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The partners of the 2023 Golfdom Summit recap the event

By |  February 12, 2024 0 Comments

The format is unique to any other event in the industry: For two-and-a-half days, around 45 superintendents from around the country (this year, as far as Hawaii) come to Reunion Resort near Orlando. Over those 60 hours, each superintendent meets individually with each Golfdom Summit partner. (We also sneak in a round of golf and a poolside barbecue dinner, among other activities.)

Before the one-on-one meetings begin, partners make presentations to the group. What follows are some of the key messages from each partner.

The company: FMC

What: Durentis Insecticide

Who: Kyle Richards, Pest & Nursery/Greenhouse Market Manager

What he said: “FMC has a nice and robust fungicide portfolio that we’ve come out with over the past couple of years, but we are really turning our focus to insecticides now. Our newest insecticide, which will be coming out in Q1 of 2024, is Durentis Insecticide. The active ingredient (chlorantraniliprole) in Durentis was discovered by scientists at our Stine Research Center (in Newark, Del.) It is an FMC-proprietary technology. The molecule was discovered way back when by FMC scientists. We’re really excited to bring this to the industry in 2024.”

Learn more.

Ken Rost, president and CEO of Frost Inc., gives a demonstration of the Ninja GPS spray control system. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

Ken Rost, president and CEO of Frost Inc., gives a demonstration of the Ninja GPS spray control system. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

The company: Frost

What: Cloud Connectivity

Who: Ken Rost, President and CEO

What he said: “We’re proud to introduce, in this upcoming season, the addition of Cloud Connectivity, a system you can retrofit to any of the existing Ninja (GPS spray control) systems, to connect that machine to the cloud so that you can manage it either on smartphone or PC. You can look at the data to see what that machine is doing. You can look at the jobs and see where that machine is on your property. If you have more than one machine and it finishes a job that you want to pass to another machine, you can do that. It creates new opportunities.”

Learn more.

Attendees got up close with Husqvarna’s Automowers and saw them work on an area of Reunion Resort’s driving range. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

Attendees got up close with Husqvarna’s Automowers and saw them work on an area of Reunion Resort’s driving range. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

The company: Husqvarna

What: Automowers

Who: Brandt Thacker, Commercial Robotics Sales Manager

What he said: “When you get into robotics, we truly believe that we are making a better experience — not just for the golfer or the member, but also for the superintendent. That starts with the fact that they are fully automated — not remote-controlled. You don’t need in-person supervision since the mowers are programmed. We drive them around and create a geo-fence around the service area. Then, you program the mow height and schedule. After that, the mowers are almost ‘set it and forget it.’ The mowers will go out on a schedule of your choosing. Want to mow the fairway at night? The rough during the day? Just program the different heights, and the mower will make the adjustments on its own.”

Learn more.

The Jacobsen demonstration area draws a crowd during the Summit.

The Jacobsen demonstration area draws a crowd during the Summit. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

The company: Jacobsen

What: Eclipse 360

Who: Lee Frie, Product Manager

What he said: “The Eclipse 360 has been out for a number of years. It’s the second iteration of what started as the 322. With (the Eclipse 360), I’ve mowed as many as 72 greens on one charge. I’ve been able to verticut as many as 36 greens. The technology has finally hit the spot where we can provide you with a machine that actually does the day’s work that you’re looking for. That’s really what we’ve been waiting for.”

Learn more.

Jason Chilson and Tiffany Koss discuss the strengths of Kafka Granite pathways with Chris Navin, superintendent at the Club at P.B. Dye, Ijamsville, Md.

Jason Chilson and Tiffany Koss discuss the strengths of Kafka Granite pathways with Chris Navin, superintendent at the Club at P.B. Dye, Ijamsville, Md. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

The company: Kafka Granite

What: Wax Polymer Bunker Sand

Who: Tiffany Koss, Director of Sales and Marketing

What she said: “After we had initially developed our product for paths, Chris Zugel, CGCS, (Director of Golf Course Maintenance at Destination Kohler) came back to us and said, ‘Why can’t you use this stuff in my bunkers? I have a thousand bunkers at Whistling Straits, and I can’t keep up on the maintenance.’ So, we took our wax polymer technology, blended it with the bunker sand and started using it in highly-erosive faces — primarily out-of-play target bunkers and waste bunkers. After getting two inches of rain, it did not budge.”

Learn more.

PBI-Gordon hosted a barbecue dinner and games at the Seven Eagles Pool Pavilion at Reunion Resort. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

PBI-Gordon hosted a barbecue dinner and games at the Seven Eagles Pool Pavilion at Reunion Resort. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

The company: PBI-Gordon

What: Arkon Herbicide Liquid

Who: Lyndsie Balstad, Product Manager

What she said: “One of the things that I’m really excited to share with you all is a new product called Arkon Herbicide Liquid, (which) just launched (in 2023). The first-ever sale of it went out in September. Maybe you’ve heard about it, or maybe this is the first time, but we are excited to tell you more about it and see how it could fit into your operation. It’s a new, innovative solution for sedge and kyllinga control in a liquid formulation.”

Learn more.

Carmen Magro, CGCS, Ph.D., vice president of POGO Turf Pro, addresses the entire group during his boardroom presentation. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

Carmen Magro, CGCS, Ph.D., vice president of POGO Turf Pro, addresses the entire group during his boardroom presentation. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

The company: POGO Turf Pro

What: The POGO Platform

Who: Carmen Magro, CGCS, Ph.D., Vice President

What he said: “The POGO Platform has become a household name in the turfgrass industry. It gives you the ability to see an overview of your property. Not just moisture but many other variables that you choose and set up. Just a couple of minutes a day will give you insight that otherwise would never happen on your property. The POGO platform is not a piece of software. It’s a very powerful, global system driven by cloud computing. The second you enter data and hit ‘analyze,’ there will be a complete analysis of your property.”

Learn more.

Russ Mitchell gives a quick history of Albaugh Specialty Products, an American-owned company based in Ankeny, Iowa. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

Russ Mitchell gives a quick history of Albaugh Specialty Products, an American-owned company based in Ankeny, Iowa. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

The company: Albaugh Specialty Products

What: Quintessential

Who: Russ Mitchell, Segment Director

What he said: “We pride ourselves on continually developing new products and mixtures. Quintessential is our liquid quinclorac that we’ve had for years, but (recently) we’ve found an additive we call H-value technology. Long story short, this is a quinclorac that will get to that three to five-tiller stage. It is also rainfast much quicker and works better under drought conditions. It really plugs the gaps.”

Learn more.

The company: Quali-Pro

What: Nimitz Pro G, Suprado and Doxem Plus Fire Ant Bait

Who: Jeff Rampino, Florida Territory Manager

What he said: “In the past few years, we’ve become more of what you would call a hybrid company. Our past is definitely in post-patents. That’s where we came from and is something we hold near and dear to our hearts. But we are starting to move into a hybrid space where we are creating our own active ingredients to make proprietary products. So, it’s a really exciting time for us.”

Learn more.

The company: Smithco

What: XL 70E Greens Roller

Who: Steven Johnson, Sales

What he said: “One of the new products that you guys are going to have an opportunity to look at is our XL 70E. We’ve been building it now for about seven years. It’s definitely our top-selling roller. There’s been a great demand for us to bring out an electric version. Going all-electric is very expensive. (The cost of) those components are coming down, but they are not where they need to be for us to feel comfortable building a fully electric system. What you’re going to see with our unit is that we’ve incorporated the hydraulic systems that we use for our rollers and incorporated our electric system from our electric bunker rakes.”

Learn more.

The company: Steel Green Manufacturing

What: SGXL

Who: Caleb Myers, Sales Representative

What he said: “(The SGXL) is a 120-gallon stand-on, zero-turn sprayer. It features a 14-foot rear boom and comes standard with a 2.5-gallon foam marker; a 100-foot hose reel; a pressure control system; an 18-inch LED light for early morning applications; and a hillside assist system. This machine isn’t strictly limited to being a sprayer. We have a 350-pound hopper attachment that is interchangeable with the tank. We have GPS technology available for this machine as well. This system has full individual nozzle control, shut-off and full tracking technology. It’s plug-and-play. You just drive the machine and it does everything else for you.”

Learn more.

The company: The Andersons

What: Carbon Coat Technology

Who: Alan Hollen, Territory Manager, and David Louttit, Territory Manager

What Alan said: “Last year when I was here, I asked (attendees), ‘What’s something that you really need? What’s a product that you would like developed?’ A number of people came to me and said, ‘We need this,’ and (what they mentioned) was something that we were already developing. A lot of the ideas that we come up with spawn here.”
What David said: “Carbon Coat Technology is part of our new flagship here. The original product was HCU 44-0-0. You can put this product into a spray tank. It’s very popular for use on fairways. The next one that came along was HCAS 20-0-0-235, which has an ammonium sulfate and potassium humate coating. Finally, we came up with PCHCU 40-0-0. These products are all good. They’re all going to do the job, but it’s all about using the right product at the right time of the year.”

Learn more.

The company: Turfco

What: Widespin 1550 Broadcast Topdresser

Who: Scott Kinkead, Executive Vice President

What he said: “Not everything has to be high-tech. Some of it can be simple things that are pretty obvious, like, ‘Wow, let’s have a hopper that takes an 80-inch bucket.’ That’s crazy. That’s high-tech right there (laughs). Now, you don’t have this pile of sand dropping off the back or the front that you’ll have to clean up later or that’s dripping into your spinners. We even designed (the Widespin 1550) so sand can’t get into the spinners. It’ll drop right off. That’s a key thing, simple stuff, like, ‘How do we make sure that this process is as efficient as possible?’”

Learn more.

The company: Nufarm

What: Anuew PGR, Tourney EZ, Allstar and Velocity PM

Who: Chris Fronczek, Golf Market Manager

What he said: “We have new formulations (for products) such as Anuew EZ, which is a liquid formulation now. It’s the same product as before, a great growth regulator for both cool- and warm-season turf. With Tourney EZ, we have a liquid formulation now. It’s great for fairy ring, other pests and diseases and if you’re treating your landscape or ornamental plants too. Allstar is a product we hope to get (registered) in 2024 for crabgrass, nutsedge and broadleaf weeds. Finally, we’re bringing Velocity — a product we discontinued four years ago — back by popular demand for Poa removal.”

Learn more.


New attendees wanted for the Golfdom Summit! Here’s how to apply: If you’re reading this, you’re interested in learning more about the tools available to superintendents to help them get the job done. Instead of reading about the tools discussed at the Golfdom Summit, why not attend and see them yourself?

Graham Edelman, superintendent, Wolf Creek Golf Links in Olathe, Kan., lines up his putt. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

Graham Edelman, superintendent, Wolf Creek Golf Links in Olathe, Kan., lines up his putt. (Photo: Golfdom Staff)

For more than a dozen years, Golfdom has brought 45 superintendents to Reunion Resort for this event. Accepted superintendents only need to give us their time and attention — airfare, accommodations, food, beverage and golf are all covered.

Click here to apply.



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