Research

Timeline of GCSANC Research Programs

1947 – Although there may have been local research being conducted prior to this date this is the first record of research plots being established in the area. Dr. Harry Shepherd established turf plots at UC Berkeley in 1947.

1948 – In what may have been the pre-cursor to a chapter research committee a group from the Northern California Greenkeepers Association formed a committee to help work on the turf plots at UC Berkeley. Also during 1948 the NCGA offered financial support to establish a turf program at the UC College of Agriculture at Davis.

1949 – Turf plots were established at Burlingame Country Club. The chapter made what may have been its 1st research donation in the form of a $100 donation to the California Horticultural Council to be used for turf research.

1950 – The USGA starts its course site visit program with a fee of $25. The NCGA makes a $1000 donation to the California Horticultural Council for turf research. New turf plots are established in the East Bay.

1951 – King Ewing starts working with the NCGA and SCGA to establish a fund to hire a turf research person at UC Davis. A joint state committee was formed to pursue this program.

1954 – Dr. John Madison is appointed chairman of turf research at UC Davis. GCSANC donates $.25 per member to California Horticultural Council for turf research.

1955 – The Olympic Club sponsored a golf tournament that raised $1000 that was given to the USGA for turf research. An additional $100 was donated for California specific research.

1958 – 1st record of GCSANC donations to UC Davis for turf program and research. These donations would continue until the program was discontinued in the late 1980’s.

1967 – The NCGA made a commitment of $16,000/year for three years to fund the turf research program of Dr. Bill Davis at UC Davis.
1967 – The NCGA and GCSANC in cooperation with the USGA started the groundwork for the Turfgrass Adaptive Research Program (TARP). The program will be led by Dr. Bill Davis at UC Davis. Walter Boysen and Clifford Wagoner represented GCSANC on the TARP Committee. The main goals of the program were to conduct research to produce better playing conditions and then educate local superintendents and club officials of the results of that research.

1970 – Dr Bill Davis reports on the first 28 months of work done on the TARP program. The research conducted includes:
A study of sand amendments to be used for putting green mixes. This included a variety of sand mixes, work on infiltration rates and mechanical analysis about effects of aerification etc.

  • Nutritional study of sands.
  • Evaluations of problem greens.
  • Specialized drainage systems. Drainage research was conducted at 13 different course including Haggin Oaks where a drainage system was installed for this research.
  • The construction of an experimental green to correlate information from the 1st project above. This green was constructed at UC Davis.

1972 – Dr. Bill Davis reports that TARP research has made progress in the following areas: 1. Golf course drainage 2. Soil compaction 3. Nutrition 4. Experimental green 5. Evaluation of putting green sands 6. Disease ID and control and 7. Evaluation of temperate turfgrass species. More importantly he reports is that the TARP program has brought together the NCGA, GCSANC and University of California in cooperative efforts for turf research in California.

1973 – TARP conducted research in the area of putting green maintenance through good sand topdressing programs. This research looked at the frequency of topdressing and aeration and how it affected the health of greens. UC Cooperative Extension takes a more active role in working in the field as advisors to golf course superintendents. The TARP program takes an active role in educating them about common turfgrass problems. Topics identified for future research include analysis of impacts of traffic on compaction and analyzing local sand sources that are available for superintendents.

1978 or 79 – Dr. John Madison was given an honorary GCSANC membership. He later gave up this membership in 1992. He received the GCSAA Distinguished Service Award in 1980.

1982 – Dr. William Davis was given an honorary GCSANC membership. He received the GCSAA Distinguished Service Award in 1988.

1983 – Research projects are continuing at UC Davis.

1986 – The GCSANC board agreed to fund $5000/year for a defined research program.

1987 – Dr. William Davis retires in October and the GCSANC sets aside their research dollars until UC Davis decides the future direction of their program. After some talk UC Davis decides not to fill this research position.

1988 – GCSANC begins donating research funding to CGCSA research program. The GCSANC also donates $5000/year for a three-year Kikuyugrass research project to be conducted by the USGA and NCGA.

1989 – GCSANC donates funds for research projects being conducted by Dr. Ali Harivandi at various locations including the UC Cooperative Extension field station in San Jose and three-year bentgrass trials at Sunnyvale Golf Course. A field day was held at Sunnyvale GC bentgrass trials in 1991.

1990’s – GCSANC continues to make donations for various research projects being conducted by Dr. Ali Harivandi at several different locations in the bay area.

1994 – Dr. Ali Harivandi received the GCSAA Distinguished Service Award.

1996/1997 – Dr. Ali Harivandi received grants from the NCGA, USGA, GCSAA and GCSANC for various projects. In 1997 a putting greens was built at Crystal Springs GC as part of a program to build 15 greens across the country to evaluate the effects of various maintenance practices on greens in various climates. This project was a joint venture of the USGA, GCSAA and NTEP (National Turfgrass Evaluation Program). This project continued until 2001 and was overseen by Dr. Harivandi and Dr. Bill Hagan. Dr. Hagan also worked with Dr. Harivandi on many of his other research projects throughout the years.

1999-2002 – A Dr. Harivandi conducted a perennial Ryegrass trial at Sunnyvale GC.

1980 – 2007 – Over two dozen other various research projects have been conducted by Dr. Ali Harivandi in the GCSANC region.

2001-2007 – The NCGA, GCSANC and many local courses have supported research on the anguina pacificae nematode and its devastating effects on many courses in the region.

Numerous independent research projects have been and continue to be conducted throughout the GCSANC area. Many of these have been funded by manufacturers, local vendors or individual courses and have provided valuable data beneficial to all local courses.