COURSE CARE
USGA Agronomists Conduct A Simulated TAS Visit For CMAA Members May 15, 2013 By Bud White

Bud White, director, Mid-Continent Region, discusses the cost of bunker maintenance with CMAA members.

On Monday, May 13, Mark Bado, General Manager at The Kansas City Country Club, Mission, Kan., set up a monthly meeting for the Mid-America Chapter of the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA). The education program for this meeting consisted of a mock USGA Turf Advisory Service (TAS) visit to the golf course and its maintenance facility. Rather than deliver agronomic education through a presentation indoors, the golf course at Kansas City CC served as the classroom. Most attendees had never experienced a TAS visit at their golf facility, so this was a new experience for them. Present were 26 attendees, including a mixture of general managers, clubhouse managers, golf professionals, food and beverage staff, student interns, superintendents and even a director of tennis.

Ty McClellan, manager, USGA Green Section Education, and I conducted the mock TAS visit as if everyone were members of a green committee. Also participating in the education were KCCC golf course superintendent Loren Breedlove and general manager Mark Bado. We toured the golf course, discussing problem areas, evaluating shade patterns and air movement on putting greens, upcoming renovations, bunker maintenance and aeration/topdressing programs. We examined soil cores removed from greens to discuss sand topdressing, thatch management and regionalUpdateContent depth. We also walked through the maintenance facility, reviewed equipment and toured a new irrigation pump house so attendees could gain appreciation for these very important areas of golf course infrastructure.

There were many great questions posed during the education session, with most being focused on frequently asked questions that staff members receive from golfers in the clubhouse, as well as major issues facing the game of golf today. All attendees seemed to enjoy the education being outdoors and several went so far as to say they would not have remained attentive had we not done this on the golf course. Many positive comments were received and attendees reported that not only were they amazed at what goes into building and maintaining a golf course, but things they learned would help them do their jobs better and would also improve their communication with golfers as well as other departments at the golf facility.

Many thanks to Mark Bado and The Kansas City Country Club for giving us the opportunity to provide the education for this meeting, as well as the arrangements and coordination he afforded to make this event possible. This was a wonderful opportunity to expose more golf course management staff to the USGA Turf Advisory Service and all the assistance and resources the USGA Green Section has available to golf facilities. I encourage other CMAA chapters or PGA groups to consider their regional USGA Green Section agronomist for the education component at a future association meeting. It was an enjoyable experience for all.

Source: Bud White (budwhite@usga.org)

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