Monthly Archives: April 2013

Golf by the Numbers

With golf season gearing up again, it is important to understand the current state of the Canadian game and the factors influencing consumer behaviour.

To this end, it is worth revisiting some of the findings of a 2012 study conducted by the National Allied Golf Association (NAGA). The “Canadian Golf Consumer Behaviour Study,” is a national survey of more than 1300 responses. It explores:
● interest and support for the game;
● involvement in the game;
● level of play and engagement;
● behaviours and beliefs;
● demographic and psychographic segments; and
● benefits that drive growth.

The study focuses on both the amount people play the game and how much they spend on it—the more engaged a consumer is, the more he or she will spend. Focusing on the effective population (i.e. those who are capable of playing golf), about 5.7 million Canadians were considered for the study. From this number, results showed the total entering the game is equal to those leaving the game: 18 per cent—or approximately 1.026 million people.

Read the full article: Golf by the Numbers

Leading Your Landscape Team: Being a positive mentor

By Brian Clegg

Landscape business owners and managers must teach all their employees what it takes to be a great landscaper. Once the basic training has been established, the lessons one learns on the job can help the next generation chart their own career paths—and help grow the companies they work for at the same time. In addition to conducting business with integrity and honesty (a must both professionally and personally), the following principles can help landscape professionals build and improve their teams while strengthening their overall business.

Stay motivated
Most managers have a certain motivational style. Some take a fear- or intimidation-based approach; however, screaming at employees to achieve production goals will surely backfire over time. Others choose short-term motivators, such as pay raises (above and beyond cost of living increases).

Stay organized
Some of the best people on a landscape crew are not the ones with the most technical skills; they are the ones who can best organize a job site and keep things running smoothly.

Stay professional
Proper and professional communication is the key to success with both staff and clients. Sometimes owners get too busy and forget to listen, but everyone needs to feel important (because they are).

Stay focused

Once a solid team is built, it is important to continue nurturing it. One of the primary ways this can be done is with ongoing training. Whether it is hands-on or classroom- or seminar-based, this must happen on a day-to-day basis if a company is to move forward. Every team member needs to be responsible for learning and applying new techniques. By making training a top priority, new skills can be developed by all—and new leaders can emerge.

Read the full article: Leading Your Landscape Team

Controlling Turfgrass Diseases: An emerging problem: Nematodes

By Joseph M. Vargas Jr.

A new problem that has manifested over the last few years is nematodes. Why they are suddenly becoming a problem is mysterious. Nematodes are being found at counts around 6000 per 100 cc (6.1 cu in.) of soil. If present, they feed on the roots of the turfgrass plants because they are obligate parasites. This means they can only obtain their food from a living host and, in this case, a living turfgrass root. Once the turfgrass plant dies, the nematode also dies since it no longer has a living food source. The most common nematodes associated with this new problem include the stunt (Tylenchorhynchus), the ring (Criconemoides), and the spiral (Helicotylenchus), which have become affectionately known as the “triple-headed turfgrass monster.”

The next time there is a problem with the turf, and every fungicide has been tested but the problem has not gone away, you might want to check for nematodes. They are obligate parasites and, therefore, you should take the sample from a declining area or near a dead area, but never from the dead area. It may well be there are no longer any really effective nematicides, but at least you will save money when you stop making ineffective fungicide applications for a nematode problem. Until new nematicides come along, the best you can do is increase irrigation frequency and foliar feed the turf with its severely damaged root systems.

Read the full article: Controlling Turfgrass Diseases