11-12-17

It has been a very busy week at the golf course.  The weather has not been exactly golf friendly but it has allowed DeLoss to gain a lot of ground on the water quality project.  We have also started servicing the majority of our equipment.  We are officially done mowing for the season.
The irrigation system was winterized from Monday afternoon until Wednesday evening.  The main lines and laterals have all been blown out and the pumphouse has been broken down.  It is always a nice job to have completed.
There has been quite a bit of water quality work done over quite a large area of the golf course.  But, I am very happy with how controlled the contractor has been to limit the damage to all designated areas.  The only real issues has been with irrigation piping but that was all expected.  I am impressed with their work.
They have completed almost all of the work in the area of number five green.  The 24″ outlet pipe is done.  The 36″ overflow has been installed.  The 8″ tile between number five green and six tees is complete.  They have also finished the majority of the dirt work in these areas.  It is a totally different look than what you are used to seeing around five green.
An 8″ tile has been installed from the pond behind number 12 green exiting at the irrigation pond.  Several tiles coming from farmland south of the golf course have been cleared and working perfectly.  They previously went through the pond behind 12 green and exited in the irrigation pond.  Now, they exit in the pond behind the green and have been capped on the north side of the pond.
Saturday the crew dug the pond behind 12 green to a depth closer to six feet and hauled the material to the south end of the golf course.  They also started hauling the remainder of the black soil to the south end of the course.
On Friday, I measured all the haul roads and areas in need of repair to order grass seed and starter fertilizer.  I also ordered sod from Del’s Garden Center.  They brought five pallets on Friday afternoon and will bring ten more pallets early next week.  This will allow us to sod all the areas where erosion could be an issue.
The remainder of the areas will be covered with black soil, tilled, then finally dormant seeded for a spring recovery.  It will be a hectic week or two moving forward but my plan is to finish everything before winter arrives
It has been a very busy and anxiety ridden process.  It’s never a good feeling to watch the golf course get destroyed by heavy equipment.  But it will be a nice challenge to bring it all back to life.
The staff and I repaired all the tile damaged areas by 16 green and 17 tees.  These areas were finish graded and dormant seeded.  We still need to make a final repair to the tile in this area.  It will be a discussion during the off season and a remedy will be made in the spring.
This will conclude another week at the old golf course.  I’m sure there is something I have missed in this update and if anyone wants a personal tour of the project I would be happy to comply.  Let me know if there are any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed.
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11-5-17

First, the water quality project is moving forward quite well with DeLoss.  They added a 24″ tile to act as the outlet for the irrigation pond.  There is also a new 8″ tile line running between five green and six tees.  The final work in this area will be the addition of large cement culverts to create an overflow control during extreme conditions.
The other work completed has been tile repair in the area of number twelve.  This tile will empty into the pond behind number twelve green.  This pond will be at least 4 feet deeper.  All existing tile leaving this pond will be capped.
The irrigation pond and the pond on number twelve will both have outlet valves to retain more water for an extended period of time.  The pumphouse will also be raised two feet.
I am very happy with the entire process.  DeLoss has been great to work with and it has definitely a big success.
My irrigation water report has been documented for 2017.  I am allotted 121.5 acre feet of water from the pond and 81 acre feet from our well.  An acre foot of water equals 326,000 gallons of water.  Total useage for 2017 was 62 acre feet from the irrigation pond and 39 acre feet from the well.
Budget figures are in nice shape for the past four months.  My revenue totals for 2017 are $132,600 and expenses totaled 151,000.  During 2016 revenues were $141,000 and expenses were $174,000.
Please feel free to contact me with any comments or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.

10-29-17

The past week allowed staff to continue working on our fall projects.  It also included the beginning of the water quality improvement project on the golf course.  Below is a picture of the initial start to the process:
This project will include the 24″ tile you see added to the north of the waterway.  This will be the new outlet to the irrigation pond.  The tile has a box installed where the water level can be adjusted by adding plates.  This process has reduced the pond level by several feet so the outlet can be completed.
There will also be a large concrete culvert installed where the current waterway is flowing behind #5 green.  This will be underground and work as an overflow when the pond is full from heavy rainfalls.  Deloss will start installing these early this coming week.
Lastly a new tile will be installed between five green and six tees.  This tile will run to the culvert on eleven fairway.  It will help with the problem drainage in this area and complete the work in this area.  They will move to #12 after completion.
There have been close to 30 trees removed the past two years at the golf course.  The majority are pine trees that died from pine wilt.  Our next step is to remove the stumps and fill the areas with soil.  I plan on working on these the next couple of weeks.
The new shelter is progressing nicely on #5 tee surrounds.  We are ready to add the tin roof this coming week.  After the roof is completed, we will add crushed concrete to the interior floor.  This will be followed by the shake siding installation.
I have also continued to work on the new five year business plan for the golf course.  This plan will be a guide for the golf course and the city as we move forward to another successful five years at the golf course.
That is conclude another week at the old golf course.  Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns.  Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.

10-22-17

It has been a beautiful week of golf weather.  It was a nice change of pace from the rainy and cold days the majority of the past two months.  It has really affected our revenues for the budget.  We are down about $20,000 in comparison to the past couple of years.  An early spring start up to the season will eliminate the majority of this deficit.
I have completed the majority of work for the 2017 Business Plan.  This plan will recap the success of the 2012 Business Plan and lay the groundwork for moving forward the next five years.  The remaining part to this new plan will be completed in November when I receive some financial figures from Brian Weuve.
This past week we removed quite a few dead trees around the golf course.  There were close to 20 trees removed throughout the 2017 golf season.  The stump removal will still be necessary later this fall.
Fortunately we received two tree grants, this past spring, totalling 105 new trees for the golf course.  These trees are doing great and have received much TLC during the season.  I also met with Trees Forever, last week, and the new trees were added to the GPS listing of all their new trees.
The water quality project is moving forward with much success in all areas of south Spencer.  The golf course portion has been on hold due to the heavy rainfalls and saturated soil conditions.  The current plan is to start work, around the fifth green surrounds, in the next couple of weeks.
Today we are hosting a three person best shot tournament.  There are 60 individuals signed up which is pretty good for this time of year.  It looks like sunshine and a temperature topping out around 65.  Sounds like the makings of a good day.
Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.

10-15-17

​The past week has been a little slow from a revenue stance.  There has obviously been a lot of rain and cooler temperatures making it difficult for any golf days.  The staff still persevered and has the golf course in pretty nice shape heading into the weekend.
The fairways on number five and 13 continue to be very saturated with standing water still present.  During the last heavy rainstorm I drove around the course to get an idea where the problem area might be on these holes.  I discovered an old farm tile shooting out of the ground a little over a foot into the air.
There are several areas of the course where I am seeing signs of damaged farm tile.  These areas have slowly started to appear since construction in 1999.  I need to sit down and develop a program to address these areas to eliminate the issues.
We hosted our annual chili open last Sunday.  There were 132 golfers participating in the event.  The weather was about as nice as we have seen the month of October.  This was a makeup date from October 1.  Originally there was 168 presigned individuals for the event.
On Tuesday, we hosted the Lakes Conference cross country meet.  There was also a Pink Out event held following the high school meet.  The weather was not the best but the runners had a successful day.  Money was also raised during the Pink Out event.
I spent quite a bit of time working at the fire station for fire prevention week.  We visited the majority of the children in grades pre Kindergarten through fifth grade.  It was an amazing educational process for the children and myself included.  It felt very rewarding to participate in this education.
The main part of my work has been a new five year business plan for the golf course.  In 2012, I developed a five year business plan to show the elected officials how the golf course would build the operation reserve and function as a successful business.  The five years have ended for that plan.
I think it is very important to maintain a plan as we move forward.  The 2017 plan will share the results of the previous plan and provide you with the goals of the next five years at the golf course.  I will have this finished by the end of the month and it will be submitted during the budget process.
My wife and I had a planned vacation to celebrate her birthday and our wedding anniversary, but it has been on hold.  There was a family medical issue that needs to be our priority right now.  We are still planning the trip and I will let you know when it will happen.
Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  It looks like golf weather the coming week.  Hopefully that is a good thing for our farmers as well.

10-8-17

There is not much to say about this past week other than wet, cold, and hardly any revenue.  It was a challenge trying to get everything mowed prior to the weekend.  Our sand traps washed out again, Friday morning, and the course resembled a river more than a golf facility.
I will say the retention pond, the the east of the course, has functioned very well through all this rainfall.  It is full to the highest level, since construction, and it is definitely slowing the movement of surface water.  The waterways are full, on the course, but there was minimal standing water near the Prime Rib. ​
In the next couple weeks, the water quality project will start on the golf course property.  I would like to see all equipment enter the golf course at the entrance next to 12 tees.  The work road would be right along the pond and cross the stream behind number five green.  This will eliminate the crossing of anyoly work through the waterway.  There will also be a new outlet tile added behind five green.  This will allow us to control the water level in the pond.
I was originally had plans to head out of town October 6 through the 21st.  Those plans have changed due to some family medical issues.  I do plan on heading out of town for my wife’s birthday and our anniversary, but the time table is not set.
When I do leave town, Mark Lawson will be in charge of monitoring the daily operations at the golf course.  My dad will monitor the irrigation system and any other necessary maintenance practices that become necessary.  I will be available by phone or email every day.
Our annual chili open is rescheduled for this morning.  There are currently 160 players signed up for the event.  It should be a great day and hopefully the weather will cooperate and add to that success.
Please feel free to contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.

10-1-17

What a beautiful week for golf.  The course has been steady with lots of golfers taking advantage of the fall rates.  We are hosting our annual chili open this morning.  There are 168 people currently signed up for the event.  It will be a packed house and hopefully the weather cooperates.
Our revenues are just about equal to September 2016 and expenses are significantly lower.  For the year to date budget we have approximately $119,000 in revenues and $122,735 in expenses.  Last year, for the same period, revenues were $125,736 and expenses totalled $144,318.  So, financially we are sitting very well as we wind down the season.
There has been a lot of progress completed on the new shelter.  The posts were all set, followed by the soffet trim, and finally the trusses were added.  The street division gave us some much needed help to make sure the building is square and set properly.  We will continue to work on the project as time permits.
The pond on number ten was treated several times to eliminate the algae.  There was quite an accumulation but after applying copper sulphate it is almost 100% clear of the algae.  The copper sulphate is toxic to the algae and causes the dieback.  The key is to treat 1/3 of the pond at a time in order to eliminate a fish kill.  After a 48-72 hour wait, another application is added.  This process is done 3-4 times and leaves the pond looking great.
We have once again been very short staffed on the maintenance side of things.  Also the heavy dew point conditions has forced a lot of mowing in the evenings.  It is time consuming but it also leaves the golf course looking great.  Otherwise we have grass clumps lying all over the place and looks unsightly.
Overall, the golf course is in very nice shape.  The fairways have been great all year.  The tees are growing and remain healthy.  The greens have been very consistent all year and remain in a very healthy state.  The rough continues to grow at a rapid rate and can kindly slow down any time now.  I appreciate the hard work and care the grounds employees dedicate to the golf course on a daily basis.
Our clubhouse staff has been outstanding all year long.  There are several new additions and many employees that return each year.  I am very happy with the dedication and level of performance they provide our customers.  They really take a lot of pride in this facility and their work ethic proves that point.
​This morning I am running some irrigation cycles and hoping that the rain does not spoil our annual chili open.  We have over 160 golfers signed up to play today.  This is a great event that gets a lot of support from our golfers.  Rain rain go away, come again another day!
I will see each of you at the respective meetings tomorrow evening.  In the meantime, please ​contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  Have an enjoyable final day of the weekend!

9-24-17

The warm weather has made for some beautiful golf conditions as we start the fall golf season.  All green fee rates are $25 for cart rental and all day golf.  There have been quite a few players taking advantage of this option.  We are also offering free golf to city employees with only a $5 charge for cart rental.  This offer applies to the mayor and council members as well.  Stop out and play a few holes with us.
Irrigation repairs was the top of the list for the last ten days.  I spent nearly 20 hours tracing an electrical problem that shut down the entire system.  This started last Thursday night and was finally repaired Tuesday evening.
I started the irrigation system in the early morning hours of Saturday so I was able to watch the system to make sure everything worked correctly.  I am happy to tell you I was able to water tees, approaches, and greens with absolutely no issues.  I still have some repairs to finish but everything is working correctly that does not need replaced.
Thankfully we had some rainfall that made this repair process less challenging.  The electrical issue ended up being a decoder, which controls individual valves on each station of each hole.  When the decoder fried itself, it maxed out the electrical amperage and made every station inoperable.  So, you start going through the stations trying to narrow down the problem area.
The new shelter construction started on Friday.  It was quite a battle dealing with the heavy clay soil along with the high water table.  I hit water at about 36″ when augering the holes for the posts.  It was very time consuming and only four posts were set.  Progress will continue on Monday.  Thank you to the street division for providing a couple men to supervise me on the project.
I planned on finishing repair work on the tile areas of 17 tee surrounds, but the machine was still not working.  Saturday morning was the plan which was quickly dashed when the machine continued to have the same issues previously experienced.  I will talk to the street division mechanics on Monday to determine the problem.
The pond on number ten was treated for algae control on Wednesday morning and followed up with a second application Saturday morning.  The process is going to require several more applications to finally remove all the algae.  I have apologized to the neighbors because I failed to stay on top of scheduled applications.  I hope to have it under control very soon.
It looks like the weather will move toward a cooling pattern this coming week.  I am hopeful for sunshine next Sunday.  We have 150 people signed up for our annual chili open.  Lots of chili and lots of golfers and lots of fun!

9-17-17

It was a very slow week at the golf course.  Normally we are fairly steady with golfers during the fair week.  This year it has not been the case.  I don’t know the reason but it was a very slow week of golfers.  Hopefully things will pick back up this coming week.
I spent some time cleaning up the old shelter on number five tee surrounds.  I removed a lot of the damaged material and starting planning for the building of the new structure.  The easiest approach will be to remove the existing trusses from the remainder of the frame and start from scratch.  There is a lot of damage to the 2″x6″ boards.
We will auger the holes and place the 4″x4″ posts to a depth of four feet.  Then the frame will be completed and the existing trusses will be added one by one.  It will add a little more material expense but the main savings will be from using the old trusses.  This process will be starting very soon.
I experienced some irrigation issues late in the week.  There is an electrical failure somewhere in the field that will not allow the system to work.  I spent some time going through field stations trying to narrow the issue.
I want to thank Ryan Lux for giving me some assistance on Friday.  Also, thank you for the rain that eased the pain of no irrigation system.  I am continuing to work on the issue this morning and hope to have it repaired tomorrow.
Starting tomorrow, the golf course goes to fall rates.  For $25 you can play golf all day with a rental cart.  We will also start season passes for 2018.  Pay half now and half in the spring allowing you to play the remainder of 2017 and all of next year.
That is a wrap on another week at the golf course.  Please contact me with any questions or concerns.  Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.

9-10-17

The fairways and tees were fertilized a little over a week ago and they are really growing.  The thick grass has made it very difficult to mow when it is wet.  So, afternoon and evening mowing has been necessary.  The lower temperatures, high dew point, and being very humid all adds to the difficulty of mowing grass.
​The cooler days have aided in using less irrigation water during the nights.  ​I think our irrigation totals will easily fall below the amount allowed by the IDNR on our water permit. ​
​I​t seems a little early to have the morning temperatures hovering around 40 and you can see your breath.​  Even the trees are reacting to the lower temperatures with leaves starting to turn to fall colors.  Fall golf is a great time of the season and hopefully it sticks around for a long time.​
The fairways and tees look about as nice as they have since the golf course construction in 1999.  We have some little areas that need sod attention and other lightly damaged areas due to irrigation issues.  But, overall everything looks beautiful.
We hosted the police outing on Tuesday and are preparing for the Spackler tournament this morning.  Each event we host plays a big part in the overall success of our budget.

​The police outing was a lot of fun with close to 50 players.  The Spackler is always around 150 very enthusiastic players.​
The yardage books have been completed and ordered.  We will be receiving 250 books in the next couple of weeks.  I think they turned out great and will be a nice addition to the golf course.
I have spoken with some of the elected officials in regards to the ILCC fundraiser November 2.  I have heard no negative feedback and plan on giving them the go ahead on Monday.  I think it will be a great opportunity for the muni and the college.
I keep saying it each week, so I might as well mention it again.  Being short staffed has made it difficult to complete some of our scheduled projects but we will eventually get them finished.  They are still scheduled to be completed as soon as possible.
The clubhouse staff is short but everyone has stepped up to make sure we are covering each shift.  Overall things are going very smoothly and our customers are being accommodated at a high level.