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.

Golf Cart Traffic Control

Versatile golf cart control was built in house using pressure treated landscape timbers, each measuring 4 inches by 4 inches by 8 feet in length and cut into 2-foot lengths. A 5/8-inch diameter hole is drilled into the bottom 4 inches in length and a 10-inch-long piece of ½-inch-diameter rebar is pounded in with a sledgehammer for a secure fit. The top of each post has an angle-cut for aesthetic appeal. A 5/8-inch-diameter hole is also drilled near the top so that ¼-inch-diameter cart control rope can be added as needed. The cart control posts are moved by the course setup person frequently enough, so the concentrated traffic does not cause any stress to the turf. Each 8-foot-long post cost about $8 three years ago and it takes about 10 minutes labor to complete each post. Anthony Spivey, superintendent at the Marlboro Country Club in Bennettsville, South Carolina, conceived this really good, practical idea.

Rain Shelter Lightning Protection

The Gibson Island (Maryland) Club protects rain shelters with lightning rods to keep members, guests and employees safe. What makes their lightning rods unique is they have attached a 1-iron golf club to the top, which is secured in place with a twisted conventional lightning rod; it took just a few minutes to attach them together. As Lee Trevino famously stated: “Only God could hit a 1-iron!” Island superintendent William V. Reil coordinated the installation and head golf professional David Grossman provided the 1-iron. Lester George is the club’s restoration architect.

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