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Bent on Success

During his ten years at Mr. Nicklaus’ Muirfield Village Golf Club – including five as superintendent – Mike Takach learned a thing or two about bentgrass.

“The biggest thing I learned about bentgrass at Muirfield is just how far you can push it,” said Mike. “The challenge is always trying to keep a balance between playability, aesthetics and the health of the turf.”

Mike has been superintendent at the Pinnacle Golf Club located near Columbus, Ohio since it opened in 2005. The course is almost wall-to-wall bent, with L-93 covering everything but the rough. The Ohio climate serves the grass well, except for July and August, where the heat and humidity is especially stressful to the turf.

“We’ll hand water fairways, tees and greens during those summer months, but the rest of the year the bent thrives,” said Mike.

Mike and his team get a consistent 10.5′ roll with a height-of-cut of .125″ combined with light rolling, frequent verticutting and an occasional triplex mow.
Mike and his team get a consistent 10.5² roll with a height-of-cut of .125³ combined with light rolling, frequent verticutting and an occasional triplex mow.

“We try to keep our greens at about 10.5’, which seems to work well with our green countours. We can get there pretty easily with a height-of-cut around .125”. We’ll mix in some light rolling, frequent verticutting and an occasional triplex mow.”

The biggest challenge for Mike and his team actually has very little to do with grass.

“We have a creek that runs through this course and has contact with 14 holes,” said Mike. “Every time it rains there is some type of erosion where the creek is trying to do something different. We have a lot of rock walls holding up greens and tees.”

Pinnacle Golf Club sits on a picturesque piece of property that has become just as popular for weddings as it is for golf. One of the top ten places to get married in the Columbus area, Pinnacle will hold an average of three weddings per week for eight months out of the year. Couples exchange vows under an iron archway that once greeted guests at the Brach (the candy manufacturer) family mansion.

An iron archway from the original Brach family (candy manufacturer) mansion serves as the centerpiece for wedding ceremonies at Pinnacle Golf Club.

An iron archway from the original Brach family (candy manufacturer) mansion serves as the centerpiece for wedding ceremonies at Pinnacle Golf Club.Pinnacle will hold an average of three weddings per week for eight months out of the year. Couples exhange vows under an iron archway that once greeted guests at the Brach (the candy manufacturer) family mansion.

The Pinnacle staff also boasts a great marriage of internal teams.

“We have a lot of fun here on the turf team. We keep things positive and collaborate really well,” said Mike. “But that’s also true of our relationship with ownership as well. There’s a level of mutual respect that we’ve built over the years.”

Pinnacle’s success has a lot to do with the shape of its nearly flawless golf course, which is maintained with a fleet of Jacobsen turf equipment. Mike was sure to do his due dilligence before going all orange.

Mike and his team did side-by-side comparisons of fairway mowers from all three manufacturers before choosing Jacobsen’s SLF-1880s. “It was just so easy to tell how superior the cut was,” said Mike.

Mike and his team did side-by-side comparisons of fairway mowers from all three manufacturers before choosing Jacobsen’s SLF-1880s. “It was just so easy to tell how superior the cut was,” said Mike.

“We brought in fairway mowers from all three manufacturers, took them out with my assistants and mechanic and we walked behind all three as they mowed,” said Mike. “Every one of us pointed to the path left by the Jacobsen SLF-1880, it was just so easy to tell how superior the cut was. We’re getting the same results on the greens from our ECLIPSE walkers as well.”

Of course, service is just as important to Mike as equipment performance.

“Our local Jacobsen dealer Baker Vehicle has really provided us with great service,” said Mike. “We have a good, easy working relationship with them and there’s nothing one phone call hasn’t been able to fix. That means a lot to us.”

“The biggest thing I learned about bentgrass at Muirfield is just how far you can push it. The challenge is always trying to keep a balance between playability, aesthetics and the health of the turf.” ~Superintendent Mike Takach of Pinnacle Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio

Original Story: http://performancematters.jacobsen.com/2014/10/bent-on-success-2/

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