MGA Green Chairman Education Series a Success

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (March 22, 2017) – The 2017 MGA Green Chairman Education Series enjoyed another year of success as Met Area golf course superintendents,  professionals, green chairmen and club officials attended this year’s event at Old Westbury Golf and Country Club. As part of the MGA Foundation’s Spring Education Series, the seminar featured presentations from industry professionals in the fields of golf course management, maintenance and agronomy.

Related: Photos | MGA Foundation Spring Education Series Schedule

During the meeting, Newton Country Club in Newton, N.J., was also presented with the 2016 Arthur P. Weber MGA Club Environmental Leaders in Golf Award which was accepted by superintendent Les Carpenter. The annual award is presented to an MGA member club that demonstrates environmental leadership in golf course maintenance, construction, education and research. It is named in honor of past MGA President Arthur P. Weber, who wrote an Environmental Code of Conduct for golf course maintenance for Old Westbury, his home club, which is still used by many Met Area clubs nearly two decades later. Newton was honored with the award after the club saw a significant reduction in pesticide use and energy consumption. The award has been given since 2007 and recent recipients include The Whippoorwill Club, Neshanic Valley Golf Course, and Manhattan Woods Golf Club.

This year’s seminar featured presentations from the following industry professionals:

Adam Moeller – Director, USGA Green Section Education

Bunkers: The Most Expensive Hazard on the Course

Moeller gave an overview on the maintenance costs of bunker playability and controllable ways to impact their consistency. In particular, he discussed the importance of proper construction methods, draining, raking techniques and sand selection.

Jim Skorulski – Senior Agronomist, USGA Green Section

When Every Drop Counts: Opportunities to Conserve and Improve Water Efficiency

Skorulski’s presentation emphasized the importance of water conservation and how clubs could save water and money by improving irrigation efficiency. Among the most effective methods were modernizing a system’s design, upgrading piping, and obtaining new sprinkler heads.

Tony Girardi, CGCS – Superintendent, Rockrimmon Country Club

Tri-State Turfgrass Research Foundation President Tony Girardi gave an update on recent turfgrass research projects conducted by local universities and a variety of other research partners, such as the Golf Course Superintendent Association and the New Jersey Turfgrass Foundation.

Ken Benoit, CGCS – Superintendent, GlenArbor Golf Club

Benoit provided an update on the development of Best Management Practices for New York state golf courses.

Stephen Rabideau, CGCS – Superintendent, Winged Foot Golf Club

Winged Foot Restoration Project: Using Greenscan3D laser mapping to rebuild greens to USGA Guidelines while preserving their original size, shape and contours

Rabideau’s presentation provided an inside look on how Winged Foot’s use of 3D mapping allowed the club to transform their classic old soil-based greens to modern USGA greens. The rebuilding process resulted in enhanced playability and improved performance of the putting surfaces.

Dave Oatis – Director Northeast Region, USGA Green Section

The Lightning Round: New Tools, Programs and Ideas That You Can Use to Improve Your Course and Conserve Resources

Oatis covered a variety of topics in his presentation including the use of GPS tracking technology to understand golfer traffic and how to calculate the best aeration date. He also introduced the USGA’s new Resource Management tool that allows superintendents to monitor the usage of water, fuel, and labor.  

The MGA Green Chairman Education Series is presented annually by the Metropolitan Golf Association Foundation and is part of a two-month-long program of educational forums that are designed to educate club leaders and golfers about different issues pertinent to Met Area clubs and courses. The range of topics include the Rules of Golf, Handicapping, technology, and MGA member services and benefits. For more information about the MGA Green Chairman Education Series, please contact Kevin Kline.