Casa Verde Golf completed a comprehensive bunker renovation affecting all 76 bunkers, totaling more than 90,000 square feet, at Tijeras Creek Golf Club in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. The scope of the project, which began in early June, included the extraction of existing sand, replacing or repairing drainage, recapturing original bunker edges, installing Capillary Concrete bunker liner system, and installing new “Wedge White” bunker sand.
“Bunkers are notoriously expensive and labor intensive to maintain over time,” said Jeff Schwinkendorf, vice president of Casa Verde Golf. “They flood when drainage becomes clogged; the sand washes away with heavy rain and gets contaminated with soil; they get dried out and crusty in hot weather; it’s always something. Capillary Concrete allows us to remedy those issues to improve playability, aesthetics, and long-term maintenance in an eco-friendly and cost-effective way.”
To further enhance the outcome of the project, the new bunker sand was upgraded to “Wedge White” to create a vivid contrast aesthetically in addition to much-improved playability.
“Feedback has been great,” said Tom Horaney, general manager of Tijeras Creek Golf Club. “It’s really a win-win situation for golfers who benefit from increased playability. Plus, it lessens the time needed by our maintenance team to keep the bunkers up to our standards. It’s well worth the investment.”
“We knew the renovation would create a buzz in the Orange County golf community,” said Schwinkendorf. “Pacific Life, the property owner, challenged us to elevate the quality of the golf course without closing down during construction. So, we worked with the club’s staff to facilitate golf traffic with minimal disruptions. Despite logging nearly 200 daily rounds during construction, we completed the project in less than four months.”
Robbins Golf Design announced the completion of work for the renovation of the greens on The Vale Nine at Echo Valley Country Club in Des Moines, Iowa. Echo Valley is a 27-hole layout built as an 18-hole course in the early 1960s. In 2004, Robbins Golf Design completed the addition of the third 9 holes, called The Ridge Nine to go with the Creek and Vale nines. In 2011, Robbins completed extensive renovation work on the Vale nine, but the greens were not touched in that project.
Over the years since the original construction, the putting surfaces have become much smaller as the outer edges began to creep inward. Prior to the recent renovation, the greens had become so small that it was becoming difficult to maintain them and pin placements were limited. As the greens became smaller, the greenside bunkers became more removed from the ability to influence play and course strategy. The renovation program included restoring the surface area to near the original design, removal of the top 4 inches of existing mix and replacement with new mix while duplicating the original green’s contours. Many potential high shot value pin placement locations were created or restored.
In addition to resurfacing the Vale greens, a new 21,000 square foot putting green, three chipping greens and a short-game practice center have been built. After some mowing pattern and landscaping changes to the driving range are completed, the practice facilities at Echo Valley will be among the best in the region. Members will now be able to practice every shot they may face on the course from almost any type of lie.
Due to a late summer start on the program and weather delays, the greens have not been seeded and will be covered until spring. Wadsworth Construction performed the renovation work on this phase of the project as they did for the earlier renovation of the Vale 9 and the addition of the Ridge 9. The newly renovated Vale Nine and practice facilities should be ready to open by early summer of 2019.
In addition to work at Echo Valley, Robbins Golf Design has also been selected to provide long-range master planning services for Pine Valley Country Club in Wilmington, N.C. Pine Valley is located near the heart of downtown Wilmington and was built in 1955. It is an 18-hole facility with swimming and tennis amenities.
The master planning for Pine Valley will involve all aspects of the property, including the clubhouse, golf course, practice facilities, swim and tennis facilities. Because of the architectural and interior design component of the master plan, Robbins will work with Chambers Architecture of Baltimore, Md. Chambers is a respected multi-disciplined design firm specializing in golf clubhouse design and renovations. It is expected that the complete planning and renovation work will be done over a five-year period or more depending on the scope of work to be determined by the master plan.
As you’ve probably seen by now, there’s been a lot of interest in our third annual Turfheads Take Over issue. Again, the primary goal of this special edition of the magazine is to highlight personal stories from superintendents and others in the industry. Boy did that happen this year. Why?
Given that we just experienced the latest “year from hell,” the social media discussions about stress, anxiety, substance abuse and work-life balanced spilled over into the magazine and became our focus for the issue.
Please read this issue, either in print or online. Every bit of it is terrific and often emotional. Here are a few of my personal takeaways from the reactions thus far:
- Bellerive Country Club’s Carlos Arraya is leaving his mark on our entire industry – but also touching individuals everywhere he goes. He inspired Leasha Schwab (who is pretty remarkable in her own right) to tell her story about working with Carlos at the PGA Championship last summer. Key quote: “This man knows the importance of life and he wants everybody he crosses paths with to learn how to find it, too.”
- There is life beyond the golf course for even the most passionate turfhead. Our friend Luke McGhee went out on a limb and relocated his talents to the lawn care business. And you know what? He’s happy and rewarded. Key quote: “Skills that you learn on the golf course – attention to detail, general management, membership interaction, responsibility and time management – are all pivotal pieces of operating a business, but now I get to do it for myself rather than a membership or golfer.”
- Finally, of the many tributes that were paid to the late Steve Wright, Parker Ferren’s personal account of what he learned from him is the one that I hope will stick with you. Parker captured Steve’s sense of joy about EVERYTHING. The guy simply loved life and often captured the moment by saying “we are G2G” or Good To Go. Key quote: “Yes he helped shape MANY great superintendents. But I think the greatest lesson we can learn from his wonderful life is that the dream we all chase in the pursuit of happiness is easier to obtain than we may think. Work hard. Play harder. Love other. Keep it simple and we will all be G2G.”
I can’t emphasize enough that you should take a little time during your holiday to read the entire issue. There are a dozen more awesome stories from your peers. Make it a very turfy Christmas and maybe you’ll find some inspiration in those stories for a great 2019.
Pat Jones is GCI’s editorial director.
Douglas Products announced the formation of a new Plant Health Division following the addition of two companies known for innovation in biological plant nutrition and soil health. Growth Products, based in White Plains, N.Y., and AgriEnergy Resources, based in Princeton, Ill., have joined Douglas Products.
Growth Products produces and markets liquid nutrient and biological technologies serving the turf and ornamental, agriculture, arbor care and residential markets, and serves the citrus market in Florida through its G.P. Solutions division. AgriEnergy Resources specializes in the development and production of microbial and other soil fertility products for horticulture and row crops.
“We are excited to expand our resources and expertise with the addition of two companies which each have over 30 years of proven track record for developing innovative solutions aimed at improving soil health and increasing plant productivity,” Douglas Products CEO Wes Long said. “The mergers are a major step in our company’s vision to expand its branded specialty chemicals and biological solutions portfolio for the Agriculture and Turf & Ornamental segments.”
“The announcement addresses an important issue within agriculture and T&O — the demand for proven sustainable biological technologies, added Vince Adams, Chief Business Development Officer for Douglas Products.
“Under the Douglas Products banner, Growth Products and AgriEnergy Resources will capture R&D, Agronomical support and manufacturing synergies,” Adams continued. “We will ensure that service and support to dealers, distributors and end-use customers will continue without disruption, but our main goal is to better serve customers by leveraging the combined strengths of all three companies. We will expand investment to develop new soil and plant health solutions both in the U.S. and overseas. And we will also take advantage of efficiencies in, logistics, warehousing, regulatory affairs and marketing.”
“Creation of a Plant Health Division is a strategic move,” Long added. “Douglas Products has served agriculture for 103 years, primarily to protect grain. Its Ag product portfolio includes two postharvest fumigants, ProFume gas fumigant and PH3 (phosphide) as well as several insecticide brands. The addition of Growth Products and AgriEnergy Resources now provides solutions from planting through post-harvest as well as expands the technology portfolio into the Turf & Ornamental market.”
Long said that Growth Products and AgriEnergy Resources will continue to operate from their current headquarter locations.
Syngenta will spotlight the latest tools for keeping turf in top shape, including Posterity and Secure Action fungicides and Manuscript herbicide at the 2019 Golf Industry Show in San Diego. Superintendents can test their knowledge on these products and more with the in-booth turf trivia challenge in both #3222.
Additionally, as part of the Condition. Perform. Recover. platform from Syngenta, which focuses on turf health as well as superintendents’ personal health, attendees can participate in the Health in Action 5K fun run and receive free wellness checkups at the Mobile Wellness Unit.
“We are excited for superintendents to learn about our latest innovations in disease, weed and insect control, including Divanem nematicide, which was recently registered for use in California,” said Stephanie Schwenke, turf market manager at Syngenta. “We’re proud to provide educational activities like our in-booth trivia challenge and the Shop Talk sessions on the show floor, and we also hope attendees take a moment to focus on themselves with a fitness and health checkup at our Mobile Wellness Unit.”
Here's an overview of all the Syngenta highlights at GIS 2019:
In-booth Turf Trivia challenge
Syngenta Booth #3222
Feb. 6-7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Attendees can stop by the Syngenta booth for some friendly competition and show off their turf knowledge with an in-booth trivia challenge. The top scorers each day of the tradeshow will win an Apple Watch Series 4. Everyone who plays will be entered for a chance to win one of six random drawings for a Fitbit Alta.
Mobile Wellness Unit medical checkups
Booth #2916 near GCSAA member services
Feb. 6-7, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For the second year, Syngenta will be offering free health screenings for turf management professionals at its Mobile Wellness Unit.
To help alleviate the stress of scheduling a health and wellness checkup, a registered nurse will be available to provide blood pressure measurements, cholesterol level assessments, glucose analyses and more. Health counseling for medical concerns and informational brochures discussing health and wellness topics will also be provided at no cost. For a preview of the wellness checkup, watch this video.
Sign up for an appointment with our registered nurse by CLICKING HERE.
Convention center, Center Terrace
Feb. 5, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Syngenta and the GCSAA will host a reception for all GIS attendees to meet and network with industry professionals from across the country, while enjoying complimentary appetizers and cocktails.
Convention center, Ballroom 20
Feb. 6, 8:30 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.
To kick off the show, Syngenta and the GCSAA will honor several industry professionals, including the Certified Golf Course Superintendent Class of 2018, the recipient of the Old Tom Morris Award and the Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards. Mike Parkin, global head of Lawn & Garden Controls at Syngenta, will provide a special welcome to attendees.
GCSAA Certification Luncheon
Convention center, Ballroom 20
Feb. 6, 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
At this invitation-only luncheon, Syngenta and the GCSAA will celebrate the Class of 2018’s newly Certified Golf Course Superintendents and provide special acknowledgements of 25- and 40-year CGCSs in attendance.
Shop Talk - Managing difficult weeds & diseases in warm-season turf
Feb. 6, 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Dr. Lane Tredway and Dr. Dean Mosdell Syngenta technical services managers, will host an educational session featuring the latest solutions for weed and disease control in warm-season turf. They will detail ways to control grassy weeds like goosegrass, dallisgrass, crabgrass and tropical signalgrass. Then they will share options for tackling foliar diseases, including leaf spot and one of the most destructive diseases in warm-season turf, spring dead spot.
Ladies Leading Turf Networking Reception
Convention center, Room 28
Feb. 6, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Syngenta, Ladies Leading Turf and the GCSAA have partnered to host a networking reception specifically for women in the turf industry. Stephanie Schwenke, turf market manager for Syngenta, and Leasha Schwab, superintendent at Pheasant Run Golf Club, will provide welcoming remarks, and Maureen Kahiu, superintendent at Vetlab Sports Club in Kenya, will speak about her experience in the turf industry.
Beginning at 5 p.m., there will be a session on diversity and inclusion, featuring keynote speaker Nikki Gatch, PGA regional player development manager, which will be open to all GIS attendees.
Health in Action 5K
Starting at the Embarcadero Marina Park North
Feb. 7, 6 a.m.
On Thursday morning, Syngenta and the GCSAA will partner to host the third annual 5K fun run to help attendees get their bodies started. Online registration is open, and all registration proceeds will benefit the Environmental Institute for Golf. Register by Jan. 4 to be guaranteed a t-shirt in your preferred size. Follow and join the conversation on social media using #GIS5K.
Shop Talk - Advancements in controlling dollar spot
Feb. 7, 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Dr. Mike Agnew and Matt Giese, Syngenta technical services managers, will discuss the latest advancements in dollar spot control, including Posterity and Secure Action fungicides. Don’t miss this critical information about new research, dollar spot prediction models, and resistance management strategies, plus tips for building an agronomic program to help condition your turf so it performs at its best and recovers quickly from stress.