What is The First Green Field Trip?
Bing Maloney Golf Complex recently hosted the First Green Field Trip, welcoming 48 3rd-grade students from New Joseph Bonnheim Elementary. The event, organized by Superintendent Muhammad Ali, aimed to introduce young learners to the world of golf and promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education through the First Green program.
After observing the event it is clear Muhammad pours in a lot of time and effort to make this event happen. The event was educational for all ages and gave children a fun escape from the usual mundane classroom.
Kids Participating in the Event
The day began as the students arrived at Bing Maloney Golf Complex, transported by buses promptly at 9:00 AM. Muhammad Ali started off the event by acquainting the children with the golf course, the First Green program, and the dedicated team he had assembled for the occasion.
To kick things off, the students were treated to a fascinating K9 demonstration by the Sacramento Agricultural Commissioner Office’s K9 unit, led by Inspector Michelle King and her trusty partner Kernul. This specialized unit showcased their expertise in detecting plant materials and insects, providing the children with a unique and engaging experience.
Continuing with the educational activities, Vicki Buttler, also known as the Bluebird Lady, shared her work at Bing Maloney Golf Complex, particularly her efforts in promoting bluebird nesting boxes and preserving the bluebird population. The students had the opportunity to witness a box filled with adorable bluebird babies, offering them a firsthand look into this important conservation initiative. The animals were an entertaining way to kick off the event and get the young scholars involved
Experimenting With on the Green
The students were then divided into small groups to participate in four different hands-on activities around Bing Maloney’s putting green. The first lab, led by Chase Morgan from Solitude Lake Management, allowed students to test the pH levels in irrigation water and bottled drinking water. Chase highlighted the importance of maintaining appropriate pH levels for different plants, offering valuable insights into water management in a golf course setting.
The second lab, facilitated by Tim McCovy from Toro Golf/Turf Star Western, delved into the mathematical aspects of golf course management. Tim assisted the children in understanding how to measure the area of a rectangular space in square feet and convert it to acres, providing them with a practical application of math in the golf industry.
The third lab, led by Kyle Teubert, a representative from John Deere Golf/Belkorp Ag, showcased the “cool tools” used in golf course maintenance. Kyle demonstrated the use of a Prism Gauge to assess the quality of the cut on various playing surfaces. Additionally, he taught the children how to operate a stimpmeter and measure greens speed—an exciting and interactive experience for the students.
The final activity involved touching and feeling three distinct grass types: Bent, Bermuda, and Rye grass. The children had the chance to explore both the plants and seeds and later test their identification skills by throwing a hula hoop onto a grassy area to see if they could spot the different grasses. This lab was guided by Jim Ferrin, a retired superintendent from Timber Creek Golf Course in Roseville California.
The educational activities had concluded and all the kids had their fun. But little did they know, Muhammad still had more exciting tricks up his sleeve.
Following these hands-on learning experiences, the students had the privilege of observing the greens mowing process conducted by Carlos Perez, Bing Maloney’s Equipment Manager, and the greens rolling performed by Leo Moreno, Assistant Golf Course Superintendent.
To conclude the day, the children received a putting lesson from Mr. Matt Smith, refining their skills and experiencing the joy of golf firsthand.
As a special treat, the students had the opportunity to visit Bing Maloney’s Butterfly Garden, located next to the 11th tee box. This enchanting garden added a touch of natural beauty to the field trip, captivating the young minds with its vibrant colors and fluttering inhabitants. To commemorate their participation, the children received swag bags sent by the GCSAA/First Green, containing water conservation tips, a wildlife coloring book, and other goodies. Students received vegetable seed packets donated by Nutrients Ag, as well as freebies from the Sacramento Agricultural Commissioner Office. These tokens served as mementos of their memorable day at Bing Maloney Golf Complex and the valuable knowledge they had.
Next time you’re at Bing Maloney Golf Course say hello to Muhammad and ask about the First Green program. Bing Maloney Golf Course is located at 6801 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, CA.
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