Prince William Golf Course manages cool season turf with BASF

By |  August 10, 2016 0 Comments

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 10.42.26 AMEditor’s note: In the weeks since interviewing Shawn Gill for this article he has left Prince William Golf Club for another course in the area. Gill was superintendent for a majority of Elite Rejuvenation project.

The fourth golf course participating in BASF’s Elite Rejuvenation program is Prince William Golf Course in northern Virginia where Shawn Gill, a 29-year veteran of the industry, has been superintendent for six years.

Known locally as a player-friendly course, Prince William is built on old farmland and offers good airflow and strong sunlight for Gill’s grass. Greens are Poa annua and bentgrass, fairways and tees are ryegrass and the rough is a mix of ryegrass, tall fescue and bluegrass.

Gill says his biggest challenge is managing cool season turf in an area that isn’t cool season turf friendly.

prince_william_course_challenges“I started in the business in Connecticut, where you didn’t have to be great at growing grass to do well,” Gill laughs. In his area, heat and humidity make a recipe for disaster. A strong fungicide program is a must, he says. “Being a municipal course, staffing is low. With right around 200 acres of treatable turf, it can be taxing.”

Gill first heard about the BASF Elite Rejuvenation program from Ted Huhn, BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals Senior Sales Specialist for Virginia. Gill, who often uses off-patent products, saw it as an opportunity to put BASF’s new technologies to the test.

“Kyle (Miller, senior market development specialist, BASF) came out and suggested BASF products that could really help us out, without blowing our budget,” Gill says. “He suggested lower rates with better products — that was the sell. Now we’re trying to see how it works.”

The results? “Really good control for a long period of time,” Gill says. “So far, so great.”

Gill put out three applications of Lexicon at a low rate on his greens. Disease pressure runs the gamut — dollar spot, brown patch, pretty much everything, he says. Gill says this summer has been good to him so far, and provides the caveat that even the areas he didn’t spray are looking good. But the areas he did spray are so clean he calls it “surreal.”

The health of his fairways are what really has him impressed. He calls them, “basically spectacular, far better than my last five years.”


For his fairways, he put out Honor three times, at a low rate. He went with the holiday spray program — an application at Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and he was planning his third application for mid-August. On his 17th fairway he kept an area as a check, and has a lot of breakthrough of brown patch.

“My fairways have seen a huge a difference,” Gill says. “Greens, it just seems the bentgrass is much healthier. Is that plant health? I don’t know, but it’s spreading and taking over the annual bluegrass.”

Golfdom will continue to monitor the Elite Rejuvenation program at Prince William GC. Check back later for more updates.

Photos courtesy of Prince William Golf Course.


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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at

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