Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Fungus is moving out and the grass is moving in!

Top: The #2 green on July 6th. left side and front bare from fungus.
Bottom: #2 Green Today. Fungus is gone and spot is healed.

     I was never known for my photography skills but I think the progress is obvious. It was a little overcast today so the picture came out a little flat. What is evident is the large fungus damage that was present on the left, right and front of the #2 green (top). When it wasn't raining we have been using a combination of nightly fertilizing through the fertiligation system provided by Turf Feeding Systems, Inc. and weekly organic fertilizer, soil nutrient, and fungicide application provided by Green World Path. We have caught up with the blemishes on the greens and also improved a number of the areas in the fairways. I have included some other photo's below. The original photos were not the best but I think the improvements are obvious.

The photo on the top right shows the condition of the 10th green as of July 6th. The back of the green was completely cover in fungus damage and dry damaged turf. Today there is no sign of the infected area on the back of the green.
#11 Green with several blemishes on the top left. Today we are blemish free.
Over the next few weeks we will start over-seeding and documenting our progress as we go. It has been a long wet summer but it has had one benefit. It has given the Sandhill Cranes a great place to hang out.
Finding food in #8 fairway.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October and things are finally looking up.

As of last Friday we were able to open the #1 Fairway!!
Last of the standing water right of #1 green.
     It has been a long road but we are finally out of the woods. As you can see from the photo the fairway is a light brown from being wet for two and a half months but we have it mowed and things are getting better. As some may know this study has started out with a bit of bad luck in that it rained more in the last four months then we have seen in years. So we have been moving water and fighting fungus. This does not mean we have not been working diligently on sustainability. With the help of the fertigation system we were able to push the fungus spots in the greens by syringing them with liquid fertilizer. This helped the greens come back well, even with the rain. (Photos follow shortly)
Water over flow from #8 tee
   Yesterday I sat down with Dori and J.B., two fantastic people, and we started to structure a plan for the next step in fertigation and growing in the rye seed.  Dori and J.B. are from Green World Path an organic fertilizer and organic pesticide/herbicide company out of Brooksville, Fl. Which is right in my back yard. We have been using their Eco Plus and Total product to fight the fungus that we had in the greens. (Photos follow shortly) This is our first step in pushing for a more sustainable future and I am as excited as I can be.

            I apologize for being lax in my blog but business comes first and with all the rain and troubles we have seen this summer my time has been limited. I still appreciate every one who has had a hand in this project and I look forward to a green and healthy future. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away!!

Just a quick note. I know I haven't updated the Blog since my first post but we have been getting more then our fair share of rain. Since we installed the system on July 1, 2012 we have only ran the irrigation 13 times. We have yet to run the irrigation at all in August. This may just be the wettest summer I have seen in  Florida since the hurricanes. So I will keep you posted as we begin to dry out and hopefully the rain will go away. Thanks,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

David's First Entry

The Definition of Sustainable  

1 : able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed 
2 : involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources
3 : able to last or continue for a long time 
     My name is David Rinaldo and I am the managing partner of Scotland Yards Golf Club. I recently became an apprentice with the PGA of America and have been operating Scotland Yards since 2009. This is my first blog and my first case study, so please bear with me. I have been working with Eric Dodson from  Audubon Lifestyles over the last several months planning this case study and digitally plotting the course. Everything so far has been behind the scenes and we now are getting to the action. So I am very excited that the Audubon Lifestyles Sustainability Project has started and things are starting to happen.
Michael begins the installation
Phase 1: Fertigation   
    On Saturday June 30th, 2012 Michael Chaplinsky, from Turf Feeding Systems, began the installation of our fertigation system. This new system will slowly feed nutrients and biological/organic materials into the plant and more importantly into the soil via our irrigation system.
 fertigation system is one of the most important pieces in the sustainability puzzle. Not only will it provided much needed fertilizer and nutrients, it will also greatly reduce the man power needed to apply the fertilizer and it will eliminate emissions from equipment that would have been needed to conventionally apply it.
The Heart of the System
On the business side of things the course will save the cost of fuel and free up an employee to work on other projects. Though this part of the project is still in its infancy the benefits seem to be quite evident to me.
To the left is the heart beat of the system, the flow  meter. It will measure the flow of the water which will enable the "brains" to measure the proper amount of fertilizer to add to the water going out to the course. This way you get the proper amount of  fertilizer to water desired. On the bottom right you can see the tank in the background that holds the fertilizer that will be applied by the irrigation system.

Final Touches
Michael installing the "Heart"
Eric Dodson and Michael Chaplinsky

I could go on and on about this new system and the project, it is new, it is exciting, and I am pumped but I will contain myself. I still have several months to go on this blog and there is no reason to try and cram it all into one session. Let me wrap this up with how this all came about and why I think it is necessary. Eric Dodson's and my paths happen to cross thanks to a great person and fellow golf course manager. At that time I was seeking out "sustainable" practices before I knew what "sustainable" meant.
The System is Complete
Sustainable golf means several different things to me but the first thing that comes to my mind is "NEW". Which is not the golf industry "NEW" that operators have heard over the past 50 years, "We need a NEW piece of equipment/irrigation system/etc lets go buy it." The industry is no longer in this "NEW" stage, at least not on my level. My "New" is a new way to do things. That's everything from the ground up, literally. That is what sustainable golf means to me. A "NEW" way to manage my facility that will greatly improve conditions on the course and for the environment, as well as, help me manage costs and labor making it easier to navigate the economy and a competitive industry.
Is sustainable golf a proven science? No, not on a minimal budget public golf course level. Do I know that it is going to work? I believe in the system but nothing is for sure. What I do know is the science behind the project makes sense and the people behind the project are at the top of their field and are enthused as I am. Rome wasn't built in a day and I don't expect this to be easy and without its bumps but I believe in the methods and the industry knows that things have to change. So it is sure be a great ride and one heck of a learning experience. I will be updating the blog regularly, so don't be a stranger. Come by often for updates and to see the progress.
Thank You,
David Rinaldo

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Project Overview

The not-for-profit, Audubon Lifestyles is coordinating the project at the Scotland Yards Golf Club which is aimed at implementing a sustainable golf management demonstration project.

With the economy still in the doldrums, a group of business and non‐profit organizations have come together with an 18 hole golf course in Florida to demonstrate that embracing and embedding the tenets of sustainability regardless of the size and budget of the golf course will provide economic viability and serve as the foundation upon which to deliver environmental and social benefits.

Audubon Lifestyles is coordinating the project at the Scotland Yards Golf Club, which is located between the small citrus towns of Zephyrhills and Dade City, and within easy driving distance of both Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Florida has been one of the states most impacted by the downturned economy, and so it made perfect sense to their team to prove the potential to doubters of sustainability by implementing sustainable management practices on a golf facility in a location that has been hardest hit with tough times.
David Rinaldo, General Manager of Scotland Yards said, “The past several years has been a real challenge to the entire golf industry, and our course certainly hasn’t been any exception."

The Rinaldo family built and opened the course in the 1970’s and sold the course several years ago. But, as is often the case, that business transaction didn’t work out and the Rinaldo's now found themselves reacquiring their old family course again.

“While we certainly care about the environment, if we can’t maintain a financially viable business, we simply would not be able to continue to function. We were very excited to learn about the benefits of operating more sustainably, and couldn’t be happier to become involved as a demonstration project that showcases sustainability on golf courses,” Rinaldo said.

Eric Dodson, Executive Director of Audubon Lifestyles has pulled together a small, but growing group of businesses that have agreed to contribute their time, expertise, products and services to the project. “We hope that we can prove to other golf facility owners who may be struggling in this economy that it doesn’t matter what how big or small your golf facility operating budget is— it just makes financial sense to embrace the sustainability opportunities that are available in the market right now,” Dodson said.
David Rinaldo has agreed to implement the recommended actions developed through the project, and to document the results over time.

Bill Love and I have agreed to volunteer our time and services to the project.  We are doing so as long as the main focus of the project is on economic viability. To us that means “make more, spend less.” We believe that there are some adjustments that can be made regarding the overall management of the golf course, which will not only reduce expenditures, but improve the quality of the golf course. With reduced expenditures and improved quality, it is our belief that the course will see increased play and increased play means more income.

At present the organizations that have agreed to participate in the Sustainable Golf Management Demonstration Project at Scotland Yards Golf Club are: Audubon Lifestyles, serves as lead project coordinator;  Love & Dodson, based in College Park, Maryland will take the lead in the sustainable planning, design and development for the project; Turf Feeding Systems as a producer of fertigation systems based in Houston, Texas has agreed to donate a fertigation system, which was recently installed; The Dodson Group LLC will offer sustainability and environmental consulting, including mapping the entire course, and Trusty & Associates based in Council Bluffs, Iowa will provide help with public relations.

If you, your business or organization is interested in joining the effort and become an active participant in the project at Scotland Yards please contact: Eric Dodson at: or 727‐733‐0762