TRAVELS WITH TERRY

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Globetrotting consulting agronomist Terry Buchen visits many golf courses annually with his digital camera in hand. He shares helpful ideas relating to maintenance equipment from the golf course superintendents he visits — as well as a few ideas of his own — with timely photos and captions that explore the changing world of golf course management.

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November 2, 2020

No Scalped Plugs

Dan Dingman, superintendent at Birmingham Country Club in Birmingham, Michigan, uses a narrow-tip screwdriver to blend the hole plug into the surrounding turf, followed by using an All-Star Umpire Brush (about $10) to clean up any spilled greensmix, followed by applying water and then stepping on the plug to blend it in perfectly onto Pure Distinction greens. Each greens mower operator carries a used 64-ounce Ocean Spray plastic bottle filled with water, with a hole drilled in the cap, and they subsequently apply water to the old hole plugs every day. The procedure eliminates scalping and blemishes. The cup changer staff carries a 17-inch weather resistant Husky tool bag ($30 at Home Depot) filled with a 64-ounce water bottle, two soil and seed bottles, greensmix container, narrow-tip screwdriver, cup hook, umpire brush, rattail file for sharpening the cutting shell, 2.5-inch-wide putty knife for leveling the bottom of the plug, scissors, towel, 2-inch by 8-inch PVC pipe for leveling the hole plug, etc., along with a Par Aide lever action hole cutter, with a scalloped inside edge, and cup setter.

 

Homemade Hydroseeder

Gary Zagar, former director of golf maintenance at the Quail Hollow Country Club in Concord, Ohio, had fun with his equipment manager building a hydroseeder using a 300-gallon plastic sprayer tank mounted to a frame created by a welding school at a local career center, held down to an existing trailer with ratchet straps. A grinding circulating pump was installed in the bottom of the tank, a second 2-inch pump was installed in front of the tank powered by a 10 HP gasoline engine, with 2-inch valves and fittings, and using quick-connections for the 1½-inch applicator hose. The specialized nozzle was acquired online. The seed-starter mulch bales must be thoroughly soaked, broken up and then placed slowly into the tank. Zagar used a Kentucky bluegrass/perennial ryegrass seed blend along with a 20-20-20 granular soluble fertilizer, seed starter mulch and a tackifier. The design concept for the homemade hydroseeder was inspired similarly from a rental unit shown in the accompanying photos. Total cost was about $1,000 using new and recycled parts in inventory. Labor time in-house took about a day; welding the tank framework took another day. Jeffrey Austin is the director of golf course maintenance.

Terry Buchen, CGCS, MG, is president of Golf Agronomy International. He’s a 51-year, life member of the GCSAA. He can be reached at 757-561-7777 or terrybuchen@earthlink.net.