11-27-16

Good Morning,
I hope each of you has enjoyed your Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends.  The weather has been beautiful and leads me to reminding everyone the golf course is still closed for the season.  The freeze thaw cycles the turf experiences during these weather patterns can lead to turf damage with a lot of foot traffic.  So please be patient, golf season will return and let’s make 2017 another great year.
This past week my focus was to complete the inventory at the golf course.  Each piece of equipment, on the grounds, is recorded with the purchase price and the replacement price listed.  It gives the insurance company a comprehensive list in case there is a disaster.  The insurance rates are based off the replacement cost of the equipment.  It will allow us to replacement every piece of equipment.
I also use the equipment inventory information to determine the life expectancy of each piece.  The hours of use are recorded each year for every piece of equipment.  The more rainfall we receive during the golf season will result in higher quality growing conditions.  In turn this means higher useage of equipment.  A dry golf season might equal 400 hours on the rough mower while a season with plenty of rainfall will most likely double the hours.
The small assets, fertilizer, irrigation supplies, etc. are all recorded as well.  Some of these items change on an annual basis but the tools and such usually remain the same each year.  This gives me a basic outline of all inventory in the maintenance facility and what need to be replaced over time.
Lastly, the clubhouse inventory is recorded.  This ranges from small assets to the pro shop items.  We no longer carry a lot of pro shop items because they do not sell very well.  Most golfers only want the items of necessity in the moment.  These would include golf balls, tees, and gloves.
We sold less than one third of our golf ball inventory in 2016.  The majority was returned to the company for credit.  Golf gloves are probably the most popular item we sell.  Having a limited inventory is not always convenient to every golfer but the vast majority do not purchase items in the clubhouse.  It also helps keep our expenses down with not a lot of investment.
Clubhouse inventory is closely monitored and potential changes are studied at the end of each year.  This includes food and beverage items.  We have a limited amount of food options to sell.  They need to be affordable and convenient to the public.  Tying up a lot of mone in food inventory is a very risky business practice.  We currently waist or lose a very small part of our inventory.  Again, this keeps the costs down and the revenues steady.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns about the different inventory types at the golf course.  Have a great remainder to your weekend.  Remember to smile a lot each day because it can definitely make a difference!
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11-20-16

Good Morning,
The irrigation system was winterized at the beginning of the week.  Two air compressors are used to blow the system out.  First, the main lines are cleared of all water, then I go through station by station blowing out the lateral lines.  There was difficulty with the compressors, but we pushed through and finished the job.
We were also able to make quite a few irrigation repairs.  When I blow out the irrigation system it allows me to inspect every line and head.  I documented and flagged any trouble areas throughout the course.  Several canisters were cracked, heads damaged, and pipes cracked on the lateral side of the line.  Almost every repair was completed this week.  That should give us a jump start on the spring start up process.
The trees and shrubs have continually been watered and root stimulator is added to the tanks.  They are in very nice shape heading into the winter months.  I will continue to water them on the warmer winter days.  I am excited to see them all blossom in the spring.  It will be a great addition to the golf course.
I have started the golf course inventory process.  All inventory in the clubhouse and maintenance facility is recorded on a Google spreadsheet.  This is used for insurance purposes as well as asset tracking throughout the year.  I will be completed next week.
The week started with some beautiful sunshine and warm weather.  A great time to play golf this late in the fall.  The week came to an end with bitterly cold temperatures, high winds, rain, and some snow.  The end of the golf season has arrived.
It was a beautiful fall that allowed us some great golf days with minimal wind the majority of the time.  Most of the end of season projects were completed and now the inside maintenance work begins.  Thank you to everyone from my staff, to the golfing public, other city departments, city staff, mayor, council, golf board, and many others for making it another successful golf season at the muni!
I am going to be taking some time off over the next two weeks to relax and try to unwind after the long year.  Most likely, I will work half days for the next couple of weeks.  I will still attend any meetings at city hall and can be reached by my cell phone at any time.  I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

11-13-16

Good Morning,
It has been beautiful fall weather with plenty of sunshine and not a lot of wind.  Very odd weather for fall days in iowa.  It has allowed the golf season to extend later than I expected.  The clubhouse, however, has closed for the season.  The amount of play has almost exclusively been pass holders.  The last day i worked in the clubhouse revenues totaled $16 for the entire day.  So, the golf course is still available and sheds are opened every morning.
Our revenues are down from the same time period in 2015 and expenses have risen.  The rise in expenses is mainly due to the additional pay period added to July and the pumphouse repair expenses.  We are still in good financial shape as the budget heads into the off season.
We have worked on tree pruning and fall clean up around the golf course.  Also, the amenity items have all been removed from the course, except for the flagsticks.  Trees and shrubs have continued to be watered every other day to keep them satisfied in the days leading up to the cold season.  Lots of small projects have been completed.
I have spent a lot of time working on equipment inventory and logging maintenance information.  Maintenance schedules are recorded including oil changes and filters.  I also track the amount of hours accumulated on every piece of equipment each year.  This information helps give an idea what the life cycle will be of each piece of mowing equipment.
The most interesting part of these recordings is the amount of hours spent on the rough mower during years of plentiful rainfall.  The past three years, the rough unit has added 700 hours, 800 hours, and 750 hours on the meter.  The years when the rough goes dormant the rough unit has 60% the hours.
We added another used rough unit to the fleet, this fall, so it will help spread the hours accumulated and allow us to better maintain the course.  There is also discussion to add a trade in mower, from the Park Department, to help us manage the additional property, outside of the golf course, we maintain.
Lastly, the irrigation permit, through the Iowa DNR, allows me to use 121.5 acre feet of water from April 1 through October 31.  We are nowhere near that amount of water used for the season.  A special permit is required for further water use beyond this time frame unless less than 25,000 gallons of water is used in a 24 hour period.  So, I am lightly watering the greens and tees each night to stay under this gallon limit.  The irrigation system will be winterized this coming week.
That concludes another week at the golf course.

11-6-16

Good Morning,
What a beautiful week it has been at the golf course.  Gorgeous weather enjoyed by the golfers for one more week.  The course is looking great as we near the end of the season.  The fall fertilizer applications have all the turfgrass in very nice shape.
The staff and I were able to move the trees from the Woodcliff intersection.  The three Amur Maples were transplanted to the area between number one tees and number 18 approach.  They will help provide some protection to the golfers teeing off on the first hole.  Two crabapple trees were moved between number one and number 18 tees for the same purpose.
We continued to water and fertilize the transplanted trees.  There have been a total of 30 trees and shrubs moved onto the golf course property.  They are beautiful additions and I look forward to the trees blossoming into the future.
Speaking of trees, Delray Bredehoeft has filed a tree grant, for the golf course, with Black Hills Energy and Trees Forever. These grants have provided quite an inventory of trees, in the parks department, over quite a number of years.  The grant is asking for 70 trees to be awarded to the golf course.  Time will tell our success and I thank Delray for his work on this possibility for the golf course.
Once again the water was pumped from the sand traps on number 16 with minimal success.  We sent the water to the surface drain between 17 tees.  The water table is so high it eventually filled back in with water.
Several irrigation leaks were repaired over the past week.  They sometimes look like a huge mess but they are generally pretty simple fixes once the irrigation pipe is exposed.  There are still a couple of repairs that need to be completed once the irrigation system has been blown out and winterized.  This will take place early next week.
The original plan was to close the golf course on November 6, but the change in the forecast will keep the course open until the end of next week.  I will play it by ear but most likely will close by the end of Friday.
I will be out of town, this weekend, for firefighter training.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  I will see each of you at the respective meetings Monday evening.

10-30-16

 

Good Morning,

 

 

It is getting to be that time of the year when we start to prepare for the possibility of snow season.  Nobody likes when it arrives but we live in Iowa and tolerate the cold weather.  This season I am going to set an official closing date for the golf course.  The last day we will remain open is Saturday, November 6.

 

 

The main reason for the close is the extended forecast is calling for colder temperatures.  The colder temperatures cause the ground to freeze on the top couple of inches.  This is followed by warmer weather that can thaw the very top part of the ground but there is still the frozen layer below.  This is a stressful time for turfgrass.

 

 

The amount of revenue is also minimal when the golf season enters November.  Financially, it is best to set a close date and limit our expenses.  If there is a warm stretch that arises, and there is no threat to the turf, I will open the clubhouse and work those days for golfers.

 

 

We finished cutting the ten remaining tree stumps off at ground level.  I am going to get assistance from the Country Club to remove these stumps and fill the holes in with black soil.  In exchange, I will help them fill the stump holes they have accumulated.  It will save me the removal expense I pay every year and it will save the Country Club some labor dollars.

 

 

There are two apple trees and three amur maple trees, at the old Woodcliff intersection, hindering the vision of drivers.  The state wants the trees removed.  I called in for locates, on Tuesday, and the trees will be moved to the golf course early in the coming week.

 

 

The fall aerification process has now reached a point where the greens would not have time to heal prior to the arrival of winter.  So, the greens will be aerified early in the spring.  This process works out quite well between both golf courses, since our tractor is used to run the aerification machine.

 

 

The irrigation system will be blown out toward the end of the upcoming week.  I am just waiting for the Park Department to finish their work with the compressors, then I will start on the golf course irrigation.  It usually takes about 10-12 hours to complete the process.

 

 

Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions, comments, or