2018 SOI: Q&A with LMGCSA’s Mitchell O’Banion

By |  January 7, 2019 0 Comments
Mitchell O’Banion headshot

Mitchell O’Banion

Mitchell O’Banion
President, Louisiana-Mississippi Golf Course Superintendents Association
Golf Course Superintendent, Money Hill Golf & Country Club
Abita Springs, La.

1.) Generally speaking, how was the golf season this year? And how did the weather treat you?
This past year started off with near record-setting low temperatures and very rare snow and other freezing precipitation along the Gulf Coast. While many courses have covers in the northern parts of our chapter, very few courses have them in the southern parts, leaving greens exposed to the elements.

The cold winter was then followed with a long, cool spring. Weak greens were not uncommon and were slow to recover. It started out as a difficult golf season for many superintendents this year. For many in our region, the year can be summarized as wet.

2.) How would you describe the disease pressure this year, and what diseases were most prevalent?
Due to the wet year we had this year, higher disease pressure comes naturally. Many superintendents had to deal with Pythium. At my club, we had a tough year with nematodes. Our area was also hit with a lot of insect pressure from sod web worms and army worms.

3.) What was the biggest challenge your area had to deal with this year?
As I look back on the past year, it seems that the weather was more challenging than most years. Without having major flooding, hurricanes or other natural disasters, I really can’t remember a year that has been this wet. It would almost dry out and then it would rain again.

4.) Are there any success stories from your chapter that stand out in your mind?
Superintendents and crews working hard and being creative to put forth the best possible conditions, despite the challenging weather, is a success story in itself.

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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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