Fieldscout Meter by Eric J. von Hofen
Over the last few weeks, I have had the chance to ride shotgun with a few PGA TOUR Agronomists during PGA events and I have to say I’m very impressed. Bland Cooper, CGCS and PGA TOUR Agronomist, took me through the steps on how the TOUR has taken tournament preparation and hosting to a whole new level. They have put every new tech gadget available on the market to use and have built a sound agronomic plan around them.
Eric J. von Hofen in Mexico

During advance week the data collection and charting begins. They first look at height of cut on the greens and the speeds that are produced in the AM and PM. Morning and afternoon soil moisture readings are collected and then plugged into another chart. This data is collected using the FieldScout TDR probe. The probes are an inch and a half long and easily pierce the turf with no problem. Within seconds the data pops up on the screen and after three sites are probed, a average is displayed on the screen.
By Eric J. von Hofen

The superintendent and PGA TOUR Agronomist both have their own FieldScout probes. They walk each green in a grid-like pattern mapping and collecting the soil moisture data. During this process the data is averaged and areas in need of water are located. This need of water could be 30 seconds to 3 minutes with a hose. Overhead irrigation is not used at all.

All of this is happening while there is yet another series of data collection occurring. Firmness, yes firmness is measured. This too is collected in the AM and PM. This is the missing piece to the puzzle. When this information is charted and overlaid with Stimpmeter and moisture readings, it shows where the performance of the greens is headed for the week. Basically the height of cut did not change for the entire two weeks. Green speed was increased by decreasing the moisture and pure rolling. When the greens moisture read around 25% to 30%, it made for the best conditions after rolling. The TOUR does not want the greens dried out below these levels.
eric von hofen

Next time you are watching a PGA TOUR event on TV, just think what goes on behind the scenes to make those greens so good. It takes a sound plan in place and a year worth of work to get things right. These PGA TOUR Agronomists really know their stuff. The saying should be “TOUR Agronomy, These guys are good”.

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A Flyover Of The Legendary Blue Monster At Doral In Miami, Florida

This video was shot and edited by Turfundeground’s Eric J. von Hofen. It shows the layout of the legendary Blue Monster golf course during the 2005 PGA TOUR Ford Championship. Doral has been hosting a PGA Event every year since 1962. Doral will be hosting the PGA Tour in March during the WGC event.  The world will be watching again in two weeks.

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Mayakoba Golf Classic Sets New Guinness World Record

most people taking a golf lesson at one time
Today the Mayakoba Golf Classic made it into the Guinness Book of World Records™ by hosting the largest ever golf lesson on the grounds of El Camaleón Golf Club in PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mèxico.

Today’s impressive attendance of 1,073 people, witnessed by officials from Guinness, surpassed the old record of 1,032 people recognized by Guinness World Records™ which occurred on October 9 of 2010 at Pine Valley, Beijing, China.
Most people ever taking a golf lesson
It took over three hours to set up for the event and the course had to borrow a few hundred golf clubs from other local golf courses in order to pull off the world record. Some participants traveled over 45 minutes to be a part of history. Once the people arrived at El Camaleon, they were checked in, received a number and a white shirt so officials could track who was participating. The 30 minute lesson was conducted by PGA TOUR player Esteban Toledo. According to the Mayakoba Classic officials, Esteban Toledo said, “This was one of the most incredible things I have participated in my career. I have given golf clinics before to maybe 400 people. But never in front of over a thousand people. At one point, I was a little bit nervous because I wanted to make sure we broke the record but also learned something as well.”
The Mayakoba Golf Classic is celebrating its fifth year on the PGA TOUR. Past champions are: Fred Funk, Brian Gay, Mark Wilson and Cameron Beckman. The Classic will be played on February 23 -27, 2011.

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