10-14-18

The weather has been very poor all week.  The golf course is closed today due to the snowfall and low temperature.  This has definitely limited our outdoor activity but has allowed quite a few projects completed inside.
The clubhouse closed early every day this week.  There were a handful of golfers out and about braving the elements.  Next week looks a little better.  We also have a tournament scheduled for the 21st.  It looks like the long range forecast is 60 and sunny for next Sunday.
The new simulator is pretty much ready to go.  It has taken a lot of time working with Solutions and SMU to get the proper modem installed and getting the connection through the firewall.  The golf courses still need to be downloaded but the range is up and running.  The yardages and ball flights are very accurate.  It is quite impressive.  I’m excited to get the courses downloaded and people can start golfing.  It requires a laptop, ipad, and a lot of patience to get this thing to where it will be functioning properly.
I spent time working on our chemical inventory for the maintenance facility and clubhouse.  The city is starting an online SDS database to make it easier to track all our chemical sheets in case of an emergency.  I have completed over 200 different products and set them on a spread sheet.  The company will attach the online SDS sheets to each product for all departments.  They will be accessible from computer, tablet, or phone.
Again, there was minimal outdoor work completed due to the weather.  This coming week the south of #16 green will be shaped for mounding.  Both of these new mounds will be sodded in the next two weeks.  We will continue to remove dead pine trees from around the course.  More plugs will be added to #17 green.  Lastly, we will continue to repair and sod areas in the fairways.
Please contact me with any questions or comments that might arise.  I always prefer to address them in a timely manner instead of waiting for the council or golf board meetings.  Also share these updates with others or direct them to the blog on the website.  I try to educate everyone as much as possible on a weekly basis or more.
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10-7-18

Good Morning,
It’s been a very busy work week at the muni even though the golf traffic has slowed down, as it always does this time of the season.  The entire year has been a challenge dealing with the weather.  We had the wettest June and September on record.  The other months were nothing short of poor weather either.
The well ran for seven days the entire year.  This amounts to 18.55 acre feet of water pumped from the well to the irrigation pond.  Our DNR limit is 81 acre feet from April 1 to October 31.  This is by far the lowest total ever pumped annually from the well.  The irrigation system is not far behind record low totals either.
The abundant rainfall does not slow the grass down from growing on a daily basis.  This all adds to the extra man hours on the equipment plus the additional labor dollars spent to maintain the golf course.  All the rain reduces our revenue options.  Final result of the equation is too much money spent and not enough revenue hitting the cash register.
This past week I fertilized the greens and tees with a fall granular application.  The warm temperatures mid week and the rainfall made a direct impact on the health of these turf areas.  They look great as we finish the week.
We also started our fall tree removal process.  Each year we cut down at least a dozen pine trees that continue to die.  Four trees were dropped and the debris was hauled to the maintenance surround for future removal.  We still have six more trees to remove in the upcoming weeks.
I spent an entire day with a tutorial from Rainbird learning the new software system for the irrigation system.  I remapped the course and programmed each individual station, on the map, to give us spot on control of each area of the golf course.  Each station has been mapped based off the location of every valve that operates on the course.  It is extremely impressive and makes the whole process work like clock work….considering everything functions properly on the course.
We started the process of filling in the sand traps on #16.  The south sand trap has been filled and I shaped the new mounding.  The north sand trap has all the fill material added but the rainfall, Thursday afternoon, made it difficult to finish the shaping process.  I hope to do some shaping on the north trap this morning.
We used all the old fill material piled around the shop to start our base layer in these traps.  The remainder was hauled from the south end of the golf course.  This material was all stockpiled from the water quality project.  This upcoming week we will be adding sod to complete the repair process in this area.
I’m excited to finish this process and eliminate some of our drainage issues while we wait for the future tile project to be completed.  It is not the answer to the drainage problems, but it will eliminate quite a bit of the standing water problem.
I used a personal day, on Friday, to mow at the Country Club.  They are currently in between superintendents and have one employee trying to keep up with maintenance practices.  I feel it is vital to continue building this working relationship that has been established over the past few years.
I would like to emphasize that my help at the Country Club or time spent responding to medical calls, at the fire department, have no effect on my job at the muni.  If I am gone from the golf course, for a short period of time, it is made up later in the day.  I always make sure that 100% of the work is completed at the golf course on a daily basis.  The golf course is always my first and foremost priority.
This morning we are hosting our annual chili open.  It is definitely going to be chilly or chili however you want to interpret the title.  We have close to 120 golfers registered to play.  Not all will show but it will be an awesome day for the golf course.
Please contact me with any questions or comments.  I am always available to provide further detailed information not provided in the weekly updates.  For now, I’m going to work on 16 green surrounds and look forward to a great day!

9-30-18

The past week gave us a chance to let the golf course dry out after the recent flooding.  I am shocked how well everything rebounded after close to 10″ of rain.  There are very few wet areas around the course which allowed us to have everything in great shape by the end of the week.
A few weeks ago, we repaired a lot of areas in the fairways and the roughs.  These spots had fill material added, a clean edge cut with a spade, and finally fresh sod laid to complete the repairs.  We were finally able to remove the flags from these areas and start mowing them at a normal height of cut.  They have turned out very nicely.  In the coming weeks we will continue to address other areas.
The trees from the soccerplex entrance are too big for the city tree spade to move.  I tried multiple angles with no success.  I have inquired about a tree spade and the estimate is $250 per tree.  There is no room in the golf course budget to support this expense.  We will need to rely on private donations or let the soccer group cut them down.  I was disappointed to be unable to move these beautiful Oak trees.
Our tiling project, on number 16, has been delayed for quite some time.  The contractor is still on another large project where the heavy rains have put him behind schedule.  I have decided to fill in these two sand traps around the green.  We will add fill material followed by nice topsoil.  The area will be graded to establish a couple of nice berms.  These areas will be sodded and mowed as rough.  This will eliminate some of our standing water issues.
The shed on number five has been completed to almost 90%.  The only thing left will be to complete some additional trim work.  The shed looks very nice and once the trim is completed it will be a finished project.
This past week I prepared and end of the year report which concentrates on some of the issues we have dealt with during the season.  There is also a spreadsheet that shows different totals since 2003.  This chart definitely shows a downward trend in our golf population.  I have included these two reports as attachments listed below:

Please let me know if there are any questions or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  Again, direct people to the website for automatic withdrawal, credit card payments, and to the golf course blog.  I will see each of you at the respective meetings Monday evening.