2018 SOI: Q&A with GGCSA’s Scott Griffith

By |  December 27, 2018 0 Comments
Scott Griffith headshot

Scott Griffith

Scott Griffith

President, Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association
Golf Course Superintendent, University of Georgia Golf Course
Athens, Ga.

1.) Generally speaking, how was the golf season this year?
Rounds were up slightly, despite the higher-than-normal rainfall. I don’t think the bentgrass or bermudagrass superintendents had a banner year. It was kind of a neutral year in which neither grass was entirely healthy.

2.) How did the weather treat you this season?
It took a while for spring to arrive and green up the warm season grasses. There was plentiful rainfall, and it was evenly spaced for the most part. In addition, summer was extended by a full month due to above-average temperatures. Despite the rainfall, there were still enough above-average temperatures, humidity levels and heat indexes to stress out the bentgrass superintendents.

3.) How would you describe the disease pressure this year, and what diseases were most prevalent?
At our recent GGCSA Bentgrass/Bermudagrass Forum, we asked that very question. The bentgrass superintendents were talking about anthracnose and Pythium root rot a lot and really didn’t mention much else. Meanwhile, the bermudagrass superintendents were reporting issues with leaf spot and cream leaf blight. And those with zoysiagrass on their course also saw an extended zoysia patch season due to the never-ending summer.

4.) What was the biggest challenge your area had to deal with this year?
For most superintendents in Georgia, it was probably labor, which we predict is not going to be any easier to find in the future. The shortage of qualified assistant superintendents is a big component of that labor issue.

5.) Are there any success stories from your chapter that stand out in your mind?
Our chapter completed our state’s Best Management Practices (BMPs), which were created by using the GCSAA BMP template, and unveiled them to our members at our recent annual meeting. We also have a facility adoption training session scheduled in January at our annual Georgia Golf Environmental Foundation meeting, which is free for our superintendents. Furthermore, we spoke at the Georgia Environmental Conference about the BMPs, as well as golf courses’ great achievements not only in the state of Georgia, but nationwide too.

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About the Author: Chris Lewis

Michigan-based writer Chris Lewis specializes in reporting on golf in the U.S. He wrote about White Pine National Golf Resort for Golfdom in 2013, and part two of the magazine’s annual Plant Health Series in 2014.

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