Golf Course Superintendent Ready to Answer Any Questions You May Have

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  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,873 ✭✭
    BNGL wrote:

    mallrat wrote:
    When you have worked or volunteered at Tour how does the super assign tasks? Mainly regarding his/her own crew vs incoming volunteers that are Supers and assts? Does that make sense?




    Each place might be a little different, but generally if the crew is large enough then they’ll be on the mowers and equipment. Typically the volunteers will just be on a handheld or tow behind blower, moving ramps for bunker crews, hand raking bunkers, or on a hose. But that being said I do know of courses that have walk mowed fairways for events (US Open at Congressional I believe) that was all hands on deck. I’m a little hesitant to put people I don’t know on a mower (plus I don’t want to rely on them either I know the regular crew will show up and get the job done), not because they don’t know how to mow, but because they may not necessarily know their way around the property. Perfect example is this week at Bay Hill. 8 green and 2 tee are fairly close, close enough that the tour asks to have 8 green done 15 minutes before the first tee time to make sure that no unnecessary noise is affecting those on the tee at 2. So whomever has that route needs to do their first couple greens, then go to 8, then finish their route.




    Thanks, that was part of what I wondered, are the Supers more trusting of their everyday crew with the greens and mowers vs the incoming guys with a lot of experience.



    One day last year we were short staffed getting ready for a tourney and our Director of Agronomy, who hasn’t touched a walk mower in 2 years, just came out and mowed some absolute lasers. Guess that is a by product of working your way up through the walk mowing era vs the tri-plex era.
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,558 ✭✭
    MaxBuck wrote:
    I'm curious as to why some bermudagrass greens are exceptionally grainy and others are not very grainy at all. As someone who grew up in the midwest and played bentgrass most of my life, I'm having to adjust to bermuda now - and it's not easy! Bent greens can sometimes be a bit grainy, but it's uncommon.



    Separately, my own way of testing grain is to run my fingers along the grass surface to test which direction feels the most bristly. Is that legal per the rules of golf? I've never found the shiny-vs-dull or dark-vs-light to be very easy to distinguish.



    Edit: had to change a bleeped-out porcupine-based word *****ly to "bristly." I guess I understand why, but it's amusing.




    Uhm maybe they have older strains that’s usually a culprit, then the second part is lack of cultural practices (topdressing, verticutting, bedknife angles, mowing heights, chemical applications) those all cost money and take time that a lot of places simply can’t afford. There’s people that say they can never putt anything but bent because it’s the only true roll that’s total BS nowadays hybrids and ultra dwarfs are so meticulously groomed there’s essentially no grain.



    As an aside...

    Don’t ever listen to announcers talk about grain at PGA Tour events, because they don’t know what they’re talking about. I’ve been a part of setups and seen it up close, you can’t get a coke can fill of clippings on a PGA Tour green from all the greens. If there is that little bit of tissue then there’s no grain left to influence the golf ball.
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,558 ✭✭
    mallrat wrote:
    BNGL wrote:

    mallrat wrote:
    When you have worked or volunteered at Tour how does the super assign tasks? Mainly regarding his/her own crew vs incoming volunteers that are Supers and assts? Does that make sense?




    Each place might be a little different, but generally if the crew is large enough then they’ll be on the mowers and equipment. Typically the volunteers will just be on a handheld or tow behind blower, moving ramps for bunker crews, hand raking bunkers, or on a hose. But that being said I do know of courses that have walk mowed fairways for events (US Open at Congressional I believe) that was all hands on deck. I’m a little hesitant to put people I don’t know on a mower (plus I don’t want to rely on them either I know the regular crew will show up and get the job done), not because they don’t know how to mow, but because they may not necessarily know their way around the property. Perfect example is this week at Bay Hill. 8 green and 2 tee are fairly close, close enough that the tour asks to have 8 green done 15 minutes before the first tee time to make sure that no unnecessary noise is affecting those on the tee at 2. So whomever has that route needs to do their first couple greens, then go to 8, then finish their route.




    Thanks, that was part of what I wondered, are the Supers more trusting of their everyday crew with the greens and mowers vs the incoming guys with a lot of experience.



    One day last year we were short staffed getting ready for a tourney and our Director of Agronomy, who hasn’t touched a walk mower in 2 years, just came out and mowed some absolute lasers. Guess that is a by product of working your way up through the walk mowing era vs the tri-plex era.




    Lol yeah there’s a reason he’s in the directors chair haha. It’s actually quite easy, the mower drives itself you just need a light touch and keep your chest square to your line and voila crispy lines. Lots of guys mistakes is they try to push the mower along.
  • ebrasmus21ebrasmus21 Serial Shanker Members Posts: 5,178 ✭✭
    BNGL wrote:

    MaxBuck wrote:
    I'm curious as to why some bermudagrass greens are exceptionally grainy and others are not very grainy at all. As someone who grew up in the midwest and played bentgrass most of my life, I'm having to adjust to bermuda now - and it's not easy! Bent greens can sometimes be a bit grainy, but it's uncommon.



    Separately, my own way of testing grain is to run my fingers along the grass surface to test which direction feels the most bristly. Is that legal per the rules of golf? I've never found the shiny-vs-dull or dark-vs-light to be very easy to distinguish.



    Edit: had to change a bleeped-out porcupine-based word *****ly to "bristly." I guess I understand why, but it's amusing.




    Uhm maybe they have older strains that’s usually a culprit, then the second part is lack of cultural practices (topdressing, verticutting, bedknife angles, mowing heights, chemical applications) those all cost money and take time that a lot of places simply can’t afford. There’s people that say they can never putt anything but bent because it’s the only true roll that’s total BS nowadays hybrids and ultra dwarfs are so meticulously groomed there’s essentially no grain.



    As an aside...

    Don’t ever listen to announcers talk about grain at PGA Tour events, because they don’t know what they’re talking about. I’ve been a part of setups and seen it up close, you can’t get a coke can fill of clippings on a PGA Tour green from all the greens. If there is that little bit of tissue then there’s no grain left to influence the golf ball.




    Very interesting. I’ve grown up my whole life listening to PGA Tour announcers talk about grain, lol.
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  • poppyhillsguypoppyhillsguy Members Posts: 3,146 ✭✭
    I have 4 years of experience at my current job and received the highest performance score on my crew, but I was passed up for a 2nd Assistant position because I don't have a Turf Management degree.



    What's more important to you; experience or a degree for a 2nd Assistant position?
  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,873 ✭✭
    BNGL wrote:

    mallrat wrote:
    BNGL wrote:

    mallrat wrote:
    When you have worked or volunteered at Tour how does the super assign tasks? Mainly regarding his/her own crew vs incoming volunteers that are Supers and assts? Does that make sense?




    Each place might be a little different, but generally if the crew is large enough then they’ll be on the mowers and equipment. Typically the volunteers will just be on a handheld or tow behind blower, moving ramps for bunker crews, hand raking bunkers, or on a hose. But that being said I do know of courses that have walk mowed fairways for events (US Open at Congressional I believe) that was all hands on deck. I’m a little hesitant to put people I don’t know on a mower (plus I don’t want to rely on them either I know the regular crew will show up and get the job done), not because they don’t know how to mow, but because they may not necessarily know their way around the property. Perfect example is this week at Bay Hill. 8 green and 2 tee are fairly close, close enough that the tour asks to have 8 green done 15 minutes before the first tee time to make sure that no unnecessary noise is affecting those on the tee at 2. So whomever has that route needs to do their first couple greens, then go to 8, then finish their route.




    Thanks, that was part of what I wondered, are the Supers more trusting of their everyday crew with the greens and mowers vs the incoming guys with a lot of experience.



    One day last year we were short staffed getting ready for a tourney and our Director of Agronomy, who hasn’t touched a walk mower in 2 years, just came out and mowed some absolute lasers. Guess that is a by product of working your way up through the walk mowing era vs the tri-plex era.




    Lol yeah there’s a reason he’s in the directors chair haha. It’s actually quite easy, the mower drives itself you just need a light touch and keep your chest square to your line and voila crispy lines. Lots of guys mistakes is they try to push the mower along.




    Never heard it that way, thanks. My walk lines are 2nd best on the crew besides one of the ladies who is on her 13th year there and it is amazing how slow she walks the mower but gets it done quickly. Well 3rd after his.



    My problem is get a tad too much overlap, IMO, compared to his. And by overlap i’m Talking 1-2” vs his which looked like none or most of the crew that at times looks like 1/2 the owner width.
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,558 ✭✭
    I have 4 years of experience at my current job and received the highest performance score on my crew, but I was passed up for a 2nd Assistant position because I don't have a Turf Management degree.



    What's more important to you; experience or a degree for a 2nd Assistant position?




    That’s a tricky situation that’s occurring not just in our industry but through out the workforce today. If I have two candidates that are the exact same but one has a degree and the other doesn’t I have to pick the one with the education. That being said there are other things you can do to make yourself a more attractive candidate.



    Get yourself a certificate. Very simple I think it’s six classes, lots of guys running golf courses only have a certificate.



    Obtain your certified public applicators license.



    The GCSAA now offers a certified assistant superintendent modules on their site. I think it it’s 8 modules each with a test at the end.



    A second assistants position is often the first position of any importance for a future superintendent, so you have to evaluate the prospects of the candidates. If you have legitimate aspirations to become a superintendent, which I think would be fantastic, then I’d suggest getting some education behind you just to pad the resume a bit more.
  • augustgolfaugustgolf Golf with dignity Coastal NCMembers Posts: 3,891 ✭✭
    BNGL wrote:

    I have 4 years of experience at my current job and received the highest performance score on my crew, but I was passed up for a 2nd Assistant position because I don't have a Turf Management degree.



    What's more important to you; experience or a degree for a 2nd Assistant position?




    That’s a tricky situation that’s occurring not just in our industry but through out the workforce today. If I have two candidates that are the exact same but one has a degree and the other doesn’t I have to pick the one with the education. That being said there are other things you can do to make yourself a more attractive candidate.



    Get yourself a certificate. Very simple I think it’s six classes, lots of guys running golf courses only have a certificate.



    Obtain your certified public applicators license.



    The GCSAA now offers a certified assistant superintendent modules on their site. I think it it’s 8 modules each with a test at the end.



    A second assistants position is often the first position of any importance for a future superintendent, so you have to evaluate the prospects of the candidates. If you have legitimate aspirations to become a superintendent, which I think would be fantastic, then I’d suggest getting some education behind you just to pad the resume a bit more.




    I agree wholeheartedly - while a "formal" education doesn't mean that you will do a better job than a candidate without that degree, what is does is show that the degreed candidate has taken all appropriate classes, and passed.



    Certifications, as my friend BNGL has stated, are your friend. While I took the PGA route through golf, I have obtained and held licenses for every job that is necessary on the maintenance end, as well as the F & B end. Given that opportunities that I had, I turned those into very positive experiences and work history, allowing me to continue to climb up the management ladder.



    I would day, shoot me a PM, and I would be happy to discuss ideas with you.



    Remember this point: the Generals oversee the war, but the foot soldiers follow the sergeants.
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  • vaca22vaca22 Commander In Beef Members Posts: 665 ✭✭

    @augustgolf said:
    vaca22 wrote:

    My friend is one of 5 assistants being considered for th superintendent's job at his course. I was considering writing a letter of recommendation to the committee, but wasn't sure if I might be overstepping or making the effort seem desperate.

    Is this advisable?

    Just my 2 cents worth, but - how would your relationship be with the other assistants, should your friend get the job?

    I would suggest this: I am sure that he was required/asked to submit a resume, along with references. Perhaps, you could ask him, and if this is the case, suggest he list you as one of the references.

    Good luck to him & you. Please keep us informed.

    UPDATE - My friend ended up making the top 3 choices, however was not selected at the end of the process. Bummer, but life goes on. Curious to find out more about him and his background - all applicants were from reputable clubs so it'll be interesting to see what philosophy/skills he'll bring.

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,558 ✭✭

    @vaca22 said:

    @augustgolf said:
    vaca22 wrote:

    My friend is one of 5 assistants being considered for th superintendent's job at his course. I was considering writing a letter of recommendation to the committee, but wasn't sure if I might be overstepping or making the effort seem desperate.

    Is this advisable?

    Just my 2 cents worth, but - how would your relationship be with the other assistants, should your friend get the job?

    I would suggest this: I am sure that he was required/asked to submit a resume, along with references. Perhaps, you could ask him, and if this is the case, suggest he list you as one of the references.

    Good luck to him & you. Please keep us informed.

    UPDATE - My friend ended up making the top 3 choices, however was not selected at the end of the process. Bummer, but life goes on. Curious to find out more about him and his background - all applicants were from reputable clubs so it'll be interesting to see what philosophy/skills he'll bring.

    Well that’s a bummer for your friend, but things happen for a reason. Hopefully he finds a position that will suit him better in the future.

  • AlmostscratchonceAlmostscratchonce Members Posts: 183 ✭✭

    BNGL -
    Curious if you might know the benefits of a drill & fill procedure vs. typical core aeration. Noticed that one or 2 of the clubs in KC area started this a year or 2 ago & think I’ve counted 6 in the area thru tweets in the past several days.

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,558 ✭✭

    @Almostscratchonce said:
    BNGL -
    Curious if you might know the benefits of a drill & fill procedure vs. typical core aeration. Noticed that one or 2 of the clubs in KC area started this a year or 2 ago & think I’ve counted 6 in the area thru tweets in the past several days.

    If it is the procedure I am thinking of then the benefits are the same, except with the drill and fill they go a lot deeper (8-12 inches) and incorporate more material. Even core aeration, you’re still going to fill the holes, the point of aerating is to remove material and incorporate a newer better growing medium (typically sand) to promote a gas exchange, root growth, thatch management, and better moisture management.

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,558 ✭✭
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,558 ✭✭

    That first picture is a profile of drill and fill, you can see deeper and a lot more sand. The second picture is a plug and sand from a dryject procedure (aerifies and amends in one pass).

  • third-times-a-charmthird-times-a-charm Members Posts: 1,405 ✭✭

    Walked 9 today and the fairways have been cut with lines. Is this basically fairway aeration similar to 'punching' greens? Or for drainage? I think they starved out the rye overseed as it's all dieing now.

    Long Live Nike
  • AlmostscratchonceAlmostscratchonce Members Posts: 183 ✭✭

    @BNGL said:
    That first picture is a profile of drill and fill, you can see deeper and a lot more sand. The second picture is a plug and sand from a dryject procedure (aerifies and amends in one pass).

    Thanks for the info & addressing dryject. I'd been curious what the differences between it and the drill method were. Assume dryject is more like a "traditional" procedure, minus the need to manually apply/brush sand into the holes? Just does it both in one pass by blowing the sand in?

    Also... reply at 3:45? You just getting in for the night or headed to the club?

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,558 ✭✭

    @third-times-a-charm said:
    Walked 9 today and the fairways have been cut with lines. Is this basically fairway aeration similar to 'punching' greens? Or for drainage? I think they starved out the rye overseed as it's all dieing now.

    Cut with lines? Hmm not sure that could be several things, if it’s aesthetics only (seeing the different patterns and stripes down and back) that’s made simply by mowing the same direction every time. Strictly aesthetic nothing more.

    If there’s lines actually in the turf, but didn’t disturb the surface level that is something known as verticutting. This is down to remove excess material from the leaf blade to promote healthier more upright plant and it also removes grain. The seed at Bay Hill and most of Central Florida is or should be checking out pretty quick as night time temps get higher on average the soil is staying warmer which isn’t conducive to cool season varieties of turf.

    If you could take a picture and post I could provide a more definitive answer.

  • third-times-a-charmthird-times-a-charm Members Posts: 1,405 ✭✭

    @BNGL said:

    @third-times-a-charm said:
    Walked 9 today and the fairways have been cut with lines. Is this basically fairway aeration similar to 'punching' greens? Or for drainage? I think they starved out the rye overseed as it's all dieing now.

    Cut with lines? Hmm not sure that could be several things, if it’s aesthetics only (seeing the different patterns and stripes down and back) that’s made simply by mowing the same direction every time. Strictly aesthetic nothing more.

    If there’s lines actually in the turf, but didn’t disturb the surface level that is something known as verticutting. This is down to remove excess material from the leaf blade to promote healthier more upright plant and it also removes grain. The seed at Bay Hill and most of Central Florida is or should be checking out pretty quick as night time temps get higher on average the soil is staying warmer which isn’t conducive to cool season varieties of turf.

    If you could take a picture and post I could provide a more definitive answer.

    Yes it looks like images of a verticut, I was not talking about mowing. Its mostly on the approach areas before greens but also in some other areas on fairways. This verticut is about 4-6" spacing though.

    Long Live Nike
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,558 ✭✭

    @Almostscratchonce said:

    @BNGL said:
    That first picture is a profile of drill and fill, you can see deeper and a lot more sand. The second picture is a plug and sand from a dryject procedure (aerifies and amends in one pass).

    Thanks for the info & addressing dryject. I'd been curious what the differences between it and the drill method were. Assume dryject is more like a "traditional" procedure, minus the need to manually apply/brush sand into the holes? Just does it both in one pass by blowing the sand in?

    Also... reply at 3:45? You just getting in for the night or headed to the club?

    Yes that would be correct. Dryject uses water to punch the hole and as the water moves through the profile it pulls the sand into the hole immediately. Quite a neat process actually.

    Headed to work lol. Biggest week of the year couple VIPs in town for a tournament Monday Tuesday.

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,558 ✭✭

    Ah excellent!!! So these aren’t any mower at all, it’s actually a by product of an application of a fumigant called Curfew. Curfew is a liquid that rapidly turns to a gas and is injected directly into the soil via a pull behind rig of rotating metal blades, this product is designed to help control and kill mole crickets and parasitic nematodes. Very effective but very dangerous, you can’t put this out yourself, typically you have to contract with one or maybe two companies and they’ll take care of it for you. They did our club in a day, 3 big enclosed cab tractors militiamen canisters piece of cake only broke one sprinkler head to boot!

  • third-times-a-charmthird-times-a-charm Members Posts: 1,405 ✭✭
    edited Apr 3, 2019 7:18pm #474

    @BNGL said:

    Ah excellent!!! So these aren’t any mower at all, it’s actually a by product of an application of a fumigant called Curfew. Curfew is a liquid that rapidly turns to a gas and is injected directly into the soil via a pull behind rig of rotating metal blades, this product is designed to help control and kill mole crickets and parasitic nematodes. Very effective but very dangerous, you can’t put this out yourself, typically you have to contract with one or maybe two companies and they’ll take care of it for you. They did our club in a day, 3 big enclosed cab tractors militiamen canisters piece of cake only broke one sprinkler head to boot!

    Sounds like it's pre-emptive for the nematodes which is good due to the issues surrounding clubs have as you know - and also due to the Actual moles we've had issues with. I live close to the course and theyre all over my yard making trails!

    Long Live Nike
  • ShortStickShortStick Members Posts: 42 ✭✭

    This seems like a good place to thank the supers and their crews for extra work come tournament time. I could start a new topic, but the folks I want to thank will see it here.

    Last year I was lucky enough to play in a RI state tournament at Wannamoisett. For those not in the area Wannamoisett is an amazing par 69 Donald Ross gem.

    Tournament day might have been the hottest day of the year which meant the grounds crew had to be out there all day long with hoses cooling the air around the greens. I chatted with a few of them throughout the round. Not once did I hear talk about the course or how ithe greens were going to kick my butt; every guy and one girl sincerely wanted me to enjoy the course, play well and have a memorable day. It was like their pride in the course was accepted and the day was about me and not them. It made for a special day – I really appreciate their extra effort and their kindness! I can’t thank them directly now so I am doing it through GolfWRX.

    I’m an amateur playing public courses. State and local tournaments are how I get to play top private courses in top condition. These tracks are otherwise pretty much off limits to me (My offers of exchange privileges keep getting turned down ). So thanks in advance for giving guys like me such a treat – words do not begin to describe how special these days are!

    I should also thank the memberships of these private tracks for sharing their courses. They are giving up a day or two for us, and they are not making money like they do with outings. They don’t have to give back, but they do. Very much appreciated!

  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,873 ✭✭

    Thanks, from a crew guy.

    One of the funny things about your post is we never want to be in your way. If people would give us 2-3 minutes to move our jobs would be so much safer. Also it’s amazing what you can learn from engaging us in conversation. We have so many random course facts that are really cool like average green size to bunker acreage to secret tee boxes. Most of us do it with great pride and want you guys to have the best day possible. I work at a very high end course, give me a smile and a wave and i’ll rake your bunker or even tell you what our fairways stimp at (yes I occasionally stimp the fairways for fun. They average from 7-8.5.)

  • PetethreeputPetethreeput Members Posts: 1,420 ✭✭

    I have been a few answers and google is all over the map. So perhaps the supers here can answer:
    Brutal winter, fear of dead greens coming into a late spring. What is the time under ice when poa dies? Then, we have a great super, but what are they doing to fix the winterkill (simply so I can understand the methods)
    Any responses are welcome and thank you in advance.

  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Posts: 935 ✭✭

    @BNGL
    Noticed on my local track that the greens have gotten substantially smaller, like a full greens mower width smaller over the last two years. You can tell they have significantly crept in on the pad but the warm season fairway grass (zoysia in this case) has not also crept in to maintain turf around the green. So you have zoysia surrounds, greens mix/sandy ribbon and then bent. What is weird is they are trying to keep a full mower width of bent collar too.

    My questions, when you build a green you typically lay in a wire so you know where the original edge is correct? In order to restore the proper green size do you just keep the zoysia beat back to the original boundary and wait for the bent to spread back or do you sod from your nursery? Why would they continue to shrink the effective green size buy starting to mow a collar? Even the practice green is suffering from this. Holes are now only a few feet from the edge that you used to have 10' or more to putt on all sides.

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,558 ✭✭

    @ShortStick said:
    This seems like a good place to thank the supers and their crews for extra work come tournament time. I could start a new topic, but the folks I want to thank will see it here.

    Last year I was lucky enough to play in a RI state tournament at Wannamoisett. For those not in the area Wannamoisett is an amazing par 69 Donald Ross gem.

    Tournament day might have been the hottest day of the year which meant the grounds crew had to be out there all day long with hoses cooling the air around the greens. I chatted with a few of them throughout the round. Not once did I hear talk about the course or how ithe greens were going to kick my butt; every guy and one girl sincerely wanted me to enjoy the course, play well and have a memorable day. It was like their pride in the course was accepted and the day was about me and not them. It made for a special day – I really appreciate their extra effort and their kindness! I can’t thank them directly now so I am doing it through GolfWRX.

    I’m an amateur playing public courses. State and local tournaments are how I get to play top private courses in top condition. These tracks are otherwise pretty much off limits to me (My offers of exchange privileges keep getting turned down ). So thanks in advance for giving guys like me such a treat – words do not begin to describe how special these days are!

    I should also thank the memberships of these private tracks for sharing their courses. They are giving up a day or two for us, and they are not making money like they do with outings. They don’t have to give back, but they do. Very much appreciated!

    Glad you had a good time. As with any industry there’s a few people that are miserable SOBs and hate their job, but for a majority of people it’s not just a job it’s a lifestyle and a passion. It’s always rewarding for me see/hear about people enjoying the product.

    @smashdn said:
    @BNGL
    Noticed on my local track that the greens have gotten substantially smaller, like a full greens mower width smaller over the last two years. You can tell they have significantly crept in on the pad but the warm season fairway grass (zoysia in this case) has not also crept in to maintain turf around the green. So you have zoysia surrounds, greens mix/sandy ribbon and then bent. What is weird is they are trying to keep a full mower width of bent collar too.

    My questions, when you build a green you typically lay in a wire so you know where the original edge is correct? In order to restore the proper green size do you just keep the zoysia beat back to the original boundary and wait for the bent to spread back or do you sod from your nursery? Why would they continue to shrink the effective green size buy starting to mow a collar? Even the practice green is suffering from this. Holes are now only a few feet from the edge that you used to have 10' or more to putt on all sides.

    A picture would be best there’s a few reasons off the top of my head but lots of explaining for each.

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