The Yellow layer of pollen on my truck signifies that spring has arrived here in Eastern NC. As usual, the weather patterns are warm one day and cool the next. All golfers have the “itch” to get out and play and with The Masters, golf season for the majority of the US has arrived. Arriving also the week after The Masters, is the yearly scrutiny and questions from the golfers pertaining to why our Country Club does not have green plastic wrap sandwiches from the snack bar and our greens aren’t rolling 14 on the stimpmeter echoing in unison around the US.
As discussed in this forum before, hopefully everyone has taken a strong look at their agronomic program over the off season and made the appropriate changes to their inputs. Remember to monitor your data points in order to help you quantify and justify your inputs. Everyone of us are dealing with continued inflation and high fuel prices. Many budgets that were approved last fall will not support the current economic market. Communication with your General Manager and Boards are imperative and will allow you to not surprise everyone at months end. The pandemic allowed clubs to understand the most important asset to their bottom line is the golf course not the Dining Room. Make sure you remind your members that inputs and maintenance practices are crucial to maintain a healthy bottom line for the club. People have short memories.
One point we as a company are highlighting over the coming weeks is some new data and research from academia on the root zone and the role it plays in water management with the plant and the overall health of the turf. We encourage you to watch our recorded webinar HERE with Dr Stan Kostka, Dr Mike Fidanza, and our very own Bill Brown. It provides a better understanding of soil water relationships between the soil colloid as well as the root system itself.
Our manufacture representatives are now traveling in the field with our distribution partners full time. It’s nice to be back out seeing our end users and listening and learning how we can help you with solutions to your agronomic problems.
Keep it in the short grass.
New Years gives us an opportunistic and enthusiastic feeling about the year to come and brings a “fresh” start for all. In the turf world most have a “fresh” start on budgets, Agronomic programs, and management techniques. As I write this we are hopeful that STMA and GIS will still be in person and allow us an opportunity to learn new information from our research world as well as an introduction to new products and equipment.
As I wrote in the last quarter update, making sure we have made a way to implement our changes needed in our Agronomic program from the previous year is important. How do we get better is a crucial task that all turf managers need to have the answer for. Remember, the turf manager is similar to our coaches in professional and collegiate sports, what have you done for me lately is the mindset we live in every day. Take the time these first weeks of the year to communicate with your peers either by phone or in person. Discuss your ideas and more importantly listen to their ideas. These discussions I had as a superintendent were beneficial as I always had points made to me that I had not thought about.
In today's world with supply chain issues and with pricing structure all over the board, it is vital that you have a defined plan for the next 12 months. Inventory of what you need across the spectrum of your operation will be more important than ever. Communicate with your vendor partners to insure you will have what you need when you need it.
Finally, make sure you have time to clear your mind after the Holiday season. Make it a goal to have a weekly routine to set aside a time to “clear” your mind. The past two years have brought on additional stress to us all. The Golf business has prospered during the pandemic but it has come with a price on turf managers. I’ve listen to many “turfies” over the past 6 months second guess what they are doing. They are spent….pushing through these unprecedented times in order to deliver quality playing conditions and in many situations dealing with uncontrollable factors thrown at them every day. Remember your mental health is equally important as your physical health.
Cheers from all of us at AQUA-AID Solutions, here’s to a “Fresh” start for us all.