Starting off with the most positive news at the golf course involves the budget. The month of July has been busy with lots of golfers each day. Lack of rainfall keeps the course open on a daily basis. Our revenues for July 2020, with one week to go, are the same as the average total month of July the past three years. That’s a very positive outlook for the start of our 2020/21 budget process. Let’s make it another great week golf fans!
We received very minimal rainfall yesterday morning and the storm missed us this morning. Both days left the sidewalk wet and that was about it. Which concludes another dry week with hot temperatures taking a toll on the golf course conditions. Add some valve issues and the pumphouse with a broken intake and it’s been a very long week.
The pumphouse functioned at 50% one night which allowed me to irrigate greens, tees, approaches, and some of the fairway stations into mid morning the next day. It’s nearly impossible to put enough water down on the course each night. Last night the irrigation cycle will total about 11 hours once it concludes this morning.
There are several valves, on the course, that are leaking but the system needs to be completely shut down to make the repairs. Examples would be the top of nine green, next to the greenside cart path on ten, and 12 along the stream and green. The valves need to be removed and completely replaced. We tried changing out the diaphragms but it did not control the problem. If we ever get some rain I will spend the next day making these repairs.
There is an issue with the front of number seven green. This valve box lid was left open and somebody closed the valve completely shut. This eliminated any water flow since late last week. It was not done by staff and is unfortunate that somebody decided to mess with the system. This green was hand watered several times during the week along with extra irrigation cycles over night. It will eventually recover once the temperatures lower but it shows how quickly a green can go down hill.
I continue to spray wetting agents and foliar fertilizers every Wednesday morning. Some of the applications include a fungicide or insecticide. The wetting agent helps move water through the soil profile and keeps the greens looking very nice. The foliar fertilizer provides the necessary nutrients to create a healthy green turfgrass. The fungicide prevents diseases from becoming an issue and the insecticide controls cut worms, ants, and other pests.
Our fairways were spot sprayed with an insecticide to help control the presence of grubs. The grubs feed off of the root system of the turfgrass and cause brown patches around the course. When grubs are present it also becomes a feeding frenzy for skunks, opossums, and crows. A skunk can do a tremendous amount of damage digging up grubs in just one night. Hopefully this application will help limit the grub population.
We have dealt with a lot of equipment issues. One greens mower had the starter go out of it on Wednesday. One tee mower has an electrical issue and will not run. A couple of hydraulic leaks on rough units and a leaky pump on the sprayer pretty much rounds it all out. It’s been a busy week from being a mechanic stand point.
The remainder of the sand traps and some of the landscaping had roundup applied to control the weeds present. Spraying the trap edges really helps to keep them clean and looking nice. It also makes it easier to mow and string trim around.
The grounds staff has been working very hard to stay on top of the golf course condition. These weather conditions are the most challenging we can face during a golf season. It takes a lot of hard work and diligence to keep turf alive during these conditions. I’m very proud of all the hard work they continue to perform week in and week out.
Our clubhouse staff has also been doing a great job making sure everything runs smoothly on a daily basis. We have some new hired help and it also is getting to be vacation time of the year for a lot of the indoor staff. I have continued to work shifts in the clubhouse seven days a week. I am very thankful for the dedication and hard work they put forth each day.
I hope each of you enjoy the remainder of your weekend. I can never stress enough, if there are questions, comments, or concerns please get in touch with me so they can be addressed much sooner than later. Keep on smiling!
Brian C Mohr
Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer
Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Spencer, Iowa 51301