By the time Ethan Johnson became the Superintendent at the Village Club of Sands Point in 2018, the course was over a hundred years old. It boasted a beautiful view of New York City from the 5th and 6th holes and housed a stunning Guggenheim mansion, but the course itself was in rough shape. There were a lot of areas showing wear and tear.
Tasked to take the course conditions to a new level, Johnson tried out a variety of products to see what would work best for him and his course. He settled on Foliar-Pak and Foundation 40 in particular.
“I tried everything,” Johnson said. “I wanted to see what truly worked for me and what worked on this property. By the end of my first season, I was sold on Foliar-Pak and Foundation 40.”
What was the chief reason Johnson was sold on Foliar-Pak and Foundation 40? The roots.
The soil on Johnson’s course is solid clay, which makes it difficult for turfgrass roots to penetrate the soil. While this is difficult at any time of the year with this type of soil, it’s especially hard in July and August. After using Foliar-Pak and Foundation 40, Johnson found his roots were healthier than ever.
“We went out on our solid clay fairways in July and August towards the end of a hot, dry summer and started profiling some of these fairways,” Johnson said. “We found six to eight-inch fuzzy white roots at the bottom of the profiler.”
He continued, “That’s pretty indicative of what we’d see in the spring when Mother Nature is at her finest, and the grass is really growing. To see that in July and August after all the wear and tear was shocking, to say the least.”
Roots were not the only reason Johnson was sold on Foliar-Pak and Foundation 40.
“The overall response my plants get with Foundation 40, the improvement in color and turf health,” Johnson said, “are so good that a spray does not go out without Foundation 40 in it. It’s in our tank every time we spray.”
After receiving excellent results with Foliar-Pak and Foundation 40, Johnson’s convinced he’s found the program that works for him and his course.
“We’ve had a huge success turning around the turf conditions here,” Johnson said. “We couldn’t have done it without Foliar-Pak and Foundation 40.”
He continued, “I think we found a good program here, and I can’t wait for what the future brings.”
Johnson could never have imagined the changes the future would bring to golf and the course he worked hard to get back in shape. 2020 brought a pandemic, which perpetuated changes to golf that it had never experienced before. One of the most impactful changes was a striking increase in the number of golf rounds played. Johnson’s course was no exception.
“During the summer of 2020, we ended up doing twice the amount of rounds we did in 2019,” Johnson said. “The course was so busy with cart traffic at one point that we ended up having to rope off entrances and exits in an effort to reroute traffic from certain holes.”
The increased rounds did not come without pitfalls. As the 2020 season progressed into July, one of the most highly stressful months for turf, the increased rounds of play and cart traffic were wearing on his fairways.
“After around 6,000 rounds of golf played in just one month of the 2020 season,” Johnson said. “By July, the turf on our fairways was laid over and looked sad and tired.”
After discussing Johnson’s traffic wear issues, his Foliar-Pak rep and Foliar-Pak distributor rep thought they had the perfect solution for his fairways, CSi L. Johnson decided to give it a shot.
“We went out with CSi L at the two-ounce rate, spraying a couple of really high traffic fairways,” Johnson said. “Overnight, you could tell the difference. You could see the turf was actually standing up, and it just looked happy and healthy.”
He continued, “Two weeks later, we ended up spraying another two-ounce application, and we got the same results. I was sold.”
By the end of the summer, Johnson noticed a significant difference between the fairways he treated with CSi L and those he did not.
“We didn’t treat all of our fairways with CSi L, just the worst ones,” Johnson said. “When comparing the fairways treated every two weeks with the two-ounces of CSi L versus the untreated, the difference was obvious.”
He added, “On the treated fairways, you couldn’t find the cart traffic; you really had to look for it. The untreated fairways, on the other hand, looked more like runway strips.”
For Johnson, CSi L was a game-changer.
“CSi L saved our fairways and made a huge difference in a difficult season,” Johnson said. “I recommend using it. The results will be worth it.”