NTA Requests Research Proposals

The Northwest Turfgrass Association currently is accepting proposals for funding for turfgrass research and education programs.

The NTA, in its 72nd year, awarded $41,000 in various research and education grants in 2017 and has been averaging $50,000 a year over the past three years.

To apply for a grant, you’ll need to complete this request for proposal form and process it with Paul Ramsdell, the Executive Director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360. He can be contacted to answer any questions as well.

The NTA’s Research Committee plans to examine all the proposals in March and the full NTA Board is scheduled to make decisions on the proposals in April.

Those receiving grants will then present their research at a NTA annual conference, with the next one schedule for Oct. 28-30 in Walla Walla.

NTA Conference Lands Top Speakers

The 72nd edition of the annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association has landed some top-notch national speakers for the gathering Oct. 28-30 in Walla Walla.

Dr. Elizabeth Guertal, a professor of turfgrass management and soil fertility at Auburn University, will give a presentation during each educational session at the conference. Her areas of expertise include soil fertility, turfgrass management and fertilizer nutrients in the turfgrass environment. Some of her students at Auburn University were on the winning team at the Collegiate TurfBowl at the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio.

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.

The complete educational lineup will include numerous Northwest speakers and there will be presentations about the various research studies and education the NTA will support in 2018.

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.

More information in the coming months will be available at www.nwturfgrass.net. You can also contact Paul Ramsdell, the Executive Director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360 for more information.

Planet Turf Seeks Salesperson

Planet Turf, a professional Turfgrass products and service company based in Spokane, is seeking a sales representative for the Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana region to replace Kelly Bowen, who has accepted another position.

The position with Planet Turf requires strong communication, organizational and computer skills, problem solving techniques, and an understanding of the importance of consistent customer relationships. Candidates need to demonstrate a high level of practical agronomic science for the turf and ornamental industry and strong consultative selling skills.

More information is available by contacting Jim Connolly, president of Planet Turf, at jim@planetturfusa.com. Résumés and cover letters should also be sent to Mr. Connolly.

Jacob Close Elected President of NTA

Jacob Close, the superintendent at Sudden Valley Golf & Country Club in Bellingham, Wash., has been elected president of the Northwest Turfgrass Association in a vote of its Board of Directors.

Close is in his third year on the Board of Directors and spent the past year as the Secretary of the NTA. He graduated from Oregon State University and worked previously at Seattle Golf Club, Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle and the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha, Ore.. He is a former president of the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association.

Mike Bednar, the superintendent at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash., was elected vice-president. Bednar, a graduate of Washington State University, also is a member of the Inland Empire Golf Course Superintendents Association.

Cory Brown, the superintendent of Overlake Golf & Country Club in Medina, Wash., was elected Secretary and Blane Hezel, the superintendent at Useless Bay Golf & Country Club in Langley, Wash., was elected Treasurer.

Bednar was named chairman of the Research Committee and Jason Habeck of Toro was put in charge of the Education Committee.

Click here to see the complete list of the Board of Directors. Click on the following links to see the breakdown of committees (Education, Research).

Wrapping Up the NTA Conference at Suncadia

The 71st annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association is in the books after three days of great golf, speakers and weather at Suncadia Resort near Cle Elum.

The NTA would like to thank all the participants and all the speakers, especially the headliners Dr. Frank Wong of Bayer Crop Science and J. Paul Robertson from Victoria Golf Club, for making the event a success.

We’ll do it all again next year, Oct. 28-30 at Wine Valley Golf Course and Walla Walla Country Club.

Now, it’s time to wrap up some final items from 2017.

Board of Director elections

Three new members of the Board of Directors of the NTA were elected during the annual business meeting. New members of the NTA Board, starting three-year terms are:

Cory Brown, Overlake Golf & Country Club
Blane Hezel, Useless Bay Golf & Country Club
Rick Michel, Broadmoor Golf Club

The NTA would like to thank Marcus Harness of Sahalee Country Club and Thaddeus Lalley of Everett Golf & Country Club for their years of service on the Board. Steve Link, who was in the same election class as Marcus and Thaddeus, will stay on the board as the immediate past president.

Trainer talk notes

Stan Kazymerchyk of Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley, B.C., gave a great talk on training employees in a productive and consistent manner.

He wanted everyone to have access to his notes, so click here for those.

Golf results

Click on the following links to see the golf results.

Sunday Golf Results at Rope Rider
Monday Golf Results at Tumble Creek

Golf photos

Carl Taylor of Western Equipment/Turf Star was busy during both days of golf taking some wonderful photos. Check them out, and find yourself.

Sunday Photos at Rope Rider
Monday Photos at Tumble Creek

NTA Donates $41,000 Toward Research

My 31, 2017

The Northwest Turfgrass Association donated $41,000 to worthy turfgrass research and education programs in 2017 as it continues to be a leading benefactor for the golf industry in the Northwest. Over the past three years, the NTA has donated more than $150,000 to various turfgrass programs.

Two separate grants of $15,000 led the way in 2017 for research being done at Oregon State University for Fungicide Alternative Management of Microdochium Patch and Anthracnose, and at Washington State University in Pullman on Biological Control of Poa Annua. This is the second consecutive year that the NTA has donated this amount to these ongoing studies.

In all for 2017, five different programs in the Northwest were 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 2017, after extensive consideration and recommendations from the NTA Research Committee, the Board of Directors awarded the following research and education grants:

Fungicide Alternative Management of Mircodochium Patch and Anthracnose
Oregon State University—$15,000.00

Biological Control of Poa Annua in Fairways
Washington State Universit —Pullman $15,000.00

Investigating Alternative Irrigation Strategies
Oregon State University—$5,000.00

First Green Links as Labs
First Green Foundation—$5,000.00

Bill Griffith Turfgrass Management Scholarship
Walla Walla Community College—$1,000.00

For more information on how to apply for grants for 2018, or to contribute directly to the NTA, contact Paul Ramsdell, Executive Director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Poa Annua Control Research Update Ready

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 2016.

Click here for the written 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.”

2017 Conference Sponsors



Scott Backstrom

Mike Korvas

Steve Lebsack

Alex Little

Michael McNeil


Jason Otto

Kelly Bowen

Jim Connolly


Matt Wilkinson


Bob Brunjes


Tom Walrath, Jr.

Jackie Klein


Chris Concienne


Manny Pina


Sean Watts


Tim Carlson



Shane Riley

Josh Heersink



Scott Mutchler

Bret Ramsey


Richard Simpson

Julia Wiebenga


Kip Kalbrener


Rennie Kubik

Joe Chavarria


Mark Miller


Willis Self

Sponsorship Opportunities