Looking Forward To 2015 January 6, 2015 By Chris Hartwiger, director, Course Consulting Service

Turf colorants are being used in place of overseeding to provide good conditions for golf and reduce water, fertilizer and mowing inputs.

Ranging from southern Florida to the mountains of North Carolina, the Southeast Region is as diverse as any USGA Green Section region in the country. The USGA Green Section has four agronomists covering the Southeast Region – John Foy, Patrick O’Brien, Todd Lowe and Chris Hartwiger – and we look forward to sharing with you a variety of topics and observations  gathered through our travels.

In this first update of 2015, we share our most prominent agronomic memories from 2014 and a schedule of upcoming presentations. We look forward to being of service to you and welcome your calls or emails.

John Foy  

Most Interesting Memory from 2014:  “My most interesting agronomic memory from 2014 comes from working the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst and the World Amateur Team Championships in Karuizawa, Japan. While there were pronounced differences in agronomic conditions and course setup, the hard work, cooperation and dedication of everyone involved in these championships made them a success.”

Upcoming Presentations:  

March 11, 2015 — 88th World Conference on Club Management and Club Business Expo – Club Managers of Association of America

John’s topic is “Identifying the Challenges Facing the Game and Your Course and What You Can Do to Overcome Them.” It will be co-presented with Dave Oatis, Keith Happ and Pat Gross.

Todd Lowe  

Most Interesting Memory from 2014: “My most interesting agronomic memory from 2014 was finally seeing bermudagrass mite stress on two golf courses. I have been a USGA Agronomist for 14 years and while mites have been brought up by superintendents as a possible cause for turf stress in certain instances, I finally got to see the damage they cause and the telltale ‘witches broom’ symptoms on bermudagrass stolons.”

Upcoming Presentations:  

ToBe Announced:  PGM Program at Florida Gulf Coast University

Patrick O’Brien  

Most Interesting Memory from 2014:  “My most interesting memory from 2014 was observing both superintendents and golfers embrace the use of the turf colorants to improve the winter presentation of bermudagrass putting greens, fairways and teeing areas. Not only have these products helped address turf color issues on key playing areas during the winter season, but they have resulted in less fertilizer and water use. Superintendents successful with turf colorants have received recognition from golfers that play their courses for being on the cutting edge of sustainable turf maintenance practices.”

Upcoming Presentations:  

To Be Announced:  Clemson University Turf Management Classes

Chris Hartwiger  

Most Interesting Memory from 2014:  “My most interesting memory from 2014 was watching the staff at Pinehurst prepare Course No. 2 for both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. Two great champions were crowned and viewers were able to see a golf course that has made a commitment to sustainable maintenance practices.”

Upcoming Presentations:  

Jan. 6, 2015 — Tennessee Turfgrass Conference. “Five Lessons Learned in 2014.”

Jan. 14, 2015 — Alabama Golf Course Superintendent’s Association Annual Assistant Superintendents Meeting. “Pinehurst Goes Two for Two:  A Behind the Scenes Look at Back to Back US Open Championships.”

Jan. 23, 2015 — Arkansas Turfgrass Association Conference. “Pinehurst Goes Two for Two:  A Behind the Scenes Look at Back to Back US Open Championships.”

Feb. 3, 2015 — Ohio Turf Foundation Conference. “The Fun Factor – Understand Your Customers and Improve Your Bottom Line.”

Feb. 28, 2015 — Tennessee Golf Association Annual Meeting. “Emerging Trends in Turfgrass Management in Tennessee.”

Source: Patrick O’Brien (, Chris Hartwiger (, John Foy (, and Todd Lowe (