Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents Blog

2024 University of Hawaii Zoominar Series

Turfgrass and Landscape Pest Management

Zoominar series are free of charge, brought to you by UH Manoa Turfgrass and Landscape Pest Management Program (Dr. Zhiqiang Cheng), and CTAHR Cooperative Extension Service.

Zhiqiang Cheng, Ph.D.

3:00 - 4:00 pm every Wednesday, 05/22 to 06/12/2024

Live on Zoom: Webinar Zoom links will be provided to registered participants.

May 22Management of several important landscape pests in Hawaii: coconut rhinoceros beetle, lobate lac scale, and hala scale.
Dr. Zhiqiang Cheng, UH Manoa.
Registration link (will close May 20, 2024): 
May 29Management of several important turfgrass pests in Hawaii: frit fly, oriental flower beetle, and take-all patch.
Dr. Zhiqiang Cheng, UH Manoa.
Registration link (will close May 27, 2024): 
June 05Non-chemical turf renovation and weed control at the edges (of
your property).
Dr. Joseph DeFrank, UH Manoa (emeritus).
Registration link (will close June 03, 2024): 
June 12Pesticide labels.
Dr. Zhiqiang Cheng, UH Manoa.
Registration link (will close June 10, 2024): 

Each webinar:
1.0 HDOA RUP CEU (first 3 webinars: Commercial 3,10; last webinar: Commercial
1a,1b,1c,2,3,4,5,6,7a,7b,7c,7d,7e,8,9,10 and Private 1).
1.0 LICT* CEU.
0.10 GCSAA* points.
1.0 ISA* CEU (1.0 each for May 22 and June 12 webinars).

* CEUs pending approval from LICH, GCSAA, and ISA.

Hawai’i Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Communications Plan

Amplifying Statewide Efforts in Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Communication and Management

Occasional Invasive Pest

May 21, 2024 @ 9:30 am HST
Virtual (via Zoom) Register Here:

  • "Have we lost the battle against CRB?"
  • “Are CRB traps just attracting CRB to my property?”
  • “Is it true that once CRB is present, it's impossible to protect my plants?”
  • “Is CRB management only the responsibility of agricultural professionals and not homeowners?”
  • “I've been told mulching is a surefire way to attract CRB. Should I avoid it entirely?”

Join Arisa Barcinas, outreach associate with CRB Response, and Elizabeth Speith from 643pest.org and the Hawai'i Invasive Species Council (HISC), for an enlightening dive into the Hawai'i Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) Communications Plan and current CRB status. The Hawai'i CRB Communications Plan aims to enhance our collective understanding and foster collaborative community action to manage CRB across the state. They will also tackle strategies to combat misinformation and encourage an open discussion to address common misconceptions. The plan was created by a collaboration of CRB communications experts from multiple agencies and groups across the state, reflecting the unique populations and situations faced on each island and underscores the multi-agency approach essential for effective CRB management.

The Hawai’i Golf Economy – An Economic Impact Analysis

Discover the economic heartbeat of Hawaii’s golf industry!

We are thrilled to announce the publication of the "Hawai’I Golf Economy 2023 Economic Impact Analysis." This comprehensive report, released by The PGA of America – Aloha Section and Foundation, sheds light on the significant economic contributions of golf to our home islands.

Golf isn't just a sport; it's an integral part of Hawaii's economy, supporting jobs, generating revenue, and driving tourism. Through this analysis, we gain valuable insights into the economic footprint of golf in our state, reaffirming its status as a vital industry.

As stewards of Hawaii's golf courses, it's crucial for us to understand and appreciate the economic impact of our sport. By sharing this report on our website, we aim to inform, educate, and advocate for the continued growth and prosperity of the golf industry in Hawaii.

We encourage all members, stakeholders, and golf enthusiasts to explore the findings of the "Hawai’I Golf Economy 2023 Economic Impact Analysis" and join us in celebrating the economic power of golf in Hawaii.

Together, let's continue to champion Hawaiian Golf and its positive contributions to our communities and economy.

Key highlights from the Economic Impact Analysis include:

  • Combined financial outlay of $393 Million annual from operational revenue and capital investments.
  • Over $1 Billion dollars generated in annual golf tourism and golf-related retail spending.
  • Homes values adjacent to golf courses increase property values by an estimated 32% resulting in real property tax collections in golf course communities amounting $2,695,761.
  • Direct economic impact of $1.8 Billion and $1.6 Billion from indirect economic impact from core industries bringing the total economic contribution to the Hawai’i economy of $3.4 Billion dollars.

Hawaii Project Meeting with GCSAA

A very brief summary: EPA is responsible for registration and re-registration of pesticide using the “Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act”. There is potential and maybe current litigation by Non-Governmental Organizations against the EPA for not adhering to the “Endangered Species Act.” Hawaii has a large number of endangered species…..golf courses use pesticides. Use, regulation, registration and re-registration of pesticide use on golf courses is up for evaluation.
…Dan Husek

Message from Dan Husek
President HGCSA

THIS IS IMPORTANT…. Please register for the presentation to be made by GCSAA.

Our involvement is important to allow science to guide the way. Click that registration link (below).


Message from Russell Dooge, CGCS
Executive Director HGCSA

Please read the email communication from Chava (Director, Government Affairs – Golf Course Superintendents Association of America), this is about the EPA and it concerns Hawaii golf courses.


Russell Dooge, CGCS

Hi everyone,

It has been a while since we talked to EPA about the Hawaii pilot. They have not rolled anything out yet but it was mentioned yesterday at an IR-4 meeting in Raleigh. I have not heard any more news on the proposed roundtable in Hawaii in October/November. I will let you know when I do.

EPA is dealing with Hawaii separate from the other 49 states. They have rolled out a much more potentially problematic pilot called the Vulnerable Species pilot affecting the 49 states. We have been focused on it the last month. We are working with supers in Milwaukee right now on preparing comments to EPA.

I wanted to bring back to your attention the two data sets that Jennifer Connolly shared with me:

Golf Courses | Hawaii Statewide GIS Program – golf course data layer from State of Hawaii – where golf courses are located

Advancing Transparency of Endangered Species Act Evaluations Through Publicly Available Data | US EPA – endangered species data – where endangered species are – Jennifer said to look at the Layers section in the middle of the page

Ahead of our next discussion with EPA on the Hawaii pilot, would you mind having members of the Hawaii GCSA board take a look at both of these data sets and provide any insight. I am interested to know if the golf courses are being mapped correctly. Dan said things were not accurate around him. Also, I am interested to know what types of endangered species are listed at or near your golf courses.

Also, please have your chapter members sign up for the FIFRA-ESA 101 webinar we are hosting on September 27. The USDA and Bayer and Syngenta are helping us educate the membership on the upcoming ESA challenges and alerting everyone to the proposed pilot projects.

Registration (gotowebinar.com)

Let me know if you have any questions.


Chava E. McKeel | Director, Government Affairs
Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
1421 Research Park Drive | Lawrence, KS 66049

The 2023 Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents Association Seminar was a Resounding Success!

The 2023 Hawaii Golf Course Superintendents Association (HGCSA)
annual seminar was extraordinary!

It exceeded all expectations and set a new standard for excellence in the world of golf course management and maintenance. This annual gathering brought together golf course superintendents, industry professionals, and enthusiasts from across Hawaii, and it was a true testament to the dedication and passion of everyone involved.

Sustainability was a central theme of the event, reflecting the growing emphasis on environmentally responsible practices in golf course management. Attendees learned about sustainable turf care techniques, water conservation strategies, and the implementation of eco-friendly initiatives, ensuring that Hawaii's golf courses continue to thrive while respecting the environment.

The 2023 HGCSA seminar was characterized by a commitment to giving back to the community. It left a lasting impact on the golf course management industry in Hawaii and will be remembered as a milestone event that set the standard for excellence and innovation in the years to come.

HGCSA Update from Association President Dan Husek

Aloha Members,
We as a board are committed to trying to create an active association, in which persons feel value for their membership. That being said, I wanted to reach out and update you on the State Association.

Board Members: President, Dan Husek; Vice President, Joe Vittum; Treasurer, Chad Higaki; Secretary, Nolan Johnson; Maui Rep, Joe Tardiff; Lanai Rep, Seril Shimizu; Big Island Rep, Nolan Johnson; Vendor Rep, Rich Song; Past President, Scott Main; Financial Officer Clarence Nakashima; Faculty Advisor, Dr. Zhiqiang Cheng; and Executive Director/GCSAA Delegate, Russell Dooge

We as a board have been in discussions on how to create active momentum within the association. To achieve this, it takes time, commitment, dedication, organization and coordination by a person or persons. It has been proposed and tabled for discussion, to pay the Executive Director position a nominal salary to generate and support multiple events / gatherings throughout the year. Within the western region of the GCSAA our association is the only association that currently does not have a paid Executive Director position, and yes, some associations are smaller than us. We welcome your feedback, and as a reminder: you can always get involved and volunteer.

Along that line of thought: in addition to the Annual Golf and Seminar set to be held in the fall on Oahu; we are attempting to schedule a Maui event this summer (short notice and working out details.) We are also pleased to announce: a May 2024 event on the Big Island. This event is being planned as a two-day, team scramble event. Mark your calendars; and we will be contacting possible sponsors and should have details ready to announce by the Annual Golf and Seminar gathering.

The HGCSA by-laws are in need of re-writing, last updated in 1996. The GCSAA requires us to be in alignment with their by-laws and we need to meet the “affiliation agreement” with the GCSAA. We are seeking out a lawyer to assist with this process.

The 2023 PGA Aloha Section Ho’olaule’a Ceremony was held on February 10th at the Japanese Cultural Center. The HGCSA presented two awards. Congratulations to Chad Higaki for well-deserved Superintendent of the Year. Fantastic speech and it was great to have his wife, sister and brother-in-law be there in support. We also presented to Joy Kono and family (Megan & Ryan) the Lifetime Achievement Award honoring Curtis Kono.

One more reminder: rounds for research. Super easy to donate. If the website is too intimidating, reach out and ask; we’ll get you to the right people at GCSAA. What’s in it for “you”? …. your HGCSA dues, the dues of your assistant(s) and equipment manager are waived AND you are donating to GCSAA research helping to sustain the future of golf.

Thank you for reading,

Dan Husek

Curtis Kono Memorial “Nine & Wine”

During all the rain Curtis Kono had a very nice Celebration of Life service at Oahu C.C. It was a very well attended event, standing room only. The Kono family is holding a fund raising golf tournament Feb. 13 at Oahu C.C. for Kapi’olani Medical Center and they are looking for any donations the golf courses can give, please help out if you can. Also maybe you will consider forming a team to play.
Russell Dooge, CGCS
37 Puahau Pl.
Wailuku, HI, 96793
(808) 344-3213

Aloha friends of Curtis Kono,
The Kono family, along with friends and colleagues of Curtis, are planning a fundraising event for Kapiolani Children’s Hospital—cancer unit. During Curtis’s two-year battle with cancer, he spent many nights thinking about how this disease impacted children. He shared with us he how he did not want to see children suffer the pain of cancer and he then contacted the foundation to provide an impactful donation to help children. We hope that you will join his effort to help children through their battle with cancer by donating through this Curtis’s Memorial “Nine & Wine” golf tournament and silent auction.

Together we can help Curtis realize his goal.

2023 – Rounds 4 Research

Good Monday morning and I hope everyone has a good MLK Day.
Did everyone get a chance to watch any of the golf this past weekend? Dave and his staff did a great job, the course looked and played great. We have one more golf Tournament to be played in Hawaii, this week the Senior PGA Tour play on the Big Island. Lastly I want to again remind you to please donate to Rounds 4 Research.
Russell Dooge, CGCS

Dear Hawaii GCSA Members,

I hope this finds you all doing well and preparing for what promises to be another busy year throughout the islands.

I am reaching out to you today on behalf of the Hawaii GCSA Board of Directors concerning the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) Rounds 4 Research program. Rounds 4 Research was started in 2012 to address funding shortages in the areas of turfgrass research, education and advocacy. To date, the auction has raised more than $2,000,000 nationally.

The premise of the program is simple: Golf facilities can support the effort by donating rounds of golf for two or four or “stay and play” packages and other items that will be auctioned online through a nationwide auction from April 24- 30.

The proceeds from the online auction are designated by the participating facilities to their local GCSA chapter (in this case, Hawaii). 80 percent goes to the chapter with the remaining 20 percent going to EIFG to assist with marketing and technical costs of running the national auction. The auction is conducted through the bidding platform biddingforgood.com. Donated items can be viewed at https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/auctionhome.action?vhost=eifg.

The Hawaii GCSA can then decide how to best spend the funds in the areas of research, education or advocacy efforts.

I’m asking all of you today to consider donating a twosome or foursome from your facility to the auction. In times of declining membership, participation and sponsorship, these additional funds can be critical to our chapter to continue providing the member services you have become accustomed to.

The donation process can be completed online and takes approximately 10 minutes. Please visit http://www.eifg.org/research/rounds-4-research/donate-a-round/online-form and complete the form.

The participating facility has the ability to restrict rounds to certain days and times as well as the option of setting your opening bid. You can send in your own certificate for the donation or the EIFG will create a certificate for you.

If you have any questions concerning Rounds 4 Research, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I appreciate your time and consideration. You will be assisting your local chapter as well as raising funds for the future of the game.


Russ Dooge, CGCS
Executive Director Hawaii GCSA

University of Hawaii at Manoa Pesticide Safety and Education Workshop December 2022


Wed. December 14: Kona (in person, and Zoom)
Thur. December 15: Waimea (in person only)

4.0 HDOA Pesticide credits (1.0 each) will be offered.
Free registration at:

(DOWNLOAD the flyer)

Content will be the same on both days.
Please register for one day only.

Workshop Topics:

Reducing potential pesticide exposure (8:30 to 9:30 am)
Using Personal Protective Equipment listed on the label is not only a legal requirement, but it is the best way to reduce potential pesticide exposure. This presentation will discuss label PPE requirements, and how PPE can reduce specific types of exposure. Attendee will participate in demonstrations of PPE and exposure reduction.

Worker Protection Standard (WPS) Compliance Assistance:
New HI WPS Worker and Handler video (9:30 to 10:30 am)

WPS is a regulatory requirement with the Mission of protecting handlers of pesticide and workers who work in areas treated within the last 30 days with a pesticide from potential exposure. Workers and handlers are required to receive WPS training annually, and the new EPA Approved HI WPS worker and handler video will meet this requirement.

Understanding the Pesticide Label (10:30 to 11:30 am)
The pesticide label is a legal document and must be followed, and understand the information on the label is critical. From Trade Name, Signal Words, Pest and Crops, and Directions for use, all parts of the label will be explained. Labels of pesticides used by participants will be used as examples in discussing parts of the label.

Invasive Species (11:30 am to 12:30 pm)There are several Invasive species that pose significant threat in the Hawaiian Islands. This presentation will discuss several important Invasive Species that are faced in the islands, such as coconut rhinoceros beetle, hala scale, and coffee leaf rust.

Organizers and Speakers:
Dr. Zhiqiang Cheng, PEPS, CTAHR, UH Manoa (For more info: [email protected])
Dr. Kerry Richards, Phoenix Consulting Agricultural Safety and Health, LLC
Local coordinator: Andrea Kawabata, TPSS, CTAHR Extension Hawaii County, UH Manoa

Non-discrimination statement:
The university is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution providing programs and services to the people of Hawai‘i without regard to race, sex, gender identity and expression, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, arrest and court record, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.

Special needs statements:

  • If you require information in an alternative format, please contact us at: ADAcontact@ ctahr.hawaii.edu.
  • If you have a disability and require special assistance, please contact Andrea at [email protected] or (808)322-4892 at least one week prior to the event.

Content will be the same on both days. Please register for one day only.

Searching for the IDEAL Bunker Sand – Nate Lopez

Historically bunker sand for Hawaii Golf Courses have been varied and somewhat inconsistent

The most consistent source of local sand is Coral Sand (Calcareous). Maui Dunes Sand, although its long term availability, remains in question at this time; tends to work well in environments where this sand is abundant on the golf property. Courses like Maui Lani, Pukalani, Maui Country Club and Wailua Blue are primary examples. Inland Beach sand (Mokuleia) from the North Shore of Oahu, when available, is our third and generally, least available local sand for bunkers.

Conditions — Limitations and Characteristics of these three local sands

Hawaii has few native sources for bunker sand. Each of the three sand noted are classified as Calcium Carbonate or Calcareous sand. They are what remain of the original organic organism that once flourished as coral reefs around our islands. Each material, as a bunker sand have one similar characteristic, over time and combined with moisture and pressure they will compact and harden!

Most abundant is ‘Coral Sand or Greenside Bunker Sand’ currently sourced from the leeward side of Oahu this quarry was once the primary source for Lime Sand used in the manufacture of Cement (powder). This quarried coral rock is crushed into finer aggregate sizing and into sand for making concrete or for golf bunker’s. Because of its characteristic calcium content “Very High”, this sand tends to compact and harden to a solid surface within several weeks to a few months; example, the beach area, surrounding the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. The maintenance required to achieve acceptable playability with aged in-place coral sand is extremely labor and equipment intensive.
Second most available is Maui Dunes Sand presently available on Maui and exported to Oahu for making concrete. This once highly abundant local calcareous sand has, over time, become a finer particle size and increasingly difficult to source away from Maui. Like Coral Sand, Maui Dunes Sand will compact and harden but, under the right conditions, it will take a few years. This characteristic difference is related to its “High” calcium content. If this sand can be placed at depths of 20-30 inches it will drain and remain playable for several seasons. However, sizing of the current supply is very fine, with 80% of its particle size retained on or passing #60 sieve (0.250mm).
The least available is, Oahu’s ‘Inland Beach Sand’; better known as Mokuleia Sand it historically is the most popular sand for bunkers. Like the other local sands sources Inland Beach Sand was once our coral reef system on the North Shore of Oahu. But unlike our other two sources this sand is the most stable of the Calcium Carbonate sands. It contains the “Lowest” amount of Calcium and as a bunker sand will remain playable, un-compacted for many seasons. Our best example of its long working life is the recent bunker renovation at the Waialae Country Club. The sand removed after nearly twelve years was Mokuleia Sand and when removed much of the sand was reused in other off course applications. But, like all Calcareous Sand over time, moisture and pressure the Mokuleia sand will compact as well.

Insure the Quality of Your Local Sand

Regardless the use, of your preferred calcium carbonate/calcareous sand it is most imperative the sand you source is a Washed product. Insuring unwanted fines, organics and organisms do not enter your golf course environment.

Silica Sand

Can there be one ideal bunker sand for the Hawaii golf market? Since 1972 Hawaiian Cement has been importing silica sand from all over the South Pacific initially used in the manufacturing of Cement over the past 20 years we have continued to import silica sand for golf specific applications. In our search for the Ideal bunker sand we pay close attention to the silica content of our sourced sands, as well as, its gradation, angularity and crusting characteristics. Silica sand at 97 % or greater silica content is highly stable and makes a high quality top dressing material and has shown to be above average performance as bunker sand with a typical penetrometer value 2.3-2.4 for G-3 & New Castle Blend.

The Ideal Bunker Sand Blend?

We believe we have found a better sand alternative for bunkers and possibly the Ideal bunker sand for most golf courses.
Over the past several months we have been working with the Head Professional & Superintendent at Olomana Golf Links on Oahu. Olomana has traditionally placed coral sand (Natural Beach Inland sand or Greenside Bunker Sand) into their bunkers. Over time the sand compacts and become unplayable for traditional bunker shots. Like most courses in this economy bunker maintenance is a lower priority on the daily jobs list; in this case they only get hand racked. Last November, on our recommendation, they agreed to experiment with blending the Hawaiian Sandman G-3 Silica into one of their more problematic bunkers.
They added approximately 1-2 tons of G-3 silica sand into a green side bunker on hole #9 and using a tiller blended the new sand about 4 inches deep into the bunker. Two days later a rain event filled all bunkers on the course with standing water, except this newly blended bunker. Ganin Asao, Head Golf Professional stated “it’s the only bunker on the golf course that drained; it’s never done that before”. Since that time Olomana has continued adding G-3 Silica to other bunkers. Now in late July the original bunker is still quite playable with no change in maintenance protocol.
The Ideal bunker sand would produce a penetrometer value of 2.5 or greater. We believe the approach taken by Olomana is a model for courses that currently have Coral Sand Bunkers. This custom blending approach is a cost effective alternative that will prolong the working life of your bunker during this difficult business climate.
The Makena Resort Beach & Golf Club recent analysis of our Native Sand (Calcium Carbonate) and G-3 silica blend reported a bunker penetrometer of 2.6 by one certified golf testing company and 3.3 by another. This bunker blend is two parts silica sand and one part Native Sand to color match native areas on their property.
We believe blending silica with, in-place, calcareous sand can create the Ideal bunker sand for your environment. Olomana estimates their custom blend may be 50/50% with silica sand but your requirement may be different.
Mixing silica sand into your calcareous bunker sand will give you a stable non sticking sand particle that will not compact and will dramatically reduce the compaction characteristic common in calcareous sands. Benefits include improved drainage of your existing bunker complex, reduced maintenance and labor hours on bunkers and reduced cost to upgrade your aging bunkers and improve the possibility of maintaining the color of your existing bunker treatment.
There may not be one bunker sand that is Ideal for all Hawaii’s courses, but this blend in-place approach may result in the Ideal bunker sand for your property.

Features of a Custom Blend bunker Sand:

  • Control firmness of your bunker face and fairway bunkers
  • Penetrometer; create the ideal value for your clientele
  • Customize your bunker blend for your climate
  • Control crusting characteristic
  • Make maintenance easier

Benefits of a customer Blend Bunkers Sand:

  • Greater Player, Member, guest enjoyment
  • Prolong working life of your existing bunker complex
  • Improved aesthetics of bunker complex
  • Cost effective approach to improve bunker condition
  • Lower labor cost to maintain bunkers
  • Bunker play lessons for teaching staff
For more information about a customer sand blend for your bunkers contact Nate Lopez at Hawaiian Sandman 808.673.4213 or [email protected]