I finally found some time to update the blog while I await my flight from Orlando to Baltimore. This week's Golf Industry Show was very productive and, as always, a lot of fun.
The most exciting thing i'm bringing from the show to Hillendale is in regards to our Rain Bird Irrigation Control System. Currently we have a map of our system in another program but it doesn't interact with the Rain Bird control program. To create, edit, and run programs, I have to work off of a list of heads that are organized by hole and area (greens, tees, fairways, etc). Now, with our subscription to Rain Bird's GSP program, we are going to have an interactive map of the course with heads, valves, quick couplers, pipes, and wires placed on that map. We will have the ability to utilize our iPads on the course to click on individual heads, or groups of heads to run them. Another benefit is the ability to quickly create location-based programs to help increase watering on dry spots, or temporarily reduce watering on wet areas. All of this will improve the efficiency and level of control we have when managing our water.
On this green, I have one head paused and one head running. We'll now have the ability to easily see what is running. (I have no clue what the ballmark repair tools represent)
While at the show, I ran in to Dr. Joe Roberts from UMD and he was excited to show me the picture below. As you know, he's been performing some etiolation trials on our rye/poa fairways to see what the cause is and if there are any potential controls. They successfully isolated the strain of bacteria taken from samples in the fairways and inoculated ryegrass with it in the laboratory. You can see the 4 cylinders on the left have all grown a significant amount more than the others. Now that the bacteria, Pantoea Sp., has been isolated and we have an idea of how the bacteria operates, we can design a research platform around it for next season.
Of course networking and re-connecting with peers is a big part of the show. While meeting numerous other superintendents, I was also able to catch up with some friends from my days at Ohio State, and even a buddy from Ireland when I worked at Old Conna Golf Club in Bray, Ireland! Dave Curran has moved his way up from a crew member to the Superintendent and has made great progress with the club.
While I was in Orlando, my staff kept busy cleaning the course from windstorms, prepping the greens for play with 70 degree weather forecasted, and also taking care of some snow removal. They had all 4 seasons in one week! Unfortunately our Assistant Superintendent Nick Donner wasn't able to work much due to a serious pinched nerve in his neck, but the team handled the absence of management very well and kept the wheels turning. Its great knowing I have a solid core of full-time employees that I can trust to continue to perform at a high level even when I'm not there.
Finally, the best part about the show is having Lindsay come down and visit. We debated bringing the kids down to take them to Disney, but decided it was a great opportunity for some kid-free fun.