Mid-Continent Regional Update

By Bud White, director, Mid-Continent region
June 20, 2012

Trees continue to die as a result of the severe drought experienced over much of the region. This facility lost approximately 520 trees.

What are the long-term effects of the record-setting droughts of 2010 and 2011 in the lower Midwest? While irrigated turf survived for the most part many trees outside the irrigation coverage did not fare so well. The 36-hole complex pictured lost an estimated 520 trees. Pines and cedars were especially hard hit while oaks and other native species also suffered significant damage.

Most courses that are now facing costly tree removal did not anticipate such expenses when they prepared their maintenance budgets. As a result, either trees are not being taken down, which may be a huge liability to the course, or tree removal costs are absorbed into the existing golf course operations budget. The difficult economy has already forced many courses to trim the budget to the bone so tough decisions have to be made as more cuts are implemented.

What is the best route for your golf course? The Green Section has a great deal of experience with this and other difficult issues and can help you and your course leadership determine the best option for your course. If you would like more information about a Turf Advisory Service visit please contact me, Bud White, at (972) 662-1138 or (budwhite@usga.org).

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The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.


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Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



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IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

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Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

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Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


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