Monday, February 19, 2018
We are just 10 days from March 1st our supposed Opening Day. It is hard to believe with the snow flying outside my window and zero degree windchill. We will try to keep you posted on when you can tee it up at Wild Horse as best we can. As of right now with the amount of snow still around it would be likely that the first few days of golf will be walking only. That is speculation right now and weather changes quickly so check back regularly for updates.
Monday, February 12, 2018
GIS-what is that? That stands for the Golf Industry Show which was recently completed in San Antonio, TX. It is hosted by the GCSAA and NGCOA which stands for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and National Golf Course Owners Association respectively. There are over 550 exhibitors and 13,000 attendees to the largest trade show in the golf course management industry. With over 100 seminars available it is the most comprehensive education source for golf course management employees.
I was fortunate to attend this great event again this year and am always impressed by the magnitude and scope of this great game. I think that most attendees love browsing at the newest, greatest toys on the trade show floor and learning from experts about a myriad of topics from weed control to utilizing technology to track all inputs into a golf course. But time and time again most attendees, myself included, value the networking opportunities and conversations debating turf management.
I was especially excited to be able to take in a round of golf at Austin Golf Club with some of my closest superintendent friends that I have worked alongside at one time or another. A special treat that day was being able to visit with a special friend and Wild Horse architect Dan Proctor who is doing some bunker work on Ben Crenshaw's home course. As I walked away from the course that day I was reminded that it is the connections and friendships that I referenced above that makes my career special. I am forever indebted to Dan and Dave Axland for bringing me down to Wild Horse and giving me a chance.
My takeaway from the GIS is that technology continues to evolve and invade what was once a lower tech industry. Great advancements have been made on the equipment side of the industry in the past twenty years but now the focus is on data collection and analysis to drive decisions and conserve inputs. Sensors collecting soil moisture and nutrient levels and then relaying that data to GPS sprayers that precisely apply needed inputs is where turf management is going. These technologies are driving agriculture advancements and are beginning to make their way into golf course applications. The goal is to use technology to reduce inputs for environmental and financial benefit while still maintaining high quality playing conditions. These principles have been utilized by most good superintendents for awhile but now we are able to use technology to quantify our decision-making process.
I am grateful to be able to attend the "show" and believe it gives me great perspective to see and evaluate the big picture of our efforts at Wild Horse. I always come back motivated for the season but Mother Nature has other plans for the start of the season. Wild Horse sits under a blanket of 3-4 inches of snow right now. This has been one of the longest snow covered winters we have had in recent years and I expect the turf to respond nicely once spring arrives.
Only 17 days by the calendar until opening day. Guess we will see if we make it by then!