Holganix Case Studies
"I am NOT an organic guy..."
“Holganix is the way of the future!” says Bobby Goerlich, superintendent of Maple Hill Golf Club, located in Marathon, New York. “The benefits are far reaching. We’ve just got to get Holganix into the hands of more people, more superintendents.”
Neither Goerlich, nor any of his predecessors, had used organic products on the course before Holganix. Goerlich had researched Holganix products for two years before agreeing to listen to the pitch. “I’m not an organic guy,” says Goerlich, “I’m a what works guy.” With his greens looking better than ever, root growth through the roof, a lack of surge growth and 90% less fungicides, it’s clear to Goerlich that Holganix is exactly what works on the course.
Goerlich’s first love is the game of golf. He was a golf pro for several years before studying advertising, marketing and eventually receiving a masters in foreign language. After working internationally at a string of exciting firms, life took a turn for the worst and extenuating circumstance had Goerlich looking for a quieter life and career. He went back to his roots in the golf industry, landing a position at Maple Hill Golf Club as their superintendent.
Maple Hill is a beautifully maintained championship golf course designed by Wes White. The course is nestled among 125 acres of rolling countryside, featuring predominately creeping bent grass and poa annua. Goerlich has been pleased with the increase in root health on both turf types while using Holganix.
“The thickness, whiteness and health is what sets these root systems apart,” says Goerlich of his turf roots compared to previous seasons, when Goerlich utilized only synthetic products. He pulls root profiles regularly and reports seeing 8- to 10-inch roots on bent grass, with thickness increasing 6 times than previously imagined. In addition, “the poa roots have roughly doubled in depth with the use of Holganix.” Root systems have also broken through the thatch layer. Goerlich attributes his 25-30% reduction in thatch and a 50% reduced black layer to the active microorganisms within Holganix products, which are “eating up” both layers.
The ability to reduce nitrogen and fungicides is particularly exciting to Goerlich. “I hate nitrogen,” complains Goerlich. “Because when you use nitrogen you get surge growth and that looks like sh*t.” Despite using less nitrogen, turf color has been consistent and “my green have been freakin’ phenomenal.” Furthermore, “those of us in New York have to be careful of what we put down on our course,” says Goerlich. “I have the Susquehanna, New York City Water and Chesapeake Bay Commission nearby. We need to be careful that our synthetic inputs don’t wind up in our waterways.”
Goerlich still believes nitrogen and also phosphorous to be key to turf health but “a little bit of nitrogen is cool. You don’t need a boat load.” Holganix has allowed him to go back to using teaspoons as opposed to “boat loads” of nitrogen. He tests his soils regularly and applies nitrogen and other inputs including fungicides on an as-needed basis. “I’ve probably used fungicide twice this year and never on my tees. We are close to a 90% reduction.”
“At the end of the day, what matters most is that the greens are the best they’ve ever been,” states Goerlich who reports even his owner has noticed a difference. “The results speak for themselves.”