GCM’s Industry News Digest: January 2022

The latest golf course product and industry news, curated for golf course superintendents and other turf industry professionals.


Golf industry news January 2022
Editor’s note: The GCM team will be doing our best to maintain an up-to-date feed of announcements on this page. If you have news you think belongs here, please email GCMOnline.com editor Megan Hirt.


Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022

The Toro Co. launched the Z Master 7500-D mower with a 144-inch cutting deck. The company says the cutting deck maximizes productivity for grounds crews, allowing them to cover more ground with fewer passes and ultimately complete jobs faster while sustaining a high level of performance. Learn more.

Three Michigan State University turf scientists are part of a multi-institutional team studying winter stresses on turfgrass in northern climates. Kevin Frank, Ph.D., is a professor and turf extension specialist; Joe Vargas, Ph.D., is a professor of plant pathology; and Emily Merewitz-Holm, Ph.D., is an assistant professor and expert in plant physiology. The project is led by Eric Watkins, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Minnesota. The group received an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Read more from Michigan State University.

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022

Hunter Industries has teamed with POGO to bring new sensor and visual insight integrations to Hunter’s Pilot Network. Hunter Industries says the addition of hardware and data from POGO will provide valuable insights that can help golf course superintendents achieve maximum irrigation efficiency while saving time and resources; make more informed scheduling adjustments through real-time soil moisture, salinity and temperature data; and identify and address problem areas with ease, often before symptoms appear. Learn more.

Yamaha Golf-Car Co. debuted its new lithium-ion-powered golf car, the Drive2 PowerTech AC Lithium with independent rear suspension, this week at the 2022 PGA Show in Orlando, Fla. The new golf car will also be on display at the 2022 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show in San Diego, Feb. 5-10, in booth No. 4423.

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022

Helmut Ullrich, retired senior product manager for The Toro Co., has been named the recipient of the 2021 Edwin Budding Award from GCSAA, which is given to an equipment manager or related innovator, technician or engineer who has made a significant impact in the golf course and turf industry. Ullrich will receive the award at the 2022 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show in San Diego. Read much more about Ullrich in GCM’s article Mr. Greens Mower: Helmut Ullrich of The Toro Co.

We Are Golf announced Monday that it has rebranded as the American Golf Industry Coalition. The organization is a partnership among golf’s leading organizations to promote and advocate for the industry’s collective interests. Areas of focus include golf’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts; environmental and sustainability initiatives; contributions to the economy (local and national); health and wellness benefits; and charitable contributions. Learn more.

Monday, Jan. 24, 2022

The Carolinas GCSA recently awarded nearly $165,000 in research grants to turf scientists at Clemson University and North Carolina State University. The funds, which were raised in the annual Rounds 4 Research online auction, will go toward three projects. The first, at Clemson, focuses on the rising incidence of mutations, or off-types, in ultradwarf putting greens. The second project, also at Clemson, delves into a potential relationship between the disease mini-ring and nematodes. And at NC State, researchers are embarking on a three-year project to better understand factors that influence the effectiveness of inputs on the golf course, looking in particular at how edaphic factors (soil properties that affect organisms) and previous applications influence pesticide efficacy. Read more.

The South Carolina Golf Association has elected Jeffrey Connell, GCSAA Class A superintendent at 36-hole Fort Jackson Golf Club in Columbia, S.C., as its new president. Connell will lead the association for the next two years. According to SCGA Executive Director Biff Lathrop, Connell’s election may be the first time a career golf course superintendent has served as president of a state or regional golf association. Connell, a 19-year GCSAA member, was president of the Carolinas GCSA in 2010.

Golf course architect John Sanford, a past president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, has formed a new partnership with longtime design associate David Ferris. The new Jupiter, Florida-based firm is now called Sanford Ferris Golf Course Design. Sanford and Ferris have already collaborated on several high-profile golf course projects, including Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy, Mass., and Juliette Falls Golf Club in Dunnellon, Fla. Read more from Golf Course Architecture.

Trojan Battery Co. launched its GC2 48V lithium-ion golf car battery. According to the company, the GC2 48V travels up to 15% farther than its competitors, with a range of 45-60 miles on a single charge. Learn more.