Golf and Turf Tips

Nakatsukasa’s keeping it green

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As Clarence Nakatsukasa approaches his 80th birthday, he is closing his latest career, presumably so he can play more golf.

Fittingly, the Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents Association awarded its executive director a Lifetime Achievement Award at February’s annual golf Ho‘olaulea. Nakatsukasa will retire as ED the end of this year.

He will retire again. The award was given for his service to Hawaii golf, his country and community. There have been several retirements.

Nakatsukasa graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1959 with a degree in history. Then he set about making some.

His Army career covered the next 20 years and he retired — for the first time — as a major. Military awards included the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious and Commendation Medal and Vietnam Campaign and Service Medal.

His golf game also was impressive.

“Golf gave me a lot of opportunities,” Nakatsukasa recalled about his military days. “I met a lot of people, played courses all over the world — on the mainland, in the Far East and Hawaii. The game really helped me in my career so I’m trying to give back. That’s why I’m still doing it.”

When he came home, Nakatsukasa was a Personnel Management Specialist with the Army Corps of Engineers and at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, along with Administrator for COMSAT, a satellite communications company.

His golf career — basically his third career — wouldn’t start until 1988, when his kids were out of school. He was a starter at Ala Wai and Golf Operations Assistant at Ted Makalena, then at Pali.

In 1994, the history major accepted the position of Golf Course Superintendent at Ala Wai, one of the busiest courses on the face of the earth. A year later, he began serving on the HGCSA board of directors.

Nakatsukasa’s training for his new position consisted of a huge course load ahead of time and hours of reading course maintenance material. He talked early and often with his new peers, along with suppliers of everything from equipment to fertilizer.

“I learned a lot from them,” he recalls, “and experienced a lot on my own.”

There was a lot to experience, with his assistant by his side. They usually showed up at Ala Wai at 4:30 a.m. and finished between 2-3 p.m. Nakatsukasa, who worked Pali simultaneously for eight “overwhelming” months, would be back on the weekend to play, and keep an eye on the place.

Along with the crowds, the flat course also has to deal with an abundance of salt in the soil, which causes bare spots. Its greens, which can be surprisingly good for a municipal course, are immensely difficult to maintain and nurture.

Along with everything else — for a multitude of reasons some courses face, and many do not.

“We’d be trying to do things to the golf course, but we’ve got so many people on it that it’s really hard to work around them,” Nakatsukasa recalled. “We had a lot of unhappy people when we’d close certain sections of the golf course. I always tried to talk to them and said, ‘Look, we’re trying to make it better for you guys,’ so they kind of understood.”

Ala Wai, with its legendary six-somes, not only deals with massive numbers on the course. It has relatively few maintenance workers, particularly in comparison to resort and private courses.

“The difficulty was not having the resources,” Nakatsukasa says. “Meaning primarily people and money and equipment. We have to make do with what’s available. We had to work hard and you had to get your workers convinced about what the job was all about, and why it was important to do the best you could.”

He sometimes still speaks about Ala Wai in the present, but he retired — again — 10 years ago. He quietly became the HGCSA’s first Executive Director. “For me,” he admits, “it’s a volunteer position.”

Golf must be a passion. He has worked too hard for it to be anything else.

“Maybe I’m crazy,” Nakatsukasa says. “I always felt along the way that golf was really good to me so I’m always trying to give back to something that did a lot for me.

“When I was playing and in the military I was a pretty decent golfer. A lot of people, I’m talking about generals and officers and members of Congress, I’ve gone out and played with them because I was involved in the game. That helped me in my career. Once I was done with that I needed to give back so that’s what I want to do now.”

Sounds like yet another career might take him into his 80s.

News-Of-Hawaii-Logo

Rover Ant (Brachymyrmex sp.) control at Hualalai Golf Course/Resort, Hawaii

Please CLICK HERE to Download a printable version.

Report prepared by
Zhiqiang Cheng1, Earl Sanders2, and George Nakashima3

Introduction

The rover ant, Brachymyrmex sp. (Figure 1), alate swarms have been a seasonal nuisance at some of Hawaii’s golf courses for the past several years, especially at Hualalai Golf Course / Resort on Big Island. Colonies are mainly formed in soil underneath turfgrass, bases of trees, and in leaf litter, etc. Alate swarms, attracted to objects in bright colors such as white/yellow shirts, throughout the warm summer months drive golfers off the course, as mating flights usually occur from May to August.

Figure 1. Brachymyrmex sp. alate (winged male) (photo by Hara, A.)

Figure 1. Brachymyrmex sp. alate (winged male) (photo by Hara, A.)

Several entomologists and ant experts have been consulted to review the situation. Major observations and findings prior to this research are briefly summarized as below:

  1. Brachymyrmex sp. appears to infest all turf areas throughout Hualalai Golf Course / Resort.
  2. Alate (attracted to light) swarms throughout the warm summer months drive golfers off the course.
  3. Standard treatments (neonicotinoids, chlorpyrifos, bifenthrin) have not been very effective.
  4. A bait manufactured on sugar and protein base may be attractive to Brachymyrmex sp.

This research aims to identify effective means to control rover ant, Brachymyrmex sp., at Hualalai Golf Course / Resort, which has been negatively affected by this nuisance turf pest. The golf course superintendent at Hualalai golf course received many complaints from golfers over the years, and is positioned to resolve this situation. In recent observations and communications with several other golf course superintendents, golfers, and home owners, it became apparent that this nuisance ant pest had affected several other golf courses in Hawaii, possibly at Ted Makalena Golf Course, and more. Therefore, this research will not only benefit the superintendent at Hualalai Golf Course / Resort, but will also bring broader benefits to other affected golf courses in Hawaii.

Objectives

The overall objective of this research is to test the efficacies of several newly developed granular ant baits against the rover ant, Brachymyrmex sp., both in the lab and in the field. Specifically,

Objective 1: To determine which ant baits to be included in the field trial, based on lab tests.

Objective 2: To determine the efficacies of selected ant baits against the rover ant, Brachymyrmex sp., in field trial at Hualalai Golf Course / Resort.

Materials and Methods

Several relatively new granular ant baits were tested in this project, including Maxforce Complete (by Bayer), Advance 375A (by BASF), Sieta (by BASF), and Intice (by Rockwell Lab), with and without sugar amendment.

Objective 1: To determine which ant baits to be included in the field trial, based on lab tests.

Seven baiting treatments were tested in the lab to determine which were to be included in the field trial. These were Maxforce Complete (MC), Advance 375A (Ad), Advance 375A + Sugar (AdS), Sieta (Si), Sieta + Sugar (SiS), Intice (In), and Intice + Sugar (InS). The ratio of bait to sugar amendment was 1:1. A control without any bait was included in the lab test. There were 4 replications for each bait and the control. Therefore, 32 petri-dishes were used in the lab test. Five active Brachymyrmex sp. individuals were placed in each petri-dish. Some soil collected together with Brachymyrmex sp. was placed in each petri-dish to mimic the field environment. Attractiveness to baits was observed, and dead ant numbers were counted right after setup, and then at 18 hours, 30 hours, and 48 hours after these ants were exposed to the baits.

Objective 2: To determine the efficacies of selected ant baits against the rover ant, Brachymyrmex sp., in field trial at Hualalai Golf Course / Resort.

Based on lab test results, selected baits were included in the field trial at Hualalai Golf Course / Resort on Big Island, Hawaii. These were MC, AdS, and In. The field plot layout, including the check/control, was as below:

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Each plot was 20 ft by 20 ft, and there was a 3-ft buffer area between any 2 adjacent plots to avoid cross-treatment contaminations. Baits were applied at manufacturers’ recommended rates, and irrigation in the field trial area was ceased for 3 days after baits were applied.

Four random spots (1.5×1.5 sq ft, 1 ft deep) were dug in each plot to evaluate Brachymyrmex sp. population density on the scale of 0-3, 0 being no ant at all, 3 being extremely populated with ant eggs, pupae, workers, and alates. Three people evaluated at the same time, and the average of three people’s ratings was considered the final evaluation for each spot. Initial Brachymyrmex sp. population density was evaluated prior to treatments. The same three people did post-treatment ratings at 2 weeks after treatments. Data were subject to appropriate statistical analysis.

Results So Far

As briefly mentioned in Materials and Methods, Maxforce Complete (a.i. 1% Hydramethylnon), Advance 375A + Sugar (a.i. 0.011% Abamectin), and Intice (a.i. 5% boric acid) showed the best overall baiting effects in the lab tests. Maxforce Complete, Advance 375A + Sugar, and Intice resulted in 60-90% mortality at 48 hours. Therefore, these 3 granular baits were included in the field test.

In field trial, however, we did not observe similar results as in lab tests. Figure 2 below shows the ant infestation reduction 2 weeks post treatment. Only Intice shows minor efficacy compared to the untreated control. This result is somewhat unexpected, but not unusual as sometimes lab test results do not match well with field test results due to uncontrollable factors in real world situations.

Figure 2. Field trial results

Figure 2. Field trial results

Next Steps

With additional support from GCSAA, we will continue exploring possible means to control Brachymyrmex sp. issues. Some additional granular ant baits will be tested, such as Distance (by NuFram), and modified Intice (with different a.i.), and others. A granular ant bait with fipronil as active ingredient (such as Top Choice by Bayer) will also be tested if permission from Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture is obtained. The research approach will be similar, i.e. conducting lab test first, and then field trial. Repeated applications of selected ant baits may be conducted and field efficacy tested.

In addition, we will explore the possibility of suppressing mealy bugs in the turf area and test if that will result in lower Brachymyrmex sp. population. For this approach, we will include popular insecticides for mealy bug control, such as TriStar, and others.

Acknowledgements

Funding from HGCSA, GCSAA, and Z. Cheng’s Hatch and Smith-Lever projects at CTAHR UH Manoa made this research possible. We also thank staff members at Hualalai Resort for help with field trial, and graduate student in Z. Cheng’s lab for help with lab test.

References

Arnold H. Hara, Cas Vanderwoude, Susan Cabral, and George Nakashima, 2012. Rover Ant, Brachymyrmex obscurior, at Hualalai. DRAFT COPY (05/02/2012). Unpublished data.

Personal communications with Mr. Earl Sanders (Hualalai Resort),Mr. George Nakashima (Crop Production Services), Mr. Art Guzman (Rockwell Labs), and others.

1Zhiqiang Cheng – Assistant Extension Specialist/Professor (Turfgrass and Landscape Pest Management), Dept. of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii
2Earl Sanders – Hualalai Golf Course / Resort, Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii
3George Nakashima – Crop Production Services, Hilo, Hawaii

Turfgrass education available through the University of Hawaii, Windward Community College on Oahu

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A few courses which may be of interest to the professional turf industry; Windward Community College has the only educational program on Oahu dedicated to helping develop turf professionals.

We have a 3 hole par 3 facility to enhance the learning experience.

AG 182 Turfgrass Management meets Wed. 1:30-3:45pm, 1/12-5/13, 3 credits
Identification, maintenance, and planting of turf grass for home, Park, and golf course areas. Discusses irrigation, fertilization, species, and pest control.

AG 40 Turfgrass Equipment meets TH 5-7:45pm 1/13-2/11 1 credit
Teaches the operation and maintenance of equipment used in turf grass operations.

AG 36 Pesticide Safety meets T 5-7:45pm, 2/14-3/18, 1 credit
Pesticide application, formulation, toxicity, transportation, storage, disposal, and rules and regulations governing their use.
This course is worth 17 DOA recertification credits

AG 235 Irrigation Principles and Design meets W 5-7:45pm 1/12-5/13 3 credits
Fundamentals of irrigation principles, plant, soil, water relationships,
soil moisture sensing devices, delivery systems, set up of drip,
sprinkler. Use of chemigation

Registration is now open. Here is a link to the on line application:
http://www.wcc.hawaii.edu/Academics/Agriculture_Technology_CC/index.php

The cost is roughly $100 per credit.

Any questions call me at 236-9265 or email ringuett@hawaii.edu

Photos of the 2014 HGCSA Golf Tournament and Seminar have been Published

CLICK HERE to view more GREAT pictures!

Extension of the Fenamiphos (Nemacur) End-Use Date has been Granted

Dear GCSAA members,

Often when I reach out to you, it is to give a status report on the association or to make you aware of a change at GCSAA. But, today I have the opportunity to share some significant news that has resulted from GCSAA’s dedication to advocating on your behalf.

unnamedYesterday afternoon we were contacted by the EPA to let us know that GCSAA’s request for the extension of the fenamiphos (Nemacur) end-use date has been granted until Oct. 6, 2017. We have been given a three-year extension of use of existing Nemacur stocks. Nemacur is used to control the major genera of nematodes attacking turfgrass. This includes root knot, root lesion, sting, lance and ring nematodes. The EPA plans to publish a notice in the Federal Register on the extension next week. We greatly appreciate the EPA’s understanding of the needs of our industry.

Our advocacy efforts are a team effort and are making a difference for superintendents and their facilities. A large part of GCSAA’s advocacy efforts take place behind the scenes, with meetings in Washington or in statehouses around the country or in countless phone calls to stakeholders and decision makers. But it is not just GCSAA staff or the Board or the Government Relations Committee who are championing the cause. Outcomes such as this one would be impossible without an engaged membership playing a vital role. Continue reading ‘Extension of the Fenamiphos (Nemacur) End-Use Date has been Granted’

HGCSA Presents the 2014 Annual Seminar

Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents Association Presents the 2014 Annual Seminar At the Prince Hotel Waikiki October 3, 2014
08:00 A.M. (Check in time: 7:30 a.m.)

Subjects:

  • Turfgrass Nutrient Management
  • Invasive Pests Of Turfgrass and Landscape Plants
  • USGA Items Of Interest
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Presented By: Dr.Micah Woods/Dr. Zhiqiang Cheng/Larry Gilhuly

Pre-registration required. Registration & Payment are due by September 15, 2014

Certification Points for: GCSAA CEUs and Pesticide

Please CLICK HERE to register online or to download the printable registration form.

2014 Golf Tournament Registration Page Published

The HGCSA Annual Golf Tournament will be held on October 2, 2014 at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course. Shotgun start is at 11:00 a.m. with a banquet and reception to follow. This year’s event will feature over $4,000 in prizes.

A low gross champion, as well as competitors in three flights will be crowned, so reserve your spot in this tournament early. Entry fee is $60, and is due NLT September 15, 2014. (This deadline is critical to ensure that a Gate pass can be mailed to you allowing you entrance to the Base).

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Hilo Muni Improvements Topic of Meeting

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Renovations to the Hilo Municipal Golf Course will be the subject of a public meeting later this month.

The county Department of Parks and Recreation said the meeting is being held to explain the project’s scope and gather public input.

It is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22, at the Hawaii County Council chambers on Aupuni Street.

Aging buildings at the Hilo Muni suffer from termite damage and other problems. The back side of the restaurant is shown.

The proposed project includes replacement of the pro shop, restaurant and two on-course bathrooms, and reconstruction of four greens. It will also involve various maintenance and repair work, including replacement of water lines.

Jason Armstrong, spokesman for the Department of Parks and Recreation, said the work will also bring the golf course and adjacent driving range into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

He said work on the design phase, which is expected to cost $1.5 million, has already begun.

Armstrong said the department hopes to put the project out to bid early next year.

The renovations include replacement of two on-course restrooms. The one shown is located near Kawailani Street, near the tee area of the fourth hole.

He said the course, restaurant and pro shop will remain open during construction, which is expected to take 12 to 16 months to complete.

Pedestrian, vehicle and golf-cart traffic will likely be re-routed intermittently during construction, which will also require temporary modifications to play on the course.

At 165 acres, the Hilo Muni is the county’s largest developed recreational site. The course typically hosts about 80,000 rounds a year.

The county’s only golf course averages more than 200 rounds a day.

Hilo Muni Improvements Topic of Meeting on July 22 | Big Island Now

Milton Nakagawa Tribute

Milton Nakagawa passed away at the age of 63, on March 18, 2014.

photo-1bMilton was born and raised in Honokaa and graduated from Honokaa High School in 1968. Immediately upon graduation he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served 4 years at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Upon being discharged and with the G I bill in hand, attended the University Of Hawaii, Hilo. He graduated with a B S degree in Plant Pathology in 1978.

Milton immediately entered the Landscape business and after working at various landscape companies he landed a job at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel as assistant grounds superintendent. After a few years at Mauna Kea he transferred to the Westin Kauai as head grounds superintendent. After a few years on Kauai and at the urging of the Vice President of Mauna Kea Properties he returned to Mauna Kea to become the assistant golf course superintendent.

Milton felt the need to learn the game of golf and took many lessons to become proficient at the game and to better relate to what he was doing in maintenance and the game. He became an avid golfer playing once a week with friends. His greatest enjoyment was when he was invited by Bruce Heymanson to play 9 days of golf in Australia, playing many of Alister Mackenzie’s designed golf courses.

Milton always felt the need to increase his knowledge on turf management. He took every opportunity to participate in the many continuing education courses offered by the GCSAA and the many turf grass seminars.

In 1988, Milton assisted with the construction of the Hapuna Golf Course and became Golf Course Superintendent in 1991. In 2002, he assumed the superintendent position of both Mauna Kea and Hapuna golf course.

In 2008, Mauna Kea underwent a major renovation with Reese Jones as architect. Milton served as project coordinate overseeing the various contractors on the project. Upon completion, a major change in management occurred at the golf course and Milton left to pursue other opportunities. His only regret was not being able to see the grass grow in to maturity. He also regretted not being able to control an invasive grass that became established. He had worked so hard to control the grass and had a good handle for a control.

After 18 months Milton was approached by Mauna Kea Properties to return to the resort to manage a newly developed water company. He single handedly developed the water company from scratch supplying water to the golf course, hotel and the various development throughout the resort.

Milton fell ill early this year and was finally diagnosed with stage four Pancreatic cancer. He passed away on March 18, with family and friends at his bed side.

HGCSA Members at the 2014 Golf Industry Show in Orlando

CLICK HERE to view the gallery of Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents members at the 2014 GIS in Orlando

Photos by Les Jeremiah Jr. CGCS

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Final statistics from this year’s gathering of golf course superintendents, owners and operators, architects and builders were on the rise across the board versus the 2013 event in San Diego. Total attendance was 14,147, an 8 percent increase over last year. In addition, the two-day trade show, Feb. 5-6, attracted a total of 6,845 qualified buyers (up 14 percent from San Diego), who enjoyed 184,500 square feet of exhibit space and 561 exhibitors – increases of 7 and 9 percent respectively, from 2013.

About the Golf Industry Show Continue reading ‘HGCSA Members at the 2014 Golf Industry Show in Orlando’