Turfgrass Management on a Budget

September 19, 2018

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Derek Rose (shown here with his dog, Izzy) is the GCS at Eagle Ranch Golf in Eagle, Colorado.

At the Golfdom Summit in 2015, Derek came across Soil Tech Corp. Xavier Dupoux was giving a speech about the products that Soil Tech has developed. Derek says that, “When he mentioned the Thatch Relief and the Oasys Ultra it really caught my eye and spurred my interest, you know, a way to help improve our tee boxes where we don’t have the man-hours to help properly maintain them health-wise, so I thought it would be a great idea to start using those products.”

"Derek continues, “So I started using Thatch Relief and Oasys Ultra just this year. I’ve seen probably a 50% increase in the firmness of our tee boxes, the moisture levels in our tee boxes have gone down…they’re not as spongy.  Golfers have even noticed the tee box firmness has improved. So we’re going to continue that program through this year. We’ve done 2 applications already this spring. We’ll do another one this fall and we’re going to start doing the greens next year as well.”

"When Derek discusses his golf course, it’s clear that the lack of budget dollars has been a real challenge. “So, we have a lot of acreage out here we’ve got to take care of. The whole golf course is 150 acres, of which we maintain about 115 of those acres. We’ve got about 3.8 acres of greens, about 3.8 acres of tees, about 80 acres of fairways, so we’ve got a lot to maintain. And, we have a pretty small budget and we also have a pretty small crew, so when it comes to tee boxes we’ve definitely neglected top-dressing and aerification over the years, just because we haven’t had time to do it, can’t afford the sand, don’t have time for the man-hours to punch holes, remove thatch mechanically…. We have done that, but we’re not keeping up with it. I wanted to try and start to use something that would help, kind of biologically, in a sense, removing thatch and seeing if we could help improve the health of our tees that way.”

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"Derek reflects on his tee boxes and says, “I would think if I were to try to maintain the tee boxes properly that would add up to $100,000-$200,000 a year extra on top of our budget. I’d imagine, at least, with labor and sand and all that other stuff.”

He concludes, “So, we’re going to try and do this program with Soil Tech products and improve the health of our tees by only spending a few thousand dollars instead.”

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