COURSE CARE
Education Conferences Are Great Social Events, But… November 14, 2012 By Darin S. Bevard

We continue to speak with courses affected by Sandy. As stated in our last update, the major issue on golf courses has been clearing tree damage and debris. The recent rains that moved up the coast helped rinse the soils of salt water intrusion but it will take time to determine the total impact of the storm to courses. Grass is a renewable resource and playing conditions can be reestablished. The effect on families and homes is a much higher priority and we continue to pray for those affected along the storm’s path.  

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Frosty delays can frustrate golfers, especially when daylight hours are at a premium, but remember, frost is an important part of the hardening process of the grass for the wint

The temperatures have changed and heavy November frost has been experienced in most portions of the region. Fall frost begins the hardening process which prepares the turf for cold temperature stress. Fertility programs can aid in this natural process. Nitrogen is a catalyst that promotes utilization of soil nutrients, potassium in particular. When applied, and research is clear, these two nutrients should be applied at a ratio of no greater than 1 to 1.5 (N to K) to ensure that efficient nutrient utilization occurs. Rely on soil test results to help guide application this fall. Don’t hesitate to call our offices if there are any questions about fertilization programs for your course. 

November also kicks off the conference season. Educational opportunities will continue well into the spring in many areas. It seems some people like to look at these conferences as their ticket to getting much needed pesticide applicator license credits to keep current with individual state laws, which is very important. Others look at these conferences as a social event and a chance to blow off all of that stress from the past summer. For sure, these conferences are great social events, but there is so much more to be gained than just a couple of days away from the golf course. Here are some thoughts to consider.

• Make an effort to bring something back from any conference you attend that will benefit your golf course. There are always new products (or new uses for old products), new techniques (or at least new to you), etc. that can be integrated into management programs with little or no additional cost for the benefit of your golf course.

• Even if you don’t plan to attend every session at a particular conference, pay close attention    to the program. There should be several talks that apply to you and will provide beneficial information. Take advantage of it. At the very least, there should be talks that stimulate conversation between you and your peers.

The conference season provides a great opportunity to renew old acquaintances and to relax. They also provide continuing education so that we can keep up with the times. Make sure you take advantage of all that these conferences have to offer.

Speaking of the conference season, mark your calendars! The USGA Green Section Regional Meetings are now scheduled in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Our first meeting will be at the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia March 5, 2013. The second meeting will be at Woodholme Country Club in Pikesville, Maryland March 12, 2013. We will maintain our half-day format with a morning meeting followed by lunch. Topics will be relevant to golf course superintendents, general managers, golf professionals, course officials and golfers in general. We will provide additional details when the programs are finalized.

 Turf Advisory Service rates have been set for 2013. The fee for a half-day visit will be $2,400.00, and a full day visit will be $3,400.00. A $500.00 early payment discount is available if the visit is paid for by May 15, 2013. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MAY 15 EARLY PAYMENT DATE IS NOW A DEADLINE. VISITS PAID FOR AFTER MAY 15 WILL BE AT THE NON-DISCOUNTED RATE. NO EXCEPTIONS!

The Mid-Atlantic Regional agronomists are part of your agronomic support team.  If you have a question or concern, give us a call or send an e-mail.  You can reach Darin Bevard (dbevard@usga.org) at 610/ 558-9066 or Keith Happ (khapp@usga.org) at 412/ 341-5922.