11-22-2020

Good Morning,
This past week brought some beautiful weather which allowed us to continue working outside on projects.  It also extended the golf season a little bit longer for our players.  There were a few golfers on the course every day with Thursday being the busiest day of the week.  It was great to see people out enjoying themselves on the golf course this late into November.  We never know when it will be the last round of the year.  The weather forecast looks like we might be finished golfing.


Tuesday, the golf course went back to the early season COVID 19 provisions.  We removed all seating inside the clubhouse and did not allow anyone to congregate inside the facility.  Golfers were allowed to enter the clubhouse to make payment in a timely manner prior to playing golf.  This worked very well each day we were open for golf.  Once the outdoor golf season comes to a close, the clubhouse will be closed to the public until December 31, the same as other city facilities.

I would like to once again thank the golf course staff for working through the COVID 19 provisions set in place at the golf course for the entire 2020 season.  We held the golf course to more strict provisions than were set in place by the Governor.  It helped us remain open all year long and provide a recreational environment for people to “get away” during the strange times we are living in right now.   


We finished removing the dead trees from the golf course and also pruned quite a few other trees.  There were about a dozen pine trees removed this year.  That has been about the average every year as we see more and more of this species disappear across the state of Iowa.  The debris was moved to three different areas and will eventually be removed by the Street Division to the tree site.  I want to thank them for their assistance in finishing this project for us.


More irrigation work was completed as we inch closer to the end of the season.  There were four valves that were replaced, several diaphragms were replaced, and quite a few valves were opened to clean the diaphragms.  We had a lot of sludge and debris make its way into the system when our intake issues started back in October.  There will probably be more stations to clean out in the spring, but the remainder of the problem areas have been addressed.  


I would like to extend a very Happy Thanksgiving greeting to everyone this week.  As we inch closer to the day to give thanks let’s all appreciate everything we are given on a daily basis and be thankful for family and friends.  Please be safe and sanitary as we continue to move through these difficult times.  Share a smile.  It just might change somebody’s day!

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

11-15-2020

Good Morning,
The past week was definitely a change in the weather and shut down the opportunity for any golf to be played.  There was a golf tournament scheduled for today that was cancelled for the season due to icicles.  It would have been nice to host one final event at The Muni for the season but Mother Nature decided differently.  It appears we will have one last nice week of golf weather approaching then it might be time to shut the course down for 2020.  The end of one crazy year throughout the world will end early at the golf course.


It has definitely been a crazy year.  I never imagined we would make it through the entire golf season with extremely minimal effects of COVID 19.  We chose to stick to the provisions set in place early in the year and never wavered from those guidelines.  It is a testament to the employees and the golfers that chose to spend their recreational time at the golf course.  Everyone adapted well and the employees created a sanitary environment for people to try and escape for a few hours and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.  Thank you to all our golfers and the employees that made it all happen.  You all made the SMGC a place for one and all to enjoy.

Monday we finished blowing out the irrigation system.  The main lines were blown out over the previous weekend and the plan was to start before bright and early working on the lateral lines.  Things didn’t go as planned right off the bat.  There was no internet to the maintenance facility.  After contacting Solutions, I was informed the connection was lost shortly after midnight.  A little bit of trouble shooting found the line connected to the antenna had been cut.  An extra special thanks to the kind soul responsible.  By 9:00 AM we had the internet repaired and water and air blowing in the wind.


The entire process went very smoothly.  The late season irrigation cycles along with the compressed air helped remove the majority of the debris in the lines from the intake issues.  Once we had finished the blowout process there were only four problematic valves on the repair list.  Those will be addressed this coming week.  


On Wednesday we finished the winterization of the pumphouse.  The intakes were removed from the wet well for the final time of 2020.  Those things are so heavy and a huge undertaking to get out of the wet well.  The staff and I removed them at least a dozen times this year as we dealt with irrigation issues.  It was a good feeling to know it was the last time of the year.  The rest of the pumphouse was broken down and winterized step by step until the door closed one last time in the 2020 season.


The last task has been the continuous removal of the dead pine trees around the golf course.  I believe we removed ten trees total from the golf course.  The stumps still remain and will be removed at a later date.  We will continue to add nursery stock to replace the lost trees each season.  It’s sad to see them come down after we spent so much time and energy transplanting a lot of these trees in 1999 during the construction.  The trees lived a lot longer than all of the “experts” predicted.  


We’re half way through November, the golf days are numbered and the nice weather will become a thing of the past.  With that being said you don’t know the time or what Mother Nature will bring you or even what will happen in the world but you do know that all good things will eventually come to an end.  We just never know when.  


I hope each of you enjoy the remainder of your weekend.  Hopefully you spend time with your family, you’re warm, and healthy.  Cheers to all of you golf fans!

Brian C MohrDirector of Golf Operations

City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

11-8-2020

Good Morning,
What a beautiful week we experienced for the month of November.  It would have been a great week during any month.  The golf course was busy and saw the most golfers on Wednesday.  Today looks like the last nice day for some golf as long as you don’t mind the windy conditions.  The suns already out and the temperature is a warm 55 degrees.


Several more pine trees were removed this past week.  You really don’t have any idea how large a tree is until you cut it down and start hauling it away.  There was one pine tree between #17 green and #18 tees that felt like a dinosaur.  You can see the trunk in a picture below.  We have removed half a dozen trees and still have four left to cut down.  The process has gone about as smooth as we could ask for including nice weather. 


I received an irrigation permit extension on Monday afternoon which allowed me to run the system all week trying to get plenty of water on the greens and tees.  Saturday morning was the last day for irrigating.  I started around 5:00 AM and went until the golfers started showing up around 8:30 AM.  Then I started blowing out the main lines of the system finishing late morning.  The lateral lines will be blown out starting Monday morning.

 Final Irrigation.jpg
 Main Line Blowout.jpg

Once the irrigation system has been blown out we move our attention to the pumphouse winterization.  The intake lines and screens are removed from the wet well first.  Then copper lines that prime the pumps and register the pressure to the computer are disconnected.  The pumps are disconnected from the main line and drained.  All electrical controls and monitors are disconnected and removed.  We move all of these items to the maintenance shed to be stored in warm temperatures until 2021 Spring start up.


Staff and I were able to continue going through irrigation stations to clean out any debris and ensure everything is working properly after the intake problems contaminated the system with some sledge.  We are down to only four stations that continue to stay open and will not shut down properly.  This is most likely due to damage to the IC unit plunger.  We will tear these valves apart if we have a couple nice days in the future.


Our water permit totals stayed within the limits of our Iowa DNR water permit for 2020.  The irrigation system ran for 106.50 acre feet of water out of a maximum 121.5 acre feet.  The well ran for 68.92 acre feet of water out of a maximum 81 acre feet of water.  The extension allows 5 acre feet of water used out of the pond and zero water pumped from the well.  


Enjoy the remainder of the weekend and soak up some sunshine.  Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed.  “Swing easy today ’cause it’s gonna be breezy!”

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

11-1-2020

Good Morning,
This past week the golf department was able to complete our fall fertilization applications to greens, tees, and fairways.  This application was applied a little later than normal due to the irrigation issues we experienced last month.  The fertilizer will be available to our turfgrass right away in the spring and last into the month of June.  It was a great project to be able to complete prior to the winter weather arriving.

We also started removing our dying pine trees throughout the golf course.  There have been two large pine trees removed to date.  Staff cuts down the trees and the debris is hauled off the golf course.  The Street Division is a huge help to us by hauling the trees off property at a later date.  

We have averaged 10-12 lost pine trees each year.  These trees are not native to Iowa and become very susceptible to disease and pests later in life.  This is a problem that is being experienced across the entire state.  It will continue to be an ongoing problem that has a large impact on the golf course layout.  Replacing these trees with smaller trees will take a long time to fill the void created but that is our due diligence for the future golfers at The Muni.

The colder temperatures have allowed us time to start servicing our maintenance equipment.  This includes oil changes along with filters and grease.  During this process each piece of equipment is recorded with type of service completed, hour meter reading, and repairs needed.  The repairs will be completed during the off season.  

The irrigation pond is approximately at 50% capacity following the intake repairs.  I was able to run through all the stations and make notes of any stations with issues.  There are about a dozen stations that will not shut down properly.  We have been looking at each one of these stations trying to make the necessary repairs.

Our irrigation permit with the Iowa DNR expired on Saturday.  This morning I sent an email requesting an extension into the month of November.  In the past they have granted us five acre feet of water out of the irrigation pond only.  We have not been allowed to use our well past the expiration of the annual license.  Hopefully they will grant us this extension and we can irrigate greens and tees.  It would also allow us to continue the repair process to stations that are not shutting down properly.

Mark White, Jared Elbert, and I met with the tiling contractor to make a game plan with the tiling issues in Upper Waterway Park that travels to the area behind our ninth green.  We are hopeful to complete this project yet this year.  More information will be provided as we move forward.

This upcoming week will provide some nice golf weather for our customers.  I’m sure the warm weather will include windy conditions.  That’s where the hope for an extension to our irrigation permit comes into play.  Staff will also have an opportunity to continue working outside on projects.

Enjoy the remainder of the weekend.  I will see the golf course board tomorrow evening to discuss the clubhouse manager position.  Afterwards I will attend the city council meeting.  Enjoy the day!

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com