Friday, March 27, 2015

Head Adjustments around Tents and Stands

Tents and stands have been set up on the Stadium course in preparation for THE PLAYERS 2015. Every year we witness the construction of these structures and then the break down following the tournament lasting over a 7 to 8 month span. Shaffer Sports places each stand or tent in the best position for spectators to catch all of the action. In some cases, these structures are placed directly on top of irrigation heads.  When this happens we must decide whether or not we need to add a "Kicker". Kickers consist of an irrigation head that is attached to a hose that taps into the original head under the structure. The kicker is then securely attached to a post on the outside of the structure, and it is then able to water the turf surrounding each structure.  In the months leading up to the tournament we have devoted much time and effort to make sure these heads are all adjusted to their appropriate settings. With this preparation, the turf surrounding each structure will be as aesthetically pleasing to the eye as the rest of the course.
One of the freshly painted heads around the course.

This is a kicker behind 17 Green.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

An Instant Look for the Landscape!

The Landscape Operations Team is challenged many times to provide instant, mature landscapes prior to the PLAYERS.   One way for us to accomplish the instant look we desire is to plant large, mature trees or shrubs using a tree spade. For the new restroom being constructed at PLAYERS Stadium #17 by the TOUR’s Design/Construction Team, we planted three large Live Oaks, Quercus virginiana, with a 90” tree spade.  The specifications for the trees were 8” caliper, 25’ in height and 15’ spread.

One of the Oaks being placed by the tree spade.

Bryan Gallagher standing next to one of the 
Oaks for scale.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Environmental Stewardship - Recycling Concrete

At TPC Sawgrass we strive to be environmental leaders in golf and are always looking for new ways to recycle and reuse resources on our property.  Our latest method of recycling and reusing is by crushing old cart path into gravel.  Due to all the construction and new development at the property we have been able to stock pile a large amount of concrete from cart paths that were rebuilt or rerouted.  Rather then remove this material from property we have begun crushing it with a special excavator attachment to create gravel that can be reused on other projects.  This process is both environmentally and economically beneficial to our operation.  

Friday, March 20, 2015


As we approach the 2015 PLAYERS the Agronomy Team here at the TPC Sawgrass has invested a lot of time, energy and passion into creating a safe work environment for all team members. Each month one of our own Agronomy team members, Alt Hudson, has been leading safety meetings to spread awareness of preventative practices to minimize accidents from happening. He has 21 years of experience leading safety training around the United States. There are new topics each month, such as sleep debt and the mechanics of lifting. In these meetings there is a strong focus on teamwork and keeping a positive attitude because those two attributes alone are integral in creating a safe working environment.

Alt Hudson speaking with the Landscape Crew

Friday, March 13, 2015

Golf Etiquette Training: Blending Golf Operations with Agronomy

In our everyday hustle to prepare our two prestigious golf courses for play, we in the Agronomy Department sometimes forget about the effect we can have on the Golf Operation department and our resort guest’s golfing experience. For this reason we recently held a joint meeting with Alex Abbruzza, our Assistant Golf Professional Tournament Manager, to discuss proper golf course etiquette and the potential positive and negative effects of our team.  Our ability to have all our departments at TPC Sawgrass working together is the key to providing a world class golf experience for our guests.

Alex Abbruzza speaking to the Agronomy staff

Friday, March 6, 2015

Crown Grass Propagation

Here at TPC Sawgrass we use a variety of ornamental grasses that have serrated, or sharp, edges such as: Crown Grass, Pampas Grass, and Fackahatchee Grass. For that reason, these grasses are otherwise, albeit vaguely, known as “Sawgrasses”. Of these ornamental grasses we utilize Crown Grass the most, so we have developed a program to propagate them ourselves in order to replenish the property’s landscape without adversely affecting the operating budget. 

We propagate Crown Grass, or Paspalum quadrifarium, by seeds that we collect off of the plants we have on property. First we remove seed heads off the plants, after they have matured, in various locations around the Valley and Stadium golf courses.  We then remove the seeds off the seed heads by hand and store them in our landscape nursery to dry out. Next, we plant the seeds shallowly in 50-count liners. Lastly, we store them in our greenhouse to allow for germination. Following germination approximately four weeks later we plant the individual plants in groups of 3 in 3 gallon grow containers to allow them to mature into medium sized plants. 

Billy Tate takes great pride in the work he's done with
the Crown Grass and other propagation projects.

Here are the Crown Grasses in 3 gallon grow containers

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dye's Valley; Drainage Additions

Even though the grass growing has slowed down that has not stopped our team from continuing to improve the golf course.  Each week we have been taking on a new drainage projects in some of the wettest areas on the course.

 Drainage install on #1 White Tee
 Drainage install on #12 White Tee
 Drainage install on #16 Fairway Rough 
Drainage install on #16 Fairway Rough