Brett Tanner, CSFM
Head Groundskeeper
Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati, Ohio)

“I have three primary applications I utilize for work: Weather, Twitter and the Note feature. Dark Sky, which is the weather app I use, has been a great tool in predicting weather moving into the area. It’s been especially helpful in baseball and softball game situations when knowing the timing of precipitation is essential to preparing the field and/or delaying the game. I recommend finding one app or service you trust and can depend on when others come to you for advice. Twitter allows me to connect with peers in the industry to see what they’re doing and learn some new techniques or tools being used. I believe it has really brought our industry closer together and helped to change the once “closed-door” idea of not sharing your ideas or different practices. Sometimes, our day-to-day challenges are not that uncommon and Twitter is a great way to seek out solutions. The Notes feature helps me to quickly track thoughts or areas of concern while working on the field. It has replaced the pen and pad that usually gets lost in a cart, or misplaced in the office. Regardless of where I am or what piece of equipment I’m on, I can quickly type something that needs to be addressed. It’s a very basic, but very helpful tool.”

Chris Ball
Head Groundskeeper
Gwinnett Braves (Gwinnett, Georgia)

“I use a variety of apps to help us on a daily basis. My most important are RadarScope Pro (for an excellent radar package), Storm Shield and The Weather Channel. For a secondary resource, I have a quick link to the National Weather Service, which gives me a great hourly forecast, an additional radar and I can also jump to the aviation forecast and a weekly forecast discussion. We also use the University of Georgia and North Carolina State University TurfFiles app for general questions. I have several links that are bookmarked from various vendors to get product information and application rates. Social media-wise, I use Twitter to stay connected and network with other industry professionals. I’ve found this is a great resource to stay informed and learn from our partners.”

Ryan Bjorn
Director of Grounds and Environmental Innovations
Maryland SoccerPlex (Boyds, Maryland)

“We use many different apps here at the SoccerPlex, but the main three types we use can be categorized as weather, social media and miscellaneous. For weather, we’re lucky enough to have an excellent partnership with WeatherBug, utilizing their normal weather app – the StreamerRT service – and also their lightning detection system. Having real-time information regarding lightning in our area and also access to the countdown timer to “all clear” is a great resource to help communicate with users. Social media apps like Twitter (you can find us @Seeds_McGrass) and Instagram are great ways to share creative ideas, or even ask questions to a huge number of industry professionals all over the world. An example of a miscellaneous app that we use is the Turfgrass Management Calculator, an app developed through the University of Georgia. It’s a great tool for doing quick calculations and conversions on the fly and in the field. There are new apps being released constantly and we are always on the lookout for the next useful one!”

Joey Fitzgerald
Superintendent
Camelback Ranch (Phoenix, Arizona)

“I remember the good old days when I used to have to run back and forth from the infield to the office during pregame watering, just to check the radar. ‘Have there been any storm developments since the last image update?’ ‘Do I need to back off on this water?’ ‘Is that storm to the southwest going to clip us in the middle innings?’ As a baseball groundskeeper, so much of what we do is dictated by the potential of rainfall. Thankfully, the incredible capabilities of handheld mobile devices have ushered those long days of running back and forth into the rearview mirror. After sifting through the countless weather, radar, and futurecast apps, the MyRadar app has become my go-to source for radar imaging. Whether it’s MyRadar or a different radar app, the key to effectively utilizing it is to become familiar with its functions, imaging and tendencies. No matter the convenience, a radar is only as good as the person interpreting what they’re seeing, both on the screen and in the sky.”

Patrick Coakley, CSFM
Sports Turf Superintendent
Ripken Stadium (Aberdeen, Maryland)

“Weather apps are the ones that I utilize on a regular basis. They give me the ability to watch radar while I’m working, which increases efficiency. Irrigation is another obvious choice, but I haven’t had the opportunity to use a system with that capability. Beyond weather, I’m honestly way behind the times in utilizing technology. Outside of email, calendars or other programs I use in the office, I don’t use anything while working on the field. I started as a sports turf manager before apps became a regular part of life. Therefore, I simply never made it a habit when it came to using apps as a tool once the opportunity was there. So, while I do embrace technology for what it can do, I just haven’t developed the mindset to use it as a go-to when dealing with turf problems, or as part of a maintenance program. All that being said, I know I need to look into using apps more. It’s another tool to do my job better and I need to educate myself so that I can take full advantage.”

Brian Winka
CSFM Parks Supervisor (Chesterfield, Missouri) and
President of the Gateway Chapter of the STMA

“Three of the apps I use most are WeatherBug, Canopeo (from Oklahoma State University) and Turfpath. I like the radar and lightning locator features on WeatherBug. I use Canopeo to help me get the percent coverage on our turf when doing routine field evaluations and when conducting the Sports Turf Managers Association Playing Conditions Index (PCI). This app uses digital imaging from the camera on your phone to give you a percent of turf coverage. Turfpath is a great resource to help managers identify turf diseases, insects and weeds at their sites. This app is also helpful in providing solutions to any of the issues you may be dealing with.”