No Scalped Plugs
Dan Dingman, superintendent at Birmingham Country Club in Birmingham, Michigan, uses a narrow-tip screwdriver to blend the hole plug into the surrounding turf, followed by using an All-Star Umpire Brush (about $10) to clean up any spilled greensmix, followed by applying water and then stepping on the plug to blend it in perfectly onto Pure Distinction greens. Each greens mower operator carries a used 64-ounce Ocean Spray plastic bottle filled with water, with a hole drilled in the cap, and they subsequently apply water to the old hole plugs every day. The procedure eliminates scalping and blemishes. The cup changer staff carries a 17-inch weather resistant Husky tool bag ($30 at Home Depot) filled with a 64-ounce water bottle, two soil and seed bottles, greensmix container, narrow-tip screwdriver, cup hook, umpire brush, rattail file for sharpening the cutting shell, 2.5-inch-wide putty knife for leveling the bottom of the plug, scissors, towel, 2-inch by 8-inch PVC pipe for leveling the hole plug, etc., along with a Par Aide lever action hole cutter, with a scalloped inside edge, and cup setter.
Gary Zagar, former director of golf maintenance at the Quail Hollow Country Club in Concord, Ohio, had fun with his equipment manager building a hydroseeder using a 300-gallon plastic sprayer tank mounted to a frame created by a welding school at a local career center, held down to an existing trailer with ratchet straps. A grinding circulating pump was installed in the bottom of the tank, a second 2-inch pump was installed in front of the tank powered by a 10 HP gasoline engine, with 2-inch valves and fittings, and using quick-connections for the 1½-inch applicator hose. The specialized nozzle was acquired online. The seed-starter mulch bales must be thoroughly soaked, broken up and then placed slowly into the tank. Zagar used a Kentucky bluegrass/perennial ryegrass seed blend along with a 20-20-20 granular soluble fertilizer, seed starter mulch and a tackifier. The design concept for the homemade hydroseeder was inspired similarly from a rental unit shown in the accompanying photos. Total cost was about $1,000 using new and recycled parts in inventory. Labor time in-house took about a day; welding the tank framework took another day. Jeffrey Austin is the director of golf course maintenance.