3-7-2021

Good Morning,


The golf course driving range officially opens today!  The clubhouse opened yesterday for the 2021 golf season.  We had a decent amount of golfers stopping in to pay their fees with receipts totalling over $4400.  We anticipate a very busy day with golfers stopping out to hit a few golf balls and pay their fees.


This past week I have toured the golf course on a daily basis to monitor the conditions and frost levels.  At the start of the week I was very concerned with the puddling on greens and other low areas of the golf course.  As the week progressed the greens are clear of snow and no standing water is present.  The golf course is still very wet and snow is standing in quite a few areas.
Starting the 2021 golf season is not quite time yet for actual golf.  As of Saturday afternoon, I probed the greens and hit frost between depths of one to three inches.  The frost level needs to drop below 12 inches before I can even cut a cup in the greens.  I will continue to monitor the course conditions and we will be open for play as soon as the course is ready for traffic.


The Golf Board has decided to conduct our membership drive from a virtual aspect.  We encourage everyone to go to www.spencermunigolf.com to pay their fees online.  Once you reach the webpage, go to the course schedule tab, the online payment option will be on the right side of the screen.  You can pay any fees with a credit or debit card.  We will also accept payments in the clubhouse.  Any payment of a season pass of green fee punch card will enter you into the drawings on April 11th.  The top prize will be a $100 gift certificate to SMGC.

Enjoy the beautiful weather and try to find some time to stop out and see us at The Muni.  The driving range is always a great place to knock the rust off to start the season!

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

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3-6-2021

“Virtual Season Pass Drive”
SPENCER MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE
Deadline: Saturday, April 10, 2021
Paying your 2021 adult season pass or punch card
makes you eligible for raffle prize drawings to be held
at the conclusion of the Virtual Season Pass Drive.

Paying your season pass options include: our automatic withdrawal option
for multiple payments each month, paying online with a credit card, or
contacting the clubhouse to pay in person. We also ask you to pay any
other 2021 fees which include cart storage, trail fees, etc. Season pass or
punch card payments, through April 10, will enter you in the drawings
with the top prize a SMGC $100 Gift Certificate. There will also be a golf
bag and other gift certificates awarded during the drawing.

Please make checks payable to SMGC. Please include what type of pass
you are purchasing. We also accept credit/debit cards at the clubhouse or
online. To be eligible we need your contact information upon payment.
This year you will be required to have a season pass card or a daily
green fee tag when you play golf. Every golfer will be required to
check in at the clubhouse prior to play.
League Sign Up Information
If you are interested in joining a league please email
bmohr@spenceriowacity.com with your information and it will be forwarded
to the appropriate league.
The Spencer Municipal Golf Board and staff look forward to seeing
you during the 2021 golf season. Think Spring!!
Remember it is illegal to bring your own alcohol onto the course!
Director of Golf, Brian C Mohr (712-260-5370)

3-3-2021

Good Afternoon,
I toured the golf course late this morning to check on the turfgrass, standing water, and overall condition of the golf course.  I’m very happy with the condition of the turfgrass throughout the golf course.  The greens still have a lot of snow on most of them but some are completely clear.  Some greens have a lot of standing water with the snow.  

Snow is melting fast and surface drainage is happening everywhere with a lot of it ending up in the irrigation pond.  There are quite a few areas that drain very poorly and the water is gathering in large puddles.  I’ve had quite a few inquiries about golf with the warm temperatures.  I don’t see that happening in the next week or so.  

The frost depth is unknown at this time but starts at less than 1/4″ from the surface.  The warmer days will slowly drop the frost level down but the golf course will not be safe to play until surface water will drain into the soil.  

My biggest concern at this time of the year is the temperatures dropping and all of the standing water freezes on the greens and fairways.  Or the wind picks up to high speeds and blows off the exposed turf for an extended period of time.  Both conditions could severely damage the grass in these areas. 

I would encourage people to be patient and the golf season will arrive once the course can handle the cart traffic.  I’ve always opened the golf course as soon as conditions dictate and plan to do so again this year.  Below are some pictures:

 #17Green 3-3-21.jpeg
 #3Fairway 3-3-21.jpeg
 #12 Green 3-3-21.jpeg
 #3Green 3-3-21.jpeg
 #5Fairway 3-3-21.jpeg
 Irrigation Pond3-3-21.jpeg

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have at this time.  I’m sharing this information with you to help educate people with questions.


Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

2-28-2021

Good Morning,
This past week consisted of interviewing part time employees, accepting applications for the clubhouse and grounds, and starting the hiring process for the 2021 golf season.  There are still six employees who need to turn their application in before the hiring process begins.  There will be a couple of new employees working in the clubhouse and the staff on the grounds will remain the same as last season.


The Capital Improvement Plan for the 2022 budget process includes the purchase of ten new rental carts and a new rough mower for the grounds.  We currently have a fleet of 20 rental carts and the addition of ten more will definitely help accommodate our customers during peak playing times and events.  In the past we have used private carts to meet these needs.  I have accepted bids from two vendors on the rental cart purchase and also acquired a state bid to replace the Toro rough mower.  These items will move forward for council approval and be purchased after July 1.


Our website has been updated for the 2021 event schedule.  We will continue to run some of the private events over a two day schedule in order to limit the number of people in the clubhouse as well as free up more tee times for open golf.  The cross country meets have also been scheduled for the upcoming fall.  I would encourage people to contact the clubhouse for open golf tee times during days of events.  The golf course is not always closed to the public.


Lastly, I attended a training session on the new Parks and Recreation software that will be implemented at the golf course for 2021.  This software will allow us to have up to date information on all our passholders.  The plan is to have a card to scan upon registration that will bring the player’s information up on the screen.  It will show what type of pass the golfer has purchased and if payments are up to date.  It will be a lot of information to obtain and enter at the start but will make things much simpler as we move forward.
The golf board will be discussing our 2021 membership drive at the meeting Monday evening.  Last year we planned this event but it was cancelled due to COVID 19.  We all look forward to getting this event scheduled and kicking off a great start to 2021.
Please contact me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.  I don’t always have the answers but together we can definitely be more informed.  Enjoy your day!



Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

2-21-2021

Good Morning,
I returned from vacation a couple of weeks ago and spent a lot of time getting caught up on a lot of office work.  I also attended several meetings that addressed the 2021/22 golf course budget.  The bottom line will stay very consistent with the current budget operations.  This will allow us to operate the golf course with no major price changes.  


There will be a couple of changes with the elimination of corporate season passes and green fee punch cards will be $250 instead of the previous $230.  The corporate passes originated to increase our golf population from area businesses.  The business paid the pass for a minimum of two employees to receive the reduced rate.  It has become less and less popular with businesses and therefore was decided to eliminate this option.   


I will be working with the Finance Director, this coming week, to receive training on new software that will be installed at the golf course to track our golfers fees paid and the registration process.  This software will allow us to quickly see who has paid their fees and who has not paid at the time of registration.  City Hall will be able to follow the information as it is entered into our computer in the clubhouse.  It should make the process a lot easier on the clubhouse staff.


This past week I have contacted the majority of our returning employees to find out who is returning for the 2021 golf season.  Each response has been an excited “YES!”  There are still a couple individuals I have not heard back from and also a couple of upcoming interviews for new staff.  I’m very happy to hear the staff is excited to return for another season.  They do a fabulous job and are definitely appreciated beyond words.

The part time staff on the grounds will all be returning and are anxious to get back to work.  It’s difficult to believe we will be golfing soon while looking out the window to a heavy snowfall.  It won’t be long and the grass will be green sprinkled with golf balls.  


I have continued to work on equipment and other maintenance duties most of the off season.  There are still some small items to address but the majority of the equipment is in “ready to go” condition.  We all need to remember our equipment is aging rapidly and breakdowns are a regular part of the work day.  Hopefully the Capital Improvement Plan will help us update the fleet over the next few years.

We will be purchasing ten new rental carts to add to our current 2021 fleet.  This will allow us to accommodate a lot more golfers during the peak playing times as well as events.  This will be a great asset.  Also, a new rough mower will be added this season.  Our main rough unit has 5000 hours on it and is nearing the end of the race.  It’s impossible to rely 100% on this unit day in and day out.  It has done more than paid for itself over the years.


Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments.  

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

1-17-2021

Good Morning,


The week has closed with a wonderful winter wonderland.  We had such warm temperatures the majority of the snow melted off the greens and tee areas of the golf course.  Rainfall of .25″ arrived early Thursday morning and provided the golf course with plenty of moisture.  It soaked into the greens then developed a very this layer of ice on top of the turfgrass.  It looked beautiful leading into the blizzard conditions.  Overall the golf course is in very nice shape at this time of the off season.

The Street Division was on site to remove the pond material near the pumphouse surrounds.  This is the material that was removed during the pumphouse intake repair process.  It doesn’t look like a lot of material until you start hauling it away.  We were able to complete about 2/3 of the process before the ground condition became too soft.  The material is being hauled to the south end of the golf course where it will be leveled and seeded in the Spring.  The project will be completed at a later date.

I visited Public Works and asked to remove our dumpsters until the Spring golf season arrives.  It is a constant issue of people coming over from the storage units and dumping their trash in our dumpsters and giving no regard to contaminating our recycling.  On Wednesday I caught an individual dumping his garbage and approached him for a conversation.  He agreed to discontinue dumping his trash and also paid a small fee which I invoiced at the transfer station.  


I was unable to work on the welding project due to my time frame and the Street Division using this room for repairs.  The snowfall also caused a conflict at the end of the week.  I hope the guys have some time to finish this for me in the next couple of weeks and I will then complete the reel sharpening process.


Golfers, please visit our website to make payments for your season passes, cart storage spaces, and punch cards.  The golf course will only be allowing single payment options once the clubhouse is open.  If you need to make multiple payments your only option is to sign up for the automatic bank withdrawal.  This can be completed on our website.  All other fees can be made in a one time credit card payment on the website.  Please help share this information to the public.


A couple of changes this season are the elimination of corporate season passes and punch cards are raised to a price of $250.  Both of these golf options have been abused in the past.  The original intent of the corporate pass is no longer working.  A single season pass will be your option now.  The punch cards are also abused by not checking in to the clubhouse.  This is going to be the last season for punch cards if this problem persists.

There had been discussion of exploring a full time clubhouse manager/parks department programmer.  After analyzing public feedback, conversations among city staff, and reviewing the success of changes in clubhouse operations I felt like it was in our best interest to put this on hold and gather more information.  I would like to go through an entire golf season to see what the total effect of the clubhouse operational changes have on our budget.  So far they have made a significant difference.


Lastly, I attended more online education this past week.  I have attended over 50 hours of online training this off season.  It’s wonderful to have access to so much online education through my Golf Course Superintendents Association of America membership.  With the elimination of live conferences and training opportunities it’s allowed me to still gain continued education training and gain a lot of valuable information.  
I will be going on vacation shortly after you receive this email.  I will be gone for three weeks but still available by email and sometimes phone.  Otherwise I hope to get some rest and relaxation and recharge for the start of the 2021 golf season.  Please contact me with any comments or questions.  Enjoy your weekend.


Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

1-10-21

Good Morning,


The past week I continued to work on equipment in the maintenance facility.  Our five year Capital Improvement Plan will eventually replace the majority of our equipment over the next five years.  If the plan is approved we will be adding ten new rental carts to our fleet this season.  This addition will help us accommodate more golfers during events and busy times of the season.  This past season our 20 rental carts were rented out by noon on the weekends and golfers were waiting for carts to come in off the course.  This will definitely be a helpful addition.


Our rental cart revenue, from July through December 2020 was the highest it has ever been.  Twenty plus years ago we leased our cart rentals on an annual basis.  After a lot of research the decision was made to purchase our rental carts and discontinue the lease option.  This decision has proved to be an outstanding financial investment for the golf course.  Our rental carts get a lot of use during the season. 


The golf course budget is close to being finished for 2021/22.  There will not be much change in the bottom line of the budget.  One change will be the wage of our part time employees.  Part time wages have been adjusted to show consistency throughout all the departments.  This will be a nice adjustment for the staff that puts in the hard work on the grounds and in the clubhouse.  The budget will be shared with the golf board then presented to the council in early March.


In the upcoming week I will complete the reel sharpening process and continue to work on equipment.  I will be leaving for vacation on January 17.  I’m looking forward to time away and I’m also excited for the great things 2021 is going to bring to our golfers. 

Brian C Mohr

1-3-2021

Good Morning and Happy New Year!


This past week I spent time finishing the 2021/22 budget.  There are still a few line items left that need some work from the finance office but otherwise it is ready for presentation.  The overall budget is fairly similar to the current budget.  Some changes were made to part time salary pay scales along with updated insurance premiums.  The overall bottom line should end up being very close to 20/21.


It’s difficult to foresee what 2021 will bring to the golf industry.  We had a successful 2020 even though we spent the entire season under COVID 19 provisions.  There were changes made in the clubhouse mid season that really had a positive impact on the golf course operations.  We finished the last half of the year with the highest revenue totals in a long time.  It was extremely promising.  Thank you to the golfers and our staff!


As we move forward into 2021 the golf course Capital Improvement Plan and 2021/22 budget will be presented to the City Council.  The CIP has already been shared with the Committee of the Whole but needs final authorization by the council to accept the five year plan.  The budget approval will follow shortly after this process.  Both of these presentations will set the framework for the golf course as we move forward.  


The past week I spent time at the Street Division learning how to use the acetylene torch.  The torch comes in very handy with the removal of damaged bearings and races in turf equipment rollers.  It was a very educational process and I felt like I really grasped the concept quickly and was able to get through a dozen damaged rollers.  It’s a great skill to develop and I will definitely be able to utilize this on future equipment repairs.


I also had Justin show me some of the beginning techniques with the welder.  There are some repairs that need to be completed on seven of our fairway reels and it’s been hard for the Street Division to fit it into their schedule.  So, I decided I should learn how to weld.  It was actually a fun experience but I need to continue practicing a little more before I start on the fairway reel repairs.  Both of these learning moments will help complete repairs in a timely manner.  Kind of exciting!


The rest of the week was spent working a little bit on equipment and I also watched a couple more webinars on welding basics.  The upcoming week will allow me some more practice time on the welder and hopefully I can graduate to the level of making repairs.  I will also finish rebuilding rollers that had damaged bearings removed.  


I hope each of you had a nice and relaxing time bringing in the New Year.  I will see the golf board members and city council at the respective meetings Monday night.  Have a great day everyone! 

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

12-27-2020

Good Morning,
I hope each of you had a Merry Christmas and a very happy holiday season.  It’s been a long year with the pandemic so it’s not easy to spend time with all our families.  This is a season for giving and sharing and everyone could use a little bit of that on a daily basis.  Whether it was in person, phone calls, or video chatting I hope everyone was able to share some time with loved ones.  I hope 2021 is a little easier on all of us.


The past week at the golf course was spent working in the clubhouse and the maintenance facility.  I worked on fairway mowers in the shop and returned phone calls in the clubhouse.  There were not nearly as many gift certificates sold this year but hopefully the golfers that received one were happy with their present.  We look forward to seeing you in 2021.


The fairway mowers are probably the units that receive the most wear and tear during the season.  These units are from 2012 and have quite a few hours of service accumulated.  The rollers on the reels have a high amount of force placed on them every day while in use.  The rollers keep each reel level, mowing properly, and play a large part in the quality of cut. 


There are two rollers on each of the five reels per machine.  They have bearings and seals on each end along with grease fittings.  They are prone to get a lot of moisture and debris into the bearings.  Daily maintenance is a priority during the season to prolong the life of each bearing.  In the off season the repair process starts by removing the old bearings and seals and rebuilding them with new parts.  


We have a dozen spare rollers to go along with the actual rollers in use.  I have rebuilt a handful of rollers and torn apart the remainder of the rollers.  The roller repair will continue into next week and hopefully will be completed by mid week.

There are still some welding repairs to be completed on seven of the 15 fairway reels.  Once these welds are complete then I can finish sharpening the fairway reels, add the rebuilt rollers, and adjust the cutting height on each one.  They will then be ready for the upcoming season.


The snow storm on Wednesday started off with rainfall then the high winds and blowing snow.  The majority of the snow is behind any mounding on the golf course.  There is very little snow on the greens but at least the rainfall helped provide some moisture.  It is very important to have the greens protected during the winter months.  Especially since the drought conditions, leading into winter, left the turfgrass under a lot of stress.  


I toured the golf course on Saturday and everything looks to be in pretty good shape right now.  There is a very thin layer of ice on the greens which will help protect them from the high winds and colder temperatures.  Hopefully we get a snowfall that stays in place and provides a blanket for the greens the rest of the winter.


The year is winding down and we will be ringing in 2021 at the end of the week.  I hope each of you has a safe New Year and we can all eventually get back to a little bit of normalcy at some point.  Until then stay safe and healthy.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each of you and your families! 

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

12-20-2020

Good Morning,
The past week involved a lot of time spent on the 20/21 golf course budget.  It’s very difficult to be precise because of the COVID 19 and dry conditions.  We saw a lot more golfers than we have the past few years and no events were rained out.  For the calendar year we had over $77,000 in green fees and over $61,500 in cart rentals.  The green fees is the highest total in four years.  The cart rental is the highest we have ever received.  Attached is a Google Sheet showing revenue information dating back to 2003: 

season comparisons 12-15-2020


As you can see from the figures on the document revenues vary year to year.  There has been a gradual decline over the past 20 years.  Seeing the positive 2020 calendar year has me very optimistic.  The 20/21 budget is sitting at close to a $60,000 increase compared to the previous year during July thru December.  A solid spring start will put us in a lot better financial shape than the past three years.


The budget can fluctuate substantially depending on the weather.  2017 thru 2019 the weather was high precipitation all season.  This causes the grass to grow more rapidly, the entire course needs to be mowed frequently, and events get rained out.  This leads to higher labor expense, more hours on equipment, and less revenue because of rain days lost.  A dry season results in the rough going dormant, less mowing frequency, and more golf days.  2020 was a perfect revenue season.


Please enjoy the upcoming Holidays and take some time to make somebody’s day a little more special.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to each of you and your family!

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com