Good Morning,
The month of September has come and gone very quickly.  It has been another month filled with rain and rapidly growing grass.  We have been mowing the entire course multiple times each week trying to stay on top of all maintenance practices.  As the week comes to a close, I’m very happy with the condition of the golf course and thankful for all the work by maintenance personnel.  If only the rain would ease up a bit and more golfers would play.
I talked to Matt Hagedorn at the end of the week and we are expecting him on site next week to start the tile work around #16 green and also complete some repairs in Waterway Park.  I have flagged or spray painted all areas where work will be performed.  The irrigation lines have been marked in hoping we can do some hand work to eliminate trenching through pipes or wiring.  I plan to install a drain in front of #16 green and run the tile to the NW and tie in to the line they installed a couple of years ago.
Equipment maintenance has been a time consuming process as of late.  I completed repairs on multiple rental carts and several mowers.  One rough unit was taken to the Street Division for some hydraulic repairs.  I am generally able to complete the majority of maintenance repairs but once in a while I need some assistance.  Thankfully the Street Division can usually fit us into their schedule and complete the necessary work.
We started some of our fall tree pruning over the past couple of weeks.  Most of the trees we addressed were smaller varieties that have “suckers” or branches that are in the way during mowing practices.  A branch whipping you in the face when you are looking the other direction usually leaves a lasting memory to grab the “loppers” to remove some branches.  As we move forward we will start concentrating on the larger trees and removing dead pine trees.
A couple of weeks ago we loaned our tractor to the Country Club so they could complete the aerification process on their greens.  I’m planning to aerify our greens sometime in the next couple of weeks.  The aerification process will punch holes down approximately 10″ into the greens and help with the health of the bentgrass.  I have not set an exact time frame yet and the process will minimally disrupt golfers.
The greens were sprayed with a fungicide, foliar fertilizer, and wetting agent on Thursday morning.  The fungicide application helps control the present of dollar spot while the wetting agent aids in the movement of water in the soil profile.  This will be our last foliar fertilizer application on the greens this season.  In the next couple of weeks there will be a granular fertilizer application on the greens, tees, and fairways.
Skunks continue to damage several areas in the fairways digging for grubs.  We have eliminated five do date but there are still a few more on the property.  The past week we have also dealt with crows digging at the practice tee area for grubs.  Next season these areas will be sprayed with an insecticide to eliminate the presence of grubs in the Fall weeks.
The pumphouse repairs were completed last week and there was some work done around the golf course.  I ran the irrigation system Friday night and the system ran better than it has in a long time.  The pumphouse is holding pressure and all the stations are running properly.  There are still a couple valves that need repair work but nothing that affects the performance of the system.  I’m excited to have the irrigation system running so well.  There has been a lot of work to get it to this point.
That’s a wrap on another week at the muni.  I’m hoping for no rain today as we are hosting our annual Chili Open.  Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.


Good Morning,
The past week the maintenance staff and I spent the majority of our time mowing.  All the rainfall and warm temperatures caused the grass to be growing out of control.  We mowed the rough three times during the week.  It was necessary to mow several evenings into the dark.
Equipment maintenance is usually at the top as we complete each work week.  The reel type mowers need to be kept into adjustment in order to get the proper cut on the greens, tees, and fairways.  These adjustments keep the reel in correct contact with the bedknife on the bottom of the reel.  The reel spins across the bedknife and completes the cut of the turfgrass.  If it is out of adjustment then the quality of cut is poor and causes stress to the plant as well as a non uniform cut.
Other equipment repairs were completed during the week.  A hydraulic hose broke on a rough unit, the traction cable broke on a tee mower, and several other small items popped up on other equipment.  Most of the down time was short and we were back mowing right away.
Our irrigation system was actually started on Tuesday evening.  The high temperatures and winds were starting to dry everything out quickly.  Surprisingly enough there was a thunderstorm early in the morning.  I shut the irrigation system down about 3:00 AM and discovered the other intake line had a crack in the elbow as well.  This repair was completed the following day and everything should be working properly if it stops raining.
The amount of play has really dropped off at the golf course.  We had very slow days during the majority of the Clay County Fair as well as the past week.  It’s frustrating to see the number of golfers decrease each year.  I don’t know what the answer is but I can assure you raising prices will only decrease the amount of play more.


Good Morning,
It was a very difficult work week with the rain and windy conditions and short on staff.  The golf course received steady rainfall most of the day Monday.  Early Thursday morning we had a strong thunderstorm dumping over 2″ of rainfall.  With all the dormant turf in non irrigated areas the heavy rain drained to all the low spots on the golf course.  Standing water was all over the place with several greens 50% under water.  The next three days were very challenging.
We had our mowing practices to complete in a short period of time as well as being short staffed.  Huge thanks to my maintenance staff for grabbing the bull by the horns and moving in high gear.  We mowed all hours of the day and had the majority of the golf course mowed in two days.  The sand traps were repaired and raked by noon on Saturday.  There is still some water in a few traps but the sand has been pushed back to the faces of the sand traps.  By the end of the week the golf course was back in very nice condition.
Repairing washed out sand traps is a very time consuming process.  The heavy rainfall washes the sand to the bottom of the traps leaving the top part down to clay.  The sand is pushed from the bottom of the trap back to the face and spread evenly throughout.  Afterward they look just like new.
My personal work week consisted of office work, mowing, irrigation repairs, equipment repairs, repairing sand traps, and clubhouse shifts.  Wherever we were short staffed I emphasized my work for the week.  The staff did a great job in the clubhouse as well as the maintenance employees going above and beyond.
Skunk damage has started over the last week or two.  The skunks come out at night and dig up the grubs in fairways on the north half of the golf course.  These varmints can do a lot of damage over one nightfall.  I have spot treated insecticides to try and control the grub population and it looks like next year I will need to spray the entire north set of fairways to try and eliminate this issue.   “Hopalong” Mark Lawson turned a couple of these trespassers into hats early Saturday morning.
On Friday, I finally resolved the lightning damage to the clubhouse AC unit with the insurance company.  The process was very difficult with the adjuster since he was out of the office for several weeks.  There was also problems with Hanson’s P&H getting all the information.  In the end, the adjuster informed me he will be approving the claim and be in touch early next week.
I was able to spray greens with a scheduled treatment on Saturday morning.  The rainfall and high winds made it impossible to complete the application any earlier.  I applied a fungicide for the control of dollar spot.  This fungus really became apparent on #6 green.  This is the only green where it showed up in full force.  I also sprayed a wetting agent and a foliar fertilizer application.
I drove out of town for a few hours on Friday to pick up an irrigation part for the pumphouse.  The lead intake is a 6″ PVC pipe that feeds the pump from the wet well.  The 90 degree angle fitting has a crack in it and is leaking water causing the pump to work well below capacity.  I want to repair the intake now before it breaks when the irrigation is necessary with the upcoming heat.  I will be completing the repair this morning.
Several fall projects to be completed in the upcoming weeks:
-tile the area around #16 green
-sod collars damaged from irrigation issues
-dead tree removal
-fall herbicide application to course
-spray vegetation in irrigation pond
I will provide more information about these projects as they begin.  Please let me know if there are any questions or concerns.  The golf board will meet Monday at the clubhouse 5:00 PM.


This past week our main focus was general maintenance practices around the golf course.  We had a short work week due to the Labor Day holiday which was followed by the police golf outing on Tuesday.  That leads up to one of our biggest golf outings of the year happening today.
The maintenance staff has been working one employee short in comparison to the past few years.  This is being done to help offset the lower revenue dollars we have seen this year.   We worked some evening hours in order to get the golf course in nice shape by the end of the week.  It was challenging to get everything mowed down in a timely manner.
This upcoming week looks like more rain headed in our direction.  We will continue with normal maintenance practices and most likely start removing some of the dead pine trees around the golf course.
Spraying the fall broadleaf weed application, fertilizing, spraying greens, and sand trap maintenance are some of the items on the list in the coming weeks.  It is helpful that so much of the rough is dormant from the lack of rainfall.
The golf board meeting is moved until September 16th.  We need to have a full attendance in order to vote on officers for the upcoming year.  If there are questions, comments, or concerns please get in touch with me so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  Enjoy the remainder of the weekend.


This past week has concluded the 2019 golf leagues at the muni.  This time of year seems to always result in a drop in play at the golf course.  Starting this weekend golfers can purchase 1/2 of their 2020 season pass and play the remainder of 2019.  Then make the final payment in April of 2020 and play all of that golf season.  Hopefully we see some additional interest in this promotion this year.
Mid week I finished the process of lining up a glow ball event that will be held on Saturday, October 5th.  The event will be limited to the first 104 golfers and sponsored by the After Five Kiwanis.  There will also be a chili cook off between Spencer Fire Department and the After Five Kiwanis.  This event will be held annually, moving forward, and will benefit children in our community.  The exact charity has not yet been determined.
Thursday afternoon we hosted the Spencer High School cross country meet.  This is an annual event that falls on the Thursday after men’s league is completed.  We host this event in order to be a positive partner with the school district.  We don’t make any money during the day but it does give folks from outside our community to see our beautiful golf course.  It’s very impressive watching all the young athletes compete in this event.
Irrigation continues to be on the agenda the past weeks.  I repaired multiple valves and wiring issues around the golf course.  There are only a few small repairs left to complete.  Overall, the irrigation system is working about as well as a person could hope.  All of the areas of poor irrigation coverage have been addressed.  The repair hours have been quite substantial over the past couple of years.
The staff and myself have spent time cleaning sand traps during the mornings when we rake traps.  There have been quite a few rocks that have worked to the surface and contaminated the sand.  We have removed approximately three gallons of rocks from around the golf course.  We will continue to work on this process each week.  The vast majority of rocks have been removed.
We spent some time dragging the parking lot, filling in potholes, and doing the same to the cart paths around the golf course.   The Street Division helped us out by adding road gravel a couple weeks ago.  We will continue to drag the parking lot in order to keep the potholes and other low spots to minimum each week.
Another task has been the removal of sucker branches around a lot of the smaller trees around the golf course.  These branches grow at ground level and show up every year.  It usually takes us a handful of hours to address this issue.  We have also been trimming some of the low hanging branches on the golf course and in Waterway Park.
Our regularly scheduled maintenance practices have taken up the remainder of the work week.  Overall the golf course is in really nice shape as we head into the Labor Day weekend.