|home | subscribe | contact us | advertise with us | feature editorial guidelines | research editorial guidelines | gcsaa.org|
Pursell Technologies held its Centennial Celebration last month, opening all of Pursell Farms, including FarmLinks GC, to current and former employees for two days of recreation. The company’s roots go back to 1904, when Dewitt A. Parker and others founded Sylacauga Fertilizer Co. Inc. to serve the local agriculture industry. After Parker’s death in 1930, the company was passed to his son, Howard A. Parker. The family-owned business prospered, surviving the Great Depression and two world wars, and in 1959 the corporation was renamed Parker Fertilizer Co. By this time, Parker’s youngest daughter, Chris, had married Jimmy Pursell and had three children — Taylor, Chrissy and David. Jimmy began working for his father-in-law, and came up with the idea of selling specialty controlled release products under the Sta-Green brand name to garden centers, nurseries and golf courses. When Howard Parker passed away in 1964, Jimmy became president of the business. The company continued to expand and in the early 1980s began producing its own form of controlled-release nitrogen. The company introduced SulfurKote coated nitrogen in 1985, operating the business under the Pursell Industries moniker. In 1992, the company introduced Polyon polymer coating. In 1993, the company changed its name officially from Parker Fertilizer Co. to Pursell Industries, and in 1997, to Pursell Technologies Inc.
PGA Golf Exhibitions has announced that its 2004 Fall Expo gained 32 percent in PGA Professional attendance compared with last year, and was up 13 percent in total buyer attendance. Overall attendance increased 7 percent. A total of 4,202 industry professionals, primarily from the West Coast but also representing all 50 states and 26 countries, converged at the annual regional industry gathering. Interactive programs like Demo Night, the Equipment Test Center and fashion parades contributed to an exhibitor satisfaction level that quadrupled since last year, according to an independent exhibitor exit survey. In addition, the rate of exhibitors planning to return to the PGA Fall Expo also more than tripled over last year’s post-event survey. The 2005 PGA Merchandise Show (www.pgaexpo.com) will be Jan. 27-30, in Orlando.
For the second year, Bayer Environmental Science and The Environmental Institute for Golf are sending five superintendents to the Golf Industry Show. Any superintendent who hadn’t attended GCSAA’s conference and show in the last two years was eligible to apply. The following superintendents were chosen: Chuck Gay, Gainesville, Fla.; Edward M. Goodhouse, Torrington (Conn.) CC; Ward Pepperman, Faldo Golf Institute by Marriott, Orlando; Dan W. O’Brien, Newburg Village GC, Cherry Valley, Ill.; Matthew H. Roos, Hickory Sticks, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Quality Golf and Schmidt-Curley Design Inc. have formed an alliance to offer golf course design, turnkey construction and construction management services in Thailand and throughout Asia. Tony Taylor, CGCS, who has 25 years experience as a superintendent in the region, established Quality Golf in Thailand in 1994. The company’s work includes the construction and maintenance of Santiburi Samui CC, maintenance of Thai CC in Bangkok and all three courses at Hong Kong GC. The firm has also done maintenance consulting to Ria Bintan GC in Indonesia and for the Johnnie Walker Classic in 1998 and 2000. Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley established Schmidt-Curley Design in the United States in 1997. Schmidt previously worked as senior design associate for Jack Nicklaus and was the lead designer for Spring City Resort in Kunming, China. Curley coordinated the design and master planning effort of eight of the courses at the Mission Hills project in Shenzhen, China.
Aquatrols’ Second Annual Scholarship Essay Contest is now open for entries. The contest is open to children of turf management professionals who will be attending an accredited college or university during the 2005-06 academic year. Entrants will compete for scholarships of varying amounts, with a total of $3,000 in scholarship prizes to be awarded. Full instructions, rules and eligibility requirements are posted at www.aquatrols.com.
A University of Tennessee student won a trip to Florida to the 25th International Irrigation Show, from the Irrigation Association Education Foundation. Michelle Bunch, of Athens, Tenn., won the trip to Tampa, including travel, three nights lodging and a full show registration, for her paper promoting water conservation through the use of reclaimed water. Bunch’s instructor, Gary Menendez, also received show registration and complimentary hotel. Students were asked to submit a paper or project that encourages water management and conservation related to irrigation systems used in landscape or agriculture sites.
Turfgrass Producers International wants to talk to the EPA about the potential environmental, health and safety risks of artificial turf. TPI presented its concerns to the EPA in a document entitled, “Serious Questions About the New-Generation Turf That Require Answers,” which was developed by a special task force appointed by the TPI board of directors to investigate artificial turf (see Fore Questions, page 40). It presents concerns regarding the short- and long-term health, safety and environmental risks to students, families and professional athletes who use fields where the new-generation of artificial turf could be installed. TPI’s specific concerns include: the consequences of artificial turf infill that includes silica sand and ground tire rubber; the environmentally safe disposal of large quantities of silica sand and ground rubber when replacement of the artificial turf becomes necessary; the overall environmental impact of using artificial turf to replace natural grass; the protocol for field sanitation, including removal of bodily fluids and animal and/or bird droppings; The effect of temperatures 86 F higher than on natural grass fields under identical conditions and whether players can be safely exposed to such temperatures.
Twelve students from nine southeastern universities were awarded a total of $30,000 in scholarships through the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund, which is administered by the Southern Nursery Association. The $2,500 awards were presented during the SNA Research Conference luncheon, which was held in conjunction with the association’s annual convention and trade show Aug. 12-14 in Atlanta. A total of $259,000 has now been awarded by the endowment since it was established in 1989. To date, four named funds have been pledged: the Dr. James and Faye Foret Fund, the Richard J. “Dick” Hackney Sr. Fund, the Arthur A. “Buck” Jones Fund, and the Art and Millie Lancaster Fund. The 2004 scholarship winners were: Travis Milligan, Stephen F. Austin State University; Jessica L. Boldt, University of Florida; Scott Croxton, Auburn University; Sarah L. Blythe, Virginia Tech University; Jake Browder, Virginia Tech University; Jessica L. Cudnik, University of Georgia; Marc S. Frank, University of Florida; Connie Johnson, Auburn University; Brian A. Krug, North Carolina State University; Charles R. McElhannon, University of Georgia; Matthew Nielson, Auburn University; Abel Tomlinson, University of Arkansas.
The fund is dedicated to Meadows, who was a great supporter of student scholarships. Meadows advocated that aid for students was the most important element to insure growth and development in all facets of the industry.
Patrick “Fuzz” Herridge has been named as Aquatrols’ south central territory manager. He is a graduate of Western Texas College in turf management, and has more than 12 years of experience in the golf industry, including seven years of golf course management experience in Texas and five years of turf product sales experience.
GCSAA has selected two national honorees in the 2004 Scotts Co. Scholars Program. The winners are Jacob Schneider, a soil science major at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Benjamin Stover, a horticulture management major at Iowa State University. The Scotts Co. Scholars Program, administered by The Environmental Institute for Golf, recognizes promising students from culturally diverse backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing a career in the green industry. As part of the program, five finalists are selected for summer internships, a $500 award and the opportunity to compete for the two $2,500 scholarships. In addition, the two scholarship winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the 2005 Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Feb. 7-12.
Bob Trogele, Ph.D., has joined the FMC Agricultural Products Group as area director, North America. His new duties include marketing, sales and research and development for all U.S. crop businesses. Trogele was previously president of Aventis Environmental Science North America, served as head of Bayer Consumer Products, North America and as a board member of RISE.
The Tensar Corp., Atlanta, has acquired North American Green, a maker of rolled erosion control products. The company’s products, which control soil erosion by providing vegetative and earthen support at ground level, are expected to mesh well with Tensar’s geogrids and Geopier foundation systems, both of which provide site development soil reinforcement solutions. North American Green will operate as a stand-alone subsidiary of The Tensar Corp., maintaining separate manufacturing, administrative, sales/marketing, technical/customer service and other support personnel out of the current Evansville, Ind., headquarters and regional offices. All day-to-day operations and distributor management activities will remain the responsibility of North American Green.
Charles ‘Chip’ Lewison, CGCS, has joined Quality Golf as a senior consultant. He will work closely with Tony Taylor, CGCS, executive director of the company, in all phases of the company’s consulting operation throughout Asia. Lewison was previously acting general manager and senior superintendent at Plant City GC (Fla.).
Advanced Aeration Systems has recently established distribution agreements with a number of Rain Bird and Toro golf course irrigation system distributors in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma and Nevada, and is currently in discussions with additional regions to distribute the Advanced Aer sensor-based golf green subsurface aerations system. “Our system is a strong complement to the irrigation and agronomic products distributors are already selling,” said Walt Norley, president of Advanced Aer. “Rain Bird and Toro distributors are extremely well positioned to penetrate the U.S. golf market, including open-for-play courses, new designs and redesigns.” Advanced Aer is a subsurface aeration system that measures, monitors, and controls oxygen, moisture and temperature levels in the turf grass root zone through sensor technology.
Applied Solutions & Technologies and Agrium Inc. has announced a partnership agreement through which Applied Solutions & Technologies will distribute pHairway and NpHuric water treatment specialties in the turf, horticultural and agricultural markets. Applied Solutions and Agrium will work closely with current and new customers to provide technical support, training and promotion for this product line, enabling the benefits of its proper use.
The American Society of Irrigation Consultants (ASIC) has added nine new professional members, bringing its total to 100. “Our membership has grown 30 percent in the past two years, and we’re delighted to hit the 100-member milestone,” said Dan Benner, ASIC president. “New members bring new ideas which enables us to better serve everyone’s interests. Continued growth will enhance our ability to demonstrate the important role we play in reducing water and energy consumption and optimizing cost efficiency, aesthetics and performance.”
Thomas Schafer has been hired as project manager for Epic Creative Communications, a full-service advertising and marketing communications agency located in West Bend, Wis. Schafer, a native of Milwaukee, began his career in television, working as a freelance production specialist for broadcast sports and news productions. Prior to joining the Epic team, he was the creative director for a start-up company specializing in integrated marketing materials.
GCSAA has compiled a list of online resources about West Nile virus and what golf courses can do to combat it. The sources include a fall update from the USGA Green section regarding the Southwest, a variety of materials from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as reports from other publications. To see the list, visit www.gcsaa.org/resources/links/westnile.asp.
Textron has been named to CMP Media’s InformationWeek 500, an industry listing that recognizes the most innovative information technology users in the United States. This is the second consecutive year — and third year, overall — that Textron has been selected for inclusion in the ranking. As part of the selection process, the InformationWeek 500 team analyzed corporate IT agendas to examine business practices across a number of critical technology operations. Textron and the other companies named to the list were chosen for their technological and organizational innovation in areas such as management priorities, technology strategies, staffing initiatives and budget plans.
The Professional Lawn Care Association of America and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America have announced that they will merge to form a new association, effective next month. The announcement comes after the completion of a 30-day voting period by the membership of both associations. More than 90 percent of the members who voted agreed to consolidate into a new green industry association that will provide a stronger voice and increased lobbying capabilities for the combined organization. The merger of PLCAA and ALCA into a new association will also mean expanded member benefits and services. The next step in the merger process is to finalize the details, including the reassignment and consolidation of staffing responsibilities within the two offices and the selection of a new name of the organization. The new organization will be composed of approximately 4,000 professional interior and exterior maintenance, installation, design/build and lawn care firms and suppliers.
Steve Stephens has been appointed director of marketing for The Toro Co., irrigation division. He will develop and implement the strategic marketing plans for all irrigation division product lines, including Toro and Irritrol Systems products. He also will oversee the activities of the marketing managers for both brands, as well as the marketing services department. Previously Stephens was vice president for Centex Homes and held a number of marketing positions with Black & Decker.
Tru-Power Inc., of Corona, Calif., has been named the winner of the 2003-04 Shindaiwa Distributor of the Year Ichiban award. Chet Pinto, president of Tru-Power Inc., was presented with an authentic Japanese Kabuto warrior’s helmet and a check for $7,500. According to Jack Ball, Tru-Power Inc. sales manager, “Over the years, Shindaiwa has become one of our best product lines, so this award means a lot to everyone at Tru-Power. This was truly a team effort.” To qualify for the Shindaiwa Ichiban award, distributors must achieve minimum purchase objectives during the fiscal year, exceed prior year purchases and exceed target purchases. A manufacturer of commercial-grade outdoor power equipment and environmentally friendly small engine technologies, Shindaiwa products are distributed exclusively through two-step distribution and independent servicing dealers.
The Green at Grant Park on the lakefront in downtown Chicago is reporting excellent results for its first full summer of operation. The concept has been a big hit with both tourists and office workers in the downtown Chicago area. More than 13,500 rounds were played on the 18-hole course in its first summer of operation. In addition, more than 41,000 meals were served at the grill-style restaurant, another integral part of the complex. The Green at Grant Park is an 18-hole putting course, installed by Players Turf. The success of The Green at Grant Park is attributed to creating a unique urban experience combining an advanced 18-hole putting course using state-of-the-art synthetic turf, with botanic garden-type pathways and an outdoor full-service restaurant — all set against panoramas of the Chicago city skyline. The outdoor restaurant features relaxed garden patio dining and classic American fare, as well as a variety of catering options for recreational leagues, corporate outings, charity and other special events.