Clemson researcher co-produces manual to help South Carolina golf courses

Golf superintendents in the Carolinas now have more guidance to care for their courses thanks to the new book.
Image Credit: Denise Attaway / Clemson University

CLEMSON — Golf course superintendents in the Carolinas now have more guidance to help ensure their courses are primed for par thanks to a scientific-based manual produced by Clemson and North Carolina State university researchers.

The manual, “Best Management Practices for Carolinas Golf Courses,” is a nearly 300-page publication that was unveiled during the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association (CGCSA) Annual Conference and Trade Show in Myrtle Beach in November. Bert McCarty, a Clemson professor of turfgrass science and management, along with Jim Kerns from North Carolina State University, coordinated writing and publication of the manual. Other Clemson researchers who co-authored several chapters are Bruce Martin, J.C. Chong, Bob Bellinger and Philip Brown.

This manual is a culmination of a 30-year career, McCarty said.

“This manual is not just a book about how to cut grass on a golf course,” McCarty said. “It’s a book that shows how environmentally friendly the golf industry is. In this book, we address regulations surrounding the golf industry, environmental protection strategies, fertilizer management and more. It contains the most current scientific-based, region-specific turfgrass information.”

Clemson professor of turfgrass science and management Bert McCarty has written 12 books during his 30-year career.
Image Credit: Clemson University

The book also covers water management, plant nutrition and pest management, as well as turfgrass diseases, nematodes and insects. Adam Charles, the new president for the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association said it is a great reference guide for golf course superintendents.

“This manual clearly demonstrates how committed the industry is to environmental and economic sustainability of the game,” Charles said.

Tim Kreger, the association’s executive director, said the golf industry in the Carolinas has benefitted from work done by researchers at Clemson and North Carolina State.

“They have done a tremendous job with this manual and our members are just as fortunate that our board of directors had the foresight to commit to this project,” Kreger said. “We are among just a few states to produce such a document. That is something our members can be proud of.”

Bill Kennedy, past-president of the association from Chechessee Creek Club in Okatie, said the collaborative efforts of McCarty and Kerns are reflective of the industry-wide spirit in the region.

“For the professors at these two institutions to work so closely together on this is a tribute to their professionalism and their commitment to the work we do,” Kennedy said. “We see that spirit play out all the time whether it’s from our industry partners on the sales and service side or amongst our members helping each other out as they did with the recent hurricane. It’s something very special.”

The manual was paid for by money raised in the annual Rounds 4 Research auction, which sells donated tee times to generate funds for turfgrass research and related efforts. Rounds 4 Research was created by the assocaition before going national several years ago under the auspices of the Environmental Institute for Golf. Manuals were delivered to superintendent and assistant superintendent members in November. For information about obtaining copies of the manual, contact the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendent’s Association at 800-476-4272.

This is the 12th book McCarty has written. He wrote his first book in the early 1990s.