GCM’s Industry News Digest: June 2021

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


Golf industry news June 2021
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.


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Green Start Academy

Green Start Academy, the professional development program for assistant superintendents, is relocating to Pinehurst Resort for its 2021 installment. The event will be held Nov. 15-17, 2021. Green Start Academy is open to assistant superintendents from the U.S. and Canada, and applications will be accepted from July 1 through Aug. 1. Selected participants will be notified by Aug. 16. The annual event is hosted by John Deere, Bayer and, new for 2021, Rain Bird. To learn more, visit the Green Start Academy website.

Three GCSAA members recently completed levels in the association’s Equipment Management Certificate Program:

  • Taylor Cairns, equipment manager at The Rock Golf Club, Minett, Ontario (Level 1)
  • David Murray, equipment manager at Sylvan Glen Golf Course, Troy, Mich. (Level 2)
  • Jon Rybicki, equipment manager at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links (Levels 1 and 2)

Monday, June 21, 2021

Billy Goat has expanded its sod cutter lineup with the 24-inch-wide SC240HG hydro-drive sod cutter. The company says the unit takes the chore out of large tear-out and removal projects in golf, sports field, landscape and sod farm applications. The SC240HG features a laser-equipped cutting blade for three times the blade life, plus the easy-to-use “Set and Forget” blade depth adjustment. Learn more.

Billy Goat SC240HG

Soil Technologies Corp. announced its Armorex nematicide and Bac-Pack microbial blend are now available through SiteOne Landscape Supply. According to the company, Armorex and Bac-Pack applied to nematode-infested putting greens in Naples, Fla., showed up to 90% control of lance nematodes. Armorex contains the essential oils of sesame, clove and horseradish. The product is a liquid diluted with water for easy spray application. Bac-Pack provides a diverse population of beneficial bacteria to help damaged plants regrow a healthy root system. Read more.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Friday, June 18 is National Go Fishing Day, and according to a recent GCSAA survey, 64% of members count fishing as one of their top hobbies. As you gear up to drop a line tomorrow and beyond, check out some special offers for GCM readers from Bass Pro Shops.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The organization Washington Golf, based in Federal Way, Wash., has donated $13,000 to the GCSAA Foundation, the association’s philanthropic organization, to support First Green, a program that provides hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education on golf courses. Read more.

Turf Threat Tracker T3

Turf Threat Tracker (T3) is a web-based app developed by four meteorologists that provides turf managers with hour-by-hour forecasts for a variety of turf-specific metrics, including ET, soil moisture, plant canopy moisture, and soil temperature. Other features include radar with real-time lightning detection, a comprehensive threat matrix, a nationwide disease tracker, and a proprietary frost forecast. T3 is currently available for a 28-day free trial. Learn more.

The Golf Course Builders Association of America has honored O’Brien McGarey of Dye Designs with its Perry O. Dye Service Award. The award recognizes McGarey’s three-plus decades of commitment to the GCBAA and its membership. He will officially receive the award at the GCBAA’s summer meeting in Asheville, N.C., in August. Read more about McGarey.

AMGUARD Environmental Technologies has published a new brochure about its Premion fungicide. Premion has a unique mode of action against anthracnose and controls 20 other common turf diseases, including brown patch and dollar spot, according to the company.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

The USGA has renamed its Turfgrass and Environmental Research Program the Mike Davis Program for Advancing Golf Course Management, to celebrate the legacy of outgoing CEO Mike Davis. The program is the single largest private grant program in golf dedicated to advancing innovation in sustainability and improving the on-course experience. The USGA annually invests nearly $2 million in the program, with $45 million invested to date. Davis, a Pennsylvania native, joined the USGA as the assistant manager of championship relations in 1990 and was named CEO of the association in 2016. Read more about Davis and the grant program.

The Carolinas GCSA has awarded 24 students $24,000 in scholarships through this year’s Bennett-Maples scholarship program, named for Grant Bennett and Henson Maples, who were credited with founding the Carolinas GCSA in 1954. The program provides financial support for the college education of children and grandchildren of qualifying Carolinas GCSA superintendent and assistant superintendent members. This year’s recipients are:

  • Alexander Boone, son of Jeremy Boone, CGCS, Springdale Country Club
  • Emily Bowbliss, daughter of David Bowbliss, Pinehurst
  • Amber Cavender, daughter of David Cavender, Cobblestone Park Golf Club
  • Kimbal Chapman, daughter of Chris Chapman, CGCS, Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point
  • Makenna Connolly, daughter of Chuck Connolly, Smithfields Country Club
  • Madison Crouch, daughter of Scott Crouch, Mid Carolina Club
  • Jake Gamble, son of Ryan Gamble, Grande Dunes Members Club
  • Emma Hamilton, daughter of Steve Hamilton, CGCS, Dunes Golf and Beach Club
  • Abigail Harbin, daughter of Mike Harbin, CGCS, BrightView Golf Maintenance
  • Will Harbin, son of Mike Harbin, CGCS, BrightView Golf Maintenance
  • Ethan Hill, son of Russell Hill, Grandover Resort & Spa
  • Rachel Hill, daughter of Russell Hill, Grandover Resort & Spa
  • Andrew Jacob, son of David Jacob, CGCS, Benvenue Country Club
  • Clay Lawrence, son of Todd Lawrence, CGCS, The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation
  • Jackson Lee, son of David Lee, Forest Creek Golf Club
  • Lauren Lowe, daughter of Doug Lowe, CGCS, Greensboro Country Club
  • Payton Miller, daughter of Jeff Miller, Brays Island Plantation
  • Alexis Peterson, daughter of Shannon Peterson, CGCS, Mountain Air Country Club
  • Liam Richau, son of Steve Richau, Vereens Turf Products
  • Grace Robinson, daughter of Kevin Robinson, CGCS, Pinehurst
  • Parker Shoun, son of Michael Shoun, McConnell Golf
  • Jordan Stephenson, son of Morgan Stephenson, Tobacco Road Golf Club
  • A.J. Tolbert, son of Alex Tolbert, Orangeburg Country Club
  • Peyton Walker, daughter of Marty Walker, CGCS, Magnolia Greens/Compass Pointe

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Destination Kohler in Kohler, Wis., recently opened a new short course, The Baths of Blackwolf Run. The resort is home to four Pete Dye championship courses. The 10-hole, par-3 Baths was designed by architect Chris Lutzke and Herb Kohler, executive chairman of Kohler Co., and offers holes ranging from 60 to 160 yards and four strategic water features (the “baths”). Read more.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Todd Bohn has been named director of agronomy at Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., effective July 5. Bohn will oversee seven golf courses at the facility. The 21-year GCSAA member previously served as director of agronomy at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Mo., where he oversaw the conditioning of five golf courses, three of which he also managed during construction. Bohn is a native of Kansas City and earned a Bachelor of Science in golf course management from Kansas State University. He got his start in the business as an intern at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., and in 2011 became the golf course superintendent at Wolf Creek Golf Club in Olathe, Kan.

In May, the USGA announced Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles will be the host site for the 2023 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, the 2026 Curtis Cup Match and the 2030 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. The private club’s 18-hole course was originally designed by George Thomas and recently renovated by Tom Doak and Renaissance Golf Design. The course previously hosted the 1976 U.S. Amateur and the 2004 U.S. Senior Amateur. GCSAA Class A superintendent Justin DePippo, an eight-year member of the association, is the director of golf course and grounds at Bel-Air Country Club.

Harrell’s has hired Paul Giordano, Ph.D., as the company’s new director of agronomy. Giordano joins a team of agronomists focused on the testing and development of proprietary products, expanding the Harrell’s portfolio while providing technical support to sales representatives and customers. Giordano has been involved in the turfgrass industry for over 18 years. He earned his doctorate in plant, soil and microbial sciences from Michigan State University, after which he worked for Bayer Environmental Science as its technical lead and development coordinator for several years.

In May, Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, unveiled and approved a $20 million-plus renovation of its championship golf course. The comprehensive project, led by architect Gil Hanse, is scheduled to start immediately following the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge next May, with a planned grand opening for the 2023 event. Twenty-eight-year GCSAA member Scott Ebers, CGCS, is the superintendent at Colonial CC. Read more from the Fort Worth Business Press.

Syngenta has published new GreenCast Advisory articles for golf course superintendents:

Nufarm announced Tracy Rich has been appointed vice president of customer and brand marketing. Rich was most recently the company’s director of communications, and she has been a director and brand strategist at various agencies, consulting top agricultural, manufacturing, health care and biopharmaceutical companies.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Target Specialty Products will host the next installment of its Turf Fuel Master Class series on Thursday, June 10 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern. The free webinar, “The Future of Soil Surfactants,” will be led by Target Specialty Products product development manager Jim Turner. Register for the webinar.

Friday, June 4, 2021

The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) announced five golf course management professionals have earned the Master Greenkeeper certificate:

  • Gregory Jones, CGCS, MG, golf course superintendent at Champions Run, Omaha, Neb.
  • Anthony Williams, CGCS, MG, director of golf course operations at TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, Irving, Texas
  • Matthew Aplin, MG, course manager at Goring & Streatley Golf Club, Berkshire, England
  • Alan FitzGerald, MG, golf course superintendent at LedgeRock Golf Club, Mohnton, Pa.
  • Greg Fitzmaurice, MG, course manager at Hunley Hotel & Golf Club, North Yorkshire, England

BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., announced a strategic design partnership with Nicklaus Design to take the club through a multi-year renovation of its East Course and golf practice facilities. BallenIsles and Jack Nicklaus recently commemorated the 50th anniversary of Nicklaus’ victory at the 1971 PGA Championship held on the East Course (then known as PGA National). The updates to the East Course are slated to take place in 2022, pending member approval. Twenty-five-year GCSAA member Kevin Frost, CGCS, is director of agronomy at BallenIsles Country Club. Read more about the project from Golf Course Architecture.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Club Car announced the launch of an all-new electric vehicle, the Club Car Current, a compact, light-duty truck equipped with automotive features and comforts. The company says the Club Car Current (photo below) has been designed for low-speed logistics and cargo services, filling the gap between full-sized trucks and small utility carts. Read more.

Club Car Current

E-Z-GO announced its new vehicle, the E-Z-GO Liberty, the industry’s first vehicle to offer four forward-facing seats in a compact, golf-cart-sized footprint. The Liberty is powered by a high-performance, zero-maintenance Samsung SDI lithium-ion battery system and releases zero emissions. Learn more.

Advanced Turf Solutions has partnered with George Furrer and Charles Dooley to form a new company that will acquire all the assets of New England-based distributor Valley Green Inc. Dooley is the founder and president of Valley Green Inc., and Furrer will become the new company’s general manager at its headquarters in Holyoke, Mass. The transaction is scheduled to close at the end of the year, at which time the new company plans to hire the existing team of sales and support staff of Valley Green Inc. and operate under the name Valley Green.

Tony Whelan has returned to Rain Bird’s Golf Division as its new international sales manager. In the role, Whelan will work with Rain Bird Golf’s international business managers and sales managers to grow golf sales in international markets outside of Europe and Canada. Whelan first joined Rain Bird International in Canada in 1997. In 2008, he joined the Golf Division as a golf specification manager.

Prime Source has hired Todd Deitz as Great Lakes territory manager. Deitz has more than 25 years of experience in the turf and ornamental industry and previously worked as superintendent at Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Ill. He will be based in Grayslake, Ill.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Eight GCSAA members recently completed levels in the association’s Equipment Management Certificate Program:

  • Francisco Castro Jr., equipment manager at North Ranch Country Club, Westlake Village, Calif. (Level 1)
  • James Davis, equipment manager at Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, Tampa, Fla. (Level 2)
  • Glenford Downey, equipment manager at Okanagan Golf Club, Kelowna, British Columbia (Level 2)
  • Cuan Hendricken, equipment manager at Needwood Golf Course, Derwood, Md. (Level 1)
  • David Murray, equipment manager at Sylvan Glen Golf Course, Troy, Mich. (Level 1)
  • Steve Rempel, equipment manager at the Coloniale Golf & Country Club, Edmonton, Alberta (Levels 1 and 2)
  • Thomas Richey, equipment manager at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, Lafayette Hill, Pa. (Level 1)
  • Jason Sargent, equipment manager at Abenaqui Country Club, Rye Beach, N.H. (Level 2)

Syngenta Business Institute

The application period is now open for the 2021 Syngenta Business Institute, a professional development program for golf course superintendents that will be held virtually Dec. 6-10, 2021. Faculty from the Wake Forest University School of Business will teach the curriculum, which will cover topics such as employee management, financial management, work-life balance, and leading across cultures and generations. Learn more, and apply by Sept. 2.

Douglas Karcher, Ph.D., has been named the new chair of the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. His four-year term will begin Aug. 1. Karcher, a graduate of Ohio State, currently works at the University of Arkansas, where he is interim assistant director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and turfgrass specialist, professor and assistant head in the Department of Horticulture. Read more.

RightLine has entered the turfgrass plant growth regulator market with the launch of PROHEX 27.5 WDG. The company says the new product is the first alternative source of the active ingredient prohexadione calcium, a late-state growth inhibitor. Learn more.

Pursell announced it will build a new build production facility in Savannah, Ga., that will produce controlled-release fertilizers for the turf, ornamental, specialty and broadacre markets. Pursell says the Savannah plant will complement its existing production plant in Sylacauga, Ala., and is expected to be operational by the end of the year. Read more.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Fourteen GCSAA members recently achieved Class A superintendent status:

  • Heath D. Bowman, Eagle Bend Golf Course, Lawrence, Kan.
  • Chase D. Brown, Capital City Country Club, Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Peter J. Dobbs, Trempealeau Mountain Golf Club, Trempealeau, Wis.
  • Aaron J. Giordano, The Country Club of Scranton, Clarks Summit, Pa.
  • Ryan L. Hull, Methodist University Golf Course, Fayetteville, N.C.
  • Michael C. Imobersteg, The Golf Club at Equinox, Manchester, Vt.
  • Steven J. Kellerman, Harborside International Golf Center, East Chicago, Ill.
  • Jonathan C. Lukan, Shepherd’s Crook Golf Course, Zion, Ill.
  • Craig A. Mantz, Stone Creek Golf Course, Omaha, Neb.
  • Shaun M. Moffe, Orchard Creek Golf Club, Altamont, N.Y.
  • Jeremy Niederklein, Quail Run Golf Course, La Pine, Ore.
  • Harjindar S. Toor, Stockton (Calif.) Golf & Country Club
  • Michael J. Wallace, Stoatin Brae Golf Club, Augusta, Mich.
  • Nolan M. White, The Pearl Club at The Summit, Owensboro, Ky.