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/ / / The Approach: Volume 2: Issue 1

The Approach: Volume 2: Issue 1

The Approach: John Deere Golf

John Deere Golf Awards its Distributors


Top dealers are honored at annual awards banquet.

John Deere has recognized six North American golf distributors for their outstanding sales and service in 2013. A winner and runner-up were recognized in small, medium and large markets.


The winners are:


Large Market
Winner: Finch Services, Inc., Westminster, MD
Runner-Up: J.W. Turf, Inc., Hampshire, IL

Medium Market
Winner: Belkorp Golf & Turf, LLC, Stockton, CA
Runner-Up: Frontier AG & Turf, Hastings, MN

Small Market
Winner: Brookside Equipment Sales, Houston, TX
Runner-Up: Reddin Farm Equipment LTD, Stratford, PE, Canada


Awards were also given to recognize outstanding leasing efforts by distributors. Greenville Turf & Tractor, ShowTurf, LLC, Revels Tractor Co. and Martin Deerline all won leasing awards.


Individuals who exemplify John Deere’s core values and are well rounded in all of John Deere Golf’s key businesses earned individual salesperson awards. Distributor principals completed an online application to nominate the salesperson or sales manager who they felt deserved to be recognized.


The 2013 salesperson winners are:


Sales Managers
Jim Roberts, Greenville Turf & Tractor
Jeff Robinson, Greenville Turf & Tractor
Paul Schultheis, Finch Services, Inc.
Jim Trainor, Reddin Farm Equipment

Dealer Sales Representatives
Mark Hendricks, Greenville Turf & Tractor
Pate Kincaid, Greenville Turf & Tractor
Paul Brandon, Finch Services, Inc.
Andy Lutz, Revels Turf & Tractor
Alex Little, Pacific Golf & Turf
David Shackelford, Austin Turf
Gary Dowdy, Stotz Equipment
Bill Rockwell, LaCorte Equipment
Eric Berg, LaCorte Equipment
Jeff Rehberg, J.W. Turf
Garth Kovener, Reynolds Golf
Greg Bowersox, ShowTurf
Joe Hayes, ShowTurf
Jamie Worsham, Beard Equipment Co.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Terps Top Turf Bowl


University of Maryland takes top honors in Orlando.

At the 2014 GCSAA Collegiate Turf Bowl, teams of students from 71 universities and colleges across the nation competed for the chance to win a cash prize for their school’s turf program, and first place bragging rights. The Turf Bowl tested teams on both their turf management knowledge and ability to think quickly under pressure in order to identify solutions to challenges superintendents often face. GCSAA and John Deere are happy to announce the team from University of Maryland as the 2014 winners of this challenge. John Deere and the GCSAA awarded the team the traveling trophy and a $4,000 first-place prize, (left to right: Steve Vincent, North American sales manager, John Deere Golf, Dr. Kevin Mathias, team advisor, Matthew Park, Ryan Higgins, Brian Hogan, Brent Waite, Alex Steinman, and Pat Finlen, director of golf, The Olympic Club). As sponsor of the Turf Bowl, John Deere is also providing the winning team with the opportunity to volunteer at TPC Sawgrass to gain the invaluable experience of preparing a course for a PGA tournament.


“Sponsoring the GCSAA Collegiate Turf Bowl is extremely important to John Deere Golf,” said Steve Vincent, North American sales manager, John Deere Golf. “This competition is a great way to build excitement about a career in the Golf industry and show our support for future generations of superintendents.”

Precise Tines For Every Need


Golf Precision Tines

John Deere has more than doubled the options available in its Precision Tine™ series to provide more choices for aerating greens, tees, roughs and fairways. Golf course superintendents can now pick the tines that best suit their needs, not just in diameter and length, but in precision across three tiers of tines:


  • The Precision Standard™ tier is manufactured using a standard heat treating process for good performance and durability.
  • The Precision Plus™ tier is manufactured using a proprietary heat treating process that will provide premium performance and durability.
  • The Precision Ultra™ tier is manufactured with a carbide tip using a proprietary heat treating and sandblasting process for the best hole quality and longevity.


Additionally, superintendents can choose rolled or machined fairway tines. The machined fairway tines are manufactured to provide excellent hole quality and the longest life for aerating fairways, tees, and roughs.


“Superintendents want an aeration hole that is consistent and clean and don’t want grass tufting around the edges,” says Brooks Hastings, a product manager for John Deere Golf. “When the tine exits the ground, any rough spots or edges on the tine can pull the turf and leave tufts of grass, which in turn increases the recovery time. Our manufacturing and finishing process is designed to avoid that and extend the life of the tine.”


Tiny Details Add Up


Brian Aldinger, a John Deere parts marketing representative, says when it comes to tines, details matter.


“Many of the new tines are machined from solid stock, so there are no grind marks on them,” he says. “There’s a smooth transition from the tip to body.”


That transition is maintained even with the Precision Ultra carbide tips thanks to a clever manufacturing method that uses 45° angled surfaces where the tip meets the body to ensure the tips are precisely centered.


“For hollow top- and side-eject tines, they start as a hollow piece of steel and then we use rotary swaging to form the shape of the tine,” Aldinger says. Rotary swaging involves multiple hammers making short strokes around and around the raw material until it is the right size.


“There are no ridges to cause tufting because it’s not crimped,” Aldinger continues. “It provides smoother interior and exterior surfaces.”


The smoother interior surface will help prevent hollow tines from becoming plugged with soil, which can decrease hole consistency and quality while compacting soil.


Plugged tines also waste the aerator operator’s time, since he/she has to stop to clear the plugs. That increases the labor costs and down time associated with aeration.


“We want to decrease the cost of operation for superintendents while increasing productivity,” Hastings says. “Another way we do that is by extending the life of the tines. The longevity of a tine is dependent on the soil profile among other factors, but the Precision Ultra line is designed to provide excellent wear characteristics so less time is spent changing tines and more time is spent completing the job at hand.”


The new tines are available for order by dealers now, and are compatible with walk-behind and tractor-mount aerators.


For more information, including a handy reference chart of all John Deere’s tine options, from the 5mm needle tine to the 7/8-inch fairway side eject tine, visit the John Deere Golf Parts page.

The Rebirth of the National Mall


John Deere helps revive the National Mall.

It’s been called America's Front Yard, but lately it’s been tough to keep up with the Joneses.


The National Mall is actually America’s premier national park. The green space in the heart of Washington, DC, is open to visitors to the city’s many monuments and museums, as well as events such as presidential inaugurations, demonstrations and commemorations. The National Mall’s more than 25 million annual visitors and shrinking maintenance budgets has taken a toll on the turf, leading to compaction and bare ground.


But all that is changing thanks to the non-profit Trust for the National Mall and the National Park Service’s efforts to restore and improve the park. John Deere is playing an integral part in the National Mall’s facelift by donating more than $400,000 worth of grounds care products and attachments.


"John Deere is both honored and proud to play a role in the revitalization of this iconic landscape," said Denver Caldwell, manager of turf marketing and marketing support for John Deere. "For more than 175 years, our company has been committed to nurturing, harvesting and beautifying the land. Today, we continue that commitment by providing the equipment to sustainably care for America's Front Yard."


The donation includes a range of John Deere grounds care equipment. Some of the donated models, such as the new commercial-grade Z925M Flex Fuel ZTrak™ mower, operate with alternative fuel, which is compatible with ethanol blends up to E85.


In addition to the Z925M Flex Fuel mower, John Deere is providing the following mowing and maintenance equipment in support of the National Mall:


  • Terrain Cut 8800 rotary mower with B20 biodiesel conversion kit
  • 1565 front mower with biodiesel conversion kit and hard cab
  • 4720 compact utility tractor with loader, backhoe and other Frontier™ attachments
  • TX Turf Gator™ utility vehicle with deluxe cab
  • Two ProGator™ 2030A utility vehicles and HD 300 SelectSpray Sprayer
  • Aercore 800 and Aercore 2000
  • TC125 materials collection system
  • 1200A bunker rake
  • X739 lawn tractor, snow blower and other attachments


In addition to providing equipment, John Deere and local John Deere dealer, Finch Services, will provide training and service.


"The National Park Service is grateful for this wonderful gift and to the Trust for arranging it," said Bob Vogel, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. "Our visitors have been so impressed and happy with the new turf on the Mall. John Deere's contribution will help us ensure that it continues to look as beautiful as it does today."


For more information on the restoration efforts, check out our National Mall video page.

Volunteering Pays Off


Volunteering at TPC Sawgrass

Some of the most prestigious golf courses in the world need a little help to prepare for a big event. Volunteers can mean the difference between hosting a great event or a perfect event. However, some superintendents shy away from creating a formal volunteer program because the logistics can seem overwhelming. Where to begin bringing in, training and organizing dozens of golf industry professionals and support staff, not to mention the extra equipment they’ll need? One way to start is by volunteering for one of the most well-oiled volunteer programs in golf.


TPC Sawgrass is known as home of THE PLAYERS Championship, as the backdrop to the PGA TOUR headquarters, and for the intimidating island green on its 17th hole, but it’s also known by golf industry insiders as having one of the most well-managed and effective volunteer programs.


“TPC Sawgrass has the advantage of hosting THE PLAYERS Championship tournament every year, so it has its program down to a science,” says Mark Ford, marketing manager for John Deere Golf, the official sponsor of the 2014 TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Team for THE PLAYERS.


Clay Breazeale, golf course superintendent for the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, provides some tips on building a successful program:


1. Housing is a key to attracting volunteers. “If you can provide housing, it lowers the volunteer's personal cost and will aid in attracting more people,” he says. “We are fortunate enough to partner with the University of North Florida and utilize their nice, private dorm facilities.”


2. All participants have varying degrees of experience. “What a volunteer may consider good experience, you may not, so be careful when planning assignments,” Breazeale cautions. “If you have repeat volunteers or a group of superintendents that you may know, rely on those individuals to complete the more intricate tasks.


3. Communicate and make the volunteers feel welcome. “One of our biggest successes is that our volunteer team always tells us how much they felt like they were a part of the team and THE PLAYERS,” he says. “We work diligently to learn everyone's name and spend some time with each individual.”


Breazeale says tournament setup and preparedness would not be the same without the volunteer team. “At the end of the day, the volunteers make all the hard work of our tremendous staff really shine,” he says.


In turn, the volunteers get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run an extensive volunteer program. They also get invaluable experience in preparing a course to exacting, television close-up ready standards, as well as the opportunity to network.


While John Deere Golf sends the winners of the annual Golf Course Superintendents Association’s Collegiate Turf Bowl competition to TPC Sawgrass to volunteer each year, all expenses paid, the program isn’t just for students and those new to the industry.


“Seasoned superintendents may be involved in different activities than a student or intern,” says Breazeale. “A superintendent may work with our data collection team who helps dictate agronomic practices for the greens, while a student or intern may work with the larger crew mowing grass or raking bunkers.”


Regardless of job assignment, both parties are gaining valuable experience being a part of a 125+ member team and major tournament preparation and organization.


To find out more and apply to be a volunteer, visit THE PLAYERS Championship volunteer site. The 2014 program registration is currently full, and new registrants will be added to a waiting list.

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