By Nicole Wise on Jan 7, 2014 9:10:00 AM
“Organics are the way things are going [in the golf course management industry] and I want to be ahead of the game,” states Greg Shaffer, superintendent of Elcona Country Club, in a recent interview with Holganix.
Historically, Shaffer has been fairly "pro" organics. One of his mentors brews his own compost tea and Shaffer admits to using some organic products such as Nature Safe, bone meal and poultry manure, in the past at Elcona. Therefore, it wasn’t a stretch for Shaffer when he decided to switch over to Holganix in the spring of 2013.
So far, Shaffer has been experimenting with Holganix Bio 800+ Golf on his greens and fairways and he likes what he’s seeing.
What is Holganix Bio 800+ Golf?
Holganix Bio 800+ Golf naturally promotes turf health, building strong roots with an increased tolerance to stress from weather, traffic and disease. By using Holganix Golf, most superintendents reduce their use of fungicides and fertilizers without sacrificing on results.
Holganix Golf functions as a plant probiotic, replenishing living beneficial soil microbes, microbe food and nutrient enhancers to fortify and balance the soil ecosystem. In fact, a jug of Holganix Golf is like a microbiome in a bottle, filled with over 800 species of beneficial soil microbes.
Elcona Reduces Fertilizer Inputs With Holganix Bio 800+ Golf
Shaffer has been in the industry for over 22 years, the past 8 of which he’s held the position of Golf Course Superintendent at Elcona Country Club, a beautiful club known for being one of the finest full-service, private clubs in the Midwest.
“The real selling point for Holganix Golf was the potential to reduce my synthetic inputs,” remarks Shaffer. He reasons that reducing inputs leads to a decrease in costs and an increase in water quality on the course.
Holganix Golf has allowed him to do just that and Shaffer claims to be using 2-to-2.5 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet less on each application than previously imagined. A significant reduction in costs due to decreased use of synthetic inputs and labor followed after starting Holganix Golf.
Elcona Increases Sustainability At The Course
The reduced use of synthetic inputs has in turn allowed Shaffer to minimize his environmental footprint. Shaffer anticipates that this will allow for better water quality on the course. Synthetic inputs containing nitrogen and phosphorus have been known to cause hypoxia, a condition in water systems that causes oxygen levels to decrease to such lows that marine life can no longer survive.
Elcona On Playing Conditions And Color
Despite the reduction in synthetics with Holganix, Shaffer says, "We've seen consistent playing conditions and predictable growth."
Instead of the sudden flush of growth Shaffer usually sees with synthetics, Holganix delivers consistent clipping yields, ultimately meaning less labor for the Elcona team.
"Furthermore," reports Shaffer, "members have noticed the difference in the color and quality of the turf [with Holganix]."