Our students had the opportunity to visit Westfield Group CC on Thursday 10-20-16 to gain insight on the golf component of the turfgrass industry. Natural resource leader Mark Jordan and two golf course superintendents Ben Imhoff and Kyle Smith were very welcoming tot he group. Smith and Imhoff talked about their educational experiences and the backgrounds that they felt were important for them to advance their careers. They also brought up involvement with GCSAA and OTF as part of developing a successful career, which the students will get a chance to develop this year as they go to the OTF conference in Columbus to partake in the turf bowl. Students also got to see the research green they have constructed which focused on methods of establishment that the would suit the course going forward. Various pieces of equipment that might be considered somewhat more golf specific were also discussed. Students also got the opportunity to see the various grass types they will deal with as the progress through their careers and learned how the superintendents at Westfield Group CC coordinate on the two courses to help produce consistent high quality playing surfaces. Thanks to Mark and everyone at Westfield for the hospitality.
Ben Imhoff discusses the research green at Westfield Group CC with students
One new feature that has been developed at Hawks Nest GC – which the turf students get use for experiential learning – is the research green. Dr Raudenbush initiated the project in the Spring of 2016 and has used it as a tool for the turf program to develop a research component going forward. Dr Nangle is also involved and has begun trials on the green with Dominic Petrella at PhD student working at OARDC. The research has both an applied and basic component with issues such as fertility management, herbicide effects, fungicide efficacy all being tested on site. Issues such as winter acclimation are also being investigated and the green is available for research use going forward. The turf students are also gaining insight into one part of turf research which is both giving them cutting edge information as well as understanding into how products are evaluated for end users.
Dominic Petrella working on the research green at Hawks Next (10-19-16)
As we continue to work on the blog here at OSU/ATI we will update you on the activities of both the students as well as the academic side of things. The aim of the blog is to give insight into data produced from field trials, while also discussing weather conditions affecting northern Ohio and what that means on a week to week basis for superintendents, sportsturf managers and lawn and landscape managers. To that end we will be posting notes about recent visits and issues that we have seen with those visits. If you have questions on the topics that arise throughout the year please don’t hesitate to contact us.
One other aim of the blog is to showcase our student activities and the students themselves so expect some bio’s with their career focus and discussion on where they might like to end up in the next 10 years.
OSU/ATI was visiting Barrington GC in Aurora on Monday 10-10-16. The team noticed what was believed to be the first frost of the season and felt that chill in air. One thing that was noticeable was that aeration activity was ongoing. Ultimately it’s a required cultural practice to aid with dilution of organic matter, enhance water movement, reduce disease pressure and enhance turfgrass playing conditions. The problem for golfers is the disruption to golf activity that occurs and the problem for superintendents is the disruption to golf activity that occurs – they hear about it. It is a required practice to retain turfgrass health and superintendents do not want to do this to annoy golfers – its not the most enjoyable of jobs either – long days, equipment breakdowns, uncooperative weather – however aeration of some form or other must be carried out or course conditions will certainly diminish. Patience is key – and if the disruption is causing serious frustrations then consideration could be given to moving the program to earlier in the season (August) to enhance recovery speed and allow for undisturbed fall golf. In regards to timing we noticed the first frost of the season during the visit and so if you have aerated very recently and are hoping for rapid recovery – this type of weather will not be of help – aeration holes will really hang around going forward and may not completely recover until next spring – it will certainly compound frustration for all those around – however at this stage patience is needed.
First frost has been spotted in the northeast Ohio region – recovery from aeration will be stunted as temperatures continue to drop. Barrington GC was in excellent shape 10-10-16
Our students made a trip to see Kim Kellogg and his excellent business Grasshopper Group which is based in Millersburg, OH on Thursday 9-29-16. The students got to meet Kim who has built the business from scratch as well as his son Chad who has been part of the team all the way. The business has been very successful and the students were able to see how Kim has built it and gained insights on the do’s and dont’s in this part of the landscape industry. Kim also brought up the value of association activity and how it can help with networking regardless of the area of the industry they are based in. The students also got to see Kim’s equipment and learn about some of the most crucial changes that his business has made and is continuing to make as they adapt to an ever changing market. Kim indicated that without the support of OSU/ATI and The Ohio State University Turf Team he would have found it very hard to continue to succeed with his company and felt the students need to use all available resources to them as the grow in their careers. The students had plenty of excellent questions and were very grateful for Kim’s insight. Further trips are planned for the fall to golf and sportsturf facilities.
Kim Kellogg talking to OSU / ATI students in Millersburg at his facility