Good Morning,
This past week I set the grinding machines up in preparation to start sharpening reels and bedknives.  All the reels have been taken apart and any bearing replacement was completed.  The reel grinding machine is set with an exact measurement from the grinding stone all the way across each blade on the reel.  I manually run the stone across each reel until a brand new sharp edge is established.
The bedknives are what the reels spin against to cut the turfgrass.  These brackets are set on a separate grinding machine and the measurement must be exact all the way across the bedknife.  I manually run the stone back and forth across until a new edge is established on the bedknife.  This bracket is then attached to the reel, adjustments are made, and a perfect cut is established.
The reels are ground during the off season.  The bedknives are periodically sharpened during the season to maintain a quality cut.  The reels are checked on a daily basis to ensure they are cutting at a high performance level.  This establishes a more healthy turfgrass during mowing operations.  Improper cutting adjustments or poor quality of cut result in poor mowing and stress to the turfgrass because it is basically ripped instead of cut.
Retrofit Companies, Inc. was on site to conduct a lighting survey at the golf course and the other departments within the City.  They will use the data to decide whether we will see a significant cost saving switching to LED lighting.  The maintenance shed will definitely need to see some changes as will the clubhouse.  I will keep you posted.
I have also created a slideshow presentation which I will be presenting at the Iowa Golf Course Superintendents Association Winter Seminar December 2, in Carroll.  This presentation will share the 2017 water quality project that was completed at the golf course.  I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be a speaker at this event and I think the project will be of benefit to many other golf courses.  Let me know if you would like me to share the slideshow with you?
I also attended a telephone conference call with Tyler Technologies to discuss new software for our day to day operations.  This would be a change in the Point of Sales system we currently use for paying customers.  It would make paying online much easier and also lessen the time spent recording daily receipts at City Hall.  It is in the early stages but sounds very promising.
I was able to get out on the golf course and continue with our tree pruning project for 2019.  I finished quite a bit of the golf course.  I will be working with Justin, from the Country Club, this upcoming week to remove the 16 tree stumps we have on the grounds.  This will conclude the tree work that was planned prior to the season ending.
A couple other tasks that were completed this past week:
     -The tile area on #16 was addressed where some of the trench was still open.
       Fill material was pushed into the trench and will be left to settle over winter.
     -I completed some irrigation repairs in a few of the valve boxes.
     -Lightning damage on the heating/cooling system in the clubhouse was
      was addressed with the insurance adjuster.
We anticipate a lot of golfers to enjoy one of the last days of nice weather.  The outside golf course will be closed at the end of the day for the 2019 season.  I will be spraying greens with a fungicide to prevent snow mold damage when the spring weather arrives.
Please contact me with comments or questions.   Enjoy the sunshine today.


Good Morning,
This past week concluded the majority of outside projects planned for 2019.  The weather still looks nice for the next few days and that will allow me to finish a couple other small items prior to the frozen tundra arriving.
Projects that were completed this fall include:
  -removal of the dead trees on the course
  -cutting stumps down to ground level
  -tree pruning
  -algae control in both ponds
  -aerification of the greens
  -sod repair on fairways
  -fertilization of greens, tees, and fairways
  -tile addition on #16
  -tile repair Waterway Park
  -irrigation blowout
  -winterize the pumphouse
  -change oil and filters in all equipment
Projects I will continue to work on early this week include:
  -back filling the tile area on #16
  -marking stumps for removal
  -measure landscape areas for 2020 plans
  -continue to research a tagging system for 2020 daily fees
I would like to thank the part time staff inside the clubhouse and outside on the grounds for all their work and dedication.  Inside staff are all working at the golf course as a part time second job.  They do a great job meeting the needs of our golf clientele.  I’m thankful for each one of them every day.
The outside staff worked tirelessly trying to constantly get caught up with daily maintenance fighting the rain and other poor weather.  Irrigation issues, equipment problems, and crazy work schedules made it especially difficult.  They worked very hard with a lot of pride in the golf course.  There work is never ending and often goes unnoticed by the public.
It has been a very challenging year.  I look forward to the off season preparation and implementing some of the discussed changes for the 2020 golf season.  I hope the weather cooperates for golfers, farmers, and others.  The clubhouse will be open this off season for events and the golf simulator.  Hopefully the public will utilize our beautiful clubhouse.
Enjoy the remainder of the weekend.  Please contact me with any comments. questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.


Good Morning,
The irrigation system has been winterized for the 2019 golf season.  I finished blowing out the system Friday evening around 7:30.  Saturday morning I finished the wiring of the new circuit board, completed work in valve boxes, and winterized the pumphouse.  Today and Monday I will finish working on the irrigation issues with the MDI and the main computer.  These issues are covered under our warranty plan.  I simply need to figure out what needs replaced and what is working correctly.
Power surges are not uncommon with golf course irrigation systems.  However, they are a major issue that can wreak havoc on a person.  I plan to have some additional discussion with our irrigation contractor who installed the system during the expansion.  Lightning surge protectors are definitely a necessity when it comes to protecting the system.  Maybe adding more of these to the layout will be helpful.  I will pursue this during the off season and keep you posted.
We still need to remove the intakes and screens in the pumphouse wet well.  These intakes go about ten feet down the wet well and connect to the irrigation pumps.  The water is drawn from the irrigation system through these intakes by the pumps and goes into the field.  The cattail debris will be cleaned from inside the screens and the bottom of the intakes.  They will be stored in the maintenance shop during the off season.
We have removed all the dead trees from the golf course.  I believe we have 17 tree stumps to remove.  It is so disappointing to see how losing these trees affects the visual aspect of the golf course.  It’s part of Nature but is still frustrating to accept.  Pine trees are not native to Iowa and once they reach a certain stage they become very susceptible to pests and disease.  Pine Wilt is a disease that is seen through the entire Midwest.  Attached at the very bottom is a pdf for your reading pleasure.
This coming week the remainder of the tree pruning will be completed, the last couple of tree stumps will be cut off at ground level, tree stumps will be staked for removal this winter, and hopefully the majority of our muskrat population will be eliminated.
Over the past few weeks, the golf board and I have been working on plans for the 2020 golf season.  We will be implementing a tag system that will be issued at check in prior to a round of golf.  We require every individual to check in prior to golf but that does not always happen.  Season pass holders will have a visible bag tag for the season.  Daily fee players will be issued a daily tag for their bag.  This will allow staff to visibly see if somebody has checked in or possibly not even paid.  This is still in the early stages but I look forward to the implementation.
The golf course numbers have declined over the years.  Our golf leagues no longer have waiting lists and operate barely over 50% of the “good old days” numbers.  Our cart storage spaces allow for 178 carts to be stored on site.  We used to have 20 carts on a waiting list.  Today there are 46 open cart storage spaces at the golf course.  Numbers are definitely going down as our population ages.  Attached is a spreadsheet for you to look at the numbers over the past 17 seasons:
Each of you enjoy the remainder of the weekend.  Extra special thanks to all the veterans who allow us to live the life we choose in this great country.  Please contact me with any comments or questions.


Good Morning,
There are more irrigation issues as golf course staff is trying to winterize the system.
I started the irrigation winterization process early in the week.  We brought in an air compressor from the Street Division to blow out the irrigation lines.  The first step to the blowout process is clearing the main lines around the golf course.  The second step is opening each individual station and removing the water from the lateral lines.
I was having a difficult time keeping the psi (pressure) high enough in the lines to open valves.  The main lines were finished by the end of the day on Tuesday with quite a bit of difficulty.  The Street Division prepared another air compressor for us to pick up on Wednesday morning.
The process resumed around 4:30 AM Wednesday morning trying to get a head start prior to the second compressor arrival at 8:30 AM.  I soon noticed there was no power to any of the stations around the golf course.  I checked the amp draw going out into the field and discovered it was at 18 and it should be functioning at 170.  The low amp reading shows a problem either in the field with a grounded wire or with the irrigation controls from the computer room.
Approximately five hours was spent checking wire splices around the golf course separating the field into three sections.  This would determine where the issue is on the course.  Eventually I called Rainbird tech support, which is an insurance system paid for annually.  We went through volt testing and many other tests in the field.  After a couple hours they finally agreed the issue is with the MDI (this is the main power source to all the field decoders which control the irrigation).
A new MDI, separate circuit board, and surge protector will be arriving today around noon.  I will assemble all of these components this afternoon and check the electrical wire path.  We plan to continue the irrigation blowout starting Friday and I will continue through the weekend until it is complete.