Calcium Products - Brian Milam
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Brian Milam

Brian Milam

Healthy golf greens without Aerification—Believe it or Not!

Remember the show Ripley’s Believe it or Not with Jack Palance back in the early 80’s?  The premise of the show was to showcase unusual items and bizarre events so strange that viewers would question the claims. From what I remember about the show, it had that, you have to see it to believe it feel. The story of Spring Valley Golf Course in Livermore, IA, was one of those “believe it or not” moments for me.

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Reclaiming your golf course . . . .

Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate is the most popular and most commonly used material to reclaim sodic soils and treat soils irrigated with reclaimed, sodic water. Please note that this article started with calcium sulfate dihydrate as the source, not calcium sulfate. I want to be clear, there is a huge difference; knowing what you’re applying is key to reclaiming your golf course.

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Humates. What are they? Should they be in your fertility program?

Humates and humic acids are certianly nothing new, in fact, humates are millions of years old. They are organic matter in an advanced state of decay. Humates have passed through the stages of compost and peat but have not yet become coal.

Here is a great informational sheet describing the benefits of humates: Humic Info Sheet

If you are not currently using humates and/or humic acids you need to consider adding this powerful soil amendment to your fertility program.

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The Unsung Heroes

When I first started with Calcium Products 5 years ago I heard an extreme environmentalist talk about the “AUGUSTA EFFECT” and he was referring to how televising the Masters in color started the overuse of fertilizers in order to make golf courses and home lawns look as “perfect” as Augusta National. Take it from me, nothing is “perfect” but Augusta is close and it is not because of the overuse and irresponsible application of chemicals or pesticides. Like thousands of other GCSAA superintendents, Augusta National follows a very well thought out, well executed fertility plan. See this article written during this year’s Masters Tournament regarding some of the best practices in maintaining the course, Augusta National Golf Club: Nothing Cosmetic.

The use of the phrase the “Augusta Effect” is one, unfair because Augusta National is an easy target due to the extreme privacy of the clubs operations, and two the environmentalists that take unfair shots at Augusta National are actually taking an unfair shot at all superintendents worldwide.  Golf Course superintendents are not a bunch of un-educated, un-informed ogres that are looking to destroy the environment with the overuse of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides at the expense of the watershed. The real truth is that Golf Course superintendents are some of the world’s leading agronomists that are highly skilled, highly trained and most importantly highly educated.

I have been involved in the golf industry for nearly 15 years, gaining my PGA membership in 1999. I have been fortunate to work at one of the world’s leading golf resorts and I have had inside access to how the superintendents manage high value turf at a very high value facility and let me be the first to tell everyone, it is not their mission to turn the facility into Augusta National Golf Club and it is not their mission to destroy the environment. All they are trying to accomplish is providing an experience that is memorable for every golfer that plays at the facility. I think this is ultimately the mission of every golf course superintendent. They are truly the unsung heroes of the industry. Without great golf course superintendents, there would be no golf. No offense to the restaurant, or to the PGA Professional staff, but without a quality golf course with quality playing conditions the golf course would never survive. Don’t get me wrong, all facilities need exceptional value added services like a restaurant, or a well-stocked pro shop or professional providing lessons on the practice tees but if the turf is poor the facility is sunk.

The next time you are out playing golf and you see someone on the maintenance staff, be sure to stop them and thank them for getting the course ready and you appreciate their service!! 

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Maintained by Craig Dick, blogronomist and VP of Sales and Marketing, we have a wide array of blog articles from Craig and some expert guests on topics related to soil and crop health, farming and growing tips, and so much more. If it’s not here, ask us!

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