FarmLinks Looks to the Future with New Innovations Advisory Committee
Images of top-secret, cutting-edge technology and high-tech, state-of-the-art equipment may remind you more of sci-fi thrillers and Area 51 than of the serene Pursell Farms in Sylacauga, Ala. But camouflaged among the farm’s peacefully grazing cattle and tranquil landscape is the championship, 18-hole FarmLinks Golf Course, dedicated to showcasing the newest and best technology in the golf industry. Created in 2003 by Pursell Technologies, Inc. (PTI), FarmLinks functions as a “living laboratory” and helps reveal new findings and ground-breaking inventions. Remaining at the forefront of technology is a tall order, but it’s one that FarmLinks can now address more thoroughly with the introduction of its new Innovations Committee.
The brainchild of Mark Langner, director of agronomy and applied research at FarmLinks, and Dave Heegard, vice president of sales and marketing, the Innovations Committee, made up of 10 golf course superintendents, was formed in May of 2005 to fill a pressing need to be “in the know.”
“We believe it’s imperative for FarmLinks to know about the latest and greatest technology,” Heegard said. “With this advisory committee, we’ll to be able to keep up with the most significant discoveries and then offer this up-to-date information to our guests and clients.”
Keeping a close eye on the most current findings will be a significant aspect of FarmLinks’ future plans to exhibit and showcase this technology. “All of us here at FarmLinks are very committed to the endeavor to create a pavilion at FarmLinks to present the most innovative products and services the turf industry has to offer,” Langner said. “And who better to discover what exciting new products are out there than golf course superintendents?”
The Innovations Committee is composed of 10 golf course superintendents from across the nation with a combined total of more than 100 years of golf course knowledge and experience. “These are key superintendents, leaders in the industry, who know first-hand the ins and outs of the business,” Heegard said. “They know better than anyone what products and practices will be the driving factors in the success and growth of a golf facility.”
The newly appointed committee is scheduled to meet at FarmLinks Golf Club in mid-March and completed its first major assignment: scouring the 2006 GIS trade show floor and its more than 550 vendors to find out what’s new and exciting and – more importantly – what’s potentially most beneficial for the turf industry.
“Our goal with this committee is to identify the most significant finds and come together as a group to discuss and compile a list of the top innovations in the industry” Langner said. “Based on these recommendations, our internal team will seek the involvement of sponsoring companies for our innovative solutions pavilion at FarmLinks. But this will be just the tip of the iceberg; there will always be many more new ideas to be discovered.”
The current members of FarmLinks’ new Innovations Committee include the following golf course superintendents: Mark Clark of Troon Golf & Country Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Sandy Clark of Barona Creek Golf Club in San Diego, Calif.; Jeff Corcoran of Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., Todd Daniel of Riverchase Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.; Pat Finlen of The Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif., David Gourlay of Colbert Hills Golf Course in Manhattan, Kan.; Tim Kennelly of Baltimore Country Club in Baldwin, Md., Rick Tegtmeier of Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Tom Vlach of Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.; and Bruce Williams of The Los Angeles Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif.
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