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Creating a TV-Worthy Golf Course at Woodbine Bend

Andy Young has been working on a golf course since he was 14-years old. He played golf in college and continues to play weekly in the mens league at Woodbine Bend Golf Course near Stockton, Illinois, where he has been the Golf Course Superintendent since 2012.  Woodbine Bend opened in 2002 and was formerly a rolling northern Illinois cornfield. Andy’s goal is to give golfers at Woodbine Bend a fun and unique experience – one they want to come back to.  “I want golfers to have the best conditions for the money, and I feel we exceed that here at Woodbine Bend,” says Andy.  One of the ways Andy creates a TV-worthy golf course is by applying SO4 pelletized gypsum in the spring and fall. Andy’s distributor representative, Mike Werth from Advanced Turf Solutions, introduced him to SO4.  “We have heavy clay soils, so we use SO4 to make the…
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Wear Tolerance in Turfgrass

Turfgrass species matter Wear tolerance is one of the most important characteristics of different turfgrass species when making decisions on which to include in various settings. Wear tolerance is very dependent on species, environment, and management practices. Certain species have physiological differences that make them more tolerant of wear and aid in their ability to recuperate after significant wear events.  Turfgrass species in cool-season environments In cool-season settings, perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass are typically associated with the best wear tolerance and recuperative ability, respectively. They are often used in conjunction to provide the best overall traffic tolerance in athletic fields.  In golf greens and an increasing number of fairways, however, due to low mowing height requirements and aesthetics, creeping bentgrass is the species of choice. Creeping bentgrass can be mowed easily to green heights and exhibits fair to good wear tolerance that can withstand wear associated with players’ foot…
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Aerification and SO4

Aerification contributes to healthy turf The most scrutinized word in the professional turf industry might be aerification. If golfers arrive to the course and see a “plinko” board on the putting surfaces, they immediately assume that their experience for the day is going to be ruined. This doesn’t have to be the case. Sure, it may not look good but that doesn’t mean they won’t play good. Consider a story I heard about Tom Watson, eight-time major champion. Tom arrived at his home course and shot a course record 58, just days after the greens had been aerified. What golfers don’t realize but superintendents do is that aerification is a necessary practice to provide the healthiest turf possible. This is a short-term disruption that has long-term benefits. The GCSAA explains the aerification process achieves three important objectives: 1. It relieves soil compaction.2. It provides a method to improve the soil…
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Localized Dry Spot

What is localized dry spot? With an unusually hot start to the late spring/summer season, localized dry spot (LDS) is showing up earlier and more vigorously than normal. LDS shows up as somewhat randomized, dry looking areas of turf. It is generally seen on sand-based greens, but can occur on other turfs that have been heavily topdressed with sand over the years. Sand-based soil has greater propensity for hydrophobic conditions, which is the main sign of LDS. What causes localized dry spot?The deeper cause, beyond sand-based soils, are believed to be organic acids and residue that coat the soil or sand particles. These organic compounds are not completely understood, but are the result of typical decomposition of leaf tissue, roots, fungal biomass and organic soil amendments included in the original root zone mix. These compounds tend to have a hydrophobic nature and once they have coated soil particles, lead to…
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Soil Testing Helps Inform Application Decisions

Why soil test? Soil testing is an important part of our philosophy at Calcium Products – without knowing the nutrient status of your soil, how are you to make informed decisions about what to apply to it? Turf managers are normally good about soil testing, but if you haven’t been consistent about it or have been thinking about starting a soil testing program, now is the time to do so. With environmental regulations being administered in certain areas of the U.S., soil testing will help you maximize your fertilizer investment and make educated decisions on the best type of fertilizers to supply exactly what you need. What a soil test measures There are a wide variety of soil tests available that can help you gain insight into your nutrient status, soil type/texture, infiltration rates, water holding capacity, etc. A basic soil test is likely to provide you with the following…
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