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No Secrets Here

Feb 11, 2005
By: Larry Aylward
Golfdom Insider

The big secret is that there should be no secret at all. That was a major theme — and it came through loud and clear — during the seminar, "The Secrets of Expert Irrigation Installers," held Wednesday at the Golf Industry Show .

Irrigation contractors stressed to a packed room of superintendents how important it is to communicate what they're doing during renovations to golfers and players. And a big part of that responsibility lies with superintendents.

Bill Bartels of Tanto Irrigation stressed the importance of communicating to golfers what contractors are doing on the golf course and why. He advised superintendents to take photos of an irrigation installation and post them in the clubhouse for all to see. "Then golfers will know what they're going to see when they get out on the course," Bartels noted.

The more superintendents prepare their courses' members and golfers about what will happen during an irrigation renovation, the better off they'll be in the understanding department, Bartels said.

Chris Soltis of Soltis Golf said superintendents shouldn't sugarcoat to members and golfers what will happen to their golf courses during an irrigation renovation. Courses will be ripped up. "It's open-heart surgery," he said, "not blemish control."

Soltis also stressed the importance of involving the entire team in planning an irrigation renovation, including owners, architects, contractors and superintendents.

Soltis advised superintendents never to rush — or let others rush them — an irrigation renovation to completion. He stressed the importance of a "real-time" calendar and schedule.