Jun 14

Penn State Turfgrass Program Takes Center Stage in 2013

It’s been quite a year for the Penn State turfgrass program. The Nittany Lions scored a major trifecta in 2013. For the first time, all three U.S. Majors will be held at golf courses managed by PSU alumni.

In April, superintendent Marsh Benson successfully continued a tradition unlike any other when he and his crew welcomed the Masters to Augusta National. This week, the U.S. Open is underway at Merion Golf Club just outside Philadelphia. Superintendent Matt Shaffer (class of ’74) is receiving heaps of praise for maintaining course conditions despite seemingly endless rain.

In August, the PGA Championship heads to Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York where superintendent Jeff Corcoran has been working tirelessly to prepare for the national spotlight.

Check out Corcoran talking about course preparations ahead of the PGA Championship:

While the superintendent trifecta is impressive, the influence of Penn State Turfgrass does not end there. This week, Merion is crawling with volunteers and experts with ties to the program.

Most notably, Dr. Mike Fidanza, Professor of Plant and Soil Science at Penn State’s Berks campus, joined Drs. John Kaminski, Associate Professor of Turfgrass Science and Andy McNitt, Professor of Soil Science (both at the University Park campus) in lending a hand to Shaffer’s crew.

Fidanza and Kaminski are two of the most active members of the online turf community. To get a firsthand perspective of their Merion experience, be sure to follow them on Twitter (@MikeFidanza and @iTweetTurf, respectively.) You can also get program updates year-round by following @PSUturf.

[Front page photo courtesy of Penn State Berks]


About The Author

More than 60 years ago, Aquatrols introduced the world’s first commercially available soil wetting agent. Since creating an entirely new product category to address water management challenges and opportunities, the company has remained a top innovator and producer of high-performance soil surfactants and related technologies. In addition to its core business of wetting agents, Aquatrols has launched two active ingredients and is the exclusive distributor for Redox’s portfolio of turf products. Aquatrols’ advanced product suite optimizes soil-water-plant interactions in agricultural, professional turfgrass, and horticultural industries in more than 40 countries. Headquartered in southern New Jersey, Aquatrols also has offices in the United Kingdom and conducts business on six continents.