The past two weeks we have been busy with our daily maintenance practices. The dry weather really takes a toll on the turfgrass. I spray a wetting agent and foliar fertilizer once a week, on the greens, to help hold the moisture in the soil and provide plenty of nutrients for the bentgrass. Once every other week fungicides and insecticides are sprayed to help control disease pressure and pests. Right now the greens are looking very nice, especially considering the brutal weather conditions.
Our tee and fairway mowing has been reduced a little bit this past week in order to cut down on stress of the plant. The hot, windy, dry conditions create a lot of stress along with all the cart traffic. Cutting the turfgrass also creates stress on the plant. So, we are reducing some mowing to help take pressure off the grass. The tees and fairways still are in very nice shape as we close out another week at the golf course.
The rough is starting to turn dormant in the non irrigated areas. This is kind of a blessing since we have dealt with equipment issues the past several weeks. Cutting down on hours on the rough mowing is a big help and allows us to complete other tasks around the golf course.
The ponds have been treated with copper sulphate on a regular basis to help eliminate the algae presence. The irrigation pond is in a lot better shape than in years past. We still have some aquatic vegetation in the irrigation pond but that is part of a healthy aquatic ecosystem.
A couple big chores were completed this past week. We were able to string trim along all the streams, ponds, and waterways as well as other areas of the golf course. The other task was spraying weeds around the sand trap perimeters throughout the golf course. Only four sand traps need to be treated.
After our last golf board meeting it was requested to add the OB stakes to the golf course. This was an oversight on my part after we started the year out with so many COVID 19 provisions. We had the majority of the stakes out the next day. We had to paint a few more stakes and placed them on the course a couple days later.
It was also discussed about the problem with ball marks not being repaired on the greens. This has been a constant problem throughout the years form simply not replacing your pitch mark or fixing it improperly. I placed small handouts on the men’s and ladies league boards for individuals to take with them on the course. There are also printouts tacked to each board as a visual guide.
Lastly the golf board commented about the tee boxes being filled with divots on some of the holes. We have increased our hand topdressing practices at this time. The tee boxes are being hand topdressed with sand a couple of times a week. The sand fills the divot hole and allows the grass to recover more quickly as it grows into the sand mixture.
We hosted our summer couple’s event last Sunday and had 29 four person teams. It was a beautiful day for golf. Unfortunately we had some staffing issues with illness and a family medical situation so we were unable to provide a beer cart during the event. The girls in the clubhouse did an excellent job keeping up with all the golfers as they completed holes nine and 18 to either grab more beverages or have some lunch.
With the short staffing I have been opening the clubhouse on the weekends then closing the clubhouse almost every Saturday and Sunday night. We are currently training a couple new employees and trying to find a couple others to help get us through the season. All of the staff is working hard and the majority of our golfers are understanding for the most part.
The golf course irrigation system has been going on a steady schedule. One thing to remember is we are under an Iowa DNR water permit that only allows us to use so much water from April 1 through the month of October. We pump water from the well into the pond but it cannot keep up with the amount of irrigation overnight, so the pond level is a little low.
The new system has been working very nicely outside of a couple valves sticking or leaking once in a while. We continue to work on these areas. The great news is irrigation problems are so minimal compared to years past and the performance is amazing. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the system.
It’s been a busy time of year and lots of golfers have been out almost every day. It’s great to see so many people having a good time in these difficult times we are living in right now. It’s hard to imagine we are already halfway through July. Wow.
Enjoy the remainder of your weekend. Please get in touch with me if you have questions, comments, 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