12-4-2022

This update has been prepared for the December 5 Golf Board and City Council meetings. It’s an overview of the past month activities at The Muni and some of projects targeted for the near future.

1. Golf Events/Website

  • The 2023 Course Schedule is listed on the website.  The events listed have already been confirmed or they are currently reserved from the 2022 event date.  This list will be updated as we move forward. 
  • I have made some updates to the current website.  Photo albums will soon be updated. Our online credit card payment is currently not working.  The portal is not responding to the 2023 rates page.  I hope to have this resolved soon.  The automatic withdrawal option is currently optional.  Our home page will be adjusted to show the payment options and tournament scoring for the 2023 events.  Golf Board input is appreciated for the website as well.
  • Arts of Grand will be holding their Fall Gala in the clubhouse on Friday, December 9.  This event will be in the evening.  There are several other events scheduled for the month of December and January.

2. Trees/Stumps

  • Campbell’s Tree Service will be back to this off season to remove three more large ash trees with EAB.  These trees are located on the west side of #17.  There is no set time for the removal process.  They removed seven ash to date on holes #16 and #17.​​​ #11 cottonwood removed.jpg
  • Staff recently removed five additional small ash trees on holes #2 and #17.  The maintenance staff has removed ten small ash trees this fall.  
  • Staff cut the remaining stumps down to ground level around the course.  There are a total of 17 tree stumps that still need to be ground, fill material added, and seeded.  
  • Staff has completed pruning the bushes on the golf course.  Pruning is done to keep the plants at a manageable height which provides a better visual appearance and allows us to maintain the areas to a higher level.

3. Fertilizer

  • Greens were fertilized with a granular fertilizer on Wednesday, November 9.  This fertilizer application will help the turfgrass enter the off season with plenty of nutrients and create a healthier plant that can withstand stress to a higher degree.

4. Ponds/Well

 Geese Galore.jpg

  • The golf course has a permit with the Iowa DNR which limits the amount of water that is pumped from the pond for irrigation purposes.  It also limits the amount of water pumped from the well into the irrigation pond.  The permit runs from April 1 through October 31 annually.  I applied for and received an extension to use the irrigation system during the month of November.  The well was shut off for the season on November 1.  
  • The 2022 water report has been submitted to the Iowa DNR.  Our totals were substantially lower than normal due to the well and irrigation issues.
  • The pond on #10 has maintained the water level since repairs were completed and the pond was filled on October 25.  The area south of the pond was repaired, fill material added, and sod will be placed in the spring​​​​

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5. Irrigation 

 #12 blowout 11-10-22.jpg

  • The irrigation system ran on a daily basis from November 1 through late morning November 10.  The golf course responded with a lot of green grass appearing in areas where irrigation had been limited for so long.  The golf course was in really good shape, at this time, considering we had such limited irrigation for several months.
  • We opened the irrigation drains and started the air compressor on Wednesday afternoon, November 10.  By late evening the main lines are cleared of water and blowing only compressed air.  Early the following morning of the 11th, we started going through each lateral line with the winterization process.  By 2:00 PM we were finished.  The pumphouse was winterized on Friday, November 12.     
  • I made a detailed list of all irrigation issues with each station around the golf course.  Staff and I worked on these issues all the way up until the end of the day on November 11.  We replaced damaged irrigation heads and broken canisters around the golf course.  There have been repairs completed on lateral lines, valves, and diaphragms.  
  • There is still a long list of necessary repairs but we completed quite a few before the weather changed for the worse. 

6. Equipment

  • Staff has been changing oil and replacing filters in all equipment, including rental carts.  During this process a documented list of necessary repairs is completed.  This list will allow for proper off season maintenance to be completed prior to the 2023 season.
  • Reel sharpening has also started.  Each of the reel type mowers needs the reel and bedknife replaced and sharpened.  This process involves proper leveling and adjustment to produce a perfect edge established to provide a high quality cut on the turfgrass plant.  A high quality of cut helps reduce stress and limit unnecessary stress on the plant.​ Adjusted.jpg
  • The street division will be completing some maintenance work on a couple of the rental carts in regards to the engine.    

7. Clubhouse

  • We started painting interior areas of the clubhouse.  Most of these areas involve trim and heavier traffic areas in the building.  This process is strictly cosmetic to keep the building looking as new as possible.  
  • There were a couple of tv’s replaced inside the building.  SMU completed some updates which outdated some of our television sets.  We had some monetary donations to help offset these costs.  We still plan to replace a couple more moving forward.
  • The new TPAR computer software will be installed during the month of February. This will allow us to iron out any glitches or issues.  Golfers will be able to update their contact information and register with the use of a coded identification card for the 2023 season.  
  • The golf simulator will be available for appointment only during the winter months.  Myself or part time staff will operate the clubhouse this off season.  The simulator will be up and running mid December.
  • Part time staff will still work certain hours in the clubhouse to be determined by the number of events hosted.

8. Fall Projects Completed

  • Aerification of the greens was completed on November 3.  For the 2023 season, greens will be aerified with needle tines on a monthly basis during June, July, and August.  Using needle tines creates a hole a little bigger than a pencil to a depth of 8-10 inches.  This process will not disrupt play and also help us control isolated dry areas.​ #9 aerify 11-3-22.jpg
  • The cart path removal was completed in late October.  We did add additional millings to these areas to keep the surfaces level while settling. ​ #12 cart path millings.jpg
  • I completed my 2022 continued education hours for my pesticide license.  This license certifies me in the application of products to turf, ornamentals, and aquatic areas of the golf course.  I am the only licensed applicator at the golf course.
  • Staff has moved the majority of private carts out of the north half of the east shed.  We still have a couple of carts left to move from this shed.  All cart owners have been notified of these plans.   This will allow us to park all 30 rental carts each day and not interfere with private carts. 

9. Offseason Projects

  • I set up the turf sensor and nodes underground on the practice green for the University of Minnesota winter turfgrass survey.  This study is shared amongst multiple universities in the United States as well as the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research.  It gathers winter data from over 80 different golf courses to better understand how winter weather affects turfgrass.  This data connects directly with the university.  I also gather weekly information, every Sunday, to provide photos and feedback.  This is the second year we have participated in this research project.​ Turf study data.jpg
  • Sand will hopefully be added to the traps on the golf course this winter or early spring.  We need to find a more coarse sand that is not affected by the wind so severely.​​​ 15 green 3-19-22.jpg
  • Ash trees with EAB will be monitored in the spring once leaf tissue starts appearing.  If the tree has an evenly distributed tree canopy, then water movement has not been disrupted throughout the tree and chemical treatment can be done in May.    EAB 11-10-2022.jpg
  • Barn Swallow control is still planned for a couple of the cart sheds.  We will add a mesh type material around the rafters.  The time frame has not been established. 
  • Inventory for the maintenance facility and clubhouse has started and will be completed later this month.  Inventory is shared with our insurance provider to provide a replacement cost in case of an emergency situation.
  • The 2024/25 budget and Capital Improvement Plan will be started in the month of December.  Final approval should take place in late January.

10. Golf Leagues/Handicaps

  • Currently each golf league is in control of how they record and adjust handicaps for each league member.  There were some noticeable differences when the Wednesday and Thursday evening leagues competed in a Ryder Cup format this past summer.  This has led to the discussion of scoring and handicap apps for the leagues and the golf course.  
  • Currently the SMGC is a member of the Iowa Golf Association which recognizes the GHIN handicapping system.  The IGA charges each one of our registered golfers $22 for their annual handicap.  This handicap is adjusted no matter which set of tees a golfer plays from on any given round of golf.  Being a member of the IGA allows us to use the Golf Genius software for scoring and handicapping events, if the players all have a GHIN handicap.  
  • There are other forms of scoring and handicapping that could be less expensive for each league to use.  There are Google spreadsheets that could calculate your league scores and establish handicaps through a particular scoring formula.  There are a lot of options and the final decision will be up to the golf leagues and which they choose.  I will work with each league to try and assist them during the process.

The month of November was not quite as warm as in 2021, but we have been able to complete a lot of projects at the golf course.  Our outdoor activities have most likely come to a close.  There is still a lot of inside work moving forward.

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

11-27-2022

Good Morning,

We have closed the golf course for the 2022 season.  Warmer temperatures have sparked the golf bug amongst our golf fans, however, traffic is not good for the golf course at this time of the year.  The colder temperatures have driven the frost past 7″ in depth on the greens.  Foot traffic can cause turf damage once the ground becomes frozen.  There is no protection for the crown of the plant since it is dormant. 


The warmer weather will cause the top portion of the soil to thaw and become wet while the soil profile is still frozen solid.  This can also be a stressful time for the turf.  Foot traffic on the wet turf can cause a lot of foot printing on the greens.  Your footprint can sink into the wet area of the turf until it reaches the frozen part of the soil profile causing damage.  It’s in the best interest of the golf course to avoid winter play.

 11-23-22.jpg

This past week staff finished cutting off stumps from trees that have been removed from the golf course.  These stumps have been cut off at ground level in preparation for using the stump grinder to completely clean up these areas.  Once the entire removal process has been completed we will add fill material and dormant seed the areas.  Below is a picture to show the stumps at ground level:

 tree stumps.jpg

The past couple of winters The Muni has participated in a turf grass study through the University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Michigan State University, University of Massachusetts, Iowa State University, Oregon State University, Rutgers University, and the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research.

The overall goal of this multi-institutional and international project is to understand winter stress damage of turfgrasses better so that we can develop winter stress prediction models to help turfgrass managers and also create new turfgrass cultivars with superior stresses to winter stresses. 

To achieve this objective, the U of M needs to deploy environmental sensor nodes on about 80 golf courses this offseason. These nodes will take data on soil temperature, soil moisture, carbon dioxide, oxygen, light quantity, relative humidity, etc. throughout the winter.  Each node consists of a box that sits on the green, and then sensors are attached to the box. Sensors are installed into two adjacent cup-cutter holes. A small solar panel is mounted next to the green for power. They have been improving this system since the winter of 2019-2020 and golf course superintendents have stated it is generally easy to install and manage throughout the winter.

 Turf study data.jpg

I have started the off season reel maintenance program.  Each reel has been taken apart and cleaned.  The bedknife is sharpened on one machine to produce a smooth sharp surface for the reel to spin against resulting in cutting the turf.  The reel is mounted and leveled on a separate machine and each individual blade is sharpened to produce a new relief and sharp edge.  There are 34 reels to complete this off season.

 reel sharpening.jpg

 bedknife sharpening.jpg

Starting Monday, staff will be pruning bushes along #3, #14, and #15.  Last year we pruned these bushes to approximately 18-24 inches in height.  The new growth has reached three to four feet in height.  By pruning these bushes it makes maintenance a lot easier during the season.  It also provides a better aesthetic appearance to the golf course.

Stump removal will begin with using the Street Division skid loader and grinding attachment.  There are 18 tree stumps that need to be ground down below the surface of the turf.  It should go pretty smoothly once we get the process started.The interior clubhouse painting will also begin on Monday.  This will consist of repainting some of the walls to cover up any cosmetic issues.  We will use the same colors in all areas of the clubhouse.  It will result in a fresh look inside the facility.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving.  We will have the clubhouse open most of the coming week for 2023 payments to be made.  Enjoy the remainder of the 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

11-20-2022

Good Morning,

The past week was definitely a sign that winter is upon us.  The snowfall was nice for the golf course but unfortunately the high winds blew the snow in a lot of different directions.  The warmer forecasted temperatures will give us a glimmer of hope in delaying the change of seasons a little longer.  

The golf course is closed for the season.  We have our sign posted at the clubhouse and would ask that everyone respect the course closing and please refrain from golfing even if you think it’s a nice winter day to get out and hit a few balls.  The clubhouse will still be open during the day.

We have been busy starting our equipment maintenance program for the off season.  Every piece of equipment is serviced and any necessary repairs are documented.  During the winter months the repairs are completed on equipment as well as sharpening each individual reel.  

In the coming weeks there are a few events scheduled at the clubhouse.  We are hosting Arts on Grand with their Festival of Trees on December 9th.  They will also be holding a luncheon the following morning.  This is the first time this event will be held at The Muni and I am really looking forward to it.

I have recently started taking a course to receive my Advanced Emergency Medical Technician certification.  I am currently an EMT for the Spencer Fire Department.  The additional training will allow me to expand some of the life saving techniques in my scope of practice.  Class is every Monday and Thursday night.  I will not be attending the city council meetings through the month of February unless there is a topic I need to be in attendance to discuss.

As previously stated there are going to be some rate changes at The Muni for the 2023 golf season.  These rates have been updated on the website for your viewing pleasure.  We are honoring 2022 pricing through the end of the year.  Currently our ability to pay with a credit card online is not functioning but you can stop in the clubhouse or city hall to make payment.

We had a late arrival to the 2022 golf season and kind of a quick departure from it this month.  Here are a few aerial pictures taken by Mark Lawson on Thanksgiving Day 2017.  

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 Thanksgiving 2017 (2).jpg

 Thanksgiving 2017.jpg

Enjoy the upcoming holiday with your families and friends!

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

11-13-2022

Good Morning,

The Spencer Municipal Golf Board has agreed to a slight rate proposal for season passes, green fees, and cart rentals.  These increases are necessary to meet the rising cost of expenses at the golf course.  These increases are small in several areas so as to not make a large impact on any single area of revenues.  2022 pricing will be offered through the end of the season.  The clubhouse will be open today for 2023 payments. 

The first part of the week I was able to go through the irrigation system station by station and document any issues throughout the golf course.  By Tuesday we had an informative list of minor issues to deal with moving forward.  Staff started working on these repairs as they were flagged up to the final hours of the day Wednesday.  The list was decreased by 50%.

The irrigation system ran almost every night since the well pump was installed and nearly filled our pond to capacity.  We had a beautiful rain shower for most of the day on Tuesday.  Nightly irrigation cycles, warm temperatures, a fertilizer application, and much needed precipitation really brought the course back to life after struggling with so many irrigation problems.  It was a welcome sight!

 11-11-22 closing.jpg

The high winds delayed our final fertilization application for the greens until early Wednesday morning.  This application was followed by a 20 minute irrigation cycle on the greens.  Nutrients will be readily available for the creeping bentgrass early in the spring and give the turf a jumpstart on the 2023 season.

Wednesday afternoon I started up the air compressors and started blowing out the main lines of the irrigation system.  Several hours later the main lines were blown out as the sun was starting to set.  I watched the final golfer of the 2022 golf season make his way off the 18th tee box and head down the fairway one last time.

 last golfer 2022.jpg

Early Thursday morning the compressors were back up and running and we concentrated on winterizing close to 300 lateral lines.  Repairs were completed along the way.  It went very smoothly which is rarely the case with this process each season.  We completed the process by mid afternoon.

 #1 tee beginning blowout ’22.jpg

 #1 fairway blowout.jpg

 #5 green blowout 2022.jpg

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 #14 blowout 2022.jpg

Friday morning we winterized the pumphouse.  This consists of disconnecting copper lines, removing intakes and valves, and pulling meters and controls.  By late morning the process was a wrap and the power was turned off until next year.

We will continue to document all of the ash trees showing signs of the Emerald Ash Borer.  Most of the trees showing signs of the EAB are in the area of the rough on holes #2, #16, and #17.  Most other areas of the course appear to be unaffected.  Several larger trees will still be removed this year.  

Quite a few of our smaller ash trees are showing signs of bark damage.  Some of these trees have minimal bark loss while others are quite visible.  We won’t know if these trees can all be saved until the spring when we see the leaf growth on the full canopy.  If the EAB has affected the movement of water through the tree then it is most likely past the point of saving.  Below is a small ash tree with bark damage:

 EAB 11-10-2022.jpg

The past week started off with golfers awaiting to sneak in a few extra holes of golf.  By the time we reached Thursday….it was the end of the 2022 golf season.  The temperature was 67 degrees at 5:30 AM but it didn’t last long.  The wind was howling and the temperature dropped into the 30’s before 10:00 AM.  It was a great season with lots of ups and downs from a maintenance position.  

Thank you to all the golfers who chose to spend their recreation time with us this season.  The staff and I love seeing each of you enjoying the game on a daily basis.  An extra special thank you to all the employees who take so much pride in their work and share a love for The Muni.   

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

11-9-2022

Rate Adjustments for the 2023 Season

Please visit our blog to read all of our weekly golf updates.  The link, Fore Real – The Muni Blog, is listed on the Course Schedule Page off to the right hand side.  The blog will give you updates on the irrigation and well issues we have dealt with over the past several months.  There is also plenty of other golf course news provided each week.  

The Spencer Municipal Golf Board has approved the rates for the 2023 golf season.  There will be a small increase in our season passes, green fees, and rental carts.  These adjustments will also apply to our punch cards and reciprocating golf fees.  By making small increases in several areas it allows us to still offer golf at one of the most affordable rates in NW Iowa while covering the increasing cost of expenses.

The new rates will be an increase of $13 for a single season pass and the same small percentage for other season pass types.  They can be paid online at our website with a credit card, automatic bank withdrawal, or in the clubhouse/city hall.

Golfers can purchase 2023 season passes at the 2022 pricing through the month of December.  January 1, 2023 the new rates will go into effect.  Please email Brian C Mohr, bmohr@spenceriowacity.com, with any questions or to make arrangements for payment.   

Your cart storage fee is due in the spring by April 15th. Payment can be mailed to Spencer City Hall, 101 West 5th Street, Spencer IA 51301.  The clubhouse phone number is 712-580-7280. Brian C Mohr’s phone number is 712.260.5370.  Please remember you can pay these fees online with a credit card or sign up for auto withdrawal from your bank account.

We look forward to seeing each of you during the 2023 golf season.

Director of Golf Operations,
Brian C Mohr
712.260-5370 

bmohr@spenceriowacity.com

11-7-2022

Good Morning,

It has been a very busy month with lots of projects in the works.  This update covers the past month activities at The Muni:

1. Golf Events

  • We hosted the Chili Open on October 2, Senior 4 Person Best Shot on October 10, the Rocktoberfest 4 Person Best Shot on October 16, and the Turkey Trot 4 Person Best Shot on November 6.  The 2023 golf schedule of events is updated on our website.  Additional events will be added as dates are reserved.  

2. Trees

  • Campbell’s Tree Service has removed nine total trees on the golf course.  Two of the trees were the dead cottonwood on #11 behind the green and another hackberry on #18 was split down the middle of the trunk.  These two trees were safety concerns.  The other seven trees were infested with the Emerald Ash Borer.  They were located on holes #16 and #17.  
  •  #11 cottonwood removed.jpg #16 tree removal 10-28-22.jpg
  • Campbell’s Tree Service removed the nine tree stumps of trees they cut down.  They also removed several stumps from trees cut down the past couple of years.  Currently there are 16 remaining tree stumps on the golf course.
  • Staff has removed five small ash trees on hole #2 and two small ash trees on hole #17.  These trees were infested with the Emerald Ash Borer.  There are still quite a few smaller trees that show signs of EAB and will be addressed moving forward.
  •  #2 small ash removal.jpg
  • Staff removed a large cottonwood tree behind #6 tees.  This tree had been dead for a few years and became a safety issue.  We hauled all the debris to the tree site.  The stump is still remaining. 
  • Staff has completed pruning trees around the golf course.  
  • The tree debris pile by the maintenance facility has been hauled to the tree site.  

3. Fertilizer

  • The tees and fairways were fertilized with a granular 22-5-12 mix during the middle of September.  This fertilizer application will help provide nutrients to the turfgrass into the early part of June 2023.  Due to the irrigation issues we could not irrigate fairways until mid October.  Recent fairway irrigation has helped the fertilizer to move to the crown of the plant and into the soil profile.  We are starting to see quite a bit of green color come back to the fairways.  They should be in good shape entering the off season.
  •  #18 11-3-22.jpg
  • Greens will be fertilized with a granular fertilizer on Tuesday, November 8.  This fertilizer application will help the turfgrass enter the off season with plenty of nutrients and create a healthier plant that can withstand stress during the off season.
  • There was also a foliar application of a wetting agent applied to the greens.  The wetting agent helps with water movement through the soil profile.  It will also help provide moisture for the turf as we move to the off season.

4. Ponds/Well

  • Milford Well Service installed a new well pump, new electrical, new tubing, and new 3” casing.  The new pipe was 80’ and located below the water surface.  The 140’ of old 3” pipe located above the water source was reused.  A new meter and cap was installed on the 8” well casing.  Water was flowing into the pond at 1:00 PM, October 20.
  •  Pump goes in.jpg
  • The irrigation pond had been filling from the well 24 hours a day until November 1 when our permit expired for the 2022 season.  I filed for an extension with the Iowa DNR to continue irrigation out of our pond through the end of 2022.  Greens, tees, fairways, and approaches have been heavily irrigated since the installation of the new well.  Irrigation will continue until the irrigation system is winterized later this month.
  •  10-29-21 pond.jpg
  • The pond on #10 was completely empty through most of October.  There were some issues with the pond liner where water was leaking out and finding its way into the old 18” county tile running through the property.  We located this tile, with the help of cemetery and street division staff, and sealed the tile at the pond.  The pond was filled over a nine hour period and the water level has maintained to date.  The issue has been resolved with the pond on #10.
  •  #10 pond 10-28-22.jpg

6. Irrigation Repairs

  • There have been a lot of issues with the irrigation system for quite some time.  This past week I was able to update all the software and repair a couple of electrical issues.  The system has operated for a couple nights with only minor issues.
  • We have continued to repair broken valve boxes and cracked lateral irrigation lines.  The lateral lines are only under pressure when that station is running so the issues are not always visible.  We have completed close to 20 of these problems over the past two months.  
  • I have continued replacing damaged irrigation heads around the golf course.  There have also been repairs completed to quite a few valves and diaphragms.
  • I am currently working on visually inspecting every irrigation station and monitoring the issues.  After consulting with several technicians we believe the piping and electrical part of our irrigation system is fine.  The issues moving forward will be replacing irrigation heads and valves.  Once the system is winterized we will inspect the diaphragms on the valves.

7. Clubhouse

  • We completed quite a bit of painting outside areas at the clubhouse.  Most of these areas were on the columns and entry ways.
  • The amount of golfers has slowed the past month.  We continue to reduce inventory as far as candy, pop, and other snacks are concerned.  Our beer and liquor inventory are currently fine moving into the off season for clubhouse events.
  • The new TPAR computer software will be updated during the winter months.  This will be installed during the off season in preparation of the 2023 season.  
  • The golf simulator will be available for appointment only during the winter months.  Myself or part time staff will operate the clubhouse this off season.

8. Fall Projects Completed

  • Aerification of the greens was completed on November 3.  For the 2023 golf season I plan on aerifying the greens with needle tines on a monthly basis during the summer months.  Using needle tines creates a hole a little bigger than a pencil to a depth of 8-10 inches.  This process will not disrupt play and also help us control isolated dry areas.
  •  #9 aerify 11-3-22.jpg #18 aerify 11-3-22.jpg
  • The cart path removal was completed on the south side of #12 green.  We also used a skid loader to extend the cart paths on holes #13 and #15.  Asphalt millings were added to provide a new cart path surface.  There will be additional millings added as areas start to settle after cart path usage. 
  •  12 cart path 10-29-22.jpg
  • In the future the east cart shed will be used for our rental cart storage.  We are continuing to move private carts to other areas.  We still have a few carts left to move out of this shed.  I also plan on moving forward with controlling the barn swallows.   
  • We finished edging sand traps on the remainder of the golf course.  I also hope to explore different sand options for our traps.  A sand that is fine enough for our traps but not so find that it is easily moved by the wind.  Hopefully there will be time to add additional sand to the traps around the course. 

9. Offseason Projects

  • Painting tee signs is still a priority for golf course staff.  The paint is chipped on quite a few of our signs and they need to be addressed. 
  • Sand will be added for the traps on the golf course.  We need to find a more coarse sand that is not affected by the wind so severely.
  • Ash trees with EAB will continue to be removed from the golf course.  Chemical treatment will be done to trees starting in May of 2023.  I will complete these applications to ash trees that are currently healthy.
  • Barn Swallow control will be an off season priority for a couple of the cart sheds.
  • Painting the clubhouse interior will be completed during the off season.
  • Inventory for the maintenance facility and clubhouse will be completed this month.

It has been a very busy past couple of months at the golf course.  There have been a lot of projects completed and they have all been time consuming.  Staff will continue to get as much work done on the golf course until the weather turns for the worse.  

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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

10-30-22

Good Morning,

What a beautiful week it was to get a lot of stuff done at the golf course.  And wrapping up the weekend with some gorgeous golf weather.  We had a pretty busy Saturday at the golf course and we expect the same today.  

 10-29-22 sunrise.jpg

Here is a run down of the past week:

Early in the week we continued to haul asphalt millings to the cart path area behind #12 green and the new additions on #13 and #15.  Layers of millings were slowly added to these areas, they were graded, and compacted with the tractor tires.  Overall I am very pleased with the end result.  They will provide a great cart path surface and help golfers travel smoothly through areas that were previously a little bumpy.

 12 cart path 10-29-22.jpg

The well has been running 24 hours a day since it was installed ten days ago.  I have irrigated fairways multiple times this past week.  Greens, tees, and approaches have been irrigated on a regular basis as well.  Saturday morning our pond was about 75% filled.  It will continue to drop in level as irrigation continues.  The end goal will be to have the pond as close to full as possible when we reach November.

 10-29-21 pond.jpg

 #5 pond 10-29-22.jpg

I applied for an irrigation extension with the Iowa DNR for the remainder of 2022.  It was approved on Friday.  This extension will allow us to irrigate the golf course through the month of December if necessary.  The annual permit is for April 1 to October 31 and the water amount is limited.  We are nowhere near our irrigation limit but definitely need to irrigate the dry golf course as much as possible until the end of the season.

The pond on #10 was filled on Tuesday over a nine hour time frame.  I have continued to monitor the water level and so far it appears to be holding the water.  There is no water running through the tile behind #9 green and that is a great sign.  I’m not going to start the parade quite yet but it looks like the repaired tile is having a positive effect on the pond level.  Very good news for the golf course and the neighbors along #10 that enjoy the beautiful view.

 #10 pond 10-28-22.jpg

I have continued to work on irrigation repairs each week.  The past week the focus was replacing heads on several of the greens and working on valves.  Several stations have been “sticking” overnight and creating a lot of standing water.  The plungers have been replaced inside these ICM units.  This is the part that is moved up and down when the electrical current opens or closes the valve.  They are all working properly at this time.  We will continue to work on our list moving forward.  Pictured below is a valve box following the repair process:

 #12 irrig. repair.jpg

Campbell’s Tree Service was on site to remove trees infested with the Emerald Ash Borer.  Trees were removed on holes #16, #17, and #18.  These were all large trees showing obvious signs of the pest.  During the removal process we noticed quite a few additional ash trees that have been heavily infested with the EAB.  The smaller trees will be removed in house and the larger trees will be removed by the contractor in the future.  It’s very surreal to see the damage the EAB has created and the reality of losing trees moving forward.

 #16 tree removal 10-28-22.jpg

 #2 EAB.jpg

We dropped a large cottonwood located south of the red tees on #11.  This tree has been dead for a few years and needed to be removed for safety reasons.  It’s a massive tree and will take some time for us to remove all the debris.  We will work on the removal this weekend and hopefully finish up early next week.  

 #11 cottonwood.jpg

There are quite a few tree stumps we will be removing in the next couple of weeks.  These stumps are from trees we removed in the past couple of years.  We will need the assistance of the street division skid loader and stump grinder to complete this process.  We hope to have all stumps removed by the end of the season.  

The upcoming week looks like some more great weather.  Some of the “to do” agenda items include:

  • aerify greens
  • remove EAB ash trees
  • prune trees
  • irrigation repairs
  • visually inspect every irrigation station for effectiveness

Please contact me if you have questions or would like additional information about anything at the golf course.  Enjoy the remainder of the weekend golf fans!

 #2 10-29-22.jpg

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

10-23-2022

Good Morning,

We have continued to stay busy working on quite a few large projects the past few weeks.  The most important has been the installation of our new well pump, 3″ piping, and materials.  This process was completed on Thursday by Milford Well Service.  At 1:00 PM we had water flowing from the well into the pond.  It was a great sound of water splashing from the well into the pond since we had less than one foot of water above the intake.

 Pump goes in.jpg

 The cap on 220 feet.jpg

 12″ to intake.jpg

 Pond is rising 10-22-22.jpg

Our Iowa DNR Water Permit allows the golf course to irrigate from April 1 through the month of October.  The well can run during the same time frame.  Both water amounts are limited according to permit limits.  We can file for an irrigation extension into the month of November but we cannot get an extension for the well.  We are nowhere near our total allowed water amounts.
I hope to get the irrigation pond near full by the end of the month.  Fairway irrigation will begin next week.  The greens and tees will still be the irrigation priority.  It’s been a difficult season with irrigation and well problems but we’re starting to move in the right direction.
The pond on #10 has been a pretty high priority as well.  The street division was on site to help us dig down a little deeper and expose the tile on the pond side as well as moving to the north.  There was a lot of water coming out of the pond side tile which needed to be pumped out in order to complete the repairs.  

 Water from tile.jpg
We filled both parts of the tile with brick and mortar.  This will seal off the tile as it exits the pond and allow it to still function moving to the north.  This process will hopefully eliminate the pond draining into the tile causing our problem.  The pond will be filled next week at some point and we will evaluate moving forward.

 Pond side tile sealed.jpg

 Pond north side tile sealed.jpg

 #10 pond 10-21-22.jpgThe cart path removal has been completed behind #12 green.  This area was heavily damaged by salix tree roots pushing through the asphalt.  We also removed turf to extend our cart paths on holes #13 and #15.  These areas were heavily trafficked and a lot of tire rutting was present.
After the removal process, asphalt millings were added to the areas.  We used our trap rake and loader bucket to level these areas.  There is still some leveling and need for additional millings but we are very close to being finished.  These areas will be addressed again in the spring after some settling occurs.

 #12 cart path millings.jpg

 #13 cart path millings.jpg

Campbell’s Tree Service was on site Friday and we discussed the Emerald Ash Borer trees that need to be removed on the golf course.  Locates were called in and Rocky plans to remove these trees the coming week.

This upcoming week staff will finish the work on the cart paths, aerify greens, prune trees, and work on irrigation.  We also plan on removing a large dead cottonwood tree behind the tees on #6.  This tree removal will take some time to cut down, mulch the limbs, and haul away.

We’re still very busy trying to get as much stuff completed before the year winds down on us at The Muni.  Please reach out if you have questions or concerns.  Enjoy the remainder of this beautiful 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

10-16-2022

Good Morning,

This time of year Mother Nature can change on a daily basis.  If the weather is not cooperating the clubhouse and golf course might be closed early that day.  This happened on Wednesday and Thursday this week.  Please call the clubhouse to make tee times and hopefully be understanding of the weather conditions.

 10-13-22 sunrise.jpg

The past week started off with our first annual 55+ four person best shot.  We had a great response from several of the traveling senior golf leagues and some of our players at The Muni.  Overall, the day started off a little chilly but quickly turned into beautiful golf weather.  We look forward to making this an annual event and thank you to the golf board for adding this to our event calendar.

55+ Four Person Best Shot Results

Rollie Hanson has developed a better scoring system for the golf course.  It is created through Google Drive and allows anyone with the link or QR Code to view the scoring results.  Above is the link from the last golf event.  Thank you Rollie for your help!

Speaking of events, I have been working on our 2023 course schedule.  Most of the events from 2022 have committed to the 2023 golf season.  These events will be given first choice to reserve their date.  I have commits from both the senior men traveling groups and the senior women reserved a date.  Some events are listed on the website and others will be added very soon.

Staff finished edging the remainder of the sand traps that are greenside on every hole.  We still need to complete the fairway sand traps.  This process consists of cutting a clean edge across the face of the sand trap, pushing sand from the bottom to the face, and hand finishing raking the area.  This process keeps the sand traps clean looking and provides better playability to the golfers.

 #5 trap edging 10-12-22.jpg

Street Division staff was on site Friday morning to assist us with the removal of the damaged cart path behind #12 green.  They also removed soil on holes #13 and #15 so we can extend these cart paths closer to the fairways.  They delivered some material which we will haul to these areas next week to create a new cart path surface.  

 #12 cart path 10-14-22.JPEG

Milford Well plans to be on site early next week to start the installation of the new well pump and casing.  We decided to use the 140 feet of 3″ casing that was above the water level in the well.  This piping has no damage and all the threads are intact.  The piping below water level was damaged and will be replaced.  The installation should take a couple of days, then I will begin filling the irrigation pond.  

Once the installation is complete, I will start irrigating the entire golf course heavily for the remainder of the month.  For the past two months I have focused on irrigating our greens as a priority.  The tee boxes have been irrigated approximately once a week.  The remainder of the golf course has not been irrigated for a couple of months in order to save water.  Our pond level is a few feet from no longer being able to irrigate right now.

 Irrigation Pond 10-13-22.jpg

 Irrigation Pond 10-12-22.jpg

The tile underneath the pond on #10 was exposed a little over a week ago.  There were issues with the tile collapsing from the heavy clay soil and it was very difficult to evaluate everything.  We were able to locate the top of the tile and plan to excavate the area around it, cap it off, and backfill the area with better material.  Then sod will be laid to complete the clean up.  If we have enough irrigation water I will fill the pond with water before the end of the month.

 #10 tile exposed.jpg

Campbell’s Tree Service is currently planning to be on site Tuesday morning to start removing the ash trees infected with Emerald Ash Borer.  There are also two trees that will be removed because they are safety concerns.  A classic sign of the presence of EAB is thinning tops of the ash canopy and a strong undergrowth at the bottom.  We have five trees that present this sign.  

The columns at the clubhouse have been painted and look great.  The white trim was primed and painted and the actual columns received a couple coats of quiver tan.  There is a small amount of touch up that needs to be completed but for the most part it’s finished.  We will start painting tee signs this coming week.  The clubhouse interior will be painted during the off season.

Please reach out if you have any questions or have additional topics you would like to discuss.  Enjoy the remainder of the weekend.  If you’re playing golf today in the tournament simply remember, “swing easy when it’s breezy!”

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

10-11-22

Good Afternoon,

Jim Bockman, from Milford Well Service was on site late last week to remove the old well and casing.  The well pump is history.  There is a hole in the side of it.  The casing goes down 220 feet with the last 80 feet being under water.  All casing underwater is in bad shape.  New parts, materials, and a pump were ordered yesterday.  Everything should arrive late this week and Jim plans to start the installation early next week.  After two or three days we will have water again.

 well pump (2).JPG

At that time, I will take a few days to fill the irrigation pond and start running irrigation cycles for the fairways.  The plan is to put quite a bit of water on the golf course prior to the end of our water permit with the Iowa DNR.

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