Monday, May 22, 2017

Snowpack.....You Just Never Know?

The latest snow-water equivalency graphs show that you just never know in Colorado. Vail Mountain SWE is down to just 15% of normal, while just on the other side of the hill, Copper Mountain is sitting at 116% of normal. This is vey unusual considering the proximity of these two areas. Hopefully the recent snowfall will help everyone add to these figures, before more runoff resumes.

Friday, May 12, 2017

TOCA Awards

Recently I received an award from the Turf and Ornamental Communications Association (TOCA) at their annual conference in Tampa Bay, Florida. The award recognized my video work at the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club as part of the team. I must say, I'm certainly honored to win this award and to be part of the TurfNet team. I would like to thank our Toro distributor, L.L. Johnson in Denver, Colorado, Club Car Corporation, and for their sponsorship. Also, a special thanks to Hazeltine NGC superintendent, Chris Tritabaugh and his entire staff for be such gracious hosts! You can read the entire article here

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Milorganite and Spring Green-up...

Each spring I'm always amazed at the spring green up results from using Milorganite as a late-fall fertilization application. I used Milorganite for over 30+ years during my superintendent career and its always was one of the top fertilizers in my arsenal. Although a natural organic, research has shown that approximately 15-20% of the nitrogen applied in the fall is mineralized and available to the plant at the onset of growth in the spring. That nitrogen availability along with the iron content just makes for great results in the spring. Below are some photos highlighting the spring "green up" and some research clips on the nitrogen mineralization.

Research dating back to the early 1970's by Dr. Richard Skogley,
at the University of Rhode Island.

Research by Dr. Wayne Kussow, University of Wisconsin.

Monday, May 1, 2017

TurfNetTV - Latest Video is Live

My latest video for TurfNetTV is live on In this latest video, "Ross and Rossi" I chat with Frank Rossi. He and I do a little ranting together on spring conditions and what to expect going forward in 2017. I alway enjoy a little ranting with Frank and this video is no different. Enjoy!

To view click here

Friday, April 28, 2017

WinField Academy "Lunch and Learns" headed to Seattle Area

The WinField Academy Tour bus will make two stops in mid-May in the Seattle area. One in Lakewood, WA at Tacoma Golf and Country Club on May 16th and the another at Cablea's in Tulalip, WA on May 17th. I'm really excited to be involved with these educational events. A few years back, I spoke at the Washington Turf Conference and the turnout of 200+ superintendents to listen to my talk was fantastic. I had a great time at that conference and look forward to meeting some of those same superintendents again. The best thing of all it's free, thanks to WinField United for giving back to the industry.

Monday, April 24, 2017

A New Tree Species in Colorado?

A new tree species has emerged in Colorado over the past five years. That tree, named by me, has a Latin name: Cellus Toweris Fakeus, common name: Cell Tower Fake Tree. That's right, this is no real tree. This is a cell tower, acting as a conifer tree. I must admit, in the past five years or so since I first noticed these trees, they have become really good at decorating them. It might be fake, but for many developments it's much better than an ugly tower. The one in the photo is in Glenwood Springs, CO next to Ironbridge Country Club and certainly serves the purpose.

Cellus Toweris Fakeus

Friday, April 21, 2017

Snow-Water Equivalency Below Normal...

One thing is certain about Colorado, weather conditions can change rapidly. Sitting in my new home office a few months ago looking out the window and watching it snow almost daily made me think of big snowpack and plenty of water. Suddenly, a few months later, how times have changed! A few months ago snow-water equivalentcy hovered around 150%, yesterday's reading came in at 59%. Ouch, that is some dip. Let's hope some spring moisture comes along.

The rapid rise in yellow, followed by the sharp decline in green.

Monday, April 17, 2017

TurfNet TV - New Video is Live

In my latest TurfNetTV video I explain an outside filler pipe which I came up with to eliminate any spills inside the pump station facility. Keeping the delivery driver outside. To view click here

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Elk Damage this Season...

This spring I have been asked many times why there is so much Elk damage to trees in many housing areas. I believe it mostly occurred during late January to early February when snowfall hit hard and fast. This left very little food in the higher elevations and Elk herds migrated quickly to lower elevations for food, which brought them in contact with housing developments. One thing is certain when it comes to an Elk herd migrating through your property, nothing is safe! When these animal are hungry and looking for food, watch out.
Common sight this year in my backyard.

Aspen trees, as usual, suffer the worst of the damage.

Nothing is safe. Here the ends of this Spruce tree are chewed above the netting, which extends to 6 feet high. Elk have a 6'-7' reach, which makes protecting trees very difficult.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The WinField Tour Bus Rolls On......

The Winfield Academy "Lunch and Learn" tour bus will be making a stop in Glenwood Springs, Colorado on April 19th at the Ironbridge Country Club. I'm very excited about this event being held virtually out my back door. Please join us for a great morning of education followed by lunch. After all, this event is FREE, hope to see you there! Thanks to Winfield for sponsoring this event and giving back to the industry.

To sign up, click here

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Snow-Water Equivalency takes a DIVE!

One thing is certain about just never know about the weather. After a 6 week stretch of intense snowfall from late December to early February, things have change. A snow drought over the past 6 weeks has cause the snow-water equivalency to plummet! Although at 100% presently, the long term forecast shows very little moisture headed our way. Take a look at the latest graph and notice the drop.

Great Podcast with Rick Tegtmeier, Des Moines Golf & CC

This is a fabulous podcast featuring Rick Tegtmeier of Des Moines Golf & Country Club hosted by the "TurfNet Maestro" Peter McCormick. I've known Rick for a number of years and I look at him as a no-nonsense, no BS, straight shooter type of guy. That means, he's my type of guy. There are many priceless moments, but here are a couple of my favorites. First, Rick's son, Nate, has followed his Dad's footsteps in the business and presently works for his Dad as one of the courses superintendents. When asked about the relationship, Rick's response of "He's related to me off the course" is great! Another great moment is when Rick talks about some drone video filming and a former President of the club calls and asks him........sorry, not going to give that away, you'll need to listen. Enjoy, this is fun stuff!

Click this link to listen:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WinField Academy "Lunch and Learn" Glenwood Springs, Colorado

The next stop on the WinField Academy "Lunch and Learn" tour bus will be Glenwood Springs, Colorado. I will be speaking along with others in the golf industry on April 19th at the Ironbridge Golf Club. Really excited about this event and looking forward to sharing my 45 years of golf course experience with many of my western Colorado friends. Most of all, this event is FREE. So mark your calendar, details to follow.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Future of Golf Course Management?

You could say, "I've seen the future and the future is now"! We all know how technology is simply amazing. Just like in the real world, in the turf management world technology is moving so fast that it is difficult to keep up with. Just like a Smartphone or a Smart TV, the turf world now has "Smart Sprayers". These smart sprayers are a wonderful advancement for today's turfgrass management. The ability for nozzles on a spray boom to be controlled individually via GPS along with using satellite imagery to collect plant health data is truly amazing. Combining GPS sprayers and the plant health data will allow turf managers to spray only target areas and also apply a variable rate depending on that plant health data. Really impressive stuff! The savings from control products and fertilizers is estimate at 10-20%. You can see why this technology won't take long to pay for itself.

Photo shows material applied in the rough when not needed without GPS nozzle control.

The same photo showing non-targeted triangles. Adding these triangle areas together throughout an entire golf course can determine significant wasted material. 

WinField's GeoTech Tool is a big part of the future of turf management.

The other part of the future is "Smart Sprayers".

Thursday, March 16, 2017

WinField "Lunch and Learn" Salt Lake City, Utah

What a great time in Salt Lake City, Utah this week. I was there participating in the Winfield "Lunch and Learn" educational series as a presenter. What a fabulous group we had. Thanks to all the superintendents from Utah, Idaho, and Nevada that were in attendance. Also, a big thanks for the interaction during my presentation, that always makes a presentation extremely enjoyable. Special thanks to Roman Grigg and Rob Garcia from Winfield for the great hospitality. Can't wait to be back!

Salt Lake City, Utah was a great place for the first stop on the Winfield Tour Bus.

My Presentation was filled with, "Quick Hitters", sharing my 40+ of experiences!

Dr. Thom Nikolai, Michigan State University, lead the day off in his usual style.

Yours truly, thanking the folks from Winfield for their support of Chris Tritabaugh, his team, and the volunteers during the Ryder Cup!

Rob Garcia of WinField gave a great talk about adjuvants.

Salt Lake City, airport with a view.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

WinField Speaking Tour....

Next week I will be in Utah speaking at the WinField "Lunch and Learn" near Salt Lake City. This will be my first stop on my year long speaking tour. If you are a superintendent from Utah or the surrounding area, please come join us! This is a great half-day of education followed by lunch. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Video "Deep Roots, The Life of a Golf Course Superintendent"

This video was produced by the Atlantic Golf Course Superintendents Association to commemorate their 50th anniversary. It also was created as a legacy project that would give back not only to their group, but also serve as an educational tool for the golfing public. Enjoy!

To view, please click this link:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Zone or Area Management Video....

My latest "ON COURSE" video is available for viewing. In this video I discuss "zone or area management". My philosophy is that turf managers should take a closer look at an area within an area, instead of thinking as an entire area. For example, should a singular fairway be treated as a whole? Maybe. Maybe not? Many time the same fairway could have 3-4 different zones that need to be managed differently. I will be posting more in the future about this "zone or area management", so stay tuned! Apologies for some audio issues! Thanks for watching.

Click this link to view:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Great Podcast by Dr. Frank Rossi and Dan Dinelli...

Calling all agronomists, if you haven't listen to the following podcast, YOU MUST! This is some great stuff! You may need to listen to it multiply times, because it is that good. Had a chance to talk with Dan at the recent GIS. May have to go visit him this summer when the renovation action takes place! Happy listening, click the link below:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ryder Cup - Turfgrass Team Video

A wonderful video has been produced about the 2016 Ryder Cup. This video features the preparations of the golf course by the Hazeltine National Golf Club - Turfgrass Team and its volunteers. It's a fantastic behind the scenes look of what it takes to prepare for the biggest event in golf. Enjoy the video.   

To view, click this link 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Golf Industry Show

The blog has been a little slow this past week because I've been attending the Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Florida. GIS, as its known, is the premier annual show for golf course turfgrass professionals from around the globe. It's a week long event that focuses primarily on education and a trade show, which showcases all the latest and greatest. Take a look...
It takes a good effort to cover the entire floor in two days.

Education is a very important part of GIS.

Technology continues to advance golf course equipment.

Bunker construction techniques is always a hot topic on the trade show floor.

HDPE fittings and couplings continue to evolve.

Always nice to see something new to fit your needs.

Seeing old friends is always the highlight of the week for me.

Enhancing new friendships is a highlight as well.

There are many great offerings on the floor to take advantage of.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Big Sports Night...

Most of you know, although I live in Colorado, my roots are in New England. So when it comes to sports, I'm all New England! It was a crazy night. Greatest comeback ever. Family and friends back in New England were celebrating late into the night. It was a great night for my two kids as well, they have grown up to be big Patriot fans. They now have witnessed two crazy Super Bowl wins in the last three years. For all my Denver Bronco friends, looks like I'll be able to talk a little smack again this year! What a game....
Even the Denver "Bronco" Post giving the Patriots some love!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Changing of the Blog....

My duties as golf course superintendent of the Country Club of the Rockies officially came to a close on January 2, 2017. Presently, I'm still working as a consultant for CCRockies to Carey Hofner, my former assistant who has taken my position. I will occasionally post about work at CCRockies, but the focus of this blog will be more personal and about my new Agronomic Services company ONCOURSETurf, LLC.  I will be blogging about the world of golf and golf course management, I'm sure you will find it of interest. I will be traveling extensively in 2017, visiting many golf courses throughout the US. This blog will highlight my many travels, including the US Open in June and the Solheim Cup in August. For the members of CCRockies, please continue to follow this blog. Thank you for following my old blog and moving to this one. It has been a pleasure to have you along for the ride, but the ride follow along!

Always one of my favorite spots at CCR, #10 green, dew covered with the sun rising. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

One More THANK YOU.....

You can say....... I have saved the best for last. There is one more big thank you to give out and this goes to Tom Apple, or better known as TA! I can't say enough about the relationship I have had with Tom. In all my years in the golf industry, he is the best Golf Professional I have ever work along side! My success at CCRockies was due in part to Tom Apple. He took me under his wing the first few years to guide me on what the expectations were for the club. Those first few years were invaluable and ultimately made my career at CCRockies a success. Tom's office door was always open for me and I will never forget that! He always treated me with tremendous respect. We learned from each other and I feel that made us the "Ultimate Team". Tom Apple.........thank you for being my friend and co-worker for the last 22 years!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Colorado Snowpack....

Presently the State of Colorado is relishing in some tremendous snowpack. This is nothing but great news from an environmental standpoint. Water for the western US is based largely on snowpack, so this could be the year that we finally replenish all those reservoirs. It's still early to celebrate, but you can't help but feel a little giddy about the map below...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Top Moment of 2016...

My top moment of 2016 was definitely the decision to "Hang up my Stimpmeter". It certainly was a difficult decision to end my career as a golf course superintendent. I had been thinking about it for a couple of years. After 45 years of working on the golf course, it was time.

I'll always remember that moment when it hit me. It was June 9th, we had a lightning ground strike that blew our main VFD drive. Of course, we were also in a stretch of incredibly hot and dry weather. Working to keep the golf course alive during that 3-4 day stretch during repairs was extremely taxing. At that time it just hit me hard....I don't want to do this anymore. Not wanting to make an on the spot decision, I let myself cool down from the VFD aftermath, but nothing changed my mind.

June 9, 2016 - Never a good day when the pump service trucks are at your pump station. 
Its been an incredible run for me. I have always loved the game of golf as well as managing the golf course. I have met people from around the globe through this profession and cherish those relationships. I'm extremely proud of my accomplishments throughout my career. I won't disappear. My future in the business is presently a work in progress with some exciting things in the works. I want to thank all the individuals who have worked for me through the years. I might have been the "head coach" but couldn't have accomplish anything without "great players".....thank you all.

Thanks to are only as good as your team.
 I want to thank the Country Club of the Rockies for entrusting me with this wonderful property for the last 22 years. Thanks also for the nice send off last month, very much appreciated!

A wonderful gift to hang on my home office wall, hole #12, it just doesn't get any better than that!

Great to have my family with me for the festivities. The biggest supporters of my career.

Extremely pleased with the hiring of my long time assistant, Carey Hofner to fill my shoes.
 I have really been floored with the amount of well wishes over the past few months. Thank you all. Many superintendents have "opened up" to me about their situation as well and I'm humbled. I was fortunate to be a guest of a podcast hosted by Dave Wilbur, known in the turf world as the "Turfgrass Zealot". The number of comments I have received from this has been astonishing. I thank you all for the wonderful words. I also want the thank Dave Wilbur for having me as his guest. If you haven't listened, click here:

The comments that this podcast created have truly been very humbling.
This is just one on many comments about the podcast that really hit me. Thanks Jason!
One last note as I conclude this post.....To my wife Karen, daughter Abby, and my son Nick, I can't thank you enough for all the love and support through the years! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!