TURFUNDERGROUND’S TOP 5 GOLF SHIRTS FOR THE SUPERINTENDENT

Polo and Peter Millar by Eric J. von Hofen
Ask any of my former employees and they will tell you my saying. If you dress like a farmer on the golf course, they will treat you like one. As a result, I have always dressed up the part and have kept my golf shirts on the cutting edge. I have based this list off of price point, durability, cut, and style. Superintendents spend just as much time on the golf course as some teaching pros but we have different needs in our shirts. Here it is, the top 5 shirts superintendents must have.

1. Polo by Ralph Lauren
2. Peter Millar
3. Fairway and Greene
4. Donald  J. Ross
5. Nike Golf

I’m not much into the performance materials(polyester), although they do provide some better UV protection than the cotton threads. To me they seem hot and tend to have a “plastic” smell. Nike Golf makes some that don’t smell.  My preferred material for the shirts listed above is cotton. Hit up your golf pro and have him get you the same deals they get from the manufacturers. You can get these shirts at cost and you will look like a million bucks watering that green.

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ARE YOUR GREENS READY TO HOST A MAJOR EVENT?

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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Dalit Bay Golf and Country Club in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Eric von Hofen in malaysia
The Dalit Bay Golf and Country Club is surrounded by the 400 acres of the Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort.  The course was designed by Ted Parslow. Brian Distel was just there to meet with fellow superintendent Goh Yat Hing for a tour of the course and to develop long range plans for the operation.  Brian reports that nine holes of the course are cut out of the jungle and the other nine border the Tambalang and Mengkabong rivers.  Mr. Hing has USGA spec greens grassed with Tifdwarf Bermudagrass and 419 Bermudagrass fairways, roughs and tees. There are 15 golf courses in this area, none of which are under construction.  The population in this region is 617,000 people.

Dalit Bay has an aqua range that has 15 hitting stations.  This range gets a ton of use throughout the year because it’s the only game in town.  Warming up on this range prepares players to see water on each hole, which is what they will experience as they play the course.

The climate has year round high levels of  humidity and receives over 100 inches of rain a year.  The course is located very close to the equator.  This tropical region is full of clay soil that runs through the Kinabalu mountains. The fairways and tees are capped with sand and the rough is pure clay.

While you are there you can meet the areas icon, the Orangutan. You will also have unexpected encounters with hornbills that glide right overhead. Peacocks walking by during breakfast, a friendly bear cat greeting you from a tree and iguanas and squirrels crossing your path are all part of the magic of this remarkable resort.

Thanks Brian and keep them coming from your travels.

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The El Camaleon Golf Club at Mayakoba in Riviera Maya, Mexico

Eric von Hofen
Eric on a site visit with his brother, Superintendent Kurt von Hofen at his Greg Norman designed El Camaleon Golf Club at Mayakoba in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

This one of a kind course will host the PGA TOUR’S Mayakoba Golf Classic, the only PGA TOUR event outside of the United States, February 23-27, 2011. Make your travel plans now so you can get out of the cold weather and enjoy the Cancun area this winter.

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El Camaleon Golf Club at Mayakoba in Riviera Maya, Mexico

Eric on a site visit with his brother, Superintendent Kurt von Hofen at his Greg Norman designed El Camaleon Golf Club at Mayakoba in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

This one of a kind course will host the PGA TOUR’S Mayakoba Golf Classic, the only PGA TOUR event outside of the United States, February 23-27, 2011. Make your travel plans now so you can get out of the cold weather and enjoy the Cancun area.

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Early Order Chemical and Fertilizer Programs

Are you taking advantage of the many early order programs offered by almost every company today? If not, you should. Many companies such as Bayer, Syngenta and Dow are all offering some great programs that will help you save your Club some money. All you have to do is get the list of the products on the early order programs from the company’s rep and review what they have to offer. Then you have to see how your yearly programs fit into the system and then pull the trigger. Products such as Syngenta’s Primo can be ordered at todays prices and you can take delivery this Spring or Summer. We use a ton of Primo in the summer in South Florida so our saving can be huge. If you purchase enough products, that are enrolled in the program from one company, many times there is a rebate back to the property for every thing you bought. Time is ticking, many of the programs end in November and December, so get with it.

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