COURSE CARE
IT'S Conference Time! February 27, 2015

IT'S Conference Time!

By Brian Whitlark, Agronomist
March 25, 2008

Each spring the USGA teams up with local golf associations such as the Northern California Golf Association (NCGA), Northern Nevada Golf Association (NNGA) and the Arizona Golf Association (AGA) to provide education and networking opportunities. Each conference is a great opportunity to brush up on agronomy, maintenance equipment and business-related topics, get a jump-start on CEU's for the year, and, maybe most importantly, interact and network with your peers.

The Northern California Regional Conference was held on March 10 th at Claremont CC in Oakland, CA and brought in nearly 150 attendees. Some hot tips from this conference included insight into the debate on owning vs. leasing equipment (Todd Gray, senior vice-president at Wells Fargo Bank). It appears the trend is definitely leaning towards leasing in today's cash-strapped economy.

Dr. Paul Rowe, green chairman at Arizona CC, provided some of his thought-provoking "Truisms" with a humorous slant.

  • Most superintendents over-water and under fertilize. Water has a memory like an elephant; it will tend to go where it has always gone.
  • Mother Nature is no lady.
  • We don't play golf in the trees; we play it on the ground. Prune trees anytime, remove trees any other time when no one else is around.
  • If someone complains about the lack of shade on the golf course tell them to take a cart with a roof on it!
  • The only "color" on a golf course should be flowers and flagsticks.
  • Sod is rarely a solution.
  • Golf is played on the surface; not in the root zone.
  • In time, bunkers get bigger, greens get smaller.
  • Try your hat on once in a while, make sure it still fits.
  • Good greens make the hot dogs taste better.
  • When in doubt, do nothing!

The NNGA and USGA hosted their regional conference at the Red Hawk Events Center in Reno, NV. Dr. Dale Devitt from UNLV was the featured speaker, relaying information on reuse water (not to be described as waste-water!). Dr. Devitt explained that utilizing reuse water is the right choice from an environmental perspective, but he pointed out that reuse water loads golf courses in the Las Vegas area with 8-11 tons salt/acre/year and this clearly poses consequences for both turfgrass and lake water health.

Both conferences were a huge success and we are looking forward to the USGA conference in Phoenix, AZ on Monday, March 17. Thank you for all who attended, we certainly hope it was both beneficial and entertaining. Be sure to tune in next year!

Source: Brian Whitlark, bwhitlark@usga.org or 480-668-3368



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