Friday, February 15, 2013

2013 GIS

Last week I attended the Golf Industry Show (GIS) in San Diego CA.  The GIS is an annual conference that brings together golf course superintendents, owners, architects, and suppliers from all over the world. The conference features several days of educational seminars followed by the annual trade show.  I was able to take advantage of both the trade show and the educational opportunities.   The following is a brief synopsis of my week at the conference.

Seminar - Managing Turfgrass Root Systems in The Southern and Transition Climatic Zones
  This seminar provided techniques for using both environmental factors and cultural practices to develop and maintain a healthy root system.  Additionally, we discussed the importance of soil temperature, fertilization, cultivation, irrigation, mowing, plant growth regulators, wetting agents, biostimulants, and how all these work together to produce a healthy plant.

Root systems seminar

Seminar - Weed Control for Cool Season Golf Courses
  While I have an extensive knowledge of the use of herbicides for the control of weeds, there are several new products on the market that I was not aware of.  By reviewing the newest data and available research, I was able to understand the functionality of several new pesticides that we will soon be using at HFCC.

Dr. Frank Rossi disussing turfgrass issues

Seminar - Hazardous Duty - Bunker Maintenance
  Since we are in the process of renovating several bunkers on the course, this course proved to be of exceptional value.  We reviewed the numerous factors in selecting the proper type of sand for use in the bunker.  Additionally, we discussed several methods for bunker construction including the "Better Billy Bunkers".  This is the method of construction we will be using to construct the renovated bunkers at HFCC.  I will discuss this method in more detail in a future post.

Seminar - Phosphorous and Potassium - Agronomic and Environmental Benefits and Consequences
  With many states now regulating the use of phosphorous as a fertilizer, this was especially beneficial for us.  By discussing both current and past research we learned how to recognize some of the environmental implications of over applications of phosphorous.  At this point North Carolina does not regulate phosphorous, but it has been discussed in the legislature.

While walking the trade show floor, I met with the representatives of Billy Bunkers.  They were able to show me why their method of bunker construction would benefit HFCC.  Additionally, I met with Rick Franke, owner of Fore Front Construction.  His company will be doing the final part of our bunker construction.  FFC is no stranger to Highlands Falls as they have done most of our renovation work for the past 13 years and they do a great job.

View of the Jacobsen booth.  Jacobsen is HFCC's primary equipment supplier.

Finally the best part of the show was the interaction with my peers.  The amount of knowledge that I gather from simply “talking turf” with the guys is immeasurable. I would like to thank everyone at HFCC for providing me the opportunity to participate in the GIS and for understanding the value in it. By attending the trade show and participating in the educational seminars, I have consistently been able to bring back useful information that has benefited the Club both in savings and efficiencies, not to mention the agronomic information that improves the course.