May 12, 2013

Turfpath: An New Social App for Homeowners and Golf Course Managers

Turfpath: a mobile-social app for grass lovers      photo: © Golf Girl Media
A lawn is defined as, "an area of land planted with grasses which are maintained at a short height and used for aesthetic and recreational purposes". 

Now to me, that sounds a bit like, well, a golf course... and if you happen to be a golfer who owns a home in a continental climate zone, chances are you often spend spring, summer and  autumn torn between the competing demands of your lawn and your game.

Just as area courses begin open for the season's first rounds, a plethora of spring lawn care tasks present themselves; raking, liming, over seeding, fertilizing ... and pulling up those perennial dandelions. It all must be done if you want to maintain decent lawn, and if you do, you'll inevitably find yourself sacrificing some of your early rounds and practice sessions for days of utilitarian yard work.

Other days you'll hit the course, which has hopefully been aerated, top dressed, nourished, trimmed and spruced-up for spring.  Good golf course maintenance makes early season playing a pleasure, but the vivid, lushness can also provoke some serious "lawn lust" because let's face it, we all want our lawns to look like our golf courses, right?  It's even been said that today's lawn care industry was actually born in the Spring of 1967 with the first technicolor broadcast of the Masters, when suburban America saw Augusta National, in its verdant glory, for the first time.

Now available at the Google Play and iTunes app stores
With that in mind, who better to liaise with when your goal is a gorgeous green lawn than golf course managers and turf grass specialists?  And that's part of the premise behind Turfpath, an ultra-promising new app now available in the Google Play and iTunes app stores.

Created by John Kaminski, an associate professor at Penn State (and a multi-faceted renaissance man) who understood a couple of years ago that a mobile social network would be a stellar way to allow anyone with interest in growing grass... anywhere in the world... to connect and exchange information.

The app features a growing gallery of images and descriptions of the various weeds, diseases and insects that can be problematic for grass growers.   Turfgrass professionals, golf course superintendents, landscapers and lawn-lusting suburban home owners can then add to the galleries with their own photos and information, and can exchange ideas on how to control these turf trouble-makers and prevent future infestations. The app will also contain live, geo-specific infestation alerts.

Adding to the social factor is a system of points and badges one can earn for posting, sharing information and interacting with others.  I happen to be one of those golf-loving, lawn-lusting suburbanites I described earlier, so I downloaded the app this morning and I've already identified a couple of the annoying weeds that have recently appeared on my lawn.. and gotten some eco-friendly advice on how to handle them.

I'm pretty sure Turfpath will soon be one of my favorite and most frequently used apps and I'm guessing I may have a greener lawn and a better golf game by the end of this summer.