Hitting 21 Every Time – You Will With The USGA Green Section!

By Larry Gilhuly and Derf Soller, agronomists, Northwest Region
October 31, 2012

Life is a gamble, and so too are the activities of golf course maintenance. Proper diagnosis and reaction to disease, a fundamental understanding and application of needed nutrients, the refusal to address excess shade issues and daily irrigation decisions are just a few areas where gambles are frequently made with turf health. Attempting to meet golfer expectations for green color at all times, bowing to player pressure to eliminate aeration or aeration timing and low mowing on greens at the wrong time of the year are additional examples of gambles taken at the risk of the long-term health and playability of the golf course.

As we all know, gambling is largely unpredictable and does not always produce positive results. Rather than going the Las Vegas route and gambling with turf health and playing conditions of your golf facility, consider a well-known and documented approach that has benefited thousands of golf courses for 60 years – Turf Advisory Service visits from the USGA Green Section!

The USGA Green Section is comprised of 21 agronomists with more than 200 years of combined experience. Thousands of on-site visits have been made throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and other countries. To cover such a large geographical area which such diverse needs, our staff is positioned all over the country in eight distinct regions. However, thanks to technology we are always in touch. The USGA makes every effort to incorporate cutting edge communications technologies enabling our staff to instantly interact with each other. The power of having 21 interconnected professionals that are in constant contact offers a unique way to answer virtually any question you may have at your golf facility.

In addition to discussing and answering any topic related to golf course maintenance, USGA agronomists also play a key role in the preparation of our 13 national championships. In an era when the expectations of many golfers regarding course conditioning are molded by what they see on television, a visit from a USGA agronomist can identify what is feasible and what is out of reach based on available resources. A complete written report follows every visit. This report is provided to document the items and topics discussed during the visit and provide additional observations and recommendations. Finally, the fee for subscribing to an on-site visit (either  a half or full day) is actually a year’s subscription to the services of our staff. Instead of viewing a Turf Advisory Service visit as a “one and done” visit, it is important to understand that USGA agronomists are available to subscribers year-round via phone or email.

Remember, the Green Section is your best bet of all. You hit 21 every time! To address gambling with your golf course and every topic regarding golf course maintenance and the game, contact Larry Gilhuly (lgilhuly@usga.org) or Derf Soller (dsoller@usga.org). They provide TAS service to all states in the Northwest Region and northern Canadian provinces.

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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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