Friday, August 19, 2016

Social Media ... Changing How Society Communicates

There is no doubt "social media" has changed how society communicates today! Both the scope and pace of information dissemination are drastically different from just a few years ago. Consequently, as communication and information travel faster, the world seems to get smaller and smaller. An argument can certainly be made for this being positive, and negative. However, for many social media is a primary communication method.

if you are not a Millennial you might be thinking, "what exactly is social media? The best way to explain the term is to break it down. "Social" refers to interacting with other people by sharing and receiving information and "media" refers to an instrument of communication, such as a newspaper, television or the Internet. After breaking down the term down, a basic definition is easy to assemble.  "Social media are web-based communication tools that enable people to interact with each other by both sharing and consuming information."

Traditional or regular media is a one-way street where you simply read or watch and have minimal feedback opportunity. On the other hand, social media is Internet based and is a two-way street. Social media doesn't just give information, it allows instant interaction. The interaction can be as simple as a "like", a "share", a "retweet", or it could be in a more traditional method, a "comment"

In the golf business, prior to social media, to keep members or players informed facilities were limited to personal interaction or traditional communication methods such as a hard copy newsletter or a letter sent by U.S. Mail. Social media has drastically changed how the golf industry communicates with clients.

At Olde Florida Golf Club, I utilize numerous social media tools to keep members, players or other interested individuals informed of what is occurring on the golf course or in the industry. One method is this Blog, which I periodically post a fairly lengthy seasonal or project update. I also provide additional information through different social media outlets, often daily. Some of the social media tools that I utilize more frequently than Blogger include Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, Google+ and Swarm. A link to each of these is below. Feel free to "follow" along and interact if you choose.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Cultural Practices at Olde Florida Golf Club

It has been an extremely productive week at Olde Florida. This was the first closed week of the summer and the golf course operations staff was busy performing the beneficial cultural practice of aerification.  

Aerification is the mechanical process of creating air space in the soil, which promotes a healthy rooting system. Turfgrass on a golf course endures significant stress and compaction from golf play and equipment traffic. Through aerification, an infusion of air, water and nutrients brings a resurgence of growth, keeping turfgrass durable during stressful conditions. While somewhat disruptive to golfers, aerification is absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy stand of turfgrass. Failure to perform sufficient aerification often results in poorly drained soil, thin turfgrass stands, and problems with disease and insects.   

Aerification of #8 fairway

Greens aerification on the short-game practice area
Aerification and topdressing are also vital in the management/reduction of thatch. Thatch is a loose, intermingled organic layer of dead and living shoots, stems and roots that develops between the turfgrass and the soil. Thatch build-up occurs when turfgrass produces organic debris faster than it can be broken down.

Thatch can be beneficial and detremintal. The detrmining factor is the amount and composition of the thatch. For example, a thin layer of thatch provides insulation against temperature extremes and fluctuations in soil moisture. Some thatch also provides the much-needed resiliency of the playing surface. However, excessive thatch causes numerous problems including poor rooting, scalping and pest problems.

Topdressing #1 green

Topdressing a tee on #5

Thatch on #8 fairway

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

National Golf Day 2016

Today I am in Washington D.C. to participate in the ninth annual National Golf Day, which is organized by WE ARE GOLF. WE ARE GOLF is a coalition of The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the Club Managers Association of America, the National Golf Course Owners Association, the PGA of America, the World Golf Foundation, the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the Golf Course Builders Association of America, the Ladies Professional Golf Association, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf, the National Club Association, the PGA Tour, The First Tee, the United States Golf Association, and the U.S. Golf Manufacturers Council. 

Florida GCSA Past Presidents Kevin Sunderman, Greg Pheneger and I, National  Golf Day 2016
WE ARE GOLF was founded in part because it was evident the golf industry was misunderstood by many elected officials. Perceptions of the game simply did not coincide with reality. By focusing on the nearly two million Americans whose livelihoods are tied to golf, WE ARE GOLF has helped to level the playing field for the thousands of small businesses that make up the industry. As a result, golf is no longer being excluded from important legislation and our elected officials have a better understanding of the myriad of benefits the game brings to their communities.

With 2016 being an election year, it's more important than ever for the WE ARE GOLF coalition to continue to educate our nations lawmakers on golf's economic, environmental, charitable, and fitness benefits. This years event will feature special attendees Davis Love III, 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain, Vice Captain Steve Stricker and LPGA legend Nancy Lopez. Throughout the day golf industry leaders will meet with members of Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies to discuss the game's nearly $70 billion economic impact and its nearly $4 billion annual charitable 

Speaker of the House John Boehner and I, National Golf Day 2015

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Low Direct Light Intensity Readings in January and February in SW Florida

Growing turfgrass has been a challenge in Southwest Florida in January and early February due to the cool temperatures and the much lower than normal light intensity. The weather has required numerous changes in the facilities agronomic practices.

Cool and cloudy conditions in January and early February required the staff to make adjustments in the management of the turfgrass at Olde Florida Golf Club

Increased rainfall has also created dificulties this winter. The historical monthly average rainfall in January is 1.9" and the average for February is 2.0". From January 1 to February 16, 2016 Olde Florida Golf Club has received in excess of 13" of rainfall. 

The lake on hole #16 after 5" of rain on January 27 and 28. 

While this article on the direct light intensity (DLI) in Januray in SW Florida is fairly technical in nature, it helps to explain the reason why turfgrass growth in the region this year has been reduced. Fortunately, the forecast is improving each day and Olde Florida has been able to hold its own during the less than ideal growing conditions of January and early February. 

In part, the golf course fared well due to the health of the turfgrass entering the stressful period. December 2015 set several records for high temperatures. While managing the excess growth in December was often dificult, it enabled Olde Florida to enter January 2016 in great condition. 

It was a challange to maintain the desired heights of cut in December due to the excessive growth 

One change that was required in December was increased nutrient input. While it might seem counter intuitive to feed the plant when it was growing so aggressively in the winter, we were aware that the plant was rapidly utilizing its stored reserves, which needed to be replaced prior to entering the cooler months of January and February.

Providing the plant the necessary nutrients prior to entering the stress period was critical