12-28-16

This week I have been busy with plans for the 2017 golf season.  The biggest of those plans is the 2018 Water Quality Improvement Plan for the south end of Spencer.  This plan will include the drainage area west of the golf course, east of the irrigation pond, and the surrounds of the irrigation pond.  I spent time studying the proposed plans, from Jim Thiesse, and met with him for much discussion.
I am trying to cooperate as much as possible and while minimizing the impact on the golf course.  Jim has proposed the overall plan, that will affect the golf course, and welcomed input from my stand point.  I agree with the entire concept that Jim is proposing and he will allow me to oversee some areas.
The overall project will not include any pond dredging.  The State did not feel it was the most effective use of monies.  The main areas include raising the pump house, adding some berms on five fairway and eleven fairway, installing tile lines, repairing existing tile lines, controlled release of water from the irrigation pond and twelve pond, and dirt work.
My staff and I will complete the berm work on number five fairway and the majority of the berm work on eleven fairway.  These areas will have the sod removed, fill material added, grading completed, and sod over the completed project.  Jim will establish grading stakes to these areas and we will complete the work to his specifications, on our time schedule, and with minimal disruption to play.
The other area of supervision will be the raising of the pump house 24 inches.  The control panels will be removed from the north wall and the building will be removed from the foundation, by the contractor.  A two foot concrete form will be constructed around the perimeter of the foundation.  The building will then be reset on this new form all with minimal disruption to the irrigation system.
The work performed by the golf course will be completed prior to the start of the contracted work beginning late fall.  They will also reset the bridge on twelve and reinforce the surrounding area to eliminate erosion.  The pump house will also have fill material added around the perimeter to help reduce erosion.
There is a lot of information here, so I wanted to send it separately from my weekly email update this week.  Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns.  Enjoy your day!
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12-18-16

Good Bitterly Cold Morning,
Winter has arrived and there is not one biting insect in the air.  That is about the only positive besides the snow cover.  Which is hit or miss on most of the golf greens.  This snow cover helps insulate the turfgrass, during the winter months, and protects it from the harsh winds and cold temperatures.  Winter is always a scary time when it comes to thinking about turfgrass on golf course greens.
When the temperatures are abnormally high late into fall and there is no snow cover it really leaves the plant susceptible to the extreme change in weather conditions.  The plant is still happy and enjoying the warmer temperatures and has not started preparation for winter conditions.  The early snowfalls, the past several years, have really benefited the turf with that insulation blanket.  We have not really had that much frost, in the spring, during these years.
There will be budget meetings upcoming in the weeks ahead.  The golf course budget has been very positive in the past.  We are sitting in comfortable shape right now as preparation for 2017 begins.  That is always a good feeling for me each year.
The newly proposed budget will be almost identical to the current budget.  Any increase in wages will be offset in the reduction of hours for one part time position.  So, since the budget is balanced and the base amount will not rise, I am proposing no rate increases to the golf board.  Some of our interior pricing will be adjusted though.
I spent this past week working on several of our utility vehicles.  These units have been completely serviced, with oil changes, filters, greased, and repair work.  They are ready to go for the 2017 golf season.
Another area that has been addressed is the driving range supplies.  Our range ball supply is slowly diminished over the course of a season.  I normally replace about 1800 balls each year.  This keeps the inventory high and also provides the golfers with high quality practice balls.
This fall I found a great deal on the internet and ordered 14,400 golf balls.  The price was more that 50% less than I normally pay.  We will have a healthy supply of range balls for quite some time and it will also give me an opportunity to sell some of these balls to any other courses that would like to add to their inventory.
I have taken eight to 16 hours off the past couple of weeks.  I will probably continue that for the next couple of weeks, until we get through the holiday season.  Then, it will be back to business as usual.
 This is my first year on the fire department as a volunteer.  I am looking forward to delivering presents today for the adapt a family program.     It looks like a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine, until you feel the brutally cold air on your face.  The warm heart will offset those cold temperatures today!
Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  Enjoy your day friends!

12-4-16

Good Morning,
We have made it into the month of December with very favorable weather conditions.  The adequate rainfall has kept the turfgrass saturated and has also provided for the newly planted trees and shrubs.  One more day of pleasant temperatures gets us a step closer to the 2017 golf season.
I completed the majority of the 2017-18 golf course budget early this week.  Brian Weauve has done a great job providing each department with a template that makes the process much easier than years past.  The 2017-18 budget will be almost identical to the current budget.
The golf course budget is directly affected by weather as the main factor in budget results.  The past three years, Mother Nature has provided plenty of rainfall to keep the course looking beautiful, even in nonirrigated areas.  The negative to that is additional man hours and equipment wear from continuous mowing practices.  It also cancels league dates, outings, or tournaments where the revenue is lost and never regained.
It is a constant work in progress to provide the golfing community the best possible golf course, for an affordable cost, with the least amount of expenses.  Fortunately, we have succeeded in that area a high percentage of the time.
My 2017 granular fertilizer inventory arrived by the end of the week.  Each year the golf course accumulates a little unused inventory that accumulates.  The bonus of this process is after about five years there is enough fertilizer, on hand, to reduce the annual order.  The carry over of foliar and granular fertilizers will help reduce the line item by approximately $4000.
This will help to offset the almost $7000 spent in the pumphouse this past late summer.  During these repairs we replaced both the foot valves on intake lines.  All three pumps had the rotors replaced, along with seals, and other repairs.  One motor had bearings replaced.  All of these repairs were absolutely and raised the pumps form operating at 50% back to the 100% performance needed to maintain the golf course.
Lastly, I completed the 2016 water report for the Iowa DNR.  We are regulated to use 81 acre feet of water from our well and 126.5 acre feet pumped from the irrigation pond.  An acre foot of water is 326,000 gallons.  A full night of irrigation is 450,000 gallons of water.  This is strictly enforced by the DNR and is allowed from April 1 through October 31.  Any additional water or extensions need to be filed with the Iowa DNR.
‘The golf course used 25.178 acre feet of water from the well and 71.4716 acre feet of water from the irrigation pond.  Both of these numbers are well below the limits.  It always needs to be understood that there is not an unlimited amount of water to used throughout the year.  There are laws and guidelines in place to ensure that everyone does not abuse our water sources.
That is a wrap on another week at the golf course.  Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.