sponsored content by BayerOne Florida superintendent’s success with Indemnify allows him to focus on other challenges at his busy course.

Highland Reserve Golf Club in central Florida is a busy place. As a mid-tier course inside the “Disney bubble,” it does about 48,000 rounds annually — 23,000 of them during the first three months of the year.

“We put out a lot of rounds of golf in a short period of time,” says Travis Addison, golf course superintendent for the 18-hole public facility in Davenport, Fla. The course is also known for its elevation changes and lack of water elements, a rarity in Florida.

Travis Addison. Photo courtesy of Bayer

Defend your greens. Travis Addison, golf course superintendent for Highland Reserve Golf Club, says keeping his greens nematode-free is critical for his course, which has fast-draining, sandy soil.

“Tee to green is pretty wide open and playable, but the greens are the equalizer,” Addison says. “All of my greens have some undulation to them.”

The emphasis on the greens is what makes one of the course’s agronomic challenges — nematodes — so critical to stay on top of. For Highland Reserve, which has fast-draining, sandy soil, the two most problematic types of nematodes are sting and lance.

In addition to creating aesthetic problems like yellowing and thinning turf, untreated nematodes eventually will affect play because of the significant damage they can do to the turf’s root system.

“If you have no roots or very shallow roots, you’re more susceptible to disease,” explains Brian MacCurrach, Bayer’s area sales manager for Southeast Florida. “And with the amount of play Highland Reserve has, all of the sudden you’re going to start losing grass.”

That’s precisely what Addison and his team of seven maintenance crew members are trying to avoid.

Photo courtesy of Bayer

Plant health impacts. Bayer Sales Representative Brian MacCurrach says Indemnify knocks down nematodes to help develop healthy roots that in turn prevent disease and overwatering.

About three years ago when Addison was the assistant superintendent, Highland Reserve was having trouble with its sting nematode counts because of its nematode-friendly environment.

“The sandy soil is pure nematode heaven,” Addison says. “We would find combinations of products that would set them back, but none that would give us the 120-day window we needed to grow good, quality turf.”

At the recommendation of a distributor rep, Addison’s predecessor tried Indemnify, a broad-spectrum nematicide product from Bayer designed to control sting, root-knot, ring and Anguina pacificae nematodes and provide activity on many other nematode species.

After some discussions with MacCurrach, their Bayer rep, they gave it a shot.

“Indemnify was a game changer for the quality of our greens,” Addison says, noting he has used the product consistently since he was promoted to superintendent two and a half years ago.

His Indemnify application schedule changes based on the weather, how the greens look and the results of quarterly nematode assays he conducts for peace of mind.

“I’ve been consistently using it for the last three years, three times a year and I always get positive results,” he says. “My root structure has reacted well, and Indemnify has helped me sustain that.”

Video courtesy of Bayer.
The plant health benefits of Indemnify are important to note, MacCurrach says.

“Indemnify knocks those nematode populations down, which helps develop healthy roots, which prevents disease, overwatering and more,” he says. “Healthy roots are the key to attaining healthy turf, and it’s definitely the key on putting surfaces that are being cut at a low height that doesn’t encourage root growth. But with Indemnify, you can still have that height of cut and get a full, thick root as well, so that’s a huge benefit.”

Photo courtesy of Bayer

Root health. Highland Reserve Golf Club in Central Florida’s undulating greens have benefitted from Indemnify applications three times per year to keep nematodes populations down.

Working together on Highland Reserve’s nematode challenge has created a solid working relationship between Addison and MacCurrach.

“We keep in touch and he can call whenever he has an issue,” MacCurrach says. “We’re about an hour from each other, so it works out well.”

It’s also led to Highland Reserve participating in the Bayer Flex Solutions early order program and using some of the company’s other products, such as TopChoice insecticide for mole crickets and fire ants and Signature Xtra Stressgard fungicide, among others.

“Whether it’s dealing with nematodes, disease or any problem, if I’m unsure of myself, I always like to get a second opinion to see if I’m going down the right track,” Addison says. “I can give Brian or anyone from Bayer a call if something’s not right and they’re out here pretty quickly, which in this industry speaks volumes.”

This page was produced by North Coast Media’s content marketing staff in collaboration with Bayer. NCM Content Marketing connects marketers to audiences and delivers industry trends, business tips and product information. The Golfdom editorial staff did not create this content.

All photos courtesy of Bayer.