10-24-16

Good Morning,
What a successful week this has been at the golf course.  We have spent time mulching leaves and are nearing the end of the mowing season.  The tees were fertilized with the annual fall application.  Irrigation system ran very heavy last night to soak the course.  This morning, as sunrise took over, the golf course looks beautiful with nicely mowed turf and fall foliage.  That’s a satisfying morning.
The irrigation system has not ran a whole lot the past two months but it is working beautiful since the pump house repairs were completed.  There are still a couple of irrigation leaks that will be addressed this coming week.  We are getting very close to the end of the irrigation permit for 2016.
As we speak of water, it leads me into the standing water situation around #16 green and #17 tees.  My final deduction is the water table is so high, there is nowhere for the excess to go.  I pumped the sand traps and they filled back up with water in a short period of time.  This area is one of the lowest points of the golf course and appears it will be a problem as we head into colder weather.
The biggest project was the completion of moving trees and shrubs from Graham Tire to the golf course.  I moved two sugar maple, three red bud, five spruce, and 15 viburnum bushes to the golf course.  There were also two spruce trees moved from the driving range to the course.
Five of the spruce trees were moved to the left rough on number.  Two spruce trees were moved to the right side of number nine rough.  Two sugar maple were planted on the left side of nine rough.  All of these trees were planted to replace pine trees that died over the past four years.  They will help protect the layout of these two holes.
I moved three red bud trees to the landscaping area on hole seven.  The 15 viburnum shrubs were moved to the landscaping areas on one, three, six, seven, and ten landscaping areas.  These shrubs will help add some protection to these tee areas and also add some eye appeal to the landscaping.
The entire process started with dropping a plug off at Graham Tire, pulling the first tree, and planting it in the first spot at the golf course.  The next plug is dropped in the hole left from the first tree.  The process continued until the first plug was pushed into the last tree hole at Graham Tire.
The majority of the tree plugs had water fill the bottom of the hole during the moving process.  Some of the lower areas had four or five inches of standing water in the hole when the tree was planted.  This was another clue as to how high the water table is at the golf course.
I am very pleased with the entire tree moving process.  The new engine on the tree spade works hands down better than the old engine.  There might still be some trees to move from the right of way by the old Woodcliff area.  Also, I might move some trees to move around on the course.  Overall, it has been a success.
After the trees were moved, we staked several of the large ones, added more soil, and have applied plenty of water to each tree and shrub.  This coming week root stimulator will be applied with the watering schedule.
This concludes another week at the old golf course.  Please feel free to contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns.  Have a great weekend!
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10-17-16

Good Morning,
This past week the greens were fertilized with a granular 18-9-18 for the fall application.  There will be one last fungicide application, made to the greens, prior to the closing of the close.  The fertilizer application will give the turf some strength approaching the winter months and the fungicide application will help prevent snow mold.
The golf course is in very nice shape as we reach the midway point of October.  I am pleased with the condition of the golf course during the 2016 golf season.  It can be challenging when you battle so many weather conditions.  I am proud of the staff for all their hard work and dedication to the golf course.
Our clubhouse staff has also done a great job this season.  It’s not always easy to deal with customers having a bad day.  The staff always deals with challenging situations with a lot of class and dignity.  I am thankful for all their time and heart they put into their job in the clubhouse.
It definitely takes a lot of teamwork to have a successful work environment and produce a great product for the public.  We are all fortunate to have these employees, mostly as second jobs, making the Spencer Municipal Golf Course a success.
The tree spade engine is currently being replaced at the street department.  I am hopeful it will be finished early in the week and I can try tackling the trees at Graham Tire.  I am excited to get these trees moved and make them a part of the golf course landscape.  Surely the second attempt has to go smoothly….
I attended the final SUFTA training session this past week.  The topic was proper pruning of trees as well as the appropriate times to complete the task.  The tree inventory information was also given to the Iowa DNR so they can start preparing the final report.  This report will be presented to the city council in a few months.
It looks like we still have some nice weather this coming week.  Hopefully the golf course will have a steady flow of golfers and we can continue to complete some fall projects.
Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.

10-10-16

Good Morning,
It’s definitely getting to be the latter part of the golf season.  The continuous rain seems to be the only odd part about the fall weather of 2016.  It is keeping us on our toes at the golf course and I can only imagine the difficulties it is proving to be for the farmers.  We will continue to work away with smiles on our faces, get through the not so pleasant weather, and definitely enjoy the nice days.
The month of October has been very good for our revenues to date.  We are ahead of schedule in comparison to the past few years.  Yesterday was a gorgeous day for golf and today looks like much of the same weather.  Hopefully we are just as busy today as yesterday.
The wet area around 16 green and 17 tees continues to be a problem.  The sand traps are full of water and there is standing water everywhere that tile is not present.  After all of the searching, tile cleaning, and praying, the only option coming to clarity is the water table is simply that high in this low area of the golf course.  There is simply no other explanation.  I have never experienced this much standing water in the 23 years I have been at the golf course.
We have been short staffed in the clubhouse and on the grounds so it has been interesting staying on top of everything.  Creative work hours are followed to get all of the work finished.  With the frost delays, this weekend, it was necessary to mow greens in the evenings.  Some of the other set up work was completed at this time too.  It all works out in the end and the golf course is in nice shape for our fall golfers.
My biggest project of the week has been the preparation for moving trees from Graham Tire to the golf course.  Locates were called in at the start of the week with no foreseen issues upon completion.  Friday was spent making repairs to the tree spade and getting in in proper working order.
There are approximately 21 trees and shrubs to move from the old RR right of way at Graham Tire.  I pruned two Norway Maple, five spruce, one pine, and three red buds yesterday.  The remainder are shrubs that will work out in non playing areas of the course.  This morning, my goal is to move a couple trees to get a feel for how long this process will last.
Some of the trees are large enough to be staked and tied down but the smaller ones will not be staked.  The focus is to plant the new trees in the areas hardest hit with lost pine trees the past few years.  Number two and nine will receive the majority of the trees so the integrity of these holes is restored.  The shrubs will be located around some of the tee box landscaping.
Well, after a couple tasks are completed on the course, I’m off to start moving some trees.  (Insert a short prayer to the man above for it all to go smooth.)  If anyone has questions, comments, or concerns please let me know sooner than later so they can be addressed.  Have a beautiful Sunday!
Good Morning,
October is in the air.  The fall weather has arrived and we are getting ready for our annual Chili Open golf tournament this morning.  There are 37 teams of four signed up and ready to enjoy the day.  Free chili and free laughter are on the menu.
There has been damaged turf throughout the golf course tees, fairways, roughs, etc.  It looks like somebody whacked a hundred golf balls in the same area.  These spots are from the skunks digging for grubs during the night time.  They can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time.
I spot spray areas each year to prevent this situation.  It changes year to year on which areas they dig up grubs.  It would cost many thousand dollars to treat the majority of the golf course each year which is why I try and spot spray areas from year to year.  It is unsightly and frustrating but has become something I try and deal with in an affordable manner each fall.
There have been some electrical issues within the irrigation system.  My control panels shut off one night and the system lost it’s charge the next night.  Fortunately I was able to repair this situation on Saturday morning and the irrigation is back up and running.  I was able to irrigate the course heavily over night.  With all the rain I would never guess the irrigation system would be necessary.
With the subject of rainfall, there are some issues in the area of 16 green and 17 tee areas.  The water table is so high we have standing water in the low parts of these two holes.  I have inspected the tile and drains with no issues present.  It is on my agenda to add some tile and another drain in this area to help alleviate some of the problem.
We have experienced a lot of rainy days in the month of September.  This has resulted in lesser revenues than we normally experience this time of the year.  Along with pumphouse expenses and other unplanned repair work we are a behind schedule on our budget success.  I am still confident everything will come together and the bottom line will still result in positivity.  Here’s hoping to an early spring!
I finally finished the setup of my new blog for the muni golf course.  This has been added to the website menu.  It will allow me to post my weekly updates, for the public, and eventually add educational videos or work projects.  I appreciate the help I received from Mandie Roberts with the blog and her technical expertise.  She has a lot of skills and I appreciate her help.  Check it out under the links area of the website……Fore Real is the name!
The fall herbicide application has begun throughout the entire golf course.  This is time consuming but I always finish the project before it gets too cold.  The cooler weather actually helps with the effectiveness of the herbicide application.  The weeds are under a little stress and very susceptible to the chemical.  A good weed is simply one that is no longer present!
Thankfully we have beautiful weather today and a full field for our golf event.  Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  I will see each of you at the respective meetings tomorrow evening.  Enjoy the remainder of your weekend!