manufactures a product they call "The Rock Fan," which features custom fan covering and camouflage that houses the fan inside what appears to be a rock or a variety of other "disguises" that a course may request.
While superintendents are well aware of the benefits that fans provide, purchasing and installation of a permanent fan or fans can be a tough sell to course owners or members, not to mention neighboring homeowners. When his own salesmanship cannot overcome initial objections about price, noise or value provided, Precision's Masciarella is happy to have superintendents run a test on a device of their own creation.
"Sometimes a superintendent will jury rig a fan setup to prove that the investment is worthwhile," Masciarella says. "We're happy to have them do that, because once they get a fan installed, they see the value right away. One of the things we've heard from more than one superintendent after installing a fan at a problem green is 'My worst green has become my best green.' “
Other courses, due to either limited need or limited budgets, make do with one of a variety of portable fan units available, which can cover a variety of problem spots and do not require access to a permanent power source.
Others are even more low-tech and less expensive, sometimes using a Buffalo blower or a trailer-mounted turbine blower just to get some air movement across the greens.
Technique can also be used to get sub-surface air movement with USGA-spec greens, by plugging the outflow for the sub-surface drainage and blasting air into the other end, Langner says. Regardless of the technology used, superintendents and agronomists are in agreement that any air movement in hot and humid conditions is better than nothing.
Alex Stuedemann, superintendent at the TPC Deere Run facility in Silvis, Ill., which hosts the annual John Deere Classic, has wall-to-wall bentgrass turf and the hot and humid Midwest summer to manage. He has recently added another permanent fan to the four TurfBreeze fans installed at Deere Run in 2006, and purchased a portable, gas-powered fan, as well.
“We utilize the fans on the saddles of our problem putting surfaces from May to August, and we recently purchased a TurfBreeze portable because we have some greens that are enclosed by the stands and other structures for the John Deere Classic,” Stuedemann says. “We just use it on those greens that challenge us on air movement, but if we get heavy rain and heat, we use all the technology we’ve got at our disposal.”
Where, when and for how long?
As is the case with much of the discussion about the use of fans for cooling/drying of greens turf, there are a number of opinions regarding the length of time that greens fans should run. Many turn the fans on at the onset of the summer heat and humidity and leave them on until those conditions abate. Hartwiger, though, suggests “in all but the most extreme cases, it’s probably not the best bang for the buck to run (the fans) 24 hours (a day).”
Deere Run’s Stuedemann is in the 24-hour club once he turns the fans on for the summer, barring a significant drop in temperature and humidity. On the other hand, it isn’t costing the course an inordinate amount of money to run the fans.
“Our power cost, using 220 single-phase power, is about $70 a month per fan,” Stuedemann says. “For the portable fan we bought, it uses 10 gallons of fuel every 14 hours, so there’s a higher daily cost with it, but on the other hand, it cost $10,000 to get power to the permanent fan that we installed last year because it needed almost 1,000 feet of wiring. You need to consider the proximity to a power source when you’re considering installation costs.”
Once the decision has been made to purchase a fan, or multiple fans, the next question is where to install them. The things to consider are the power source, the coverage necessary and the golfers. As Stuedemann notes, the distance from the power source necessary to operate a permanent fan can make a big difference in initial cost, in large part due to the cost of the copper wire needed for conductivity.
The fan will also need to be located in a spot where its air flow will reach the problem areas of the green, ideally traveling at a speed of at least 3-4 mph across the affected surface. The prevailing wind direction at the affected site will factor into this, as well. Superintendents can measure the length of airflow coverage in a variety of ways, using engineering flags at intervals across the green, smoke bombs or other indicators, combined with more high-tech devices such as infrared thermometers or soil probes.
The other consideration is the player: Is the fan directly in the line of sight of approaching players or distracting in any way? On the other hand, as Andy Masciarella, owner and president of fan manufacturer Precision USA says, “When the green looks good, the fan goes away.”
While some courses prefer to run permanent fans around the clock in the summer, others either don’t require that level of air movement or have to moderate their run times to accommodate nearby residents who object to the noise at night or in the early morning. Some newer models can be programmed to turn off and on according to irrigation cycles and moisture levels. Additionally, some are available which are less noisy than earlier fans.
At the end of the day, superintendents strive to do as the USGA’s Hartwiger suggests, namely to “find a balance between what is good for the grass and what is good for golf.” Fans can help to achieve that balance when humans and plants alike are sweltering.
Jim Dunlap is a writer based in Encinitas, Calif., and is a frequent GCI contributor.