3-25-18

This has been a very confusing week for Mother Nature.  The course was getting very close to being ready to open.  The frost levels were down close to 9″ prior to the snow.  The nice rainfall should have driven the frost even deeper even though the snow blankets the turf.  Once the snow melts we should be about ready to golf.
The course is in very nice shape coming out of the winter months.  I toured the golf course a couple of times this past week.  The greens look great and there is no puddling in any low areas.  We have experienced some erosion in some of the water quality improvement areas.  These areas will be cleaned up and sodded once time permits.
Our pumphouse is completed as far as the structure of the building.  A new door and stairway inside the building were completed by DeLoss.  I cleaned and organized the interior of the pumphouse in preparation for Pixler Electric to finish the electrical work.
Also, the plant materials, in the clubhouse landscaping, were all cut back and cleaned up to allow the new spring growth to come through (once the snow melts again).  Staff and myself will be adding mulch to the entire clubhouse surrounds this coming week.
Equipment maintenance has continued to be a work priority at this time.  I have gone through the majority of the equipment making repairs and adjustments for the mowing season.  The new week will also include more equipment maintenance.
I have two seasonal employees starting work on the grounds tomorrow.  We will be able to get a lot of shop work completed as well as outside work later in the week.
The clubhouse and cart sheds will also be opened during daytime hours starting Monday.  We have league meetings starting this Thursday and into next week.  Our liquor license is in effect and inventory is starting to arrive.  It was an exciting week even though the snow put a damper on the mood.
As the years go by in continues to be a creative way of thinking to gain more revenue in the golf industry.  I have already mentioned the fact I’m exploring a golf simulator for the next off season.  I am also looking into the golf course buying a used pool table to give our patrons another recreational option during rain or bad golf days.
The more opportunities we can provide to keep the crowd coming in, the more revenue we will produce.  The key is to gain revenues with minimal expenses.  Both options should lead to a crowd favorite in the clubhouse.
I was also able to complete the controlled burn at the Country Club on Tuesday.  Chief and I were on scene to ensure a safe and effective burn process.  I stayed on site with one truck for most of the day until the pile was down to smoldering.  Ryan Lux was also on site with a loader in case of a need for fire control.  It was an all around positive process.
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3-18-18

This past week I was able to attend the annual Golf Course Superintendents Association of South Dakota turf conference.  There is always excellent educational opportunities along with a great trade show to see what is new in the industry.  The networking is also a valuable part of the event.
I was able to discuss financial information with quite a few golf course superintendents.  I am very proud to announce we are one of the very few golf courses that operate at a profit.  I also potentially have our two old fairway units sold to a golf course in Minnesota.  It was a great conference.
The remainder of the week was spent continuing to work on equipment.  There is so many small repairs that need to be completed.  It is very time consuming and doesn’t always feel like there is progress being made.
Unfortunately it appears I have missed my opening date of March 19.  I am still optimistic that we will be playing golf this month.  The course looks very good coming out of the winter months.  Once the frost level goes down I will set an opening date.
Pixler Electric has been on site working inside the pumphouse.  The foundation was raised two feet and the SMU transformer was moved during the water quality project.  This required a new electrical entrance into the building and new lines run to each of the pumps.  They should be finished this coming week.

3-11-18

This past week was another successful week of shop maintenance and preparation for the start of the new golf season.  Part time staff is currently in the process of filling out final paperwork so they are ready for the start of the season.  I might need to discuss the projected opening date if things don’t cooperate soon.
​Equipment maintenance and repairs have been the main focus this past week.  There is always a never ending list of maintenance repairs that build up as the golf season rolls along.  The off season is the time of year to spend a lot of time going through each machine with a “fine tooth comb.”
I am currently replacing all of the hoses, fittings, and nozzles on the sprayer.  This unit treats our fungicide, insecticide, and foliar fertilizer applications for the greens.  It also herbicide and insecticide applications for the remainder of the golf course.  Over time the hoses and nozzles start to wear and accumulate residue which compromises the effectivity of the sprayer.  The new hoses will allow me to receive the most effectiveness from each application.
The clubhouse painting project is also coming to a close.  The original paint scheme has been changed in a few areas in order to tie the entire building together.  I am very happy with the final product and confidant everyone will agree it looks great.
This coming week I will be in Sioux Falls attending the South Dakota turf conference.  This is a great educational opportunity in the classroom and through networking with other professionals in the industry.  We are never too old to learn.

3-4-18

We have entered the month of March and surely we are all ready for the expiration of Old Man Winter.  There will continue to be a lot of snow melt this week prior to the arrival of some fresh flakes early next week.  I am very pleased with the condition of the golf course right now.  The snow cover has helped protect the greens and course the majority of the winter.  Hopefully we will be golfing later this month.  My prediction is March 19 for the opening date.
Pixler Electric was on site to analyze the new foundation of the pumphouse and assess how they will connect the new electrical for the pumps.  The SMU transformer was moved to the SE corner of the pumphouse and the main power line enters on the east side.  Pixler Electric will be back on site next week to complete the work and the pumphouse will be ready to roll when the weather permits.
Ryan Lux and I have continued to work together on equipment this off season.  All the sharpening work has been completed at both courses.  We were able to go through the Toro rough mower and our sprayer this past week.   Replacement parts have been ordered for multiple pieces of equipment.  Once the parts arrive, we will finish the thorough off season maintenance and repair of equipment.
The Fire Chief has been gracious enough to allow a burn permit, to the Country Club, this coming week.  I will take a truck to the site and monitor the controlled burn of their brush pile.  This will take most of the day and we are currently shooting for Wednesday.  This will allow the Club to save quite a bit of money on hauling costs and also be a controlled situation.
I am looking forward to the coming season and the strong working relationship between Ryan and myself.  We have discussed multiple maintenance practices we can complete together at each course.  The end result will be a huge positive for both golf courses.
The automatic withdrawal form has been added to our website.  It can be found as a link on the course schedule page.  There have been a handful of golfers taking advantage of this new payment form.  Also, the Five Year Business Plan has been added as well to provide as much information as possible to the general public.