News From The Southeast Region

By Patrick O’Brien and Chris Hartwiger, agronomists, Southeast region
July 3, 2012

Attendees at the 2012 Memphis Field Trip received valuable information on ultradwarf surface management practices from two leading superintendents in the SE Region at facilities with different budgets and expectation levels.

2012 Memphis Field Trip:  Friendly, Informative, and Hot! 

On June 25-26, approximately 20 to 25 USGA Green Section Turf Advisory Service customers gathered in Memphis, Tenn. to discuss ultradwarf bermudagrass putting green surface management practices. This gathering has occurred annually since 2007 with the goal being to provide hands-on education through the demonstration of key ultradwarf bermudagrass cultural practices. Our hosts were Mr. Rodney Lingle, superintendent at Memphis Country Club, and Mr. Jay Willis, superintendent at Gleneagles Golf Course on the Millington Air Force Base. Both these gentlemen are experts in ultradwarf surface management programs as their putting greens demonstrate every day. Rodney shared his expertise on maintaining elite ultradwarf surfaces at a private club while Jay offered suggestions for having outstanding ultradwarf putting greens within the restrictions of a high volume daily fee golf course. 

Our trip began at Memphis Country Club June 25 where golf course superintendent Rodney Lingle discussed and demonstrated the following practices. 

  • Mowing Practices
    • Bedknife Selection
    • Mowing Frequency
    • Toro Prototype Demonstration
    • Deere Demonstration
    • Brushing
  • Vertical Mowing Demonstration
    • Depth
    • Direction
    • Frequency
    • Clean Up
  • Topdressing
    • Sand Selection
    • Topdressing Volume
    • Topdressers
    • Sand Incorporation Techniques
    • View Topdressing Plot Applied 24 hours prior
  • Venting
    • VertiDrain Demonstration
  • Observation of Miniverde and TifEagle Plots 

On June 26, Jay Willis hosted the group at the Gleneagles Golf Course.  Jay started off the day by describing a typical week during the summer and how he integrates all the important surface management practices in the right quantity, intensity, and frequency. We concluded the morning trip by watching his staff perform several routine operations including triplex mowing, turfgrooming, and vertical mowing. 

One of the most enjoyable aspects of this trip every year is the opportunity for a diverse group of superintendents from the region to meet each other and share information. We believe that it is important for superintendents to thoroughly understand the key principles, but we also stress that how a superintendent implements the principles is site specific. As a result, this trip is an excellent supplement to regular Turf Advisory Service visits. 

Everyone came away from the trip with more knowledge and a good time was had by all. Here is one comment received afterward by an attendee: 

“I’d like to express my deepest thanks for organizing and executing such an informative and entertaining workshop in Memphis. The information that was provided is invaluable and will prove to be a key tool for me this season and for many to come. I am confident that if I can follow these processes and routines, I will be able to offer exceptional putting surfaces to our members in future years.”   

The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay Makes Headlines – Again 

The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay has been awarded the 2012 Governor’s Environmental Pursuit of Excellence award by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. Paul Carter and his entire team at the Bear Trace have been committed for many years to outstanding stewardship of all the resources on and around their golf course. This quote from Paul Carter sums up this commitment: 

“I am very proud of all my staff members who help are dedicated and involved in the environmental programs we are undertaking at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay.  It has always been our goal with our Environmental Partnership Initiative to balance the needs of the golf course with the needs of the wildlife which call the property home in such a way that one cannot tell the two apart. With our turkey feeders, our blue bird trail, the naturalized areas around the course, and our good Bald Eagle friends, Elliott and Eloise, we feel we are accomplishing our goal every day.” 

Please join us in congratulating Paul and the entire staff at the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay.  For more information on this prestigious award, click on this link:  https://TN Gov Env Stewardship Awards . To keep up with all that is going on at the Bear Trace Harrison Bay, please visit Paul Carter’s blog:  http://Bear Trace Harrison Bay Blog

As always, we are anxious to be of assistance to you on these or any other topics. Contact us to schedule a 2012 Turf Advisory Service visit.  

Source: Pat O’Brien ( and Chris Hartwiger (

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