Updated: Jan 31, 2022
Matt Wilson started out as a golf professional but got bit by the outdoors bug. He recalls working in the pro shop at the Kiawah Island River Course in his native South Carolina and thinking, “Why am I always staring out the window wishing I was outside?” One day he reached out to his course super to see if he could help out (and get outdoors) and he was instantly hooked on the experience. Eventually he became an assistant superintendent there and started his turf career in earnest.
Wilson married and moved to Seattle in 2015 and, two years later, landed at Glen Acres G&CC. It’s a famous old 9-hole course that’s challenged by lots of play and not enough resources. Needless to say, he has labor challenges. “I have five full-time staff and two part-time, but we also help out with maintenance for the HOA that owns the course. It’s tough to keep up.”
Wilson first learned about TurfMend when he saw it featured on TurfNet. He and Jeff Stahman connected when Wilson was striving to deal with major grub-related damage caused by raccoons tearing up areas. “The crew had been adding straight sand in many areas that were completely destroyed. Everything was drying out in those areas so when I found out about the compost version of TurfMend and I figured I’d try it.”
What he discovered was TurfMend with compost held the moisture where he needed it and worked on both the damaged areas and his heavily overused tee boxes. “I have one crew member who is kind of on light duty – he mows fairways and roughs – and we started throwing three or four bags on his cart and found he could fill divots on all the tee boxes in a few hours. Normally it would have required putting sand down and trying the mix the seed and it was a bit much for him. But with the pre-mixed TurfMend he was able to handle it. It simplified the process and really helped us make the most of his time.”
Wilson has 18 tiny tees and the course gets lots of regular play pressure. “With that much play they can eat up a tee box in one weekend. Being able to put the TurfMend out there and having that little bit of nutrition in it…it kicks everything up and keeps it open. And the compost helps keep it moist in the long periods between irrigation cycles.”
“I love the ease of use. It’s already blended and I don’t have to worry about somebody mis-mixing the seed – which is expensive stuff right now. The old way took too much time and effort for the people I have. Now I can grab three bags of TurfMend, throw it in his cart and I don’t have to worry about him. I know he can handle all the divots.”
Wilson likes the product but he’s also impressed by the people behind TurfMend: “Jeff has been in my seat. You can tell he’s doing this because he wants us to succeed. He checks in to make sure you’re happy and learn how you’re using it. He’s not just selling the product. If you’re using it, he wants to make sure it’s good and you’re good. It feels like he’s part of the team.”