What Can GreenTRX™ do on your course?
We sat down with Todd Ingram, Golf Course Superintendent at the Fort Lauderdale Country Club to talk about golf, grass and GreenTRX. Here’s what he had to say:
Anuvia: Hey Todd, thanks for speaking with us today. First of all, what were you looking for with GreenTRX and how did it come to your attention?
Todd Ingram: Well…We redid the driving range summer of 2014, and we ripped out the past grass and went to Celebration Bermudagrass. I had some bare areas that wouldn’t cover; the grass just wouldn’t spread. As we got into 2015, these areas started getting bigger. I started on my own trying different products or combination of products and doing a lot of soil testing. I’m fortunate to have the director for the University of Florida Research Center right down the road and they do research on my nursery greens all the time. So I took him out there, he had a look at it and told me what he thought and what to try.
So the spring and fall of 2015, we were out there applying, boy you name it, and I had probably fifty products or combination of products out there. Anywhere from different types of fertility, some coated nitrogen, phosphorus, manganese, you name it, it’s been out there. And then we did some check plots with some different fungicides different nematocides, and then the stuff I did on my own. I just couldn’t get any responses.
And then we went to the Harrell’s Turf Academy. The gentlemen from Anuvia were there. The University of Florida guy introduced me to them and they said, ‘Hey, why don’t we try some test strips of [GreenTRX] out here?’ And we did that, and for once saw a response.
I went ahead and did the whole driving range and it was like we flipped a switch. I was trying to find something that’s out of balance or out of whack, I was learning towards even toxicity, metals. It just didn’t make any sense. Celebration Bermudagrass, it’s not that hard to grow, there shouldn’t be any reason why it’s not spreading. But these PhD guys were shaking their heads too, so it didn’t make me feel so bad. But GreenTRX just flipped the switch, and just took off.
We spent at least a year looking for stops. Strips and plots and painting all over the place, and then we finally found Anuvia.
A: Driving ranges take a pounding. Is that your toughest area to manage your grass?
TI: You know what? It really is.
As far as frustrating and not responding, it drove me crazy for a year because we’re putting all these inputs out there and we’re not getting anything. You put a test plot out there and you almost get killed by golf balls – it frustrated me for a long time.
A: What do you think GreenTRX did that other products didn’t?
T: I think there’s an acid or something that lowers pH or adjusts the pH, but even though the pH wasn’t bad on the soil test…but it just responded, like I said, like we flipped the switch. Everything that was out there got picked up and became available.
A: When did you know, ‘Okay we’ve licked this problem?’
TI: We got some bags and we put out a couple of strips and marked them with paint. And four or five days later you could see the dark strips…two weeks later they were dark green and that’s when we applied it to the whole range. A week after that, it really started turning around. It kept getting better and better.
A: Did golfers on the driving range notice?
TI: I’m gonna say no (laughs). They did in the greens committee though. When I told them I finally found something, they were excited for me because they knew how frustrated I was.
A: What’s your strategy for using GreenTRX on the course?
TI: Right now I just put it on the driving range. I tried a tee we redid. That’s where we put our first check plot, just put a square up there and it responded. So then, I put it on that tee and I put it on another tee.
I have collars around the greens that in the wintertime I just don’t have to mow ‘em and they thin out on me. We’ll try it there. I have a nursery green that needs fertility right now and I’m gonna see if we can’t try the greens grade on that.
I have several problem fairways with different grass types, old grass types. So, the more I learn about it the more I’ll probably stretch it out and try it in some of my other problem areas.
A: What would you tell other golf courses that were leery of trying something new, particularly given shrinking budgets and demand for results?
TI: I would say try it on a bad area. I would say probably start on your worst spot and see what happens, because that’s what I did.
A: One thing people like about GreenTRX is that the product is good for the environment, that there’s not a lot of volatility to it or leeching. How does that mesh with how you take care of your golf course?
TI: I agree with it. Spraying nematocides and fungicides out there is not something I want to do. The difficulty of application number one, but there’s someone always on the driving range and if you apply too close, they get upset. So to be able to do this [apply GreenTRX] once every four or five weeks – I’m still playing with that – and knowing that it’s going to last ‘til I can get out there again and not having to come back and spot treat areas, for me it’s a huge labor saver, a huge time saver, and anytime you can use a natural product like that the better.
It’s also helped us reduce water usage because we have a healthier plant.
A: What are the top three things you think GreenTRX is doing on your golf course…what are the top three things you are not worrying about that you were worrying about?
TI: Definitely reducing water needs because the plant’s stronger. Anytime you can reduce water use is a good thing.
I don’t see the disease levels I saw out there. Fairy rings, I would say it’s actually helped to reduce them. I can’t make that claim, but as far as the visual appearance, not noticeable anymore.
And then just that the turf grows. I mean two weeks after I applied it to the whole five acres, I had to come in and actually double cut it. It just took off growing. And that’s the first time that’s ever happened. I believe everything gets picked up and the plant starts growing again.
A: That’s terrific. Thank you very much for talking with us, really appreciate it.
TI: Okay, pleasure. Pleasure speaking with you.
For greener greens, fuller fairways and thick, unforgiving rough, GreenTRX™ gives your turf what it needs and improves soil health while it does it.