Defeating dollar spot and other diseases at 3 Lakes Golf Course

DMI chemistries from BASF Turf have outworked a host of disease pressures at the Pittsburgh facility while also saving its superintendent time and money.


Filed to: Pennsylvania

3 Lakes Golf Course
Keeping the acres green at 3 Lakes Golf Course, an 18-hole layout in Pittsburgh, means taking on dollar spot, and a reliable fungicide is critical in the fight. Photos courtesy of BASF

Editor’s note: The following article was supplied by BASF. All product claims, research cited and other information is directly from the company.

3 Lakes Golf Course is a picturesque public course located in the Penn Hills township of Pittsburgh. Emil Loeffler, a course designer and professional golfer, created the course in 1923, and it remained private until a member purchased the facility in 2006. First-time and repeat visitors marvel at the 152 acres of rolling hills, enjoying the friendly atmosphere of the family-owned and -operated course and the flexibility of paying a daily fee or becoming an annual passholder.

While the natural terrain of 3 Lakes Golf Course makes for a scenic landscape and stimulating rounds, it can present some challenges for maintaining and preserving a healthy course with desirable playing conditions, especially when it comes to proper irrigation and drainage of the turfgrass. Mike DeLeonibus, a graduate of Penn State University, became the superintendent at 3 Lakes Golf Course in 2019 and has 32 years of golf industry experience. He is responsible for leading the 3 Lakes crew in addressing anything the course may face throughout the season.

“I wear many hats — everything from applying chemicals to budgeting to mowing and mechanical work,” DeLeonibus says. “Anything that needs to be done, I try to get it done with the least disruption, as quickly as possible.”

Mike DeLeonibus

Common diseases that superintendents in this part of the country face are dollar spot, brown patch and Pythium, with dollar spot being the most prevalent threat at 3 Lakes each year because of long stretches of hot, humid weather. “That always seems to be the biggest hurdle,” DeLeonibus (right) says. “You have to know how to manage it with the terrain, and things like that create different challenges.”

Maxtima fungicide and Navicon Intrinsic brand fungicide are unique and powerful solutions that work on any turf at any temperature. Introduced in 2019, these products have been redefining DMI chemistry for golf course superintendents and helping them tackle the toughest pressures in turfgrass.

This past season was the first time DeLeonibus used Maxtima and Navicon fungicides, after the course’s vendor suggested he try it. “It really intrigued me, especially with them being DMIs,” DeLeonibus says. “I have used BASF products in the past and had good success, so the vendor really thought it would fit well into our program.”

DeLeonibus applied Maxtima and Navicon preventively for dollar spot, brown patch, anthracnose and summer patch.

After just one application of Maxtima fungicide on fairways and Navicon fungicide on greens, the improvements were evident not only in the aesthetics of the course, but in the time and costs associated with maintaining it.

“One particular spray may do the same as two other sprays,” DeLeonibus says. “So it really pays to take a look at these products.” As a longtime user of the BASF Early Order Program, DeLeonibus has learned to shift his focus to products with proven results so he can structure the annual spray program to fit the needs of the golf course. “I can go out and get a spray down and be confident that we’re going to be good for at least 21 days without any breakthrough,” DeLeonibus says.

BASF is always working on the next turf-forward solution, and Maxtima fungicide and Navicon Intrinsic brand fungicide are excellent new rotation partners that will help superintendents get lasting results while ensuring the health and playability of their courses for seasons to come.

“The products that have come along seem to be very innovative, user-friendly and cost-effective,” DeLeonibus says. “I look toward BASF to see what’s out there to get the most bang for our buck.”

Learn more about Maxtima fungicide and Navicon Intrinsic brand fungicide on BASF’s website. Always read and follow label directions.