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July 3, 2018
By Mary HightowerU of A System Division of Agriculture
(Newsrooms – with downloadable art here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmmVs4Ng )
Download Word version
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – So, how exactly do you simulate 30 rounds of golf on 128 turfgrass
plots? With grad students.
“Backbreaking work,” is the phrase Doug Karcher, professor-horticulture and turfgrass
researcher for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, used to
describe the rigors of this research. “We bought all of our research techs a pair
of shoes with a sole that was fairly aggressive.”
The testers were sent out to the plots in the morning striding and squatting in imitation
of golfers walking and picking up their balls; a ritual that at times looked something
like a conga line with rainbow feet.
“The golf shoes we wore to implement the treatments were rather ‘flamboyant’,” said
grad student Dan Sandor. “The shoes were predominantly a royal blue color, accented
with bright orange toes and heels coupled with lime-green shoe laces. Way too colorful
for probably anyone of our group, or even just for regular golf play in general.”
Karcher said: “People were slowing down from the road to watch.”
“I know for some, repeatedly bending down -- i.e., essentially doing squats / working
out --at that hour in the morning was not ideal and the effects of the ‘exercise’
were felt and expressed later on in the afternoon, and sometimes even the next day,”
Sandor said. “However, it seemed to be a fun group exercise and clearly a ‘non-scientific’
method to determine who was the more fit or in-shape of our team.”
The tests were something of a flashback for grad student Michelle Wisdom, who is currently
working on research about pollinators.
“It was like we'd been dropped into a ballet class,” she said. “I remember floating
from one plot to the next, practicing my demi-plié although after several minutes
I think ‘PLODDING’ and ‘TRIPPING’ and ‘COLLAPSING’ might be better terms for what
was going on,” she said. “We had fun, though, because that group of people always
had fun together.”
To learn more about turfgrass research visit https://horticulture.uark.edu/research-extension/turf/.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity,
sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran
status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative
Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org