This past week I met with city staff to discuss the 2019/20 golf course budget.

The budget is almost the same as the 2018/19 budget as far as the bottom line.  Our revenues have been so poorly affected, due to terrible weather, the past two season it is difficult to make a normal projection.  If the weather is more cooperative, we should be in good shape with the proposed budget numbers.

You can look through the line items established in the attachment.  This is the 2018 Five Year Business Plan, but has been updated to the current date.  The estimate for the current budget is included along with the future budgets.  
I have also been working with Amanda on rewriting the clubhouse policies.  Since we have the golf simulator it creates a different use for our clubhouse.  These policies will be completed by the early part of next week.  They will be shared with the golf board and city council for discussion and future approval.
The golf week was a little slower on the simulator the past week.  On Saturday, we hosted the SFD Christmas party.   There were close to 50 individuals at the party playing pool, bean bags, cards, and the simulator.  It was a great success and everyone present had a great time.
I have continued to work on the history of the Spencer Municipal Golf Course property.  I conducted phone interviews with several individuals, read through Park Board and Golf Board minutes, and searched city records.  It is very interesting reading and finding new information.  I plan to complete this information, in the future, and create a narrative available on our website.
Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer
Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Spencer, Iowa 51301


This past week there was an increase in reservations for the simulator.  We had golfers every day except for Monday.  It was nice to see the clubhouse being utilized every day.  The more the word spreads the busier the clubhouse will be moving forward.  I’m happy with the increase in the simulator.
I have continued to work on the equipment maintenance program this off season.  This includes all repairs, service work, and reel sharpening.  Normally, I work in the shop in the morning and the clubhouse late morning until the evening.  During the evening part time staff works in the clubhouse.
Our Street Division was on site, Tuesday, to remove four Willow trees behind our cart storage buildings.  These trees were in the waterway that runs between Nielsen’s and the golf course.  The clean up in this area will help the surface drainage move off the property more quickly.  They did a nice job with the project.
This coming week there are budget meetings to discuss the proposed 2019/20 budget for the golf course.  The proposed budget amount will be very close to the current budget amount.  I don’t foresee any raises in line items moving into the future.


The simulator golf season saw a fair amount of activity this past week.  There were a few golfers during the week days as well as a large group on Saturday night.  It has slowly been gaining more support as more and more golfers hear about it.  I wish it was busy every day but that has not been the case.  The revenue has supported the part time staffing in the clubhouse, however.
Since the golf course has the golf simulator and will be open during the off season, moving into the future, I have been looking at our clubhouse policies.  I have shared this information with Amanda, for review and presentation to the city council.  This will be coming in the near future.
I toured the golf course three separate days, during the past week.  I’m still comfortable with the turf conditions but the lack of snow cover is definitely a concern.  There is still adequate moisture in all the greens that I checked.  The course will continue to be monitored and any manual watering will be performed as it becomes necessary.
Equipment maintenance is always a huge off season process.  Each piece of equipment is completely gone through making necessary repairs, cleaning, and servicing.  It also includes sharpening the reels and bedknives on every machine.
The reel sharpening and bedknife grinding began this past week.  The reels and bedknives must have a true edge, on each, to perform a high quality cut on the turfgrass.  If there is not a high quality cut, it causes the grass blade to be torn off rather than a clean cut.  This causes a lot of stress which can lead to disease or even turf loss in an extreme instance.
Lastly, I have spent some personal time working on the history of the Spencer Municipal Golf Course.  I’m not just talking the golf course since the City purchased it, but the land as it dates back beyond the years.  I am a committed member of the Historic Preservation Commission and I feel the golf course is a huge part of the history of Spencer.  This is going to be a lengthy process and I look forward to sharing it with our community in the future.


Good Morning,
Over the past two weeks I have spent time with my family in Iowa City and Ankeny.  My brother in law, Todd, is progressing quite nicely.  He will be released from the hospital this coming week.  He was scheduled for release on Friday, but there was an infection in his chest causing an infection.
Once Todd is released, he will live with my wife, at my Aunt’s home, in Iowa City.  Tiffany will help Todd with his daily medical care through training from his hospital staff.  Todd will do outpatient rehab multiple days a week and have a home healthcare professional stop three days a week.
This has been a very long process for Todd and our family.  Taking time away from work is never ideal, but spending as much time with my family is my priority right now.  Todd’s health has improved and it’s a miracle he is still with us today.  Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers during this time.
I have started the reel sharpening process, the past couple weeks.  There are a lot of reels to get through as well as a lot of bedknives to sharpen.  The bedknife is bolted to the reel frame while the reel blades spin, slightly touching the bedknife.  This action is what causes the grass to be clipped.  If either of these is dull or out of adjustment, you get a very poor quality of cut.
Winter weather is always a major concern of mine.  It’s four months of the “unknown” I try to monitor on a regular basis.  The warm temperatures are definitely a concern.  The majority of snow has melted off all the greens leaving some standing water in low areas as well as exposed turf.
With frost in the ground, the melting snow causes a lot of surface drainage with no place for the water to go because the ground is frozen.  Now this standing water will freeze in these low areas, possibly causing turf damage in the spring.  It’s not an alarm going off, but it is always a possible concern.
The golf course looks very nice right now.  There is no sign of damage to any of the greens or other turf areas around the course.  This is only January, but these warm temperatures can really cause some issues.  Our newly sodded mounds, on 16, look great.  I will continue to monitor the course conditions each week and haul water if necessary to any dry greens.
The golf course experienced a lot of electrical issues over the course of 2018.  These were mostly connections that had melted due to moisture in the old connection tubing.  I was able, this past week, to check on some of the areas most affected last season.  They all appear to be in great condition.
Public use of the golf simulator has started to pick up the past week or so.  We have had golfers calling and reserving tee times for an hour or two.  It’s nice to see a little more traffic in the clubhouse.  There are several groups renting the simulator over the next two weeks.  I would love to have the simulator booked every day, but the increased use will be a positive for now.
I have updated all of the information on the website.  The event schedule has also been updated with our 2019 dates reserved.  The events will be updated as dates are requested for golf events.  Fees and other areas have also been updated on the website.  Any 2018 reservations have first choice on their date again for 2019.