Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: …reporting from Chi

August 17, 2009

Testing. Testing. Testing. Yes it is typewriter. I mean my lap top computer with Microsoft Office Word 2007 ®. Knowledge...that was what I wanted to talk about this week. How do we get it. As a former un-named professor of mine, Dr. Ned Tisserat, used to say... “You buy them books, send them to school...”. I can’t remember the rest. The other classic quote I do remember clearly is, “What were you think-in?” In no uncertain those two quotes were used in tandem. I had made a mistake in my research. He was holding me accountable...and after my eyes got big and my palms started to sweat I would say “I don’t know what I was thinking.” He would say something like “That’s OK...I have done that too.” He was a wise-one that Dr. Ned Tisserat. He taught me how to question everything. He taught me I should try and prove what I was saying via a set of skills called science, “...sounds like another research project”. He taught me to be very generous and to listen before I talked...I think I can.

Anyhow, life is good. It has been a summer from God like no other. It has been a wonderful year to be a golf course superintendent. However, the weather has been off and remains off. We were overly cool in May, then overly cool til the 3rd week of June. The 3rd week of June marked an all time record of rainfall from Jan to Jun. Then it got dry and we continue to brown as far as unirrigated Kentucky bluegrass lawns and golf roughs go. It also marked the hottest period of summer (so far). It challenged us all because during that string of 90+ degree days we should have not made any applications and yet we did. In the name of science, in the name of a calendar, in the name of preventing fungal pathogens of turfgrass, in the name of xxx? Just fill in the blank. The point is you need to think. If we do not think, we risk making mistakes. We all had Ned’s in our lives – someone who holds our feet to the fire and makes us accountable. Let’s think first...then we can be spared from one of my life’s favorite quotes...”What were you thinking?” Summer is now waning... Labor Day is September 7, 2009. So enjoy the next 21 days...summer is about over and we saved a lot of money on fungicides during this ‘peak’ golf season. Rounds are up now that it is dry, and so am I...up! Stay up...21 days to go!

Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
Chicago District Golf Association
11855 Archer Ave
Lemont, IL 60439