Joe Ettawageshik is Golf Course Supt. at LochenHeath Golf Course in Traverse City, Michigan. Joe started as a second assistant 10 years ago and then, two years ago, became Director of Grounds and Maintenance. Over the past decade, Joe observed how his bosses used different fertilizer and chemical regimes. When he became superintendent, he started to develop his own strategies, which included being open to trying new products.
A few years ago, Joe decided to do a trial run with Soil Tech’s Bio-Mega product. “The Bio-Mega product was a pretty unique one as far as the organic nature of it,” Joe said, “[but] my philosophy revolves around minimal inputs to get maximum outputs, so I was looking to try to reduce chemical and fertilizer applications and still get the same results.” Joe was hoping Bio-Mega would help him do that.
Joe initially tried Bio-Mega on LochenHeath’s new, 5-acre practice facility. He incorporated Bio-Mega into his normal fertilizer and chemical program. Over a two-year period, he started to wean off some of the other inputs and still saw great results.
In the 2nd year of this trial, the fungicide that they normally use was accidently left out of the spray tank (twice). That meant two months of no fungicides in the middle of the summer!
In the areas treated with Bio-Mega, the turf was still fine and they did not see any disease. Though he hadn’t planned to omit the fungicides, Joe could see that the Bio-Mega was helping because he did see disease in areas of the golf course that were not treated with Bio-Mega.
For Joe, it’s about having LochenHeath Golf Course be the best product possible. He believes that being preventative and treating the soil is extremely important. “Treating the soil is where the plant starts and where it comes from. That’s where it needs to be healthy. So, having that treated there only makes the grass healthier and prevents disease outbreaks.”
All in all, Joe is happy he decided to experiment with Bio-Mega. He says, “Bio-Mega is very simple and easy to use. It mixes up very well with every product. So no compatibility issues. No extra time. It was very easy to add to our program.”