Photo by Chris Van Lennep
When Bill Catrett took a pass on retirement to write one final career chapter as the golf course superintendent at Spring Hill College Golf Course in Mobile, Ala., he sometimes quietly wondered what he had been thinking when he made that decision.
Now 76 years old, Catrett has worked in the business since 1969. At Spring Hill College — a small Jesuit institution located just west of downtown Mobile — he took over maintenance of the school’s 18-hole golf course, its sports fields
and, at least initially, the grounds of a campus that Southern Living magazine has hailed as among the most beautiful in the South.
In those early days on the job, he found he had inherited a relatively restrictive budget, a staff that was long on talent but short on numbers and, maybe most alarming, a shop with older equipment and a nearly empty chemical storage room.
But two years on into his last hurrah in golf, Catrett finds himself with fewer regrets and way more satisfaction.
Despite having to deal with the notoriously fickle weather of southern Alabama, the course is in prime condition, and the tee sheet is full. He has found an equipment manager who keeps his turf fleet humming. And he has been able to utilize early order
programs (EOPs) to help restock that chemical room and put Spring Hill College GC on solid footing, now and into the future.
“There was a lot of work to be done when I first started here, but making sure we had the products we needed when we needed them was a big priority,” the three-year GCSAA member says. “Getting involved with early order programs gave
me the opportunity to get our chemical room fully stocked at a price that was right for us and with billing cycles that worked with the way the college does business.
“I’m tickled with the way things have worked out, and that chemical storage room is in good order now.”
To varying degrees, Catrett’s story is a common one in the industry. Countless turf managers have taken advantage of EOPs offered by the companies featured in this issue of GCM to stock up on critical products, trading a buying commitment for the
peace of mind that comes with certainty in product inventory and price.
Those benefits, though, have been strained in recent years as the same supply chain issues that have affected other industries have made their way into the world of plant protectants. Prices are up pretty much across the board, availability has been inconsistent,
and most EOPs have been adjusted slightly to account for this new reality.
Still, superintendents from coast to coast insist that utilizing EOPs remains the best way to save money, ensure the availability of product and enjoy the host of other benefits that often come along with these programs.
“If a young superintendent asked me, I’d tell them they better take advantage of them,” Catrett says.
Certainty in an uncertain world
The summer of 2022 will be one to forget for Chris Finnerty, the GCSAA Class A superintendent at The Bogey Club in St. Louis. Not only has he had to navigate the typical hot-and-humid growing conditions that dominate summers in his part of the world,
he and his team have also been cleaning up from several rounds of significant flooding that hit the area in late July, damaging multiple parts of the golf course.
One area that Finnerty doesn’t worry about, though, are the contents of his chemical storage room. Like Catrett, Finnerty is fully stocked thanks to his annual participation in early order programs, meaning he has the tools available to handle the
pests, fungi and insects that challenge his turfgrass each year at this time, which in turn allows him and his team to turn their attention to other efforts, which at least this summer means the unenviable task of flood cleanup.
“I like to plan ahead and have it all there and ready to go for the summer,” says Finnerty, a 22-year GCSAA member. “Obviously, the golf course changes all the time, but having my normal products on hand that I use ... year in and year
out provides a lot of peace of mind. And when you’re dealing with everything that we’ve seen this year, that’s just one less thing to worry about.”
Finnerty says he’s fortunate he hasn’t encountered much in the way of supply-chain-inspired delivery delays or product shortages when he has had to buy outside of the EOP window. “Other things we’re trying to get have been a different
story — equipment and seed, for example — but in terms of fungicides and pesticides, everything has been good,” he says. “I have a great supplier here in town (GreensPro) that keeps me up-to-date on all that so I can adjust
Another benefit of EOPs comes in the form of budget management, which Finnerty cites as the biggest driver behind his regular participation in these programs. “I have a budget and try to stick with it, and that’s something that EOPs definitely
help with,” he says. “I know when I do the EOP that, ‘Hey, this is what I’m spending on this stuff,’ and I know that I’m not going to go out of budget in the middle of the summer because of some unexpected price
hike or product shortage.”
Across the country in the Pacific Northwest, the supply chain story has been a slightly different one for Jim Myers, CGCS, who oversees maintenance at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Ore.
“There’s been a couple of products that we ordered where I was told, ‘Hey, No. 1, the price is going to go up, and No. 2, the availability is probably going to go down,’” says Myers, a 30-year GCSAA member. “Fortunately,
those situations didn’t cause too many problems, but when you hear that, it does leave you scrambling a bit.”
As a result, the EOP process will look a little different this time around for Myers, who has been a regular participant in such programs throughout his career. With a golf-crazed membership that can play as many as 200 rounds a day and an annual professional
golf event (the LPGA Tour’s AmazingCre Portland Classic), Myers and his team have little room for error, meaning unexpected product shortages or price hikes can sting more than at other facilities.
That’s why Myers plans to stock up when he places his EOP order this time around. “It hasn’t been easy, because you have to make sure the club is OK spending a little more than normal, and you have to make sure you have a place to store
everything in the shop,” Myers says. “But, yes, I’m going to order more than I normally would even though prices have gone up. I just want to make sure we have the product.”
While the givens that come along with EOPs in terms of pricing and availability rank high on Myers’ list of reasons he utilizes these programs, there are other, less obvious benefits that he appreciates. For example, he says he’s now in the
habit of planning certain applications farther out in order to meet EOP order deadlines, something that’s given him a broader, more holistic view of his practices. “I have a much more detailed plan of attack now, which has actually helped
me a lot,” Myers says.
He’s also taken advantage of some of the educational benefits that can be realized through EOPs to keep his team — and teams at neighboring golf courses — on top of their games.
“We have five or six people here with turf degrees, and we all have pesticide licenses. We need to keep those things current,” Myers says. “So as a benefit of EOPs, we’ve had people come in and do training that gets us credits
toward those licenses. We even invited the guys at Portland Golf Club to come over and join us for those.
“At the end of the day, it’s my responsibility to make sure I train my team the best I can. When they leave here, I want to make sure I’ve done my part to ... prepare them for the situations that they’re going to have to handle
in the future in this industry. Benefits like these are just another opportunity to do that.”
— Scott Hollister, GCM editor-in-chief
Cost savings simplified with SEPro Pinnacle early order program
Your course depends on your hard work, and we want to partner with you to deliver the right solution, no matter the challenge. The 2022 Pinnacle Early Order Program from SePro is a prime opportunity to save on industry-leading turf plant growth regulators
and aquatic solutions, along with disease and weed management options to support you in creating extraordinary turf. From Oct. 1-Dec. 9, 2022, take advantage of the biggest rebates of the year.
Cost savings during the early order period shouldn’t be complicated, and the 2022 SePRO Pinnacle Early Order Program has been designed to offer multiple savings opportunities up to 30% without the complicated hurdles.
Product Brand Rebate
It’s easy to qualify for a Product Brand Rebate, when you combine your total purchase amount with the number of product brands. Begin earning a bonus with only a $2500 purchase and 2 product brands from the following categories:
- Turf & Landscape Growth Regulators
- Aquatic Solutions
New Turf PGR Bonus
We’ve expanded savings on our industry-leading turf plant growth regulators for 2022 with the addition of Musketeer to the Pinnacle Early Order Program. The new TURF PGR bonus allows you to maximize savings with an additional 10% rebate on both
Legacy and Musketeer.
Solve agronomic challenges and earn additional savings when you purchase select products together, including landscape growth regulators and aquatic solutions to keep your course looking its best.
Enroll in sepro.com/pinnacle by January 31, 2023.
This EOP, saving is easy as 1-2-3
1. Simply the best deals, period
Save up to 35% on FMC products
Rayora: Up to 35% off
Kalida: Up to 32% off
2. Save more with easy volume buys
Starting at just six-unit minimums
3. Boost your fungicide rebate with a Serata purchase
Increase your total fungicide rebate by 5% when you try Serata Fungicide—the go-to solution for Pythium diseases
Learn more at seratafungicide.com
Start saving today. Enroll free at fmctruechampions.com.
Take your savings to the next level
The 2022 GreenTrust® 365 Program offers many ways to save on industry-leading products when you purchase during the Early Order Period, Oct. 1 – Dec. 8, 2022. Maximize your turf quality and take your savings to the next level with the ENHANCED
Plan It Your Way Rebate, GT Bonus Booster, NEW Ference® insecticide volume discount and more.
Step 1: Earn your Yearlong Rebate
Spend at least $5,000 on qualifying products during the Early Order Period to lock in your yearlong rebate of up to 10%. This rebate can then be applied to all qualifying product purchases from Oct. 1, 2022 – Sept. 30, 2023.
Step 2: Earn more with the enhanced Plan it Your Way Rebate
Earn up to an additional 12% rebate with qualifying purchases of Posterity® brands, Daconil® and/or Secure® fungicide brands.
- NEW for 2023: Once you qualify, you also automatically earn the Plan It Your Way rebate on Acelepryn® 0.5 gal, Ference and Provaunt® WDG insecticides.
- For additional savings, volume pricing discounts are also available on Acelepryn and Ference.
NEW: Ference Volume Pricing
By purchasing at least two cases of Ference on one invoice, which will treat 32 acres at the 12 fl. oz./A rate, you will receive an 8% price discount.
Step 3: Purchase in October for the greatest savings
GT Bonus Booster
Automatically earn an additional 2% – 3% rebate on purchases made in October. The more you spend, the more you earn.
Only available during the Early Order Period, Pallets offer significant savings, and:
- Are designed with complimentary products and quantities to meet your agronomic needs
- Eight of 10 pallets automatically qualify you for the program
- Can be combined with other rebates for savings up to 35%
Maximize savings with online Rebate Calculators
Our online rebate calculators help simplify ordering by automatically configuring your purchases to ensure you receive the greatest savings. Visit GreenTrust365.com/Calculators to see how your savings can stack up.
Start saving at GreenTrust365.com/Golf or contact your Syngenta territory manager.
Order NOW. Save NOW.
Finishing the year strong starts with great deals from your trusted partner, Bayer. From Aug. 1-Sept. 30, the NOW Solutions program has four ways to save big on the leading portfolio of turf solutions so you can end the year on a high note.
Contact your distributor representative or visit es.bayer.us/now-solutions to select
products and calculate your savings.
The PBI-Gordon Annual Early Order Program
If you’ve been in the professional turf business long enough, you can feel it coming. The new season – the 2023 season – is close. Very close. And like every other year, it’s bringing challenges with it. Do we wait for it to get
here, or do we meet it head on? The answer is obvious: Let’s Go!
Start the march toward a successful 2023 with the PBI-Gordon Early Order Program. The PBI-Gordon EOP gives end-users the best prices when they order qualifying products between September 1 and November 18, 2022.
The PBI-Gordon EOP features 16 of our most popular products, including:
- Segway® Fungicide SC – The industry standard for control of Pythium root dysfunction, blight, damping-off and root rot.
- Union® Fungicide SC – Lasting control of 17 diseases, including dollar spot, plus the same proven Pythium control of Segway® Fungicide SC.
- Q4® Plus Turf Herbicide for Grassy & Broadleaf Weeds – Save money and labor with rapid, broad-spectrum control of tough grassy and broadleaf weeds from a single product.
- SpeedZone® EW Broadleaf Herbicide for Turf – The fast, broad-spectrum control of the #1 speed herbicide in an advanced emulsion-in-water formulation.
- Pedigree Fungicide SC – The same proven performance as granular flutolanil in an easier-to-handle liquid formulation.
Level-up for a bigger rebate!
- Level I rebate ($500-$999) earns an additional 15% rebate
- Level II rebate ($1,000 or more) earns an additional 25% rebate
Want to see how big that rebate can be? Try our new calculator at EOP.PBIGordonTurf.com
Registration is Easy!
In fact, you might already be registered! If you’ve enrolled online and taken advantage of PBI-Gordon EOP programs in prior years, you’re automatically enrolled for this year. If you’re new, or if you’re not sure if you’re
enrolled in the past, or if you’d just would like to verify your information, complete the online form at EOP.PBIGordonTurf.com.
To see the full list of qualifying products and enroll!
SIMPLY GROW TOGETHER
Quali-Pro® has been a leader in the development of innovative and post-patent formulations, offering professionals the industry’s widest array of active ingredients. Quali-Pro provides solutions for lawn care professionals, sports turf managers,
and golf course superintendents that are backed by university research and a dedicated staff of professionals.
2022 QUALI-PRO EARLY ORDER PROGRAM INFORMATION
Quali-Pro is offering special incentives now through November 30th. Take advantage of the SGT early order program by October 31st for the biggest rebates.
To qualify, the participating end-user must earn a minimum rebate of $100. When 50% or more of the total rebate is derived from Platinum Products, a Double-Base Bonus will be added to your rebate total. Products must be purchased from an authorized Quali-Pro
distributor between August 15, 2022 and November 30, 2022.
This is an end user promotion, distributors and dealers are not eligible for this rebate. Purchases used to qualify for this promotion are not eligible for any other free goods, cash back or rebate programs. Internet sales and purchases do not qualify.
All submissions must be uploaded by January 16, 2023.
Build a foundation of success for your course with Corteva Ultimate Rewards
Maintaining attractive, playable golf courses requires the use of proven turf management products. As you think ahead to address next year’s needs, Corteva Agriscience is providing an easy way to earn cash back on the products you rely on. From
Oct. 1, 2022, through Feb. 28, 2023, Corteva Ultimate Rewards is offering top-notch rebates on all qualifying products.
Corteva Ultimate Rewards Benefits
With Corteva Ultimate Rewards, the more you purchase, the greater your rewards. From rebate multipliers and yearlong rate locks to a flexible ordering period and cash-back incentives, participating in Corteva Ultimate Rewards is a simple way to save when
buying the products you need for exceptional weed, insect and disease control.
Diverse Portfolio of Eligible Products
You know the difference between getting the job done, and getting the job done right. As an industry-leading preemergence herbicide, Dimension® specialty herbicide is the foundation of a turf management program you can rely on year after year. This
No. 1-selling herbicide now comes with the ultimate offer:
Bundle Dimension with up to three other premium turf management products, such as Defendor® and GameOn® specialty herbicides, to strengthen your turf program and earn cash back. Participating product categories include:
- Preemergence herbicides
- Postemergence herbicides
Corteva Ultimate Rewards offers two flexible periods: purchase qualifying products before Dec. 31 to lock in your rebate for the full market year or by Feb. 28 to lock in rebates through September 2023. To learn more, contact your Corteva Agriscience
products distributor or your Corteva territory manager.
How will you apply your rebate dollars? With Corteva Ultimate Rewards, the power is in your hands.
Nufarm EDGE 2023 EOP Program
Maximum value on trusted solutions
- Straight-up individual product rebates
- Order early in EOP period I to maximize rebates
- Look for extra volume rebates across eight products
Purchase two or more eligible Nufarm brands totaling our LOW MINIMUM OF $2,500 and maximize profits with valuable distributor credit rebates
Period 1: Sept. 12-Oct 31, 2022
Period 2: Nov. 1-Dec. 9, 2022
Distributor credit available after June 30, 2023
Register online to qualify: Nufarmrewards.com