4.5 Ways to Deliver Profitable Greens

The golf industry is in a transition. Golf courses are having to compete for a piece of a smaller pie when it comes to golfing dollars. Superintendents and owners are employing different strategies to stay profitable. When competition is fierce, providing an exceptional product with lower expense is the name of the game. The following agronomic strategies will help make greens a profit centre within the golf facility.

1. Use the Most Efficient Inputs Available
Since the 1950's research has shown that foliar fertilizers are at least 4 times more efficient than granular and soil applied liquids. More recently, delivery technologies exist that provide 95+% efficiency. This means that to achieve an equal nutrient response in the plant using true foliar fertilizers you need 1/4 as much nutrient!

2. Produce Vigorous Turf that Can Survive Stress
Proper nutrition including biostimulants, amino acid and antioxidant technology will go a long way to reducing our dependency on fungicides. The cost of proper nutrition is marginal compared to the cost of fungicides. Michigan State University has proven that proper foliar nutrition combined with low rate contact fungicide is a much more effective approach than using systemic fungicides combined with marginal nutrition in reducing disease incidence.

Check out Page 21 (treatement 3 is foliar fert)

Study on page 11-17 (treatment 23 is foliar fert)

3. Drive Revenue by Maximizing the Length of the Paying Season
Golf revenue is commonly limited by poor conditions in the spring, reduced green fees after aeration and wet turf conditions. University research at Virginia Tech and Purdue, have verified that biostimulants and proper nutrition will speed recovery time when mother nature is not cooperating. Turf strength can be improved during low light, wet periods with the use of amino acid technology.

4. Test, Test, Test. 
Soil physical and chemistry testing will help you make decisions most effectively based on science. Soil physical property testing may indicate that the usual aeration is not necessary, leading to less lost revenue. Chemistry testing will allow more of a prescription approach to fertilizing. Both types of testing will provide a glimpse into what the plant is experiencing, and allow proactive measures to avoid more costly decline and recovery down the road.

4.5. Provide a Product People Want to Play On
We're in an environment where we must compete with our neighbors for each golfing dollar. Good greens will attract golfers.

Mark Jull is a Turfgrass Nutritionist with TURF Canada Inc. in Calgary Alberta. After managing golf facilities across Canada for 12 years, Mr. Jull turned his focus to helping other superintendents maximize turf performance on greens. All suggestions are based on site specific conditions using Analync and ISTRC Soil evaluations. TURF Canada offers the most advanced turfgrass nutrition products through distribution of Floratine Products.

Website: www.turfcanada.com
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