10-25-2020

Good Morning,
A little taste of Winter has put a cease in golf activity at The Muni.  The cold weather gave us time to start servicing our rental cart fleet.  This consists of changing oil and filters, greasing zirks, and completing repairs.  There were four golf carts with bent tie rods on the front on the cart.  This happens when a customer hits something hard with the front of the cart.  There is a small metal bracket that is designed to bend to limit the amount of damage to the cart.  This small piece is straightened, installed back on the cart, and the front end is aligned.  Then you shake your head about why somebody would do that with a cart.
The well ran for five days to fill the pond to a level of 8″ over the top of the new 90 degree intake attachment.  We were able to run through all the irrigation cycles on Wednesday to see if there are any problems with debris in the valves.  There were approximately 12 stations that would not shut off.  I was happy there were not more and the water coming out of the irrigation heads was very clear.  We will look at these valves and IC units to check for debris and run the system again late next week.  It doesn’t take much to make a valve or plunger stick open.
On Wednesday, I attended continued education for my Category 10 portion of my pesticide license.  This category allows me to treat our bodies of water with the proper chemical control and not harm any wildlife or contaminate the irrigation water.  This is the last year I will be able to take continued education for this category.  Next year it’s required to take the test every three years at the time of renewal of my license.  In two weeks I will be attending the Turf and Ornamental continued education for my license.
Also on Wednesday, we hosted the district cross country meet.  It was a decent day for the athletes to run for a chance to make it to state.  The clubhouse was once again closed due to COVID 19 provisions.  It’s always enjoyable watching the runners participate in these meets and it’s a privilege to provide the golf course.  We look forward to working with the school once again next year.  

This coming Monday I will be meeting with the tile contractor to discuss the repair process in Upper Waterway Park.  This project has been on the agenda most of the summer and he now has time to address the issue.  This tile was repaired on the east end last year but we have discovered further damage moving west through the golf course waterway.  I will keep you posted on the situation.
I have been working with Tyler Vaudt, Harris-Lake Park golf coach, to establish an off season junior golf program on the golf simulator.  It will be a great opportunity for Tyler to work with small groups of kids to help them learn and develop the basics of golf.  We are still in the early planning stages but Tyler and I are both excited to provide this option for our future golfers.  
As we move forward the golf course and clubhouse will be open dependent on the weather each day.  We were closed yesterday and will be the next couple of days.  However, we did have five extreme die hard golfers play 18 holes on Friday.  The golf weather should return later in the week.
Please enjoy the remainder of your weekend.  Cross your fingers for no snow accumulation and contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns you might have in regards to the golf course.  I’m always happy to talk.  Stay warm!

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 5130

1712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

10-18-2020

Good Morning,
It definitely feels like Fall has arrived.  Some of the brisk morning temperatures remind you that the warmer temperatures are soon behind us.  That means the conclusion of the golf season nears.  It has been a successful year at the golf course as we battled through “The 2020 ‘Rona” with everyone else.  Our golf numbers were up and we were able to provide a safe recreational atmosphere for people to get away from everyday life for a few hours to have some fun.
Maintenance practices were a challenge at times and the clubhouse staff went above and beyond to welcome our golfers to a sanitary environment accompanied by a smile or two.  I would like to thank each of the employees who treat the golf course as much more than a part time job.  Each of them truly care and take a lot of pride.  Please take the time to thank them when your paths cross.
The pond nightmare has ended one chapter as of Saturday.  The new 90 degree intake was installed on Saturday morning and will definitely help eliminate issues in the short term.  The long term solution will be to dredge the pond down the road.  Here are a couple photos of the project:
 New Intake.jpg
 Rip Rap.jpg
The pond had to be drained further down after the rainfall last Sunday night.  It raised the water level by a foot.  We had the pond down by mid morning on Monday pumping about 2500 GPM of water down the stream.  
This allowed Adam DeLoss to remove the sludge and silt around the existing intake that was completely covered in muck.  They had to build a dam out of clay and concrete in order to keep the “soup” from running back over the intake.  Eventually all the debris was excavated and the crushed concrete was added to protect the entire intake area.  
Over the past week our main focus has been to take the tops off valves and clean out the debris in the diaphragms.  This will continue to be our focus the upcoming week as we wait for the pond to fill back up.  There is some debris in quite a few of the valves and they continue to stick on because the diaphragm won’t close completely.  This will also be a long process.
The debris has been removed back down to the original clay surface.  It definitely reminds me of the results of the soil tests in 1998.  Those results stated it was the highest level of clay soil possible.  Standing on the bottom of the pond Saturday morning felt like a parking lot under my feet.  Here are a couple more pictures from the bottom of the pond.:

 #5 Pond Bottom.jpg
 10-17-20.jpg
It’s going to be a cold one today but the sun will still be shining.  The clubhouse will be closed today due to the cold weather.  Enjoy the remainder of your weekend and please get in touch with me if you have any questions.


Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

10-12-2020

Good Morning,
The rainfall last night was a great relief for the golf course.  It was definitely a time saver for staff and myself in regards to hand watering.  The rainfall did bring the pond level up higher than I had hoped.  We started the pump again this morning to draw the pond down to an acceptable level and not harm any fish.  
I met with Adam DeLoss yesterday to discuss the excavation process.  He is going to start on Wednesday to remove the silt in the intake and over dig the entire area.  The material will be stockpiled and removed at a later date.  He and I also agree there needs to be rock added around the area after he finishes to help limit the amount of future silting in this area. 
Staff and I are going to start the process of cleaning valves on greens and tee stations to remove any debris trapped in the diaphragms.  The wet well will be cleaned out with the Street Department’s jet vacuum once Adam is finished with his work.
It is not a pretty picture but thankfully a lot of people stepped up and helped us proceed in the right direction.  Also a special thanks to Mother Nature for the rain last night.  I will keep you posted as we move forward. 

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

10-9-2020

Good Afternoon,
The pond was finally pumped down to a level where we could evaluate the 24″ intake going into the pumphouse wet well.  The outcome is not good at all.    The around the intake area has completely silted covering the line.  The wet well has muck over two feet deep in the bottom.  

Mark White and Craig Poulsen met with me this morning to discuss how we proceed forward with the problem.  After lengthy discussion and many different scenarios we all agree the pond needs to be pumped down to a minimal depth.  We moved the large trailer pump from Viola out to the golf course to start the process.  It is being set up and ready to start pumping as I type this email.  
The pond is currently 3-4 feet deep and needs to be dropped 2-3 feet to expose the entire intake line.  The pump will start running now and go until the pond level is dropped.  Sunday I plan to meet with Adam DeLoss to discuss excavating around the 24″ intake line in the pond.  We will have a visual on the intake and be able to make a game plan.

We need to drain the pond and excavate around the 24″ intake in the pond.  After excavation we will have more discussion and make a long term decision and not a short term quick fix.  It’s been 20 years since the construction and we want our decision to think at least that far into the future.

This has been a day that goes far beyond stress for me.  This was an extremely difficult decision to make but there is no other option.  I know this is the Spencer Municipal Golf Course but I frequently refer to it as “my golf course” because that’s how much I care about the place.  It feels very helpless right now but thankfully some great people have helped start the process on a Friday afternoon so we don’t have to wait until Monday.
Having no irrigation is extremely scary and literally makes me want to cry.  My staff and I will need to find access to water tanks with pumps so we can water greens by hand through this process.  The rest of the course will not be irrigated obviously.  Once the repairs are completed it will take at least five or six days to fill the pond to a level where we can irrigate.  
Please be patient with us and also contact me if you have questions.  

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

10-4-2020

Good Morning,


The cooler temperatures and heavy frost Friday and this morning definitely brought the season of Fall to us.  What a difference from the hot and dry summer days.  It  has made  our maintenance practices less hectic and given us a lot of time to work on the irrigation system.  It also has placed us a couple hours behind our outside work schedule this morning.  But the chili has been finished!
I continued to monitor the pumphouse during irrigation cycles and lowered the pond level a few feet over the course of ten days.  One of us has to watch the intake screens and scrub the sides with a long broom when the debris starts to build up.  It’s been less than ideal but we are doing what we have to do to keep the golf course irrigated and continue to lower the pond level.  On Monday we will venture out to locate the line that runs from the pond into the pumphouse wet well.
With the pumphouse problems there was less irrigation and the well ran less frequently for the month of September.  The well ran for five days totalling 2,160,000 gallons of water which equates to 6.63 acre feet of water.  The golf course was irrigated with 4,500,000 gallons of water or 13.80 acre feet.  
This brings the year to date totals to 62.9 acre feet (20,505,400 gallons) for the well total and 103.52 acre feet (33,747,520 gallons) of irrigation water used.  We are allotted 81 acre feet for the well and 121.5 acre feet for the irrigation.  October is the last month we can run the irrigation within our permit requirements.  
Today we are hosting our annual Chili Open golf tournament with 12 golfers signed up by early entry.  It’s gonna be a bit chilly but the wind is calm and should turn into a pretty decent October golf day once the frost has disappeared.   It will be a fun day for all of the participants.  
This coming week the temperatures will warm back up to great golf weather.  Hopefully the golf traffic picks back up and we see a lot of friendly faces.  The warmer temperatures will also make it a little more bearable to start the process of dealing with our pumphouse problem.
Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  I will see the golf board tomorrow evening at the clubhouse followed by the virtual city council meeting.  Enjoy the day friends!

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

9-27-2020

Good Morning,
This past week we completed the aerification process of the greens.  We used needle tines (about 1/4″) that penetrated the soil to a depth of around 6-7 inches.  The aerification will help with root development, soil compaction, and water movement through the soil profile.  It will help control localized dry spots when wetting agents are applied regularly.  We double mowed the greens after aerification and they were in great shape ready for play.  It was a two day process to complete.
I have continued to work through difficulties in the irrigation pumphouse.  The screen on the line in the pond that runs to the wetline has failed.  There are a lot of weeds in this area of the pond due to silting and lower pond levels this season.  The pumps run and pull parts of the weeds and other debris into the wet well and it plugs the screen.  This eliminates the ability of the pumps to pull enough water from the wet well and the system shuts down due to low pressure.  
Here are a couple photos of the line running into the wet well during construction back in 1999:​ Pumphouse 2000
I spent Thursday night cleaning the wet well screens, with a long broom, during the night to make sure the system ran through the night.  With the higher temperatures and windy conditions it was necessary to soak the golf course.  I need to drop the pond level several more feet so we can access the intake line, remove the weeds, and apply a new screen.   It will take some time but the cooler temperatures will allow less watering time and we will also be able to irrigate some fairways during the day.
The other option would be to pump the water out of the pond and expose the intake.  The problem with this option is our water permit has a maximum water allotment from April through October.  We are down to less than ten days to pump water from our well and we really need the water in the pond to irrigate.  It will be a hassle for a while but we will work through it and eventually find resolve. 
Last night we hosted the Kiwanis After Five glow ball event.  There were 38 teams of two participating in a lit up night time golfing wonderland.  Everyone had a good time. It just turned into a very long night or some would call it morning.  But, it was a great fundraiser for their service club and we appreciate them choosing The Muni as their host.  
We hosted the Spencer High School cross country meet on Monday evening.  The golf course closed early due to safety concerns to protect the runners and fans.  The clubhouse also closed to follow our COVID 19 provisions.  I was on site to assist the school however needed and also provide access to the clubhouse in case of an emergency.  The event went very well.  We will be hosting the District meet on October 21.  
Lastly, we are now into our fall golf rates.  Players can come to the course and play golf all day long, with a cart, for $25.  They can also pay their 2021 season passes now and play the remainder of this season as well.  There have been quite a few people taking advantage of the season pass special.
Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  Next Sunday we will be hosting the annual Chili Open golf event.  Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.  I think a nap sounds pretty good.


Brian C MohrDirector of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

9-21-2020

Good Evening,
We are currently experiencing issues with our wet well portion of the irrigation system.  There is a 24″ line that goes from the bottom of the wet well into the irrigation pond.  This is where the water is drawn into the system and the screen is missing after 20 years of use.  
There are two large screens protecting our 6″ intake lines to keep debris out of the system.  The missing screen is causing a lot of debris to build up on the intake screens and reduce the availability of water causing low pressure failure.  Aquatic vegetation and tadpoles seem to be the main culprits right now.
This morning I started irrigating greens and tees at 4:00 AM.  I had to continuously brush the sides of the intake screens to remove the debris and keep them from clogging.  I found the lower the amount of gallons per minute flow, the less issues I had with debris build up.  
Tonight I will run the system at 675 gallons per minute instead of our normal 805 gallons per minute.  I’m very hopeful that once I can get the screens cleaned initially and get the system up to pressure it will work through the night.  Hopeful, not optimistic.
The solution will be to add a 90 degree elbow on the line out in the pond with a new screen attached.  This will hopefully eliminate the problem in the future.  The current issue is that the line is about six feet below the surface of the water 20 feet out in the pond.  Sounds like a lot of fun.
I am going to try and draw the pond level down further in order to access this line at some point.  I will also spray the aquatic vegetation in this area later in the fall to try and eliminate the problem.  It’s been another adventure in the wonderful year of RONA 2020.  
Staff and I are doing our best to work through this situation and continue with our irrigation practices.  Please help spread the word as we move forward with this situation.   

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa

51301712-260-5370www.spencermunigolf.com

9-20-2020

Good Morning,
This past week we hosted the People 4 Pets fundraiser on Friday afternoon with a golf event followed by “Yappy Hour.”  This included live music by Ryan Sather, silent auction items, and raffle drawings.  They served a wonderful meal along with socializing in an outdoor setting.  It was a wonderful day weatherwise and everyone seemed to have a great time.  The good news was they raised some money for a great cause in our community.
We are currently on the final day of our 1 Person Best Shot event for the week.  This tournament is set up by tee times only and the golfers can participate as many times as they prefer.  There have been 36 participants as of 8:00 this morning.  It’s a fun event and allows golfers to participate as their schedule allows.  It also has no disruption to open golf.
Our greens were sprayed with a wetting agent, foliar fertilizer, and fungicide on Thursday morning.  This was a scheduled application that falls right in line with our fertility program.  
The insecticide sprayed in fairways for the grubs has finally eliminated the majority of the problems.  It took a little time for the chemical to take effect but we have had no skunk issues for a handful of days.  The fairways were also sprayed back in late July where we had previously experienced grub issues.  Next season we will spray all the fairways and tees to eliminate the problem altogether.  
I am still working on a solution or even a temporary remedy for our pumphouse wet well.  We continue to get weeds into the well and the screens become plugged reducing water flow and causing the system to shut down to low pressure.  Staff and I will continue to work on this issue and keep you updated.
This coming week we will start aerifying our greens.  They will be needle tined at a depth of about 6″ and very tight spacing.  There will be minimal disruption to play.  The aerification will help open up the soil profile, allow better water penetration and root growth.  
We will also be fertilizing our tees, greens, and fairways.  These will be granular applications and fall in line with our application schedule this time of the season.  It will take a few days for the fairway and tee fertilizer to work into the soil, but the greens fertilizer breaks down after about ten minutes of irrigation and enters the soil rather quickly.
Monday evening we will be hosting the Spencer Tiger cross country meet.  This event is a postponement date from August.  The number of teams will be slightly down and the event will start at 5:00 PM.  The clubhouse and golf course will be closed at 4:00 PM.  I will be at the course to assist in any manner necessary.  
Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.  Please contact me with any questions so they can be addressed.  Good luck to our tournament participants playing today!


Brian C MohrDirector of Golf Operations
City of SpencerSpencer Municipal Golf CourseSpencer, Iowa 51301712-260-5370www.spencermunigolf.com

9-13-2020

Good Morning,
The past week was a little slower golf traffic wise due to the rainy days.  We closed early on Tuesday and Wednesday due to the cold and rain.  Thursday was the last men’s league night.  Friday was another cold and wet afternoon.  Saturday and today we are holding the Carl Spacklar event.  
The majority of the week was spent working on equipment in the shop as well as cleaning and organizing.  The light sound of rain made it enjoyable to be spending time inside.
Our irrigation was the other main point of emphasis this past week.  Last weekend the system shut down, overnight, due to low pressure.  After quite a bit of troubleshooting I realized the intake screen on the lead line was clogged.  There was aquatic vegetation and other debris keeping the water from entering the intake.
We removed the intake and screen from the wet well.  They were transported to the shop and power washed thoroughly.  The screens are very fine mesh and quite a few of these holes were plugged.  Lots of scrubbing and power washing removed the debris.  
The Street Division brought their Jet Vacuum out to the pumphouse to try and remove the debris from the wet well.  They were only able to get the line a few inches under the water, but I think it did the trick.  They were able to remove the majority of the vegetation present.  
The screen and intake were then moved back into the wet well and connected to the system.  I ran the system a couple of mornings to monitor the pressure and gallons per minute.  Everything seems to be working properly at this time.  
Almost an entire week of cooler weather along with the rainfall has definitely helped the golf course.  This season has been very stressful to the turf conditions as well as staff trying to maintain the golf course at a high level.  I have already started seeing improvement in dry areas.  We will be doing some overseeding in some of these areas when we aerify.  
Skunk damage continues to be an issue on holes #2 and #17 in the fairways.  Next season I will be spraying all the fairways and tees with an insecticide to eliminate the presence of grubs during this time of year.  Without the grubs present the skunks will stay away from the golf course.  It’s been very frustrating to say the least. 
Enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather today.  I will see the golf board members at our monthly meeting tomorrow evening.


Brian C MohrDirector of Golf Operations
City of SpencerSpencer Municipal Golf CourseSpencer, Iowa 51301712-260-5370www.spencermunigolf.com

9-7-2020

Good Morning,
It’s been a very busy weekend at the golf course.  We had a lot of green fees on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  There was also the Merten family golf outing held Saturday afternoon.  Tee times were booked solid all weekend until we got to the hot part of Sunday.  Today it looks like we have a lighter sign up for tee times.  Overall, a great weekend with a lot of golfers visiting the facility.
Year to date irrigation totals are 89.72 acre feet of water (29,750,000 gallons) has been applied to the golf course from the pond.  The well has pumped 55.66 acre feet of water (18,144,000 gallons) into the pond.  The Iowa DNR permit allows 121.5 acre feet of water to irrigate the golf course and 81 acre feet of water to be pumped from the well.  The upcoming cool weather will help tremendously on reducing irrigation totals this month.
We have continued to go around the course and repair or replace sprinkler heads that are not working properly.  Sometimes they get debris in the bottom and the head will not rotate.  We have also dealt with muskrat debris in the pumphouse wet well.  This is causing the holes in the intake screen to plug and the pump cannot pull enough water.  This causes low pressure and the system shuts down.  I cleaned the screen with an extension brush this morning.  If this does not work then we will need to remove the intake and screen to power wash the debris off the sides.  Another challenge from the muskrats.
Thursday evening I sprayed several fairways to control the grubs present in the soil.  These grubs become a fancy meal for the skunk population during the night time hours.  These skunks can tear the fairway up in a very short period of time.  The insecticide application will help with this issue.  
The cooler weather will really help make a difference in the golf course conditions.  It will allow us to irrigate adequately but less frequently.  The cooler temperatures will also allow some of the drier areas to recover.  We will hit these spots with hand watering and wetting agents to help the process.
We sent our tractor to the Country Club so they can aerify their greens this coming week.  Once they finish aerifying greens we will go over our greens at The Muni.  It will cause minimal disruption to the green and help with water penetration in the soil profile.  
That is a wrap on the past week at The Muni.  Enjoy the remainder of your holiday weekend.  


Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com