The last of the leaves are falling, turf is going dormant and ice is forming on ponds in the North. Snow plows have been mounted and a fair number have already been busy clearing roads. Winter is knocking on the door and many golfers have put away their golf clubs for the season. As I reflect on the 2016 season, I am consistently surprised at how few of the course officials and superintendents I interact with take full advantage of the free information available on the Course Care section of USGA.org.
The drought in the upper half of the Northeast Region continues, but many courses do not have drought-emergency plans or water budgets. These documents can be extremely beneficial when dealing with the challenges of limited water availability. The hard work has already been done for you, just follow the links and the material provided by the USGA will guide you through the process of developing important water planning documents. If your course struggled with water management this year, visit the Water Resource Center to learn more about water issues and how other courses are dealing with reduced water supplies. If you are interested in case studies, visit these interactive maps to discover best management practices and water resources from across the country.
If you are a green committee member, explore the USGA’s Tools for Green Committees to find information that will help with your important role. If you are a golfer that just wants to learn more about golf course maintenance, visit the USGA’s Fore the Golfer page for plenty of useful, golfer-friendly information. If you are looking for more information on a specific subject, have a look at the USGA Green Section Collections. Each interactive Green Section Collection contains numerous articles and videos pertinent to specific and commonly searched subjects. Oh, and if you like short videos, be sure to check out the USGA Course Care Playlist on YouTube. The playlist has several videos on a variety of different topics and many of the videos are excellent resources to share with golfers.
I hope you will take some time this winter to go on a thorough tour of the Course Care section of USGA.org. You may be surprised at the depth and breadth of information available at your fingertips. With a little studying you will be able to impress your friends and colleagues with all that you've learned.
We hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season and a successful and prosperous New Year. We look forward to working with you in the future.
Northeast Region Agronomists:
David A. Oatis, regional director – firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam Moeller, director, Green Section Education – email@example.com
James E. Skorulski, agronomist – firstname.lastname@example.org
Elliott Dowling, agronomist – email@example.com
Addison Barden, agronomist – firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Jacobs, agronomist – email@example.com