NTA Conference to Feature Top Speakers

September 17, 2018

It’s time to be confirming plans to attend the 72nd edition of the annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association, which will include some top-notch national speakers for the gathering Oct. 28-30 in Walla Walla.

For the latest list of attendees, click here. If you believed you’ve already registered, and your name is not on this list, please contact Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Click here for registration information.

During the conference, Dr. Elizabeth Guertal, a professor of turfgrass management and soil fertility at Auburn University, will give a presentation during each educational session. Her areas of expertise include soil fertility, turfgrass management and fertilizer nutrients in the turfgrass environment.

Also on the docket for Walla Walla will be presentations about the extraordinary revamping of Rolling Hills Country Club in Los Angeles. To talk about the project that included moving 6 million cubic yards of dirt will be Bob Vaughey, the superintendent at Rolling Hills, and Nick Schaan of the David McLay Kidd Design firm who was the hands-on architect for the project.

Click here for a complete schedule of the conference.

Included in that schedule is golf at Wine Valley Golf Club on Sunday, followed by a wine dinner at the nearby Three Rivers Winery. Education sessions will be held Monday and Tuesday mornings with another round of golf Monday afternoon at Walla Walla Country Club.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available, and you can see the breakdown by clicking here.

More information on the entire conference is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

NTA Members Welcomed at VMAC Event

With the partnership between the Northwest Turfgrass Association and the Pacific Northwest Sports Turf Managers Association, NTA members are invited to a hands-on turfgrass demonstration and educational session at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, the training facility for the Seahawks.

The event is Thursday, Oct. 11 at the training facility in Renton, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Sergio Pedoza, the field and grounds manager at VMAC, and his staff will conduct the three-hour seminar, which will include a full demonstration and discussion of top-dressing, full demonstration and discussion of deep-timing, discussion of pre-germinating seed, and a discussion of other in-season maintenance practices at VMAC.

More information is available at the PNWSTMA web site, at pnwstma.org.

The cost of the seminar for those not directly members of the PNWSTMA is $25. For direct members of the PNWSTMA, the event is free.

Registration is available by clicking here.

NTA Conference Set With GCSAA Points

The GCSAA has determined the annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association, set for Oct. 28-30 in Walla Walla, will be worth .80 points of external education points for the two mornings of educational presentations.

Topics ranging from soil fertility, battling Microdochium Patch and the massive remodel project of Rolling Hills Country Club will all be part of the 72nd edition of the annual NTA conference.

The speaking schedule for the conference is set and available by clicking here.

Dr. Elizabeth Guertal, a professor of turfgrass management and soil fertility at Auburn University, will give a presentation on her areas of expertise, including a talk during the Monday session on Thatch and Organic Matter Management. Her Tuesday presentation will be Myths and Facts in Soil Fertility.

The entire turfgrass research team from Oregon State University will be attending. Dr. Alec Kowalewski, Clint Mattox, and Brian McDonald will be making presentations on Microdochium Patch and how to survive with less fungicides.

Bob Vaughey, the superintendent at Rolling Hills Country Club in Los Angeles, will be joined by architect Nick Schaan of DMK Design to talk about working together on their massive remodel project.

Click here for registration information. Full registration costs are $550 for double occupancy and $675 for a single room.

The conference schedule calls for golf at Wine Valley Golf Club on Sunday night, followed by a wine dinner at the nearby Three Rivers Winery. Education sessions will be held Monday and Tuesday mornings with another round of golf Monday afternoon at Walla Walla Country Club.

Sponsorship opportunities still exist at numerous levels.

More information on the entire conference is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

NTA Attendees Treated to RHCC Project

The recently completed massive remodel project of Rolling Hills Country Club in Los Angeles captured the interest of golf architects and superintendents around the world, and now that the course is opened, golfers are thrilled with the project as well.

Attendees at the 72nd annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association will get a chance to hear all about it during the educational sessions of the conference, Oct. 28-30 in Walla Walla.

Nick Schaan, design associate for David McLay Kidd Golf Design, will be joined by Bob Vaughey, the superintendent at Rolling Hills, to give two presentations on the project. Schaan will discuss the design and construction, which included moving 6.5 million cubic yards of dirt. He lived on site for two years during the project, which included a massive drainage system needed in the Palos Verdes area of Los Angeles. Vaughey will talk about the grow-in and the agronomy of the golf course, which was the site last spring of the Pac-12 championships.

It will all be part of a great three-day conference in Walla Walla, which includes golf outings at Wine Valley Golf Club and Walla Walla Country Club.

Check out the entire schedule by clicking here.

A special early bird rate of $495 for those who will be using double occupancy is available until Aug. 31.

Click here for the registration form and more information.

Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, is available for any questions about the conference at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360. dell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Turf Star Seeks a Territory Manager

Turf Star is looking for a Commercial Sales Territory Manager for its operations in the Northwest.

A major function of the position is to handle the sale of commercial power equipment to golf courses, schools, parks, cemeteries and such, and manage relationships with existing accounts and prospects for new business.

Click here for a complete job description.

More information is available from, and applications should be made with, Jeff Perry, the regional manager for Turf Star, at jeff.perry@turfstar.com.

New Research Available Through NTA

The Northwest Turfgrass Association, with its recent decision to join the Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation, now has a multitude of new turfgrass research studies available to its members.

The CTRF recently did a major update of the content on its web site, turfresearchcanada.ca, and included web pages for the current research being funded and past research.

“Updating the site was a time consuming but important task to ensure research results are being disseminated to the turf management industry,” said Jerry Rousseau, the executive director of the CTRF.

There are more than 20 reports available either through Current Research or Past Research.

One study of interest on the Current Research page looks at the effects of Nitrogen-focused fall fertility programs for improving cold tolerance during the acclimation and spring recovery time frames for poa annua.

More information on the NTA and its relationship with the CTRF is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Turf Star/Western Steps Up for NTA

Turf Star/Western Equipment has once again shown its dedication to turfgrass research in the Northwest by stepping up and taking on the lead corporate sponsor role for the 72nd annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association.

Jeff Perry is the regional manager for Turf Star/Western Equipment and is supported by a talented Northwest staff that includes Carl Taylor, Shawn Frisbee, Chris Overman, Roy Studebaker, Ashley Burke, Kelly Bowen, and Bill Franzke. With this commitment as the lead sponsor for the NTA Conference, Turf Star/Western Equipment plays a major role in assisting the NTA, which distributed more than $46,000 in turfgrass research and education programs this year.

“It’s great that Jeff and Turf Star/Western Equipment has decided to help us once again,” said Jacob Close, the president of the NTA and the superintendent at Sudden Valley Golf and Country Club. “We’ll give them some great exposure at our conference in Walla Walla, and leading up to it, and they help us continue our mission of helping turfgrass professionals with education and information. It’s a great win-win for all involved.”

As part of the sponsorship package, Turf Star/Western Equipment will get four free registrations to the conference in Walla Walla, Oct. 28-30. The company and its branding will have prominent positions in all activities at Walla Walla, as well as the NTA web site.

Plenty of sponsorship slots are still available for the NTA Conference this year and are designed to fit all budgets.

Click here for a breakdown of sponsorship opportunities.

More information on the conference and sponsorships is available by clicking here or by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Sponsorships Open for NTA Conference

A chance to get heavily involved with the 72nd annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association awaits sponsors of the three-day event this October in Walla Walla.

Various levels of sponsorship are available, and free registrations to the conference are included in most of the sponsorship packages. Maximum exposure for your company is available through a printed conference program, through the conference web site, through its email blasts and through visual and verbal recognition during the conference.

Click here for a breakdown of the various sponsorship levels and the benefits with each category.

The conference Oct. 28-30 will be an enticing affair, starting with golf Sunday afternoon at Wine Valley, followed by a wine dinner at nearby Three Rivers Winery. Monday will include breakfast, educational sessions, lunch, golf and then dinner, all at Walla Walla Country Club. The Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla will handle overnight accommodations and be the site of the educational session Tuesday.

Click here for the current schedule of activities for the three days.

Dr. Elizabeth Guertal from Auburn University is one of the great educators who will share their insights with our group. Also on the docket will be presentations about the extraordinary revamping of Rolling Hills Country Club in Los Angeles with superintendent Bob Vaughey and Nick Schaan from the David McLay Kidd Design firm.

More information on sponsorships and the conference in general is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

NTA Donates $46,000 Toward Research

The Northwest Turfgrass Association will be donating $46,160 to worthy turfgrass research and education programs in 2018 as it continues to be a leading benefactor for the golf industry in the Northwest. Over the past four years, the NTA has donated almost $200,000 to various programs.

There will be three separate research studies at Oregon State University that the NTA will be funding, totaling $31,160. All three studies pertain to Microdochium Patch, which is a consistent disease problem for turfgrass managers in the Northwest. The largest financial contribution will be $11,141 for a study that will compare iron sulfate versus chelated iron for the suppression of Microdochium Patch on annual bluegrass putting greens in the absence and presence of phosphorous acid.

In all for 2018, four different entities in the Northwest will be supported through the grants, which were decided by the NTA Board of Directors after recommendations from the Research Committee.

The grants from the NTA are made possible through the numerous and generous contributions from clubs and individuals throughout the Northwest.

For 2018, after extensive consideration and recommendations from the NTA Research Committee, the Board of Directors awarded the following research and education grants:

Comparing iron sulfate versus chelated iron for the suppression of Microdochium Patch on annual bluegrass putting greens in the absence and presence of phosphorous acid:
Oregon State University—$11,141.00

Effects of winter nitrogen, phosphate and potassium rates on Microdochium Patch:
Oregon State University—$10,020.00

Quantifying the long-term effects of alternative Microdochium Patch management techniques on sand-based annual bluegrass putting green performance over multiple seasons:
Oregon State University—$9,999.00

Applied research putting green:
Walla Walla Community College—$5,000.00

Reducing turf stress by increasing root growth and density with endophytic bacteria:
AGPW, LLC—$5,000.00

First Green Links as Labs
First Green Foundation—$2,500.00

Bill Griffith Turfgrass Management Scholarship:
Walla Walla Community College—$2,500.00

For more information on how to apply for grants for 2019, or to contribute directly to the NTA, contact Paul Ramsdell, executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

NTA to Join Forces With CTRF

In a move that will expand the scope of turfgrass research available to its members, the Board of Directors of the Northwest Turfgrass Association is proud to announce a new partnership with the Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation.

The NTA will join nine other regional associations and the combined financial resources of the CTRF will result in a wider selection of proposals for the NTA to examine and then support financially.

“This move will be a great benefit to our members,” said NTA president Jacob Close, the superintendent at Sudden Valley Golf & Country Club in Bellingham. “We will have access to research proposals coming in from all over North America. After examining those proposals, we will be able to determine which studies would best benefit the turfgrass managers in the Northwest, and then offer our financial support. The end result will be more relevant, timely research information for our members.”

This move will not be a significant change in how the NTA operates on an annual basis. The NTA will continue to make its own annual call for proposals and will analyze and support those individual proposals as it sees fit. Joining the CTRF just gives the NTA an additional avenue to examine and support more turfgrass research.

Noting the similar objectives of funding research, the CTRF accepted the NTA request to join its association.

“On behalf of the CTRF and its Directors, I would like to welcome the Northwest Turfgrass Association in partnering with us and I look forward to your participation,” said CTRF chair Paul Schofield.

Going forward, the NTA will be included in the CTRF’s annual research project call for proposals that sees 12 to 18 submissions annually from a variety of institutions.  Nine currently active projects are receiving approximately $200,000 in CTRF group funding.

More information on this partnership is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Historic NTA Publications Now Online

Some fantastic historical turfgrass research articles from the archives of the Northwest Turfgrass Association now are available online, thanks to the Turfgrass Information Center at Michigan State University.

More than 1,000 articles pertaining to turfgrass issues in the Northwest and written by the leaders in the industry now can be easily accessed online.

The NTA’s publication from 1959 to 1997, Northwest Turfgrass Topics, is available by following this link: https://d.lib.msu.edu/nwtgt.

The written proceedings and studies from the annual conference of Northwest Turfgrass Association, starting with the third annual conference back in 1950 at the State College of Washington, are available by following this link: https://d.lib.msu.edu/nwtgc.

These archives, an ongoing cooperative project of the NTA and the Michigan State University Libraries, features public access to both periodicals as they were published and as copies are available.

All turf-related articles from within these materials, more than 1,000 in all, also are indexed and linked from within the Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) database: http://tic.msu.edu/tgif.

For a full list of all publicly-available and restricted-access archives hosted by TIC, please see: https://tic.msu.edu/browse.

Any questions about the NTA material can be directed to Paul Ramsdell, executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Complete NTA Roster Gets Updated

The complete roster of the Northwest Turfgrass Association, with members from North Carolina to British Columbia, has been updated.

The roster is available by clicking here and has a permanent home on the NTA web site.

If any further updates on your contact information is needed, please contact Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Poa Annua Control Research Reports

Dr. William Johnston and Charles Golob from the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Washington State University have prepared a research report on their study on “Biological Control of Poa Annua in Fairways.”

The Northwest Turfgrass Association donated $15,000 toward this research in both 2016 and 2017.

Year One report.
Year Two report.

OSU Presents Update Report on Research

The Turfgrass Management Program at Oregon State University—namely Dr. Alec Kowalewski, Brian McDonald and Clint Mattox—has prepared updates on its research on Fungicide Alternatives Management of Microdochium Patch and Anthracnose.

The Northwest Turfgrass Association donated $15,000 toward this research in 2016 and $40,000 toward similar research in 2015.

Click here for the written report.

Mattox's Microdochium Patch research available

Clint Mattox has completed his masters’ dissertation at Oregon State University and his research is available to you, thanks to the donations the Northwest Turfgrass Association has made to the turfgrass management program at Oregon State.

“Managing Microdochium Patch Using Non-Traditional Fungicides on Annual Bluegrass Putting Greens” is available by following this link: http://hdl.handle.net/1957/57194

Here is a brief description of the research:

Currently, fungicide applications are the predominant method of control for the cool-weather pathogen Microdochium patch. Increasing pesticide restrictions have generated concern regarding management of Microdochium patch. Three separate field trials exploring non-traditional fungicides were conducted between 2013 and 2015 on an annual bluegrass sand-based putting green at the Lewis Brown Horticulture Farm in Corvallis, Ore. The objective of the first project was to evaluate the effects of the cultural practice of rolling in combination with mineral oil and fertility on Microdochium patch incidence. The objective of the second trial was to quantify the effects on Microdochium patch incidence using biological control products in combination with rolling. Finally, the objective of the third experiment was to quantify the effects of different nitrogen and iron sulfate rates in combination with simulated golfer traffic on the effects of Microdochium patch incidence as well as turfgrass recuperation.

Mattox currently is working on his PhD at Oregon State and is continuing his exploration of “Alternatives to Non-Traditional Fungicides.”

2018 Conference Sponsors


Sponsorship Opportunities