Plane Crash-Lands on Texas Golf Course

Not the plane which crashed in Texas (via

Not the plane which crashed in Texas (via

     “He was afraid he was going to hit our house, God bless the man, so he decided he would ditch it into the lake,” said Darlene Collingsworth, a neighbor who called 911 as her husband talked to the pilot, who managed to swim to safety. With no damage to the golf course, or the pilot, the only casualties in the crash landing were the airplane and local residents’ nerves. “[The pilot] actually did a great job of getting the plane on the ground,” said Mike Glenn, director of golf at Prestonwood. “Of course, he ran out of land but did an amazing job not to hit anything.”

Algae Control in Turf

Algae can show up on the golf course in poorly drained soil where close cutting has aided in competition. (image via

Algae can show up on the golf course in poorly drained soil where close cutting has aided in competition. (image via

     Containing chlorophyll, but lacking roots, stems and leaves, algae are photosynthetic primitive plants found pretty much everywhere (including polar ice caps and volcanic heat vents). So it's not surprising when algae shows ups up on the golf course, competing with turf for space, light, nutrition and water.

     Not resulting from aquatic algae via ponds, streams or lakes, cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) is similar to algae in turf, appearing in shaded, damp turf areas and thin or week turf. It is often a precursor to moss infestations.

Junction & Pentathlon for Algae Control

     While cultural practices that limit algal growth are important, solutions are available to control algae once it has become established  


     With proven performance on algae and major turfgrass diseases such as Brown Patch and Leaf Spots, Pentathlon’s multi-site mode of activity and low risk of resistance development make it an excellent choice as a foundation product in an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. With excellent tenacity and no dye, Pentathlon is ideal for use on highly maintained turf grass.  


     Active on 11 pathogens and on moss, Junction’s broad-spectrum fungicide provides quick knock-down of Pythium and control of Rhizoctonia, Brown Patch, Dollar Spot, Fusarium, algae and moss.  

Data (click to enlarge)

AI System for Turfgrass Disease Prevention

     In response to growing concerns over water management and pesticide use, the EU funded a project to develop the WaterGolf system, an intelligent system for the maintenance of large areas of turfgrass. While artificial intelligence has been used in agriculture in the past, WaterGolf is the first system specifically for turf, designed to optimize water use while providing turfgrass disease management and prevention, as well as prevention and management of weed growth and fertility problems.

Click to enlarge. (Image via

     Using a wireless sensor network and embedded AI to support irrigation, it is currently estimated that WaterGolf will cut annual water use by one third. The systems underground sensors are capable of measuring soil humidity, salinity and temperature, while traditional evaposensers measure turfgrass evapotranspiration. Measurements are then transmitted wirelessly through nodes to a coordinating device, where the AI can the offer “suggestions for irrigating different regions of the course, as well as informing of potentially looming turfgrass diseases and weeds.”

     The desktop user interface is designed with greenkeepers in mind, allowing for remote access, while a mobile application allows read-only access to notifications and data.

Disease Prevention

     Using research on etiology parameters for a variety of common disease, the system is primed to monitor for Pythium blight (Pythium spp.), Yellow patch (Rhizoctonia cerealis), Dollar Spot (Sclerotinia hoemeocarpa), Anthracnose (Bipolaris spp. & Drechslera spp.), Pink Snow Mold (Michrodochium nivale) and Red Thread (Laetisaria fuciformis).

     “The system outputs for fungal disease forecast and management comprise both a disease and turfgrass specific probability calculation equations, and the issue of a compedium of available chemical products for fungal disease treatment and prevention, including their dosage.”

     The system also uses Growing Degree Days and soil/air temperature to forecast “the eagerness of the most common green course weeds,” which, for the system, were defined as crabgrass, foxtail, goosegrass, white clover, daisy, dandelion and annual meadowgrass/bluegrass).

     The first prototype was installed in summer, 2014, at the Motecchia Golf Club in Padua, Italy, and was able to predict the onset of Dollar Spot on the overseeded Patriot hybrid bermudagrass fairways and bermudagrass and bentgrass greens, supplying accurate data for irrigation throughout the summer.  

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