FOR GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENTS
By: John Mascaro
Volume 11 Number 1 – Spring / Summer 2009
In this issue:
1. Editors Notes
2. Golf in space
3. The economic savings of using Turf-Tec diagnostic tools
4. We need to learn to go green
5. One for the funny bone
6. Looking Back
7. John Mascaro’s Photo Quiz in Golf Course Management Magazine and SportsTurf Magazine
8. Turf-Tec Website News
9. Privacy policies
I know that it has been a while since I have written my last Turf-Tec Digest; in fact it has been almost four and a half years. No, I have not not been in hibernation, just directing my writing efforts to a different forum. Since I write the "John Mascaro's photo quiz" in Golf Course Management Magazine and in Sports Turf Magazine each month, I figured that my devout readers are already reading one of my articles and thus a Turf-Tec Digest might be a little overkill. However, I decided to put fingers to keyboard once again and give the digest a breath of fresh air. I figure if the Eagles can release an album after taking a 28 year hiatus, that makes my four and a half year absence seem like a Britney Spears fifty five hour marriage. I hope all my Turf-Tec Digest readers enjoy the new edition and I hope to write another one within the next decade... perhaps.
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Golf in Space
Since it has been a while since my last newsletter, I have to get everyone up to date, for instance, did you know that back in 2006, the Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin hit the first golf ball off the international space station. Who knew?
To read the whole story, click here:
To watch the shot,
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The economic savings of using Turf-Tec diagnostic tools
Since the economy seems to be weighing heavily on everyone's mind lately, I thought I would start out my digest pointing out what I tend to take for granted, Turf-Tec's diagnostic tools save you money. With money savings the top priority of most municipalities, Colleges and Golf Courses, water savings is an excellent place to start.
If you irrigation source is from an underground well, from a natural water body like a lake or river you are paying for electricity to run your irrigation pumps. If you are on municipal water, well you know what your water budget looks like every month. There are even some golf courses running reverse osmosis systems to convert salt water into fresh water for irrigation purposes. By using some simple tools to monitor your soil and irrigation system, you can be on your way to money savings today.
The best way to really save water is first checking your
irrigation uniformity. By placing our newly re-designed Precipitation /
Uniformity gauges out in a grid pattern or in a head to head spacing, you
can determine how much water is being applied and also how uniform your
irrigation system is. The first step in getting your irrigation system in
shape and saving money.
The second step in saving money is by determining how long
the irrigation you are applying is taking to go into the soil. A tool like
the Infiltrometer or Infiltration rings are a way to determine how much
water is going into the soil over a period of time. Simply put the
Infiltrometer into the soil, fill both rings up with water and time how long
it takes for the water to go into the ground.
Now for the complicated part, math... Actually, it's not that bad. Say the sprinklers on the turf (measured by the Precipitation / Uniformity Gauges) are putting out 1/4 inch over 15 minutes. That's 1.0 inch per hour. If your soil is infiltrating lower than that level, then you are wasting water. What you need to do is break up the irrigation cycle so that no more water is applied from the sprinklers than goes into the ground over that period of time. You can apply 1/8 inch of water, water two or three other zones, and then go back to that zone and re apply the remaining 1/8 inch to se sure the water soaks into the ground. It will not only save water and money, it will produce healthier turf as well.
The third step but probably most important step in saving money and water is by using a Moisture Sensor. We offer two types of Moisture Sensor, an inexpensive analog unit and a higher end, digital version. By checking how much water is in the turf root zone and only watering when that level gets low, it will improve turf quality, drought resistance and increases root length and mass. It's as simple as "Only water when the grass needs it!"
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We need to learn to "Go Green"
As everybody knows, the latest environmental catch phrase is to "Go green" and as managers of turf, we always find ourselves on the defensive from environmental advocacy groups and special interest groups. I would like to be the first to point out that we are already green and we should never be on the defensive. We grow plants for a living people, how much greener can we be?
Now if we grew rocks, asphalt, concrete or some sort of other impervious surface, I would be shaking in my rubber boots, however the simple fact that how many other ways of "going green" can be implemented other than the fact that we grow grass plants for a living. Turf is a plant that gives off oxygen, allows rainfall to penetrate the soil, prevents erosion, cools the air temperature around the area plus has a variety of other environmental benefits. Let's face it; there is no way to get much greener then to grow grass for a living.
In today's media, I see so many different groups explaining how turfgrass is the bad guy in the environment. These people need a real wake up call, WE GROW PLANTS!! I cannot think of another industry on earth much greener than one that grows plants. In fact, we not only grow grass, but trees, shrubs, flowers. How many golf course have become an oasis to animal life, from small birds, fish to large mammals. I do not see these animals congregating in the paved parking lots of shopping malls or large box stores. I also do not even see wild life gathering in paved parking lots of environmental agencies.
Below are two actual photographs from Google Earth. One is from the parking lot of the Global Warming Resource Center in Washington DC and one is from the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD. Can you tell me which area is more green?
Global Warming Resource Center
|Congressional Country Club
8500 River Rd, Bethesda, MD
Click photo to make larger
So let's take a step back, get off the defensive and get on the offensive side of this media inspired, multi-facetted attack on our industry. In fact, if they want proof that we are in fact a "Green Industry" lets ask these people who love to point to us as the big bad guys and ask them, what color is grass anyway?
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One for the funny bone
I am not sure how big of an area this guy is going to sod but I think he might need to take a couple more trips.
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From the Bulletin of the Green Section of the U. S. Golf Association, November, 1921 issue
Every profession has its quacks. Medical practice was heavily
cursed with this species of the genus Homo until they were legislated out of
existence. Theological quacks and quack lawyers are kept within reasonable
limits by ordination ceremonies in the one case and bar examinations in the
other. One should distinguish between quackery and incompetence. A man may be
merely foolish but wholly honest. The term quack implies fraud as well as lack
of knowledge. Quacks are not wholly responsible for their existence. But for
that credulous streak in human nature, that apparent desire to be humbugged,
that proneness to be a sucker, quacks would cease to be.
Green-keeping has developed its crop of quacks. They arc flourishing like the proverbial green bay-tree. It would be a waste of breath to say harsh things either to or about quacks. As long as quackery is profitable there will be quacks. In some respects the quacks arc more estimable than the gullible green committees who employ them. The term "green" in connection with a golf course committee refers to the color of the grass they are supposed to promote, not to the unsophisticated nature of its members.
This, then, is the remedy: Leave quacks and their methods entirely alone and no harm will come from them. Incidentally some golf courses would be considerably better off financially by leaving quacks alone. There should be no great difficulty in recognizing a quack, whether he is doctoring humans, other animals, or turf. They all carry practically the same earmarks. Each one claims to have a remedy which he has discovered himself and about which no one else has any knowledge. No better evidence should be asked that a man is a quack than such a claim. There is much yet to be learned in regard to growing plants, but no one has a secret key which unlocks Nature's treasures. Another distinguishing mark of a quack is the all-embracing character of his remedy. Let the trouble be brown-patch, grubs, weeds, or what-not, they all respond with equal readiness to this secret cure-all. One treatment is usually the quack's whole stock of remedies. Of course the quack decries all other methods of treatment but his own, no matter how they were obtained or how efficacious when applied.
If the quack does not convict himself of quackery (and few will fail to do so if given a fair chance), his past record should be looked into carefully and his accomplishments noted. It seems incredible that a green committee should employ a man at a high fee to give expert advice on the care of greens without knowing something about him more than what he has told about himself and the extravagant claims he has made for his methods; yet such bargains are being made continually. All of which goes to prove that Barnum was right.
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John Mascaro’s Photo Quiz in Golf Course Management Magazine and SportsTurf Magazine.
Each monthly issue of "Golf Course Management Magazine" and "SportsTurf Magazine" I write a feature called "John Mascaro's Photo Quiz". The feature has turfgrass related photographs that you are asked to identify as well as some clues about location, grass species and a hint to the answer. The correct answer appears in the back of the magazine. It is informative as well as fun.
Having to come up with two pictures each month is always a challenge and that is why I always seek help from my newsletter readers. It does not need to be something totally out of the ordinary, like a piece of the International Space Station falling on your course or sports field. I also like regional problems and also everyday mishaps. I think we can all learn from not only seeing the problems other people have but also how they dealt with the problem.
So if you are so inclined, I would like to have your photo(s). The higher the resolution of the photo, the better. If I use the photograph in the magazine, you will get full credit! You can send photographs to: email@example.com
To see the Golf Course Management Photo Quiz online, click the links below:
February 2009: http://www.gcsaa.org/GCM/2009/feb/quiz.asp
March 2009: http://www.gcsaa.org/GCM/2009/march/quiz.asp
April 2009: http://www.gcsaa.org/GCM/2009/april/quiz.asp
May 2009: http://www.gcsaa.org/GCM/2009/may/quiz.asp
June 2009: http://www.gcsaa.org/GCM/2009/june/quiz.asp
To subscribe to Golf Course Management Magazine and see John Mascaro's Photo Quiz each month, click here: https://www.gcsaa.org/GCM/Sub.asp
To subscribe to SportsTurf Magazine click the link below:
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Turf-Tec website news and Turf-Tec in the news.
Website Product Literature beefed up!
I have added lots more pages to my website with photographs and more information on each literature page. You can now order products directly from the catalog pages as well.
Year in review photo tour.
I have finally updated my photos on the website from 2006, 2007, 2008 and part of 2009. To take the photo tour of some of my travels, click the link below:
You can download free Excel spreadsheets for use with your Turf-Tec Moisture Sensor, Turf-Tec Infiltrometer and Turf-Tec Penetrometer.
Click the below link for the download page:
Since 2006, I have also added quite a few new products to my line of diagnostic tools. The new literature sheets are as follows:
Field Scout Digital Moisture Sensor - http://turf-tec.com/MSFSlit.html
New! Direct Soil pH Pen - http://turf-tec.com/PHDS1lit.html
Turf-Tec Height of Cut Prism Gauge - http://turf-tec.com/hg-prismlit.html
Turfchek II - Rough Grass Height Cut Gauge - http://www.turf-tec.com/hg-rough.html
The Spot Divot Sand Topdresser - http://turf-tec.com/spotlit.html
Turf-Tec Pocket Tubular Soil Sampler - 1/2" Diameter Stainless Steel - http://turf-tec.com/TSS3lit.html
Re-designed Precipitation / Uniformity Gauges - http://turf-tec.com/PUGlit.html
Wireless Rain Gauge - http://turf-tec.com/RAINlit.html
Direct Soil pH Probe Kit by Hannah - http://turf-tec.com/PHDS-lit.html
Acclaima SCX Soil Moisture Sensor and irrigation override controller - http://turf-tec.com/Acclima-SCX-lit.html
IPM Scope Computer Attachment - http://turf-tec.com/IPMScope-Lit.html
Turf-Tec WeedAway Weed Removal Tool - http://turf-tec.com/WEED1-lit.html
Turf-Tec Catalog is now available online in PDF Format
Want a brand new 2009 Turf-Tec catalog? Just click on http://www.turf-tec.com/form.html and fill out the form and one will be on its way to you. If you want to download one off the computer, just click here:
Turf-Tec International offers secure online ordering on our website for those of you that want to pay for orders with credit cards. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. To try this feature out click here: http://www.turf-tec.com/alph-catalog-p1.html
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Contributions to this publication.
I also want to invite all of you recipients of this newsletter that if you wish to contribute any information that you find interesting or exciting, please send it to me and I will include it along with crediting its source.
Also, if you know another Golf Course Superintendent or Sports Turf Manager that would like to receive the Turf-Tec Digest, have them forward their email address along to me. In addition, I get most of my new product ideas from Golf Course Superintendents and Sports Turf Managers who see a need in the industry that has not been filled. Be sure to look at the new product section on my web site for new additions. http://www.turf-tec.com/Map.html
If you received this newsletter directly from firstname.lastname@example.org, don’t worry. I personally acquired your name by researching each golf course and sports facility individually. In addition Turf-Tec does not buy, sell, trade or share their mailing list with anyone. We also have taken security measures to insure that your name will not be passed along to other people. If, however you still do not want to receive this newsletter, simply respond to this email with the words "remove" in the subject line and your name will be permanently deleted from our list.
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