St. Patrick's Day Symposium and Salute! March 23, 2011 By Derf Soller

(L) Dennis Lyon received the USGA Ike Grainger Award honoring him for his 25 years of volunteer service to the USGA.  Presenting the award were Derf Soller agronomist NW Region (right) and Larry Gilhuly, director, NW Region (left).   


March 17th, 2011 found the Golf Foundation of Colorado and the USGA Green Section presenting an educational symposium at Lakewood Country Club, Lakewood, Colorado.  Along with the educational program, Dennis Lyon was presented with the USGA’s Ike Grainger Award, honoring him for his 25 years of volunteer service to the USGA.  Dennis currently serves on the USGA Green Section Committee, and previously he volunteered his time on the USGA Public Golf Committee.

Dennis is no stranger to the folks in Colorado.  With the recent announcement that he will be given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame, as well as recently being the 2011 USGA Green Section Award recipient, Dennis has collected a pretty nice trifecta of very prestigious recognitions --- all very well deserved.  Congratulations again, Dennis.

Another Coloradoan also recently received national recognition.  Mr. David Brown, superintendent of Flatirons Golf Course, Boulder CO, recently was crowned champion of both the Championship flight and the Senior Division flight of the 2011 GCSAA Golf Championship held in Orlando, FL.  Dave has competed for many years in the event, most years playing well. Congratulations ‘Brown Dog’ from your many friends around the country for your recent championship victories.

Elsewhere Across the Rocky Mountain Region

Putting greens are starting to get a lot of attention around the region.  Mountain courses are busy clearing off snow that fell in record amounts.  Active Microdochium patch (the disease formally known as pink snow mold) symptoms have been observed on some recently uncovered greens in the mountains.  Cloudy days and additional snow are reasons to keep an eye on this pathogen, if present.  With hope, air exposure and drying soil conditions will hinder disease pressure, but additional product protection application may be necessary, once saturated soils have dried out.

Other Front Range areas are experiencing a dry spring, and many irrigation systems have been fired up.  The Denver area set a high temperature record for mid-March that has stood since 1966.  High winds seen throughout the region are quickly drying out the turf.  Monitoring problem areas and applying appropriate irrigation is extremely important during this transitional stage for the turf coming out of winter dormancy.  Hand watering will put water where it’s needed on select areas of putting greens.  Don’t get caught behind on this important practice, as plants are just beginning to start growing. 

Now is the time to sign up for your USGA Turf Advisory Service (TAS) visit.  As always, you may schedule a visit any time of the year, but take advantage of the $600 savings by prepaying for your visit before the May 15 deadline.  For more information on the TAS in the Northwest Region or to arrange a visit, contact Larry Gilhuly, director, ( or Derf Soller, agronomist (  Our Administrative Assistant, Wendy Schwertfeger, may also be reached for information at:  208.732.0280 or at

The final Northwest Region USGA Green Section Educational Conference is scheduled for April 5, 2011 at Fircrest Golf Club located in Fircrest, WA.  We look forward to seeing those of you in the Seattle area at our conference, and the rest of you on a TAS visit to your golf course in 2011.