The seasonal maintenance staff came back to work for the summer months at the Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club in Powell, Ohio, where Rob Fisher is the superintendent. Fisher realized he did not have enough turf vehicles for one crew member per vehicle per social distancing guidelines, so he improvised unique cart dividers. He purchased 6-gauge clear plastic for 71-inch by 71-inch shower curtains at Target for $6 each. Golf cart control ropes were placed through the curtain holes and three small set screws mounted the curtains to the tops with ease. Two crew members can now ride together safely divided by also closing the folding windshield. Total installation time took about 20 minutes per vehicle.
Anuvia Plant Nutrients announced that Shawn Semones has joined the company as vice president of research and development. In this position, he will focus on establishing rapid innovative development of new microbial and biological technologies which align with company’s current sustainable bio-based products. Anuvia’s plant nutrients are used in the agriculture, turf and landscape markets.
“Dr. Semones is a distinguished research and development leader, with extensive knowledge of the agriculture and biotech fields,” Anuvia CEO Amy Yoder said. “Shawn has broad research and development experience working with the cutting-edge technologies¬¬––technologies that will complement our current efforts to bring sustainable solutions to agriculture. We welcome him to Anuvia, and look forward to working with him to make a real difference in worldwide agtech.”
Semones’ career in agriculture R&D spans more than 20 years. He most recently served as executive vice president of R&D and CTO for Concentric Ag. In this role, he was responsible for all aspects of R&D, regulatory, manufacturing of biological products, as well as business development efforts. Previously, he worked at Novozymes Biologicals, Inc., where he helped build its BioAg R&D Application Division.
“This is a great opportunity to help move Anuvia’s products to the next level and examine opportunities for new products and formulations,” Semones said. “I look forward to meeting the challenges and being a part of this dynamic and aggressive Anuvia team.”
Semones holds a doctorate in biology/plant physiology/mycology from Virginia Tech and a master of science degree in biology/plant physiological ecology from Virginia Commonwealth University.
As part of an industrywide collaboration to lead the responsible return of golf in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the game’s allied organizations have established “Back2Golf,” a plan outlining operational guidelines for golf facilities that adhere to nationally established protocols and best practices.
After review from the CDC, golf leaders and medical experts, the game’s national organizations have adopted a three-phase approach for golf’s careful reopening, focused on prolonged social distancing and enhanced sanitization practices. Using measures set by the CDC and The White House “Guidelines for Opening Up America Again” plan, the recommendations will progress at various paces depending on geographic location.
“The Back2Golf Playbook and Guidelines that the PGA of America and golf's allied organizations have put together are both comprehensive in nature and, most importantly, lay out a responsible way to get back on the golf course,” said Dr. Bradley Connor, clinical professor of medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College and an attending physician at the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell campus. “The guidelines emphasize social distancing and other preventative measures in alignment with the plan established by The White House and CDC. Golf is a terrific recreational outlet that offers a number of physical and mental health benefits.
“While we all must remain vigilant and continue to take precautions, this plan allows golf to be played in keeping with social distancing best practices,” Connor added. “I applaud the golf industry for helping to be part of the solution to get us back outdoors in a healthy and responsible manner.”
The initiative has been primarily focused on ensuring golf courses that have remained operational or will reopen soon, do so responsibly to protect golfers, employees and all members of the community. Each organization has distributed “Back2Golf Guidelines” and the corresponding “Operations Playbook” to its respective audiences to implement and administer. Updates will be made as interim guidance on COVID-19 is issued by the CDC.
“The importance of social distancing and responsible behavior during this pandemic has become a part of everyone’s daily life,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh, whose team took a leadership role in developing Back2Golf. “Reopening golf responsibly under strict social distancing practices is something we can all unify behind. While we recognize there is no perfect solution and various areas of the country will progress in these phases at a different pace, it is imperative that we reopen golf in a way that prioritizes the health and well-being of the entire golf community.”
Back2Golf is driven by key stakeholders of WE ARE GOLF, a division of the World Golf Foundation created in 2010 to spearhead initiatives on behalf of the game. Organizations include PGA of America, USGA, PGA TOUR, LPGA, GCSAA, NGCOA and CMAA.
“Golf inherently provides many health and fitness benefits, including the opportunity to spend time outdoors with family and friends, which is needed now more than ever,” World Golf Foundation CEO Greg McLaughlin said. “It is a sport that naturally lends itself to social distancing and the ‘Back2Golf’ guidelines. We greatly appreciate the collaboration between all the allied golf organizations. It represents another example of our industry coming together for the greater good as our game has done so many times before.”
Arborjet announced that Shortstop 2SC plant growth regulator for use on both trees and shrubs has received EPA approval. The product may now be used with multiple applications: as a soil drench application for trees, for shrubs, and as a foliar spray for shrubs.
According to industry experts, one of the fastest growing products in the tree and landscape industry is the use of plant growth regulators. Although the technology has been around for over 20 years, arborists and landscape professionals have focused exclusively on the primary use of this product – growth control on trees.
“Shortstop 2SC may now be used in multiple ways,” Arborjet director of research Joe Doccola said. “When it’s applied, not only does it regulate plant growth, but it also produces thicker, waxier leaves, increased fibrous roots, and healthier looking plants. With these secondary effects, we are observing trees with less leaf scorch due to drought, less damage after construction, and an increase in disease suppression.”
The addition of the shrub label will provide the following benefits for end users:
• One product may now be used to suppress the growth of both trees and shrubs.
• 25 to 75 percent above ground growth regulation means less time spent shearing and shaping
• Less debris generated means less dump and disposal fees.
• Increased drought resistance.
• Increased disease suppression. Thicker leaves make it harder for fungi and fruiting bodies to take hold and spread to treated plants.
• Improved appearance. Results last longer, leaves typically show less signs of chlorosis after treatment and plants typically have more flowers.
“This is the perfect product to use this time of year to improve overall plant vigor and canopy density,” Arborjet President and CEO Russ Davis said. “Shortstop 2SC contains a far greater percentage of active ingredient than other shrub treatments and is very cost competitive. The higher level of active means far fewer containers needing to be stored in shops and vehicles, making it an ideal product for our valued customers. Additionally, like all other Arborjet products Shortstop 2SC is readily available locally through our national distribution partners.”
As part of its mission to champion and advance the game of golf and to actively engage in the sustainability effort across the sports landscape, the United States Golf Association has joined more than 100 organizations in becoming a signatory of the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Initiative.
Sports for Climate Action was created in 2018 as a platform for sports organizations to support climate action in a highly collaborative forum. Signatories of the initiative commit to five key principles: undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility; reducing overall climate impact; educating for climate action; promoting sustainable and responsible consumption; and advocating for climate action through communication.
“Golf is an outdoor game that connects millions of players to their environment and their community,” USGA CEO Mike Davis said. “Its uniqueness in sports, with an arena in which the architectural design and landscape plays an active role in its universal appeal and enjoyment, provides us with countless opportunities to engage and positively impact the future of these green spaces. We look forward to learning from our colleagues and sharing golf perspectives in this very important and unifying effort.”
The announcement comes as the association celebrates the 100th anniversary of the USGA Green Section, its golf course consulting and environmental innovation team of agronomic experts, scientists and engineers. Through the Green Section, the USGA has invested more than $40 million in turfgrass and environmental research, which has led to the development of grasses that require fewer nutrients, use less water and are more resilient to changing climate patterns. Many data-driven, scientific advancements and best practices have been widely shared and adopted to benefit the game as well as sports playing fields worldwide.
As part of a forward-facing approach, the USGA issued a challenge to the golf industry to improve golfer satisfaction by 20 percent while reducing golf’s use of critical resources, such as water, by 25 percent by the year 2025. The effort includes a continued investment in education and outreach through a variety of vehicles, including a bi-annual Innovation Symposium, as well as a commitment to sustainable practices in the conduct of its annual competitions.
Current signatories to the initiative include sports organizations and individual teams from around the world, including the NBA, FIFA, UEFA, International Golf Federation and the New York Yankees.