Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What Others Are Saying About Jason Oliver

From Northern CA Golf Course Superintendents Assn. President Thomas Bastis, CGCS:

On behalf of the GCSANC board of directors it is with a deep and profound sense of loss, I must inform you of the sudden death of Jason Oliver, Director GCSANC, Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, Stanford University Golf Course. Nothing is quite as painful or tragic as the premature death of a young, vibrant man with such a promising future.

In addition to his responsibilities as a dedicated assistant superintendent at Stanford University Golf Course and its golf-training complex, Jason was an ardent supporter of the profession serving on the GCSANC board of directors as the association’s assistant representative. He liked being involved and was an exceptional advocate for fellow assistants.

During his recent board tenure, Jason devoted his talent and eagerness to any task he undertook for the association. He directed the reshaping and updating of the web site. His latest task, the addition of member oriented “swap, trade and sell craigslist concept" will be opened in the future for membership use.

Remember this young man each time you visit this site, I know we shall.

Jason we love you and we will miss you greatly. Find peace with your Lord.

Thomas Bastis, CGCS

From David Phipps, CGCS, Stone Creek GC and an early mentor of Jason:


The Passing Of Jason Oliver

It pains me to report the sudden and unexpected passing of Jason Oliver, Assistant Superintendent at the Stanford GC. Jason was 26 years old. He was charged with overseeing the Siebel Varsity Golf Training Complex. Jason was a dedicated employee with an incredible passion for the golf industry. He had enormous potential and often stated his goal of someday being President of the Golf Course Superintendents of America. We will miss Jason and hope he is somehow in a better place.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ball Marks Are Avoidable - But it Takes Some Effort!

(Click to Enlarge Photo)

One difficulty with bent grass greens are their susceptibility to ball marks. It takes three to four weeks to heal an improperly repaired ball mark. If just ten people per day don't repair their marks correctly, that is 70 bad ball marks/week or 210-280 total per green. Hopefully you can see the importance of repairing every single ball mark, every single day!

It is very important that the ball mark is repaired correctly. When repairing a ball mark, think like a gardener, not a golfer. Take your time and do a good job gently kneading the turf back together. The repair, when done correctly, should look like no damage ever occurred there. There should be no brown showing and the repair should be tapped flat. This will allow the damage to heal in a day or so - as opposed to weeks.

If we could all do a better job with our ball marks, the greens would play much better for all involved!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Green Speeds

I apologize for the slow greens speeds this time of year. Hopefully my explanation below will give you a better understanding of what is happening on our golf course. Although many courses around the country are suffering from extreme heat, we have actually enjoyed a cooler than normal summer here in the Bay Area.

Our green speeds are slow due to the extra fertilizer we apply to the greens in mid-summer. I have a different program than most courses because we are trying to keep the favored bentgrass as the dominant turf type in the greens, instead of the dreaded Poa annua. In California, it is very difficult getting bentgrass to out-compete the Poa annua. Since this is the only period in the year when the bent is growing and the Poa gets stressed out, I hit the greens with a lot of fertilizer to help the bentgrass push out any stressing Poa. So the greens are slow due to the aggressive growth of the bentgrass I’m shooting for. And though this is great for the greens in the big picture, I realize it is sort of annoying to the day-to-day player. I promise we will be back to better green speeds in the next couple weeks as the fertilizer fades.

Fortunately, people start their vacations and the golf course play goes down a bit in August. So it does give me a chance to feed and promote the bentgrass. Not only is the bent a far better putting surface, it thrives in our summer heat. Best of all, it uses far less water, fertilizer, and pesticides than Poa annua. And we’ve been able to maintain the bentgrass without core aeration, which is a regular disruption on most Poa courses.