"I really feel strongly that if you need to get issues addressed and presented in a context that your membership can understand, the USGA Green Section is the best valve" – Scott Wheeler, golf course superintendent at Gorge Vale Golf Club in Victoria, British Columbia.
As a 25-year veteran superintendent, Wheeler has experienced what all in the golf course maintenance business have – golfers have different skill levels and different views on how a golf course should be maintained. From putting green speeds to bunker consistency; tree planting to tree removal; replacing equipment to improving staff efficiency, golf courses can be maintained in a variety of ways that all impact playability. Wheeler has found that bringing in an USGA agronomist, offering a nonbiased perspective based on science and sound maintenance practices, is the best way to ensure a golf course is heading in the best direction.
To parallel Wheeler’s comments, USGA agronomists have been helping courses address two common trends during the past summer. First, the careful and correct removal and replacement of trees continues to be a hot topic at every type of golf facility. An increasing number of golf courses are using readily available apps to identify and address shade-producing trees or limbs. Also, an increasing number of courses are using indigenous trees that are being planted based on their full size.
The second trend is the ongoing addition of forward tees at yardages that allow golfers with less distance off the tee to enjoy the game. Forward tees have had a noticeable positive impact on pace of play and, with an aging golf population, they have proven to be a popular way to bring more fun into the game.
To address these two topics and many others, USGA agronomists are available to every golf course in North America. So, as you work on your small or large budget for next year, include a visit from a regional USGA agronomist - you will be glad you did. Learn more about the USGA Course Consulting Service.
West Region Agronomists:
Patrick J. Gross, regional director – firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry W. Gilhuly, agronomist – email@example.com
Brian S. Whitlark, agronomist – firstname.lastname@example.org
Blake Meentemeyer, agronomist – email@example.com