Sunday, January 30, 2011

Turf School Day Eighteen

Friday we had our construction and greens construction classes and they were very similar. IN both classes we discussed the differences and benefits of USGA and California Style greens proflies. Our construction teacher likes the California Style and the greens construction teacher/soils fertility teacher prefers the USGA Style.
We had our discussion in class about it and I came to the conclusion that both are good. The greens profile styles were developed by different colleges across the country and the schools in California that recieved grants develop an all sand profile. I think it might be that Californians have the perception that they need to develop something for hemselves. Just like how random things can cause cancer, in California...
We ended the day talking about soil chemistry. It was a very indepth lecture, that was a little over the top. I thought it could have been simplified in order to get the point across.

The end of the day I drove down to Trenton/Philadelphia to see Ryan Applonie. We went out for some pizza and had a good evening together.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Turf School Day Sixteen and Seventeen

Day 16:
Yesterday morning we woke up to a winter wonderland. It had just started to snow, so when we got to class our teacher was a little late. Something to do with people from New Jersey not being able to drive in the snow....
Well our first class on irrigation. We talked about setting up a system and how back in the day the systems ran down the middle of the fairway and were set up to use quick couplers to irrigate at night. We talked about the problems with converting there old systems to new systems without replacing the whole system. It was kind of pointless because none of us work at courses that are that old.
We then flew through two insect lectures so we could get out before the nor-easter got into town. We talked about billbugs and annual bluegrass weevils. We discussed their destruction tactics and how we as managers of turf can control them and prevent their destruction.

Day 17:
Class was cancelled today. I did a little bit of homework and shoveled some snow with the owner of the house.

We got about 8-10 inches of snow from the storm.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Turf School Day Fifteen

Another day in the concrete jungle. That is how I feel at times. Today we had class at the Cook Campus Center. It kind of makes it feel like we are going to a college, being around the full-time students.
This morning we started our day off learning about fir and spruce trees. After we learned about 12 new trees, we took a short walk around to look at a few of the trees in the wild.
We then had several presentations by classmates about their summer experiences. It was enjoyable to listen to a few of the guys talk about theri experiences and to see their courses.
We ended the class talking about starter fertilizer blends and how much fertilizer needs to be applied to different areas and at what frequencies.

Well I have not heard from any of the courses I applied to in Boise. I have an interview coming up with a course here in New Jersey. It is supposed to be a nice course, the 5th best in the state, but it is not a "big" name course. I also applied to the Lewiston Golf and Country Club for an assistant superintendent position. I am trying to get some interviews so I have a few options when I get out of school.

Happy Birthday Judi! I know it is tomorrow, I hope you have a great day.

I am excited for the BIGGEST game in bYu basketball history. I hope we can shut down the aztecs and send them back to california as losers.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Turf School Day Fourteen

We started our day this morning with a quiz in agronomy. The quiz covered the topic we discussed last class which was the history of golf at St. Andrews in Scotland. We then had a boring lecture about fine and tall fescues. Not a very interesting topic, when it is discussed at length.
Our next class was equally captivating. We had an in depth discussion about the rules of golf and how they affect setting up a course for a tournament. We talked about why a hazard would be marked as a water hazard as opposed to a lateral hazard. It was SO exciting.
WE ended our day with a new class, Professional Development. We talked about how to get a job as a superintendent and what type of course we want to be at. I think this class is very interesting. We discussed reasons for taking a job, what qualifies or disqualifies certain candidates, and what we can do now to prepare for our future "dream job". I thought the most interesting topic discussed was about our current job and whether or not that job would prepare us for where we want to end up. This is relevant to my situation, since I am looking for a job at teh moment and need to think not only about finding a job, but finding one that will help me reach my future goals.
So I am going back to the drawing board to think and reflect on my future goals and what I need to do to reach them. I talked to Fred Harsh, from Thanksgiving Pt. about some possible people to work for, people who can help me take the next step in my career.

I hope all is well for everyone. Please update your blogs! it only takes a few minutes

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Turf School Day Thirteen

Today was Friday. We had our construction class and we learned a little bit more about cart paths and building retaining walls.

After our construction class we had our case study presentations. We had split into groups and were given assignments in a previous class, and this class we had to give a 10-15 minute presentation about our problem and the solutions we came up with. Our presentation was on white grubs and their control. Our presentation lasted about 12 minutes, then cam the questions and we ended up going back to our seats after 40 minutes.

I took 3 quizzes this week and got 3 9/10's.
This next week we have a whole bunch of quizzes, so it will be fun listening to everyone complain about how horrible the week is going to be.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Turf School Day Eleven and Twelve

The past two days have been good. Wednesday we had our first rounds of quizzes in two of our harder classes. I do not know how I faired, but I think it went ok. After our quizzes we learned the insect orders and about wilts and bacterial blights of trees and ornamental plants.
Today we had two of our last "new" classes. We had an agronomy class, in which we discussed the history of golf at St. Andrews and after that we had a lab to help us with our insect learning. We will eventually be required to identify insects by looking at them through a microscope. It is not going to be fun, but in the end we will learn something.

Well I am excited for the upcoming weekend, mostly to see if the Jets or the Steelers will win. There are about 5 die-hard fans of each team in our class, so come Monday someone in the class will be really excited.

Thanks for reading, sorry for the missed day. I hope you all have an enjoyable evening

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Turf School Day Ten

I think that means we are 20% done, but who is counting?
Today we had our budget class. We talked about the expectations of our courses and how we manage both the expectations of the members and the conditions that we can/should provide. Sometimes what the players want, is not healthy for the turf. It is a constant struggle and juggling act to make it all work.
We then had our classes on turfgrass maintenance and establishment. The only thing I can remember about both of those classes was different seeding rates for establishing new turf. I must have not been paying too uch attention today.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Job Hunt

I applied for an Assistant Superintendent position last week at Ridgecrest Golf Course in Nampa, Idaho. The application deadline is Friday of this week, so I hope to hear something from them soon. I am going to wait to apply to other jobs until I hear, at least initially, from Ridgecrest. I have my eye on a position in Sammamish, Washington and am going to contact a course in Scottsdale, Arizona. I thought and considered just being a crew member of a course in the Boise area, but after all this schooling, I want to try to get a management position or at least one that pays better then a regular crew member. I am also looking to go to a course that offers some benefits--insurance, vacation time, etc.

I will keep everyone posted when I know what is going on. I do know that I will be heading west of the rocky mountains in about 2 months!

Turf School Day Nine

Today we had a quiz in our soils class. It was very easy and was basically a review from last year. We then talked about the nutrients that are required for plant growth and their availability in the soil.
We had a new class today about putting green construction. The teacher told us there will be no tests for the class as long as we all show up. He wanted to eliminate tests so we would enjoy the class. We talked about the usga specifications for a putting green compared to the "california" style. They differ in the amount of organic matter in the root zone and the presence of gravel beneath the sand. The usga has organic matter in the sand mix and it is spread over gravel. The California style has no organic matter in the mix to allow for the flushing of the greens. Greens are flushed periodically to remove unwanted chemicals and minerals from the green.
We finished the day discussing stress physiology. Our lecture was on winter damage. we talked about what can be done to prevent winter damage: topdress the greens with sand, cover the greens with tarps, remove snow. It should have been interesting material since it is applicable to our region of the country, but it was very boring. I think it is not interesting, because the teacher is very hard to understand.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Turf School Day Eight

Today we in our construction class we talked about cart paths and how to use them on the golf course. We discussed the need to control cart traffic and how if you add a gentle turn that goes for 65-70 feet it will allow carts to go off the path at various points in the turn and will disperse enought traffic that quality turf can be maintained along the edge of the path. We also talked about planting tall fescue along the path because it will be able to stand up to the traffic.
We also had a double dose of landscape design today. We talked about the use of different colors and how some colors can compliment, and the use of too many colors looks ugly and can take away from the beauty of the landscape. After our discussion we went over a plant list to give us ideas of how to add sequence of color to our landscape for our projects. We talked about using plants the have blooms and other features throughout the year and their use to add beauty all year long.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Turf School Day Seven

We started the day learning about the principles of landscape design. There are 5 principles we discussed then we looked at photographs depicting each principle. The principles are: simplicity, scale, sequence, balance, and focalization. The idea behind simplicity is that the design does not need to be over planned or planted. If you need to plant 50 plants you do not need to plant 50 different types of plants. you can choose 10 plants you like and plant 5 of each plant you like. The idea behind scale is to use plants that will fit into the space that is being designed. Sequence refers to how a person moves--both physically and by visually--through the landscape as well as choosing plants that have variety and sequence of colors during the year. Balance is planting equal amounts of plants on each side of a house or other focal point. The focalization is the idea that every landscape has a focal point and the plants should draw attention to that point not distract from it.
Due to the snow day yesterday, our schedule for the afternoon was completely changed. This afternoon we had an unscheduled class on the introduction to insects and a class about diseases on trees.
Both classes were very basic and covered a lot of information that the teacher kept telling us was not important, but it will make sense to us when we begin using the study guides he posted online.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Turf School Day Six

Today was a snow day. It is very hard to get motivated to study when our schedule gets screwed up due to weather. We were supposed to have quizzes today, and since we learned school was cancelled yesterday, we did not study last night and it has been hard to get anything done today.
I was able to work on my summer experience paper and I got a start on my presentation. Soon I will have to focus and get ready for the upcoming quizzes, but that will probably not be today.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Turf School Day Five

Today we began the day with a review of last years landscape design course. It was a refressher to connect last years class with this years content. Last year we discussed the function of plants. This year we are working on our creativity to merge function of the plant to the specific site.
We then had a class about turfgrass maintenance. In this class we have to write a report about our summer and give a presentation about what we accomplished. The class was spent discussing the presentations, and the teacher shared a couple of last years presentations with us.
We ended the day with a turfgrass establishment class. We talked about the type of soil that should be used for establishment of a putting green. We were split into groups to come up with our own plan to develop specs for a putting green.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Turf School Day Four

Today was our first Monday of class. We survived the weekend that was filled with watching playoff football.
Today we had our irrigation class. We talked about the pressure of the irrigation system and what it is affected by. We talked about static and dynamic pressure. Static pressure is the amount of pressure in the system when it is not in use. Dynamic pressure is the amount of pressure the system has when it is in use. Dynamic pressure is affected by elevation, how far the water has to travel, and friction loss in the pipe.
After our irrigation class we had our introduction to soils 2. This class is going to be very informative. In place of a final exam we will need to develop a fertility program for our future course.
We ended the day with our stress physiology course. We discussed Summer Bentgrass Decline and what we as turf managers can do to improve turf quality during the heat of the summer.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Turf School Day Three

Friday is always a good day in turf school. Today we had class with Golf Course Architect Stephen Kay. We had two classes together, the first was Golf Course Construction II and the second was History of Golf Course Design. Both of the classes were very enjoyable.
Our third class was Ornamental Plant Pathogens. We talked about viruses and bacteria and how to prevent/cure them in planting situations. We discussed problems on herbacious flowers and other plant material.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Turf School Day Two

Today was our first full day. We started the day with Landscape Plants and Ornamental Grasses. The Landscape Plants class covered and will continue to cover evergreen trees and shrubs. The Ornamental Grasses class covered 20 different Ornamental Grasses. It is going to be a short course with an identification quiz and a written final.
After lunch we had our introduction to our Case Study class. We got into groups and each group was given a topic to research and present in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back to School

Well today was our first day back at class in the Rutgers Two Year Turf Management Program. We started the day off with a short orientation meeting, followed by two classes.
Our first class of year two was on budgeting. We discussed what a budget was. It is a plan for the year. We also examined a few budgets and talked about what you can conclude by looking at them. How the budget varience (both under and over) allows for interpretation on different situations that may have been present during the past years.
Our second class of the day was on irrigation. We discussed sources for irrigation water and how to determine if a source is suitable. The source should be sufficient in quantity, quality, and cost. We also examined methods to determine how much water is required to meet the needs of the plant, based on evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration is effected by sunlight, temperature, humidity, and wind.
It was a good first day, and should be a good term. We gained two new classmates, they attended the Fall 2009 session and are finishing with us... and we lost three of our classmates